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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 11

Daily Reflections

THE 100% STEP

Only Step One, where we made the 100 percent admission we were
powerless over alcohol, can be practiced with absolute perfection.
TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 68

Long before I was able to obtain sobriety in A.A., I knew without a
doubt that alcohol was killing me, yet even with this knowledge, I was
unable to stop drinking. So, when faced with Step One, I found it
easy to admit that I lacked the power to not drink. But was my life
unmanageable? Never! Five months after coming into A.A., I was
drinking again and wondered why.

Later on, back in A.A. and smarting from my wounds, I learned that
Step One is the only Step that can be taken 100%. And that the only
way to take it 100% is to take 100% of the Step. That was many
twenty-four hours ago and I haven't had to take Step One again.

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

Twenty-Four Hours A Day


A.A. Thought For The Day

When we were drinking, most of us never thought of helping others.
We liked to buy drinks for people, because that made us feel like big
shots. But we only used others for our own pleasure. To really go out
and try to help somebody who needed help never occurred to us. To
us, helping others looked like a sucker's game. But when we came
into A.A., we began to try to help others. And we found out that helping
others made us happy and also helped us to stay sober. Have I learned that
there is happiness in helping others?

Meditation For The Day

I will pray only for strength and that God's will be done. I will use
God's unlimited store of strength for my needs. I will seek God's will
for me. I will strive for consciousness of God's presence, for He is the
light of the world. I have become a pilgrim, who needs only marching
orders and strength and guidance for this day.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may seek God's guidance day by day. I pray that I may
strive to abide in God's presence.


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

As Bill Sees It

Quantity or Quality, p. 11

"About this slip business--I would not be too discouraged.  I think you
are suffering a great deal from a needless guilt.  For some reason or
other, the Lord has laid out tougher paths for some of us, and I guess
you are treading one of them.  God is not asking us to be successful.  He
is only asking us to try to be.  That, you surely are doing, and have been
doing.  So I would not stay away from A.A. through any feeling of
discouragement or shame.  It's just the place you should be.  Why don't
you try just as a member?  You don't have to carry the whole A.A. on
your back, you know!

"It is not always the quantity of good things that you do, it is also the
quality that counts.

"Above all, take it one day at a time."

Letter, 1958


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

Walk In Dry Places
 
BEING DOWN
Overcoming Depression
It would be difficult to find a group of people more subject to mood swings than alcoholics.  While we were drinking, most of us were not perceptive enough to realize most of us were not perceptive enough to realize that our moods rose and fell in a rhythmic pattern. We did not mind being "up," but it distressed us greatly when we were "down."  Alcohol was the "upper" most of us took when we were depressed.
In sobriety, there is usually no chemical "upper" that's safe to take for any of our down moods.  Some of us have been helped by vitamins or by inspirational reading. But most of us simply have to RIDE OUT our down moods, doing the best we can until things are on the upswing again. In spite of being down, we do not have to drink.
Whatever the causes of mood swings, we can live with them, and we do not need any mood-altering drugs to see us through a down period.  Our depression will pass, and we might even notice its hold lessening as we continue to grow in sobriety.
I will accept my feelings today, and I will not be disturbed if my mood seems somewhat low. This, too, will pass away.

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

Keep It Simple

If there is a harder way of doing something, someone will find it.---Ralph E. Ross
When we used alcohol or other drugs, we did most things the hard way. We could turn a simple task into a day-long project. We could turn a simple problem into an argument. We were creative giants in doing things the hard way! we need to change this. We deserve easier lives. It's okay to take the smooth road .
In our program ,We have slogans for this: Keep It Simple, Let Go and Let God, First Things First, and Easy Does It. These slogans remind us that it's okay to live with as little trouble as possible.
Prayer for the Day:  Higher Power, show me how to live a simple life. I don't have to do everything the hard way if I listen better to You.
Action for the Day:  I'll list three or four things I do that makes my life harder than it needs to be. I'll share them with a friend.

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

Each Day a New Beginning

Fear is only an illusion. It is the illusion that creates the feeling of separateness the false sense of isolation that exists only in. your imagination  --Jeraldine Sounders
We are one. We are connected, interdependent parts of the whole. We are not separate from each other except in the mind, in our false understanding of reality. As we come to understand our connectedness, our need for one another to complete the whole of creation, our fears will die.
It is often said we learn who we really are by closely observing our behavior toward the people in our lives. We meet ourselves in those others. They are our reflections. They are, perhaps, parts we ourselves have not yet learned to love. The program's message is to trust, to have faith; our higher power is in control. We are faced with no person, no situation too big to handle if we trust the program, if we remember the connections among us all.
I will look around today at others, with knowledge of our oneness. Fearing not, I will smile upon the wholeness of life.


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

Alcoholics Anonymous - Fourth Edition

Chapter 7 - WORKING WITH OTHERS

Now, the domestic problem: There may be divorce, separation, or just strained relations. When your prospect has made such reparation as he can to his family, and has thoroughly explained to them the new principles by which he is living, he should proceed to put those principles into action at home. That is, if he is lucky enough to have a home. Though his family be at fault in many respects, he should not be concerned about that. He should concentrate on his own spiritual demonstration. Argument and fault-finding are to be avoided like the plague. In many homes this is a difficult thing to do, but it must be done if any results are to be expected. If persisted in for a few months, the effect on a man’s family is sure to be great. The most incompatible people discover they have a basis upon which they can meet. Little by little the family may see their own defects and admit them. These can then be discussed in an atmosphere of helpfulness and friendliness.

pp. 98-99


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

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 grew up on a reservation in Canada.  As a young fellow, I was a proud Mic-Mac Indian.  My family had a reputation:  They were hard drinkers, violent and tough, and I was proud of this.  I was told that my grandfather had been the chief of our band, but he had to step down because he went to jail for shooting a man.  Jail was almost a badge of honor in my family, or so it seemed to me.  As a small boy, I remember standing on top of a case of beer (there were always lots around the house), saying to myself:  In a few years I will be this tall.

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."

But today, in well-matured A.A.'s, these distorted drives have been restored to something like their true purpose and direction. We no longer strive to dominate or rule those about us in order to gain self-importance. We no longer seek fame and honor in order to be praised. When by devoted service to family, friends, business, or community we attract widespread affection and are sometimes singled out for posts of greater responsibility and trust, we try to be humbly grateful and exert ourselves the more in a spirit of love and service. True leadership, we find, depends upon able example and not upon vain displays of power or glory.

p. 124


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

"Our greatest glory consists not in never falling, but in rising every
time we fall." --Ralph Waldo Emerson

"All I need to know I learned from my cat." --Suzy Becker

Music is the language of the spirit. It opens the secret of life bringing
peace, abolishing strife. --Kahlil Gibran

You will find as you look back upon your life that the moments when
you have really lived are the moments when you have done things in
the spirit of love. --Henry Drummond

I know and trust that God cares for me, and takes care of all my
needs. --Shelley

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

Father Leo's Daily Meditation

PHILOSOPHY

"To teach men how to live without
certainty and yet without being
paralyzed by hesitation is perhaps
the chief thing philosophy can do."
-- Bertrand Russell

I suppose the "Twelve Steps" are a practical philosophy of how to
live positively with the disease of alcoholism: (a) Don't drink. (b) Find
a God in your life that is understandable. (c) Begin to make positive
choices in attitudes and behaviors. (d) Let "never forget" be an
essential part of the message.

The miracle of this philosophy is that it reaches out to so many who
suffer with addictive compulsions and teaches us how to live with
being imperfect. I believe the Twelve Steps are the answer to "The
Fall" of man --- we are going home to God.

Let me see beyond the logic to Your loving energy.

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

Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just
as in Christ God forgave you." Ephesians 4:32

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one
another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the
Lord. Colossians 3:16


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

Daily Inspiration

Look beyond a person's faults so that you can see the real person. Lord, may I learn to focus on the goodness that is in each person and love them because all are your children.

The moment of absolute certainty over decisions made never arrives, so make your decision and move on. Lord, grant me wisdom and confidence in making my choices and the ability to recognize when new decisions need to be made
.

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

NA Just For Today

Faith


" As we develop faith in our daily lives, we find that our Higher Power supplies us with the strength and guidance that we need."
Basic Text, p. 91

Some of us come into recovery very frightened and insecure. We feel weak and alone. We are uncertain of our direction and don't know where to go for answers. We are told that if we find some faith in a Power greater than ourselves, we will find security and guidance. We want that feeling of safety and strength. But faith doesn't come overnight. It takes time and effort to grow.

The seed is planted when we ask our Higher Power for help and then acknowledge the source of our help when it comes. We nurture the tiny seed of faith with the sunlight of our prayers each day. Our faith grows, a reward for living life on its own terms. One day we realize our faith has become like a huge spreading tree; it doesn't stop the storms of life, but we know that we are safe in its shelter.

Just for today: I know that faith in my Higher Power will not calm the storms of life, but it will calm my heart. I will let my faith shelter me in times of trouble.

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

You are reading from the book Today's Gift.
It does make a difference what you call things. --Kate Douglas Wiggin
Most of us think of dandelions as weeds. We buy special tools and poisons when they crop up and complain about them as surely as we welcome the spring that brings them. Yet is there anything more lovely than a sea of yellow dandelions by the side of the road in June? Or as remarkable in transformation as the filaments of the mature dandelion blowing on the wind? Sometimes we let someone else define for us what are weeds and what are flowers. We don't have to. Much of the beauty of the world is that we ourselves decide what is beautiful according to our own feelings. How lucky we are that, when we choose to, we can open our eyes and see!
Can I see the beauty in those around me right now?


You are reading from the book Touchstones.
All truth is an achievement. If you would have truth at its full value, go win it. --Munger
Truth can seem so elusive. Yet, at times it is so simple and obvious. In entering this program, many of us thought of ourselves as honest men. Some of us couldn't bear the anguish of our dishonesty. As we repeatedly face ourselves, take our personal inventories, and hold ourselves accountable, we realize we have all grown in our honesty. What seemed honest before now looks like half-truth. It was the best we could do at the time. Our perception of truth has deepened by the grace of God and as a result of our hard work.
Truth is won when we have the courage to feel the pain of knowing it. Some of our pain has been the grief of realizing what we missed or lost in our insanity. Some has been the anguish of facing the harm we caused the ones we love, and some in admitting honestly how we ourselves were hurt.
Truth does make me free. The richness in my life is a generous reward for courage.


You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
Fear is only an illusion. It is the illusion that creates the feeling of separateness the false sense of isolation that exists only in. your imagination --Jeraldine Sounders
We are one. We are connected, interdependent parts of the whole. We are not separate from each other except in the mind, in our false understanding of reality. As we come to understand our connectedness, our need for one another to complete the whole of creation, our fears will die.
It is often said we learn who we really are by closely observing our behavior toward the people in our lives. We meet ourselves in those others. They are our reflections. They are, perhaps, parts we ourselves have not yet learned to love. The program's message is to trust, to have faith; our higher power is in control. We are faced with no person, no situation too big to handle if we trust the program, if we remember the connections among us all.
I will look around today at others, with knowledge of our oneness. Fearing not, I will smile upon the wholeness of life.


You are reading from the book The Language Of Letting Go.
Letting Go of Guilt
"There's a good trick that people in dysfunctional relationships use," said one recovering woman. "The other person does something inappropriate or wrong, then stands there until you feel guilty and end up apologizing."
It's imperative that we stop feeling so guilty.
Much of the time, the things we feel guilty about are not our issues. Another person behaves inappropriately or in some way violates our boundaries. We challenge the behavior, and the person gets angry and defensive. Then we feel guilty.
Guilt can prevent us from setting the boundaries that would be in our best interests, and in other people's best interests. Guilt can stop us from taking healthy care of ourselves.
We don't have to let others count on the fact that we'll always feel guilty. We don't have to allow ourselves to be controlled by guilt - earned or unearned! We can break through the barrier of guilt that holds us back from self care. Push. Push harder. We are not at fault, crazy, or wrong. We have a right to set boundaries and to insist on appropriate treatment. We can separate another's issues from our issues, and let the person experience the consequences of his or her own behavior, including guilt. We can trust ourselves to know when our boundaries are being violated.
Today, I will let go of my big and little guilty feelings. Light and love are on my side.


I am listening to the voice of truth and love today. --Ruth Fishel

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

Journey To The Heart

Let Go of the Blocks

I wandered into the bookstore in a small Southern California town, browsed for a while, then began chatting with the clerk. “Times are different now,” I said. “Changing fast. Turning into something so new, so different, many of us can’t imagine.”

“Yes,” she replied quietly and prophetically. “Things are going to be easier. Unless there’s something you’re still hanging on to.”

Is there something you’re still hanging on to? A remnant from the past that’s blocking you from stepping into the future? From stepping into today?

Look into your heart. The answer is there. Perhaps it’s a behavior, a person, a belief. Is there an issue from the past that’s blocking your ability to love yourself, to connect with God, life, others? Ask yourself if there’s something you’re hanging on to that has outworn its purpose. Old chains can tie us to the past, to past pain, to a path we’ve already trodden, a place we’ve already been.

Now is the time to let go. Gently, quietly, let go. Allow yourself a few looks back and as many tears as needed. Where you’ve been has been important. It has helped shape who you are. But have faith that where you’re going is important and wonderful,too.

Gently let go. Be free to step into your future of joy.

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

More Language Of Letting Go

Throw the ball

“I think of letting go as being like throwing a baseball,” a friend said to me. “The problem is, I just don’t want to let go of the ball.” Hanging on to the ball is a temptation. We’ve got it in our hands. Why not keep it there? At least if we’re dwelling on the problem, it feels like we’re doing something. But we’re not. We’re just holding on to the ball, and chances are we’re holding up the game.

There’s nothing wrong with trying to solve the problem or offering requested advice. But if we’ve done everything we could, and there’s nothing left to do but obsess, the person we need to stop is ourselves.

Here are some rules:

If you’ve tried to solve a problem three times, and obsessing doesn’t count as a problem-solving skill, then stop yourself. Let go. Throw the ball. At least for today.
If others ask for advice, give them the advice once. Then throw the ball to them. Say no more.
If a person hasn’t asked for advice, or if you’ve offered advice and were told no thanks, there’s nothing to throw. The ball isn’t in your hands.

Remember the times you’ve willingly let go. Think about how things worked out for you then. Now remember those times you resisted letting go. Whether you wanted to or not, did you throw the ball in the end?

God, please show me the benefits of letting go.

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

A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

The experiences of thousands upon thousands of people have proven that acceptance and faith are capable of producing freedom from dependence on chemicals. When we apply the same principles of acceptance and faith to our emotional problems, however, we discover that only relative results are possible. Obviously, for example, nobody can ever become completely free from fear, anger or pride. None of us will ever achieve perfect love, harmony or serenity. We’ll have to settle for very gradual progress, punctuated occasionally by very heavy setbacks. Have I begun to abandon my old attitude of “all or nothing?”

Today I Pray

May God grant me the patience to apply those same principles of faith and acceptance which are keys to my recovery to the whole of my emotional being. May I learn to recognize the festering of my own human anger, my hurt, my frustration, my sadness. With the help of God, may I find appropriate ways to deal with these feelings without doing harm to myself or others.

Today I Will Remember

Feelings are facts.

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

One More Day

Always do one thing less than you think you can do.
– Bernard Baruch

Without even realizing it, we all have developed different levels of expertise. Too often, however, our knowledge of ourselves and of our physical capabilities is that we know the least of. The true measure of knowing ourselves, regardless of how capable we seem to be, is to stop the activity before we get too exhausted, before we have too much pain — before we cause an accident.

Understanding one’s own body has become a primary concern for many of us because now we realize that how we “used to” function doesn’t matter anymore. What does matter is how our bodies function right now, and we learn to structure our goals and expectations around those limitations.

I am learning, finally, how to recognize and heed my own body’s warning signals.

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

One Day At A Time

~ FOCUS ~


It takes a long time to become young.
Pablo Picasso

By the time I came to the Twelve Step program, I had forgotten how to have fun. My whole world revolved around food--eating it, planning to eat it, or not eating it (and being very aware of it). When asked to go anywhere, what first came to mind is what foods I could eat there. I would agree to go only if I were in the mood for the kind of food that would be available, and if the person going with me would be interested in eating it too. Parties were all about the food, not who I'd see and meet. Family reunions were about Aunt Betty's specialty dish and Uncle John's grilled meats.

This focus on food made me forget how to have fun. I even forgot what I liked to do, if I ever knew. The truth is that fun came to mean eating, and it was what I liked to do.

In the recovery program, I've learned that I have choices; I just couldn't see them for the food! The first time I went to a party where I didn't even think about the food, but enjoyed all the new people I met while reconnecting with old friends, I was shocked when I ended up at the refreshment table. The party was almost over, and I hadn't visited this area the second I walked in the door! What a relief! And what fun! I came home full of life and love and laughter. I hadn't felt so young in years.

One Day at a Time . . .
I will pray to keep my focus away from food and instead focus on life.

~ Rhonda ~

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

AA 'Big Book' - Quote

Those of us who have spent much time in the world of spiritual make-believe have eventually seen the childishness of it. This dream world has been replaced by a great sense of purpose, accompanied by a growing consciousness of the power of God in our lives. We have come to believe He would like us to keep our heads in the clouds with Him, but that our feet ought to be firmly planted on earth. That is where our fellow travelers are, and that is where our work must be done. - Pg. 130 - The Family Afterward

Hour To Hour - Book - Quote

Putting pen to paper can be a pain, reading new material can be frustrating, making numerous phone calls can be an annoyance, getting to a lot of meetings can seem boring, BUT this is the way we start. We must remember what circumstances brought us here in the first place. Was that such a pleasure?

My I place one foot in front of the other to reach my destination of sobriety.

Living the Segments of My Day Intentionally

I will divide my day into segments of intention. When I wake up in the morning I will picture feeling good as I go about my early routines. When I move into the next part of my day I will see my morning going smoothly, whatever I have to do I will picture doing with ease and a happy feeling. I will be intentional about each segment of my mid day, seeing myself operating effectively, competently and enjoying my interactions with those I encounter and interact. As afternoon approaches, I will imagine, in my mind's eye, a pleasant and peaceful evening. And as evening gives way to night, I will imagine myself enjoying a peaceful and restful sleep.

I will be intentional about how I live each part of my day.

- Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor - Book - Quote

There is no right way to do the wrong thing. Whatever you were thinking of doing, you can not rationalize it into 'right' action by saying, 'yes but this' or 'no but that.' You know what's right and you know what's wrong-that gut feeling guides you.

When things go wrong, I don't go with them.

"Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book" - Book

Just because you're having a bad day doesn't mean you're having a bad life.

Time for Joy - Book - Quote

I am listening to the voice of truth and love today.

Alkiespeak - Book - Quote

An attitude of gratitude cuts through analysis paralysis. - James A.

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

AA Thought for the Day


January 11

Fear
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.
But today, in well-matured AA's, these distorted drives have been restored
to something like their true purpose and direction.
- Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, pp. 123-124

Thought to Ponder . . .
Situations I fear are rarely as bad as the fear itself.

AA-related 'Alconym' . . .
F E A R = Forgetting Everything's All Right.

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

Defense
The alcoholic at certain times
has no effective mental defense against the first drink.
Except in a few rare cases,
neither he nor any other human being
can provide such a defense.
His defense must come from a Higher Power.
c. 1976, 2001 AAWS, Alcoholics Anonymous,  p. 43                                                                                                              
                                                            
Thought to Consider
Alcohol ... cunning, baffling, powerful!

*~*~*AACRONYMS*~*~*
S O B E R =  Spirituality Over Booze Equals Recovery

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

Faith
>From "The Belief Will Come":
"I remained dry for a number of years, and then, as you may already have guessed, I drank again. It was inevitable. I had
accepted only those parts of the program that fitted into my life without effort on my part. I was still the self-centered
egotist I had always been, still full of all my old hatreds, selfishness, and disbelief just as lacking in maturity as I had
been when I first arrived at A.A.
"This time, when I came to in the hospital, I had absolutely no hope. After all, you had told me that A.A. was the last hope
for the alcoholic, and I had failed there was nothing else. At this very point, my sister chose to send me a clipping from a
Sunday-school paper. No letter, just the clipping: 'Pray with disbelief; but pray with sincerity; and the belief will come.'"
1973 AAWS, Inc.; Came to Believe, 30th printing 2004, pg. 47

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

"The most important thing AA has given me is the chance to get to know someone I never knew -- myself."
Calgary, Alberta, December 1994
"Getting to Know You -- I Mean Me"
AA Grapevine

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

"'There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which
is proof against all arguments and which cannot fail to keep a man in
everlasting ignorance "that principle is contempt prior to
investigation.'"
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, Appendice II, Spiritual Experience, pg. 568~

 "If we are painstaking about this phase of our development, we will
be amazed before we are half way through. We are going to know a new
freedom and a new happiness. We will not regret the past nor wish to
shut the door on it. We will comprehend the word serenity and we will
know peace. No matter how far down the scale we have gone, we will
see how our experience can benefit others. That feeling of uselessness
and self-pity will disappear. We will lose interest in selfish things
and gain interest in our fellows. Self-seeking will slip away. Our
whole attitude and outlook upon life will change. Fear of people and
of economic insecurity will leave us. We will intuitively know how to
handle situations which used to baffle us. We will suddenly realize
that God is doing for us what we could not do for ourselves."
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, Into Action, Page 83~

Most of us begin making certain kinds of direct amends from the day we join Alcoholics Anonymous.
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p.83

Misc. AA Literature - Quote

About this slip business - I would not be too discouraged. I think you are suffering a great deal from a needless guilt. For
some reason or other, the Lord has laid out tougher paths for some of us, and I guess you are treading one of them.
God is not asking us to be successful. He is only asking us to try to be. That, you surely are doing, and have been doing.
So I would not stay away from A.A. through any feeling of discouragement or shame. It's just the place you should be.
Why don't you try just as a member? You don't have to carry the whole A.A. on your back, you know!
'It is not always the quantity of good things that you do, it is also the quality that counts.
'Above all, take it one day at a time.'

Prayer for the Day:  For health and strength and daily food, We praise your name, O God.  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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