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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 12

Daily Reflections

ACCEPTING OUR PRESENT CIRCUMSTANCES

Our very first problem is to accept our present
circumstances as they are, ourselves as we are, and the
people about us as they are. This is to adopt a
realistic humility without which no genuine advance can
even begin. Again and again, we shall need to return to
that unflattering point of departure. This is an
exercise in acceptance that we can profitably practice
every day of our lives. Provided we strenuously avoid
turning these realistic surveys of the facts of life
into unrealistic alibis for apathy or defeatism, they
can be the sure foundation upon which increased emotional
health and therefore spiritual progress can be built.
AS BILL SEES IT, p. 44

When I am having a difficult time accepting people,
places or events, I turn to this passage and it relieves
me of many an underlying fear regarding others, or
situations life presents me. The thought allows me to be
human and not perfect, and to regain my peace of mind.

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

Twenty-Four Hours A Day


A.A. Thought For The Day

The longer we're in A.A., the more natural this way of
life seems. Our old drinking lives were a very unnatural
way of living. Our present sober lives are the most
natural way we could possibly live. During the early
years of our drinking, our lives weren't so different from
the lives of a lot of other people. But as we gradually
became problem drinkers, our lives became more and more
unnatural. Do I realize now that the things I did were far
from natural?

Meditation For The Day

I will say thank you to God for everything, even the
seeming trials and worries. I will strive to be grateful
and humble. My whole attitude toward the Higher Power
will be one of gratitude. I will be glad for the things
I have received. I will pass on what God reveals to me.
I believe that more truths will flow in, as I go along
in the new way of life.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may be grateful for the things I have
received and do not deserve. I pray that this attitude
will make me truly humble.


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

As Bill Sees It

Seeking Fool's Gold, p. 12

Pride is the basic breeder of most human difficulties, the chief block to
true progress. Pride lures us into making demands upon ourselves or
upon others which cannot be met without perverting or misusing our
God-given instincts. When the satisfaction of our instincts for sex,
security, and a place in society becomes the primary object of our lives,
then pride steps in to justify our excesses.

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

I may attain "humility for today" only to the extent that I am able to
avoid the bog of guilt and rebellion on one hand and, on the other hand,
that fair but deceiving land which is strewn with the fool's-gold coins of
pride. This is how I can find and stay on the highroad to humility, which
lies between these extremes. Therefore, a constant inventory which can
reveal when I am off the road is always in order.

1. 12 & 12, pp. 48-49
2. Grapevine, June 1961


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

Walk In Dry Places
 
IF IT FEELS GOOD. . .
Facing Other Excesses
In the drinking life, one of the flippant sayings we heard was, "If it feels good, do it!"  We hear that often in sobriety, although it sometimes appears on a bumper sticker or as casual comment.  And if we've learned anything in sobriety, we know that this remark is really a permit for disaster.  We drank to feel good, but we often ended up feeling terrible.
Yet the same slogan, properly understood, can be useful for the recovering alcoholic.  We all want to feel good.  But a drink means temporary pleasure followed by pain, guilt, remorse, and ruin.  This is not really feeling good.  It is a nightmare of the worst feeling we can imagine.
Happy sobriety does feel good, even though it may include short-term discomfort or temporary boredom.  The long-run tendency of sobriety is toward having peace of mind, feeling good about ourselves, and using our talents and opportunities wisely.  This is the mature way to feel good, but we achieve it only by thinking and acting in the right ways.  Perhaps our slogan could be, "If it will make you feel good now and in the future, do it!"
Today I will pass up anything that seems pleasurable in the short run but will make me guilty and unhappy later on.

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

Keep It Simple

Remember always that you have not only the right to be individual, you have an obligation to be one.  --Eleamnor Roosevelt
When we were using alcohol and other drugs, we often thought that we were different from others. We secretly thought that no one could understand us. Maybe we tried to be one of the group, but we were lonely. Now we know for sure--we are different from others. Everyone's  unique. We all have this in common. Being like others helps us feel safe and normal. But we need to feel good about the ways we're different from others too. We think a little different, act a little different, and look a little different from anyone else. We each have our own way to make life better for others.
Prayer for the Day:  Higher Power, help me be an individual. Help me use my special gifts, not hide them.
Action for the Day:  Today, I'll make a list of the things I'm good at. I'll think about how I can use these gifts.

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

Each Day a New Beginning

It isn't sufficient to seek wholeness through men, it never was and it never will be for any woman, married or single.
--Patricia O'Brien
Most of us were encouraged from childhood on to "find a husband." The message, often subtle, was nonetheless there. And many of us did marry. However, no relationship carries a lifetime guarantee. Pinning our hopes on another person keeps us dependent; it keeps us in a "holding pattern." It keeps us from making those choices tailored to who we are and who we want to be.
Our recovery as women is closely aligned with our growth in decision-making, our choosing responsible behavior and activities, our personal achievement. We do, each of us, need to discover our own wholeness. We need to celebrate our personhood. We need to cheer one another on as women recovering from an addictive past, as worthwhile women in full measure.
I will respect my wholeness today. I will help another woman nurture hers.


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

Alcoholics Anonymous - Fourth Edition

Chapter 7 - WORKING WITH OTHERS

After they have seen tangible results, the family will perhaps want to go along. These things will come to pass naturally and in good time provided, however, the alcoholic continues to demonstrate that he can be sober, considerate, and helpful, regardless of what anyone says or does. Of course, we all fall much below this standard many times. But we must try to repair the damage immediately lest we pay the penalty by a spree.

p. 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.

There were times, though, when I witnessed my father's rages and I was full of fear.  I swore that I would not be like him, but I didn't see that alcohol and the rages were related.

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."

Still more wonderful is the feeling that we do not have to be specially distinguished among our fellows in order to be useful and profoundly happy. Not many of us can be leaders of prominence, nor do we wish to be. Service, gladly rendered, obligations squarely met, troubles well accepted or solved with God's help, the knowledge that at home or in the world outside we are partners in a common effort, the well-understood fact that in God's sight all human beings are important, the proof that love freely given surely brings a full return, the certainty that we are no longer isolated and alone in self-constructed prisons, the surety that we need no longer be square pegs in round holes but can fit and belong in God's scheme of things--these are the permanent and legitimate satisfactions of right living for which no amount of pomp and circumstance, no heap of material possessions, could possibly be substitutes. True ambition is not what we thought it was. True ambition is the deep desire to live usefully and walk humbly under the grace of God.

pp. 124-125


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

You are a child of God.  You are a child of Light.
The Soul that is your true identity resides naturally
in love and joy.
--John-Roger

Take LOVE as an acronym:
LISTEN intently to the people with whom you are traveling your
journey.  Listen deeply; it is a great gift.
OPTIMIZE the time you have with your loved ones. The truth is, we
do not know our last hour; don't postpone giving your love.
VALUE the people in your life, really notice their goodness.
Then, EXPRESS your gratitude, appreciation and praise.
--Mary Manin Morrissey

Message of Peace
May there always be work for your hands to do;
May your purse always hold a coin or two;
May the sun always shine on your windowpane;
May a rainbow be certain to follow each rain;
May the hand of a friend always be near you;
May God fill your heart with gladness to cheer you.

Your talent is God's gift to you.
What you do with it is your gift back to God.
--Leo Buscaglia

If you can't see a light at the end of the tunnel...
then run down there and light the darn thing yourself... :-)

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

Father Leo's Daily Meditation

VALUES

"The aim of education is the
knowledge not of fact, but of
values."
-- Dean William R. Inge

Facts can sometimes confuse. They can be used to hide behind. They
can be manipulated into lies. Facts are no substitute for values ---
human values.

Today I not only value my life but I value life itself. When I walk
amongst nature, I taste her purity, observe her beauty, experience
her strength --- and I know I am a part of it all. Today my values
have changed because I see myself as "part of" rather than
"separate from". I belong to this universe, this world, this planet and
what I do affects the essential value of life. With my daily respect for
self comes a respect for property, people, different cultures and God.

Today the things I truly value I do not pay for; the things I cherish
cannot be won or bought. Spirituality is free.

Teach me to value the meaning of freedom and the richness of life.

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

"And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those
who are the called according to His purpose."  Romans 8:28

For by grace have ye been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, (it is) the
gift of God.  Ephesians 2:8-9

Walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.  Galatians 5:16

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with
thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends
all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."  Philippians 4:6-7


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

Daily Inspiration

Take today and make it beautiful. Lord, my life is no accident and neither is how I live it. Help me to fill it with smiles.

We can be serious about our work without being serious about ourselves. Lord, help me to enjoy the person that I am
.

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

NA Just For Today

Spiritual Awakenings


" Having had a spiritual awakening as a result of these steps..."
Step Twelve

" How will I know when I have had a spiritual awakening?" For many of us, a spiritual awakening comes gradually. Perhaps our first spiritual awareness is as simple as a new appreciation for life. Maybe one day we'll suddenly discover the sound of birds singing early in the morning. The simple beauty of a flower may remind us that there is a Power greater than ourselves at work around us.

Often, our spiritual awakening is something that grows stronger over time. We can strive for more spiritual awareness simply by living our lives. We can persist in efforts to improve our conscious contact through prayer and meditation on a daily basis. We can listen within for the guidance we need. We can question other addicts about their experiences with spirituality. We can take time to appreciate the world around us.

Just for today: I will reflect on the spiritual awakenings I have experienced. I will strive to be God-conscious. I will take time out in the day to appreciate my Higher Power's handiwork.

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

You are reading from the book Today's Gift.
I held a moment in my hand, brilliant as a star, fragile as a flower, a shiny sliver out of one hour. I dropped it carelessly. O God! I knew not I held an opportunity. --Hazel Lee
Once, a famous artist was hired to put stained glass windows into a great cathedral. His eager young apprentice pleaded for the chance to design just one small window. The master artist feared an experiment on even a small window would prove costly, but the persistent young apprentice kept up his pleas. Finally, the master agreed that he could try his hand on one small window if he furnished his own materials and worked on his own time.
The enterprising apprentice began gathering bits of glass his master had discarded, and set to work. When the cathedral doors were open, people stood in groups before the small window, praising its delicate excellence.
Our lives are like this. If we take the time to gather together the moments and opportunities we too often discard and waste, we find we can weave them into something beautiful.
What can I make of moments I usually waste today?


You are reading from the book Touchstones.
I should be content to look at a mountain for what it is and not as a comment on my life. --David Ignatow
We have recognized our self-centeredness as addicts and codependents. On the other side is the feeling of peace and well being when we are released from it. Self-centeredness caused us to take everything personally. We were hypersensitive to our surroundings, to other people, and to how they reacted. Yet, so often these things had very little to do with us. God sends rain for the just and the unjust.
When we can look at a mountain and lose ourselves in the sight, we are refreshed spiritually. But no mountain is necessary for this experience. When we listen to a friend and simply hear his perspective, when we pet a dog and just enjoy this loving creature, when we look at a sunset and drink it in for what it is - then we are growing.
God, grant me release from the oppression of my ego.


You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
It isn't sufficient to seek wholeness through men, it never was and it never will be for any woman, married or single.
--Patricia O'Brien
Most of us were encouraged from childhood on to "find a husband." The message, often subtle, was nonetheless there. And many of us did marry. However, no relationship carries a lifetime guarantee. Pinning our hopes on another person keeps us dependent; it keeps us in a "holding pattern." It keeps us from making those choices tailored to who we are and who we want to be.
Our recovery as women is closely aligned with our growth in decision-making, our choosing responsible behavior and activities, our personal achievement. We do, each of us, need to discover our own wholeness. We need to celebrate our personhood. We need to cheer one another on as women recovering from an addictive past, as worthwhile women in full measure.
I will respect my wholeness today. I will help another woman nurture hers.


You are reading from the book The Language Of Letting Go.
Finding Balance
The goal of recovery is balance - that precious middle ground.
Many of us have gone from one extreme to another: years of taking care of everyone but ourselves, followed by a time of refusing to focus on anyone's needs but our own.
We may have spent years refusing to identify, feel, and deal with our feelings, followed by a period of absolute obsession with every trace of emotional energy that passes through our body.
We may succumb to powerlessness, helplessness, and victimization, then we swing to the other extreme by aggressively wielding power over those around us.
We can learn to give to others while taking responsibility for ourselves. We can learn to take care of our feelings, as well as our physical, mental, and spiritual needs. We can nurture the quiet confidence of owning our power as equals in our relationships with others.
The goal of recovery is balance, but sometimes we get there by going to extremes.
Today, I will be gentle with myself, understanding that sometimes to reach the middle ground of balance, I need to explore the peaks and valleys. Sometimes, the only way I can extricate myself from a valley is to jump high enough to land on a peak, and then slowly ease myself down.


Today I am willing to let go of all my fear so that I can find out what is real in my life. I will take whatever comes without judgment. I am ready to release all my resistance and struggle so that I can find out the good and truth inside me. --Ruth Fishel

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

Journey To The Heart

Let the Universe Help You

Let the universe help you. You are not in this world alone. You never have been, although your belief may have created that illusion.

Tell the universe what you want. Tell a friend. Tell God,too. Tell yourself. Write it down on a list. Be clear and forthright about what you need and want. Talk as if you were talking to a friend. That is not control. That is learning to own your own creative power– your power to help create your life. Then let go. Do not stand tapping your foot, impatiently waiting. Simply let go, the way you would if you trusted your friend to respond positively, in a way that was best for you.

Go naturally about the course of your life. Listen to your heart. Listen to your inner voice. What are you guided to do, where you are guided to go, where your attention is directed, the people you meet, the phone calls you receive, the experiences you have– even the problems that arise– these are some ways the universe can respond to you.

Open your eyes. Look around. See how the universe responds. Watch how it dances for you, with you. You are connected to a magical loving universe, one that will come alive for you, dance for you, in ways you cannot imagine– but in ways you will come to know as true.

Look within,too. Sometimes the most gentle, quiet, flickering thought– that glimmer of an idea, that awareness of a need or desire, or that small bit of inspiration or intuition– is how the universe prepares us for what it wants us to do or receive. Our inner voice, the one in our heart, is an important part of the way we’re guided and led down our path.

You stand at a gateway now. It’s the door to universal love.

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

More Language Of Letting Go

Stop playing tug-of-war

Letting go can be like a tug-of-war with God.

Have you ever played tug-of-war with a puppy and an old sock or toy? You pull. He pulls. You pull it out of his mouth. He grabs hold again and shakes and shakes and says grrrrrr. The harder you tug, the harder the puppy tugs. Finally, you just let go. Then he comes right back again, for more.

I have never successfully treated or solved one problem in my life by obsessing or controlling. I’ve yet to accomplish anything by worrying. And manipulation has not wrought one successful outcome. But I forget that from time to time.

The best possible outcomes happen when I let go. That doesn’t mean I always get my way. But things work out and, ultimately, the lesson becomes clear. If we want to play tug-of-war, we can, but it’s not an efficient problem-solving skill.

God, help me surrender to your will.

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

A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

When I sit quietly and compare my life today with the way it used to be, the difference is almost beyond belief. But things aren’t always rosy; some days are a lot better than others. I tend to accept the bad days more easily on an intellectual level than I do emotionally, or at gut-level. There are no pat answers, but part of the solution surely life’s in a constant effort to practice all of the Twelve Steps. Do I accept the fact that my Higher Power will never give me more than I can handle — one day at a time.

Today I Pray

That I may receive strength in the knowledge that God never gives us more than we can bear, that I can always, somehow, endure present pain, whereas the trials of a lifetime, condensed into on disastrous moment, would surely overcome me. Thanks be to God for giving us only those tribulations which are in proportion to our strength, never destroying us in our frailty. May I remember that fortitude grows out of suffering.

Today I Will Remember

Present pain is endurable.

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

One More Day

It’s a fine thing to rise above pride, but you must have pride in order to do so.
– George Bernanos

We are entitled to feel proud of our accomplishments. Pride is an essential ingredient in the receipt of life, and it comes from an inner sense of well-being, from knowing we have done the best we could under difficult conditions.

When our day’s plans are upset by the unexpected, we may struggle with maintaining our pride.

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

One Day At A Time

~ GUILT ~


Who I am is what I have to give.
Quite simply, I must remember that's enough.
Anne Wilson Schaef

For most of my growing up years, I was fed on guilt, or so it seemed. I always felt that in order to justify being worthy of what others did for me, I had to be the best at whatever I did. I would feel guilty for not meeting others' expectations. My self-esteem was virtually non-existent. I was always there for other people rather than being there for myself. It was no wonder I turned to food to help me cope.

Now, I'm grateful that it took the pain of all those years of compulsive overeating to bring me into this wonderful fellowship of people who accept me just as I am. I don't need to do anything to justify myself. Through working the steps, I have been able to let go of a lot of guilt and I see that, even with all my character defects, I'm still a very special and unique human being. My self-esteem has improved, and I learned that I need to take care of myself if I'm to be of help to others.

I still struggle with those defects from time to time, but with the support I find in this fellowship, I am becoming comfortable with who I am, and I can let go of the guilt. What a relief that has been!

I don't need to be just the person who is always there for others; I need to be there for myself. I am learning that I am a worthwhile person and that I'm just the way God wants me to be.

One Day at a Time . . .
I don't need to be just the person who is always there for others;
I need to be there for myself.
I am learning that I am a worthwhile person and that I'm just the way God wants me to be.
~ Sharon ~

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

AA 'Big Book' - Quote

There is action and more action. 'Faith without works is dead.' - Pg. 88 - Into Action

Hour To Hour - Book - Quote

There is a certain universality to the truths taught in our 12 step programs. They are nothing new. These principles are derived from eons of experience and spirituality. What is new is our personal understanding that living these principles gives us a reprieve from our addiction.

Thank you God, as I understand You, for my daily reprieve from addiction based on my sincere attempt to practice these principles.

Actualizing the Gifts that are In Me

I will actualize that gifts that are in me today. I will be less preoccupied with who I'm not and more occupied with who I am. When I spend all of my time looking outside of me or wanting what others have, I forget that I have my own special gifts. God has placed gifts within me that I am meant to develop and share. My responsibility is to come to know what my gifts are, then to cultivate and strengthen them as I share them with the world.

I look for the gifts that are in me.

- Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor - Book - Quote

Service is sacred; our sometimes smoke-filled, coffee-filled, talk-filled clubs, meetings, and social gatherings are the basis for a lot more than laughter-they add up to a major part of our recovery. May 29, Day By Day

Am I contributing to the fellowship?

"Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book" - Book

When you lead a meeting, lead.

Time for Joy - Book - Quote

Today I am willing to let go of all my fear so that I can find out what is real in my life. I will take whatever comes without judgement. I am ready to release all my resistance and struggle so that I can find out the good and truth inside me.

Alkiespeak - Book - Quote

Today is the tomorrow I worried about yesterday. - Ken D.

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

AA Thought for the Day


January 12

Self-pity
I began to understand why, when I first came into AA, the most frequent warnings
from some of the old-timers were against self-pity.
All those sensations I'd been wallowing in with such enjoyment -- of being aggrieved,
of being wronged, of being victimized, of being (for once!) in the right --
added up to the heady brew of self-pity.  And I then comprehended fully why self-pity,
leading to isolation, was presented by the old-timers
as such a formidable enemy of sobriety.
- The Best of the Grapevine [Vol. 3], p. 203

Thought to Ponder . . .
Self-pity is followed by isolation is followed by a drink.

AA-related 'Alconym' . . .
A A = Attitude Adjustment.

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

Reprieve
It is easy to let up on the spiritual program of action
and rest on our laurels.
We are headed for trouble if we do, for alcohol is a subtle foe.
We are not cured of alcoholism.
What we have is a daily reprieve
contingent on the maintenance of our spiritual condition.
Every day is a day when we must carry the vision
of God's will into all our activities.
"How can I best serve Thee -- Thy will (not mine) be done."
These are thoughts which must go with us constantly.
We can exercise our will power along this line all we wish.
It is the proper use of the will.
c. 1976, 2001 AAWS, Alcoholics Anonymous,  p. 85

Thought to Consider . . .
The alcoholic is in no greater peril
than when he takes sobriety for granted.

*~*~*AACRONYMS*~*~*
S W A T  =  Surrender, Willingness, Acceptance, Trust.

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

Caring
>From "Serving My Brother":
"I frequently ask God to help me watch over my thoughts and words, that they may be the true and proper reflections of our program; to focus my aspirations once again to seek His guidance; to help me be truly kind and loving, helpful and healing, yet always filled with humility, and free from any trace of arrogance."
 1990 AAWS, Inc.; Daily Reflections, pg. 29

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

"Sometimes when I think I am having a bad day, I am really learning a hard lesson, cheap. And sometimes, when I think I am having a good day, I am really in trouble and just haven't recognized it yet. I'm really no judge at all of what kind of day I'm having."
Brentwood, Tenn., April 1991
"Good Days and Bad Days"
AA Grapevine

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

Though we work out our solution on the spiritual as well as an
altruistic plane, we favor hospitalization for the alcoholic who is
very jittery or befogged. More often than not, it is imperative that
a man's brain be cleared before he is approached, as he has then
a better chance of understanding and accepting what we have to offer."
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, The Doctor's Opinion, pg. xxvi~

"When the spiritual malady is overcome, we straighten out mentally and
physically."
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, How It Works, Page 64~

To a surprising extent, A.A. has offset the damage to family life brought about by years of alcoholism.
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p.117

Misc. AA Literature - Quote

Pride is the basic breeder of most human difficulties, the chief block to true progress. Pride lures us into making demands upon ourselves or upon others which cannot be met without perverting or misusing our God-given instincts. When the satisfaction of our instincts for sex, security, and a place in society becomes the primary object of our lives, then pride steps in to justify our excesses.
I may attain 'humility for today' only to the extent that I am able to avoid the bog of guilt and rebellion on one hand and, on the other hand, that fair but deceiving land which is strewn with the fool's-gold coins of pride. This is how I can find and stay on the highroad to humility, which lies between these extremes. Therefore, a constant inventory which can reveal when I am off the road is always in order.

Prayer for the Day:  Jesus, shine through me and be so in me that every person I come in contact with may feel your presence in my soul.  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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