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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 13

Daily Reflections

IT DOESN'T HAPPEN OVERNIGHT

We are not cured of alcoholism. What we really have is a daily
reprieve contingent on the maintenance of our spiritual condition.
ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 85

The most common alcoholic fantasy seems to be: "If I just don't
drink, everything will be all right." Once the fog cleared for me, I
saw -- for the first time -- the mess my life had become. I had family,
work, financial and legal problems; I was hung up on old religious
ideas; there were sides of my character to which I was inclined to stay blind
because they easily could have convinced me that I was hopeless and
pushed me toward escape again. The Big Book guided me in
resolving all of my problems. But it didn't happen overnight -- and
certainly not automatically -- with no effort on my part. I need always to
recognize God's mercy and blessings that shine through any problem
I have to face.

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

Twenty-Four Hours A Day


A.A. Thought For The Day

When we were drinking, we were living an unnatural life
physically and mentally. We were punishing our bodies by
loading them with alcohol. We didn't eat enough and we
ate the wrong things. We didn't get enough sleep or the
right kind of rest. We were ruining ourselves physically.
We had an alcoholic obsession and we couldn't imagine
life without alcohol. We kept imagining all kinds of
crazy things about ourselves and about other people. We
were ruining ourselves mentally. Since I came into A.A.,
am I getting better physically and mentally?

Meditation For The Day

I believe that my life is being refined like gold in a
crucible. Gold does not stay in the crucible, only until
it is refined. I will never despair or be despondent. I
now have friends who long for me to conquer. If I should
err or fail, it would cause pain and disappointment to
them. I will keep trying to live a better life.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may always call on God's strength, while
the gold of my life is being refined. I pray that I may
see it through, with God's help.


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

As Bill Sees It

The Shared Gift, p. 13

A.A. is more than a set of principles; it is a society of alcoholics in
action. We must carry the message, else we ourselves can wither and
those who haven't been given the truth may die.

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

Faith is more than our greatest gift; its sharing with others is our
greatest responsibility. May we of A.A. continually seek the wisdom
and the willingness by which we may well fulfill that immense trust
which the Giver of all perfect gifts has placed in our hands.

1. Service Manual, p. 5
2. Grapevine, April 1961


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Walk In Dry Places
 
The need for approval.
Raising self-esteem.
Although drinking behavior may have been defiant and antisocial, most of us wanted others to think well of us.  If we are not watchful, this need for approval can tyrannize us in sobriety.
A fierce need for approval can drives us to do more than our share of talking at discussion meetings.  On the other hand, the fear of disapproval may cause us to "pass" when we really do have something to say. Outside of the fellowship, a strong desire for others' approval can make us anxious and unsure of ourselves. In the same way, a strong fear of being rejected or criticized can make us afraid to act.
In sobriety, we can free ourselves from an unreasonable desire for approval.  When we learn to like ourselves more, we do not need constant reassurance and applause from others.  We may also discover that we have been doing certain things against our will simply because we wanted somebody's approval.  This is our fault, not theirs, and we can get such practices out of our lives when we no longer need them.
I will accept myself as I am today.  I will give others the approval that I desire for myself. I will not try to win approval by being a people-pleaser

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

Keep It Simple

The junkie can never start to cure himself until he recognizes his true condition.----Malcoln X
Now we know what the problem is. Now we can do something about it. The truth of our problem is, we can't handle alcohol or other drugs. They handle us. They control us. The Steps ask us to face the truth.
And the truth sets us free. What a wonderful gift! We feared the truth, but now it's our friend. It's a relief.
Facing the truth means we're honest. And honestly is our best friend in recovery. It's like a cozy fire on a winter's night. Honesty is how we get well. It's also what will keep us well. Do I truly believe I can't use alcohol or other drugs?
Prayer for the Day:  Higher Power, help me know that I must work this program with care and respect.
Action for the Day:  Today, I'll make two list, On one list, I'll write ways I work on my program. On the other list, I'll write way I play with my program. And I'll put my energy into working the program.

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

Each Day a New Beginning

I want, by understanding myself, to understand others. I want to be all that I am capable of becoming . . . This all sounds very strenuous and serious. But now that I have wrestled with it, it's no longer so. I feel happy--deep down. All is well.
--Katherine Mansfield
All is well. In the midst of turmoil, let us remember, all is well; in the midst of the pain of self-awareness, all is well. The struggle of the turmoil, the pain that accompanies the lessons of self-awareness, are preparing us for becoming all we are meant to become. We each have a special gift to offer in this life. We will come to understand those gifts and be able to give them as we grow with the pain of self-understanding. All is well. Deep down happiness ripples, it's rippling to the surface of our lives.
My lesson for today is understanding, of myself and others. Happiness is the grade I earn each day of my "becoming."


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

Alcoholics Anonymous - Fourth Edition

Chapter 7 - WORKING WITH OTHERS

If there be divorce or separation, there should be no undue haste for the couple to get together. The man should be sure of his recovery. The wife should fully understand his new way of life. If their old relationship is to be resumed it must be on a better basis, since the former did not work. This means a new attitude and spirit all around. Sometimes it is to the best interests of all concerned that a couple remain apart. Obviously, no rule can be laid down. Let the alcoholic continue his program day by day. When the time for living together has come, it will be apparent to both parties.

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.

I always thought I was different.  ON many occasions I wished I had black hair like my friends.  Mic-Mac was the language in our home, but I would not speak it.  All my family spoke Mic-Mac, but when they spoke to me, I would answer in English.  I believed I couldn't speak Mic-Mac as well as my parents, so I resolved not to speak it at all.

pp. 494-495


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

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."

These little studies of A.A. Twelve Steps now come to a close. We have been considering so many problems that it may appear that A.A. consists mainly of racking dilemmas and troubleshooting. To a certain extent, that is true. We have been talking about problems because we are problem people who have found a way up and out, and who wish to share our knowledge of that way with all who can use it. For it is only by accepting and solving our problems that we can begin to get right with ourselves and with the world about us, and with Him who presides over us all. Understanding is the key to right principles and attitudes, and right action is the key to good living; therefore the joy of good living is the theme of A.A.'s Twelfth Step.

p. 125


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

Nothing is so bad, that a drink won't make worse.

A contented mind is a continual feast.
--American Proverb

Daylight follows a dark night.
--Maasai Proverb

Even the longest day has its end.
--Irish Proverb

"Lord, take me where You want me to go:
Let me meet who You want me to meet:
Tell me what You want me to say, and
Keep me out of Your way"
--Franciscan friar, Mychal F. Judge

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

Father Leo's Daily Meditation

ACCEPTANCE

"Treat the other man's faith
gently; it is all he has to believe
with."
-- Henry Hoskins

I said that I was a nonviolent drunk. Today I am able to see that I was
sarcastic and verbally violent, and this was no less painful or
destructive to the victim. A target for my anger and venom was the
faith and beliefs of others, especially when they differed radically
from my own. My alcoholism made me a prejudiced and bigoted man,
a prisoner of my arrogance.

My sobriety teaches me to be accepting and tolerant of the views and
opinions of others. A spirituality that embraces all men --- rather than
a narrow and restrictive religion --- is my prescription for life. I have
exchanged bigotry for freedom, and I am happy in God's world.

I pray that my acceptance of my fellow man, regardless of culture or
creed, may lead to understanding.

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

"But as it is written: 'Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the
heart of man, the things which God has prepared for those who love Him."
1 Corinthians 2:9

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for
building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.
Ephesians 4:29


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

Daily Inspiration

Don't worry about tomorrow because God is already taking care of it. Lord, help me set aside needless worry and anxiety so that I have time to do all that I need to do today.

When life seems hard and filled with troubles, look for reasons to be thankful. Lord, Your beautiful presence is always with me
.

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

NA Just For Today

Surrender To Win


" Help for addicts begins only when we are able to admit complete defeat."
Basic Text, p. 22

Complete defeat-what a concept! That must mean surrender. Surrender-to give up absolutely. To quit with no reservations. To put up our hands and quit fighting. Maybe to put up our hand at our first meeting and admit we're addicts.

How do we know we've taken a First Step that will allow us to live drug-free? We know because, once we have taken that gigantic step, we never have to use again-just for today. That's it. It's not easy, but it's very simple.

We work the First Step. We accept that, yes, we are addicts. "One is too many, and a thousand never enough." We've proven that to ourselves enough times. We admit that we cannot handle drugs in any form. We admit it; we say it out loud, if necessary.

We take the First Step at the beginning of our day. For one day. This admission frees us, just for today, from the need to live out our addiction all over again. We've surrendered to this disease. We give up. We quit. But in quitting, we win. And that's the paradox of the First Step: We surrender to win, and by surrendering we gain a far greater power than we ever imagined possible.

Just for today: I admit that I am powerless over my addiction. I will surrender to win.

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

You are reading from the book Today's Gift.
Home is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to take you in. --Robert Frost
Our home is a place of roots, a place where we can always turn in time of need. Some of us may have had the experience of being away from home and not being able to make it on our own. We know what a relief it was to reach out at last and call our family, who we knew would take us in.
We became people in our homes, we learned to eat and walk and talk there. We feel comfortable there, safe from the pressures of the outside world. It is up to us to keep it safe and healthy by growing in love and generosity there.
Home is a place to really give of ourselves and put our best into making it happy and secure. It will affect our futures more than almost anything else in our lives. It deserves our prayers of blessing. It is our foundation, the source of our first feelings for others. May we treasure our home and the people who make up our family.
What small thing can I do right now to make home a better place?


You are reading from the book Touchstones.
The perfection of innocence, indeed, is madness. --Arthur Miller
We've all said, "I didn't do anything. Don't blame me; I didn't mean any harm." Overdevelopment of innocence contradicts our spiritual growth. The painful truth is, we do have an impact on other people. Many times we have cultivated innocence as a style, and it has stood in our way of being accountable.
We cannot be in a relationship without sometimes hurting the ones we love. Spiritual growth requires us to take action and to take responsibility for what we do. It is painful to acknowledge we made a mistake and hurt someone. But giving up our innocent style is constructive pain. It opens the possibility to correct our ways, make repairs, and be forgiven. Then we are in the mainstream of a hearty spiritual life.
May I nave the grace to let go of my innocence by taking action and admitting my mistakes.


You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
I want, by understanding myself, to understand others. I want to be all that I am capable of becoming . . . This all sounds very strenuous and serious. But now that I have wrestled with it, it's no longer so. I feel happy--deep down. All is well.
--Katherine Mansfield
All is well. In the midst of turmoil, let us remember, all is well; in the midst of the pain of self-awareness, all is well. The struggle of the turmoil, the pain that accompanies the lessons of self-awareness, are preparing us for becoming all we are meant to become. We each have a special gift to offer in this life. We will come to understand those gifts and be able to give them as we grow with the pain of self-understanding. All is well. Deep down happiness ripples, it's rippling to the surface of our lives.
My lesson for today is understanding, of myself and others. Happiness is the grade I earn each day of my "becoming."


You are reading from the book The Language Of Letting Go.
Good Feelings
When we talk about feelings in recovery, we often focus on the troublesome trio - pain, fear, and anger. But there are other feelings available in the emotional realm - happiness, joy, peace, contentment, love, closeness, and excitement.
It's okay to let ourselves feel pleasurable feelings too.
We don't have to worry when we experience good feelings; we don't have to scare ourselves out of them; we don't have to sabotage our happiness. We do that, sometimes, to get to the more familiar, less joyous terrain.
It's okay to feel good. We don't have to analyze, judge, or justify. We don't have to bring ourselves down, or let others bring us down, by injecting negativity.
We can let ourselves feel good.
Today, I will remind myself that it is my right to feel as good as I can. I can have many moments of feeling good; I can find a balanced place of feeling content, peaceful, and good.


Protect Your Energy
Just as we strive to protect and conserve earth's energy resources we can strive to protect and conserve our own.
Become more aware of the impact of things, people, and activities on you and your energy.
What feeds you, charges you?
What drains and depletes you?
As you grow and become more sensitive to how things feel to you, you'll naturally grow dislike and be uncomfortable with whatever drains or negatively impacts your energy.
Yes, some difficult, draining situations.
Sometimes we need to let go of people, places, and behaviors that don't work for us anymore, that drain, exhaust, and deplete us.
Pay attention to the impact of certain people, places, behaviors, and events on your energy.
Pay attention to how you feel when you eat certain foods, drink certain beverages, go certain places.
Learn to listen to your body, your emotions, and your heart.
Be prepared to let go of some things and people along the way.
Be gentle with yourself while you do.
Learn to conserve your energy.
It is precious, valuable resource. --Melody Beattie


I celebrate myself today and know that my feelings are okay. I am me, unique and alive. --Ruth Fishel

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Journey To The Heart

Honor Winter’s Lesson

“See the pine trees and learn their lesson,” a friend once said. “Pine trees are nature’s reminder that growth continues even in the winter.”

Winter is an important season in our lives. It is more than a time of coldness and snow. It’s a time of going within. A time to rest from the work that’s been done, a time to prepare for the lessons ahead. Long for the sun on your shoulders, but let the frost and cold come. The ground has been left fallow in preparation for nourishing the seeds of new llife.

Honor winter’s lesson. Despite this time of lifelessness and inactivity, this is still a season of growth. Trust what’s being worked out in your soul. The snow will melt. The sun will shine again. The time will come to remove your heavy garb and return to the activity of life.

Cherish the winter. Cherish its quietness, the time of going within to rest and heal. Cherish this time of preparation that must come before new life. Cherish the hope that lies beneath the snow.

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More Language Of Letting Go

Take care of yourself

For once a person begins on this path of knowledge they will only look inward, learning how to fix themselves, instead of trying to fix other people.
–Rav Brandwein

Letting go doesn’t mean we don’t care. Letting go doesn’t mean we shut down.

Letting go means we stop trying to force outcomes and make people behave. It means we give up resistance to the way things are, for the moment. It means we stop trying to do the impossible– controlling that which we cannot– and instead, focus on what is possible– which usually means taking care of ourselves. And we do this in gentleness, kindness, and love, as much as possible.

Have you tricked yourself into believing there’s someone you can control? If you have, tell yourself the truth. Stop trying to have power where you truly have none. Instead, exercise your will in a way that will bring results. The one power you always have is the ability to let go and take care of yourself.

God, help me make letting go and taking care of myself a way of life.

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

A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

The Program and my friends in the fellowship have provided me with a whole new set of tools for living. Even the slogans that once seemed so trite and corny are now becoming an important part of my daily life: Easy Does It; First Things First; This, Too, Will Pass. If I use all of my tools regularly and well, they’ll also help rid me of such negative feelings as guilt, anxiety, rebellion and pride. When I’m feeling depressed, do i use the tools that have been proven effective? Or do I grit my teeth and suffer in painful silence.

Today I Pray

I praise my wonder-working Higher Power for giving me the tools for recovery, once I admitted I was powerless over alcohol or other drugs or addictions and gave myself over to the will of God as I understand Him. I give thanks for the Twelve Steps, and for the fellowship of the group, which can help me see myself honestly. I give thanks for those words and phrases which become, as we understand them more completely, banners in our celebration of sobriety.

Today I Will Remember

Pass on the passwords to recovery.

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

One More Day

We cannot live, sorrow or die for somebody else….
– Edward Dahlberg

Our need to protect a stick child becomes frustration as we can do so little to protect the child from pain. When we become ill, our families and friends sometimes make awkward efforts to help protect us. They may try to make us laugh by telling jokes or recounting funny moments we’ve shared with them. Or, these people might become overly helpful, trying to save us some steps or inconveniences.

We understand their need to help us; all of us want to comfort and protect our loved ones as we would a child. However, we are not children, and the maturity we’ve gained has reversed the roles we play with our family and friends. We can comfort and protect them by laughing with them and by letting them help us, and this becomes a two-way expression of love.

Today, I will allow others to express their love for me.

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

One Day At A Time

CHANGE


”If you would truly wish to understand
something, try to change it.”
Kurt Lewin

There is nothing more powerful to me than this one thought. My entire program teaches me to change the fellow who came in or he will surely drag me back out. Without change there is no hope. Without hope there is no peace or serenity.

The "how to" is simply and strongly told in the Big Book of AA. On page 28 it is plain that we must find and maintain a spiritual fitness in order to survive. Change is the key to open the door, and change is impossible without a power greater than ourselves. This, truly, is the easier, softer way. May you find Him now.

One day at a time…
I am willing to allow the God of my understanding to change the person I was into the person He wishes me to be.
~ Danny

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AA 'Big Book' - Quote

To get over drinking will require a transformation of thought and attitude. We all had to place recovery above everything, for without recovery we would have lost both home and business. - Pg. 143 - To Employers

Hour To Hour - Book - Quote

During crisis, we must not act as isolated persons with nothing gained from fellowship. We stick together. If one of us pulls away, we pull them back. WE recover as WE, not as an I.

As I walk this road of recovery, let me know I don't walk alone. In fact I march in an army of WE.

Opening to Abundance

I am ready, willing and able to open my mind and heart to the abundance that the world has to offer me. This world brings forth what I need. The sun shines, water from fresh springs makes its way across rocky slopes to quench my thirst and abundant varieties of food germinate from seeds to nourish my body. Everywhere nature brings forth. The clouds, wind and rain draw me toward their eternal mystery. This world is designed to nurture and sustain life. I am part of that life, and I receive solace and comfort knowing that the world and I are both alive and vibrant. Both imbued with the same life force. This world nurtures me.

I am open to abundance

- Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor - Book - Quote

If you are looking for the perfect group before you join a home group, then you are going to be homeless.

My home group members are not perfect and neither am I, so we suit each other perfectly.

"Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book" - Book

Token takers take it and meeting makers make it.

Time for Joy - Book - Quote

I celebrate myself today and know that my feelings are okay. I am me, unique and alive.

Alkiespeak - Book - Quote

AA doesn't say we can't have personalities, it just says we put principles before them. - Liz J.

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

AA Thought for the Day


January 13

Our Gateway
None of us can fathom the glories and the uncharted regions of the universe.
But we can live on earth and love one another.
We can let in the beginnings of concern, compassion, consideration,
and watch ourselves grow.
With the tools and guideposts of AA, we can learn a little of this precious gift
-- our gateway to human spirituality.
- Came To Believe . . ., p. 120

Thought to Ponder . . .
The Three "C's" -- Concern, Compassion, Consideration.

AA-related 'Alconym' . . .
B E S T = Been Enjoying Sobriety Today?

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

Satisfaction
No satisfaction has been deeper
and no joy greater than in a Twelfth Step job well done.
To watch the eyes of men and women open with wonder
as they move from darkness into light,
to see their lives quickly fill with new purpose and meaning,
to see whole families reassembled,
to see the alcoholic outcast received back
into his community in full citizenship,
and above all to watch these people awaken
to the presence of a loving God in their lives --
these things are the substance of what we receive
as we carry AA's message to the next alcoholic.
c. 1952 AAWS, Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions,  p. 110

Thought to Consider . . .
I keep my sobriety by giving it away.

*~*~*AACRONYMS*~*~*
C A R E =  Comforting And Reassuring Each other

*~*~*~*~*^Just For Today!^*~*~*~*~*
 
Better
>From "Getting active:"
"After our first month's sobriety, many of us
notice a distinct difference.  After three months,
our minds seem still clearer.  And during our
second year of recovery, the change is striking.
More mental energy seems available to us than
ever before."
c. 1975, Living Sober, page 16

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

"In relinquishing some goals because of lessened physical energy, I have been freed to achieve other and more satisfying ones that a deeper and more extensive Me has always known it wanted."
Saratoga, Calif., August 1985
"Beyond the Generation Gap,"
The Home Group: Heartbeat of AA

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

"We have no desire to convince anyone that there is only one way by
which faith can be acquired. If what we have learned and felt and
seen means anything at all, it means that all of us, whatever our
race, creed, or color are the children of a living Creator with whom
we may form a relationship upon simple and understandable terms as
soon as we are willing and honest enough to try."
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, There Is A Solution, pg. 28~

"Most of us sense that real tolerance of other people´s shortcomings
and viewpoints and a respect for their opinions are attitudes which
make us more useful to others."
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, There Is A Solution, pg. 19~

"Our whole trouble had been the misuse of willpower.
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p.40

Misc. AA Literature - Quote

The Shared Gift
A.A. is more than a set of principles; it is a society of alcoholics in action. We must carry the message, else we ourselves can wither and those who haven't been given the truth may die.
Faith is more than our greatest gift; its sharing with others is our greatest responsibility. May we of A.A. continually seek the wisdom and the willingness by which we may well fulfill that immense trust which the Giver of all perfect gifts has placed in our hands.

Prayer for the Day:  Lord, be the beginning and end of all that we do and say. Prompt our actions with Your grace, and complete them with Your all-powerful help. Through our Lord Jesus Christ for ever and ever. 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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