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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 16

Daily Reflections

HITTING BOTTOM

Why all this insistence that every A.A. must hit bottom
first? The answer is that few people will sincerely try
to practice the A.A. program unless they have hit
bottom. For practicing A.A.'s remaining eleven Steps
means the adoption of attitudes and actions that almost
no alcoholic who is still drinking can dream of taking.
TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 24

Hitting bottom opened my mind and I became willing to
try something different. What I tried was A.A. My new
life in the Fellowship was a little like learning how
to ride a bike for the first time: A.A. became my
training wheels and my supporting hand. It's not that
I wanted the help so much at the time; I simply did
not want to hurt like that again. My desire to avoid
hitting bottom again was more powerful than my desire
to drink. In the beginning that was what kept me sober.
But after a while I found myself working the Steps to
the best of my ability. I soon realized that my
attitudes and actions were changing - if ever so
slightly. One Day at a Time, I became comfortable with
myself, and others, and my hurting started to heal.
Thank God for the training wheels and supporting hand
that I choose to call Alcoholics Anonymous.

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

Twenty-Four Hours A Day


A.A. Thought For The Day

The A.A. program is more a way of building a new life
than just a way of getting over drinking, because in A.A.
we don't just stop drinking. We did that plenty of times
in the old days when we went "on the wagon." And, of
course, we always started to drink again, because we were
only waiting for the time when we could fall off. Once
we've gotten sober through the A.A. program, we start
going uphill. In our drinking days, we were going downhill,
getting worse and worse. We either go down or up. Am I
going uphill, getting better and better?

Meditation For The Day

I will try to obey God's will day in and day out, in the
wilderness plains as well as on the mountaintops of
experience. It is in the daily strivings that perseverance
counts. I believe that God is Lord of little things, the
Divine Controller of little happenings. I will persevere
in this new way of life. I know that nothing in the day
is too small to be a part of God's scheme.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that the little stones which I put into the mosaic
of my life may make a worthwhile pattern. I pray that I
may persevere and so find harmony and beauty.


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

As Bill Sees It

Never Again!, p. 16

"Most people feel more secure on the twenty-four-hour basis than
they do in the resolution that they will never drink again. Most of
them have broken too many resolutions. It's really a matter of
personal choice; every A.A. has the privilege of interpreting the
program as he likes.

"Personally, I take the attitude that I intend never to drink again.
This is somewhat different from saying, 'I will never drink again.' The
latter attitude sometimes gets people in trouble because it is
undertaking on a personal basis to do what we alcoholics never could
do. It is too much an act of will and leaves too little room for the idea
that God will release us from the drink obsession provided we follow
the A.A. program."

Letter, 1949


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

Walk In Dry Places
 
Material things matter
The Money Problem
Now and then we have heated discussions about the role of material things in sobriety. Someone is bound to say that money can't buy happiness and that the spiritual has to come first.
But material things do matter in our lives, and we share with others the same desire to get ahead in life.  We usually like good clothes, new cars, and steady pay checks.  It is somewhat hypocritical to say that money and material things don't matter when we obviously need money and would like to have more of it.
Our problem with money and material things occurred when we made a god of them, when we saw worldly success as the end-all and be-all of life.  The proper function of money is to provide for smooth exchange of the goods and services we must use in order to live. Far from denouncing spiritual gifts that should be used properly, but not worshipped. More than likely, we can appreciate material things far more than we did while drinking, despite the exaggerated love we had then for worldly things.
I will neither despise material things nor make a god of them today. I will view them as part of God's plan, as things to use.

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

Keep It Simple

Fair play is primarily not blaming others for anything that is wrong with us.---Eric Hoffer
It's tempting to blame others for our problems. Recovery asks us to answer for our actions. Admitting we are powerless over our actions. Admitting we are powerless over our alcohol and other drugs is a start.
Each of the Twelve Steps asks us to answer for our actions in some way. And the program shows us how to do this. Over time, we see that being responsible for our actions is the best way to live. Our self-confidence grows as we become more responsible. We start to see just how much we can do. We have gone from being drunks to being responsible people. If we can do this, then we can do anything!
Prayer for the Day:  I pray to remember that I'm responsible for my actions. Blaming puts distance between me and other people. Higher Power, help me to play fair.
Action for the Day:  Today, I'll list four times I've blamed someone else for a problem that  was really my problem.

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

Each Day a New Beginning

I feel we have picked each other from the crowd as fellow-travelers, for neither of us is to the other's personality the end-all and the be-all.  --Joanna Field
We must look around at the people in our lives today, and know that we have something special to offer each of them, and they to us. We do travel separate paths together. We may need to learn tolerance; perhaps a friend's behavior pushes us to be more tolerant. Impatience may be our nemesis, and everywhere we turn are lines, slow cash registers, traffic jams. Our experiences with others aren't chance. Fellow travelers are carefully selected by the inner self, the spiritual guide who understands our needs in this life.
We are both the teachers and the pupils. We need both our friends and those we may label our enemies for what they can help us learn.
I will carefully look about me today with gladness at the travelers I've selected to learn from.


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

Alcoholics Anonymous - Fourth Edition

Chapter 7 - WORKING WITH OTHERS

When working with a man and his family, you should take care not to participate in their quarrels. You may spoil your chance of being helpful if you do. But urge upon a man’s family that he has been a very sick person and should be treated accordingly. You should warn against arousing resentment or jealousy. You should point out that his defects of character are not going to disappear over night. Show them that he has entered upon a period of growth. Ask them to remember, when they are impatient, the blessed fact of his sobriety.

p. 100


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

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 spent a number of years in and out of juvenile correctional facilities, and after my eighteenth birthday, I began spending time in county jail.  I actually got a high when I came home, knowing that my friends and relatives would respect me more because I had been in jail and was becoming  a man.

p. 495


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

Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Tradition One - "Our common welfare should come first; personal recovery depends upon A.A. Unity."

"Does this mean," some will anxiously ask, "that in A.A. the individual doesn't count for much? Is he to be dominated by his group and swallowed up in it?"
We may certainly answer this question with a loud "No!" We believe there isn't a fellowship on earth which lavishes more devoted care upon its individual members; surely there is none which more jealously guards the individual's right to think, talk, and act as he wishes. No A.A. can compel another to do anything; nobody can be punished or expelled. Our Twelve Steps to recovery are suggestions; the Twelve Traditions which guarantee A.A.'s unity contain not a single "Don't." They repeatedly say "We ought . . ." but never "You must!"

p. 129


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

"Standing in the middle of the road is very dangerous; you get knocked down by traffic from both sides."  --Margaret Thatcher

"Sharing what you have is more important than what you have."  --Albert M. Wells, Jr.

"Oh...I listen a lot and talk less. You can't learn anything when you're talking."  --Bing Crosby

Since love grows within you, so beauty grows. For love is the beauty of the soul.  --Saint Augustine

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

F E A R = Face Everything And Recover.

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

Father Leo's Daily Meditation

PROCRASTINATION

"You cannot build a reputation
on things you are going to do."
-- Mabel Newcomber

Procrastination is the addicts' game. I will give up alcohol tomorrow.
Soon I will take an inventory of my eating habits. Later I will talk to
him about my anger and pain. Tomorrow and tomorrow --- but it
never happens!

The tragedy is that we not only bring pain and problems into our lives
but we keep them there. Recovery requires action; sobriety and the
spiritual program demand movement.

Today I will talk about my pain.

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

The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down.  Psalm 146:8

"So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God."  Romans 10:17


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

Daily Inspiration

When we hand over what we can't handle to the One who can, miracles happen. Keep me free of stress, Lord, and in the best possible place to receive Your help.

There is no personal problem that you cannot solve. Lord, Your presence within me is all power. You are my help in every need
.

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

NA Just For Today

Make That Call!

" We feared that if we ever revealed ourselves as we were, we would surely be rejected.... [But] our fellow members do understand us."
Basic Text, p. 31

We need our fellow NA members-their experience, their friendship, their laughter, their guidance, and much, much more. Yet many of us hesitate to call our sponsor or visit our NA friends. We don't want to impose on them. We think about phoning someone, but we don't feel worthy of their time. We fear that if they ever got to know us-really know us-they'd surely reject us.

We forget that our fellow NA members are just like us. There's nothing we've done, no place we've been, no feeling we've felt that other recovering addicts won't be able to identify with. The more we let others get to know us, the more we'll hear, "You're in the right place. You're among friends. You belong. Welcome!"

We also forget that, just as we need others, they need us. We're not the only ones who want to feel like we belong, who want to experience the warmth of friendship, who want someone to share with. If we isolate ourselves from our fellow members, we deprive them of something they need, something only we can give them: our time, our company, our true selves.

In Narcotics Anonymous, recovering addicts care for one another. What waits at the other end of the telephone is not rejection, but the love, warmth, and identification of the NA Fellowship. Make that call!

Just for today: In NA, I am among friends. I will reach out to others, giving and receiving in fellowship.

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

You are reading from the book Today's Gift.
When you do something you are proud of, dwell on it a little, praise yourself for it. --Mildred Newman
Each one of us is very good at something. Maybe it's baseball or tennis where we display talent. Maybe we're good in math or at giving reports. A few people are talented at being good listeners or helpful friends. To recognize our own talents we may need help from others. It's always so much easier to see our faults, or the ways we don't meet our own expectations.
But the fact is we are all skilled in many areas of our lives. To accept praise--better yet, to quietly give it to ourselves--is a sign of healthy growth.
What things have I done well lately?


You are reading from the book Touchstones.
What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us. --Ralph Waldo Emerson
What good qualities lie within us? How do we choose to use them today? These simple questions point our way. Yet, on some days it seems so easy to get swept along with thoughts of future pain. And when we are not worrying about the future, we may fall into regrets about the past. Either way, we are distracted from our only opportunity to make a real difference - to be the kind of men we want to be in this moment, to learn from today's experiment in living.
On this day, I will walk a little slower and will listen closely to the messages within me.


You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
I feel we have picked each other from the crowd as fellow-travelers, for neither of us is to the other's personality the end-all and the be-all. --Joanna Field
We must look around at the people in our lives today, and know that we have something special to offer each of them, and they to us. We do travel separate paths together. We may need to learn tolerance; perhaps a friend's behavior pushes us to be more tolerant. Impatience may be our nemesis, and everywhere we turn are lines, slow cash registers, traffic jams. Our experiences with others aren't chance. Fellow travelers are carefully selected by the inner self, the spiritual guide who understands our needs in this life.
We are both the teachers and the pupils. We need both our friends and those we may label our enemies for what they can help us learn.
I will carefully look about me today with gladness at the travelers I've selected to learn from.


You are reading from the book The Language Of Letting Go.
Prayer
As a matter of fact, prayer is the only real action in the full sense of the word, because prayer is the only thing that changes one's character. A change in character, or a change in soul, is a real change. --Emmet Fox, The Sermon on the Mount
Erica Jong has said that we are spiritual beings who are human. Praying and meditating are ways we take care of our spirit. Prayer and meditation are disciplines suggested by the Eleventh Step of Twelve Step recovery programs: Al Anon, CoDa, Adult Children of Alcoholics, and others.
Prayer and meditation are not necessarily connected to organized religion. Prayer and meditation are ways to improve our personal relationship with a Higher Power to benefit our life, our growth, and us. Praying is how we connect with God. We don't pray because we have to; we pray because we want to. It is how we link our soul to our Source.
We're learning to take care of our emotions, our mind, and our physical needs. We're learning to change our behaviors. But we're also learning to take care of our spirit, our soul, because that is where all true change begins.
Each time we talk to God, we are transformed. Each time we connect with our Higher Power, we are heard, touched, and changed for the best.
Today, I will practice prayer and meditation. Whether I feel desperate, uneasy, or peaceful, I will make the effort to connect with my Higher Power, at least for a moment today.


Today I take the time to be with me and find peace and love and truth. It is mine if I just stop. It is mine if I just think the thoughts I want to feel. --Ruth Fishel

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Journey To The Heart

See How Happy You Are

Most of us have very active imaginations. We have the power to visualize, to create in our minds what we cannot yet see with our eyes. The problem is that many of us use this power to visualize events we’d really rather not see. We conjure up all sorts of images about the bad, painful things that could happen. Maybe it’s time to use the potent, creative power of visualization to create picutres of all the good we would like to see in our lives.

What would you like to see happen in your life? Create a picture you can see. The more real you make it, the better it will be. See yourself in the picture. Try to involve all your senses. Visualize yourself touching, hearing, speaking, smelling, feeling. Charge your picture with as much emotional energy as you can. Use any spare moments– stretched out on the sofa, in bed before you fall asleep, driving in your car, soaking in the tub– to create positive pictures for your life.

Make a project out of it. Make a list, and keep it nearby. If you don’t know what to put on your list, ask yourself, ask God, ask the universe to help you, show you.

See yourself doing all the things you’d like to do. Take the time to use your creative power of visualization to create the life you’d like. But above all, take the time to see yourself being happy.

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More Language Of Letting Go

Drop it

How do you let go? I just can’t let go? It’s impossible to let go of this. These are thoughts that may run through our minds when we worry, dwell, and obsess.

Pick up something around you. Pick up this book. Hold it tightly. Then just drop it. Release it. Let it fall right out of your hands.

That’s what you do with whatever you’re obsessing and dwelling about. If you pick it up again, drop it one more time. See! Letting go is a skill that anyone can acquire.

Passion and focus can lead us along our path and help us find our way. But obsession can mean we’ve crossed that line, again. We can be compassionate but firm with ourselves and others as we learn to release our tight grip and just let things go.

God, help me know that if I’m obsessing about a problem, it’s not because I have to. Dropping it is always a choice available to me.

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

A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

When we first came to The Program, whether for ourselves or under pressure from others, some of us were all but sickened by the concept of “surrender.” To admit defeat flew in the face of our life-long beliefs. We thought of the immoral rallying cities of Churchill at Dunkirk, of FDR following the attack of Pearl Harbor. And so we secretly vowed at first, that the very idea of surrender was unthinkable. Here I truly come to believe that only through utter defeat am I able to take the first steps toward liberation and strength? Or do I still harbor reservations about the principle of “letting go and letting God…”?

Today I Pray

May I really believe that the complete surrender of my whole being to a Higher Power is the way to serenity. For I can be whole only in Him, who has the power to make me whole. May I do away with of any feelings of wanting to “hold out” and never admit defeat. May I unlearn the old adage which tells me that I must “never give up” and realize that such pridefullness could keep me from recovery.

Today I Will Remember

From Wholly His to Whole.

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

One More Day

The future is an opaque mirror. Anyone who looks into it sees nothing but the dim outlines of an old and worried face.
– Jim Bishop

When we were young, our mirrors reflect our outer appearance. Later, mirrors seem to reflect also the inward self. Worry and joy can etch themselves into our facial expressions; anger or love can gaze out from our eyes. If we have refused to forgive, our bitterness stares back at us. If we have chosen to isolate ourselves, our loneliness is there. But if our choices have been openness, humor, and understanding — all of these clearly shine out for all to see.

Each day , without realizing it, we are making choices for behaviors and thoughts that will help create either a serene and joyful face or an old and worried one. The choice is ours.

Today, I choose healthy looks, actions and feelings.

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

One Day At A Time

~ FORGIVENESS ~

Never does the human soul appear so strong
as when it forgoes revenge and dares to forgive an injury.
Edwin Hubbel Chapin

I want recovery from my disease of compulsive eating. Part of my program of recovery is asking forgiveness for past wrongs I've committed against other people. It isn't enough for me to make amends just to others, though.

Another aspect of forgiveness is that of forgiving those around me. I need to forgive them for what they may have done to me. Many times people don't know that they've hurt me and maybe triggered a binge, because I've covered up the pain with food. But if I forgive them, then I don't have that pain that I thought could only be soothed with food.

Finally, I need to forgive myself. I can be my harshest critic, and many times I, myself, have been the trigger for my binge. Besides, if I can find it in my heart to forgive others, then surely I can extend the same courtesy to myself.

One day at a time...
I will practice forgiveness in all its forms.
Jeff

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

AA 'Big Book' - Quote

Our liquor was but a symptom. So we had to get down to causes and conditions. - Pg. 64 - How It Works - 3rd. and 4th. Edition

Hour To Hour - Book - Quote

One of the things you will notice about our fellowship is that we hug a lot. Often this makes newcomers uncomfortable because they are not used to being given love and attention without serious strings attached. There are no strings, we just simply love you.

Give me the courage to hug the next clean and sober person I see.

Silver Linings

I search for silver linings, for the deeper meaning of the events in my life. Life is my teacher if I can learn to read the subtle messages that are laced into the circumstances that I co-create around me. I will look for the lesson. When life offers up its inevitable challenges, I will try to understand what I am meant to see that I am not seeing, what I am meant to hear that I am not hearing, what I am meant to know that I am not knowing. There is always a silver lining if I look for it. Even if I don't see it readily, I trust that it is there and that it will reveal itself to me over time. Life isn't simple. One of the ways that I can grow from life's adversities, is to see what is positive about a difficult situation, to look for the silver lining. I can grow in joy and in pain. It doesn't need to be one or the other because pain can transform into joy. It can be the fire that clears the field for new and tender growth.

There is always a silver lining.

- Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor - Book - Quote

Our program will work for people who believe in God. Our program will work for people who don't believe in God. Our program will not work for people who believe they are God.

A God of my understanding, a God not of my understanding. God can simply be a 'Group Of Drunks' if I choose!

"Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book" - Book

With the 12 Steps, you have breakthroughs, not breakdowns.

Time for Joy - Book - Quote

Today I take the time to be with me and find peace and love and truth. It is mine if I just stop. It is mine if I just think the thoughts I want to feel.

Alkiespeak - Book - Quote

They say I'm the heart of AA. If that's true, then Dr Bob was it's soul. And the blood of my heart. - Bill W. ( On the day Dr. Bob died )

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

AA Thought for the Day


January 16

Expectations
Until I could honestly look at myself
and see that I was the problem in many situations and react appropriately inside and out;
until I could discard my expectations
and understand that my serenity was directly proportional to them,
I could not experience serenity and sound sobriety.
- Daily Reflections, p. 71

Thought to Ponder . . .
Expectations are resentments 'under construction.'

AA-related 'Alconym' . . .
G R A C E = Gently Releasing All Conscious Expectations.

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

Reminder
We constantly remind ourselves
we are no longer running the show,
humbly saying to ourselves many times each day
"Thy will be done."
We are then in much less danger of excitement,
fear, anger, worry, self-pity, or foolish decisions.
We become much more efficient.
We do not tire so easily,
for we are not burning up energy foolishly
as we did when we were trying to arrange life
to suit ourselves.
1976, 2001 AAWS, Alcoholics Anonymous, pp. 87-8

Thought to Consider . . .
It works -- it really does.

*~*~*AACRONYMS*~*~*
F I T  =  Faith, Intuition, Trust.

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

How
>From "Physician, Heal Thyself!":
"What is this power that A.A. possesses? This curative power? I don't know what it is. I suppose the doctor might say,
This is psychosomatic medicine.  I suppose the psychiatrist might say, This is benevolent interpersonal relations.  I
suppose others would say, "This is group psychotherapy."
"To me it is God."
2001 AAWS, Inc.; Alcoholics Anonymous, pg. 308

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

"Sponsorship is a bridge to trusting the human race, the very race we once resigned from. In learning to trust, we are
strengthening our sobriety."
Grand Island, Neb., February 1984
"A Means to a Beginning,"
One On One: AA Sponsorship in Action

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

"A body badly burned by alcohol does not often recover overnight nor do twisted thinking and depression vanish in a
twinkling. We are convinced that a spiritual mode of living is a most powerful health restorative."
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, The Family Afterward, Page 133~

"Neither could we reduce our self-centeredness much by wishing or
trying on our own power. We had to have God's help."
Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, How It Works, pg. 62

"At these critical moments, if we remind ourselves that "it is better to comfort than to be comforted, to understand than
to be understood, to love than to be loved," we will be following the intent of Step Eleven."
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p. 103 (Step Eleven)

Misc. AA Literature - Quote

Most people feel more secure on the twenty-four-hour basis than they do in the resolution that they will never drink again.
Most of them have broken too many resolutions. It's really a matter of personal choice; every A.A. has the privilege of
interpreting the program as he likes.
'Personally, 1 take the attitude that I intend never to drink again. This is somewhat different from saying, 'I will never drink
again.' The latter attitude sometimes gets people in trouble because it is undertaking on a personal basis to do what we
alcoholics never could do. It is too much an act of will and leaves too little room for the idea that God will release us from
the drink obsession provided we follow the A.A. program.

Prayer for the Day:  Heavenly Father, help me to value my thoughts, words, and deeds. If at the close of the day, there
may be one who has been wounded by my injustice, may I be willing to make quick atonement. May I avoid the ways
and words that hurt; and not only wish rightly and work rightly, but speak to enrich others with tenderness. 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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