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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 17

Daily Reflections

HAPPINESS COMES QUIETLY

"The trouble with us alcoholics was this: We demanded
that the world give us happiness and peace of mind in
just the particular order we wanted to get it - by the
alcohol route. And we weren't successful. But when we
take time to find out some of the spiritual laws, and
familiarize ourselves with them, and put them into
practice, then we do get happiness and peace of mind. . .
There seem to be some rules that we have to follow, but
happiness and peace of mind are always here, open and
free to anyone."
DR. BOB AND THE GOOD OLDTIMERS, p. 308

The simplicity of the A.A. program teaches me that
happiness isn't something I can "demand." It comes upon
me quietly, while I serve others. In offering my hand
to the newcomer or to someone who has relapsed, I find
that my own sobriety has been recharged with
indescribable gratitude and happiness.

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

Twenty-Four Hours A Day


A.A. Thought For The Day

It doesn't do much good to come to meetings only once in
a while and sit around, hoping to get something out of
the program. That's all right at first, but it won't help
us very long. Sooner or later we have to get into action,
by coming to meetings regularly, by giving a personal
witness of our experience with alcohol, and by trying to
help other alcoholics. Building a new life takes all the
energy that we used to spend on drinking. Am I spending
at least as much time and effort on the new life that I'm
trying to build in A.A.?

Meditation For The Day

With God's help, I will build a protective screen around
myself which will keep out all evil thoughts. I will
fashion it out of my attitude toward God and my attitude
toward other people. When one worrying or impatient
thought enters my mind, I will put it out at once. I
know that love and trust are the solvents for the worry
and frets of life. I will use them to form a protective
screen around me.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that frets and impatience and worry may not
corrode my protective screen against all evil thoughts.
I pray that I may banish all these from my life.


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

As Bill Sees It

Toward Honesty, p. 17

The perverse wish to hide a bad motive underneath a good one
permeates human affairs from top to bottom. This subtle and elusive
kind of selfish-righteousness can underlie the smallest act or thought.
Learning daily to spot, admit, and correct these flaws is the essence of
character-building and good living.

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

The deception of others is nearly always rooted in the deception of
ourselves.

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

Somehow, being alone with God doesn't seem as embarrassing as
facing up to another person. Until we actually sit down and talk aloud
about what we have so long hidden, our willingness to clean house is
still largely theoretical. When we are honest with another person, it
confirms that we have been honest with ourselves and with God.

1. 12 & 12, pp. 94-95
2. Grapevine, August 1961
3. 12 & 12, p. 60


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

Walk In Dry Places
 
Avoiding AA Chauvism___Friendliness toward Others
The term "chauvinism" has often been applied to men who are prejudiced toward women.   But "chauvinism" has broader meanings as well. It is a belief in the alleged superiority of one's own nation or group.  AA members can develop this peculiar chauvinism in supposing that there is some superiority in having survived alcoholism.
In the past, some of us have been particularly critical of non-alcoholics who choose to work in the alcoholism field.  We may have relied on the axiom "it takes an alcoholic to understand an alcoholic"  when in fact there are many people who have suffered from other problems and can understand our sufferings.
Perhaps one of the worst things about AA chauvinism is that it can offend people who could benefit from its principles and could become our allies in the work of helping alcoholics. While we have been highly successful in helping others, we still have not reached more than a small percentage of those who suffer.  Additional breakthroughs are needed in the field of alcoholism, and the vital information might come from a non-alcoholic who empathizes with our suffering and wants to do something about it.  Even AA has received some of its best ideas from non-alcoholics.
I will know today that membership in AA really means that I've found a rightful place in a larger fellowship;  The Human Race.  I'll view the world as a friendly place.

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

Keep It Simple

When all else fails, read the instructions.  Agnes Allen
The instructions for recovery are in our Twelve Step program. Yet, there are times when we feel our program isn't working. at these times, we need to read the  instructions. Have you followed the "instructions," the wise words are found in The Big Book, The Twelve and Twelve, and other recovery literature? When we do, we recover. It's hard at times, and easy at others. Our problems go deeper than just staying sober. No matter what our problems, our program can help us start fixing them, if we follow the instructions. Don't use alcohol or other drugs. Go to meeting. Talk often with sponsors and program friends. Work the Steps. Think. Easy Does It. First Things First. Listen. Let Go and Let God. One Day at a Time.
Prayer for the Day:  Higher Power, tell me which instructions to read today. If I'm headed for trouble, help me out.
Today's Action:  I'll read the instructions today.

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

Each Day a New Beginning

She lacks confidence, she craves admiration insatiably. She lives on the reflections of herself in the eyes of others. She does not dare to be herself.  --Anas Nin
How aptly these words describe the woman so many of us were. Many activities were not attempted, courses weren't taken, conversations weren't initiated because we lacked confidence. The pain, the constant search for acceptance and love in the eyes and behavior of others, still haunts us. But those days are past. We are daring to be ourselves, one day at a time.
Confidence still wavers on occasion, and we may need assurance that we're lovable. Gratefully, we can look to one another for the additional boost we may need to face the day. Being there for one another, knowing that we understand each other's fears as women offers the strength to go ahead that we may lack today or tomorrow.
Today a woman may need me to dare to be herself. I will be there.

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

Alcoholics Anonymous - Fourth Edition

Chapter 7 - WORKING WITH OTHERS

If you have been successful in solving your own domestic problems, tell the newcomer’s family how that was accomplished. In this way you can set them on the right track without becoming critical of them. The story of how you and your wife settled your difficulties is worth any amount of criticism.

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.

While in a juvenile detention center about 500 miles from my home, I received word that my mother was dying of cance.  I was able to get a pass and return home to spend with her.  One evening my family asked me if I would stay home with my mother and give her the medicine she was required to take.  I had already had a few drinks and was anxious to get out and party with my friends, but I reluctantly agreed to stay.  Self-pity set in, and all i could think of was the good time I could have been having.  I got very impatient with my mother, when she refused to take her medicine, I almost forced it into her mouth; then I left to join my friends.  The next morning I woke up in county jail, about 100 miles from home.  I had attempted a break-and-enter, and was caught by the police.

pp. 495-496


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

Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

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

To many minds all this liberty for the individual spells sheer anarchy. Every newcomer, every friend who looks at A.A. for the first time is greatly puzzled. They see liberty verging on license, yet they recognize at once that A.A. has an irresistible strength of purpose and action. "How," they ask, "can such a crowd of anarchists function at all? How can they possible place their common welfare first? What in Heaven's name holds them together?"

pp. 129-130


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

Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.  --Carl Jung (1875 - 1961)

The best portions of a good man's life, his little, nameless, unremembered acts, of kindness and love.  --William Wordsworth

Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.  --Helen Keller

A good exercise for the heart is to bend down and help another up.

Nothing hath separated us from God but our own will, or rather our own will is our separation from God.  --William Law

Relinquish pain and suffering. Experience joy and serenity. Let go and move forward.  --Deborah Ann Smith

Love yourself. Accept yourself. Be honest about what heals and helps you. Then you'll bring your healing gifts to others. Your life will be a gift to the world.  --Melody Beattie

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

Father Leo's Daily Meditation

CREATIVITY

"Creative intelligence in its
various forms and activities is
what makes man."
-- James Harvey Robinson

Spirituality is being a positive and creative human being in all areas
of my life; this I know to be true today. I am not only creative, I am a
creative human being. God created me to create. I am a part of His
love for the world; through me great and wonderful events can
happen. Although I am not divine, I know that I share divinity. I am
special.

But with this knowledge comes tremendous responsibility because
things are only going to happen if I make them happen in my life. To
know that I am creative does not make me creative. I have to do
something, make something, create something in my life.

Today I work at my life like a carpenter works at his wood. I chip
away those things I do not want; I smooth down the rough areas of
my life, and I polish up those things I want people to see. I accept
responsibility for my creativity, and I thank God, on a daily basis, for
it.

Teach me, O Creator of the universe, to use my life as a tool for
goodness, joy and truth.

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

"Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says."  James 1:22

How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!  1 John 3:1

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God...  Ephesians 2:8

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.  Ephesians 6:10


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

Daily Inspiration

God will put things in order if we are patient and prayerful. Lord, You know all of my needs and wants. I trust that You will provide.

When we give in to fears and worries they will take charge of our lives. Lord, I place my trust in You so that I may experience every opportunity and not miss in life that which is meant for me
.

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

NA Just For Today

Forgiveness


" As we realize our need to be forgiven, we tend to be more forgiving. At least we know that we are no longer intentionally making life miserable for people."
Basic Text, p. 38

In our addiction we often treated others badly, sometimes deliberately finding ways to make their lives miserable. in our recovery, we may still have a tendency to pass judgment on others' actions because we think we know how that person should behave. But as we progress in our recovery we often find that, to accept ourselves, we must accept those around us.

It may be difficult to watch as someone's insanity manifests itself. But if we detach ourselves from the problem, we can start living in the solution. And if we feel affected by another's actions, we can extend the principle of forgiveness.

Just for today: I will strive to forgive rather than be forgiven. I will try to act in such a way that I feel worthy of self-love.

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

You are reading from the book Today's Gift.
Man cannot remake himself without suffering. For he is both the marble and the sculptor. --Alexis Carrell
A sculptor begins with an unformed piece of marble. He must be able to envision what he wants to create. Then, armed with tools and courage, he begins to chink away at the marble he does not need. Every day he examines how it looks and what he wants it to become.
Every one of us who is trying to be a better person is like the sculptor. We envision who we want to be and what kind of qualities we believe in. Some of these qualities might be kindness, good self-esteem, the ability to love and feel loved. If we are honest, we must also look with the artist's eye at our faults. We might see some jealousy and resentment, or feelings of superiority. Our faults, human as they are, are like unwanted marble that keeps our most loving selves from taking shape. Carving away at our faults is hard work, and sometimes-even hurts. Yet we do not do this work alone--we can only do it with the help of our God.
What can I chisel away today?


You are reading from the book Touchstones.
Wherever I found the living, there I found the will to power. --Friedrich Nietzsche
It has been said that addiction and codependency are problems of power. Recovery certainly calls us to admit the limits of our power. Yet, to reach for power seems to come from the deepest part of our nature. If this is so, can it be all bad? Men have used power in many ways for the good of all people. We have been defenders, protectors, and active community servants. At our best, we have taken strong stands for what was right.
We need not shun all power, but rather we learn to use it wisely. Our blindness to the limitations of power created great problems in our lives. Then we learned our first lessons about powerlessness. As humble men, we know we can be wrong, but we cannot be passive and still continue to grow.
I pray for guidance as I learn to assert my strength and power for the cause of well being.


You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
She lacks confidence, she craves admiration insatiably. She lives on the reflections of herself in the eyes of others. She does not dare to be herself. --Anas Nin
How aptly these words describe the woman so many of us were. Many activities were not attempted, courses weren't taken, conversations weren't initiated because we lacked confidence. The pain, the constant search for acceptance and love in the eyes and behavior of others, still haunts us. But those days are past. We are daring to be ourselves, one day at a time.
Confidence still wavers on occasion, and we may need assurance that we're lovable. Gratefully, we can look to one another for the additional boost we may need to face the day. Being there for one another, knowing that we understand each other's fears as women offers the strength to go ahead that we may lack today or tomorrow.
Today a woman may need me to dare to be herself. I will be there.


You are reading from the book The Language of Letting Go.
Acting As If
The behavior we call "acting as if' can be a powerful recovery tool. Acting as if is a way to practice the positive. It's a positive form of pretending. It's a tool we use to get ourselves unstuck. It's a tool we make a conscious decision to use.
Acting as if can be helpful when a feeling begins to control us. We make a conscious decision to act as if we feel fine and are going to be fine.
When a problem plagues us, acting as if can help us get unstuck. We act as if the problem will be or already is solved, so we can go on with our life.
Often, acting as if we are detached will set the stage for detachment to come in and take over.
There are many areas where acting as if - combined with our other recovery principles - will set the stage for the reality we desire. We can act as if we love ourselves, until we actually do begin to care for ourselves. We can act as if we have a right to say no, until we believe we do.
We don't pretend we have enough money to cover a check. We don't pretend an alcoholic is not drinking. We use acting as if as part of our recovery, to set the stage for our new behaviors. We force ourselves through positive recovery behaviors, disregarding our doubts and fears, until our feelings have time to catch up with reality.
Acting as if is a positive way to overcome fears, doubts, and low self esteem. We do not have to lie; we do not have to be dishonest with ourselves. We open up to the positive possibilities of the future, instead of limiting the future by today's feelings and circumstances.
Acting as if helps us get past shaky ground and into solid territory.
God, show me the areas where acting as if could help set the stage for the reality I desire. Guide me as I use this powerful recovery tool to help create a better life and healthier relationships.


Today I am not afraid of the silence. I find peace in this silence and I am able to listen to God's will for me. --Ruth Fishel

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Journey To The Heart

Awaken to the World Around You

There is a universe outside your door, waiting to touch you, soothe you, heal you. There is an entire world out there waiting to help you open your heart and nurture your soul. The universe wants to teach you things, show you things, help you come more alive than you’ve ever been before.

Open you eyes, open your senses, open your heart. Walk out your door, look around. You’ll be shown. You’ll be guided. Your heart will lead you to what you need. Listen, look, feel. You are connected to the universe.

Let the universe bring you all the healing you need. Let the universe bring you alive. Awaken to the world around you and you’ll awaken to yourself.

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

More Language Of Letting Go

Relax. You’ll figure it out

Let the answers come naturally.

Have you ever gone into a room to get something and by the time you got there, you forgot what you went to get? Often the harder we try to remember, the worse our recollection.

But when we relax and do something else for a minute– just let go– what we’re trying so hard to remember pops naturally into our minds.

When I suggest that we let go, that’s all I’m suggesting that we do. I’m not saying the problem doesn’t matter, or that we have to entirely extinguish all thoughts of the subject from our minds, or that the person we care about isn’t important anymore. All I’m saying is that if we could do anything about it, we probably would have by now. And seeing as we can’t, letting go usually helps.

God, help me relax and let my answers about what to do next come naturally from you.

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

A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

I have been told over and over that I must constantly work to give up my old ideas. “That’s easy for you to say, ” I’ve sometimes thought. All my life, I have been programmed, computer-style; specific inputs brought forth predictable responses. My mind still tends to reach as a computer reacts, but I am learning to destroy the old tapes and literally reprogrammed myself. Am I fully willing to abandon my old ideas? Am I being fearless and thorough on my daily basis?

Today I Pray

Help me to take inventory each day of my stock of my new, healthy thoughts, throwing out the old ones as I happen upon them without regret or nostalgia. For I have outgrown those old ideas, which are as scuffed and fun-over as an old pair of shoes. Now, in the light, I can see that they are filled with holes.

Today I Will Remember

The Program reprograms.

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

One More Day

Probably no one alive hasn’t at one time or another brooded over the possibility of going back to an earlier, ideal age in his existence and living a different kind of life.
– Hal Boyle

If we could go back to a more perfect idyllic life, what section of life would we choose? As we daydream about the wonderful “yesterdays” in our life, little do we realize that even though our health and life circumstances may have changed somewhat, we could , right at this very moment, be creating the memories upon which we will look back fondly.

We make our own good times and our own good memories. We can’t ever go backward — but we do still have the ability and capacity to move forward.

I am aware that it’s up to me to create all my future memories. I can take from life only as much as I am willing to put into it.

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

One Day At A Time

~ PROCRASTINATION ~

Procrastination, more than anything else I can think of,
separates those who want to be successful from those who are.
Lee Silber

I would always intend to start everything 'tomorrow.' As a compulsive overeater I constantly promised myself the diet would start the next day, or if a weekend was approaching, then it would be Monday. When I first found this program I still had the same attitude: I would get a sponsor in good time, I would get a food plan next week, I'd read the Big Book and other program literature when I got a moment. I thought if I just kept going to meetings something will happen.

However, I found that procrastination does not work in program any more than it does outside. I no longer wanted to be the member who was constantly sharing what a dreadful week I had with the food and other aspects of my life.

Today I have a sponsor, I have worked through all the Twelve Steps -- I am still working and living the Steps -- I am in good contact with my Higher Power, have a good food plan which I am following religiously, and I have recovery to bring to my shares.

One Day at a Time . . .
When I make a decision I follow it through with action immediately.
~ Lilian ~

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

AA 'Big Book' - Quote

It is not the matter of giving that is in question, but when and how to give. That often makes the difference between failure and success. The minute we put our work on a service plane, the alcoholic commences to rely upon our assistance rather than upon God. He clamors for this or that, claiming he cannot master alcohol until his material needs are cared for. Nonsense. Some of us have taken very hard knocks to learn this truth: Job or no job - wife or no wife - we simply do not stop drinking so long as we place dependence upon other people ahead of dependence on God. - Pg. 98 - Working With Others

Hour To Hour - Book - Quote

We must now learn to do our daily maintenance work on our program. This is prayer and meditation. Prayer is when we talk to our Spiritual Source and meditation is when we listen.

God, as You have meaning for me, my prayer is for conscious contact. Now I will be silent for five full minutes and listen.

Life's Generosity

I appreciate the generosity of life. Everywhere I look, the world is spilling forth abundance. I open my hand to receive and the world fills it up with something. Whether it's sunlight, sweet smells or the gift of another day, this world is constantly giving forth. Today I say a quiet thank you for all that the world provides. For sunsets, fresh air and flowers. For rain and people and pets. My arms aren't big enough to hold it all, so today I will appreciate just what I have, knowing that appreciating what I can hold will feel more wonderful than running after more than I can carry.

I feel grateful for the gifts of this world

- Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor - Book - Quote

Us addicts are often hyper-vigilant about others 'talking behind our backs' or slandering us. Our sponsors tell us that what 'they' think of us is none of our business. It can still be hard to take.

It matters not if someone speaks badly of me; I live so no one will believe it.

Time for Joy - Book - Quote

Today I am not afraid of the silence. I find peace in this silence and I am able to listen to God's will for me.

Alkiespeak - Book - Quote

It's not a question of finding the right person, but becoming the right person. - Anon.

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

AA Thought for the Day


January 17

Convincing Evidence
The most convincing evidence I have today that I'm an alcoholic
is not how much or how long I drank, nor how drunk I got;
the most convincing evidence I have is that Alcoholics Anonymous is working for me.
- Thank You For Sharing, p. 181

Thought to Ponder . . .
I would rather go through life sober, believing I am an alcoholic,
than go through life drunk, trying to convince myself that I am not.

AA-related 'Alconym' . . .
T H I N K = Thank Heavens I Now Know.

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

Coping
God willing, we members of AA may never again
have to deal with drinking,
but we have to deal with sobriety every day.
How do we do it?
By learning -- through practicing the Twelve Steps
and through sharing at meetings --
how to cope with the problems
that we looked to booze to solve, back in our drinking days. . .
We learn how to level out the emotional swings
that got us into trouble
both when we were up and when we were down.
c. 1976 AAWS, Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 560
c. 2001 AAWS, Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 558

Thought to Consider . . .
The ankle-biters of everyday struggles will eat away at me
unless I go to meetings and share.

*~*~*AACRONYMS*~*~*
H E A R T  =  Healing, Enjoying, And Recovering, Together

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

Others
>From "The Three Legacies of Alcoholics Anonymous":
"We also had to determine how best to co-operate with the press, radio, motion pictures, and more recently television;
how to deal with employers who wanted special help; what would be the right attitude toward the field of alcohol
education, research, and rehabilitation, private and public.
"Finding answers to these public relations puzzlers has been a long process. After much trial and error, sometimes
punctuated by painful mistakes, the attitudes and practices that would work best for us emerged. The basic ones can be
seen today in the A.A. Traditions: 100 per cent [sic] anonymity at the public level; no use of the A.A. name for the benefit
of other causes, however worthy; no endorsements or alliances; the carrying of the message as the single purpose for
Alcoholics Anonymous; no professionalism; public relations by the principle of attraction rather than promotion these
were some of the hard-learned lessons."
2001 AAWS, Inc.; Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age, pgs. 197-98

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

"When things go well, we must never fall into the error of believing that no great ill can befall us. Nor should we accuse
ourselves of 'negative thinking' when we insist on facing the destructive forces in and around us, both realistically and
effectively. Vigilance will always be the price of survival."
AA Co-Founder, Bill W., November 1960
"Freedom Under God: The Choice Is Ours,"
The Language of the Heart

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

"Everybody knows that those in bad health, and those who seldom play,
do not laugh much. So let each family play together or separately as
much as their circumstances warrant. We are sure God wants us to be
happy, joyous, and free."
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, The Family Afterward, pg. 132~

We realized that the people who wronged us were perhaps spiritually sick.
- Pg 66, Alcoholics Anonymous

We shall look for progress, not for perfection.
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p. 91

Misc. AA Literature - Quote

The perverse wish to hide a bad motive underneath a good one permeates human affairs from top to bottom. This subtle and elusive kind of self-righteousness can underlie the smallest act or thought. Learning daily to spot, admit, and correct these flaws is the essence of character-building and good living. The deception of others is nearly always rooted in the deception of ourselves. Somehow, being alone with God doesn't seem as embarrassing as facing up to another person. Until we actually sit
down and talk aloud about what we have so long hidden, our willingness to clean house is still largely theoretical. When we are honest with another person, it confirms that we have been honest with ourselves and with God.

Prayer for the Day:  I've Found A Reason - Dear God, as long as my life was preoccupied with my own problems, my own unwillingness and dark moods, I was critical, insensitive, rigid, and defiant. But when I honestly faced my defects and failures and the worst was known and surrendered to You, the whole nature of living changed. I am no longer the emotional center of all things and no longer take everything as personal to myself. Ive found a reason for all the suffering through which I have passed. It is to be used in understanding and helping others. Out of the darkness comes light.

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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