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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 22

Daily Reflections

"LET'S KEEP IT SIMPLE"

A few hours later I took my leave of Dr. Bob. . . The
wonderful, old, broad smile was on his face as he said
almost jokingly, "Remember, Bill, let's not louse this
thing up. Let's keep it simple!" I turned away, unable
to say a word. That was the last time I ever saw him.
ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS COMES OF AGE, p 214

After years of sobriety I occasionally ask myself: "Can
it be this simple?" Then, at meetings, I see former
cynics and skeptics who have walked the A.A. path out
of hell by packaging their lives, without alcohol, into
twenty-four hour segments, during which they practice a
few principles to the best of their individual
abilities. And then I know again that, while it isn't
always easy, if I keep it simple, it works.

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

Twenty-Four Hours A Day


A.A. Thought For The Day

In the beginning, you want to get sober, but you're
helpless, so you turn to a Power greater than yourself
and by trusting in that Power, you get the strength to
stop drinking. From then on, you want to keep sober, and
that's a matter of reeducating your mind. After a while,
you get so that you really enjoy simple, healthy, normal
living. You really get a kick out of life without the
artificial stimulus of alcohol. All you have to do is
look around at the members of any A.A. group and you will
see how their outlook has changed. Is my outlook on life
changing?

Meditation For The Day

I will never forget to say thank you to God, even on the
greyest days. My attitude will be one of humility and
gratitude. Saying thank you to God is a daily practice
that is absolutely necessary. If a day is not one of
thankfulness, the practice has to be repeated until it
becomes so. Gratitude is a necessity for those who are
seeking a better life.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that gratitude will bring humility. I pray that
humility will bring me to live a better life.


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

As Bill Sees It

Fear as a Steppingstone, p. 22

The chief activator of our defects has been self-centered
fear--primarily fear that we would lose something we already
possessed or would fail to get something we demanded. Living upon a
basis of unsatisfied demands, we were in a state of continual
disturbance and frustration. Therefore, no peace was to be had unless
we could find a means of reducing these demands.

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

For all its usual destructiveness, we have found that fear can be the
starting point for better things. Fear can be a steppingstone to
prudence and to a decent respect for others. It can point the path to
justice, as well as to hate. And the more we have of respect and
justice, the more we shall begin to find the love which can suffer much,
and yet be freely given. So fear need not always be destructive,
because the lessons of its consequences can lead us to positive values.

1. 12 & 12, p. 76
2. Grapevine, January 1962


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

Walk In Dry Places
 
No Humiliation in Humility____ Self-understanding.
With few exceptions, every alcoholic eventually meets humiliation and defeat. This is especially painful in a world that places high value on winning and on having the approval and admiration of others. We feel diminished by these defeats. Nobody likes to be humbled, to be made to appear less than other people.
Yet these humiliations serve a constructive purpose if they lead us to seek humility.  Truly humble people cannot really be humiliated, because they no longer rely on the false supports of worldly praise and approval.  We develop humility as we withdraw from a reliance on our own powers and personality and realize that we ourselves can do nothing; it is our Higher Power who does the work.
Still, there is a paradox in humility. The person who admits he or she can do nothing will, in the process, tap into powers that were never available in the previous state of mind. In truth, humility is never humiliation or weakness, though these may lead to it.  Humility is really a road to the power that only God can give us.
I'll watch myself today for the crazy things that set me up for humiliation. I won't try to impress others or win their admiration today.


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

Keep It Simple

Go often to the house of your friend: for weeds soon choke up the unused path. ----Scandinavian proverb.
Our program has two parts: the Steps, and the fellowship. Both keep us sober. We can't stay sober if we go it alone. We need to work the Steps. We also need people--the help of our friends daily
Recovery is about relationships. We get new friends. We get involved. We give. We get. In times of need, we may not want to ask our new friends for help. Maybe we don't want to "burden them."
"Maybe we're afraid to ask for help." Well, go ahead. Make that call. Ask your new friend to spend time with you. You deserve and need it. They deserve it; they need it.
Prayer for the Day:  Higher Power, help me to get help from my friends as if my life depends on it.
Action for the Day:  Today, I'll see or call two program friends and let them know how I'm doing.

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

Each Day a New Beginning

One cannot have wisdom without living life.  --Dorothy McCall
Living life means responding, wholly, to our joys and our pitfalls. It means not avoiding the experiences or activities that we fear we can't handle. Only through our survival of them do we come to know who we really are; we come to understand the strength available to us at every moment. And that is wisdom.
When we approach life tentatively, we reap only a portion of its gifts. It's like watching a movie in black and white that's supposed to be in Technicolor. Our lives are in color, but we must have courage to let the colors emerge, to feel them, absorb them, be changed by them. Within our depths, we find our true selves. The complexities of life teach us wisdom. And becoming wise eases the many pitfalls in our path.
Living life is much more than just being alive. I can choose to jump in with both feet. Wisdom awaits me in the depths.


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

Alcoholics Anonymous - Fourth Edition

Chapter 7 - WORKING WITH OTHERS

You will note that we made and important qualification. Therefore, ask yourself on each occasion, “Have I any good social, business, or personal reason for going to this place? Or am I expecting to steal a little vicarious pleasure from the atmosphere of such places?” If you answer these questions satisfactorily, you need have no apprehension. Go or stay away, whichever seems best. But be sure you are on solid spiritual ground before you start and that your motive in going is thoroughly good. Do not think of what you will get out of the occasion. Think of what you can bring to it. But if you are shaky, you had better work with another alcoholic instead!

pp. 101- 102


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

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 can certainly identify with out co-founder Bill W. when he says on page 4 of the Big Book:  " . . . the old fierce determination to win came back."  I would take a drink, and then I knew everything was going to be all right.  I was going to clean up my act; everything was going to change--you'll see.  It didn't; nothing changed.  I tried so many ways of beating the game; I went to church and took a pledge; I went to a Native sweat lodge; I would do something so I would be put in jail; I vowed to stay away from hard liquor.  Nothing worked.  Then came the pills to stop the shakes and get off the sauce for a while.

p. 497


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

Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Tradition Two - "For our group purpose, there is but one ultimate authority - a loving God as He may express Himself in our group conscience."

Where does A.A. get its direction? Who runs it? This, too, is a puzzler for every friend and newcomer. When told that our Society has no president having authority to govern it, no treasurer who can compel the payment of any dues, no board of directors who can cast an erring member into outer darkness, when indeed no A.A. can give another a directive and enforce obedience, our friends gasp and exclaim, "This simply can't be. There must be an angle somewhere." These practical folk then read Tradition Two, and learn that the sole authority in A.A. is a loving God as He may express Himself in the group conscience. They dubiously ask an experienced A.A. member if this really works. The member, sane to all appearances, immediately answers, "Yes! It definitely does." The friends mutter that this looks vague, nebulous, pretty naive to them. Then they commence to watch us with speculative eyes, pick up a fragment of A.A. history, and soon have the solid facts.

p. 132


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

There is no mountain, God cannot help us to climb.  --Shelley

Learn to listen to your inner voice. Listen to your heart. It's your connection to God, to people, to the universe, and to yourself.  --Melody Beattie

"Peace does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble, or hard work. Peace means to be in the midst of all those things and still be calm in your heart. That is the real meaning of peace."  --Author Unknown

"The tree in which the sap is stagnant remains fruitless."  --Hosea Ballou

People travel to wonder at the height of the mountains, at the huge waves of the seas, at the long course of the rivers, at the vast compass of the ocean, at the circular motion of the stars, and yet they pass by themselves without wondering.  --St. Augustine

There is a hole and empty place within us that we have tried to fill. Today we know that this is a God shaped hole, that only God can fill. A place where acceptance, understanding, love and support are a given.  --Author Unknown

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Father Leo's Daily Meditation

POETRY

"Poetry is not an assertion of
truth, but the making of that
truth more fully real to us."
-- T. S. Eliot

God is able to communicate Himself in a thousand different ways and
one such way is poetry.

Spirituality is discovering God in His creation, and this involves more
than religion or denominationalism. Spirituality is a comprehensive
approach to God's world and is the unifying factor at the center of
the universe. Spirituality is about what is true --- wherever it is found
in the world.

Poetry and other art forms become part of the spiritual journey for
us as we struggle to understand and communicate truth.

In poetry may I find an expression of Your love for me; in my use of
poetry, may I express my love for You.

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

"I sought the Lord, and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears."  Psalms 34:4

Great is our Lord and mighty in power; His understanding has no limit.  Psalm 147:5

Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. "Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you."  Luke 6:36-38


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Daily Inspiration

Behave as though God is standing next to you because He is. Lord, we make a great team and together we are able to make a big difference.

If you think success and really believe it will happen, you will perform in a manner that leads to success. Lord, may I always avoid negative thoughts and visualize myself in the manner that You intended for me
.

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

NA Just For Today

The School Of Recovery


" This is a program for learning."
Basic Text p. 16

Learning in recovery is hard work. The things we most need to know are often the hardest to learn. We study recovery to prepare ourselves for the experiences life will give us. As we listen to others share in meetings, we take mental notes we can refer to later. Tobe prepared, we study our notes and literature between "lessons." Just as students have the opportunity to apply their knowledge during tests, so do we have the opportunity to apply our recovery during times of crisis.

As always, we have a choice in how we will approach life's challenges. We can dread and avoid them as threats to our sereniW or we can gratefully accept them as opportunities for growth. By confirming the principles we've learned in recovery, life's challenges give us increased strength. Without such challenges, however, we could forget what we've learned and begin to stagnate. These are the opportunities that prod us to new spiritual awakenings.

We will find that there is often a period of rest after each crisis, giving us time to get accustomed to our new skills. Once we've reflected on our experience, we are called on to share our knowledge with someone who is studying what we've just learned. In the school of recovery, all of us are teachers as well as students.

Just for today: I will be a student of recovery. I will welcome challenges, confident in what I've learned and eager to share it with others.

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

You are reading from the book Today's Gift.
Animals are such agreeable friends they ask no questions, they pass no criticisms. --George Eliot
A pet is often liked by everyone and seems to have no enemies. Why is this? Pets are friendly and interested in others. They seem to get joy out of just being with us. They do not have a critical attitude. When mistreated or neglected for a while, they are quick to forgive and quickly seek once again to be by our side. Each of us is a valuable part of the family. When we treasure one another and don't waste our time finding each other's faults, we will begin to have fewer faults. When we accept our loved ones as they are and enjoy sharing our lives with them, our lives become more enjoyable, and our family love grows because we are each more lovable.
What can I accept in others today?


You are reading from the book Touchstones.
The human heart in its perversity finds it hard to escape hatred and revenge. --Moses Luzzatto
This program promises many rewards for those who follow it, but it does not promise to be easy. We search our conscience for resentments and face them. No man can progress in his recovery while holding onto resentments, old angers, and hatreds. When we hold them, we protect dark corners of our souls from the renewal we need. As we allow ourselves to be made new through this program, we no longer reserve those small corners for the game of power and resentment. They will eventually consume us and justify in our minds a return to the old patterns.
Nothing can be held back. We must be willing to surrender all - even if we do not know how. No one can stop being resentful simply by deciding to stop. When we are willing to be honest, to be humble, to be learners, to be led in a constructive direction, to allow time to be guided rather than seek instant cure, then we will learn trust and will surely make progress.
I do not need to know exactly how to let go of my resentments or what will happen after 1 do. I simply must toe ready to let them go.


You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
One cannot have wisdom without living life. --Dorothy McCall
Living life means responding, wholly, to our joys and our pitfalls. It means not avoiding the experiences or activities that we fear we can't handle. Only through our survival of them do we come to know who we really are; we come to understand the strength available to us at every moment. And that is wisdom.
When we approach life tentatively, we reap only a portion of its gifts. It's like watching a movie in black and white that's supposed to be in Technicolor. Our lives are in color, but we must have courage to let the colors emerge, to feel them, absorb them, be changed by them. Within our depths, we find our true selves. The complexities of life teach us wisdom. And becoming wise eases the many pitfalls in our path.
Living life is much more than just being alive. I can choose to jump in with both feet. Wisdom awaits me in the depths.


You are reading from the book The Language Of Letting Go.
Appreciating Our Past
It is easy to be negative about past mistakes and unhappiness. But it is much more healing to look at ourselves and our past in the light of experience, acceptance, and growth. Our past is a series of lessons that advance us to higher levels of living and loving.
The relationships we entered, stayed in, or ended taught us necessary lessons. Some of us have emerged from the most painful circumstances with strong insights about who we are and what we want.
Our mistakes? Necessary. Our frustrations, failures, and sometimes--stumbling attempts at growth and progress? Necessary too.
Each step of the way, we learned. We went through exactly the experiences we needed to, to become who we are today. Each step of the way, we progressed.
Is our past a mistake? No. The only mistake we can make is mistaking that for the truth.
Today, God, help me let go of negative thoughts I may be harboring about my past circumstances or relationships. I can accept, with gratitude, all that has brought me to today.


I deserve to have wonderful things to happen in my life today. --Ruth Fishel

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

Journey To The Heart

Open to the Power of Comfort

Packed in the back of my Jeep I stored my favorite red woolen blanket. I didn’t need it for warmth because I didn’t sleep in the cold. I needed it to remind me of the importance of comfort.

Open yourself to receive comfort, the comfort that touches the heart and nurtures the soul. Many of us grew up and lived our lives without experiencing true comfort, true nurturing. Many of us didn’t know it existed. But at some level, that’s what we’ve been looking for.

Comfort is the loving arms of a mother who sees only the beauty of her child. A mother who attends to the needs, who nurtures the heart and soul of her child. This kind of comfort is acceptance and love at its finest.

Open your heart to receive comfort. Learn to give it,too. Comfort touches and heals our souls. Take it with you like a favorite blanket wherever you go.

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More Language Of Letting Go

Let go of your plans

Letting go can feel so unnatural. We work hard for a promotion, a relationship, a new car, a vacation. Then the universe has the gall to come along and mess up our plans. How dare it! And so, rather than opening ourselves to the experiences that await us, we hold on to the plans that we made for ourselves. Or we hold on to bitterness about our plans going awry.

Sometimes losing our dreams and plans for our future can hurt as much as losing a tangible thing. Sometimes accepting and releasing our broken dreams is part of accepting a loss.

Let go of your expectations. The universe will do what it will. Sometimes your dreams will come true. Sometimes they won’t. Sometimes when you let go of a broken dream, another one gently takes its place.

Be aware of what is, not what you would like to be, taking place.

God, help me let go of my expectations and accept the gifts that you give me each day, knowing that there is beauty and wonder in each act of life.

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

A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

In a very real sense, we are imprisoned by our inability or unwillingness to reach out for help to a Power greater than ourselves. But in time, we pray to be relieved of the bondage of self, so that we can better do God’s will. In the words of Ramakrsihna, “The sun and moon are not mirrored in cloudy waters, thus the Almighty cannot be mirrored in a heart that is obsessed by the idea of ‘me and mine.’” Have I set myself free form the prison of self-will and pride which I myself have built? Have I accepted freedom?

Today I Pray

May the word freedom take on the meanings for me, not just “freedom from” my addiction, but “freedom to” overcome it. Not just freedom from the slavery of self-will, but freedom to hear and carry out the will of God.

Today I Will Remember

Freedom from means freedom to.

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

One More Day

To live happily is an inward power of the soul. – Marcus Aurelius

While we were still very healthy, we may not have realized how much we depended on others for our physical and emotional well-being. Perhaps we rarely turned toward our own strength or to a Power greater than ourselves. Because we had depended so little on ourselves, we may have, at first, felt defeated.

Ironically, we’ve become strengthened by illness. Sour searching and taking personal inventory are tools we used to discover the mental and spiritual reserves that were always available to us but little used.

The love and support of others are still important to us, but now we have a greater sense of balance which strengthens us and our relationships.

My inner spiritual messages transcend my need to depend on others. This strengthens me, my faith, and all the people touched by my life.

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

One Day At A Time

~ SERVICE ~

The only ones among you who will be really happy
are those who will have sought and found how to serve.
Albert Schweitzer

In my first few 12 step meetings, I was so angry. On one hand, I didn't think I needed to be there, although deep inside, I knew I did. People were nice enough, greeted me, made me feel welcome, but I kept myself apart with my anger. I was angry that there seemed to be a small core group of members who attended weekly and obviously knew each other well. I didn't think they'd let me in their inner group; I didn't get invited.

Next, I tried to get the program without working the Steps. That inner group talked about the Steps all the time. I'd show them how good I was; I'd get the program, get the recovery they'd gotten, by taking a shorter route. The Steps were for dummies, and I wasn't dumb. I quickly found out the Steps are the only way to get the 12 step program, hence its name.

I struggled for a long time. Then I started giving service to my group. It started off by simply straightening up the room because I always got there early. I asked for a key so I could put out the books. I started greeting newcomers, who usually showed up early. When the person who'd signed on to do the topic didn't make it one week, I agreed to lead the meeting.

To my shock, I was giving service. In looking back at my first weeks in the program, I realized that the "inner core" of my home group had become my very good friends. When had I been asked in? Never. I joined when I began to give service and became one of them, the service-givers to the group. I learned why they seemed to have such effortless growth-- it came from giving service. With service I always get back much more than I put in.

One Day at a Time . . .
I will remember to give of myself. I will remember that giving service in the program gives me so many gifts in return.
~ Rhonda ~

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

AA 'Big Book' - Quote

When we see a man sinking into the mire that is alcoholism, we give him first aid and place what we have at his disposal. For his sake, we do recount and almost relive the horrors of our past. But those of us who have tried to shoulder the entire burden and trouble of others find we are soon overcome by them. - Pg.132 - The Family Afterward

Hour To Hour - Book - Quote

It doesn't cost a lot of money for us to recover. It cost a lot of time. We have to be diligent and program consciousness from this hour to the next, every hour for the rest of our lives. We 'have' to do it, until we 'want' to do it.

I embrace our program in gratitude.

A Still Small Voice

I will have faith. I will follow that still small voice within me. When I have doubts, which of course I will have, I will reach down within myself and pull up something that I thought wasn't even there, I'll pull up faith that things will be all right. Whether or not things are going just the way I want them to, I'll have faith that they will somehow right themselves in the end. It will work out, or it won't work out, but still, all will be OK. I will give myself the gift of faith.

My faith sustains me

- Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor - Book - Quote

'For a time we are living inside a scream where there seems to be no exit, only echoes. The small cares that seemed so important yesterday seem like nothing, and our daily concerns become petty and irrelevant. When we finally reclaim ourselves, as we ultimately do, we are changed.' -Kent Nerburn, Simple Truths

Cooperating with God is the easier softer way.

"Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book" - Book

Alcoholics make pour choices.

Time for Joy - Book - Quote

I deserve to have wonderful things to happen in my life today.

Alkiespeak - Book - Quote

Drinking is not a word, it's a sentence. - Anon.

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

AA Thought for the Day


January 22

The Big Book
In this book you read again and again that faith did for us what we could not do for ourselves.
We hope you are convinced now that God can remove whatever self-will has blocked you off from Him.
If you have already made a decision, and an inventory of your grosser handicaps, you have made a good beginning.
That being so you have swallowed and digested some big chunks of truth about yourself.
- Alcoholics Anonymous, pp. 70-71

Thought to Ponder . . .
Walk softly and carry a Big Book.

AA-related 'Alconym' . . .
B I G B O O K = Believing In God Beats Our Old Knowledge.

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

Vigilance
Deliver us from temptation
must continue to be a prime ingredient of our every
attitude, practice, and prayer.
When things go well, we must never fall into the error
of believing that no great ill can possibly 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.
Bill W., November 1960
c. 1988 AAGrapevine, The Language of the Heart, pp. 316-17

Thought to Consider . . .
Adversity introduces us to ourselves

*~*~*AACRONYMS*~*~*
P E A C E  =  Providing Experienced Attitude Changes Every day.

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

Bottoms
Step Two: Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
"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. Who wishes to be rigorously
honest and tolerant? Who wants to confess his faults to another and make restitution for harm done? Who cares
anything about a Higher Power, let alone meditation and prayer?"
1952, AAWS, Inc.; Printed 2005; Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, pg. 24

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

"By helping to insure the sobriety of others to come, we insure our own sobriety today."
Rochester, N.Y., October 1987
"The Rise and Fall of a Home Group,"
The Home Group: Heartbeat of AA

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

"Another principle we observe carefully is that we do not relate
intimate experiences of another person unless we are sure he would
approve. We find it better, when possible, to stick to our own
stories. A man may criticize or laugh at himself and it will affect
others favorably, but criticism or ridicule coming from another often
produces the contrary effect."
Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, The Family Afterward, pg. 125

 "We have seen the truth demonstrated again and again: 'Once an
alcoholic, always an alcoholic.&#39; Commencing to drink after a period
of sobriety, we are in a short time as bad as ever."
Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, More About Alcoholism, pg. 33

Where other people were concerned, we had to drop the word 'blame' from our speech and thought.
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p. 47

Misc. AA Literature - Quote

The chief activator of our defects has been self-centered fear - primarily fear that we would lose something we already
possessed or would fail to get something we demanded. Living upon a basis of unsatisfied demands, we were in a state
of continual disturbance and frustration. Therefore, no peace was to be had unless we could find a means of reducing
these demands.
For all its usual destructiveness, we have found that fear can be the starting point for better things. Fear can be a
steppingstone to prudence and to a decent respect for others. It can point the path to justice, as well as to hate. And the
more we have of respect and justice, the more we shall begin to find the love which can suffer much, and yet be freely
given. So fear need not always be destructive, because the lessons of its consequences can lead us to positive values.

Prayer for the Day:  God our Father, you call each of us by name, and you treasure each of us individually as though no
one else exists. Inspire us to respect and value each person who comes into our lives this day. Amen.

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