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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 29

Daily Reflections

THE JOY OF SHARING

Life will take on new meaning. To watch people recover,
to see them help others, to watch loneliness vanish, to
see a fellowship grow up about you. to have a host of
friends - this is an experience you must not miss. We
know you will not want to miss it. Frequent contact with
newcomers and with each other is the bright spot of our
lives.
ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS , p. 89

To know that each newcomer with whom I share has the
opportunity to experience the relief that I have found
in this Fellowship fills me with joy and gratitude. I
feel that all the things described in A.A. will come to
pass for them, as they have for me, if they seize the
opportunity and embrace the program fully.

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

Twenty-Four Hours A Day


A.A. Thought For The Day

What a load wasting money puts on your shoulders! They
say that members of A.A. have paid the highest initiation
fee of any club members in the world, because we've
wasted so much money on liquor. We'll never be able to
figure out how much it was. We not only waste our own
money, but also the money we should have spent on our
families. When you come into A.A., that terrible load
of wasted money falls off your shoulders. We alcoholics
were getting round-shouldered from carrying all those
loads that drinking put on our shoulders. But when we
come into A.A., we get a wonderful feeling of release
and freedom. Can I throw back my shoulders and look
the whole world in the face again?

Meditation For The Day

I believe that the future is in the hands of God. He
knows better than I what the future holds for me. I am
not at the mercy of fate or buffeted about by life. I
am being led in a very definite way, as I try to rebuild
my life. I am the builder, but God is the architect. It
is mine to build as best I can, under His guidance.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may depend on God, since He has planned my
life. I pray that I may live my life as I believe God
wants me to live it.
< /span>

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As Bill Sees It

Alone No More, p.252

Alcoholism was a lonely business, even though we were surrounded
by people who loved us. But when our self-will had driven
everybody away and our isolation became complete, we commenced
to play the big shot in cheap barrooms. Failing even in this, we
had to fare forth alone on the street to depend upon the charity of
passers-by.

We were trying to find emotional security either by dominating or by
being dependent upon others. Even when our fortunes had not totally
ebbed, we nevertheless found ourselves alone in the world. We still
vainly tried to be secure by some unhealthy sort of domination or
dependence.

For those of us who were like that, A.A. has a very special meaning. In
this Fellowship we begin to learn right relations with people who
understand us; we don't have to be alone any more.

12 & 12, pp. 116-117


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Walk In Dry Places
 
Willingness is the Key___Strong Desire.
Although willpower alone does not work in overcoming alcoholism, there is a place for the will, or willingness, in the search for a happy sobriety.  Things can happen if we are willing to let them happen. More important, progress often depends on our willingness to give up what stands in our way. It also requires our willingness to take that actions necessary for success.
This same willingness, so vital to finding sobriety, is also applicable in other areas of our lives.  The pioneers of AA suggested that getting sober required being willing to go to any lengths. This is the key to other achievements and to the overcoming of problems besides alcohol.
We often have to put up with unpleasant conditions simply because we do not want to change them badly enough. For example, we may dislike the unpleasant coughing and risks of smoking, but lack the willingness to quit.  We may brood over lost opportunities, but be unwilling to take advantage of the opportunities we have now.
The key to constructive change in our lives is willingness… and that applies to other matters as well as to alcohol.
I'll try to be honest today about what I really want. I will remind myself that if I want something badly enough, willingness is they key to action and to success

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

Keep It Simple

An alcoholic spends his life committing suicide on the installment plan.--Laurence Peter
None of us woke up one morning and found we had suddenly turned into an addict. We got to be one by practice. And we practiced often. We ignored our families--we left work early--and went drinking and drugging. Daily, we chose chemicals over anything else. Likewise, getting sober is no accident. We work the program. At meetings, we're reminded to help others. We all get sober on the installment plan. A day at a time. We got sick one day at a time; we recover one day at a time.
Prayer for the Day:  Today, with my Higher Power's help, I'll be happier, more honest, more sober. Sobriety is like a good savings account. Higher Power, help me to put in more than I take out.
Action for the Day:  I'll go over my Step One to remind myself it's no accident I'm an addict.

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Each Day a New Beginning

"I can't help it" . . . that's what we all say when we don't want to exert ourselves.  --Eva Lathbury
Irresponsible behavior is not unfamiliar to us. Passivity is equally familiar. In the past, excusing ourselves of all responsibility prevented us from being blamed. We have learned that it also prevented us from feeling worthy, from fulfilling our potential, from feeling the excitement that comes with achievement.
Our fear of failure helped us to be irresponsible. We may still fear failure, but the program offers us an antidote. We can't fail if we have turned our lives over to our higher power. We will be shown the way to proceed. Our fellow travelers have messages for us that will smooth our path.
I have chosen recovery. I have already said, "I can help it." I will celebrate that I am taking responsibility for my life today.

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

Alcoholics Anonymous - Fourth Edition

Chapter 8 - TO WIVES

But for every man who drinks others are involved—the wife who trembles in fear of the next debauch; the mother and father who see their son wasting away.

p. 104


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

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.

For a guy who has spent years in jails, hospitals, psychiatric wards, a guy who just could not stop drinking, there was only one answer--Alcoholics Anonymous and the Twelve Steps.  I was very fortunate that I was steered in the right direction.  A dramatic change has taken place in my life.  Soon I hope to celebrate my second anniversary of continuous sobriety.  In two years my whole life has changed.  Today I sponsor others.  I understand the word compassion, and i feel it.  I am working on Step Eight at the present time, and I just know that more happiness is to come into my life as I "trudge the Road of Happy Destiny."

p. 500


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

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."

"I was bowled over. There were a few twinges of conscience until I saw how really ethical Charlie's proposal was. There was nothing wrong whatever with becoming a lay therapist. I thought of Lois coming home exhausted from the department store each day, only to cook supper for a houseful of drunks who weren't paying board. I thought of the large sum of money still owing my Wall Street creditors. I thought of a few of my alcoholic friends, who were making as much money as ever. Why shouldn't I do as well as they?

pp. 136-137


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

The task ahead of us is never as great as the Power behind us.

"Let us open our natures, throw wide the doors of our hearts and let in the sunshine of good will and kindness."  --O. S. Marden

Prayer of St. Theresa
May today there be peace within
May you trust your highest power that you are exactly where you are
meant to be....
May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith
May you use those gifts that you have received, and pass on the love
that has been given to you....
May you be content knowing you are a child of God....
Let this presence settle into our bones, and allow your soul the
freedom to sing, dance and to bask in the sun….
It is there for each and everyone of you….
--St. Teresa

When you love someone, don't let a single thing become bigger than that love. It can destroy you both. Ask yourself, "Will this matter in 20 years?"

The gift of Forgiveness is a gift you have given to yourself. The peaks and valleys of my life have become gentle rolling hills.

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Father Leo's Daily Meditation

SUCCESS

"Success is a journey not a
destination."
-- Ben Sweetland

So long as I am sober I know that I am successful. But I also know
that my sobriety is more than keeping away from the first drink. My
sobriety requires that I be a creative and successful human being in
all areas of my life --- in my relationships, at work, with my family,
my business ventures and in my acts of charity. The road to success is
exactly that --it is a "road" that I am traveling along, and I will be on it until
the day I die. I suppose the danger is in thinking that I have arrived. Then
I get complacent and apathetic, I slow down and the energy for
recovery is diminished.

Today I know that I am successful so long as I keep moving along
with my spiritual program.

Let me always be confident as I walk in my journey of life.

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

"The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple; the precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes."  Psalm 19:7-8

"Now may the Lord of peace Himself give you peace always in every way. The Lord be with you all."  2 Thessalonians 3:16

Guide me in Your truth and teach me, for You are God my Savior, and my hope is in You all day long.  Psalm 25:5


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Daily Inspiration

Call on God when you need a friend to make it through the day. Lord, may we share Your love and beauty so that our lives may not be lonely.

Holding on to hurts causes us to live the pain over and over. Lord, may I forgive so that I may heal
.

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

NA Just For Today

The First Step - An Action Step

" Do we understand that we have no real control over drugs?"
Basic Text p. 18

At first, many of us may have thought the First Step required no action-we just surrender and go on to Step Two. But Step One does require action!

The action we take in the First Step will be evident in the way we live, even from our first day clean. If we truly believe that we are powerless over our addiction, we will not choose to be around drugs. To continue to live with or associate with practicing addicts may indicate a reservation in our program. An absolute belief that the First Step applies to us will insure that we clear our homes of all drugs and paraphernalia.

As time goes on, we'll not only continue with the basics but add new actions to our First Step repertoire. We'll learn to feel our feelings rather than trying to control them. We'll stop trying to be our own and only guides on our recovery journey; self-sponsorship will cease. We'll begin looking to a Power greater than ourselves more and more for spiritual satisfaction rather than trying to fill that void with something else.

Surrender is only the beginning. Once we surrender, we need to learn how to live in the peace we have found.

Just for today: I will take all the action necessary to practice the First Step. I truly believe it applies to me.

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

You are reading from the book Today's Gift.
Think in terms of depletion, not depression . . .. You can understand how a body can replenish itself, whereas it may be difficult to understand the way out of depression. --Claire Weekes
Despair and depression may come over us suddenly, for no reason we can figure out. But if we stop and reflect, we may realize we are reacting to too much of something--too much work, too much excitement, too much fun. We may be having a letdown after holidays, after completing a project, or at the end of a school year. When we feel a letdown coming on, we must give ourselves time. We need to take some time off and do nothing, plan nothing. Then we can ask God to help us let go of the negative feelings that come along with a letdown. We can plan a small gift for ourselves--a walk by the lake, for instance. In our excitement with a rush of events, we often forget that we, like the infants we once were, need to take a rest and reenergize.
Do I need to do something just for myself today?


You are reading from the book Touchstones.
We grow in time to trust the future for our answers. --Ruth Benedict
When we first started in recovery, we approached it as we did our codependent and addictive behaviors, wanting to possess it all - quickly and totally - and to do it right. Some of us thought we could learn all we needed to know about recovery in a few weeks. In living with this program, we begin to see we are engaged in a lifelong process. We are in a maturing process and this program is our guide. We can't rush it or move on to the next stage too soon. An apple tree does not blossom in the fall, and we do not expect the newly forming apples to ripen before they've grown.
Our existence in this world is like walking through the woods on a rambling path. We can only see as far ahead as the next bend. We no longer seek some big moment when we finally get the outcome or a "cure" for life's experiences. The experience along the way is all we need.
Today, I will think about (he tasks and rewards of this day and trust the future for what is unanswered.


You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
"I can't help it" . . . that's what we all say when we don't want to exert ourselves. --Eva Lathbury
Irresponsible behavior is not unfamiliar to us. Passivity is equally familiar. In the past, excusing ourselves of all responsibility prevented us from being blamed. We have learned that it also prevented us from feeling worthy, from fulfilling our potential, from feeling the excitement that comes with achievement.
Our fear of failure helped us to be irresponsible. We may still fear failure, but the program offers us an antidote. We can't fail if we have turned our lives over to our higher power. We will be shown the way to proceed. Our fellow travelers have messages for us that will smooth our path.
I have chosen recovery. I have already said, "I can help it." I will celebrate that I am taking responsibility for my life today.


You are reading from the book The Language Of Letting Go.
Going to Meetings
I am still amazed, after years of recovering, at how easily I can begin to talk myself out of attending meetings. I am also still amazed at how good I feel when I go. --Anonymous
We don't have to stay stuck in our misery and discomfort. An immediate option is available that will help us feel better: go to a meeting, a Twelve Step support group.
Why resist what can help us feel better? Why sit in our obsession or depression when attending a meeting - even if that means an extra meeting - would help us feel better?
Too busy?
There are 168 hours in each week. Taking 1 or 2 hours a week for a meeting can maximize the potential of the remaining 166 hours. If we get into our "codependent stuff," we can easily spend a majority of our waking hours obsessing, sitting and doing nothing, lying in bed and feeling depressed, or chasing after other people's needs. Not taking those 2 hours for a meeting can cause us to waste the remaining hours.
Too tired?
There is nothing as invigorating as getting back on track. Going to a meeting can accomplish that.
Today, I will remember that going to meetings helps.


Today I will treat myself to quiet time. Today I will be gentle with myself as I let myself do nothing but be who I am. Today I will value what I think. --Ruth Fishel

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Journey To The Heart

Seek Peace

I drove down the winding road into King’s Canyon, California, not knowing what to expect. The road took me past lavender hills and ended alongside a rushing river spilling over with whitewater froth. “Beware of Turbulent Waters,” the sign warned. I parked the car and stepped outside, taking in the scenery. Soon, I knew– I felt– where this road had led.

It led to peace.

Cultivate peace. Commit to peace. Insist on it. Don’t setlle for peace based on outward circumstances or a particular arrangement in your life. Drive down the winding road and find the peace that prevails amidst the mountains, now purple in the setting sun. Find the peace that prevails even when the turbulent waters of the river roar through your life.

This is the peace the universe offers. Settle for nothing less.

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More Language Of Letting Go

Protect yourself from negative influences

After a long rainstorm in the desert, I watched little drops of runoff splashing off of a rock face into little indentations in the rock. Each drop fell in exactly the same place as the drop before, and over the years, the procession had dug a tiny hole into the stone. I looked around at the other rocks in the area and saw that they,too, were pockmarked by the slow but steady effects of erosion over the years.

Poor relationships can be like that rain. We start out on a course of learning and self-improvement with the best of intentions, but little by little our efforts are undermined by the associations that we choose. We do have an advantage over those rocks though.

We can move.

Maybe you have allowed your efforts to be sabotaged by wrong friends, wrong thoughts, or negative input of some sort and kind. You have a choice. You can choose to stand in the rain of negativity and slowly be worn down by it, or you can find shelter, a support group of like-minded people, a good book or program, a minister or mentor, a helpful and positive friend.

Be aware of the negative rain in your life. If even a stone can be worn down over time by constant falling rain, how much more must we be aware of the influences in our lives. Seek out that which is edifying, and find shelter from that which can erode your resolve.

God, protect me from negative influences, which erode my beliefs. Help me protect myself. Surround me with that which is positive, edifying, and uplifting.

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A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

I used to imagine my life as a grotesque abstract painting; a montage of crises framed by end-upon-end catastrophes. My days all were grey and my thoughts greyer still. I was haunted by dread and nameless fears. I was filled with self-loathing. I had no idea who I was, what I was, or why I was. I miss none of those feelings. Today, step by step, I am discovering myself and learning that I can be free to be me. Am I grateful for my new life? Have I taken the time to thank God today for the fact that I am clean and sober — and alive?

Today I Pray

May calm come to me after the turmoil and nightmares of the past. As my fears and self-hatred dissipate, may the things of the spirit replace them. For in the spiritual world, as in the material world, there is no empty space. May I be filled with the spirit of my Higher Power.

Today I Will Remember

Morning scatters nightmares.

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One More Day

There is one thing a man cannot change — his parents.
– David Ben-Gurion

Sometimes we carry anger for too long and may blame others for our problems. It’s time to let go if we have been harboring anger toward our parents or other adults. In our memory, in our perception, they may have harmed us. Regardless of what happened, whether it was imagined or real, we need to let go.

Unknowingly, we may have developed an attachment to this anger toward our parents, and it may take a professional therapist or a support group to help us break the dependency. We can take responsibility for ourselves and our own behaviors. By no longer blaming our inappropriate actions on anyone else, we can free ourselves of one unhealthy aspect of our lives.

I am attempting to own my life and not see it as an extension of others. Today, I can take responsibility for myself and my actions.

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One Day At A Time

~ GRATITUDE ~

Thankfulness is the beginning of gratitude.
Gratitude is the completion of thankfulness.
Thankfulness may consist merely of words.
Gratitude is shown in acts.
David O. McKay

All the good I have ever been given in life, both before recovery and in recovery, has come from God. Even the ability to learn lessons from the bad has been one of His many gifts to me. I make gratitude lists and offer prayers of thanksgiving, but that is only the beginning. I only express true gratitude by sharing with others. I share it as experience, strength and hope at meetings. I share it by reaching out my hand to the compulsive overeater behind me and sponsoring them or befriending them. I share it by living a life that shows evidence of the realization of all that God has given me. I can only truly express my gratitude through action.

One day at a time... I will show my true gratitude by giving away to others what God has so freely given to me.
~ Vicki B. ~

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AA 'Big Book' - Quote

We alcoholics are sensitive people. It takes some of us a long time to outgrow that serious handicap. - Pg. 125 - The Family Afterwards

Hour To Hour - Book - Quote

Sometimes reality slaps us right in the face. We may be out of money, facing jail, losing a loved one, or hating our circumstances. However, right this hour we have only one true reality: SOBRIETY. Without sobriety all the above only gets worse!

I make contact with Divine Intelligence so that I am not preoccupied with things outside my control. I want to remember why I am here.

Learning from Life

There are no 'buts' today. I am what I am, others are what they are, life is what it is. I will not parenthesize my growth with a 'but,' or hold back my forward-moving spirit with second-guesses. For today, I am living with things as they are. As I give this gift to myself I feel relieved. I am exactly where I am meant to be, learning what I need to learn. All I need do is move through situations with willingness to learn and openness to feel. When feelings are brought up, I can accept them as what is happening within me-no need to resist and analyze them. I can witness, allow, observe, share and process rather than shut down and hide. I can tolerate the intensity of my own inner world. I trust that my life is unfolding in such a way that what I need to learn will be before me. I am willing to learn.

I see the 'table prepared.'

- Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor - Book - Quote

If something is right, it can be done. If it is wrong, it can be done without.

I can do that!

"Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book" - Book

If you think handling everything is too much, try letting go.

Time for Joy - Book - Quote

Today I will treat myself to quiet time. Today I will be gentle with myself as I let myself do nothing but be who I am. Today I will value what I think.

Alkiespeak - Book - Quote

I got sober and I didn't know if I was Arthur or Martha sexually.
Then a guy got up and said that when he came in he didn't know whether he liked men, women, or sheep. So I sort of thought I was doing all right - because sheep weren't on the agenda. - John.

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AA Thought for the Day


January 29

Peace of Mind
More and more we became interested in seeing what we could contribute to life.
As we felt new power flow in, as we enjoyed peace of mind,
as we discovered we could face life successfully,
we became conscious of His presence, we began to lose our fear of today,
tomorrow, or the hereafter.  We were reborn.
- Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 63

Thought to Ponder . . .
Happiness and peace of mind are always here, open and free to anyone.

AA-related 'Alconym' . . .
H O P E = Hang On! Peace Exists.

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

Solution
If you are as seriously alcoholic as we were,
we believe there is no middle-of-the-road solution.
We were in a position where life was becoming impossible,
and if we had passed into the region
from which there is no return through human aid,
we had but two alternatives:
One was to go on to the bitter end,
blotting out the consciousness of our intolerable situation
as best we could;
and the other, to accept spiritual help.
c. 2001 AAWS, Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 25

Thought to Consider . . .
The solution is simple.
The solution is spiritual.

*~*~*AACRONYMS*~*~*
S T E P S =  Solutions To Every Problem in Sobriety.

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

Ready
Step One: We admitted we were powerless over alcohol -- that our lives had become unmanageable.
"Under the lash of alcoholism, we are driven to A.A., and there we discover the fatal nature of our situation. Then, and
only then, do we become as open-minded to conviction and as willing to listen as the dying can be. We stand ready to
do anything which will lift the merciless obsessions from us."
1952, AAWS, Inc.; Printed 2005; Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, pg. 24

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

"Up to now AA seems to have taken the right turning at each new crossroad. This could scarcely have been our doing
alone. Our Fellowship has afforded a convincing proof of that wise old adage which declares that 'man's extremity is God's opportunity."
AA Co-Founder, Bill W., November 1961
"Again at the Crossroads"
The Language of the Heart

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

"Suppose we fall short of the chosen ideal and stumble?  Does this
mean we are going to get drunk. Some people tell us so. But this is
only a half-truth. It depends on us and on our motives."
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, How It Works, Page 70~

"We never apologize to anyone for depending on our creator. We laugh at those who think spirituality the way of  weakness."
~Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 68

In it, each member becomes an active guardian of our Fellowship.
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p. 183

Misc. AA Literature - Quote

Gratitude should go forward, rather than backward.
'In other words, if you carry the message to still others, you will be making the best possible repayment for the help
given to you.'
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, and above all to watch them awaken to the presence of a loving God in their lives - these things are the
substance of what we receive as we carry A.A.'s message.

Prayer for the Day:  Dear Lord, we come to You to pray. We pray You will help us to prepare and begin our day. We may
have had a tough yesterday. We may have had a bad night. We may have things to do today we aren’t looking forward
to. However, we come to You first today to pray to give us the right attitude, the right mindset and to show us what to do
to give You the glory in all we do today. We also pray You will give us strength to resist temptation in all we do. In Jesus’
name. Amen.

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Seek and ye shall find,
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Matthew 7:7

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