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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 31

Daily Reflections

OUR COMMON WELFARE COMES FIRST

The unity of Alcoholics Anonymous is the most cherished
quality our Society has. . . . We stay whole, or A.A.
dies.
TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 129

Our Traditions are key elements in the ego deflation
process necessary to achieve and maintain sobriety in
Alcoholics Anonymous. The First Tradition reminds me
not to take credit, or authority, for my recovery.
Placing our common welfare first reminds me not to
become a healer in this program; I am still one of
the patients. Self-effacing elders built the ward.
Without it, I doubt I would be alive. Without the
group, few alcoholics would recover. The active role
in renewed surrender of will enables me to step aside
from the need to dominate, the desire for recognition,
both of which played so great a part in my active
alcoholism. Deferring my personal desires for the
greater good of group growth contributes toward A.A.
unity that is central to all recovery. It helps me to
remember that the whole is greater than the sum of all
its parts.

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

Twenty-Four Hours A Day


A.A. Thought For The Day

Drinking cuts you off from God. No matter how you were
brought up, no matter what your religion is, no matter
if you say you believe in God, nevertheless you build
up a wall between you and God by your drinking. You know
you're not living the way God wants you to. As a result,
you have that terrible remorse. When you come into A.A.,
you begin to get right with other people and with God. A
sober life is a happy life, because by giving up drinking
we've got rid of our loneliness and remorse. Do I have real
fellowship with other people and with God?

Meditation For The Day

I believe that all sacrifice and all suffering is of value
to me. When I am in pain, I am being tested. Can I trust
God, no matter how I feel? Can I say Thy will be done, no
matter how much I am defeated? If I can, my faith is real
and practical. It works in bad times as well as in good
times. The Divine Will is working in a way that is beyond
my finite mind to understand, but I can still trust in it.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may take my suffering in my stride. I pray
that I may accept pain and defeat as part of God's plan
for my spiritual growth.


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

As Bill Sees It

In God's Economy, p. 31

"In God's economy, nothing is wasted. through failure, we learn a
lesson in humility which is probably needed, painful though it is."

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

We did not always come closer to wisdom by reason of our virtues; our
better understanding is often rooted in the pains of our former follies.
Because this has been the essence of our individual experience, it is
also the essence of our experience as a fellowship.

1. Letter, 1942
2. Grapevine, November 1961


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Walk In Dry Places
 
Open-mindedness Means Growth___Facing Change
While open-mindedness is supposedly virtuous, many of us have difficulty with it. In our drinking, we continued to suffer because we were unwilling to believe that anything could relieve us of our condition.  We also feared that change would diminish us.
Our great liberation came in opening up our minds to new ideas.  This same process might be needed to sober living. We may have an investment in old attitudes and ideas that are keeping us from constructive growth. Without giving up our attitudes immediately, we can at least give new ideas hones consideration and study.
True open-mindedness does not mean empty-mindedness. We still can have strong convictions, consistent values, and definite opinions. But in the spirit of open-mindedness, we should continuously reexamine our views and adopt new ideas for improvement and growth.
Open-mindedness helped bring us to sobriety. It can also open the doors to other blessings that will bring enrichment and happiness.
I will be open-minded and curious today.  New ideas can bring wonderful benefits to me if I am willing to consider them.

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

Keep It Simple

Do not cut down the tree that gives you shade.---Arabian proverb
We need to remember what got us well. The Twelve Steps heal us. The meetings we attend heal us.
Reading and listening to program tapes heals us. Talking with our sponsors heals us. The time we spend with program friends heals us. Sometimes we're pressed for time. As a result, we have to make choices about how to use our time. We may think we know enough about the program. We
may feel like cutting down on meetings. These are danger signs. We only know how to stay sober One Day at a Time: by working the Steps. Let's not forget them as we grow in this program. It may seem like we've been recovering a long time, but we're all beginners.
Prayer for the Day:  Higher Power, I've found You in the program. Help me find ways to stay a "beginner" in the program.
Action for the Day:  Today, I'll take time to read the Twelve Steps. I'll meditate on how much these Steps have given me.

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

Each Day a New Beginning


Woman must not accept; she must challenge. She must not be awed by that which has been built up around her; she must reverence that woman in her which struggles for expression.  --Margaret Sanger
Our desire to grow, to make a place for ourselves in the world of our friends, to know that we have counted in the lives of others, is healthy and necessary to our existence as whole women. The inner urging to move ahead, to try a new approach to an old problem, to go after a new job, to learn a new skill, is evidence of God's eternal Spirit within.
Our meaning in this life is found through following the guidance that beckons us toward these new horizons, perhaps new friends, even new locations. We can trust the urge. We can reverence the urge. It will not lead us astray, provided we do not try to lead it. We each have a special gift to express in this life among those to whom we've been led.
For years, many of us quelled the inner urge out of fear; but, fortunately, it didn't desert us. To be human is to have a constant desire to be more than we are. The fears still come, but as we move through them, with the support of other women, other friends, the program gives us the thrill of achievement. We know there is meaning in our existence.
The need to grow, to change, to affect the world around us is part of God's plan for each of us. I will trust the urge; I will let it guide my steps.

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

Alcoholics Anonymous - Fourth Edition

Chapter 8 - TO WIVES

As wives of Alcoholics Anonymous, we would like you to feel that we understand as perhaps few can. We want to analyze mistakes we have made. We want to leave you with the feeling that no situation is too difficult and no unhappiness too great to be overcome.

p. 104


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

Alcoholics Anonymous - Fourth Edition Stories

GUTTER BRAVADO - Alone and unemployable, he was given two options by the court, get help or go to jail, and his journey toward teachability began.

Growing up, my big brother and I went to church on Sundays and attended parochial schools.  We had plenty to eat and more than just the basic necessities of life.  I was a smart but mischievous kid, and at some point I decided it was easier to lie than to suffer the consequences of my pranks.  Dad was big on law and order but especially didn't like liars.  We often had conflicts.  Other than this, my early childhood was a relatively happy one.

p. 501


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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."

"It was meeting night. Although none of the alcoholics we boarded seemed to get sober, some others had. With their wives they crowded into our downstairs parlor. At once I burst into the story of my opportunity. Never shall I forget their impassive faces, and the steady gaze they focused upon me. With waning enthusiasm, my tale trailed off to the end. There was a long silence.

p. 137


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

Half the worry in the world is caused by people trying to make decisions before they have sufficient knowledge on which to base a decision.
--Dean Hawkes

Joy isn't the absence of pain - it's the presence of God.

Life is a mirror: If you frown at it, it frowns back; If you smile it returns the greeting.  --Thackeray

Today I get to try to be a good example of a good example. In the past all I could be was a good example of a bad example.  --unknown

The most important person in the room is sitting in my chair. The second most important person in the room is sitting in your chair.  --unknown

Right actions for the future are the best apologies for wrong ones in the past.

Maintaining my spiritual condition is like building a spiritual bank account, upon which I can draw. The problem is, I never get a statement from the bank, so I have to be careful to keep putting in, or some dark day I'll find myself overdrawn.  --unknown

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Father Leo's Daily Meditation

WAR

"We have the power to make this
the best generation of mankind
in the history of the world --- or
to make it the last."
-- John F. Kennedy

War is tragic because it always destroys; it kills creation itself.
People, buildings, relationships, trust, hope, culture, history, youth ---
they all disappear behind a puff of smoke. The immensity of war is
such that it cannot be fully comprehended. Only isolated aspects can
be understood: a child is maimed, a treaty is broken, a race is blamed,
bullets are heard and a history that existed within a human life is
ended in silence.

Addiction is a kind of war --- a silent war that exists within an
individual and family. People, trust, buildings, hope, culture, history
and youth disappear behind a glass or a pill. Creation is attacked
from the inside; God is forgotten in an act of destructive selfishness.

Teach me to make peace in my life.

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

"God is my strength and my power, and He makes my way perfect."  2 Samuel 22:33

Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.  Matthew 5:6

Let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to God.  Matthews 5:16


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Daily Inspiration

Today can be your best day. This power is yours alone. Thank you, Lord, for this glorious day.

Greet all with gentleness and kindness so that all will know that you know Your God and will want to know Him too. Lord, may I be an instrument of Your peace
.

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

NA Just For Today

Trust

" Just for today I will have faith in someone in NA who believes in me and wants to help me in my recovery."
Basic Text p. 90

Learning to trust is a risky proposition. Our past experience as using addicts has taught us that our companions could not be trusted. Most of all, we couldn't trust ourselves.

Now that we're in recovery, trust is essential. We need something to hang onto, believe in, and give us hope in our recovery. For some of us, the first thing we can trust is the words of other members sharing in meetings; we feel the truth in their words.

Finding someone we can trust makes it easier to ask for help. And as we grow to trust in their recovery, we learn to trust our own.

Just for today: I will decide to trust someone. I will act on that trust.

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

You are reading from the book Today's Gift.
Thou shalt not should thyself. --Anonymous
When someone tells us we should do something, do we want to do it, or do we feel mad that someone else is telling us what we want to do? Sometimes we forget that these messages are not our own, but are the desires of others. It's important to listen to what we tell ourselves, to be aware of which messages we're giving ourselves and which come from others. We can make a list of all our shoulds and identify where they came from: parent, boss, friend, self. Then we can decide which shoulds are want to's, and throw out the rest. Doing what we want to is very different from doing what we should, and we can usually do a better job of it.
Have I freed myself of shoulds today?


You are reading from the book Touchstones.
The body is the soul's house. Shouldn't we therefore take care of our house so that it doesn't fall into ruin? --Philo Judaeus
Some men think it is a mark of a strong man to abuse his body and pay no heed to his health. Have we done this through drug use or abuse of food? Have we misused our bodies by our sexual behavior? Have we neglected our physical condition or health because of addictions or obsessions with other people?
To end abusive cycles, we need to act in self-respecting ways - sometimes before we feel self respecting. Recovery and spiritual awakening involve the body, mind, and spirit. We need nutrition, exercise, sleep, and health care. Treating ourselves as worthwhile men helps us feel worthwhile. Tuning in to how we feel physically may give us some direction. As we sense how we feel, do we get some physical messages to guide our recovery?
I will yield to the messages I get from myself so I can enjoy the physical pleasures of recovery and give my soul a better home.


You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
Woman must not accept; she must challenge. She must not be awed by that which has been built up around her; she must reverence that woman in her which struggles for expression. --Margaret Sanger
Our desire to grow, to make a place for ourselves in the world of our friends, to know that we have counted in the lives of others, is healthy and necessary to our existence as whole women. The inner urging to move ahead, to try a new approach to an old problem, to go after a new job, to learn a new skill, is evidence of God's eternal Spirit within.
Our meaning in this life is found through following the guidance that beckons us toward these new horizons, perhaps new friends, even new locations. We can trust the urge. We can reverence the urge. It will not lead us astray, provided we do not try to lead it. We each have a special gift to express in this life among those to whom we've been led.
For years, many of us quelled the inner urge out of fear; but, fortunately, it didn't desert us. To be human is to have a constant desire to be more than we are. The fears still come, but as we move through them, with the support of other women, other friends, the program gives us the thrill of achievement. We know there is meaning in our existence.
The need to grow, to change, to affect the world around us is part of God's plan for each of us. I will trust the urge; I will let it guide my steps.


You are reading from the book The Language Of Letting Go.
Asking for What We Need
One evening, I was alone, weary, and exhausted. I was in the midst of extensive traveling, disconnected from friends and family. I had flown home for the evening, but it seemed like nobody noticed. People were used to me being gone.
It was late at night, and I began arguing with God.
'I'm out there working hard. I'm lonely. I need to know someone cares. You've told me to tell you what I need, and tonight. God, I particularly need the presence of male energy. I need a friend, someone I can trust to care about me in a nonsexual, nonexploitive way. I need to be held. Now, where are you?"
I lay down on the couch and closed my eyes. I was too tired to do anything but let go.
The telephone rang minutes later. It was a former colleague who had since become my friend. "Hey, kid," he said. "You sound really tired and needy. Stay right where you are. I'm going to drive out and give you a foot rub. It sounds exactly like what you need."
Half an hour later, he knocked on my door. He brought a small bottle of oil with him, and gently massaged my feet, gave me a hug, told me how much he cared about me, then left.
I smiled. I had received exactly what I asked for.
It is safe to trust God.
Today, I will remember God cares about what I need, especially if I do.


I will take the time I need for me today to be quiet and listen to my Higher Power as I gently make new discoveries and gain new wisdom. --Ruth Fishel

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Journey To The Heart

Value Your Connection to Truth

Trust what you know. Not what you think you know, but what you know in your heart.

We often know the truth long before we let ourselves see and believe it, long before we’re ready to acknowledge it. For many reasons– fear, timing, and a myriad of issues too long to list– we ignore and discount what we know in our heart. But the truth doesn’t go away. What’s true, what we know to be true, will nag us and haunt us. And even if we try to run from that truth, our experiences will ultimately lead us back to it.

Life may bring us many issues we want to run from, issues that are a challenge. But the real challenge we face is learning to trust ourselves and trust what we know to be true. Maybe someone once told us we couldn’t be trusted. That’s too bad. But what’s worse is that we began to believe it and started to tell ourselves that,too.

Your heart can be trusted. Don’t doubt it. It will inevitably connect you to what’s true. Love yourself enough to trust what you know. Then stay connected to truth.

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More Language Of Letting Go

Speak the language of letting go

Sometimes in our lives, we can let go in an instant. We recognize that we’re dwelling on or obsessing about a particular situation, and we just let go. We drop it. Or we run into someone who has a problem, and we instinctively adapt a hands-off posture, knowing that it’s not our responsibility to take care of other people. We say what we need to say, and we almost automatically let go and focus on taking care of ourselves.

Other times, it’s not so easy. We may be entangled in a situation that feels utterly impossible to let go of. We get enmeshed with a problem, or a person, that seems to compel us to hang on more tightly when letting go is the key.

We know we shoudn’t be obsessing, but we can’t seem to stop.

One day, many years ago, back in Stillwater, Minnesota, my son was hugging me tightly. He didn’t want to let go. I started tipping over. I lost my balance.

“Shane,” Nichole scolded, “there comes a time to let go.”

Sometimes letting go happens in stages. Sometimes it means becoming more aware. Sometimes it involves going deeply into the feelings hidden underneath our behavior. Learning to let go may involve gaining more confidence and self-esteem. Sometimes it means simply practicing gratitude for the way things are.

Be gentle with yourself and others as you learn to practice the language of letting go.

Sometimes, no matter how much we know, letting go takes time.

God, help me remember that letting go is a powerful behavior, one that can change my life and impact the lives of others. Help me be patient with others and myself as letting go becomes a way of life.

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A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

One of the most constructive things I can do is to learn to listen to myself and get in touch with my true feelings. For years, I tuned myself out, going along, instead, with what others felt and said. Even today, it sometimes seem that they have it all together, while I’m still stumbling about. Thankfully, I’m beginning to understand that people-leasing takes many forms. Slowly but steadily, I’ve also begun to realize that it’s possible for me to change my old patterns. Will I encourage myself to tune in to the real me? Will I listen carefully to my own inner voice with the expectation that I’ll hear some wonderful things?

Today I Pray

I pray that I may respect myself enough to listen to my real feelings, those emotions which for so long I refused to hear or name or own, which festered in me like a poison. May I know that I need to stop often, look at my feelings, listen to the inner me.

Today I Will Remember

I will own my feelings.

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One More Day

I recommend you to take care of the minutes, for the hours will take care of themselves.
– Lord Chesterfield

When a lifelong job is over, when a health problem occurs or mobility becomes impaired, when family moves away, the days may become long and lonely. Then, more than ever, it’s important that we take care of our own needs. Some needs may be immediate, for we have far more time than we know how to fill. We may look toward the future, afraid of all the time that must be filled.

This is a perfect time to reach out into the community, to begin volunteer work. There are always people who need us, and by offering our help we will be helping ourselves as well. Each day is new and has new possibilities.

I refuse to worry about the future or the past. Instead, I’ll try to make a difference today.

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

One Day At A Time

~ TOMORROW ~

Do not be anxious for tomorrow;
for tomorrow will care for itself.
The Bible, book of Matthew

I've spent too much of my life worrying about the future. This was especially true with every diet I was ever on. I was always concerned about how much weight I was going to be able to lose in a certain amount of time. I always thought about tomorrow and what tomorrow would bring instead of staying in the present.

Today, my Higher Power is teaching me to keep my eyes on Him instead of on the calendar. I am more successful and more at peace when I remain in the present and follow my Higher Power's will.

One day at a time . . .
I will keep my thoughts in the present, for my Higher Power will take care of tomorrow.
Gina

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AA 'Big Book' - Quote

There are those, too, who suffer from grave emotional and mental disorders, but many of them do recover if they have the capacity to be honest. - Pg. 58 - How It Works

Hour To Hour - Book - Quote

When intense cravings for our drug of choice overwhelm us, we immediately talk to another person in recovery, even if it is 4 AM. Call your contact number, we must be here for each other!

Give me the strength to contact another clean and sober person BEFORE I think of satisfying that craving.

Beyond What I See

I want to know in my heart that life has meaning and purpose beyond what I see. I want to train my eye for seeing what is beautiful in life the way that a musician trains his ear. I want to know that each day is a gift, that I can't just expect it, that life is precious.

I say thank you for the gift of this day

- Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor - Book - Quote

Anger is one letter away from danger.

If I am right, I don't need to be angry. If I am wrong, I can't afford to be angry.

"Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book" - Book

When we remove me from 'blame' all that's left is bla. bla, bla....

Time for Joy - Book - Quote

I will take the time I need for me today to be quiet and listen to my Higher Power as I gently make new discoveries and gain new wisdom.

Alkiespeak - Book - Quote

God doesn't care who carries the message. He just wants it carried. - Anne P.

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AA Thought for the Day

January 31

Paradox
2. We GIVE AWAY TO KEEP.
That seems absurd and untrue.
How can you keep something if you give it away?
But in order to keep whatever it is we get in AA,
we must go about giving it away to others, for no fees or rewards of any kind.
- Experience, Strength & Hope, p. 154

Thought to Ponder . . .
We surrender to win; we give away to keep;
we suffer to get well; we die to live.

AA-related 'Alconym' . . .
N O W = No Other Way.

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

Surrender
On the face of it,
surrendering certainly does not seem like winning.
But it is in AA
Only after we have come to the end of our rope,
hit a stone wall in some aspect of our lives
beyond which we can go no further;
only when we hit "bottom" in despair and surrender,
can we accomplish sobriety which we could
never accomplish before.
We must, and we do, surrender in order to win.
c. 1955 AAWS, Alcoholics Anonymous, 2nd Edition, pp. 341-2

Thought to Consider . . .
Life didn't end when I got sober -- it started.

*~*~*AACRONYMS*~*~*
S W A T = Surrender, Willingness, Acceptance, Trust

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

Stages
>From "The Three Legacies of Alcoholics Anonymous":
"In the first years, those of us who sobered up in A.A. had been grim and utterly hopeless cases, almost without
exception. But now younger folks began to appear. Lots of people turned up who still had jobs and homes and health
and even good social standing. These in their turn were able to persuade others like themselves of the need for A.A. Of
course it was necessary for these types of newcomers to hit bottom emotionally. But we found they did not have to hit
every possible bottom there was in order to admit that they were licked. When one of these mild cases arrived at the
conviction that he already had the principal symptoms of alcoholism that was usually enough. He 'hit bottom' then and
there and so was spared years of anguish."
2001 AAWS, Inc.; Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age, pg. 199

*~*~*~*~*^ Grapevine Quotes ^*~*~*~*~*

"We well know that our defects, as people and as a Society, have been and still are very great. And we hope that we shall never cease to rededicate ourselves to their correction."
AA Co-Founder, Bill W., March 1960
"After Twenty-Five Years"
The Language of the Heart

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

"We will seldom be interested in liquor. If tempted, we recoil from
it as from a hot flame. We react sanely and normally, and we will
find that this has happened automatically. We will see that our new
attitude toward liquor has been given us without any thought or
effort on our part. It just comes!"
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, Into Action, pg. 84~

 "Now we try to put spiritual principles to work in every department
of our lives. When we do that, we find it solves our problems too;
the ensuing lack of fear, worry and hurt feelings is a wonderful
thing."
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, To Wives, pg. 116~

When, and how, and in just what instances did my selfish pursuit of the sex relation damage other people and me?
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p. 50

Misc. AA Literature - Quote

In God's economy, nothing is wasted. Through failure, we learn a lesson in humility which is probably needed, painful though it is.'
We did not always come closer to wisdom by reason of our virtues; our better understanding is often rooted in the pains of our former follies. Because this has been the essence of our individual experience, it is also the essence of our experience as a fellowship.

Prayer for the Day:  Lord, show me how to live today with genuine concern for others. In expressing my care, may I show people that they are valued, loved and appreciated for who they are. Amen.

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