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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 7

Daily Reflections

AT THE TURNING POINT

Half measures availed us nothing.  We stood at the turning point.  We
asked His protection and care with complete abandon.
ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p.  59

Every day I stand at turning points.  My thoughts and actions can
propel me toward growth or turn me down the road to old habits and
to booze.  Sometimes turning points are beginnings, as when I decide
to start praising, instead of condemning someone.  Or when I begin to
ask for help instead of going it alone.  At other times turning points are
endings, such as when I see clearly the need to stop festering
resentments or crippling self-seeking.  Many shortcomings tempt me
daily; therefore, I also have daily opportunities to become aware of
them.  In one form or another, many of my character defects appear
daily: self-condemnation, anger, running away, being prideful,
wanting to get even, or acting out of grandiosity.
Attempting half measures to eliminate these defects merely
paralyzes my efforts to change.  It is only when I ask God for help,
with complete abandon, that I become willing -- and able -- to change.

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

Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

When temptation comes, as it does sometimes to all of us, I will say to
myself: "No, my whole life depends on not taking that drink and
nothing in the world can make me do it." Besides, I have promised
that Higher Power that I wouldn't do it. I know that God doesn't
want me to drink and I won't break my promise to God. I've given up
my right to drink and it's not my decision any longer. Have I made
the choice once and for all, so that there's no going back on it?

Meditation For The Day

In silence comes God's meaning to the heart. I cannot judge when it
enters the heart. I can only judge by results. God's word is spoken to
the secret places of my heart and, in some hour of temptation, I find
that word and realize its value for the first time. when I need it, I find
it there. "Thy Father, who seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly."

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may see God's meaning in my life. I pray that I may
gladly accept what God has to teach me.


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

As Bill Sees It

The Realm Of The Spirit, p. 7

In ancient times material progress was painfully slow. The spirit of
modern science inquiry, research, and invention was almost unknown.

In the realm of the material, men's minds were fettered by
superstition, tradition, and all sorts of fixed ideas. Some of the
contemporaries of Columbus thought a round earth preposterous.
Others came near putting Galileo to death for his astronomical
heresies.

Are not some of us just as biased and unreasonable about the realm of
the spirit as were the ancients about the realm of the material?

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

We have found that God does not make too hard terms with those who
seek Him. To us, the realm of spirit is broad, roomy, all inclusive,
never exclusive or forbidding to those who earnestly seek. It is open,
we believe, to all men.

Alcoholics Anonymous
1. p. 51
2. p. 46


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

Walk In Dry Places
 
Erasing Old Tapes___Living Today
The human brain works like a tape recorder. With great fidelity, this built-in recorder stores up old memories that are recalled at surprising times. There are two kinds of these "old tapes" that are dangerous to the recovering alcoholic.
One dangerous old tape is a bitter memory of an unkind word or cruel action that hurt us deeply. This kind of memory comes back to destroy our peace of mind or to intensify feelings of low self-esteem.
Equally dangerous is another old tape:  the recollections of a drinking experience that may have seem enjoyable.  When we run an old tape of this kind, we are revealing that we still wish we could drink.
Our recovery shows us how to erase these old tapes. Forgiving the people who hurt us can erase bitter memories and resentments. We can eliminate the desire to relive pleasure in drinking experiences by looking honestly at the total effect of alcohol on our lives. We cannot relive the past, but we can use the lessons of the past to make our lives what they can be today.
Today, I will not be troubled by anything from the past. I cannot change what happened five minutes ago, but I can refuse to entertain thoughts that will harm me.

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

Keep It Simple

A good scare is worth more to a man than good advice.---E.W. Howe
Do you let yourself be afraid of your illness? Many of us were scared into sobriety. Often, a spiritual awakening directly follows a good scare. Fear seems to improve our vision. Are you smart enough to run from your addiction? The First Step should create fear inside us. It's about looking honestly at our addiction and what would happen to us if we kept using. Looking at Step One regularly will give us the respectful fear we need to stay sober. Often fear is seen as bad, but it can be good, if we listen to it.
It can be a great mover. When you're afraid, your spirit is trying to tell you something.
Prayer for the Day:  God, direct my fear. Have me go to You, family, friends, and others who love me. Help me see my fear and listen to it's message.
Action for the Day:  I'll list five ways that my fear has taught me important lessons. I'll see that my fear can help me as long as I listen to it and not live it.

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

Each Day a New Beginning

The greatest gift we can give one another is rapt attention to one another's existence.  --Sue Atchley Ebaugh
We all want to matter to others. Very often in the past and sometimes in the present, our behavior screams for the attention we seek from others. Perhaps, instead of trying to get attention, we ought to give it. The program tells us we have to give it away in order to keep it. Wisdom of the ages also dictates that in life there are no accidents. Those people close to us and those just passing through our lives have reason to be there. Giving attention to another's humanity is our calling.
I will fully attend to another person I have occasion to be with today. She will matter to me, and my attention will matter to her.


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

Alcoholics Anonymous - Fourth Edition

Chapter 7 - WORKING WITH OTHERS

Though an alcoholic does not respond, there is no reason why you should neglect his family. You should continue to be friendly to them. The family should be offered your way of life. Should they accept and practice spiritual principles, there  is a much better change that the head of the family will recover. And even though he continues to drink, the family will  find life more bearable.

p. 97


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

Alcoholics Anonymous - Fourth Edition Stories

ON THE MOVE - Working the A.A. program showed this alcoholic how to get from geographics to gratitude.

Like everyone else I have good days and bad days.  Unlike my attitude while I was still drinking, however, I rarely dread what is going to happen to me today.  I have even had the chance to see my father come into A.A.  We have been to numerous A.A. conventions together and have shared more with each other in the past few years than we ever had before.  I think we are both at peace with our pasts and comfortable with the present.

p. 493

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

Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Step Twelve - "Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs."

Practically every boy in the United States dreams of becoming our President. He wants to be his country's number one man. As he gets older and sees the impossibility of this, he can smile good-naturedly at his childhood dream. In later life he finds that real happiness is not to be found in just trying to be a number one man, or even a first-rater in the heartbreaking struggle for money, romance, or self-importance. He learns that he can be content as long as he plays well whatever cards life deals him. He's still ambitious, but not absurdly so, because he can now see and accept actual reality. He's willing to stay right size.

p. 122


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

Progress, of the best kind, is comparatively slow. Great results cannot be achieved at once; and we must be satisfied to advance in life as we walk, step by step.  --Samuel Smiles

Expectation is the greatest impediment to living. In anticipation of tomorrow, it loses today.  --Seneca

"The more you teach positive ideas to others, the better you learn them yourself."  --Brian Tracy

Laughter is the sound of recovery.  --unknown

C A R D S  =
Call your sponsor,
Ask for help from your Higher Power,
Read the Big Book,
Do the Twelve Steps,
Stay active in your group.
--unknown

A recovering alcoholic without a sponsor is much like a ship without a rudder.  --unknown

SPONSOR = Sober Person Offering Newcomer Support Of Recovery.  --unknown

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

Father Leo's Daily Meditation

GOD

                                                      "I could not say I believe. I
                                                    know! I have had the experience
                                                     of being gripped by something
                                                      that is stronger than myself,
                                                      something that people call
                                                              God."
                                                              -- Carl Jung

God is beyond our comprehension, and in a sense we are all agnostics --- none of us
KNOW know; uncertainty is part of faith.

However, there are "moments" when God is alive and vivid in new and stimulating
experiences that are beyond explanation other than --- "that's God". Loving
relationships, friendships, the beauty of nature, the complexities of life and the
universe; not to mention music, poetry and the conscience of man: all speak of God.
History is full of holy men who carry the message: God is love and He is to be
         
God, known and yet incomprehensible, help me to discover You in my doubts and
confusions.

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

"For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved."  John 3:17

"My people will abide in a peaceful habitation, in secure dwellings, and in quiet resting places."  Isaiah 32:18

See how great a love the Father has bestowed upon us, that we should be called children of God.  1 John 3:1

Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind let each of you regard one another as more important than himself.  Philippians 2:3


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

Daily Inspiration

When you act out of love and selfless concern, you are doing that which is right. Lord, I am Your servant in my daily life.

Never make the mistake of taking more credit than is due or less credit than you are worth. Lord, You have created me in Your image. Therefore, I am goodness and with You can accomplish great things
.

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

NA Just For Today

January 7


"Recovery"

"Narcotics Anonymous offers addicts a program of recovery that is more than just a life without drugs. Not only is this way of life better than the hell we lived, it is better than any life that we have ever known."
Basic Text p. 103

Few of us have any interest in "recovering" what we had before we started using. Many of us suffered severely from physical, sexual, and emotional abuse. Getting high and staying high seemed like the only possible way to cope with such abuse. Others suffered in less noticeable but equally painful ways before addiction took hold. We lacked direction and purpose. We were spiritually empty. We felt isolated, unable to empathize with others. We had none of the things that give life its sense and value. We took drugs in a vain attempt to fill the emptiness inside ourselves. Most of us wouldn't want to "recover" what we used to have.

Ultimately, the recovery we find in NA is something different: a chance at a new life. We've been given tools to clear the wreckage from our lives. We have been given support in courageously setting forth on a new path. And we've been given the gift of conscious contact with a Power greater than ourselves, providing us with the inner strength and direction we so sorely lacked in the past.

Recovering? Yes, in every way. We're recovering a whole new life, better than anything we ever dreamed possible. We are grateful.

Just for today: I've recovered something I never had, something I never imagined possible: the life of a recovering addict. Thank you, Higher Power, in more than words can say.

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

You are reading from the book Today's Gift.
To affect the quality of the day--that is the highest of the arts. --Henry David Thoreau
We are the sculptors of our day. We can mold it creatively into a wonderful masterpiece. We control the amount of moisture we mix into our clay. We pound it, shape it, stroke it, love it. Others can offer suggestions, and we gain new perspectives from their advice, but it is finally our own creation. Our knife may occasionally slip, or our mixture of earth may be too dry. Any great artist suffers temporary setbacks. Besides, imperfections in art often make it all the more interesting.
How creative can I be in my life today?


You are reading from the book Touchstones.
To be happy one must risk unhappiness; to live fully one must risk death and accept its ultimate decision. --Judd Manner
All of us, in confronting our powerlessness, have felt the truth of this paradox. If we truly admitted how far out of control our drinking was, would we be able to survive without alcohol? If we stopped caretaking, would we have any place in our relationships? If we let go of our food obsessions, would there be any pleasure left in life? Yet, we can see much of our behavior was destroying us. We had to let go of it to begin learning a better way of living.
We can face our powerlessness in very specific ways. Let us look at today's concerns as spiritual issues with lessons for us. Does an opportunity seem like a problem because of the risk involved? Are we frustrated because we cannot accept the limits of our control? We will face our powerlessness today in ways we cannot fully anticipate. When we are honest with ourselves and face it directly, we can take the risk of letting go.
Let me not be so tied to what I have or to what I want that I cannot lean on God's love and take a risk for growth.


You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
The greatest gift we can give one another is rapt attention to one another's existence. --Sue Atchley Ebaugh
We all want to matter to others. Very often in the past and sometimes in the present, our behavior screams for the attention we seek from others. Perhaps, instead of trying to get attention, we ought to give it. The program tells us we have to give it away in order to keep it. Wisdom of the ages also dictates that in life there are no accidents. Those people close to us and those just passing through our lives have reason to be there. Giving attention to another's humanity is our calling.
I will fully attend to another person I have occasion to be with today. She will matter to me, and my attention will matter to her.


You are reading from the book The Language Of Letting Go.
Dealing with Painful Feelings
Feelings of hurt or anger can be some of the most difficult to face. We can feel so vulnerable, frightened, and powerless when these feelings appear. And these feelings may trigger memories of other, similar times when we felt powerless.
Sometimes, to gain a sense of control, we may punish the people around us, whether they are people we blame for these feelings or innocent bystanders. We may try to "get even," or we may manipulate behind people's backs to gain a sense of power over the situation.
These actions may give us a temporary feeling of satisfaction, but they only postpone facing our pain.
Feeling hurt does not have to be so frightening. We do not have to work so hard to avoid it. While hurt feelings aren't as much fun as feeling happy/ they are, still, just feelings.
We can surrender to them, feel them, and go on. That does not mean we have to seek out hurt feelings or dwell unnecessarily on them. Emotional pain does not have to devastate us. We can sit still, feel the pain, figure out if there's something we need to do to take care of ourselves, and then go on with our life.
We do not have to act in haste; we do not have to punish others to get control over our feelings. We can begin sharing our hurt feelings with others. That brings relief and often healing to them and to us.
Eventually, we learn the lesson that real power comes from allowing ourselves to be vulnerable enough to feel hurt. Real power comes from knowing we can take care of ourselves, even when we feel emotional pain. Real power comes when we stop holding others responsible for our pain, and we take responsibility for all our feelings.
Today, I will surrender to my feelings, even the emotionally painful ones. Instead of acting in haste, or attempting to punish someone, I will be vulnerable enough to feel my feelings.


I am worthy of positive changes today. --Ruth Fishel

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Journey To The Heart

Remember to Be Happy

The sign hangs on the wall of a bagel shop: “Don’t forget to be happy.”

Sometimes we get so bogged down in dealing with feelings, issues, problems– the realities and details of our lives– we forget to be happy. Often happiness can be ours if we just remember to be happy.

Joy is a choice– a deliberate, conscious choice. That choice is available to us each day. Our joy isn’t controlled by others or by outward circumstances. Joy comes from a deeper place, a place of security within ourselves. It’s an attitude, not a transitory emotion.

Remember to be kind. Remember to be loving. Remember to feel all your feelings and to take care of yourself. But most of all, remember to be happy.

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More Language Of Letting Go

Save your life in a journal

Are you saving your life by writing about it in a journal?

Sometimes I use a file in my computer for my journal. If I’m rambling, ranting, or raving– writing something that could embarrass me if seen– I lock the file with a code. My words in my journal, whether it’s in a computer or a green Italian notebook, are meant for only for me.

There are many ways to write in a journal. We can go on and on about whatever comes to us. That’s helpful, especially if we’re stuck. We can use our journal as a record, writing down what we did that day. It’s a good place to write our goals and to explore our fantasies and dreams. We can write poems or short stories. We can write letters to God or our Guardian Angel, asking for advice. Or we can just say what happened each day, and then write how it feels.

People may think there’s a right and wrong way to write in a journal, but I don’t agree. There aren’t any rules about journals. It’s just a way to record and save our lives.

Do you think your life is worth saving? I do. If you’ve been neglecting to do that, ask yourself “why.”

God, help me be aware of and respect the details of my life.

Activity: Transfer your goal list to a journal, and begin writing your responses to the meditations and the activities as part of your journal entry for each day. Use your journal as a logbook, to record what you’re doing and whom you’re doing it with as you pursue your dreams. Or use it as a way of exploring how you feel, who you are, and what you want to do. Save your life in whatever way makes sense to you.

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A Day At A Time
January 7

Reflection For The Day

I’m beginning to see just how unnatural my old life actually was, and that it became increasingly unnatural as my illness progressed. The longer I’m in The Program, the more natural this new way of life seems. At first, it was impossible for me to extend my hand to a newcomer; such an act was wholly unnatural for me. But it is becoming increasingly easier for me to reach out to another person. Sharing my experience, strength and hope is becoming a natural part of daily living. Have I learned that I can’t keep what I’ve gotten unless I “give it away?” Will I take the time to share today?

Today I Pray

May I share my live, my joy, my happiness, my time, my hospitality, my knowledge of things on earth and my faith in a Higher Power. Even though I may not see the results of my acts of sharing, may I take joy in the acts themselves. May sharing, according to God’s plan, become as natural to me as speaking or breathing.

Today I Will Remember

Be never sparing in caring or sharing.

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

One More Day
January 7

All human wisdom is summed up in two words: wait and hope.
– Alexandre Dumas

As children, the only waiting and hoping we did was short-term. We waited for the holidays. We hoped our parents wouldn’t find out we got the carpet dirty.

Once a chronic medical problem is diagnosed, we become masters at the art of waiting and hoping. Waiting to see if the new medication helps. Hoping for a remission or cure.

We learn that in order to adjust we must help ourselves. One way we can help ourselves is to get in touch with one of the many self-help groups. These groups can offer us a sense of continuity, or inner strength, of hope for better times again. With deepened faith in ourselves and in our abilities, we discover a sense of inner peace.

Hope renews me and lets me face each day with the best possible attitude.

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

One Day At A Time

~ FEELING OVERWHELMED ~

The social workers have named a new syndrome.
It's called "compassion fatigue."
Why does it sound so familiar?

Anne Wilson Schaef

For most of my life I have always cared for others, and have always been in the caring professions. I didn't think that was a bad thing until I was brought to my knees and arrived at my first program meeting. One of the character defects that I found I had was people pleasing. Because I was always trying to help and fix others, I also knew that I had a problem with control and lack of acceptance.

One of the things I am learning in the program is that, because for so many years I had hidden my emotions in food, there are still many layers of the onion that I haven't even begun to peel away. The amazing thing is that it is only when I reach a rock bottom of some sort that I am forced to look deeper at many issues that I have blocked for years. What I realize now is that I have spent so many years of my life taking care of others that I have forgotten to take care of me. No wonder I feel so overwhelmed!

I'm a compulsive caregiver, but in doing that, I have often neglected to see to my own needs. I am so grateful that I have become open to looking further into why I have always put others' needs before mine, and to being able to detach with love from many issues over which I am powerless, so that I can take better care of me.

One Day at a Time . . .
I will remember that in order to be able to care for and love others, I must first learn to care for and love myself.

~ Sharon S. ~

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AA 'Big Book' - Quote

To show other alcoholics PRECISELY HOW WE HAVE RECOVERED is the main purpose of this book. - Pg. xiii - 4th. Edition - Forward To The First Edition

Hour To Hour - Book - Quote

Abstinence, honesty, and the willingness 'to turn it over' are the only ways to fight the Four Horsemen of mind-affecting chemicals: Terror, Bewilderment, Frustration, and Despair.

Let me know that the battle is no longer mine if I practice the Third Step to the best of my ability.

Gathering Wisdom

I am on a spiritual journey. And on this journey I am my own best pilot and my own best philosopher. No one knows me as I know me and no one can synthesize all of the information that I receive each day into a coherent picture of my life as well as I can. If I don't take charge of my journey, no one else will, no one else can. God has given me to me to take care of. I have been put in charge of my own self. I am the one who steers me through my day, who makes a myriad of tiny decisions that add up to a life. I am the eyes and ears behind each hour. I am the choice maker.

My life is up to me.

- Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor - Book - Quote

Are you going to let tough times make you bitter or make you better?

I embrace 'tough' times because I get to practice my principles.

"Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book" - Book

To an addict/alcoholic, if one is good, one in every color is better.

Time for Joy - Book - Quote

I am worthy of positive changes today.

Alkiespeak - Book - Quote

In sobriety, I ended up playing golf alone.. and cheating. - Craig S.

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AA Thought for the Day

January 7

No Reservations
We have seen the truth demonstrated again and again:
"Once an alcoholic, always an alcoholic."
Commencing to drink after a period of sobriety, we are in a short time as bad as ever.
If we are planning to stop drinking, there must be no reservation of any kind,
nor any lurking notion that someday we will be immune to alcohol.
- Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 33

Thought to Ponder . . .
Times change, alcoholism doesn't.

AA-related 'Alconym' . . .
A A = Absolute Abstinence.

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

Sponsors
Every sponsor is necessarily a leader.
The stakes are huge.
A human life, and usually the happiness of a whole family,
hangs in the balance.
What the sponsor does and says,
how well he estimates the reactions of his prospects,
how well he times and makes his presentation,
how well he handles criticisms,
and how well he leads his prospect on
by personal spiritual example ...
well, these attributes of leadership
can make all the difference,
often the difference between life and death.
Thank God that Alcoholics Anonymous is blessed
with so much leadership in each and all of its great affairs!
Bill W., April 1959
c. 1988 AA Grapevine, The Language of the Heart,  p. 292

Thought to Consider . . .
A recovering alcoholic without a sponsor
is much like a ship without a rudder.

*~*~*AACRONYMS*~*~*
S P O N S O R  =
Sober Person Offering Newcomer Support Of Recovery

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

Eternal
>From "More About Alcoholism":
"Most of us have believed that if we remained sober for a long stretch, we could thereafter drink normally. But here is a man who at fifty-five years found he was just where he had left off at thirty. We have seen the truth demonstrated again and again: 'Once an alcoholic, always an alcoholic.'"
2001 AAWS, Inc., Fourth Edition; Alcoholics Anonymous, pg. 33

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

"Each of us must conform reasonably well to AA's Steps and Traditions, or else we shall go mad or die of alcoholism."
AA Co-Founder, Bill W., October 1947
"Traditions Stressed in Memphis Talk
The Language of the Heart

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

"When you discover a prospect for Alcoholics Anonymous, find out all
you can about him. If he does not want to stop drinking, don't
waste time trying to persuade him. You may spoil a later opportunity."
Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, Working With Others, pg. 90

"Faith without works is dead."
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, Into Action, Page 76~

We sit in A.A. meetings and listen, not only to receive something ourselves, but to give the reassurance and support which our presence can bring.
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p.110

Misc. AA Literature - Quote

In ancient times material progress was painfully slow. The spirit of modern scientific inquiry, research, and invention was almost unknown.
In the realm of the material, men's minds were lettered by superstition, tradition, and all sorts of fixed ideas. Some of the contemporaries of Columbus thought a round earth preposterous. Others came near putting Galileo to death for his astronomical heresies.
Are not some of us just as biased and unreasonable about the realm of the spirit as were the ancients about the realm of the material?
We have found that God does not make too hard terms with those who seek Him. To us, the realm of spirit is broad, roomy, all inclusive, never exclusive or forbidding to those who earnestly seek. It is open, we believe, to all men.

Prayer for the Day:  The Heart Of A Child -
Grant me, O God,
the heart of a child,
pure and transparent as a spring;
a simple heart,
which never harbours sorrows;
a heart glorious in self-giving,
tender in compassion;
a heart faithful and generous,
which will never forget any good
or bear a grudge for any evil.
Make me a heart gentle and humble,
loving without asking any return,
large-hearted and undauntable,
which no ingratitude can sour
and no indifference can weary;
a heart born to help others,
usefulness never measured.

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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