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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.

July 26

Daily Reflections

THE "WORTH" OF SOBRIETY

Every A.A. group ought to be fully self-supporting, declining outside
contributions.
TWELVE AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 160

When I go shopping I look at the prices and if I need what I see, I buy
it and pay. Now that I am supposed to be in rehabilitation, I have to
straighten out my life. When I go to a meeting, I take a coffee with
sugar and milk, sometimes more than one. But at the collection time, I
am either too bust to take money out of my purse, or I do not have
enough, but I am there because I need this meeting. I heard someone
suggest dropping the price of a beer into the basket, and I thought,
that's too much! I almost never give one dollar. Like many others, I
rely on the more generous members to finance the Fellowship. I forget
that it takes money to rent the meeting room, buy my milk, sugar and
cups. I will pay, without hesitation, ninety cents for a cup of coffee at a
restaurant after the meeting; I always have money for that. So, how
much is my sobriety and my inner peace worth?

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

Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

When we come to the end of our lives on earth, we will take no
material thing with us. We will not take one cent in our cold, dead
hands. The only things that we may take are the things we have given
away. If we have helped others, we may take that with us; if we have
given our time and money for the good of A.A., we may take that with
us. Looking back over our lives, what are we proud of? Not what have
we gained for ourselves, but what few good deeds we have done.
Those are the things that really matter in the long run. What will I
take with me when I go?

Meditation For The Day

"Hallowed be Thy Name." What does that mean to us? Here "name"
is used in the sense of "spirit." The words mean praise to God for His
spirit in the world, making us better. We should be especially grateful
for God's spirit, which gives us the strength to overcome all that is
base in our lives. His spirit is powerful. It can help us to live a
conquering, abundant life. So we praise and thank Him for His spirit in
our lives and in the lives of others.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may be grateful for God's spirit in me. I pray that I may
try to live in accordance with it.

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

As Bill Sees It


The Fellowship's Future, p.207

"It seems proved that A.A. can stand on its own feet anywhere and
under any conditions. It has outgrown any dependence it might once
have had upon the personalities or efforts of a few of the older
members like me. New, able, and vigorous people keep coming to the
surface, turning up where they are needed. Besides, A.A. has reached
enough spiritual maturity to know that its final dependence is upon
God."

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

Clearly, our first duty to A.A.'s future is to maintain in full strength
what we have now. Only the most vigilant caretaking can assure this.
Never should we be lulled into complacent self-satisfaction by the wide
acclaim and success that are everywhere ours. This is the subtle
temptation which could render us stagnant today, perchance
disintegrate us tomorrow. We have always rallied to meet and
transcend failure and crisis. Problems have been our stimulants. How
well, though, shall we be able to meet the problems of success?

1. Letter, 1940
2. A.A. Today, p. 106

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

Walk In Dry Places

Never withholding ourselves..............Living Sober.
We may have let ourselves believe that were supposed to display an attitude that expresses our opinions of others. If a person is crude and boorish, we should be cool and defensive for our self-protection.  If a person is warm and friendly, we should respond in warm and friendly ways.
If we have believed these things, then were actually letting others control our attitudes and behavior. We are letting personalities interfere with the high principles we are learning in AA. We are not living at the best possible level.
In reality, we should always display an attitude that reflects kindness, optimism, friendliness, and concern. There other persons disposition, whether its sour or sweet, should have nothing to do with our being what we want to be.  We should never withhold the fine inner qualities that develop and grow as we continue to live the program.
In time, we begin to learn that this attitude always comes back to us in the form of greater peace and happiness.  And what's great about it is that its always under our direct control.
As I go about my business today, I will express a kindliness and concern toward everybody. Nobody's behavior can make me adopt a suspicious or defensive attitude

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

Keep It Simple


I was never less alone when by myself.---Edward Gibson
To stay in this program, we need to accept that we have an illness. We need to accept that we were
out of control. And we need to accept that we need others and they need us. At times, we won't want to accept these facts. We will want to deny we have an illness and our lives were out of control.
Many of us get into trouble when we don't accept that we need others. This is why helping others is so important. It teaches us that we need others, and others need us. By helping others, we learn about the give-and-take of human relationships. There is no give-an-take in addiction. There is just take. Now, finally, we can give too!
Prayer for the Day: I pray to remember that I need other people.
Action for the Day: Today, I'll help out. I will make coffee at the next meeting or offer to do the Step next week. I will let a fellow addict know I'm glad he or she is sober.

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

Each Day a New Beginning

We want the facts to fit the preconceptions. When they don't, it is easier to ignore the facts than to change the preconceptions.  --Jessamyn West
To live fully and creatively, to contribute what is only ours to give, requires that we be receptive, wholly, to the reverberations of each present moment. Even anticipation of what may transpire next can prejudice our minds, our level of awareness. Preconceptions cloud our senses. They prevent the actual situation from being fully realized. And it is only in the now, as sensed moment by moment, that we find our cues to proceed along the path chosen for us.
As we grow more comfortable with Step Three, daily turning our lives and wills over to the care of God, we'll see how much more rewarding our experiences are. We'll see, too, how much greater are our own contributions. Preconceptions of any situation, persons, anticipated experience, dulls the magic, the depth of the moment. And only when we attune ourselves to the invitation of the moment do we give of ourselves, wholly. Our partnership with God lives now, as we go forth in this moment.
I will look to each moment with childish eyes. I'll find joy and contentment.

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

Alcoholics Anonymous - Fourth Edition

Chapter 11 - A Vision For You

Still you may say: "But I will not have the benefit of contact with you who wrote this book." We cannot be sure. God will determine that, so you must remember that your real reliance is always upon Him. He will show you how to create the fellowship you crave. [NOTE:  Alcoholics Anonymous will be glad to hear from you. Address P.O. Box 459, Grand Central Station, New York, N.Y. 10017]

p. 164


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

Alcoholics Anonymous - Fourth Edition Stories

1 - THE A.A. TRADITION

The Twelve Traditions
(The Long Form)

9.) Each A.A. group needs the least possible organization. Rotating leadership is the best. The small group may elect its Secretary, the large group its Rotating Committee, and the groups of a large Metropolitan area their Central or Intergroup Committee, which often employs a full-time Secretary. The trustees of the General Service Board are, in effect, our A.A. General Service Committee. They are the custodians of our A.A. Tradition and the receivers of voluntary A.A. contributions by which we maintain our A.A. General Service Office at New York. They are authorized by the groups to handle our over-all public relations and they guarantee the integrity of our principle newspaper, "The A.A. Grapevine." All such representatives are to be guided in the spirit of service, for true leaders in A.A. are but trusted and experienced servants of the whole. They derive no real authority from their titles; they do not govern. Universal respect is the key to their usefulness.

10.) No A.A. group or member should ever, in such a way as to implicate A.A., express any opinion on outside controversial issues-particularly those of politics, alcohol reform, or sectarian religion. The Alcoholics Anonymous groups oppose no one. Concerning such matters they can express no views whatever.

p. 565


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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions


Step Four - "Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves."

Alcoholics especially should be able to see that instinct run wild in themselves is the underlying cause of their destructive drinking. We have drunk to drown feelings of fear, frustration, and depression. We have drunk to escape the guilt of passions, and then have drunk again to make more passions possible. We have drunk for vain glory--that we
might the more enjoy foolish dreams of pomp and power. This perverse soul-sickness is not pleasant to look upon. Instincts on rampage balk at investigation. The minute we make a serious attempt to probe them, we are liable to suffer severe reactions.

pp. 44-45


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The future starts today, not tomorrow.
--Pope John Paul II

Don't live in the past...you have already been there.
--Cited in BITS & PIECES

The secret lies in how we handle today, not yesterday or
tomorrow. Today...that special block of time holding the key that
locks out yesterday's nightmares and unlocks tomorrow's dreams.
--Charles Swindoll

Let everyone try and find that as a result of daily prayer he adds
something new to his life, something with which nothing can be
compared.
--Mahatma Gandhi

"Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize
they were the big things."
--Robert Brault

As long as a man stands in his own way, everything seems to be in
his way.
--Ralph Waldo Emerson

The paradox of control is simple. The more we try to control life, the
less control we have.
--Joan Borysenko, Ph.D.

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Father Leo's Daily Meditation

ADVERSITY

"Adversity reveals genius,
prosperity conceals it."
--Horace

Today I believe that the only way to understand God, the world,
my neighbor and myself is through some degree of suffering. Pain
and suffering are humbling in the truest sense; they stop you from
being arrogant, selfish and "prideful".

I know this because I was a spoiled child. My family tried to give
me everything. Whatever I wanted was given to me; my way or no
way! This sick love robbed me of humility and separated me from
humanity: it made me feel different, selfish and place me on a
pity-pot. Being spoiled stopped me experiencing the real world and
stopped me from growing.

Today adversity is part of life and part of being human. Not to
grow through adversity is to die. To have everything is to
experience nothing. To feel in life -- to have emotion -- demands
adversity and pain.

Teach me to be grateful for the suffering that leads to growth.

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

Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your
gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about
anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with
thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God,
which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your
minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is
right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if
anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things.
Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in
me--put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.
Phillipians 4:4-9

"He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the LORD
require of you But to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly
with your God?"
Micah 6:8

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Daily Inspiration

Avoid being self-conscious and you will have more time to have fun and enjoy the moment. Lord, help me take myself less seriously and place my focus on those around me.

Courage gives us the trust in God to follow our hearts no matter what obstacles seem to block our way. Lord, I love You
.

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

NA Just For Today

Unconditional Surrender

"Help for addicts begins only when we are able to admit complete defeat. This can be frightening, but it is the foundation on which we have built our lives."
Basic Text, p.22

Most of us have tried everything we can think of, exerted every ounce of force possible, to fill the spiritual hole inside us. Nothing - not drugs, not control and management, not sex, money, property, power, or prestige - has filled it. We are powerless; our lives are unmanageable, at least by ourselves alone. Our denial will not change that fact.

So we surrender; we ask a Higher Power to care for our will and our lives. Sometimes in surrendering, we don't know that a Power greater than ourselves exists which can restore us to wholeness. Sometimes we're not sure that the God of our understanding will care for our unmanageable lives. Our lack of certainty, though, does not affect the essential truth: We are powerless. Our lives are unmanageable. We must surrender. Only by doing so can we open ourselves wide - wide enough for our old ideas and past wreckage to be cleared, wide enough for a Higher Power to enter.

Just for today: I will surrender unconditionally. I can make it as easy or as hard as I choose. Either way, I will do it.
pg. 216

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You are reading from the book Today's Gift.
Isn't it great life is open-ended! --Brigitte Frase
Elizabeth Lawton, known as "Grandma Layton," is an American artist who never drew a picture until she was sixty-eight years old. She spent all the years before that time trying to cope with depression. She had gone through therapy, medications, and shock treatment and continued to be severely depressed. But then she signed up for an art class and the act of drawing cured her depression. She continues to make fabulous pictures.
What does she think about the critical acclaim her artwork has received? She says she wants others to know about her art so it may give hope to those who have also "suffered from feelings."
Many of us have suffered from feelings. We must remember that we can each turn to our creativity--at any age--as a source for our well-being. All we need to do is have faith in the potential goodness within ourselves and those we love.
What creative activity can I look to for comfort today?


You are reading from the book Touchstones.
The lust for power is not rooted in strength but in weakness. --Erich Fromm
Many of us have felt so insecure, so poor, or so much the underdog that we made a fervent promise to ourselves that we'd come out on top later. We know how weak we felt, and that image continues to be our guiding force long after the weakness was overcome. We may have spiritual problems because we are blind to the reality of our present life. While grasping for more security, more love, more money, or trying to lose more weight or attract more friends, we fail to stop and realize the real rewards we already have today. We are driven by the memory of pain and insecurity, rather than rising above it and relating to the higher principles and people around us. Getting more control or more achievements does not solve our spiritual problems, but by making peace with the fact that life is insecure.
Today, I will let go of my grasping for more. I will let go of it again and again throughout the day so I am not ruled by this weakness.


You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
We want the facts to fit the preconceptions. When they don't, it is easier to ignore the facts than to change the preconceptions. --Jessamyn West
To live fully and creatively, to contribute what is only ours to give, requires that we be receptive, wholly, to the reverberations of each present moment. Even anticipation of what may transpire next can prejudice our minds, our level of awareness. Preconceptions cloud our senses. They prevent the actual situation from being fully realized. And it is only in the now, as sensed moment by moment, that we find our cues to proceed along the path chosen for us.
As we grow more comfortable with Step Three, daily turning our lives and wills over to the care of God, we'll see how much more rewarding our experiences are. We'll see, too, how much greater are our own contributions. Preconceptions of any situation, persons, anticipated experience, dulls the magic, the depth of the moment. And only when we attune ourselves to the invitation of the moment do we give of ourselves, wholly. Our partnership with God lives now, as we go forth in this moment.
I will look to each moment with childish eyes. I'll find joy and contentment.


You are reading from the book The Language of Letting Go.
Owning Our Power
Don't you see? We do not have to be so victimized by life, by people, by situations, by work, by our friends, by our love relationships, by our family, by our feelings, our thoughts, our circumstances, and ourselves.
We are not victims. We do not have to be victims. That is the whole point!
Yes, admitting and accepting powerlessness is important. But that is the first step, an introduction to this business of recovery. Later, comes owning our power. Changing what we can. This is as important as admitting and accepting powerlessness. And there is so much we can change.
We can own our power, wherever we are, wherever we go, whomever we are with. We do not have to stand there with our hands tied, groveling helplessly, submitting to whatever comes along. There are things we can do. We can speak up. Solve the problem. Use the problem to motivate ourselves to do something good for ourselves.
We can make ourselves feel good. We can walk away. We can come back on our terms. We can stand up for ourselves. We can refuse to let others control and manipulate us.
We can do what we need to do to take care of our selves. That is the beauty, the reward, the crown of victory we are given in this process called recovery. It is what it is all about!
If we can't do anything about the circumstance, we can change our attitude. We can do the work within: courageously face our issues so we are not victimized. We have been given a miraculous key to life.
We are victims no more unless we want to be.
Freedom and joy are ours for the taking, for the feeling, for the hard work we have done.
Today, I will remind myself as often as necessary that I am not a victim, and I do not need to be victimized by whatever comes my way. I will work hard to remove myself as a victim, whether that means setting and enforcing a boundary, walking away, dealing with my feelings, or giving myself what I need. God, help me let go of my need to feel victimized.


Today I will allow to just be without judgment, without criticism. I will accept all that happens with love and gentleness.
--Ruth Fishel

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Journey To The Heart

Find Places of Repose

I was driving down a Nevada highway feeling tense and agitated when the sign appeared. “To the Nature Sanctuary.” Ignored the first entrance; then turned at the second one. In a few short feet, the road and scenery changed from barren, flat highway into a terrain of serene repose. A family of ducks bathed and swam in a small lake, surrounded by trees. Tiny wrens pecked at the gravel. A boy about thirteen sat fishing, a picnic lunch by his side. In only a few minutes, my agitation disappeared. I had found a place of peace.

Rest when you become tense, afraid, upset. Rest until peace returns. Stop what you’re doing. Take a moment, take an hour. Take the time you need to restore peace. Breathe deeply. Breathe in the quiet beauty of the world around you. Let it be a sanctuary that soothes and calms your soul.

Places of healing and repose are moments away. Find them in the world around you. Then discover those places in yourself. The universe holds the antidote for your fears and agitation. It offers all the healing you need. That healing is right around the corner.

Take a moment, take an hour. When you feel your peace interrupted, look for a place of repose.

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More Language Of Letting Go

See what feels right to you

“French Valley traffic, Cessna 80809 taking active runway one-eight for left crosswind departure. French Valley.”

I turned onto eighteen, pushed the throttle in, then held my breath as the little gold-and-white plane sped down the runway, then lifted off the ground. I pulled back on the yoke, lifting her gently, but not too gently. She needed to clear the trees, houses, and towers in front of me. But if I lifted her nose too fast, too high, we’d lose speed and go into a stall.

There was a lot to think about, trying to do this right.

We began to ascend, just past five hundred feet, when the plane began hopping about in the air. It was just the wind, but it was those same hurdles of air, the lifting and the dropping and the being bounced around, that made me feel like we were going to suddenly fall out of the sky.

“You’ve got the controls,” I screamed at Rob.

“No, you’ve got the controls,” he said, placing his hands resolutely in his lap.

“Rob, I’m scared,” I said. “I feel really uncomfortable.”

“Then breathe.”

I couldn’t breathe, at least not the way he meant– consciously, breath in, breath out, calming myself down. Holding my breath was a habit, one I’d acquired early in my life. Holding my breath was how I responded to my fear.

I got the plane up to one thousand feet, then two thousand. I wasn’t comfortable, but I climbed to five thousand feet so we could do the maneuvers we had planned.

I tried to relax and breathe, but I still felt overwhelmed. I couldn’t relax.

Rob was fidgeting with something; I wasn’t sure what. I kept watching outside the plane for other traffic, then watching inside the plane at the gauges. I was about to give up trying when suddenly, Rob began sticking pieces of paper over each of the dials.

“What are you doing?” I asked.

“Teaching you to trust yourself,” he said. “Tell me when it feels like we’re going at sixty-five knots,” he sad.

Now, I had to relax. “About now,” I said.

He uncovered the dial. We were at sixty-five knots.

“Now, do a coordinated turn of thirty degrees– without checking the instrument panel,” he said. “Tell me when it feels right to you.”

I relaxed even more deeply, gently guiding the plane into a slow coordinated turn.

“Perfect,” he said, showing me the gauges.

“See,” he said, confidently. “You’re just scaring yourself by confusing yourself in your head, with all these dials and all you think you have to do to get it right. All you really need to do is relax and trust what feels right to you.”

Let go of fear and confusion. Stop overwhelming yourself with all you have to do, and trying to get it right. Get information. Read books. Get help. Then relax. You know more than you think.

You’ll know when you’re getting ti right.

Trust what feels right to you.

God, help me learn to let go of my fears and trust when it feels right to me.

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In God’s Care

It is not the image we create of God which proves God. It is the effort we make to create this image.
~~Pierre Lecomte du Nouy

Not very many of us have the truly dramatic spiritual experience that dispells, for all time, our insecurity and our doubts about God’s existence. We may know someone who has been this fortunate, but most of us have to give frequent or daily attention to prayer, meditation, and perhaps affirmations in order to develop the faith that can come to everyone.

Our path for developing conscious contact with God makes God a familiar companion in our daily life. Our thoughts of God can remind us that God cares and is in charge. Exercising our mind in this way is not unlike exercising our body. Just as our repeated physical efforts strengthen our muscles, our belief is strengthened into faith when we make the remembrance of God’s presence a daily practice.

I will remember God today.

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

Day By Day

Avoiding pity

Coming into the fellowship, newcomers may see older members as unsympathetic, unsupportive, or even rude. Old-timers don’t mince words with newcomers who aren’t ready to stop using: “Go back out and try some more if you haven’t had enough.” Old-timers don’t pity newcomers. While they understand the fear and pain, they also know that pity will kill because pity leads to self-pity and evgentually back to using.

So if old-timers seem harsh it’s out of loving, knowing hearts – it’s out of tough love.

Have I stopped pitying myself (and others)?

Higher Power, help me avoid self-pity so I can do what I need to do to recover.

Today I will avoid self-pity by…

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

Food for Thought

Doing God’s Will

For a long time, most of us tried to achieve happiness by serving our self-will. We figured out what we wanted from life and then went about trying to attain it. When our efforts were frustrated, we turned to food and overeating.

The idea of giving our self-will to God and following His direction makes us fearful. We fear that we will lose out and be unhappy. We are reluctant to give up our illusions of autonomy and power. We wonder if there really is a Higher Power who can direct our way. We pray for guidance and then forget to listen for the response.

When we are willing to trust a Higher Power in even one small area of our lives, we begin to see results. As our faith grows, we become confident enough to relinquish more and more of the concerns, which by ourselves we are unable to manage. The more we work this program, the more sure we are that our peace and happiness lie in serving God, rather than ourselves.

I pray for courage to follow Your will.

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

Half-Full Consciousness
Starting from Empty by Madisyn Taylor

Live your life as if your glass is half-full rather than half-empty, all you need is a change of thought.

We are all familiar with the metaphorical story of two people looking at the same glass and one perceiving it as half-full while the other sees it as half-empty. As much as we’ve heard this, it’s still a valuable exercise to really observe our minds and notice whether we are engaged in half-full or half-empty thinking. People will refer to themselves as being of one type or the other as if it was a permanent characteristic, but we are all capable of shifting into a half-full consciousness if we simply make the effort.

When we look at our lives with half-empty consciousness, we perceive a lack and think that the other half of what we want is missing. We are coming from a position of expectation and entitlement. On the other hand, when we look at our lives as half-full we perceive fullness. It is as if we recognize that our cup could be fully empty and so we are grateful for what we see as bounty—not something we expect or believe we are owed, but a gift. In half-full consciousness, we count our blessings. When we look at our lives we see all the elements that are in place and all the things we do have. This doesn’t necessarily mean we don’t seek more, but we seek from a place of fullness instead of from a place of lack. This fullness draws positive energy into our lives and often attracts more abundance.

If you would like to begin to make the shift into half-full consciousness, try imagining your life as an empty glass. This is your life without all the people you know, the work you do, your home, or your current state of physical wellbeing. This is just an empty, open space waiting to be filled. Once you have that feeling of openness in your mind, begin filling it with all the people, things, and places that make up your life. You may be surprised to find your glass overflowing. Published with permission from Daily OM

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A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

Now that I avail myself of the letters H-O-W suggested by friends in The Program – Honesty, Open-Mindedness, Willingness – I see things differently. In ways that I couldn’t have predicted and surely never expected, I’ve come to see things quite differently from the person I was before coming to The Program. I feel good most days. I seldom feel bad, and never for long. Certainly never as bad as I used to feel all of the time. Is my worst day now infinitely better than my best day previously?

Today I Pray

May I remember today to say “thank you” to my Higher Power, to my friends in the group and to the whole, vast fellowship of recovering chemically dependent persons for making me know that things do get better. I give thanks, too, for those verbal boosters, the tags and slogans which have so often burst into my brain at exactly the moments when they were needed, redefining my purp0ose, restoring my patience, reminding me of my God.

Today I Will Remember

How it was.

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

One More Day

The future is called “perhaps,” which is the only possible thing to call the future. and the important thing is not to allow that to scare you.
– Tennessee Williams

“I’m going to work in the mills, like my Dad.” “I’m going to be a teacher.” “I want to be a soldier.” As children, we believed in these absolute, fixed goals. In adulthood, we learn that we can’t always get what we expect. Sometimes we don’t even come close. Those who manage to live happy and fulfilling lives are flexible, mature adults.

Flexibility means we can incorporate changes into our lives, ween when those changes cause indifference in the way we live. What’s most important is to remember that we can change goals and attain them, that happiness is there if we work and plan for it.

I am not afraid to make changes that are good for me.

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One Day At A Time

SURRENDER
“Most folks are as happy
as they make up their minds to be.”
Abraham Lincoln

More than seven years ago I weighed over 320 pounds and was living the painful life of a compulsive eater. Nothing I tried helped me to make lasting changes … until I began my recovery program. This healing process included Twelve Step recovery, therapy, and changing my life completely. I ended a long-term relationship and moved 2,300 miles away from all of my family and friends. I had no idea as to the extent of this journey I was beginning.

I've learned how ignorant I can be ~ and how wise I am. I’ve learned that humility is not humiliation ~ it is found by maintaining a willingness to learn. I've been taught how to walk through my fears. I've been shown that my HP and God are in all things ~ and that Spirit follows and supports me with each and every step I take. Some of those steps go forwards, some backwards … yet with each there is progress.

I've never forgotten the pain. Some days it's very severe because I don't have the food to numb it or to hide behind. Thanks to my program, I can always see hope and joy all around me now, even in the midst of pain.

I now weigh 220 pounds. Somehow I've lost 100 pounds of my old self and am beginning to see the new me. The new me is still losing weight. The new me is also incredibly beautiful, deserving, loving, and worthy ... all things I thought I wasn't. I'm slowly, gently, learning that with each day I live well ... I AM WELL! I am only as happy as I am choosing to be.

One Day at a Time . . .
I pray for complete surrender.
I ask for patience, abstinence and peace.
I reflect on where I've come from,
and remember to embrace the deepest gratitude
for where I am now. Today I am well.
~ Melanie S.

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AA 'Big Book' - Quote

X. Every service responsibility should be matched by an equal service authority, with the scope of such authority will defined.

XI. The trustees should always have the best possible committees, corporate service directors, executives, staffs, and consultants. Composition, qualifications, induction procedures, and rights and duties will always be matters of serious concern.

XII. The Conference shall observe the spirit of A.A. traditions, taking care that it never becomes the seat of perilous wealth or power; that sufficient operating funds and reserve be its prudent financial principle; that it place none of its members in a position of unqualified authority over others; that it reach all important decisions by discussion, vote, and, and, whenever possible, by substantial unanimity; that its actions never be personally punitive nor an incitement to public controversy; that it never perform acts of government, and that, like the Society it serves, it will always remain democratic in thought and action. - Pg. 574 - 4th. Edition - Appendices - VII - The Twelve Concepts ( Short Form )

Hour To Hour - Book - Quote

Frequently, throughout the day we hear the Babbler, a silent running dialogue in our head ready to put us down at any opportunity, 'You're stupid; they're stupid; who wants sobriety; boy, is this dumb.' Babbler is not the voice of our Higher Power. It is the voice of addiction putting us down.

May the Babbler's words fall on deaf ears. I am sober, worthy, and this program is where I belong.

Learning My Own Lessons

I recognize today that I am in charge of my own learning. Life is constantly offering up circumstances that are useful in my personal growth. I can move through the situation, live it out, extract the wisdom that is in it or I can ignore the lesson and keep repeating the same painful circumstance over and over again in my life. The deepest and most appropriate things I need to learn in life are generally right in front of me. Life is my guru if I can use it as such. It is rich with subtle learning if I look for it. The gift I can give myself today is becoming aware of what life is trying to teach me.

My lessons come from my life.

- Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor - Book - Quote

The AA Big Book, The NA Basic Text, and the CDA First Edition do not need to be rewritten. They need to be reread.

I begin this day by reading at least one page from my program's basic book.

"Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book" - Book

You spend more time with yourself than with anyone else. Doesn't it make sense to put something into that relationship?

Time for Joy - Book - Quote

Today I will allow to just be without judgement, with criticism. I will accept all that happens with love and gentleness.

Alkiespeak - Book - Quote

What works for one person may be good, but if it's not in the program, not the steps, then it's not AA. Which doesn't mean it's no good. It just means that it's not the AA program. So you need an Owner's Manual; a Big Book. Then you'll be able to read it and know what's in there, rather than count on someone else to tell you. - Ken D

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

AA Thought for the Day

July 26

Emotional Sobriety
Those adolescent urges that so many of us have for top approval, perfect security, and perfect romance
-- urges quite appropriate to age seventeen -- prove to be an impossible way of life when we are at age forty-seven or fifty-seven.
Since AA began, I've taken immense wallops in all these areas because of my failure to grow up, emotionally and spiritually.
My God, how painful it is to keep demanding the impossible, and how very painful to discover, finally,
that all along we have had the cart before the horse!
- The Language of the Heart, p. 236

Thought to Ponder . . .
Spiritual and emotional growth does not depend so much upon success as it does upon failures and setbacks.

AA-related 'Alconym' . . .
A G O = Another Growth Opportunity.

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

The Gift
"When asked, 'Are there any conditions?'
we joyfully reply, 'No, not a one.'
When skeptically he comes back saying,
'But certainly there must be things
that I have to do and believe,' we quickly answer,
'In Alcoholics Anonymous there are no musts.'
Cynically, perhaps, he then inquires,
'What is all this going to cost me?'
We are able to laugh and say,
'Nothing at all, there are no fees and dues.'
Thus, in a brief hour, is our friend disarmed
of his suspicion and rebellion . . .
Alcoholics Anonymous is saying,
'We have something precious to give,
if only you will receive.'
That is all."
Bill W., February 1948
1988AAGrapevine, The Language of the Heart, p. 79

Thought to Consider . . .
Sobriety is a gift, not a right

*~*~*AACRONYMS*~*~*
G I F T S = Getting It From The Steps

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

Stories
>From "The Three Legacies of Alcoholics Anonymous":
"We had not gone much farther with the text of the book when it was evident that something more was needed. There would have to be a story or case history section. We would have to produce evidence in the form of living proof, written testimonials of our membership itself. It was felt also that the story section could identify us with the distant reader in a way that the text itself might not. At this point Dr. Bob and the Akronites played a vital role. The Akron group was the larger and had more case history material, and the means of putting it into story form now appeared. Two years earlier a former newspaperman, Jim S., had been lifted off skid row and nursed back to health and sobriety. Jim and Dr. Bob went after all the Akronites who had substantial sobriety records for testimonial material. In most cases Jim interviewed the prospects and wrote their stories for them. Dr. Bob wrote his own. By January the Akronites had produced eighteen fine stories."
2001 AAWS, Inc.; Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age, pg. 164

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

"My local meetings are big on this spot-check reminder: you get what you get; it's what you do with it that counts."
York Harbor, Maine, October 2001
"We Get What We Get,"
Emotional Sobriety

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

"We think it no concern of ours what religious bodies our members
identify themselves with as individuals. This should be an entirely
personal affair which each one decides for himself in the light of
past associations, or his present choice."
Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, There Is A Solution, pg. 28

"To sum up about sex: We earnestly pray for the right ideal, for
guidance in each questionable situation, for sanity, and for the
strength to do the right thing. If sex is very troublesome, we throw
ourselves the harder into helping others. We think of their needs
and work for them. This takes us out of ourselves. It quiets the
imperious urge, when to yield would mean heartache."
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, How It Works, pg. 70~

“If we were to live, we had to be free of anger.”
-Alcoholics Anonymous p. 66

“We had to see that when we harbored grudges and planned revenge for such defeats, we were really beating ourselves with the club of anger we had intended to use on others.”
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p. 47

Misc. AA Literature - Quote

It seems proved that A.A. can stand on its own feet anywhere and under any conditions. It has outgrown any dependence it might once have had upon the personalities or efforts of a few of the older members like me. New, able, and vigorous people keep coming to the surface, turning up where they are needed. Besides, A.A. has reached enough spiritual maturity to know that its final dependence is upon God.'
Clearly, our first duty to A.A.'s future is to maintain in full strength what we now have. Only the most vigilant caretaking can assure this. Never should we be lulled into complacent self-satisfaction by the wide acclaim and success that are everywhere ours. This is the subtle temptation which could render us stagnant today, perchance disintegrate us tomorrow. We have always rallied to meet and transcend failure and crisis. Problems have been our stimulants. How well, though, shall we be able to meet the problems of success?

Prayer for the Day: "Higher Power, help me discover what's most important in my life. Help me learn patience, so that I can devote my resources to the important things."

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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