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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.

May 21

Daily Reflections

A LIST OF BLESSINGS

One exercise that I practice is to try for a full inventory of my
blessings. . . .
AS BILL SEES IT, p. 37

What did I have to be grateful for? I shut myself up and started listing
the blessings for which I was in no way responsible, beginning with
having been born of sound mind and body. I went through
seventy-four years of living right up to the present moment. The list
ran to two pages, and took two hours to compile; I included health,
family, money, A.A.-- the whole gamut.
Every day in my prayers, I ask God to help me remember my list, and
to be grateful for it throughout the day. When I remember my
gratitude list, it's very hard to conclude that God is picking on me.

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

Twenty-Four Hours A Day


A.A. Thought For The Day

One of the finest things about A.A. is the sharing. Sharing is a
wonderful thing because the more you share the more you have. in our
old drinking days, we didn't do much sharing. We used to keep things
to ourselves, partly because we were ashamed, but mostly because we
were selfish. And we were very lonely because we didn't share. When
we came into A.A., the first thing we found was sharing. We heard
other alcoholics frankly sharing their experiences with hospitals, jails,
and all the usual mess that goes with drinking. Am I sharing?

Meditation For The Day

Character is developed by the daily discipline of duties done. Be
obedient to the heavenly vision and take the straight way. Do not fall
into the error of calling "Lord, Lord," and doing not the things that
should be done. You need a life of prayer and meditation, but you must
still do your work in the busy ways of life. The busy person is wise to
rest and wait patiently for God's guidance. If you are obedient to the
heavenly vision, you can be at peace.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may be obedient to the heavenly vision. I pray if I fall, I
will pick myself up and go on.

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As Bill Sees It

"Restore Us to Sanity", p. 141

Few indeed are the practicing alcoholics who have any idea how
irrational they are, or, seeing their irrationality, can bear to face it.
For example, some will be willing to term themselves "problem
drinkers," but cannot endure the suggestion that they are in fact
mentally ill.

They are abetted in this blindness by a world which does not
understand the difference between sane drinking and alcoholism.
"Sanity" is defined as "soundness of mind." Yet no alcoholic, soberly
analyzing his destructive behavior, whether the destruction fell on
the dining-room furniture or his own moral fiber, can claim
"soundness of mind" for himself.

12 & 12, pp. 32-33


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Walk in Dry Places
 
What is a disappointment?
Handling My Outlook
Try as we will for success and achievement, we still must face a number of disappointments in our lives. We may be disappointed by a sales presentation that failed, a repair project that became a nightmare, or a vacation plan that turned sour. How can we handle such disappointments in the spirit of the Twelve Step program?
We must remember not to be too hard on ourselves when disappointments occur. Disappoints are part of the human experience, not misfortunes that come only to certain individuals. If we've done our best in any situation, we are not responsible if it did not work out.
Even more important, we should use every disappointment as a learning experience. It's always possible that one disappointment will provide kernels of truth that will help us succeed in our next effort.  Many people point to specific disappointments or setbacks as times when they are able to find new direction.
There are even times when disappointment in a lesser enterprise clears the way for success in a larger one. Whatever the outcome, no disappointment need be final---- nor should we take it as proof that we're somehow inadequate and unworthy.
I will be positive in my outlook, expecting every effort to be effective and successful. If disappointment comes, however, I will take it in stride, knowing that it's only a temporary detour in my successful life.


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

Keep It Simple

Be not afraid of growing slowing, be afraid only of standing still. ---Chinese proverb
All of us are a little afraid of growth. We wonder how growth will change our lives. Who will we be? Will our friend still love us? Can't we grow up and get in over with? Why does it take so long?
All of us have a need to keep growing. There is no age when we're "all grown up" and all done learning. But we don't need to rush our growth. Like a child on a too-big bicycle, at times we'll find ourselves out of control. We'll tip over. We can grow at our own pace, but we must grow. We must make changes. Or else, like an athlete on a too-small bicycle, we won't get far. We'll tip over too!

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Each Day a New Beginning

Our friends were not unearthly beautiful, Nor spoke with tongues of gold; our lovers blundered now and again when we most sought perfection . . .  --Adrienne Rich
So often our expectations exceed reality. We want more than we have; our homes, our loved ones, perhaps our jobs seem not to measure up. "If only"--we say to ourselves. The time has come to quit saying "if only" and be glad, instead, for what is.
We are recovering. We do have friends and family who care about us. We do have exactly what we need at this moment.
We each can make a contribution today for the good of someone else and thus for ourselves. And in the act of looking to this day--to giving something to another human being--we will sense the inner perfection we mistakenly long for in our outer selves.
I can look around me today and be thankful. I will tell someone close that I'm glad we share one another's world.


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

Alcoholics Anonymous - Fourth Edition

Chapter 10 - To Employers

But there are many men who want to stop, and with them you can go far. Your understanding treatment of their cases will pay dividends.
Perhaps you have such a man in mind. He wants to quit drinking and you want to help him, even if it be only a matter of good business. You now know more about alcoholism. You can see that he is mentally and physically sick. You are willing to overlook his past performances. Suppose an approach is made something like this:
State that you know about his drinking, and that it must stop. You might say you appreciate his abilities, would like to keep him, but cannot if he continues to drink. A firm attitude at this point has helped many of us.

pp. 141-142


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

Alcoholics Anonymous - Fourth Edition Stories

A LATE START - "It's been ten years since I retired, seven years since I joined A.A.  Now I can truly say that I am a grateful alcoholic."

During my fifth year, as a part of my annual personal inventory, I realized that I had not succeeded in developing a spiritual depth in my program.  I had accepted what I was taught but had not gone in search of the private growth that I saw in others.  I watched for and found people who take the program with them as they live, work, and play in the real world.  Through their leadership, by precept and example, I am finding the daily excitement essential to my development as a person and to my contact with my Higher Power.

p. 542


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

Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Foreword

Alcoholics Anonymous is a worldwide fellowship of more than one hundred thousand* alcoholic men and women who are banded together to solve their common problems and to help fellow sufferers in recovery from that age-old, baffling malady, alcoholism.

*In 1998, it is estimated that nearly two million have recovered through A.A.

p. 15


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

"If you do what you have always done, you'll get what you've always
gotten."
--Anon.

May today there be peace within.
May you trust your Highest Power that you are exactly where you are
meant to be.
May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith.
May you use those gifts that you have received, and pass on the love
that has been given to you.
May you be content knowing you are a child of God.
Let this presence settle into your bones, and allow your soul the
freedom to sing, dance, and to bask in the sun.
--unknown

It comes down to a moment-to-moment choice to serve the highest
good. It is not enough to do it just once today and figure that is it.
Keep choosing the highest good.
--John Morton

"The love that is real is the love that lies at the heart of all
relationships. That is the love of God, and it doesn't change
with form or circumstance."
--Marianne Williamson

"One seeks God in books; one finds him in prayer."
--Padre Pio

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

Father Leo's Daily Meditation

ART

"Art flourishes where there is a
sense of adventure."
--A. N. Whitehead

Today I enjoy and am sustained by the adventure of life. The
adventure of living. The adventure of living my life. For years I spent
my time avoiding situations, avoiding people, avoiding me. Now in my
daily recovery I need to participate and experience my spiritual
energy. I want to meet new people. I want to travel. I want to work
productively and earn money. I want to add something to this beautiful
world.

I am discovering in my recovery that experiencing my creative
spirituality makes me an artist. God is found in the hugs I give and the
early morning "hellos" I shout to strangers. Today I am not afraid
anymore. Today I am alive.

God, may I seek and find You in the small and mundane things of life;
let me find You where I am.

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

Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us
and His love is made complete in us. We know that we live in Him and
He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit.
1 John 4:11-13

And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love.
Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him.
1 John 4:16


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Daily Inspiration

Strengthen your character by knowing which things in life are nonnegotiable to you. Lord, I pray for the strength to say no when saying yes would go against that in which I believe.

Forgiveness frees the heart and moves us from the victim to the one who is in control of our lives. Lord, forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us
.

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

NA Just For Today

Keep Coming Back!


"Meetings keep us in touch with where we've been, but more importantly with where we could go in our recovery."
Basic Text, p. 54

In many ways, addicts are different. When we came to Narcotics Anonymous we found others like ourselves, people who understood us and whom we could understand. No longer did we feel like aliens, strangers wherever we went. We were at home in NA meetings, among friends.

We don't stop being addicts after we've been clean awhile. We still need to identify with other addicts. We continue coming to NA meetings to keep in touch with who we are, where we've come from, and where we're going. Every meeting reminds us that we can never use drugs successfully. Every meeting reminds us that we'll never be cured, but that by practicing the principles of the program we can recover. And every meeting offers us the experience and example of other addicts in ongoing recovery.

At meetings, we see how different people work their program, and the results are apparent in their lives. If we want the lives we see others living, we can find out what they've done to get where they are. Narcotics Anonymous meetings offer us identification with where we've been and where we can go — identification we can't do without and can't get anywhere else. That keeps us coming back.

Just for today: I will attend an NA meeting to remind myself of who I am, where I've come from, and where I can go in my recovery.

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You are reading from the book Today's Gift.

Who will tell whether one happy moment of love or the joy of breathing or walking on a bright morning and smelling the fresh air, is not worth all the suffering and effort which life implies. . . . --Erich Fromm
A robin comes alive by breaking out of its shell. The small bird struggles to break out of the safety of the blue egg. Once out, it struggles to grow, slowly learning how to eat, walk, and fly.
We, too, struggle as we grow. There is brokenness in all of our lives--broken hearts and broken dreams. Yet these experiences open our way to a world of growing. We find comfort in the presence of a Power greater than ourselves, in the same way a baby bird finds warmth near the body of its mother. We, too, can grow stronger every day, learning to take in nourishment and trying out our new wings.
What struggles have made me as strong as I am today?


You are reading from the book Touchstones.
Everyone is a bore to someone. That is unimportant. The thing to avoid is being a bore to oneself. --Gerald Brenan
As teenagers most of us were very self-conscious and concerned about how we looked to others. That was a normal stage in development. But, for many of us, our addictions began at that age, or the addictions of others affected us. Our emotional development stopped. We didn't develop an inner reference point, a relationship with our Higher Power that influenced us and helped us weigh other people's opinions.
In recovery, we resumed our emotional and spiritual development where it had stopped. It is liberating to know that how we feel about something is important. We can follow our interests and pursue our commitments. We need not be ruled by others' feelings. With our regular pattern of taking our inventory, praying, and meditating, we are developing a relationship with ourselves which builds character and maturity.
Today, I will give importance to how I feel, what I believe, and what is interesting to me.


You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
Our friends were not unearthly beautiful, Nor spoke with tongues of gold; our lovers blundered now and again when we most sought perfection . . . --Adrienne Rich
So often our expectations exceed reality. We want more than we have; our homes, our loved ones, perhaps our jobs seem not to measure up. "If only"--we say to ourselves. The time has come to quit saying "if only" and be glad, instead, for what is.
We are recovering. We do have friends and family who care about us. We do have exactly what we need at this moment.
We each can make a contribution today for the good of someone else and thus for ourselves. And in the act of looking to this day--to giving something to another human being--we will sense the inner perfection we mistakenly long for in our outer selves.
I can look around me today and be thankful. I will tell someone close that I'm glad we share one another's world.


You are reading from the book The Language of Letting Go.
Getting Needs Met
I want to change careers. . . . I need a friend. . . .Im ready to be in a relationship. . . .
Regularly, we become aware of new needs. We may need to change our behavior with our children. We may need a new couch, love and nurturing, a dollar, or help.
Do not be afraid to recognize a want or need. The birth of a want or need, the temporary frustration from acknowledging a need before its met, is the start of the cycle of receiving what we want. We follow this by letting go, then receiving that which we want and need. Identifying our needs is preparation for good things to come.
Acknowledging our needs means we are being prepared and drawn to that which will meet them. We can have faith to stand in that place in between.
Today, I will let go of my belief that my needs never get met. I will acknowledge my wants and needs, then turn them over to my Higher Power. My Higher Power cares, sometimes about the silliest little things, if I do. My wants and needs are not an accident. God created me, and all my desires.


Change is an action step and I am taking new action today to bring positive change to my life. I know longer accept the unacceptable ways that no longer work for me. --Ruth Fishel

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Journey to the Heart

Listen for the Music

The woman at the campground in Olympic National Forest extended an invitation to me. “Some evenings when the soaking pools are closed and the guests are in their cabins, the members of the staff build a campfire, gather round, and sing. Listen for the music. You’re welcome to join us. You’ll have a great time.”

The universe has invited us to join in,too. How often have we heard the music and for some reason been fearful to join in? We don’t have to stand in the shadows, watching others make music, watching others laugh and have a good time Whether it’s a group of friends doing karaoke or simply a good time of love and laughter, when we hear the music in our lives, it’s okay to join in. Some of the best times in my life were spent around a piano making music with the people I love. Some of the most memorable times have been when I forgot my fears and self-consciousness enough to relax and have fun with the people I was with.

Music is all around us. Listen for it. Seek it out. Know you’re welcome to join in. Don’t worry about how well you carry a tune or whether you know all the words. You’ve been invited to the campfire. Come. Sing along. You’ll have the time of your life.

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More language of letting go

Say when it’s either/or

A deadline is different from an ultimatum. Deadlines involve the ue of time to get something done. Ultimatums use power.

Ultimatums involve two ideas: an either and an or. Use ultimatums sparingly in your life. Sometimes, however, ultimatum is the only way to get a person’s attention.

Here are some examples: “Either you get sober and stop using drugs, or I’m going to put you in prison.” “Either you start working and stop drinking, or I’m going to take the children and leave.” “Either you show up for work on time, or I’m going to find someone else to do your job.”

Ideally, an ultimatum is not used to control the other person. It is an expression of limits– a powerful way of indicating to the other person that we’re on the verge of screaming when.

Sometimes people use ultimatums as power plays. They use them to play on our fears, particularly our fear of abandonment: “Either you do what I want, or I’ll go away.” “Either you keep quiet and don’t confront my behavior, or I’ll get angry and punish you by being mad.” This may work for a while, but ultimately, it can backfire.

Don’t use ultimatums as power plays, or devices to control the people around you. Don’t let other people use ultimatums to control or manipulate you. Use them as last-ditch warning notices that you’re about to say when.

God, help me be aware of ultimatums, both the ones I dish out and the ones other people use on me.

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A Call to Action
Assembling Your Light Team by Madisyn Taylor

Assembling a team of angelic helpers and ancestors before you need them can save time and anguish when you need them.

Each of us, whether we realize it or not, moves through life in the company of beings whose task is to watch over us. These ancestors, spirit guides, angels, guardians, and ascended masters designated to serve as protectors and guides take pleasure in their roles yet cannot assist us without first being asked. Since the origins of our sacred sentinels differ, we may choose whom we call upon for help based on the situation at hand. However, in certain circumstances, particularly those in which time is of the essence or there is the potential for harm, we may feel the need to surround ourselves with our entire complement of benevolent, watchful guardians at a moment’s notice. To do so, a great shortcut is to create and assemble a light team—a group of spirit helpers who will come to our aid when we utter a simple word or phrase.

The creation of a light team begins with the dedication of the words that will serve as a shortcut in your time of distress, signaling to your sentinels that you are requesting their support. Meditation, at an altar or otherwise, can help you attract their attention, affording you an opportunity to articulate your desire that they work in tandem in certain instances. Creating a short ceremony in which you surround yourself with objects you associate with the helpers you wish to assign to your light team can ensure that those beings are in attendance as you designate your shortcut. Creating this shortcut is simply a tool. You can employ “light team” as your rallying cry or any other words you feel comfortable using. The numerous guides and guardians that see to your welfare will accept your choice gladly and respond instantaneously when called.

Your light team will be there to assist you in those dangerous, chaotic, or confounding moments when you don’t have the time, energy, or opportunity to center yourself and meditate on individual sentinels. You can also call upon them when seeking guidance that originates from a variety of perspectives. Whether the support they provide comes in the form of guidance or wisdom, their combined presence will give you a sense of security that strengthens you and reminds you that you are never alone. Published with permission from Daily OM

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A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

“The language of friendship is not words, but meanings,” wrote Thoreau. Life indeed takes on new menaings, as well as new meaning in The Program. To watch people recover, to see them help others, to watch loneliness vanish, to see a fellowship grow up about you, to have a host of friends — this is an experience not to be missed. Can I recall my inital reactions when I came to The Program? Do I believe that I’ve finally come home?

Today I Pray

As The Program has given life new meanings for me, may I pass along to others that same chance to re-evaluate their lives in the light of sobriety, commonj purpose, friendhips and spiritual expansion. Prasie God for my new vision of human life. Praise Him for restoring for me the value and purpose of living.

Today I Will Remember

I value my Life.

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

One More Day

Out of a sense of duty and a desire to protect a loved one, a vicious cycle of misinterpretation, guesswork, silence, and isolation is initiated.
– Neil A. Fiore

For a while we may have tried to protect our loved ones by not talking about our illness. We may have even secretly hoped that it would go away if we didn’t talk about it. We learned, however, that this would never be and that problems often escalate if they are not dealt with.

We see more clearly now that we can’t protect our family members or our friends. Trying to protect them meant denying our own feelings and ignoring theirs. We’ve discovered that our loved one don’t need to be — and often don’t want to be — protected. And when we don’t protect them, we’ve found that we and the people we love are growing and becoming stronger.

I can be honest with my loved ones about my feelings and needs.

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

One Day At A Time

THOUGHTS

“The universe is transformation;
our lives are what our thoughts make it.”
Marcus Aurelius Antoninus

The power of our thoughts is astounding, and my negative thoughts kept me in chains for many years. I was constantly thinking of what was not right, what I didn't do right, what needs of mine went unmet. My life was miserable by my own making. My own thoughts kept me in a prison of negativity. The only person who had the key was me. For many years I stayed locked in, not knowing the key was in my possession..

When I came to the program I learned that I had responsibility for my “side of the street.” I finally came to understand that I was able to change my thinking, one day at a time. It was a slow process. It took a life-time to learn negative thinking patterns, and it took years to learn positive thinking patterns. Using the tools of the program was the key to re-educating my mind. At meetings I heard positive statements that others made about themselves and me. Reading program literature was always a positive experience. As I chose nurturing, loving sponsors, they affirmed me and my baby steps toward wholeness and healing. All of these, and other tools, worked slowly to bring about an awareness that I held the key to my own prison door and gave me the courage to take the key and free myself from negativity..

One day at a time...
I will choose positive thoughts and actions that bring me freedom.
~ Carolyn H.

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

AA 'Big Book' - Quote

STEP SIX. We have emphasized willingness as being indispensable. Are we now ready to let God remove from us all the things which we have admitted are objectionable? - Pg. 76 - Into Action

Hour To Hour - Book - Quote

Have I identified myself clearly as a chemically dependent person suffering from a chronic disease? We have short memories and it is easy to forget why we sought help in the first place. In this disease, only abstinence can pave the way to recovery, so we must never lose sight of our first step.

I admit that I suffer from the disease of addiction and this is my first step toward health--help me remember!

Spiritual Transformation

Today, I see that to change my life I have to change myself. Nothing less than a spiritual transformation will allow me to experience my current life as an alive, serene and whole person. When I say that I would like world peace, first I will understand that without inner peace there will be no world peace. One of the ways in which I can serve the cause of humanity is to be, within myself, a genuinely spiritual person -- respecting all sects and creeds, but standing on my own as a conduit of higher truth, recognizing that each person has access to that knowledge. I will look for truth today within myself rather than outside. I will not wait for peace to be handed to me as some sort of prize for good behavior but will do the inner work needed to achieve it. Today I give and receive the gift of peace.

- Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor - Book - Quote

Frequently, addicts and alcoholics who experience difficulties will isolate in order to lick their wounds like an injured animal. You may not want to bother us, you may be embarrassed by your blunders, or you may think it's not our business. When you don't use our friendship, we can't do our job.

Friends are God's way of taking care of me.

"Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book" - Book

Surrender is riding the bus in the direction it's going.

Time for Joy - Book - Quote

Change is an action step and I am taking new action today to bring positive change to my life. I know longer accept the unacceptable ways that no longer work for me.

Alkiespeak - Book - Quote

I drank that first drink and all my Irish DNA said: 'Yes!' - Nancy N.

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AA Thought for the Day

May 21

Anger
If we were to live, we had to be free of anger.
The grouch and the brainstorm were not for us.
They may be the dubious luxury of normal men, but for alcoholics these things are poison.
- Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 66

Thought to Ponder . . .
Anger rules nothing except itself.

AA-related 'Alconym' . . .
A A = Avoid Anger.

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

Defiance
"'As psychiatrists have often observed,
defiance is the outstanding characteristic of
many an alcoholic.
When we encountered AA,
the fallacy of our defiance was revealed.
At no time had we asked what God's will was for us;
instead we had been telling Him what it ought to be.
No man, we saw,
could believe in God and defy Him, too.
Belief meant reliance, not defiance.
In AA we saw the fruits of this belief:
men and women spared from alcohol's final catastrophe.'"
Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, p. 31

Thought to Consider . . .
While it isn't always easy, if I keep it simple, it works.

*~*~*AACRONYMS*~*~*
SIT
Stay In Today

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

Beginning
From "Tightrope":
"My sponsor was a living damper on my intolerance. But even more, he told me that it would be all right for me to doubt
God, that A.A. was not a religious program and, to belong, I did not have to adhere to any set of beliefs.
"He suggested that for me a good starting point would simply be recognition of the fact that I had failed in running the
world in short, acceptance of the fact that I was not God. He also suggested that I might try occasionally to act as if I
believed. Somewhere I had heard that it is easier to act yourself into a new way of thinking than to think yourself into a
new way of acting, and this made sense in the context of 'acting as if.'"
2001 AAWS, Inc., Fourth Edition; Alcoholics Anonymous, pg. 366

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

"I can recognize that I'm caught up in my will when I desperately struggle to slam a square peg into a round hole. That's
the time for me to back off and trust that God's will is far better than mine."
Elloree, S.C., November 2013
"Square Peg, Round Hole,"
AA Grapevine

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

"Although financial recovery is on the way for many of us, we found
we could not place money first. For us, material well-being always
followed spiritual progress; it never preceded."
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, The Family Afterward, pg. 127~

"More than most people, the alcoholic leads a double life. He is very
much the actor. To the outer world he presents his stage character.
This is the one he likes his fellows to see. He wants to enjoy a
certain reputation, but knows in his heart he doesn't deserve it."
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, Into Action, pg. 73~

So, practicing these Steps, we had a spiritual awakening about which finally there was no question.
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, p. 109

Misc. AA Literature - Quote

'Restore Us to Sanity'
Few indeed are the practicing alcoholics who have any idea how irrational they are, or, seeing their irrationality, can bear
to face it. For example, some will be willing to term themselves 'problem drinkers,' but cannot endure the suggestion
that they are in fact mentally ill.
They are abetted in this blindness by a world which does not understand the difference between sane drinking and
alcoholism. 'Sanity' is defined as 'soundness of mind.' Yet no alcoholic, soberly analyzing his destructive behavior,
whether the destruction fell on the dining-room furniture or his own moral fiber, can claim 'soundness of mind' for himself.

Prayer For The Day: Dear Lord, grant me the strength to get through today. Grant me your wisdom to handle situations I cannot control.

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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