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Old 06-16-2017, 08:08 AM   #17
bluidkiti
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June 17

Daily Reflections

"DEEP DOWN WITHIN US"

We found the Great Reality deep down within us. In the last
analysis it is only there that He may be found. . . . search
diligently within yourself . . . With this attitude you
cannot fail. The consciousness of your belief is sure to come
to you.
ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 55

It was out of the depths of loneliness, depression and despair
that I sought the help of A.A. As I recovered and began to
face the emptiness and ruin of my life, I began to open myself
to the possibility of the healing that recovery offers through
the A.A. program. By coming to meetings, staying sober, and
taking the Steps, I had the opportunity to listen with
increasing attentiveness to the depths of my soul. Daily I
waited, in hope and gratitude, for that sure belief and
steadfast love I had longed for in my life. In this process,
I met my God, as I understand Him.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

We in A.A. have the privilege of living two lives in one
lifetime. One life of drunkenness, failure, and defeat. Then,
through A.A., another life of sobriety, peace of mind, and
usefulness. We who have recovered our sobriety are modern
miracles. And we're living on borrowed time. Some of us might
have been dead long ago. But we have been given another chance
to live. Do I owe a debt of gratitude to A.A. that I can never
repay as long as I live?

Meditation For The Day

Thinking about God in love and worship drives away evil. It is
the thought before that the hosts of evil flee. The thought of
a Power greater than yourself is the call for a life-line to
rescue you from temptation. The thought of God banishes
loneliness and dispels gloom. It summons help to conquer your
faults. Think of God as often as possible. Use the thought
prayerfully and purposefully. It will carry your thoughts away
from material things and toward the spiritual things that make
life worthwhile.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may think of God often. I pray that I may rest in
peace at the thought of His love and care.

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As Bill Sees It

Accepting God's Gifts, p. 168

"Though many theologians hold that sudden spiritual experiences amount to a special
distinction, if not a divine appointment of some sort, I question this view. Every
human being, no matter what his attributes for good or evil, is a part of the divine
spiritual economy. Therefore, each of us has his place, and I cannot see that God
intends to exalt one another.

"So it is necessary for all of us to accept whatever positive gifts we receive with a
deep humility, always bearing in mind that our negative attitudes were first necessary
as a means of reducing us to such a state of that we would be ready for a gift of the
positive ones via the conversion experience. Your own alcoholism and the
immense deflation that finally resulted are indeed the foundation upon which your
spiritual experience rests."

Letter, 1964

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Walk In Dry Places

Is the Golden Rule Applicable?
Inventory
Some people say the Golden Rule is impractical or believe it can work only if everybody begins following it at the same time.
We learn in 12 Step programs that the Golden Rule does work. We start by taking our own inventory, whether nor not others do. We make amends for our own wrongs, even when amends are not made to us. We think rightly about others, no matter how they think about us.
>From time to time, we also receive a cosmic hint that the Golden Rule is far more than a mere human ideal expressed in an ancient time. It really appears to be one way of stating a law of life. We should treat others as we want to be treated because, in time, this is how we will be treated.
Nothing will help me more with my program today than to practice the Golden Rule, even in the face of trying situations. This will show me, more than word ever can, that God is really in charge of my life.

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Keep It Simple

Each day provides its own gifts. ---Ruth D. Freedman
Life is full of wonderful gifts. Recovery is life's greatest gift to us. If we're not excited about being sober, we need to check ourselves. Are we keeping something secret? Is there a sadness we need to talk about? Are we stuffing anger? These things eat away at our excitement for life.
Many addicts never get the gift of recovery. Those of us in recovery are special. We've been given a new life. There will be hard times. But the joy of getting a second chance will be stronger. Am I grateful that I've been given recovery?
Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, help me see recovery as a gift. I deserve this gift because I'm human. Help me to always accept this gift.
Action for the Day: At the end of the day, I'll list three gifts that this day has given me.

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Each Day a New Beginning

. . . we could never learn to be brave and patient if there were only joy in the world. --Helen Keller
We chase after joy, like a child after a firefly, being certain that in joy all problems are solved, all questions are answered. Joy has its rewards, and we deserve them. But life has more to teach us.
We need to learn patience; through patience we come to respect time and its passage, and we are mellowed. We need to learn tolerance; through tolerance our appreciation of another's individuality is nurtured. We need to learn self-respect; self-respect prepares us to contribute more freely to our experiences, and we find wholeness.
Life's travails are our opportunities for lasting, enriching joy. The rough spots deepen our understandings. And these help us to bring joy to the lives of the friends near and dear.
I need not turn my back on joy. But I will be glad for all life's experiences. The panorama will sustain me more fully.

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Alcoholics Anonymous - Fourth Edition

Chapter 10 - To Employers

It is not to be expected that an alcoholic employee will receive a disproportionate amount of time and attention. He should not be made a favorite. The right kind of man, the kind who recovers, will not want this sort of thing. He will not impose. Far from it. He will work like the devil and thank you to his dying day.

p. 149

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Alcoholics Anonymous - Fourth Edition Stories

FREEDOM FROM BONDAGE - Young when she joined, this A.A. believes her serious drinking was the result of even deeper defects. She here tells how she was free.

He said in effect: "If you have a resentment you want to be free of, if you will pray for the person or the thing that you resent, you will be free. If you will ask in prayer everything you want for yourself to be given them, you will be free. Ask for their health, their prosperity, their happiness, and you will be free. Even when you really don't want it for them and your prayers are only words and you don't mean it, go ahead and do it anyway. Do it everyday for two weeks, and you will find you have come to mean it and to want it for them, and you will realize that where you used to feel bitterness and resentment and hatred, you now feel compassionate understanding and love."

p. 552

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Step Two - "Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity."

"Well," says the newcomer, "I know you're telling me the truth. It's no doubt a fact that A.A. is full of people who once believed as I do. But just how, in these circumstances, does a fellow `take it easy'? That's what I want to know."
"That," agrees the sponsor, "is a very good question indeed. I think I can tell you exactly how to relax. You won't have to work at it very hard, either. Listen, if you will, to these three statements. First, Alcoholics Anonymous does not demand that you believe anything. All of its Twelve Steps are but suggestions. Second, to get sober and to stay sober, you don't have to swallow all of Step Two right now. Looking back, I find that I took it piecemeal myself. Third, all you really need is
a truly open mind. Just resign from the debating society and quit bothering yourself with such deep questions as whether it was the hen or the egg that came first. Again I say, all you need is the open mind."

p. 26

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When you come to the end of all the light you know, and it's time to
step into the darkness of the unknown, faith is knowing that one of
two things shall happen: Either you will be given something solid to
stand on or you will be taught to fly.
--Edward Teller

Take time each day to seek out stillness, to find that sacred spot. Let
your mind and soul be at ease. Don't grasp and grab for the magic and
miracles. When you reside in that place of stillness, the joy, miracles,
and magic you're seeking will find you.
--Melody Beattie

"Give what you have. To someone, it may be better than you dare to
think."
--Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

I only have to be what I am, no more, no less.
--Robbie Rocheford

Higher Power, help me to be open, flexible, and accepting in my
recovery.

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Father Leo's Daily Meditation

SELF-LOVE

"Only a person who can live
with himself can enjoy the gift of
leisure."
--Henry Greber

As an addict I could not tolerate my own company for long. I was
forever telephoning somebody, going over to a friend's house, inviting
people in, creating an "occasion" so I did not have to think or, at least,
think about myself. Being alone terrified me. I was terrified because I
would begin to think about what was happening in my life and I did not
want to face it.

Spirituality is reality. Some years ago I decided to encounter the
"real" me, painful but necessary. I began to develop an awareness of
who I am. Acceptance followed: I am an alcoholic.

Today I know me; today I like me; today I can love me - and this
awareness brings with it a knowledge of God, self and my neighbor.

Today I can be alone without feeling lonely.

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Children, obey your parents because you belong to the Lord, for this is
the right thing to do. "Honor your father and mother." This is the first
of the Ten Commandments that ends with a promise. And this is the
promise: If you honor your father and mother, "you will live a long
life, full of blessing." And now a word to you fathers. Don't make your
children angry by the way you treat them. Rather, bring them up with
the discipline and instruction approved by the Lord.
Ephesians 6:1-4

"Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I
will strengthen you, yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My
righteous right hand."
Isaiah 41:10

The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness,
faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no
law.
Galatians 5:22, 23

"And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were
called in one body; and be thankful."
Colossians 3:15

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Daily Inspiration

The best thing to let go of is your past. Lord, the goodness of my past is part of whom I am now, but the rest only serves to pull me away from You. Help me to keep my thoughts only on this moment.

Imagine that you were paid for every kindness and charged for every unkindness. Would you be rich or poor? Lord, I often pray for material wealth. Let me not neglect my soul by now praying for the ability to build my spiritual wealth also.

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NA Just For Today

Walls

"Reaching out is the beginning of the struggle that will set us free. It will break down the walls that imprison us."
Basic Text, p.80

Many of us came to NA emotionally shattered. Years of using people and allowing them to use us had taken their toll on our ability to trust anyone, ourselves included. But the love and acceptance we found in Narcotics Anonymous encouraged us to reach out and get close to others.

The longer we stayed clean, the more we began to long for greater intimacy with our loved ones. We began reaching out in deeper, more meaningful ways, even though we might get hurt. Despite our fears of rejection, we decided to risk revealing ourselves, our beliefs, and our needs. We decided to let down our defensive walls.

The freedom we've found has been worth the risk involved. We know there is still work to do before we will be completely free of the barriers built by years of active addiction. But by reaching out to other addicts and allowing them to reach out to us, despite our human failings, we have come to know that we have a great capacity for love and intimacy. When set free of their restraining walls, our hearts hold great power.

Just for today: I will let down my personal walls and reach out to others. I will allow my heart the freedom to love and be loved.

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You are reading from the book Today's Gift.
You will jump to it someday. Then you'll fly. You'll really fly. After that you'll quite simply, quite calmly make your own stones, your own floor plan, your own sound. --Anne Sexton
A young man sat beside a whispering creek all day for years, never moving. The townsfolk who watched him wondered whether he heard the gurgling creek sounds, or felt the sting of insects, or saw the raccoons when they came at night to sip from the cool, dark waters.
One day the young man rose and dashed up the hill above the creek. There, using all the healing strength of the stream which he had quietly absorbed over the years, he gathered stones. He arranged them layer by layer to fit the plan he had thought out by the creek, and feverishly he built his home. When done, he let out a brassy, booming holler of joy. Imagine the townsfolk's surprise when they turned their eyes to that lonely spot by the creek and saw a huge castle of stone above the place where the young man once rested.
What plans can I make during my idle hours today?


You are reading from the book Touchstones.
The loneliness each man feels is his hunger for life itself.... It is the yearning that makes fulfillment possible. --Ross Mooney
Many different journeys have been taken by the men who finally entered this program in search of hope. Most of us have known our own brand of desperation, but we have one thing in common - the loneliness we felt. Some of us felt left out of our families and other groups. We were appalled by what was happening in our lives, alone with our secrets, as if no one truly knew us. Some of us even romanticized our loneliness as a form of heroism.
As we gave up our controlling behaviors, false pride over-competitiveness, and striving for power, we made our weak spots and secrets more obvious. We became more accessible to friends. As we count the blessings of recovery, high on our list is that we are no longer lonely.
In part, what kept me going and led me to this program was my hunger for life. I'm grateful for the friends who truly know me now, and still accept me.


You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
Wisdom never kicks at the iron walls it can't bring down. --Olive Schreiner
God grant us the serenity to accept the things we cannot change. Many times--yesterday, last week, today, and even tomorrow--we'll come face-to-face with a seemingly intolerable situation. The compulsion to change the situation, to demand that another person change the situation, is great. What a hard lesson it is, to learn we can change only ourselves! The hidden gift in this lesson is that as our activities change, often the intolerable situations do, too.
Acceptance, after a time, smooths all the ripples that discourage us. And it softens us. It nurtures wisdom. It attracts joy and love from others. Ironically, we often try to force changes that we think will "loosen" love and lessen struggle. Acceptance can do what our willpower could never accomplish.
As we grow in wisdom, as we grow in understanding, as we realize the promises of this program, we'll stand ready, as women, to weather all our personal storms. Like the willow in the wind, we'll bend rather than break. And we'll be able to help our sisters become wise through our example.
My lessons are not easy. But they will ease my way. Better days begin, today.


You are reading from the book The Language of Letting Go.
Surrender
Master the lessons of your present circumstances.
We do not move forward by resisting what is undesirable in our life today. We move forward, we grow, we change by acceptance.
Avoidance is not the key; surrender opens the door.
Listen to this truth: We are each in our present circumstances for a reason. There is a lesson, a valuable lesson that must be learned before we can move forward.
Something important is being worked out in us, and in those around us. We may not be able to identify it today; but we can know that it is important. We can know it is good.
Overcome not by force, overcome by surrender. The battle is fought, and won, inside ourselves. We must go through it until we learn, until we accept, until we become grateful, until we are set free.
Today, I will be open to the lessons of my present circumstances. I do not have to label, know, or understand what I'm learning; I will see clearly in time. For today, trust and gratitude are sufficient.


I am learning new ways to deal with all that comes up in my life today. I am letting go of all negative ways of dealing with stress and anxiety that are harmful to my mind and my body. --Ruth Fishel

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Journey To The Heart

Learn to Report Instead of Judge

There is a world of difference between reporting and judging.

When you report, you merely say what happened. I am going through this. I did this. She did that. I feel this. But when you judge, attitudes and feelings are added on. I am going through this; therefore I’m deficient. I did this; therefore I’m wrong. She did that; therefore there’s something wrong with her. I feel this; so I must be bad.

Reporting brings clarity and helps move us forward. Report on what is happening in your life as often as you like. But try not to judge. Judgment limits, confines, brings condemnation down on others and ourselves. It says who you are, where you are, what you are doing is wrong. That leaves little room to move, and even less space for acceptance. Ir diminishes the freedom to grow and evolve.

Reporting without judgment doesn’t mean we approve of what’s going on or that we don’t have feelings about the situation. Nor does it mean we have to tolerate whatever comes our way. But when we can report without judgment, we can accept. And acceptance sets us free. Acceptance is the place from which all growth and change occurs.

When there is truth and acceptance without fear of judgement, there is love. Create your own world of love.

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More Language Of Letting Go

Relax when things don’t go as you planned

So, the boyfriend calls, says he’s going hiking with his buddies for a week, cancels his date with you, says he hopes you won’t be mad.

Or the bank calls and says you’re overdrawn, and you don’t know how that can be. You’ve been trying to carefully watch your deposits and checks. You’ve gone out of your way not to mess up. This can’t be right.

What do you do when life seems to force you to react? You can panic, become anxious, yell, and respond with a counterattack. But that probably won’t solve the problem. And it may turn things into a brawl.

Or you can calm down. Breathe deeply. Tell yourself to relax. Say as little as possible, if that’s possible, while you’re upset and disturbed. If a problem or disturbance that’s not fair interrupts your life, try responding by saying “hmmm.” Then calm down and decide what you need to do.

There’s a time to get upset, yell, scream, and shout. But that time isn’t when you’re trying to sort out problems. Before you take action, get centered, calm, and clear.

You will discover that when you’re centered and calm, you’re more powerful than you think.

God, help me start sailing through life with more ease by learning to relax and let life be.

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In God’s Care

One can survive anything these days except death.
~~Oscar Wilde

Perhaps we remember the pain of discovering that a loved one had betrayed our trust. The hurt and shame might have felt unbearable. Maybe we suffered a devastating blow when a dream of ours was lost forever. At the time, our pain may have consumed and immobilized us. But it finally went away and we did survive.

We are survivors or we wouldn’t still be on this journey. All of us have lived through some tragic and overwhelming circumstances. At times we may have felt we were being pushed to the edge of sanity. But we didn’t topple over. And we are still on our journey of recovery. We can continue to find purpose in every situation that claims us, with the knowledge that our Higher Power will be there for us.

I will be able to handle even the most difficult situation today with God’s help.

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A New Level of Mastery
Coming Full Circle by Madisyn Taylor

When we come full circle there is the feeling that we have come to a familiar place but we are somehow different.

Life is a circular journey through our issues and processes, and this is why things that are technically new often seem very familiar. It is also why, whenever we work to release a habit, change a pattern, or overcome a fear, we often encounter that issue one last time, even after we thought we had conquered it. Often, when this happens, we feel defeated or frustrated that after all our hard work we are still dealing with the same problem. However, the reappearance of a pattern, habit, or fear, is often a sign that we have come full circle, and that if we can maintain our resolve through one last test, we will achieve a new level of mastery in our lives.

When we come full circle, there is often the feeling that we have arrived in a familiar place, but that we ourselves are somehow different. We know that we can handle challenges that seemed insurmountable when we began our journey, and there is the feeling that we might be ready to take on a new problem, or some new aspect of the old problem. We feel empowered and courageous to have taken on the challenge of stopping a pattern, releasing a habit, or overcoming a fear, and to have succeeded. At times like these, we deserve a moment of rest and self-congratulation before we move on to the next challenge.

Coming full circle is like stepping into a clearing where, for a moment, we can see where we came from and where we are standing at the same time. Remembering that we will be tested again is important, but it’s also important to pause and take a look at the ground we’ve covered, honoring our courage, our persistence, and our achievement. Then we can begin the next leg of our circular journey with a fuller understanding of where we are coming from. Published with permission from Daily OM

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A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

Readiness to take the full consequences of our past acts, and to take responsibility for the well-being of others at the same time, is the very spirit of Step Nine. A casual apology, on the one hand, will rarely suffice in making amends to one we have harmed; a true change of attitude, in contrast, can do wonders to make up for past unkindness. If I’ve deprived anyone of any material thing, I’ll acknowledge the debt and pay it as soon as I’m able. Will I swallow my pride and make the first overtures toward reconciliation?

Today I Pray

God show me the best ways to make “direct amends.” Sometimes simply admitting my mistakes may make it up to someone and unload my own simmering guilt. Other times restitution may take some creative thought. May I be wholly aware that I cannot take this Ninth Step unless I develop some caring, some real concern about how others feel, along with changes in my behavior.

Today I Will Remember

First I care, then I apologize.

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One More Day

Variety is the mother of enjoyment.
– Benjamin Disraeli

Ideally, we anticipate awakening in the morning, not sure what the day is going to bring, but looking forward to it anyway. Sometimes this eagerness comes more easily, for we have places to go and people to see. At other times, we’re unable to recapture our previous joy. What took away our excitement for life? What can we do to reclaim it?

Life does not end at retirement or when the children move away or when our good health is diminished. It just changes. We can develop some new interests and hobbies. We can reexamine old attitudes and come up with new perspectives. Music and-good fellowship with others can enrich our lives and strengthen us to go on. We can turn to our spiritual natures, and we will know joy.

I am aware of the wonders and opportunities around me. I will share the joy I find.

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One Day At A Time

VICES AND VIRTUES
"It has been my experience that folks who have no vices have very few virtues." Abraham Lincoln

In doing a tenth step daily, I am faced with my character defects -- and yes, even vices. While I may not be compulsively eating, I may over-indulge in any number of other things like talking, whining, or frenetic busy-ness. I have been told that in life I must learn to "take my foot off the gas." I have also been told that I am "too intense" or just "too much." I guess this means I am not moderate in all things (by a mile.)

This thought comforts me in all of this: at least I am in the game. If someone asks for my opinion, he or she will get it ~ straight from the heart or the hip, as they say. If someone needs a favor, I am apt to be excessive in performing it. If someone needs a friend, he or she often gets much more than a casual acquaintance in me. In essence, my being "too much in general" has its good side -- at least I am not asleep at the wheel. I am fully engaged in life.

One day at a time...
I will not forget that my zest for overindulging and overdoing-it-in-general has its counterpart in my zest for goodness and service. I am alive and kicking. I will not hate myself for being fully alive.
~ Q

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AA 'Big Book' - Quote

In the early days of our drinking we occasionally remained sober for a year or more, becoming serious drinkers again later. Though you may yet be a potential alcoholic. We think few, to whom this book will appeal, can stay dry anything like a year. Some will be drunk the day after making their resolutions; most of them within a few weeks. - Pg. 34 - More About Alcoholism

Hour To Hour - Book - Quote

It is a good idea to take five minutes to reflect on our situation while we go through the beginning stages of abstinence. For many of us the battle is acute withdrawal, pain and confusion. 'Taking five to revive' can be very important to our focus on survival.

As I 'take five' give me the thoughts necessary to carry me forward.

The Witness

Today, I will become aware of that part of me that is separate and observes all that I say, do, think and feel. I have a witness within me that can become a very useful part of my life. Watching my behavior with a little bit of objectivity will help me to see myself as I really am. I will look with a compassionate eye. Just as I know it is not right to hurt others intentionally, it is equally not right to hurt myself. I recognize the godlike nature within me and others - we are all a part of the same Higher Power. By allowing my mind to watch itself with no thought of controlling or participating, I can learn a great deal about the way I work.

I am an uncritical observer of my own inner workings.

- Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor - Book - Quote

There will always be people who did worse than you and always people who do better. You can use comparison to prove anything you want: that you lack thus and such or that you are better than so and so. We learn not to compare our selves and our stories, but to identify.

I identify, I don't compare.

"Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book" - Book

No matter how much sobriety you have, you will never rise above the level of human being.

Time for Joy - Book - Quote

I am learning new ways to deal with all that comes up in my life today. I am letting go of all negative ways of dealing with stress and anxiety that are harmful to my mind and my body.

Alkiespeak - Book - Quote

I'm never going to forget about self, but the Big Book tells me that I'm supposed to be of maximum service to God and my fellows - I'm not even mentioned. And in that process, I'm of maximum service when I'm focused on others; folding chairs, emptying ashtrays, making coffee, a commitment at my home group. As it says: 'Our very lives as ex problem drinkers depends on our constant thought of others.' What do they mean by that? They can't possibly mean that we're supposed to constantly think of others. Could they? Who's going to think about me? - Chris C.
__________________
"No matter what you have done up to this moment, you get 24 brand-new hours to spend every single day." --Brian Tracy
AA gives us an opportunity to recreate ourselves, with God's help, one day at a time. --Rufus K.
When you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on. --Franklin D. Roosevelt
We stay sober and clean together - one day at a time!
God says that each of us is worth loving.
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