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Old 06-16-2017, 08:09 AM   #18
bluidkiti
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June 18

Daily Reflections

A FELLOWSHIP OF FREEDOM

. . . if only men were granted absolute liberty, and were compelled to obey no one, they would then voluntarily associate themselves in the common interest.
AS BILL SEES IT, p. 50

When I no longer live under the dictates of another or of alcohol, I live in a new freedom. When I release the past and all the excess baggage I have carried for so very long, I come to know freedom. I have been introduced into a life and a fellowship of freedom. The Steps are a "recommended" way of finding a new life, there are no commands or dictates in A.A. I am free to serve from desire rather than decree. There is the understanding that I will benefit from the growth of other members and I take what I learn and bring it back to the group. The "common welfare" finds room to grow in the society of personal freedom.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

The A.A. way of living is not an easy one. But it's an adventure in living that is really worthwhile. And it's so much better than our old drunken way of living that there's no comparison. Our lives without A.A. would be worth nothing. With A.A., we have a chance to live reasonably good lives. It's worth the battle, no matter how tough the going is from day to day. Isn't it worth the battle?

Meditation For The Day

The spiritual life has two parts. One is the life apart, the life of prayer and quiet communion with God. You spend this part of your life apart with God. Every day your mind can be set in the right direction so that your thoughts will be of the right kind. The other is the life impart--imparting from others what you have learned from your own meditative experience. The victories you have won over yourself through the help of God can be shared with others. You can help them by imparting to them some of the victory and security that you have gained in your life apart.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may grow strong from my times apart with God. I pray that I may pass on some of this strength to others.

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As Bill Sees It

Learning Never Ends, p. 169

"My experience as an oldtimer has to some degree paralleled your own and that of
many others. We all find that the time comes when we are not allowed to manage and
conduct the functional affairs of the groups, areas, or, in my case, A.A. as a whole. In
the end we can only be worth as much as our spiritual example has justified. To
that extent, we become useful symbols--and that's just about it."

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

"I have become a pupil of the A.A. movement rather than the teacher I once thought I
was."

1. Letter, 1964
2. Letter, 1949

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Walk In Dry Places
AA is an Automatic sprinkler system
Emotional emergencies
Wise managers install automatic sprinkler systems to protect their businesses. The system's great value is that it goes into action during the first few minutes of a fire, before it gets out of control. This gives the fire department precious time to arrive and put the fire out.
Our AA program gives us something like an automatic sprinkler system. We never know when the flames of resentment might leap up, seemingly our of nowhere. If we've been working our program, something takes over automatically to being dealing with resentment.
This gives us time to bring more of our valuable spiritual tools into use. Knowing that resentment is burning away, we can try one thing and then another until it is brought to rest. Perhaps we will try prayer. We might also discuss our problem with a close friend or sponsor. Maybe we'll attend a meeting and lay the matter out for the group attention. We may help somebody, even in a small way. An amazing healing of resentment can come from any helpful action. Even a simple action like helping a person in a stalled automobile can work wonders in deflecting the pain of ongoing resentment.
I need not fear the sudden appearance of resentment if I have been following my program. I already have within myself the methods for holding resentment at bay while I deal with it.

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Keep It Simple

Nothing is a waste of time if you use the experience wisely. Rodin
When we first start our recovery, it hurts a lot to look at our past. We feel sad. It feels like our life was a waste.
But it wasn't a waste. The program promises that if we practice the Steps, we'll not reget the past nor wish to shut the door on it. Hard to believe? Just look at all the happy old-timers in AA. Their lives were just as messed up as ours.
Because of our addiction, we're learning a new way to live. We are getting to know ourselves, our Higher Power, and other people.
Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, thanks for helping me into recovery. Help me learn from my addiction.
Action for the Day: I'll list three important things I've learned about life because of my addiction. I'll talk to my sponsor about them.

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Each Day a New Beginning

One receives only that which is given. The game of life is a game of boomerangs. Our thoughts, deeds and words, return to us sooner or later, with astounding accuracy. --Florence Scovel Shin
Each of us can attest to the truth of this passage. During the difficult times, however, it is not uppermost in our minds that "what goes around, comes around." It feels all too easy to be justifiably resentful or to gossip, or to ignore another's presence. And the repercussions are seldom immediate. They will come, though.
Goodness is likewise repaid. Giving love, attention, respect to the individuals who share our lives and to the people who cross our paths by chance, will smooth our own passage day by day. The effects of our goodness will often be felt quickly. A smile elicits a smile. Kind thoughts bless us as well as the receiver. Life events do come full circle.
With a bit of effort, I can smile at someone today, even though I'm frowning inside. Both will be better for it.

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Alcoholics Anonymous - Fourth Edition

Chapter 10 - To Employers

Today I own a little company. There are two alcoholic employees, who produce as much as five normal salesmen. But why not? They have a new attitude, and they have been saved from a living death. I have enjoyed every moment spent in getting them straightened out.*

* See Appendix VI-We shall be happy to hear from you if we can be of help.

pp. 149-150

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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.

It worked for me then, and it has worked for me many times, since, and it will work for me every time I am willing to work it. Sometimes I have to ask first for the willingness, but it too always comes. And because it works for me, it will work for all of us. As another great man says, "The only real freedom a human being can ever know is doing what you ought to do because you want to do it."

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."

The sponsor continues, "Take, for example, my own case. I had a scientific schooling. Naturally I respected, venerated, even worshipped science. As a matter of fact, I still do--all except the worship part. Time after time, my instructors held up to me the basic principle of all scientific progress: search and research, again and again, always with the open mind. When I first looked at A.A. my reaction was just like yours. This A.A. business, I thought, is totally unscientific. This I can't swallow. I simply won't consider such nonsense.

pp. 26-27

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"If we've been fighting something or someone, we can try gratitude & acceptance."
--Melody Beattie

"My philosophy is that not only are you responsible for your life, but doing the best at this moment puts you in the best place for the next moment."
--Oprah Winfrey

"Confidence, like art, never comes from having all the answers; it comes from being open to all the questions."
--Earl Gray Stevens

"Whatever your problem, no matter how difficult, you can release spiritual power sufficient to solve your problem. The secret is--pray and believe."
--Norman Vincent Peale

"When you focus on what might have been, it gets in the way of what can be."
--Patricia Fripp

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Father Leo's Daily Meditation

ACCEPTANCE

"Less is more."
--Mies van der Rohe

As a gambler, I always wanted more. I wanted to win more, get more, have more, spend more - always my energy was in getting "the more".
But this constant and demanding lifestyle only gave me less. I could never stop to smell the roses. Activity robbed me of satisfaction. I was running through my life and missing it.

Then somebody told me to stop and rest awhile. Don't chase life; enjoy it. The gambling had become a compulsive and obsessive disease that was ruining my life. I was losing. I was not only losing money - but family, intimacy, life. I was so busy trying to win that I missed the pain and loneliness of my daily losses.

Today I choose not to do this. I accept that the "less" in my life is giving me more. I take responsibility for me, and I share freely with other recovering gamblers.

God, teach me to see Your power and beauty in what I can give up.

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For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord.
Ephesians 5:8-10

Do not love sleep or you will grow poor; stay awake and you will have food to spare.
Psalm 20:13

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Daily Inspiration

Live with gratitude for all that you are and all that you have because often what looks good on the outside is not really what it seems. Lord, remind me to spend a few moments each day appreciating my life and becoming aware of how good it really is.

Worse than being a quitter is the one who is afraid to begin. Lord, grant me the courage to believe in myself and the ability to focus on what I can do, not what I can't do.

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NA Just For Today

Indirect Amends

"Indirect amends may be necessary where direct ones would be unsafe or endanger other people."
Basic Text, p.40

When we used, we allowed nothing to stand in the way of that next high. As a result, many of us didn't always know precisely whom we had injured, either financially or emotionally. When it came time to make amends through our Ninth Step, we found that there were so many people we had victimized that we might never remember them all.

With the help of our sponsor and other recovering members of NA, we found a solution to this obstacle. We vowed to complete these nameless amends by making restitution to our communities. We focused our service efforts on helping the still-suffering addict. In this manner, we found a way to give back to society.

Today, with the love and guidance of members in NA, we are giving back to the world around us rather than taking. We are making our communities better places to live by carrying the message of recovery to those we encounter in our daily lives.

Just for today: I will make indirect amends by reaching out to an addict who may need help. I will strive in some small way to make my community a better place in which to live.

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You are reading from the book Today's Gift.
Let your conscience be your guide. --Jiminy Cricket
Crickets sing on summer nights because it's their nature to do so. They don't think about whistling or trumpeting or sleeping or changing the world. They've figured out their role on earth, and they do it.
We are a bit more complex than crickets, and most of the time that's lucky. In most of our affairs it's our conscience more than sheer instinct that helps us choose those thoughts and acts and feelings that are right for us.
Each of us has that little voice inside, relentless as a chirping cricket, telling us what to do. Even in the middle of our toughest decisions, we always have within us the solution that is right for us. All we have to do is listen--and trust.
What does my inner voice say about today's decisions?


You are reading from the book Touchstones.
Choice of attention - to pay attention to this and ignore that - is to the inner life what choice of action is to the outer. In both cases, a man is responsible for his choice and must accept the consequences. --W. H. Auden
Many of us have said, "I can't help myself!" when we tried to stop our constant thinking about other people or their behavior. "I know it's not good for me, but what can I do when they keep acting that way?"
Let us think of ourselves as living in a house with many windows. At each window is a different view, and within each view are many things to catch our attention. Perhaps there are some people, some traffic, some buildings, a horizon, and some trees. If we always go to the same window and focus on the same object, we are not using all our choices. We may have overlooked some things in our lives that need attention. There are many things we are totally powerless over. Our power exists in changing the focus of our attention.
Today, I will notice where I am choosing to pay attention. I pray for guidance in being aware of my options.


You are reading from the book 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.


You are reading from the book The Language of Letting Go.
Being Vulnerable
Part of recovery means learning to share ourselves with other people. We learn to admit our mistakes and expose our imperfections - not so that others can fix us, rescue us, or feel sorry for us, but so we can love and accept ourselves. This sharing is a catalyst in healing and changing.
Many of us are fearful of sharing our imperfections because that makes us vulnerable. Some of us have tried being vulnerable in the past, and people tried to control, manipulate, or exploit us, or they made us feel ashamed.
Some of us in recovery have hurt ourselves by being vulnerable. We may have shared things with people who didn't respect our confidence. Or we may have told the wrong people at an inappropriate time, and scared them away.
We learn from our mistakes - and despite our mistakes, it is still a good thing to allow ourselves to be vulnerable and honest. We can learn to choose safe people with whom to share ourselves. We can learn to share appropriately, so we don't scare or push people away. We can also learn to let others be vulnerable with us.
Today, God, help me learn to be appropriately vulnerable. I will not let others exploit or shame me for being vulnerable, and I will not exploit myself.


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

Don’t Worry

Worrying doesn’t help. Our worries haven’t prevented one disaster along the way. At times, the only thing they’ve prevented is our joy. Our worries are fear. We say, I will worry and be fearful until things have worked out; only then can I relax and enjoy. Our worries are self-punishment, a form of not forgiving ourselves, not loving ourselves, not trusting.

We may think that worrying helps ward off trouble, but that’s an illusion. Sometimes worrying brings trouble upon us, because we’re so caught up in our fear that we don’t take the responsible steps we need to take. By neglecting our lives due to worry and fear, we may bring needless consequences upon ourselves.

The lesson is trust. When we’re trusting, we let go of our fear, confident that what we want and need will come. We trust that if what comes appears to be trouble or hardship, we will get what we need to get through that,too. When we trust, we get peaceful first, before we get what we want, before we see what the future brings.

Worry and fear are the opposite of love. Love yourself more that you ever have. Love yourself enough to stop worrying. Love yourself enough to give yourself the gift of peace.

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More Language Of Letting Go

Relax even when you’re being attacked

Attacks can come in many shapes and forms. They can be emotional attacks, when someone pelts us with anger and rage. We can be attacked physically,too.

Self-defense is important. But ti’s easy to get confused when we’re being attacked, about what it means to take care of and protect ourselves. It may be a boss, a spouse, a child, or a friend who turns on us in anger and rage. We might be dating someone, someone we don’t know well, who suddenly starts spewing venom and rage. Instinctively, we may attack back.

If someone yells at us in anger, says something mean, or physically hurts us, we usually don’t think twice. We tense up and fight back. Then the situation escalates. The other perosn’s fear and anger contaminate us. We become afraid, angry, and mean,too. Our intense and volatile emotions feed and fuel the situation. Things can easily get out of control.

Instead of escalting the situation into an all-out brawl, try harmonizing and restoring the situation to peace. You might be surprised with the results that learning to relax and harmonize brings. And you’ll be closer to connecting with your true power.

God, fill me up with so much peace that my presence neutralizes and deflects attacks, no matter where I might 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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Clearing Our System
Food Allergies by Madisyn Taylor

Understanding how our bodies react to food, and making adjustments can have a profound effect on our energy system.

In this day and age we know so much more about our relationship to food than our predecessors, and the way we eat and think about food has become almost unrecognizable to our grandparents’ generation. One example of this is our awareness of food allergies, a condition that has recently entered the collective consciousness. Most of us know someone who is allergic to such commonplace foods as wheat and dairy, and we may even be prone to such an allergy. Understanding how our bodies react to food, and making the necessary adjustments in our diet, can have a profound effect on our whole energy system, and can be the key to shifting our mind into a state of greater clarity.

When we are continuously exposed to a food that gives us an allergic reaction, we feel lethargic, foggy-headed, or as if we always have a low-grade sinus infection. Other symptoms can include nausea, digestive difficulties, skin problems, and difficulty breathing. Many of us have been fighting these symptoms our whole lives without realizing that getting relief could be as simple as cutting a particular food out of our diet. When we do, we feel as if we are waking up out of a fog, and our whole system, cleared of substances that work against it, benefits. Many people see skin improvements, they sleep better, have more energy, and feel able to think more clearly. When we feel less than well, testing ourselves, or getting tested by someone else, for food allergies may be a good place to start.

If you know how to do kinesiology, or if you work with a pendulum or have access to clear signals from an inner guide, you can test yourself. If these modes of gaining information are unfamiliar or uncomfortable, you can get tested through a doctor of your choice. However we go about it, exploring our relationship to the foods we eat can be the first step to a more optimal state of health, well-being, and clarity of mind. Published with permission from Daily OM

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A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

I believe today that I have a right to make spiritual progress. I have a right to be emotionally mature. I have a right to take pleasure in my own company, and that makes me more pleasant to be with. I also have a right to become willing — deeply willing, entirely willing – to make amends to all those I’ve harmed. Because I can now accept myself the way I am, I can accept other people the way they are — no entirely, but to a much greater degree than in the past. Have I begun to make friends with God, and thus with myself?

Today I Pray

May God show me that it’s okay to like myself, even while trying to repair old wrongs and rebuild from splinters. May I keep telling myself that I am different now, I have changed. I am a better and wiser and healthier person, I have made some good choices. As this “new person,” may I find it easier to make atonement for what happened long ago and in another spiritual place. May those I have wronged also find it easier to accept my amends.

Today I Will Remember

It’s okay to like myself.

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One More Day

Never believe in faith, see for yourself! What you yourself don’t learn, you don’t know.
– Berolt Brecht

While faith seems to be the watchword here, this quotation also extols the value of learning. Learning is not the opposite of faith. In fact, it supports and builds our faith. We often can trust our intuitions to guide us through all the lessons life provides us. It’s up to us to pick and choose, to decide what lessons would be particularly pertinent to us, and to incorporate that knowledge into our own spirituality.

We learn firsthand, of course, from our own day-to-day lessons in living, but we also learn from the experiences of others, and these are equally beneficial to us. We can see for ourselves.

Learning strengthens my faith — in my Higher Power, in others, and in myself. I can use that greater faith to enhance and strengthen the quality of my life.

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One Day At A Time

GUILT
“The worst guilt is to accept an unearned guilt.” Ayn Rand

I think that I was fed on guilt from the minute I was knee-high to a grasshopper. My mother's favorite saying was, "After all I've done for you..." I'd immediately feel guilty because of all that I perceived my mother had given up for me. As a result, I was given the message that love had to be earned and that as far as my mother was concerned, I had to do something to be worthy of her love. I felt like I had to be the perfect daughter my mother wanted. No matter what I did, it never seemed to be good enough. My guilt grew even more.

Of course I know now that I didn't deserve that guilt and that I chose to take it on ~ but as a child I didn't know that. Thank goodness for the program which is enabling me to see what I deserve -- and what doesn't belong to me. I am realizing that most of the time it's other people's stuff and that I don't have to take that on.

One day at a time...
I will remember to only take on what is rightfully mine and I don't need to feel guilty if I don't deserve to.

~ Sharon

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AA 'Big Book' - Quote

We believe, and so suggested a few years ago, that the action of alcohol on these chronic alcoholics is a manifestation of an allergy; that the phenomenon of craving is limited to this class and never occurs in the average temperate drinker. These allergic types can never safely use alcohol in any form at all; and once having formed the habit and found they cannot break it, once having lost their self-confidence, their reliance upon things human, their problems pile up on them and become astonishingly difficult to solve.

Frothy emotional appeal seldom suffices. The message which can interest and hold these alcoholic people must have depth and weight. In nearly all cases, their ideals must be grounded in a power greater than themselves, if they are to re-create their lives. - Pg. xxviii - 4th. Editon - The Doctor's Opinion

Hour To Hour - Book - Quote

The origin of our disease mystifies us -- genetic, societal, environmental, or all three? But we can't wait on science or medicine to untangle the addiction web. We must work on recovery today! That means no mind-affecting chemicals in this 24 hours!

May I stay clean and sober this day, this hour.

Separation

Today, I see that some of my anger towards my parents or their generation is about my need to separate from them and seek an individual identity. Even if my parents were wonderful, it would be natural to want to become my own person. Healthy parents have an easier time allowing this process because they have their own identity and intuitively understand what their children are doing. Less healthy parents take separation as a personal indictment and tend either to hold on tighter or to reject the relationships altogether. It is difficult to separate under these circumstances because it becomes so threatening. It is difficult to establish an individual identity without fearing either great loss or engulfment.

I see separation for what it is.

- Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor - Book - Quote

Take heart. There is no situation too difficult to be bettered and no unhappiness too great to be lessened. This is because the spiritual tools you require reside within-within that heart you 'take.'

What lies in front of me and what lies behind me is insignificant compared to what lies within me.

"Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book" - Book

Not asking for support is a sign of weakness.

Time for Joy - Book - Quote

Today I look honestly at what is real without denial or judgement. I accept my reality without struggle and this gives me all the courage I need to deal with what needs to be done.

Alkiespeak - Book - Quote

They say there are no 'musts' in AA, that it's a 'suggested program'. That's right. The same way that when you jump out of a plane, it's suggested you take a parachute. Unknown origin.
__________________
"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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