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Old 06-16-2017, 07:10 AM   #19
bluidkiti
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June 19

Daily Reflections

"A.A. REGENERATION"

Such is the paradox of A.A. regeneration: strength arising
out of complete defeat and weakness, the loss of one's old
life as a condition for finding a new one.
A.A. COMES OF AGE, p. 46

A thousand beatings by Barleycorn did not encourage me to
admit defeat. I believed it was my moral obligation to
conquer my "enemy-friend." At my first A.A. meeting I
was blessed with a feeling that it was all right to admit
defeat to a disease which had nothing to do with my
"moral fiber." I knew instinctively that I was in the
presence of a great love when I entered the doors of A.A.
With no effort on my part, I became aware that to love
myself was good and right, as God had intended. My feeling
set me free, where my thoughts had held me in bondage. I
am grateful.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

We have this choice every day of our lives. We can take the
path that leads to insanity and death. And remember, our
next drunk could be our last one. Or we can take the path
that leads to a reasonably happy and useful life. The choice
is ours each day of our lives. God grant that we take the
right path. Have I made my choice today?

Meditation For The Day

Your real work in life is to grow spiritually. To do this you
must follow the path of diligently seeking good. The hidden
spiritual wonders are revealed to those who diligently seek
this treasure. From one point to the next, you have to follow
the way of obedience to God's will until finally you reach
greater and greater spiritual heights. Work on the material
plane should be secondary to your real life's work. The
material things that you need most are those that help you
to attain the spiritual.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may keep growing spiritually. I pray that I
may make this my real life's work.

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As Bill Sees It

Whose Will? p. 170

We have seen A.A.'s ask with much earnestness and faith for God's explicit guidance
on matters ranging all the way from a shattering domestic or financial crisis to a
minor personal fault, like tardiness. A man who tries to run his life rigidly by this kind of
prayer, by this self-serving demand of God for replies, is a particularly
disconcerting individual. To any questioning or criticism of his actions, he instantly
proffers his reliance upon prayer for guidance in all matters great or small.

He may have forgotten the possibility that his own wishful thinking and the human
tendency to rationalize have distorted his so-called guidance. With the best of
intentions, he tends to force his will into all sorts of situations and problems with the
comfortable assurance that he is acting under God's specific direction.

12 & 12, pp. 103-104

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Walk In Dry Places

Open minded but concerned.
Responsibility
Open-mindedness is a quality that helps us attract new ideas for our self-imporovement. Oddly, many of us though we were open-minded long before we ever considered a 12 Step program.
We learned that what we considered open-mindedness was really indifference based on self-justification. It follow that people who are deep into selfish, compulsive behavior will appear to be open-minded and even very tolerant. This attitude is really the result of a desire to be accepted in spite of questionable behavior. It reflects no concern for others.
In living the program, we seek to cultivate true open-mindedness. This means being open to new ideas and opportunities, but also being concerned about others and taking care not to harm them.
Today I'll be open to what people are thinking and saying. I will be careful not to let my own prejudices keep me from viewpoints that will help me and others.

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Keep It Simple

If you tell the truth, you don't need to remember anything.---Mark Twain
One thing is a lot easier in life now is this---we can keep our story straight! We are learning that there's one really good way to get along with people. Keep It Simple. Just tell the truth.
It's hard to do at first. We might think, "If people see the real me, what will happen?" We might be afraid of what will happen if we don't lie or make excuses.
But telling the truth works! We find out we never did fool anyone anyway!
Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, make me honest.
Action for the Day: I'll list all the ways honesty will help me in recovery. I'll sign-up to give a meeting on honesty.

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Each Day a New Beginning

There were deep secrets, hidden in my heart, never said for fear others would scoff or sneer. At last I can reveal my sufferings, for the strength I once felt in silence has lost all its power. --Deidra Sarault
There is magic in sharing ourselves with someone else. We learn from Steps Four and Five that what we thought were heinous acts are not unusual. Our shameful acts are not unique, and this discovery is our gift when we risk exposure.
Realizing how much we are like others gives us strength, and the program paves the way for us to capture that strength whenever and wherever we sense our need. Secrets block us from others and thus from God too. The messages we need to hear, the guidance offered by God, can't be received when we close ourselves off from the caring persons in our lives. They are the carriers of God's message.
How freeing to know we share the same fears, the same worries. Offering our story to someone else may be the very encouragement she needs at this time. Each of us profits from the sharing of a story. We need to recognize and celebrate our "sameness." When we share ourselves, we are bonded. Bonding combines our strength.
Silence divides us. It diminishes our strength. Yet all the strength we need awaits us. I will let someone else know me today.

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Alcoholics Anonymous - Fourth Edition

Chapter 11 - A Vision For You

FOR MOST normal folks, drinking means conviviality, companionship and colorful imagination. It means release from care, boredom and worry. It is joyous intimacy with friends and a feeling that life is good. But not so with us in those last days of heavy drinking. The old pleasures were gone. They were but memories. Never could we recapture the great moments of the past. There was an insistent yearning to enjoy life as we once did and a heartbreaking obsession that some new miracle of control would enable us to do it. There was always one more attempt—and one more failure.

p. 151

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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.

This great experience that released me from the bondage of hatred and replaced it with love is really just another affirmation of the truth I know: I get everything I need in Alcoholics Anonymous--and everything I need I get. And when I get what I need, I invariably find that it was just what I wanted all the time.

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."

"Then I woke up. I had to admit that A.A. showed results, prodigious results. I saw that my attitude regarding these had been anything but scientific. It wasn't A.A. that had the closed mind, it was me. The minute I stopped arguing, I could begin to see and feel. Right there, Step Two gently and very gradually began to infiltrate my life. I can't say upon what occasion or upon what day I came to believe in a Power greater than myself, but I certainly have that belief now. To acquire it, I had only to stop fighting and practice the rest of A.A.'s program as enthusiastically as I could.

p. 27

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"Praying is asking God for help, meditating is listening for God's answer." "Keep trying" is the rule that must be followed to become successful in anything."

It isn't "me" and "you" anymore; it's "we" and "us." I get drunk. We
stay sober! It's a we program.....

"The way to develop the best that is in a man is by appreciation and
encouragement."
--Charles Schwab

As thou valuest thyself, others will esteem thee.
--Gaelic Proverb

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Father Leo's Daily Meditation

PREJUDICE

"A great many people think they
are thinking when they are only
rearranging their prejudices."
--William James

An aspect of prejudice in my life is my refusal to listen. I tend to stay
with my own thinking and I "shut off" people or ideas I do not want to
hear. The problem with this attitude is that it does not lead to
discussion, growth or change.

Spirituality is having the capacity to hear what others are saying, even
people you may not like or respect, and also being prepared to live
with and alongside confusion and "difference". Truth is a many-sided
diamond, and it cannot be comprehended from one viewpoint. I need to
remove my prejudices if I am ever to move towards an understanding
of God's truth.

I need to learn in my heart that there is that "image" of God in every
person I meet.

Teach me to listen so that I may hear, so that I may grow.

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For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.
Ephesians 2:8-9

"So don't be afraid, little flock. For it gives your Father great happiness to give you the Kingdom."
Luke 12:32

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Daily Inspiration

Trust yourself more than you trust the pressures of society and the ways other people try to influence you. Lord, strengthen me and continue to bless me with wisdom so that I can stand firm on my beliefs and know that how I feel is very important to me.

It is not making a mistake, but repeating it that is cause for concern. Lord, may I use my mistakes to guide me to better choices.

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NA Just For Today

A Sense Of Humor

"We find that when we lose self-obsession, we are able to understand what it means to be happy, joyous, and free."
Basic Text, p.103

The laughter in our meetings often surprises the newcomer. As a group, we appreciate the healing that healthy laughter brings. Even if we are deeply troubled, the joy that often fills the meeting rooms allows us, for a time, to have some fun with our recovery. Through humor, we can be temporarily relieved of our obsession with self.

Life on life's terms is often anything but funny. But if we can keep a sense of humor about us, things that might overwhelm us can be made bearable. How often have we allowed ourselves to be upset by incidents that, taken with a bit of humor, are not all that intolerable? When we become annoyed with people and events, a search for the humor in the situation can put things in a brighter perspective. An ability to find humor in a difficult situation is a gift to develop.

Just for today: I will look to find the humor in adversity. When I make mistakes, I will find a way to laugh at the humor of my imperfections.

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You are reading from the book Today's Gift.
Jealousy is cruel as the grave. --Song of Solomon
Most bushes and small trees need trimming every year. They have branches that hang out over the sidewalk and get in people's way. Sometimes the branches grow so long and low to the ground that the tree looks weighted down.
Jealousy is like an overgrown branch--it weighs us down. It is one of those feelings all of us deal with. We may be jealous of someone's looks or talent, or maybe even their good luck. Like the overgrown branches, jealousy sticks out all over and gets in other people's way as well as our own. It is a part of us we need to keep cutting back.
If we are good gardeners, we will get out the clippers. Seeing and talking about our jealousy is the best way to start using those clippers. If we do this, our own leaves will be healthier, and our blossoms will grow.
Is there someone I am jealous of? Can I use my clippers today?



You are reading from the book Touchstones.
Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it. --Helen Keller
When a man looks at his life and at the lives of others, it is clear that pain is part of life. We cannot escape this tragic truth; our growth and our wholeness must include it because our recovery stresses honesty. In our old way of living, we may have been bitter. Many of us felt sorry for ourselves. Some of us cursed God and wasted time in our self-centeredness, thinking life was especially unfair to us. Life is not fair; it just is. It is left to us to choose how we will respond.
People's responses to life inspire us. We not only acknowledge the pain, but we see the heroic lives of others around us. They met their limitations and went forward with a willing spirit and faith. Today we can be grateful for the progress we have made in overcoming our suffering. We have friends who give us the joy of human contact. We have choices and possibilities where we never saw them before. We have a growing self-respect as men.
I accept the reality of life, and I will respond with faith in the choices I make today.


You are reading from the book 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.


You are reading from the book The Language of Letting Go.
Making Life Easier
Life doesn't have to be hard.
Yes, there are times we need to endure, struggle through, and rely on our survival skills. But we don't have to make life, growth, recovery, change, or our day-to-day affairs that hard all the time.
Having life be that hard is a remnant of our martyrdom, a leftover from old ways of thinking, feeling, and believing. We are worthy, even when life isn't that hard. Our value and worth are not determined by how hard we struggle.
If we're making it that hard, we may be making it harder than it needs to be, said one woman. Learn to let things happen easily and naturally. Learn to let events, and our participation in them, fall into place. It can be easy now. Easier than it has been. We can go with the flow, take the world off our shoulders, and let our Higher Power ease us into where we need to be.
Today, I will stop struggling so hard. I will let go of my belief that life and recovery have to be hard. I will replace it with a belief that I can walk this journey in ease and peace. And sometimes, it can actually be fun.


I trust that I have all that I need in every moment of this day. --Ruth Fishel

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Journey To The Heart

Your Heart Will Guide You Through

If you feel confused, alone, unsure of what to do next, go back to a place you can trust– your heart. In matters of work, money, love, play, go back to your heart.

The issues that arise in your life can be dealt with from the heart. You will be guided through gently, safely, with love and truth, along the path that’s best for you. Are you feeling upset? Do you wonder why things aren’t working out? Are you unsure of the map, uncertain of the next step, wondering how to untangle the mess of the past?

The answer isn’t in your head, it’s in your heart. It’s not outside of you, although sometimes we receive guidance from others. The answer you’re seeking, the guidance you’re looking for needs to feel right to you. It needs to resonate with your heart. Your heart is the center, the balance point for your emotions, your intellect, and your soul. Your heart is safe.

Go back to your heart. It will always lead you home.

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More Language Of Letting Go

Relax enough to face reality when life twists and turns

Sometimes in life, no matter how deeply we intend to make the best decisions possible for ourselves, things happen. Marriages end, jobs turn sour, friends wane. For reasons outside our control or understanding, the situation twists and turns into something other than what we bargained for.

Have you been waiting for a situation to revert to what it originally was–or what you hoped it would be when you got in? Are you telling yourself that there’s something wrong with you, when the reality is, the situation has changed into something other than what you thought it was? Things often don’t go as smoothly as we planned. Sometimes, we need to endure amd get through the rough spots. But I’m talking about those grindingly difficult moments when life suddenly twists on us.

These are the times we need to quit torturing ourselves. Let go of what you thought would happen. If life has twisted on you, don’t turn on yourself. Don’t try to make things be the way they were. Come up to speed. Return to now. Let yourself accept the new situation at hand.

The road isn’t always a straight course. Sometimes, even a path with heart unexpectedly twists and turns.

God, help me relax and trust myself enough to deal with reality, not my fantasy of what I hoped it would be.

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In God’s Care

Our immediate temptation will be to ask for specific solutions to specific problems, and for the ability to help other people as we have already thought they shoud be helped. In that case, we are asking God to do it our way.
~~Bill W.

As much as we say we want God’s will to be done, we often find ourselves asking God to do what we think is best. Always, of course, with the best intentions. Who would not want a sick friend to get well, a spouse to earn a raise in pay? And what about our own needs? What’s the harm in a specific request? Surely we all do this. But isn’t it a bit presumptuous of us to decide what is best for ourselves or anyone else?

Love and compassion may motivate our prayers, but only God knows what each or us needs to experience and learn. If we insist on seeing things happen our way we’re not trusting God’s plan for us. A loving God will see that our needs are supplied without instructions from us.

Instead of asking for what I want, I will pray to be open to God’s will.

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Day By Day

Doing the footwork

We often ask our Higher Power for spiritual assets without recognizing the work we need to do to get them. To grow strong, we must learn to carry burdens; to gain patience, we must learn to handle stress; to follow God’s will, we must become willing to let go. To be courageous, we must practice faith in the face of fear; to be right, we must learn to admit wrongs; to be loved, we must learn to be loving.

Our Higher Power gives us opportunities to grow. The footwork is up to us.

Am I doing my part?

Higher Power, help me to recognize, and do, my part in recovery.

Today I will do the footwork necessary to…

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Just for Fun
Remembering Childhood Joys by Madisyn Taylor

Fun isn’t something that is given or done to you, it is something that you allow yourself to experience.

As adults, we often get so caught up in “grown up” business that we can forget how to have pure fun. This isn’t the kind of fun that comes from doing a specific kind of activity or being in a specific mood for fun. Rather, this is the fun born from the state of pure being. You see this kind of fun in small children who are so busy being fully present to their lives and in their own bodies that the glow of fun radiates from them just because they are alive: the delight that flashes across the eyes of a child who discovers that water flows with the turn of the tap knob or the squeal of pleasure from a young baby whose tongue is being tickled by cold ice cream; then there’s the full, infectious laughter of a child watching the same hat trick for the fiftieth time.

Back when we were children, this experience of pure delight didn’t have to come from a heightened, heady event in order for us to feel like our day had been made; and it can be that way for us again - if we are willing to remember and reconnect with that part of ourselves that knows how to be in the flow of fun. You can begin this process by reminiscing on what was fun for you as a child. Think about what caused you to giggle in delight or wriggle in pleasure or burst into endless laughter that you couldn’t sit up straight no matter how much you wanted to. Try to spend a few moments with each memory, and really feel what it was like to be in those experiences – allowing that feeling of pure fun to wash over you. It lives, in you – that feeling. It can’t be bottled, manufactured, or sold. You just have to call it back up in order to experience it again.

Pure fun happens when we are fully engaged with ourselves and our world in each moment. It is the spontaneous delight that bubbles out of us when we let go long enough to bring it through; it is the experience of natural, organic pleasure that springs up from our bellies, through our souls, up through our faces, and down to our toes. We’ve naturally known how to have pure fun since we were babies and the flicker of lights caused us to jump to attention from the sheer enjoyment of being able to see. Approach your life today with the knowledge that pure fun isn’t something that is given or done to you; rather, it is something that you allow yourself to experience. Published with permission from Daily OM

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A Day At A Time

Refection For The Day

The Program teaches us that only one consideration should qualify our desire to completely disclose the damage we’ve done. And that’s where a full revelation would seriously harm the one to whom we’re making amends. Or, just as important, other people. We can hardly unload a detailed account of extramarital misadventures, for example, on the shoulders of an unsuspecting wife or husband. When we recklessly make the burdens of others wavier, such actions surely can’t lighten our own burden. Sometimes, in that sense, “telling all” may be almost a self indulgence for us. So in making amends, we should be tactful, sensible, considerate, and humble — without being servile. As a child of God, do I stand on my feet and not crawl before anyone?

Today I Pray

May God show me that self-hatred has no role in making amends to others. Neither has the play-acting of self-indulgence. I ask most humbly for His guidance as I strive to maintain a mature balance in interpersonal relations, even in the most casual or fragile ones.

Today I Will Remember

Making amends is mending.

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One More Day

We can either change the complexities of life… or develop ways to enable us to cope more effectively.
– Herbert Benson

Our illnesses have brought many new complexities into our lives, and our reactions may become much more intense as time goes on — especially if we feel helpless or pity ourselves.

All people have crises in their lives. Our medical conditions don’t give us immunity from the normal problems, pains, and disappointments that all of us must face. If anything, we may have an advantage over people who have never had health problems; we have learned some coping skills in dealing with our medical conditions. Also, we have become more open to advice and support from others. We can be proud of how far we’ve come; we can be optimistic of how far we can go.

I will gladly exchange help and support with my friends.

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Food for Thought

Taking Inventory

Blaming circumstances and other people for our difficulties, including compulsive overeating, is counterproductive. We cannot control external circumstances or other people, but we can work on changing ourselves. In order to change, we first need to be aware of the attitudes and characteristics, which get us into trouble. If we overeat or have a tantrum when we do not get our own way, then we need to learn how to function without demanding that everything should go according to our personal schedule and preference.

We take inventory in Step Four and we continue to take it in Step Ten. It is a valuable tool for our growth. The amazing result is that as we recognize and begin to correct personal defects, our relationships with others improve tremendously. With a positive change in our attitude and behavior, there is a corresponding change in the way other people respond to us.

Taking inventory involves recognizing our good qualities as well as our weaknesses. In OA, we measure our wealth not by what we have but by what we have given.

Teach me to give.

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One Day At A Time

KIND WORDS
“Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.” Mother Teresa

How many times are we gifted with newcomers to our meetings? They are so easy to see as they huddle in the back of the room -- usually as close to the exit as possible. Their oversized coat is a good giveaway, especially in July. Their eyes show the fear and anxiety that we all felt. Sure, we made it, and so can they.

I remember the elder who first said those magical words to me -- those two simple words -- "Welcome Home." The warmth and safety those words held were immense. I felt that my body was huge, and I was embarrassed in a room full of people who looked very similar to me…but my eyes could not see that. They were filled with tears because of those two words. Welcome home. Whoever that person was, I have two words for you, "Thank you.”

What can you do to make a newcomer feel welcome to your meeting? Let us not forget that all-important first hug. I remember mine; do you remember yours? It felt good, I'll bet. So welcome the newcomer and let them know they are home.

One day at a time...
I will do my part to welcome the newcomer into our fellowship.
~ Danny

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AA 'Big Book' - Quote

Some day we hope that every alcoholic who journeys will find a Fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous at his destination. - Pg. 162 - A Vision For You

Hour To Hour - Book - Quote

One hour at a time leads to one day at a time in our recovery program. Each hour is one of 24 building blocks of each day of our sobriety and clean time.

My current building block is to raise above fear and practice faith this hour.

Projection

Today, I understand that when I project my feelings outward and see them as belonging to other people and not to me, I postpone my own self-awareness. The only way I can deal with difficult feelings is first to claim them as my own. Sitting with anxiety, anger, rage and jealousy is not pleasant, but actually experiencing my own feelings is the only way to get through them.

I own my feelings and am willing to experience them.
- Tian Dayton PhD

'Self-forgiveness brings your mental and emotional energy systems back into balance. That's all. No big deal. It's not necessarily religious or spiritual, it's just good ol' street sense - the missing link in intelligence that scientists are looking for. Once you practice forgiving and releasing yourself, you'll realize the benefits soon in the way you feel overall.'
- Doc Childre

Pocket Sponsor - Book - Quote

Ramana Marhrshi talks about life's journey and likens it to a train trip. He says that you can carry your baggage on your head or set it on the floor beside you. Either way, both you and your baggage arrive at your destination. This is because the train carries your baggage, not you. If you prefer to carry your burdens on your head, it doesn't change the destination, it simply gives you a head ache.

I chose to let my Higher Power carry my baggage and my burdens.

"Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book" - Book

You woke up this morning clean and sober. That's your spiritual awakening.

Time for Joy - Book - Quote

I trust that I have all that I need in every moment of this day.

Alkiespeak - Book - Quote

A sober alcoholic is like a turtle on a fence post - You know it had help. - Anon.
__________________
"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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