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Old 08-10-2017, 02:52 AM   #12
bluidkiti
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August 12

Daily Reflections

A LOOK BACKWARD

First, we take a look backward and try to discover where we have
been at fault; next we make a vigorous attempt to repair the damage
we have done; . . .
TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 77

As a traveler on a fresh and exciting A.A. journey of recovery, I
experienced a newfound peace of mind and the horizon appeared clear
and bright, rather than obscure and dim. Reviewing my life to
discover where I had been at fault seemed to be such an arduous and
dangerous task. It was painful to pause and look backward. I was
afraid I might stumble! Couldn't I put the past out of my mind and
just live in my new golden present? I realized that those in the past
whom I had harmed stood between me and my desire to continue my
movement toward serenity. I had to ask for courage to face those
persons from my life who still lived in my conscience, to recognize and
deal with the guilt that their presence produced in me. I had to look at
the damage I had done, and become willing to make amends. Only
then could my journey of the spirit resume.

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

Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

"There was nothing left for us but to pick up the simple kit of spiritual
tools laid at our feet by Alcoholics Anonymous. By doing so, we have
a spiritual experience which revolutionizes our whole attitude
toward life, toward others, and toward God's universe. The central
fact of our lives today is the absolute certainty that our Creator has
entered into our hearts and lives there in a way that is indeed
miraculous. He has commenced to accomplish those things for us that
we could never do for ourselves." Have I let God come into my life?

Meditation For The Day

The moment a thing seems wrong to you or a person's actions to be
not what you think they should be, at that moment begins your
obligation and responsibility to pray for those wrongs to be righted
or that person to be changed. What is wrong in your surroundings or in
the people you know? Think about these things and make these
matters your responsibility. Not to interfere or be a busybody, but to
pray that a change may come through your influence. You may see
lives altered and evils banished in time. You can become a force for
good wherever you are.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may be a co-worker with God. I pray that I may help
people by my example.

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

As Bill Sees It

Leadership In A.A., p. 224

No society can function well without able leadership at all its
levels, and A.A. can be no exception. But we A.A.'s sometimes
cherish the thought that we can do without much personal
leadership at all. We are apt to warp the traditional idea of
"principles before personalities" around to such a point that there
would be no "personality" in a leadership whatever. This would
imply rather faceless robots trying to please everybody.

A leader in A.A. service is a man (woman) who can personally put
principles, plans, and policies into such dedicated and effective
action that the rest of us naturally want to back him up and help him
with his job. When a leader power-drives us badly, we rebel; but
when he too meekly becomes an order-taker and he exercises no
judgment of his own--well, he really isn't a leader at all.

Twelve Concepts, pp. 38-39

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

Walk In Dry Places

Things I can't fix
Acceptance.
One of the sad realities of life is that we're awash in disorder that we can't fix. All around us, the world seethes and festers with aliments and injustices that are beyond our control.
We can react by becoming angry or by making quixotic efforts to solve some of these problems. Our best course, however, is to apply our 12 Step program to life in this world. The Serenity Prayer suggests we accept what we can't change. A slogan reminds us to set priorities ("First things First.") The Eleventh Step remind us to always seek God's will.
This will enable me to live effectively while doing my best to serve others. In time, I may even discover that I can fix a few of the seemingly insoluble problems around me.
I'll realize today that I have the ability only to do certain things within my sphere of experience. I'll see to it, however, that I do these things well.

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

Keep It Simple

Fairness is what justice really is. ---The last Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart
Some of us get hung up on what's fair. We might feel, because we've worked hard to stay sober, we should be rewarded. We might keep score of what we get and what others get. And we complain if it's "not fair."
Maybe we should be glad life isn't fair. Why? Most of us caused a lot of trouble we've never had to pay for. And we've hurt a lot of people who haven't gotten even. Would we really want life to be fair?
Our Higher Power isn't fair either. That is, our Higher Power doesn't keep score. Our Higher Power doesn't try to get even. Our Higher Power is loving and forgiving, no matter what. Our Higher Power has the same love and help for everyone.
Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, give me the wisdom to stop keeping score. Help me want the best for everyone.
Action for the Day: I'll list five times I've been unfair to others. Do I need to make amends?

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

Each Day a New Beginning

When a woman has love, she is no longer at the mercy of forces greater than herself, for she, herself, becomes the powerful force. --Veronica Casey
The need for love is universal. Each of us longs for the affirmation that assures us we are needed, appreciated, desired. We are strengthened by the strokes others give us, and when no strokes are forthcoming, we sometimes falter.
With emotional and spiritual maturity comes the understanding that we are loved, unconditionally, by God. And the awareness of that love, the realization of its abiding presence, will buoy us up when no other love signals to us. Most of us still lose our connection to the omnipresent God, however. Thus, our buoyancy is tentative.
Until that time when we are certain about our value, about the presence of God's love, we'll need to practice self-affirmation. But learning how to nurture ourselves, how to be gentle and caressing to the woman within, may be painstaking. Patience will ease the process. Unconditionally loving ourselves will become natural in time. In fact, we'll sense our inner person growing, changing. Our wholeness will become apparent to others as well as to ourselves.
Love breeds love. I will shower it upon others and myself and relish the growing sense of self that emerges.

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

Alcoholics Anonymous - Fourth Edition

Foreword To Second Edition

Figures given in this foreword describe the Fellowship as it was in 1955.

Prior to his journey to Akron, the broker had worked hard with many alcoholics on the theory that only an alcoholic could help an alcoholic, but he had succeeded only in keeping sober himself. The broker had gone to Akron on a business venture which had collapsed, leaving him greatly in fear that he might start drinking again. He suddenly realized that in order to save himself he must carry his message to another alcoholic. That alcoholic turned out to be the Akron physician.

p. xvi

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Alcoholics Anonymous - Fourth Edition Stories

IV - THE LASKER AWARD

In 1951 the Lasker Award was given Alcoholics Anonymous. The citation reads in part as follows:
“The American Public Health Association presents a Lasker Group Award for 1951 to Alcoholics Anonymous in recognition of its unique and highly successful approach to that age-old public health and social problem, alcoholism . . . In emphasizing alcoholism as an illness, the social stigma associated with this condition is being blotted out . . . Historians may one day recognize Alcoholics Anonymous to have been a great venture in social pioneering which forged a new instrument for social action; a new therapy based on the kinship of common suffering; one having a vast potential for the myriad other ills of mankind.”

p. 571

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

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

Also of importance for most alcoholics are the questions they must ask about their behavior respecting financial and emotional security. In these areas fear, greed, possessiveness, and pride have too often done their worst. Surveying his business or employment record, almost any alcoholic can ask questions like these: In addition to my drinking problem, what character defects contributed to my financial instability? Did fear and inferiority about my fitness for my job destroy my confidence and fill me with conflict? Did I try to cover up those feelings of inadequacy by bluffing, cheating, lying, or evading responsibility? Or by griping that others failed to recognize my truly exceptional abilities? Did I overvalue myself and play the big shot? Did I have such unprincipled ambition that I double-crossed and undercut my associates? Was I extravagant? Did I recklessly borrow money, caring little whether it was repaid or not? Was I a pinch penny, refusing to support my family properly? Did I cut corners financially? What about the "quick money" deals, the stock market, and the races?

p. 51

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

I have been given a new day to live, to grow, to give love and to feel love.
--Ruth Fishel

Love is living in the spiritual heart.
--John-Roger

Today I choose to forgive instead of holding on to resentments.
Today I choose to let go of all feelings that block me from feeling love.
Today I choose to see everyone through the eyes of love.
--Ruth Fishel

"We must keep in mind that where the road is crooked, God makes it
straight, and where our hearts are wounded, God makes us whole.
As we open our hearts in purity and simplicity, admitting to God that
we are completely powerless in the area of our problem, His
illumination redeems us."
--Marianne Williamson

Today I know I'm just wasting my energy to try to change people,
places and things. By looking within I can really discover what needs
to be changed and then turn it over to my Higher Power to be
released.
--Ruth Fishel

"The expression of praise as thanksgiving, gratitude, and joy is among
the most powerful forms of affirmation."
--Catherine Ponder

Far too many people spend their lives reading the menu instead of
enjoying the banquet.
--unknown

You can pray for a good crop, but don't forget your hoe!
--unknown

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

Father Leo's Daily Meditation

LIFE

"The tragedy of life is what dies
in man while he lives."
-- Albert Schweitzer

Addiction progressively takes away the vitality of life. It robs life of
meaning. Addiction isolates; it kills by atrophy. People, places and
things lose meaning; everything becomes a chore and God is lost. We
say to compensate that we are having "fun" --- we say this a lot and at
times we believe it, but in the silence of the night we know it to be a
lie.

We lie to others and to ourselves. Sometimes we believe the lie! At
this point we begin to die unless we take courage and confront "the
lie" in order to live. Today I live because I confronted my lie. I have
discovered the spiritual power that was buried deep beneath the
progressive addiction. And I am finding it easier and less painful to
live.

May I continue to breathe a daily "yes" in my life so that I might live.

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

"Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with
God's people who are in need. Practice hospitality."
Romans 12:12-13

The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the
will of God abides forever.
1 John 2:17

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and
petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the
peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your
hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:6-7

I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I
have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation,
whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can
do everything through him who gives me strength.
Philippians 4:12-13

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Daily Inspiration

If you are over committed, things begin to fall apart. Lord, help me be reasonable in the expectations I place on myself so that I can efficiently use my time and still have enough time to relax and enjoy the day.

Choose to be worthy to yourself and never confuse self worth with behavior. Lord, help me to be less critical of my past and see that this moment right now is all that I can do anything about.

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

NA Just For Today

Enough!

"Something inside cries out, 'Enough, enough, I've had enough; and then they are ready to take that first and often most difficult step toward dealing with their disease."
Basic Text, p.203

Have we really had enough? This is the crucial question we must ask ourselves as we prepare to work the First Step in Narcotics Anonymous. It doesn't matter whether or not we arrived in NA with our families intact, our careers still working for us, and all the outward appearances of wholeness. All that matters is that we have reached an emotional and spiritual bottom that precludes our return to active addiction. If we have, we will be truly ready to go to any lengths to quit using.

When we inventory our powerlessness, we ask ourselves some simple questions. Can I control my use of drugs in any form? What incidents have occurred as a result of my drug use that I didn't want to happen? How is my life unmanageable? Do I believe in my heart that I am an addict?

If the answers to these questions lead us to the doors of Narcotics Anonymous, then we are ready to move on to the next step toward a life free from active addiction. If we have truly had enough, then we will be willing to go to any lengths to find recovery.

Just for today: I admit that I have had enough. I am ready to work my First Step.
pg. 234

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

You are reading from the book Today's Gift.
I don't think of all the misery, but of the beauty that still remains. --Anne Frank
We don't find the rewards of today by searching through our misfortunes. Pausing to seek out something good for everything we find bad is a step in the right direction. We may find the good outweighs the bad.
But how much more chance we will have of living a happy day if we skip over our setbacks and concentrate as much as we can on what is going well. It is smarter to look for diamonds in a diamond mine than in a garbage dump.
Let us discard our failures, using only what we have learned from them to achieve success. Looking back at missed opportunities will make it impossible for us to recognize new chances to enjoy life to the fullest. Looking only for beauty is a beautiful thing in itself.
What beauty can I see around me right now?


You are reading from the book Touchstones.
It is a terrible, an inexorable law that one cannot deny the humanity of another without diminishing one's own: in the face of one's victim, one sees oneself. --James Baldwin
Acting totally in our self-interest is shortsighted and foolishly simple. Attacking another person or another nation reflects upon us like a mirror. When any person is undermined, the human race is diminished in some measure. And humanity is our family.
Sometimes we see a reflection of ourselves in someone else and fail to recognize it. What we hate most in another may well be what we hate in ourselves. Knowing this can be useful. Perhaps our teeth are set on edge when we think about an ex wife, or father, or former friend, or a religious or racial group. How are we like that person or group? What do they cause us to face within ourselves? When we stop diminishing the other person we may still not like him or her, but we can come to terms with ourselves. We learn to live and let live.
God, help me engage in the brotherhood of my own family and with all people - and to see my own face, even in my enemy.


You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
When a woman has love, she is no longer at the mercy of forces greater than herself, for she, herself, becomes the powerful force. --Veronica Casey
The need for love is universal. Each of us longs for the affirmation that assures us we are needed, appreciated, desired. We are strengthened by the strokes others give us, and when no strokes are forthcoming, we sometimes falter.
With emotional and spiritual maturity comes the understanding that we are loved, unconditionally, by God. And the awareness of that love, the realization of its abiding presence, will buoy us up when no other love signals to us. Most of us still lose our connection to the omnipresent God, however. Thus, our buoyancy is tentative.
Until that time when we are certain about our value, about the presence of God's love, we'll need to practice self-affirmation. But learning how to nurture ourselves, how to be gentle and caressing to the woman within, may be painstaking. Patience will ease the process. Unconditionally loving ourselves will become natural in time. In fact, we'll sense our inner person growing, changing. Our wholeness will become apparent to others as well as to ourselves.
Love breeds love. I will shower it upon others and myself and relish the growing sense of self that emerges.


You are reading from the book The Language of Letting Go.
Directness
Direct people are a joy to be around.
We never have to guess what they're really thinking or feeling, because they're honest about their thoughts and openly express their feelings.
We never have to wonder if they're with us because they want to be, or if they're there out of guilt and obligation.
When they do something for us, we don't have to worry whether they'll end up resenting us because direct people generally do things that please themselves.
We don't have to fuss about the status of our relationship because if we ask, they'll tell us.
We don't have to worry if they're angry because they deal openly with their anger and resolve it quickly.
We don't have to ponder whether they are talking about us behind our backs because if they have something to say, it will be said to us directly.
We don't have to wonder if we can rely on them because direct people are trustworthy.
Wouldn't it be nice if we were all direct?
Today, I will let go of my notions that it is somehow good or desirable to be indirect. Instead, I will strive for honesty, directness, and clarity in my communication. I will let directness in my relationships begin with me.

*****

Journey to the Heart
Practice Forgiveness

He was an old man, sitting on a corner bench. "I don't know why we just keep on forgiving our brothers and sisters," he said, looking at the people walking by. "I suppose it's because when we do, we really forgive ourselves."

Is there someone we're judging, censuring? If we look more closely we'll see that when we blame others, we're chastising ourselves as well. If we're honest, really honest, we can see that often what upsets us is something similar to what we ourselves do. Other people can be mirrors of our own behavior.

Yes, there are times when another person does something absolutely outrageous. And we can stand there, hands no hips, saying, I've been wronged. I can't understand how anyone could behave that way. But often, if we're honest, we really can understand-- we have behaved that way,too.

Practice forgiveness. Judgement without forgiveness causes us to feel isolated, and apart, causes us to judge ourselves in the same way. Discover how much better you feel when you forgive others. Find out how much better you feel when you forgive yourself.

*****

more language of letting go
Be grateful for where you've been

Earlier in this book, I suggested that you write your memoirs. Even if you don't sit down to do that, I'm going to suggest that you review your life.

Reading my mother's memoirs was a profound experience, one that touched my heart and brought compassion into it in a way I hadn't been able to experience from all my family-of-origin work. As a child, I'd shut down when my mother would talk about her experiences. I'd turn off my listening device. It sounded like grumbling and complaining to me. I didn't want to hear about her pain.

But when I read about her life in story form, I experienced a different response. I was able to read it objectively, not as her daughter or a person feeling guilty because I wished she hadn't had all the pain she did. I saw how directly her experiences had created and shaped who she was. I saw the desires of her heart. I saw her tragedies, her broken dreams. I saw her heroism,too.

My snippy little reactions-- the irritating mother-daughter stuff-- vanished in this new light. She was no longer a mother who had issues. She was a human being nobly living her life. Like the rest of us, she had her frailties, her vulnerable areas, and her strong points.

The point here isn't for you to read about my mother. It's for you to take a new look at your life and all the experiences you've been through, endured, survived, and then transcended. When I wrote my life story, I resisted at first. I hadn't enjoyed it that much going through it. I didn't want to relive all those experiences.

But something happened in the actual writing. It was similar to what happened when I read my mother's account of her life. I began to see myself and what I'd been through differently, in a new, more compassionate light.

Each experience, each decade, each chapter in the book taught me something valuable. From each experience I'd been through, I reclaimed or discovered new insight and power. Maybe much of what I had preferred to forget or turn my back on wasn't the wasted life I thought it was.

What a beautiful story each one of us has. Whether your experiences ever make it into a book, it's still your book of life. Are you grateful for each chapter you've lived? Are you grateful for each experience you've had? Are you grateful for the story you're living now?

The good news is, the story of our lives hasn't ended yet.

There's still more to come.

Touch the experience of being human in all of its sorrow and joy.

Be grateful for the story you're living now.

God, help me laugh, cry, love, be aware, and be thankful with all my heart for every moment and each experience that I've been given. Thank you for my life.

*****

Set Yourself Free
Letting Go of Perfection

Life becomes much more interesting once we let go of our quest for perfection and aspire for imperfection instead.

It is good to remember that one of our goals in life is to not be perfect. We often lose track of this aspiration. When we make mistakes, we think that we are failing or not measuring up. But if life is about experimenting, experiencing, and learning, then to be imperfect is a prerequisite. Life becomes much more interesting once we let go of our quest for perfection and aspire for imperfection instead.

This doesn’t mean that we don’t strive to be our best. We simply accept that there is no such thing as perfection—especially in life. All living things are in a ceaseless state of movement. Even as you read this, your hair is growing, your cells are dying and being reborn, and your blood is moving through your veins. Your life changes more than it stays the same. Perfection may happen in a moment, but it will not last because it is an impermanent state. Trying to hold on to perfection or forcing it to happen causes frustration and unhappiness.

In spite of this, many of us are in the habit of trying to be perfect. One way to nudge ourselves out of this tendency is to look at our lives and notice that no one is judging us to see whether or not we are perfect. Sometimes, perfectionism is a holdover from our childhood—an ideal we inherited from a demanding parent. We are adults now, and we can choose to let go of the need to perform for someone else’s approval. Similarly, we can choose to experience the universe as a loving place where we are free to be imperfect. Once we realize this, we can begin to take ourselves less seriously and have more fun. Imperfection is inherent to being human. By embracing your imperfections, you embrace yourself. Published with permission from Daily OM

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

A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

“Quiet minds can not be perplexed or frightened,” wrote Robert Louis Stevenson, “but go on in fortune or misfortune at their own private pace, like a clock during a thunderstorm.”

In The Program, we hear many warnings against harboring resentments, and rare is the person who doesn’t occasionally yield to resentment when he feels wronged. We must remember that we have no room for resentment in our new way of life. Rather than exhausting myself by fighting resentment with grim determination, I can reason it out of existence by uncovering its cause with a quiet mind. Will I try to believe that the best antidote for resentment is the continual expression of gratitude?

Today I Pray

Praise God from whom all blessings flow. Praise God for our human sensitivity which, although it can feel the smallest, pin-prick hurts, can also feel the warmth of a smile, Praise God for our human insight which can peel the wraps from our resentments and expose them for what they are.

Today I Will Remember

I am grateful for feelings.

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

One More Day

Life is so full of miseries, minor and major….. – Agnes Repplier

Occasionally a person who has chronic pain spends far too much time on a quest to cure or solve the pain. Support groups become much more than an extension of helpful purpose; they can become our total purpose. All the day can be filled with seeking the “right” people to solve our problems. All semblance of a well-balanced life gets pushed away.

There’s no reason to make our days miserable with unrealistic goals. Learning to live the best we can with the pain and inconvenience of illness is the only way to make minor miseries out of major ones.

I can keep myself emotionally whole by seeking balance in my life.

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

Food For Thought

The Beacon

There are times when we get tired and depressed or elated and confused. We are mentally uncomfortable, knowing that something is wrong but unable to pinpoint the trouble. Our first thought may be to reach for food, but we know that way leads to disaster.

We compulsive overeaters have a beacon light for our dark and confused moments. It is our commitment to abstinence. No matter how confused we may be, we can remember that abstinence is the most important thing in our life without exception. Whatever happens, we will not be lost if we hold fast to our abstinence. From the commitment, everything else follows. As long as we do not overeat, we will be able to find our way out of a difficult situation.

Our Higher Power gives us the beacon light of abstinence, and with it He gives guidance out of our perplexities. Patiently waiting until we clearly see His will keeps us from getting lost in the darkness of self-will.

Thank You for the beacon light of abstinence.

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

One Day At A Time

~ SAFETY NET ~
Leap, and the net will appear.
Julia Cameron

I’m an analyzer. Given the opportunity, I can analyze something to the point the original context has been lost. This was exactly what I did when I was first introduced to the Twelve Step recovery program. With each Step, I tried to discover a hidden meaning, an excuse not to work it. I spent more energy not doing the program than I ever would have following it.

When I finally made the leap into that first Step, my life began changing direction from the downward trend it was in. It was a leap of faith, and the net of my Higher Power caught me. This net will not break, nor will it fall. As I discover truths about myself that enable me to move forward in life and become a better person, I need the safety of that net of faith.

One Day at a Time . . .

I will take a leap of faith towards my recovery,
knowing I’ll be safe, and the miracle will happen.
~ Trish ~

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AA 'Big Book' - Quote

Your prospect may belong to a religious denomination. His religious education and training may be far superior to yours. In that case he is going to wonder how you can add anything to what he already knows. But he will be curious to learn why his own convictions have not worked and why yours seem to work so well. He may be an example of the truth that faith alone is insufficient. To be vital, faith must be accompanied by self sacrifice and unselfish, constructive action. - Pg. 93 - Working With Others

Hour To Hour - Book - Quote

The slogans may sometimes annoy us in their simplicity. But repetition is an important learning tool. Think of the repetition that alcohol, cocaine, marijuana and depressants bring. Now you can understand the necessity of slogans to counteract the repetition of addiction.

As I go into this next hour of a clean and sober day, may I welcome the repetitions of recovery.

Life is a Spiritual Journey

No one can learn the alphabet for me. And no one can develop wisdom, appreciation or inner strength for me. These are things I have to do for myself. What is life but growth and expansion, increasing my understanding so that I can deepen my experience of feeling alive? There are gifts in healing if I am willing to see them, lessons I can learn, awareness's that I need in order to appreciate what I already have. Sickness can be my teacher if I let it. Even as I wait for strength to return to my body, still my spirit and my character can grow stronger and better and more refined. I am not doing nothing as I lie here, I am growing on the inside. Today I will use this moment that puts me into a deeper part of myself to come in contact with an openness to grow. I am in touch with a part of life that I normally don't get in touch with.

I am understanding and expanding my inner world.

- Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor - Book - Quote

When you continually don't like the way people treat you, it is usually because you are cooperating with the treatments.

The difference between me being a victor or a victim is ability. Response ability.

"Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book" - Book

Success means getting your 'but' out of the way.

Time for Joy - Book - Quote

Today I am letting go of all judgments.

I am releasing all negative emotions.
I am quietly going within and trusting my inner spirit and I will know what is right for me.

Alkiespeak - Book - Quote

A lot of doctors believed that alcoholism was caused by a Valium deficiency. - Trip S.
__________________
"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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