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Old 09-07-2017, 06:59 AM   #11
bluidkiti
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September 11

Daily Reflections

MAKING AMENDS

Above all, we should try to be absolutely sure that we are not
delaying because we are afraid.
TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 87

To have courage, to be unafraid, are gifts of my recovery. They
empower me to ask for help and to go forth in making my amends with
a sense of dignity and humility. Making amends may require a certain
amount of honesty that I feel I lack, yet with the help of God and
the wisdom of others, I can reach within and find the strength to
act. My amends may be accepted, or they may not, but after they are
completed I can walk with a sense of freedom and know that, for
today, I am responsible.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

Continuing the answers to the question of how a person can live
without liquor and be happy, we say: "You will be bound to the other
A.A.s with new and wonderful ties, for you and they will escape
disaster together and all will commence shoulder to shoulder the
common journey to a better and more satisfactory life. You will know
what it means to give of yourself that others may survive and
rediscover life. You will become happy, respected, and useful once
more. Since these things have happened to us, they can happen to
you." Have these things happened to me?

Meditation For The Day

God manifests Himself in human lives as strength to overcome evil
and power to resist temptation. The grace of God is that power which
enables a human being to change from a useless, hopeless individual
to a useful, normal person. God also manifests Himself as love--love
for other people, compassion for their problems, and a real
willingness to help them. The grace of God also manifests itself as
peace of mind and serenity of character. We can have plenty of power,
love, and serenity in our lives if we are willing to ask God for
these things each day.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may see God's grace in the strength I receive, the love
I know, and the peace I have. I pray that I may be grateful for the
things I have received through the grace of God.

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

As Bill Sees It

"Look Before You Leap"?, p.253

"Wise men and women rightly give a top rating to the virtue of
prudence. They know that without this all important attribute
little wisdom is to be had.

"Mere 'looking before we leap' is not enough. If our looking is
charged with fear, suspicion, or anger, we had better not have looked
or acted at all."

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

"We lose the fear of making decisions, great and small, as we realize
that should our choice prove wrong we can, if we will, learn from the
experience. Should our decision be the right one, we can thank God
for giving us the courage and the grace that caused us so to act."

Letters, 1966

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Walk In Dry Places

With Whom are we Honest?
Honesty
"When you're up before a judge, you can't be honest with the court,"
an AA member said, with some regret. "If you are, the judge will throw
the book at you."
This member was right in the sense that court-room disclosures must
always be made with prudence. What's more important is that we are
always completely honest with ourselves and the close friends who serve
as our sponsors. As for what is disclosed in a court situation, for example,
we follow sound professional advice. Under no circumstances, of course,
should we tell an outright lie, however.
Our practice of honesty also does not require us to tell every person we
know about our alcoholism. We are entitled to our privacy as well as anonymity.
Others, in turn, need not be burdened with complete knowledge about our lives.
Our Higher Power will guide us along honest paths once we're committed to the
program. We will know when and how to make the right disclosures about ourselves.
I'll practice rigorous honest today. At the same time, I will be prudent in the way
I disclose personal information.

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

Keep It Simple

This above all: To thine own self be true.
---William Shakespeare
What does this saying mean: “To thine own self be true”? Hadn’t we thought
only of ourselves before recovery? The answer is no. That wasn’t the real us.
Each of us lost touch with our real self because of our addiction. We lost our
goals, our feelings, our values. We chased the high. In this way, we lost our
spirit. We became addicts.
With sobriety, we find ourselves again---and it feels great! We stop playing a
role and become ourselves---and it’s wonderful. We follow our dreams and
beliefs, not some addictive wild goose chase. We are again free to be ourselves.
Thank you. Higher Power.
Prayer for the Day: Today, I pray to be myself, to know all of me. I can trust
myself because my spirit is good.
Action for the Day: Today, I’ll pray: “thine own self be true.”

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

Each Day a New Beginning

I used to think I'd never know the difference between serenity and depression
because depression subdued me. --S.H.
Depression is familiar to us all, and less incapacitating than it used to be. We
have made progress, we can be assured. "This too shall pass" is not an empty slogan.
Each of us can recall, with ease probably, a period we thought we'd never survive.
Maybe our problem was family-related, or a tough on-the-job situation. Or maybe
we felt inadequate and lacking in strength to cope with all situations. But we managed.
Here we are today, taking charge of our lives and moving forward in search of serenity.
Serenity no doubt eludes us, again and again, throughout the day. But we can let our
minds rest. We can give our thoughts to the wind, and serenity will find us. Serenity's
peace nurtures us, strengthens us to withstand the turmoil ahead. There is always
turmoil ahead. Life's lessons are found there. The irony is that a life with no problems
doesn't offer the opportunities we must have if we are to grow.
I will let the serene moments wash over me. I will cherish them. They soften me.
And the blows of today's tumultuous storm will be lessened.

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

Alcoholics Anonymous - Fourth Edition

The Doctor's Opinion

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.

p. xxviii

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Alcoholics Anonymous - Fourth Edition Stories

Doctor Bob's Nightmare

A co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous. The birth of our Society dates from his first day of permanent sobriety, June 10, 1935.
To 1950, the year of his death, he carried the A.A. message to more than 5,000 alcoholics men and women, and to all these he gave his medical services without thought of charge.
In this prodigy of service, he was well assisted by Sister Ignatia at St. Thomas Hospital in Akron, Ohio, one of the greatest friends our Fellowship will ever know.

By this time I was beginning to pay very dearly physically and, in hope of relief, voluntarily incarcerated myself at least a dozen times in one of the local sanitariums. I was between Scylla and Charybdis now, because if I did not drink my stomach tortured me, and if I did, my nerves did the same thing. After three years of this, I wound up in the local hospital where they attempted to help me, but I would get my friends to smuggle me a quart, or I would steal the alcohol about the building, so that I got rapidly worse.

pp. 174-175

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Step Six - "Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character."

Having been granted a perfect release from alcoholism, why then shouldn't we be able to achieve by the same means a perfect release from every other difficulty or defect? This is a riddle of our existence, the full answer to which may be only in the mind of God. Nevertheless, at least a part of the answer to it is apparent to us.

p. 64

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Few is the number of those who think with their own mind and feel
with their own heart.
--Albert Einstein

"I think everybody has to experience a certain amount of pain on the
way to maturity."
--Ruth Casey

"The great mind knows the power of gentleness."
--Robert Browning

God is guiding me in all my thoughts and plans and actions. I have
given up all my struggling and self-defeating messages and have
turned over all my thoughts to the power and energy of goodness and
love.
--Ruth Fishel

Today, I will not run from myself, my circumstances, or feelings. I will
be open to myself, others, my Higher Power, and life. I will trust that
by facing today to the best of my ability, I will acquire the skills I need
to face tomorrow.
--Melody Beattie

We do not possess our home, our children, or even our own body. They
are only given to us for a short while to treat with care and respect.
--Jack Kornfield

"Two things are hard on the heart - running upstairs and running down
people."
--Unknown

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

Father Leo's Daily Meditation

THOUGHT

"To be able to be caught up in a
world of thought -- that is being
educated."
-- Edith Hamilton

For years I didn't think I reacted. Things happened and I felt I had to
respond -- but rarely was it a considered response. I had no
program for my life. I was like a boat without a sail.

Today I think before I speak. I talk things over with a sponsor or
friends before I make an important decision. I listen to the opinions
of others before I make a choice. Today I am caught up in a world
of thought and it isn't simply my own. God knows my best thinking
nearly killed me!

The world only makes sense because people share. It is the giving
and receiving that makes life worthwhile. To be an island unto
myself is isolation. I know what it was to be lonely. Today I desire a
relationship of mind, body and feelings.

Let me find You in my neighbor and be sustained by the stranger.

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

"Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his
friends."
John 15:13

"Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that
which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto
the hearers."
Ephesians 4:29

"I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and
dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many
seeds."
John 12:24

If you give, you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full
measure, pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, and
running over. Whatever measure you use in giving "large or small" it
will be used to measure what is given back to you.
Luke 6:38

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Daily Inspiration

The little moments of the day are as important in building our foundation as the impact of great events.
Lord, thank You for my blessings and my crosses. Graciously bless me with the courage to grow closer
to You with all that fills my day.

Never doubt the power, the wisdom and the love that God has for you.
Lord, thank You for Your constant care and the certainty of Your love for me.

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

NA Just For Today

Bend With The Wind

"We learn to become flexible.. As new things are revealed, we feel renewed."

Basic Text p.98

"Flexibility" was not a part of the vocabulary we used in our using days. We'd become obsessed with the raw pleasure of our drugs and hardened to all the softer, subtler, more infinitely varied pleasures of the world around us. Our disease had turned life itself into a constant threat of jails, institutions, and death, a threat against which we hardened ourselves all the more. In the end we became brittle. With the merest breath of life's wind we crumbled at last, broken, defeated, with no choice but to surrender.

But the beautiful irony of recovery is that, in our surrender, we found the flexibility we had lost in our addiction, the very lack of which had defeated us. We regained the ability to bend in life's breeze without breaking. When the wind blew, we felt its loving caress against our skin, where once we would have hardened ourselves as if against the onrush of a storm.

The winds of life blow new airs our way each moment, and with them new fragrances, new pleasures, varied, subtly different. As we bend with life's wind, we feel and hear and touch and smell and taste all it has to offer us. And as new winds blow, we feel renewed.

Just for today: Higher Power, help me bend with life's wind and glory in its passing. Free me from rigidity.

pg. 265

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

You are reading from the book Today's Gift.
Good friendships are fragile things and require as much care as any other fragile and precious things. --Randolph Bourne
A good friendship is like a flower garden. It needs attention and care. We start by preparing the soil and then planting our tiny seeds. Our friendships have foundations like the soil, and in them we plant seeds of trust and understanding.
Like a garden, friendships need care and love in order to thrive. We nourish friendships with visits, thoughtful favors, and trust. When we are feeling down or in need of help, a friendship can offer us more than just beauty.
When we work at our friendships, they are not seasonal but bloom in any weather, and they surround us with comfort and the knowledge that we have, and deserve, love.
How can I nurture a friendship today?


You are reading from the book Touchstones.
A man can stand a lot as long as he can stand himself. --Axel Munthe
Sometimes we're mistaken about the source of our unhappiness. We walk around with a short fuse, ready to explode if anyone crosses our path. Then, when we do explode, we think it is the other person's fault. At other times we have frightening physical reactions and worry that something is wrong with our bodies. But we are not aware that a deeper feeling of not being able to stand ourselves causes the problem.
Most of us have problems accepting ourselves. When we make peace with our consciences, some of our problems vanish. Other problems may never disappear, but our pain is eased because our inner battle has ceased and we have the energy we need to cope.
I am grateful for the gift of self-respect this program gives me.


You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
I used to think I'd never know the difference between serenity and depression because depression subdued me. --S.H.
Depression is familiar to us all, and less incapacitating than it used to be. We have made progress, we can be assured. "This too shall pass" is not an empty slogan.
Each of us can recall, with ease probably, a period we thought we'd never survive. Maybe our problem was family-related, or a tough on-the-job situation. Or maybe we felt inadequate and lacking in strength to cope with all situations. But we managed. Here we are today, taking charge of our lives and moving forward in search of serenity.
Serenity no doubt eludes us, again and again, throughout the day. But we can let our minds rest. We can give our thoughts to the wind, and serenity will find us. Serenity's peace nurtures us, strengthens us to withstand the turmoil ahead. There is always turmoil ahead. Life's lessons are found there. The irony is that a life with no problems doesn't offer the opportunities we must have if we are to grow.
I will let the serene moments wash over me. I will cherish them. They soften me. And the blows of today's tumultuous storm will be lessened.


You are reading from the book The Language of Letting Go.
Conflict and Detachment
In a relationship, there are those wonderful times when things go smoothly for both people, and neither person needs to focus too heavily on the concept of detachment. But there are those challenging times when one person is in crisis or changing - and we need to detach.
Then there are stressful cycles when both people in a relationship are in the midst of dealing with intense issues. Both are needy and neither has anything to give.
These are times when detachment and taking care of ourselves are difficult.
It is helpful, in these moments, to identify the problem. Both people are in the midst of dealing and healing. Neither has much to give, at least at the moment. And both are feeling particularly needy.
That is the problem.
What's the solution?
There may not be a perfect solution. Detachment is still the key, but that can be difficult when we need support ourselves. In fact, the other person may be asking for support rather than offering it.
We can still work toward detachment. We can still work through our feelings. We can accept this as a temporary cycle in the relationship, and stop looking to the other person for something he or she cannot give at the moment.
We can stop expecting ourselves to give at the moment as well.
Communication helps. Identifying the problem and talking about it without blame or shame is a start. Figuring out alternative support systems, or ways to get our needs met, helps.
We are still responsible for taking care of ourselves - even when we are in the best of relationships. We can reasonably expect conflicts of need and the clashing of issues to occur in the most loving, healthy relationships.
It is one of the cycles of love, friendship, and family.
If it is a healthy relationship, the crisis will not go on endlessly. We will regain our balance. The other person will too. We can stop making ourselves so crazy by looking for the other person to be balanced when he or she isn't.
Talk things out. Work things out. Keep our expectations of other people, our relationships, and ourselves healthy and reasonable.
A good relationship will be able to sustain and survive low points. Sometimes we need them, so we can both grow and learn separately.
Sometimes, people who are usually there for us cannot be there for us. We can find another way to take care of ourselves.
Today, I will remember that my best relationships have low points. If the low point is the norm, I may want to consider the desirability of the relationship. If the low point is a temporary cycle, I will practice understanding for myself and the other person. God, help me remember that the help and support I want and need does not come in the form of only one person. Help me be open to healthy options for taking care of myself, if any normal support system is not available.

I am letting go of all that is holding me back from spiritual progress today. My path is becoming easier as I open myself up to faith and trust. --Ruth Fishel

*****

Journey To The Heart

Heal Your Fear of Abandonment

Some say the fear of abandonment is a universal fear. It’s common to most people in most places. It is that anguishing, heartbreaking moment when we believe someone is going to leave us. For many of us, the fear began when some important person did leave or abandon us– physically or emotionally. Now the very thought of it happening again terrifies us.

Although the fear may be universal, if we have it, it still belongs to us. It needs to be faced, felt, acknowledged, and released– it needs to be healed– or else it may control our lives and harm our relationships.

Sometimes we may fear being abandoned so much that we don’t want anyone to leave us– even people we don’t like– because it triggers that old familiar feeling. If we don’t deal with it, however, people can use it against us. All they have to do is threaten to leave and we crumble, acquiesce at the mere thought of feeling that way again.

Underneath the fear of abandonment another fear may lurk too, a deeper fear, the fear that somehow we’ve made the people we love go away. Sometimes in our lives, certain people have had to go away, because that is where their path led them. But if they felt confused, guilty, or uncertain about the leaving, they may have lied to us. They may have told us we did something wrong, we caused the separation, it was our fault they were leaving. And their lie became embedded in us.

Did someone tell that lie to you? Tell yourself something different. Tell yourself the truth. You don’t make people go away. You weren’t the cause. If someone needed to leave you, that was his or her choice.

Heal your fear of abandonment. Set yourself and others free.

*****

more language of letting go
Listen to yourself

In the Bible, God tells us, "Be still and know that I am God." Learn to silence the chattering of your ego, whether through prayer, meditation, or a long walk in the park. Find that place where you can detach from the pressures of the world. Find that place where your body and spirit work together in harmony.

Being aware of your true self is the best way to free yourself from the controlling, manipulative behaviors of others. You don't need the right car, the right shoes, the right girlfriend to be complete. All you really need is to be yourself.

Your spirit is the real you. Let it guide you.

Be still. Listen to your spirit say, I am, and I am enough.

In the silence, you'll hear God.

God, help me be quiet so I can hear you.

*****

Underneath the Noise
Hearing the Whisper by Madisyn Taylor

There is beauty and power when we listen to the whisper.

You may have noticed that if you want to speak to someone in a noisy, crowded room, the best thing to do is lean close and whisper. Yelling in an attempt to be louder than the room’s noise generally only hurts your throat and adds to the chaos. Similarly, that still, small voice within each of us does not try to compete with the mental chatter on the surface of our minds, nor does it attempt to overpower the volume of the raucous world outside. If we want to hear it, no matter what is going on around us or even inside us, we can always tune in to that soft voice underneath the surrounding noise.

It is generally true that the more insistent voices in our heads delivering messages that make us feel panicky or afraid are of questionable authority. They may be voices we internalized from childhood or from the culture, and as such they possess only half-truths. Their urgency stems from their disconnectedness from the center of our being, and their urgency is what catches our attention. The other voice that whispers reassurances that everything is fundamentally okay simply delivers its message with quiet confidence. Once we hear it, we know it speaks the truth. Generally, once we have heard what it has to say, a powerful sense of calm settles over our entire being, and the other voices and sounds, once so dominant, fade into the background, suddenly seeming small and far away.

We may find that our own communications in the world begin to be influenced by the quiet certainty of this voice. We may be less inclined to indulge in idle chatter as we become more interested in maintaining our connection to the whisper of truth that broadcasts its message like the sound of the wind shaking the leaves of a tree. As we align ourselves more with this quiet confidence, we become an extension of the whisper, penetrating the noise of the world and creating more peace, trust, and confidence. Published with permission from Daily OM

*****

A Day at a Time

Reflection for the Day
The one thing, more than anything else, that can relieve my occasional feeling of depression is love. I have to keep myself “lovable” in the sense of being able to love others, rather than being concerned with whether others love me. In somehow losing myself in others, emotionally or spiritually, I usually find myself. Today I understand what they meant at those first blurry meetings of The Program when they told me that I was the most important person in the room.

Do I say the same thing to other new members today, and mean it?

Today I Pray
May I know that if I can love others, without expecting to be loved back, chances are that I will receive a share of love in return. It is only my expectation of approval which cancels out the value of my love.

Today I Will Remember
Love is not an investment, but a charitable contribution.

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

Food For Thought

Praying Only…

In Step Eleven, we are “praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.” How that simplifies our prayer! We do not have to worry about asking for the right things in the right way. We simply pray that we may know God’s will and be given the power to do it.

This Step is closely related to Step Three, since we are leaving the decisions up to God. He knows better than we what is best for us to have and to do. We make ourselves available to His direction without attaching conditions and clauses about what we will and will not do.

This kind of prayer frees us from much worry and anxiety. We accept abstinence as God’s will for us, since without abstinence we are powerless to do much of anything. Beyond that, we are prepared to live each day as our Higher Power gives it to us, trusting that He will show us His will and supply us with the power that we need.

This is my prayer, Lord.

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

One Day At A Time

The Present
“Real generosity towards the future
consists in giving all to what is present.”
Albert Camus

Fear ruled my life until two years ago. I was paralyzed with fear about the future and what would happen when “they” discovered how bad I really was and how little they could trust me. I was terrified that the past would catch up with me and I’d be found out. The guilt and shame of my last binge came along for the ride as I replayed the scene compulsively and beat myself up for screwing up yet again. This made it impossible for me to stay in the present.

In program I learned that I wasn’t really paralyzed by the past nor the future; rather, I was paralyzed by fear of losing control. The only way to release that fear was to admit, every hour of every day, that I was powerless over people, the past, the future and the food. When I wrote it down and put it in my God box, I could live in the present time. It was hard at first, and I'd grab it back when the fear crept in. But I'd let it go a little more each time, allowing me to be free of fear and enjoy moments of the day. The moments turned into hours and soon I was experiencing a full day without fear. The fear of the past and the future held less sway over me as I worked the Steps, surrendered my fears, and did service.

Service is the most important tool for me. The more service I do, the more I am fully alive in the present and I worry less about the past and the future. The peace and serenity that replaced the fear are blessed gifts allowing me to explore more of the present day. With them, I can honestly share myself with others and rebuild relationships. I now know the freedom of “giving all to what is present” and I pray for the willingness to stay in the present and be generous toward my future.

One day at a time...
I live fully in the present, easily and effortlessly surrendering the past and the future to my Higher Power.
~ Anne L.

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

AA 'Big Book' - Quote

He will presently try the old game again, for he isn't happy about his sobriety. He cannot picture life without alcohol. Some day he will be unable to imagine life either with alcohol or without it. Then he will know loneliness such as few do. He will be at the jumping-off place. He will wish for the end. - Pg. 152 - A Vision For You

Hour To Hour - Book - Quote

Many times we go to meetings to listen to what happens to people who don't go to meetings. When they ask for a topic at today's meeting, suggest 'What Happens to People Who Don't go to Meetings.'

One meeting a day can not possibly take as much time as my former bars, parties, connections, and the energy I put into using and drinking, so help me see that any complaints about the 'frequency' is unfounded.

Meditation

Today I draw strength and nourishment from within. I will meditate. There is a medicine chest inside of me if I tap into it. I have body chemicals that are meant to smooth me out, to nourish me and let me feel good inside. I can get those going through quiet and meditation. I can feel them coursing through my system, elevating my mood. In my own inner quiet, I will look for nothing. I will simply be. I will bear witness to the inner workings of my mind but I will not tell my mind to do or be anything. I will just let it flow and float in and out of consciousness. I will just be.

- Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor - Book - Quote

We are responsible for what we do, no matter how we feel.

I cannot feel my way into better behavior, I must behave my way into better feelings.

"Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book" - Book

Give your smile to the next person you meet.

Time for Joy - Book - Quote

I am letting go of all that is holding me back from spiritual progress today.

My path is becoming easier as I open myself up to faith and trust.

Alkiespeak - Book - Quote

Step One is pretty straight forward; I can't drink - and I have trouble not drinking. - Clancy I.
__________________
"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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