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Old 09-12-2017, 06:29 AM   #13
bluidkiti
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September 13

Daily Reflections

REPAIRING THE DAMAGE

Good judgment, careful sense of timing, courage and prudence -
these are the qualities we shall need when we take Step Nine.
TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 83

To make amends can be viewed two ways: first, that of repairing
damage, for if I have damaged my neighbor's fence, I "make a mend,"
and that is a direct amend; the second way is by modifying my
behavior, for if my actions have harmed someone. I make a daily
effort to cause no further harm. I "mend my ways," and that is
an indirect amend. Which is the best approach? The only right
approach, provided that I am causing no further harm in so doing,
is to do both. If harm is done, then I simply "mend my ways."
To take action in this manner assures me of making honest amends.

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

Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

"No one is too discredited, nor has sunk too low, to be welcomed
cordially into A.A., if he or she means business. Social
distinctions, petty rivalries and jealousies are laughed out of
countenance. Being wrecked in the same vessel, being restored
and united under one God, with hearts and minds attuned to the
welfare of others, the things which matter so much to some people
no longer signify much to us. In A.A., we have true democracy and
true brotherhood."

Meditation For The Day

When you call on God in prayer to help you overcome weakness,
sorrow, pain, discord, and conflict, God never fails in some way
to answer the appeal. When you are in need of strength for yourself
or for the help of some other person, call on God in prayer. The
power you need will come simply, naturally, and forcefully. Pray
to God not only when you need help, but also just to commune
with Him. The spirit of prayer can alter an atmosphere from one
of discord to one of reconciliation. It will raise the quality of
thought and word and bring order out of chaos.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may bring peace where these is discord.
I pray that I may bring conciliation where these is conflict.

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As Bill Sees It

Wider Understanding, p.255

To reach more alcoholics, understanding of A.A. and public good will
towards A.A. must go on growing everywhere. We need to be on
still better terms with medicine, courts, prisons, mental hospitals, and
all enterprises in the alcoholism field. We need the increasing
good will of editors, writers, television and radio channels. These
publicity outlets need to be opened ever wider.

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

Nothing matters more to A.A.'s future welfare than the manner in
which we use the colossus of modern communication. Used unselfishly
and well, it can produce results surpassing our present
imagination. Should we handle this great instrument badly, we
shall be shattered by the ego manifestations of our own people.
Against this peril, A.A. members' anonymity before the general
public is our shield and our buckler.

1. Twelve Concepts, p.51
2. Grapevine, November 1960

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

Walk In Dry Places

Learning to Cut my Losses
Honesty
Business people speak of “cutting their losses” when it becomes clear that
a venture is going sour. As recovering alcoholics, we need to practice the
same principle when we’re obviously on the wrong track.
If a resentment is developing, for example, the sooner we spot it and clear
it out, the less damage we suffer. In the same way, we may be engaging in
selfish but destructive behavior, or perhaps something that borders on being
illicit or dishonest. We minimize our losses by admitting the wrong and getting
back to our basic principles of living.
In cutting our losses, the usual barriers are pride and self-deception. While
these shortcomings will probably always dog us, we at least have experience
in dealing with them, or we wouldn't have made any progress in sobriety.
If a course of thought or action isn't working out well, perhaps it’s time
today to cut my loses in order to get back on the right track.

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

Keep It Simple

People seldom improve when they have no model but themselves to copy.---Oliver Goldsmith
If we had to get well by ourselves, we’d be in trouble. We’ve already tried this route.
We need to learn a new way to live, not the old way we already know.
That’s why we have sponsors in Twelve Step programs. Sponsors are one of the best
things about our recovery. We pick people who are happy and doing well in recovery.
Then we copy them. We copy them because sponsors are special people who have
what we want. They have sobriety. They have happiness. They have common sense.
They have peace and serenity. And they will help us get those things too. We learn
a new way to live from them.
Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, help me pick good models. Help me copy what works for them.
Action for the Day: If I don’t have a sponsor now, I’ll work today on getting one.

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

Each Day a New Beginning

Nobody told me how hard and lonely change is. --Joan Gilbertson
Pain, repeatedly experienced, indicates a need for self-assessment, an inventory
of our behavior. Honest self-appraisal may well call for change, a change in
attitude perhaps, a change in specific behavior in some instances, or maybe a
change in direction. We get off the right path occasionally, but go merrily on
our way until barriers surface, doors close, and experiences become painful.
Most of us willingly wallow in our pain a while, not because we like it, but
because its familiarity offers security. We find some comfort in our pain because
at least it holds no surprises.
When our trust in God is high, we are more willing to change. And we open
ourselves to the indications for movement in a new direction. Each of us must
find our own willingness. Each of us must develop attentiveness to the signs
that repeatedly invite changes in our behavior. But most of all, each of us has
to travel the road to change, singly. Changes we must find the courage to make
will never be exactly like someone else's changes.
Courage to change accompanies faith. My fears are telling me to look within
to the spiritual source of strength, ever present but often forgotten.

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

Alcoholics Anonymous - Fourth Edition

The Doctor's Opinion

Men and women drink essentially because they like the effect produced by alcohol. The sensation is so elusive that, while they admit it is injurious, they cannot after a time differentiate the true from the false. To them, their alcoholic life seems the only normal one. They are restless, irritable and discontented, unless they can again experience the sense of ease and comfort which comes at once by taking a few drinks—drinks which they see others taking with impunity. After they have succumbed to the desire again, as so many do, and the phenomenon of craving develops, they pass through the well-known stages of a spree, emerging remorseful, with a firm resolution not to drink again. This is repeated over and over, and unless this person can experience an entire psychic change there is very little hope of his recovery.

pp. xxviii-xxix

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Alcoholics Anonymous - Fourth Edition Stories

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.

With the passing of the Eighteenth Amendment I felt quite safe. I knew everyone would buy a few bottles, or cases, of liquor as their exchequers permitted, and it would soon be gone. Therefore it would make no great difference, even if I should do some drinking. At that time I was not aware of the almost unlimited supply the government made it possible for us doctors to obtain, neither had I any knowledge of the bootlegger who soon appeared on the horizon. I drank with moderation at first, but it took me only a relatively short time to drift back into the old habits which had wound up so disastrously before.

p. 175

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

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

But most of our other difficulties don't fall under such a category at all. Every normal person wants, for example, to eat, to reproduce, to be somebody in the society of his fellows. And he wishes to be reasonably safe and secure as he tries to attain these things. Indeed, God made him that way. He did not design man to destroy himself by alcohol, but He did give man instincts to help him to stay alive.

p. 64

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

None of us has gotten where we are solely by pulling ourselves up
from our own bootstraps. We got here because somebody bent down
and helped us.
--Thurgood Marshall

Three things in human life are important: The first is to be kind. The
second is to be kind. And the third is to be kind.
--Henry James

"We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used
when we created them."
--Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

"Listen or Thy tongue will keep Thee deaf."
--American Indian Proverb

Rather than regretting that I wasted half of my life drinking, I am
just grateful that God has given me the rare opportunity to live two
lives in one lifetime.

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

Father Leo's Daily Meditation

MINORITY

"The greatest good of a minority
of our generation may be the
greatest good for the greatest
number of people in the long
run."
-- Oliver Wendell Homes, Jr.

I belong to a minority. I am a recovering alcoholic. I use a spiritual
program that keeps me sober a day at a time. I have a God that I can
understand today. I do a daily inventory and make amends when
appropriate, and I feel good about myself.

This spiritual program is reaching out to the world: gamblers,
overeaters, cocaine addicts, the families of addicts, the children of
compulsive people; obsessive people can all be helped by this daily
program of acceptance.

Perhaps the recovering drunk has stumbled upon a miracle that can
bring the world back to God!

Lord, the more I talk about my "difference" with people, the more
they and I feel the same.

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

"Teach me to do your will, for you are my God. Let your good spirit
lead me on a level path."
Psalm 143:10

"You have let me sink down deep in desperate problems. But you will
bring me back to life again, up from the depths of the earth!"
Psalms 71:20

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Daily Inspiration

Talent is the ability to do easily that which others find difficult.
Lord, help me to recognize and value the abilities that I have been given and use them gratefully.

Simple trust in God is all that is required to enter the Kingdom of Heaven.
Lord, I love You. I trust in You. I am Your child.

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

NA Just For Today

Something Different

"We had to have something different, and we thought we had found it in drugs."

Basic Text p.13

Many of us have always felt different from other people. We know we're not unique in feeling that way; we hear many addicts share the same thing. We searched all our lives for something to make us all right, to fix that "different" place inside us, to make us whole and acceptable. Drugs seemed to fill that need.

When we were high, at least we no longer felt the emptiness or the need. There was one drawback: The drugs, which were our solution, quickly became our problem.

Once we gave up the drugs, the sense of emptiness returned. At first we felt despair because we didn't have any solution of our own to that miserable longing. But we were willing to take direction and began to work the steps. As we did, we found what we'd been looking for, that "something different" Today, we believe that our lifelong yearning was primarily for knowledge of a Higher Power; the "something different" we needed was a relationship with a loving God. The steps tell us how to begin that relationship.

Just for today: My Higher Power is the "something different" that's always been missing in my life I will use the steps to restore that missing ingredient to my spirit.

pg. 267

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You are reading from the book Today's Gift.
Love, a thousand, thousand voices,
From night to dawn,
from dawn to night,
Have cried the passion
of their choices
To orb your name and keep it bright.
--William Rose Benet
We are each in the midst of unique lives, and our choices are based on our own experiences, so it's only natural that they all be different. One of us may choose to go to jail for protesting nuclear weapons; another may choose to pray for peace. Both are working for the same goal.
It is a sign of our love to respect others' right to choose for themselves, even to make choices we may not agree with. Perhaps a brother or sister likes music we hate, or a son or daughter wants to wear an unusual style of clothing. How often do we, in the name of love, try to force our choices on others? When we give the gift of letting loved ones choose what is right for them, it strengthens our ability to choose what is right for us.
Whose choices can I honor today, even if I disagree?


You are reading from the book Touchstones.
Mothers give sons permission to be a prince but the father must show him how.... Fathers give daughters permission to be princesses. And mothers must show them how. Otherwise, both boys and girls will grow up and always see themselves as frogs. --Eric Berne
Relationships with our fathers have been central in shaping our characters. We catch ourselves saying what we heard our fathers say, or doing something we know they did. Many of us have had pain and resentments in these relationships. We wanted more time than they gave us, or we longed for praise but got criticism, or we were never sure we measured up to them.
Some of us can change our relationships with our fathers. We can do it, not by asking them to be different, but by being our full adult selves with them. This new experience is the doorway to a new aspect of our selves. Many of us cannot change our relationships with our fathers, but being with our sons and daughters in ways that nurture their growth is another chance to redo for ourselves what we missed.
My father's importance to me is a fact I must surrender to. I will take what he has given me and grow with it.


You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
Nobody told me how hard and lonely change is. --Joan Gilbertson
Pain, repeatedly experienced, indicates a need for self-assessment, an inventory of our behavior. Honest self-appraisal may well call for change, a change in attitude perhaps, a change in specific behavior in some instances, or maybe a change in direction. We get off the right path occasionally, but go merrily on our way until barriers surface, doors close, and experiences become painful.
Most of us willingly wallow in our pain a while, not because we like it, but because its familiarity offers security. We find some comfort in our pain because at least it holds no surprises.
When our trust in God is high, we are more willing to change. And we open ourselves to the indications for movement in a new direction. Each of us must find our own willingness. Each of us must develop attentiveness to the signs that repeatedly invite changes in our behavior. But most of all, each of us has to travel the road to change, singly. Changes we must find the courage to make will never be exactly like someone else's changes.
Courage to change accompanies faith. My fears are telling me to look within to the spiritual source of strength, ever present but often forgotten.


You are reading from the book The Language of Letting Go.
Times of Reprogramming
Recovery is not all-tiresome, unrewarded work. There are times of joy and rest, times when we comfortably practice what we have learned. There are times of change, times when we struggle to learn something new or overcome a particular problem.
These are the times when what we've been practicing in recovery begins to show in our life. These times of change are intense, but purposeful.
There are also times when, at a deep level, we are being "reprogrammed." We start letting go of beliefs and behaviors. We may feel frightened or confused during these times. Our old behaviors or patterns may not have worked for us, but they were comfortable and familiar.
During these times we may feel vulnerable, lonely, and needy - like we are on a journey without a road map or a flashlight, and we feel as if no one has traveled this ground before.
We may not understand what is being worked out in us. We may not know where or if we are being led.
We are being led. We are not alone. Our Higher Power is working His finest and best to bring true change in us. Others have traveled this road to. We will be led to someone who can help us, someone who can provide the markers we need.
We are being prepared for receiving as much joy and love as our heart can hold.
Recovery is a healing process. We can trust it, even when we don't understand it. We are right where we need to be in this process; we're going through exactly what we need to experience. And where we're going is better than any place we've been.
Today, God, help me believe that the changes I'm going through are for the good. Help me believe that the road I'm traveling will lead to a place of light, love, and joy.


Today I'm taking all the steps that I can for my recovery. My Higher Power is giving me all the guidance I need, and I am full of joy and gratitude that I am growing and healing today. --Ruth Fishel

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Journey to the Heart

Surrender to Your Feelings

Sometimes we think being strong means not giving in to our emotions. But that’s not strength, that’s denial and resistance. Real power comes from being vulnerable enough to feel whatever you feel.

Keep going, we tell ourselves. Don’t give in, This will pass… But the only way to pass through these times is by feeling what we feel. The longer we fight and resist our emotions, the longer the situation will continue that is triggering them.

We may not see the lesson until we feel the feeling. We may not see the issue, the next step, the way out or the way through until we give in, feel our emotions, then release them. It’s not enough to talk about them, although that will help bring them into consciousness, into the light of day. But talking about our feelings is different from surrendering to and feeling the emotional energy.

Feel the feeling, then release it. Now your soul and the universe can move you forward into new circumstances, into growth. An issue to work on– such as freedom, forgiveness, acceptance, love, or valuing some part of ourselves or our lives– may naturally and automatically emerge. If we pay attention to the process by which we grow, we will clearly see that each step of the way– feeling our feeling, accepting it, and then releasing it– triggered the next step of growth. Soon we will see that we are learning a new lesson. We are on our way again.

There is magic in allowing our feelings to pass through us, magic in giving in. There is power, more than we think in being vulnerable enough to feel what we feel.

*****

more language of letting go
Who do you say you are?

I was driving out to the skydiving center one day, mulling things over in my head. Before long, I'd be on the plane and it would be my time to walk to that door and jump out. The fears started brewing and building up. I don't know if I can do this, I thought. I don't even know if I want to become a sky diver or if this path is right for me.

"You already are a sky diver," a quiet voice said.

That's right, I thought.

When I first began recovering from my chemical dependency, I preferred to identify myself as a drug addict. "My name is Melody, and I am a drug addict," I'd say quietly at the group. One member of the group started harping at me after hearing me identify this way. "You're an alcoholic,too," he said. "And you should label yourself as that."

I resisted what he said for a while, and then I decided to give it a try. Finally at one meeting, I said the words aloud. "My name is Melody, and I am an alcoholic."

Now, I understand why it was so important-- not to him but to me-- to label myself as an alcoholic. Number one, it was important because it was the truth. In order to focus on my recovery, I needed to abstain from using both alcohol and drugs. Number two, whether this friend knew it or not, he knew the power of the Great I Am.

He wasn't asking me to degrade or limit myself. All he was asking me to do was identify who I really was and am. And by saying and acknowledging this, I helped create a new role, a new personality. I am now, at the time of this writing, by the grace of God, a recovering alcoholic and addict.

Most of us aren't one single thing. We're a parent, a student, maybe a recovering person, and a grown child. We form many new I am's as we go through life.

Watch each time you say the words I am in a conversation or thought. Pay attention to the times you say I'm not, as well. Then spend some time reflecting not only on who you are, but who you want to become.

Discover the power in your life from saying I am.

Who do you say you are and you aren't.

Give yourself a chance to become someone new.

God, help me understand and use correctly, to the best possible benefit of my growth, the power of the Great I Am.

*****

A Reason to Smile
Five Minutes to Happiness by Madisyn Taylor

If you aren't a naturally happy person, take time each day to cultivate that which brings you happiness.

It can be so easy to get caught up in the rigors of modern life that we tend to forget that happiness need not come with stipulations. Happiness becomes something we must schedule and strive for—a hard-won emotion—and then only when we have no worries to occupy our thoughts. In reality, overwhelming joy is not the exclusive province of those with unlimited time and no troubles to speak of. Many of the happiest people on earth are also those coping with the most serious challenges. They have learned to make time for those simple yet superb pleasures that can be enjoyed quickly and easily. Cultivating a happy heart takes no more than five minutes. The resultant delight will be neither complex nor complicated, but it will be profound and will serve as a reminder that there is always a reason to smile.

So much that is ecstasy-inducing can be accomplished in five minutes. Alone, we can enjoy an aromatic cup of our favorite tea, take a stroll through the garden we have created, write about the day's events in a journal, doodle while daydreaming, or breathe deeply while we listen to the silence around us. In the company of a good friend or treasured relative, we can share a few silly jokes, enjoy a waltz around the room, play a fast-paced hand of cards, or reconnect through lighthearted conversation. The key is to first identify what makes us dizzyingly happy. If we do only what we believe should bring us contentment, our five minutes will not be particularly satisfying. When we allow ourselves the freedom to do whatever brings us pleasure, five minutes out of 14 wakeful hours can brighten our lives immeasurably.

It is often when we have the least free time or energy to devote to joy that we need to unwind and enjoy ourselves the most. Making happiness a priority will help you find five minutes every day to indulge in the things that inspire elation within you. Eventually, your happiness breaks will become an established part of your routine. If you start by pursuing activities you already enjoy and then gradually think up new and different ways to fill your daily five minutes of happiness, you will never be without something to smile about.

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A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

We hear often in The Program that pain is the touchstone of spiritual progress. We eventually realize that just as the pains of alcoholism has to come before sobriety, emotional turmoil comes before serenity. We no longer commiserate with all people who suffer, but only with those who suffer in ignorance — those who don’t understand the purpose of ultimate utility of pain. In Proust’s words, “To goodness and wisdom we make only promises; pain we obey.” Do I believe that pain is God’s way of trying to get my attention?

Today I Pray

May I understand that value of pain in my life, especially if I am headed breakneck down a track of self-destruction. May I know that pain is God’s way of flagging down the train I’m on before it gets to a bridge wash-oot. May I be thankful that pain forced me to throw the switch in time.

Today I Will Remember

Pain saves lives.

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One More Day

What next? Why ask? Next will come a demand about which you already know all you need to know: that it measures is your own strength.
– Dag Hammarskyjol

Life is full of demands; we know and expect that. Most of us wish we knew about them ahead of time, but it’s just not possible to prepare in advance for stress. Negative stressors like a flat tire of a severe illness and positive stressors like a family reunion are typical of the demands placed on us throughout our lives.

Somehow, when these things happen, we manage to rise to the occasion. We may need to sue all our resources — physical and spiritual — to cope, but we usually find within ourselves the strength and enth7usiasm for the demands we face.

By knowing that I will be able to handle life’s crises with deep inner strength, I need not ask myself “What’s Next?
Anonymous

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Food For Thought

Hungering

Deep within us is a hunger, which is not satisfied by food. We hunger for love and fellowship with each other and we hunger for communion with our Higher Power. We were not made to be alone and isolated. Withdrawing into compulsive overeating makes the deep hunger even worse.

As long as we are alive, we will never be fully satisfied. There will always be more love to give and receive and more steps to take on our spiritual journey. In this sense, we will always be hungry. Spiritual hunger is a good thing, as long as we recognize it for what it is and do not try to appease it with material substitutes.

Our Higher Power has created us with a hunger, which He alone can satisfy. As our progress through the Twelve Steps brings us closer to Him and closer to each other, we experience a fulfillment, which we had not known before. We are learning to hunger for spirituality.

Bless our hunger, we pray.

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

One Day At A Time

ABSTINENCE
“It’s a funny thing about life.
If you refuse to settle for anything less than the best,
that’s what it will give you.”
W. Somerset Maugham

When I first came to program, I was in the diet mentality. After a few “slips” I had to face the facts: I was in relapse, and I had never really surrendered. With the help of the program, I gained an increasing awareness of this progressive disease. Did I really want to recover? Was I really willing to go to any lengths to find relief from compulsive eating?

When I finally surrendered the food and began working the Steps, I didn’t know what to expect. All I knew was that food could no longer be the answer. With seven months’ abstinence, I now know that I have a long way to go in my recovery. However, one day at a time, I am willing to find my answers in the Steps instead of in the food. Thank you, Higher Power!

One day at a time...
I choose abstinence and will listen for God’s calling in my life. God’s will for me is the safest and most loving place I can be, and I know God wants me to live a life free from the compulsion to eat.
~ Christine S.

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AA 'Big Book' - Quote

If you are as seriously alcoholic as we were, we believe there is no middle-of-the-road solution. We were in a position where life was becoming impossible, and if we had passed into the region from which there is no return through human aid, we had but two alternatives: One was to go on to the bitter end, blotting out the consciousness of our intolerable situation as best we could; and the other, to accept spiritual help. This we did because we honestly wanted to, and were willing to make the effort. - Pg. 25-26 - There Is A Solution

Hour To Hour - Book - Quote

There is the law of this physical earth which always leads to death and decay. It can be no other way in a material world. There is also the law of Spirit which leads to life and grace. Our addiction obeys the law of this earth plane, our recovery obeys the law of the Spirit.

Please, Divine Source, as I understand You, guide me to the law of Spirit and recovery.

Creating My Own Rituals

Rituals ground me in my own day. My morning tea, my walk through the park, dinner with my family. These are the daily rituals that give my life a sense of continuity and solidity. They hold me, they bond me with those I love. Recovery is full of rituals. Meetings, daily reading, sharing with friends and quiet moments of self reflection. Rituals that deepen my sense of life and remind me of what's really important. They are part of what gives my life its symmetry. I need these rituals to help me remember what to value. And they join me with with life, with the feeling of what we're all really made of under the skin. Rituals speak in their own voice and today, I am listening.
- Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor - Book - Quote

'If you understand, things are just as they are; if you do not understand, things are just as they are.'~ Zen Proverb

I don't have to understand how the Steps work, just that they do.

"Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book" - Book

Pick them up, as long as they don't pick up.

Time for Joy - Book - Quote

Today I'm taking all the steps that I can for my recovery.

My Higher Power is giving me all the guidance I need, and I am full of joy and gratitude that I am growing and healing today.

Alkiespeak - Book - Quote

I wouldn't put myself in situations where I can only have two drinks and then can't get anymore. Not because I'm an alcoholic. It's just sort of an intuitive thing with me. - Bob D.
__________________
"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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