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Old 01-08-2018, 08:38 AM   #9
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Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 30,500

January 9

Daily Reflections


It is truly awful to admit that, glass in hand, we have
warped our minds into such an obsession for destructive
drinking that only an act of Providence can remove it
from us.

My act of Providence, (a manifestation of divine care
and direction), came as I experienced the total
bankruptcy of active alcoholism - everything meaningful
in my life was gone. I telephoned Alcoholics Anonymous
and, from that instant, my life has never been the same.
When I reflect on that very special moment, I know that
God was working in my life long before I was able to
acknowledge and accept spiritual concepts. The glass was
put down through this one act of Providence and my
journey into sobriety began. My life continues to unfold
with divine care and direction. Step One, in which I
admitted I was powerless over alcohol, that my life had
become unmanageable, takes on more meaning for me - one
day at a time - in the life-saving, life-giving
Fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

When we were drinking, most of us had no real faith in
anything. We may have said that we believe in God, but we
didn't act as though we did. We never honestly asked God
to help us and we never really accepted His help. To us,
faith looked like helplessness. But when we came into A.A.,
we began to have faith in God. And we found out that faith
gave us the strength we needed to overcome drinking. Have
I learned that there is strength in faith?

Meditation For The Day

I will have faith, no matter what may befall me. I will be
patient, even in the midst of troubles. I will not fear
the strain of life, because I believe that God knows just
what I can bear. I will look to the future with confidence.
I know that God will not ask me to bear anything that
could overcome me or destroy me.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may put this day in the hands of God. I pray
for faith, so that nothing will upset me or weaken my
determination to stay sober.

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As Bill Sees It

Group and World-Wide Community, p. 9

The moment Twelfth Step work forms a group, a discovery is
made--that most individuals cannot recover unless there is a group.
Realization dawns on each member that he is but a small part of a
great whole; that no personal sacrifice is too great for preservation of
the Fellowship. He learns that the clamor of desires and ambitions
within him must be silenced whenever these could damage the group.

It becomes plain that the group must survive or the individual will not.

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

"The Lone member at sea, the A.A. at war in a far land--all these
members know that they belong to A.A.'s world-wide community, that
theirs is only a physical separation, that their fellows may be as near
as the next port of call. Ever so importantly, they are certain that God's
grace is just as much with them on the high seas or the lonely outpost
as it is with them at home."

1. 12 & 12, p. 130
2. Letter, 1966

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Walk In Dry Places

Coming to grips with Fear____ Finding courage.
Fear, a universal human emotion, strikes each of us in different ways. The brave parachute jumper may be afraid of public speaking, and the brilliant orator may have a fear of flying. An alcoholic's drinking is partly an attempt to cope with the feelings of fear. The recovering person, now having no drug, must face fear by using the tools of the program. The sober way to deal with fear is to admit that one has fears, to discuss them with a sponsor or another understanding person, and to seek the help of one's Higher Power in living with fear or having it removed.
When we share our experience with fear, we hear different kinds of stories. One person may declare that fear was completely removed by prayer. Another person, who prayed with what seemed to be the same degree of sincerity, may still be troubled by occasional fears. We cannot know exactly how the program will help each person cope with fear, but we can be confident that it will work for all of us. We have met fear successfully when we continue to stay sober and meet our responsibilities in all sorts of threatening situations.
I will not let fear keep me from any good thing today. My Higher Power can see me through any difficult or threatening situation.

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Keep It Simple

Everything is funny as long as it happening to someone else.--Will Rogers
We laugh when others do something silly. We're amused when something funny happens to them. But if the same happens to us and people laugh, we might give them the evil eye. Yet, when others laugh, it can free us. It frees us to see the world through new eyes. Likewise, when we laugh at ourselves, we're free to see ourselves with new eyes. Instead of trying to be perfect, we accept we're human. To laugh at ourselves is to accept ourselves. There's no room for shame when we laugh. We enjoy ourselves just as we are.
Can I accept the fact I'm human and I have limits?
Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, when I refuse to accept that I'm only human, be gentle with me. I know that, when I least expect it, You will remind me that I'm only human.
Action for the Day: I will share with a friend one or two stories about funny mistakes I've made.

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Each Day a New Beginning

The Chinese say that water is the most powerful element, because it is perfectly nonresistant. It can wear away a rock and sweep all before it. --Florence Scovel Shinn
Nonresistance, ironically, may be a posture we struggle with. Nonresistance means surrendering the ego absolutely. For many of us, the ego, particularly disguised as false pride, spurred us on to struggle after struggle. "Can't they see I'm right?" we moaned, and our resistance only created more of itself. Conversely, flowing with life, "bubbling" with the ripples, giving up our ego, releases from us an energy that heals the situation that smoothes the negative vibrations in our path. Peace comes to us. We will find serenity each time we willingly humble ourselves.
Resistance is more familiar. Nonresistance means growth and peace. I'll try for serenity today.

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Alcoholics Anonymous - Fourth Edition


“I went to my hotel and leisurely dressed for dinner. As I crossed the threshold of the dinning room, the thought came to mind that it would be nice to have a couple of cocktails with dinner. That was all. Nothing more. I ordered a cocktail and my meal. Then I ordered another cocktail. After dinner I decided to take a walk. When I returned to the hotel it struck me a highball would be fine before going to bed, so I stepped into the bar and had one. I remember having several more that night and plenty next morning. I have a shadowy recollection of being in a airplane bound for New York, and of finding a friendly taxicab driver at the landing field instead of my wife. The driver escorted me for several days. I know little of where I went or what I said and did. Then came the hospital with the unbearable mental and physical suffering.

p. 41

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Alcoholics Anonymous - Fourth Edition Stories

The Vicious Cycle

How it finally broke a Southerner's obstinacy and destined this salesman to start A.A. at Philadelphia.

With the war over and back in Baltimore with the folks, I had several small jobs for three years, and then I went to work soliciting as one of the first ten employees of a new national finance company. What an opportunity I shot to pieces there! This company now does a volume of over three billion dollars annually. Three years later, at twenty-five, I opened and operated their Philadelphia office and was earning more than I ever have since. I was the fair-haired boy all right, but two years later I was blacklisted as an irresponsible drunk. It doesn't take long.

p. 223

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Step Twelve - "Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs."

Like most people, we have found that we can take our big lumps as they come. But also like others, we often discover a greater challenge in the lesser and more continuous problems of life. Our answer is in still more spiritual development. Only by this means can we improve our chances for really happy and useful living. And as we grow spiritually, we find that our old attitudes toward our instincts need to undergo drastic revisions. Our desires for emotional security and wealth, for personal prestige and power, for romance, and for family satisfactions--all these have to be tempered and redirected. We have learned that the satisfaction of instincts cannot be the sole end and aim of our lives. If we place instincts first, we have got the cart before the horse; we shall be pulled backward into disillusionment. But when we are willing to place spiritual growth first-- then and only then do we have a real chance.

p. 114

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You cannot think your way into sober living.
You live your way into sober thinking.

Worry doesn't help tomorrow's troubles, but it does ruin today's happiness.

"The purpose of life is a life of purpose." --Robert Byrne

"When you stand outside a room where a group of Alcoholics
Anonymous is meeting, the most frequent sound you hear is laughter.
Mellow laughter, which can come only from people who have looked
destruction and catastrophe in the face, not once but continuously
over long years, and now are free and unafraid. The laughter, in
short, of people who hold God's hand and feel safe."
c. Letter to a Woman Alcoholic (A.A. Pamphlet P-14) - page 13

My creed is that; Happiness is the only good. The place to be happy is here. The time to be happy is now. The way to be happy is to make others so. --Robert G. Ingersoll

Happiness comes of the capacity to feel deeply, to enjoy simply, to think freely, to risk life, to be needed. --Storm Jameson

It is the heart that makes a man rich. He is rich according to what he is, not according to what he has. --Henry Ward Beecher

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Father Leo's Daily Meditation


"Extremists think that
'communication' means agreeing
with them."
-- Leo Rosten

As an alcoholic I was an extremist. I was not only compulsive and
obsessive about alcohol, but I became compulsive and obsessive about
my opinions, my thoughts and my attitude towards life. Anybody who
disagreed with me was wrong or a fool! I only listened to those who
were saying what I wanted to hear.

For years I played at being God. But that spiritual part of me, that I
believe exists in all of us, was isolated and unhappy with this
behavior. Although I would never admit it, I knew that often I was
wrong, bull-headed and in pain. I would spend sleepless nights
thinking how I could say I was sorry without apologizing! For years
my pride and ego kept me sick and unhappy.

Today I appreciate those who have a different view on life. Today I
can disagree with my neighbor without carrying a grudge. Today I
can live with difference.

I pray that I may always hear what my opponent is saying.

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"Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the Lord your God which He has given you." Deuteronomy 16:17

Therefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. 2 Corinthians 5:17

"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened."
Matthew 7:7-8

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Daily Inspiration

If the strong won't protect the weak, who will? Lord, grant me the courage to stand up for what I believe and the wisdom to be an encouragement to others.

God will never fail you or abandon you. Lord, I am sure that everything that happens is for the purpose of strengthening me and bringing me closer to You. I trust in You to continually bless me with all that I need to successfully handle my circumstances.

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NA Just For Today

Returning Our Sponsor's Kindness

"Our earliest involvements with others often begin with our sponsor"
Basic Text p. 55

Our sponsor can be an abundant source of recovery information, wisdom, and loving words. They've done so much for us. From the late night telephone calls to the hours spent listening to our recovery writing, they've believed in us and invested their time to prove it. They've lovingly and firmly shown us how to be honest. Their boundless compassion in times of turmoil has given us the strength to go on. Their way of helping has prompted us to seek our answers within ourselves, and we've become mature, responsible, confident individuals as a result.

Though our sponsor has given so generously and has never demanded repayment, there are things we can do to show our appreciation. We treat our sponsor with respect. They are not a trash can designed for us to dump our garbage in. They have their times of trial, just as we do, and sometimes need our support. They are human, have feelings, and appreciate our concern. Maybe they would like to receive a card in the mail or a phone call expressing our love.

Whatever we do to return our sponsor's kindness will enhance our personal recovery, not to mention the joy we'll bring to our sponsor.

Just for today: My sponsor has cared for me when I couldn't care for myself. Today, I will do something nice for my sponsor.

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You are reading from the book Today's Gift.
Life gives us so much time to collect bizarre thoughts and feelings. --Claire Weekes
As we go through life, we run into all kinds of negative messages: teasing on the school bus, insulting nicknames, and other put-downs. Pretty soon we may discover that some of these messages stick in our minds, repeating themselves over and over like broken records. These messages can make us feel bad about ourselves. But when we hear one of these tapes playing inside us, we have the power to push the STOP button. Then we can record a new message. We can even say it out loud, so that our voice settles emphatically into our thoughts. We can't make others stop saying these things, but we can stop listening to them. They only have power over us when we give it to them. We have the ability and freedom to let negative thoughts float by us, like water going downstream.
What positive message can I send to myself?

You are reading from the book Touchstones.
Fear is an emotion indispensable for survival. --Hannah Arendt
We men face fear many times in life. Sometimes it's an inner voice, warning us of danger. Some fears remain from the paranoia caused by our former abuses and excesses. In recovery, we feel many new emotions, and we're afraid because we don't understand them. Any normal feeling can seem abnormal and frightening to a man who is feeling it for the first few times. We may think it isn't manly to be afraid, so we become afraid of our fear! At these times, we need to turn to our Higher Power for guidance.
We have friends we can talk to. When we simply say, "I am afraid" to a trusted friend, the fear may vanish. Sometimes it's not that easy, and we have to talk in detail about our fear. In the end, when we submit our lives to the care of our Higher Power, we know that whatever happens, nothing can separate us from the love of God.
In my fear, help me remember the comfort of my closeness to my Higher Power and my loved ones. I can reach out, and I am never alone.

You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
The Chinese say that water is the most powerful element, because it is perfectly nonresistant. It can wear away a rock and sweep all before it. --Florence Scovel Shinn
Nonresistance, ironically, may be a posture we struggle with. Nonresistance means surrendering the ego absolutely. For many of us, the ego, particularly disguised as false pride, spurred us on to struggle after struggle. "Can't they see I'm right?" we moaned, and our resistance only created more of itself. Conversely, flowing with life, "bubbling" with the ripples, giving up our ego, releases from us an energy that heals the situation that smoothes the negative vibrations in our path. Peace comes to us. We will find serenity each time we willingly humble ourselves.
Resistance is more familiar. Nonresistance means growth and peace. I'll try for serenity today.

You are reading from the book The Language Of Letting Go.
Responsibility for Ourselves
We have been doing the wrong things for the right reasons. --Codependent No More
Caretaking: the act of taking responsibility for other people while neglecting responsibility for ourselves. When we instinctively feel responsible for the feelings, thoughts, choices, problems, comfort, and destiny of others, we are caretakers. We may believe, at an unconscious level, that others are responsible for our happiness, just as we're responsible for theirs.
It's a worthy goal to be a considerate, loving, nurturing person. But caretaking is neglecting us to the point of feeling victimized. Caretaking involves caring for others in ways that hamper them in learning to take responsibility for themselves.
Caretaking doesn't work. It hurts other people; it hurts us. People get angry. They feel hurt, used, and victimized. So do we.
The kindest and most generous behavior we can choose is taking responsibility for ourselves - for what we think, feel, want, and need. The most beneficial act we can perform is to be true to ourselves, and let others take responsibility for themselves.
Today, I mil pay attention to my actual responsibilities to myself. I will let others do the same. If I am in doubt about what my actual responsibilities are, I will take an inventory.

I dare to listen to my inner voice with a new trust today. --Ruth Fishel


Journey To The Heart

You’re Going Someplace New

You are opening up more and more. You are becoming clearer each day. Embrace the changes taking place. They are good. They will last. They will take you and your life to someplace new, someplace you can’t fully imagine now because it’s so different from where you have been.

All will be changed. Your love, your life, your friends, your work. Your quiet moments and your times of sharing. Your playtime, your rest time. Your attitude will change. Your ability to fully and joyfully experience your life will change.

Things that used to bother you, hold you down, hold you back will roll easily off you. Problems that used to plague and pester you, making you feel weighted down, will be lifted easily. You will know and trust that the answers you need will come to you.

Your powers will increase. You will find yourself doing, knowing, and feeling things that you thought only certain others could do. You will find yourself gliding through life in a way that brings you joy, and touches and heals others.

You will laugh a lot. And yes, you will cry a lot,too, because an open heart feels all it needs to feel. But you will not think twice about your emotions. You will feel then with the purity of a child and the wisdom of a sage. You will see, touch, taste, and feel life’s magic in a way you never imagined. You will love, and you will be loved. And you will learn that it is all the same.

You are open now, more open than you’ve ever been. Trust the process and trust your heart. The journey is not in vain. Its purpose is to lead you to love.


More Language Of Letting Go

Detach in love

In the original Language of Letting Go, I told the gerbil story. It’s one of my favorite stories about letting go. Here it is again.

Many years ago, when I lived in Stillwater, Minnesota, my children wanted a pet. They wanted a puppy, but I said no. We had tried a bird, but its feathers fell off. I suggested a goldfish, but we settled on a gerbil instead.

One day, the gerbil got loose. It got out of its cage and scurried across the floor. It ran so fast that none of us could catch it. We watched as it disappeared under a crack in the wall. We stood around, wondering what to do, but there wasn’t much that could be done.

In the months that followed, the gerbil made timely appearances. It would scurry out from behind the walls, run across the room, then dart back into the walls. We’d chase it, lunging after it and screaming as we ran.

“There he is. Catch him.”

I worried about the gerbil, even when we didn’t see it. “This isn’t right,” I’d think. “I can’t have a gerbil running loose in the house. We’ve got to catch it. We’ve got to do something.”

A small animal the size of a mouse had the entire household in a tizzy.

One day, while sitting in the living room, I watched the animal scurry across the hallway. I started to lunge at it, as I usually did, then I stopped myself.

“No,” I said. “I’m all done. If that animal wants to live in the nooks and crannies of this house, I’m going to let it. I’m done worrying about it. I’m done chasing it.”

I let the gerbil run past without reacting. I felt slightly uncomfortable with my new reaction– not reacting– but I stuck to it anyway. Before long, I became downright peaceful with the situation. I had stopped fighting the gerbil. One afternoon, only weeks after I started practicing my new attitude, the gerbil ran by me, as it had so many times, and I barely glanced at it. The animal stopped in its tracks, turned around, and looked at me. I started to lunge at it. It started to run away. I relaxed.

“Fine,” I said. “Do what you want.” And I meant it.

About an hour later, the gerbil came and stood by me, and waited. I gently picked it up and placed it in its cage, where it happily reestablished its home. Don’t lunge at the gerbil. He’s already frightened, and chasing him just scares him more and makes us crazy,too.

Is there someone you’d like to get close to? Is there an irregular circumstance in your life that you can’t change? Detachment, particularly detaching in love, helps.

God, show me the power of using detachment as a tool in all my relationships.


A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

In the past, and sometimes even now, I automatically have thought, “Why me?”, when I’m trying to learn that my first problem is to accept my present circumstances as they are, myself as I am and the people around me as they are. Just as I finally accepted my powerlessness over my addiction, so must I accept my powerlessness over people, places and things. Am I learning to accept life on life’s terms.

Today I Pray

May I learn to control my urge to control, my compulsion to manage, neaten, organize and label the lives of others. May I learn to accept situations and people as they are instead of as I would like them to be. Thus, may I do away with the ongoing frustrations that a controlling person, by nature, faces continually. May I be entirely ready to have God remove this defect of character.

Today I Will Remember

Control for the controller (me).


One More Day

Every baby born into the world is a finer one than the last.
– Charles Dickens

Place a newborn infant in any adult’s arms, and that adult will turn all attention to the tiny new life. Most of us feel overwhelmed with the miracle of birth and the beauty contained within that tiny body. Tod hold an infant is to feel perpetuity and an incredible sense of joy. In the infant, we see a projection of life and the full scope of life’s possibilities.

Long ago, others marveled at the fragility and wonder of life as we were placed as babes in their arms. Now we recognize we all had the same beginnings, we all had time before us. We still have time, and it is still full of possibilities.

I marvel at the gift of life and all that lies before me.


Food For Thought

Use the Telephone

When we join OA, we discover that we are not alone. We become part of a large network of individuals who share a common problem, compulsive overeating, and who gain strength and support from each other. The telephone is our lifeline. A phone conversation is a mini meeting, and most of us find that we need several each day.

It is suggested that we make at least three phone calls every day, in addition to calling our food sponsor. We call in times of temptation and difficulty, and we also call when we have good news to share. A phone call may be a means of preventing problems later in the day or it may be simply a gesture of friendship and fellowship - keeping in touch.

Whatever the reason, the person called is helped as much as the caller. The telephone call is a reminder that none of us is alone, that we have a program, which sustains us, and that together we shall succeed.

May I not be too proud or too shy or too busy to use the telephone.

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One Day At A Time

If your eyes hurt after you drink coffee,
you have to take the spoon out of the cup.
Norm Crosby

For so many years I had trouble seeing the obvious. I felt blind when dealing with emotions. I didn't know how to express anger properly. I was either furious (and eating) over little things, or emotionally void (and eating) over big things. I was told my feelings were hurt too easily, so I began to stifle my rightfully hurt feelings, using food to stuff the pain. But the worst was happiness. I was hysterically happy over the stupidest little things, and felt immensely unworthy of kindnesses done for me. Neither felt comfortable, so I always ended up eating.

It all began to come clear in the program. For once I could see my actions and my reactions and begin to understand myself and my motives. As I have worked this program, I no longer feel like my emotions swing on a pendulum from one extreme to the other. I can see things as they really are. I no longer make big mountains out of small hills or make small hills out of big mountains. I can now feel happiness, and express it, in complete comfort with myself. The nicest part is that while I may not be well-acquainted with my new behavior yet, it feels very comfortable, and I no longer have to practice my eating disorders to cover up my feelings.

One day at a time...
My eyes are opened by the program to the truth of what is and the feelings that are.

~ Rhonda H. ~

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AA 'Big Book' - Quote

Having persevered with the rest of the program, they wondered why they fell. We think the reason is that they never completed their housecleaning. They took inventory all right, but hung on to some of the worst items in stock. They only THOUGHT they had lost their egoism and fear; they only THOUGHT they had humbled themselves. But they had not learned enough of humility, fearlessness and honesty, in the sense we find it necessary, until they told someone else ALL their life story. - Pg. 73 - Into Action

Hour To Hour - Book - Quote

There are no maps to recovery, only steps to freedom from active addiction. Take out your book right now and read the first three steps. These are the tools you need for recovery.

I can't. God can. I think I'll let God do it!

Looking Toward What is Good

I am a creative being. I have the power of reason, the ability to think, hope and dream. I can envision my life not only as it is, but as I might wish it to be. I can then think through the steps I might need to become more of who I am. I have the power to think my way into a happy point of view, to see the glass as half full rather than half empty. My mind can be my greatest enemy or my greatest ally. It depends on how I choose to use it.

I hold a beautiful vision of life.

- Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor - Book - Quote

Seemingly 'bad days are usually the days in which we don't get our own way. This is a Third Step problem. If you are having a 'bad' day, read the Third Step from your basic recovery text and ask yourself what part of your life today has not been turned over.

Today I work toward matching my will to my Higher Power's, not my Higher Power's to mine.

"Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book" - Book

Don't 'have' a nice day, MAKE a nice day.

Time for Joy - Book - Quote

I dare to listen to my inner voice with a new trust today.

Alkiespeak - Book - Quote

If you think you're doing too many meetings, cut it back to one a day. - Campsie Mick.
"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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