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Old 01-10-2018, 08:30 AM   #15
bluidkiti
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January 15

Daily Reflections

AN UNSUSPECTED INNER RESOURCE

With few exceptions our members find that they have
tapped an unsuspected inner resource which they
presently identify with their own conception of a
Power greater than themselves.
ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, pp. 569-70

From my first days in A.A., as I struggled for sobriety,
I found hope in these words from our founders. I often
pondered the phrase: "they have tapped an unsuspected
inner resource." How, I asked myself, can I find the
Power within myself, since I am so powerless? In time,
as the founders promised, it came to me: I have always
had the choice between goodness and evil, between
unselfishness and selfishness, between serenity and
fear. That Power greater than myself is an original
gift that I did not recognize until I achieved daily
sobriety through living A.A.'s Twelve Steps.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

The A.A. program is a way of life. It's a way of living
and we have to learn to live the program if we're going
to stay sober. The twelve steps in the book are like
guide posts. They point the direction in which we have to
go. But each member of the group has to find his own best
way of living the program. We don't all do it exactly
alike. Whether by quiet times in the morning, meetings,
working with others, or spreading the word, we have to
learn to live the program. Has A.A. become my regular,
natural way of living?

Meditation For The Day

I will relax and not get tense. I will have no fear,
because everything will work out in the end. I will learn
soul-balance and poise in a vacillating, changing world.
I will claim God's power and use it because if I do not
use it, it will be withdrawn. As long as I get back to God
and replenish my strength after each task, no work can be
too much.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may relax and that God's strength will be
given to me. I pray that I may subject my will to God's
will and be free from all tenseness.

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As Bill Sees It

Eternal Values, p. 15

Many people will have no truck at all with absolute spiritual values.
Perfectionists, they say, are either full of conceit because they fancy they
have reached some impossible goal, or else they are swamped in
self-condemnation because they have not done so.

Yet I think that we should not hold this view. It is not the fault of great
ideas that they are sometimes misused and so become shallow excuses
for guilt, rebellion, and pride. On the contrary, we cannot grow very
much unless we constantly try to envision what the eternal spiritual
values are.

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

"Day by day, we try to move a little toward God's perfection. So we
need not be consumed by maudlin guilt for failure to achieve His likeness
and image by Thursday next. Progress is our aim, and His perfection is
the beacon, light-years away, that draws us on."

1. Grapevine, June 1961
2. Letter, 1966

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Walk In Dry Places

Never too late___Self expression
Many of us lament the fact that we wasted youthful years when we should have been earning college degrees or perfecting a skill. Many of us simply do not feel we can take up something new because we missed the opportunity to try it when we were younger.
We are now learning that age is mental, not really physical. Some people seem aged and beaten at twenty-five, while others act sprightly and young at sixty. Moreover, we can find wonderful examples of people who blossom out in new activities without any thought or concern about age barriers. It is never too late for a person to study, to take up a new trade or profession, to follow a new scientific or artistic interest, or to begin other lessons.
If we are using age as a reason for not following our heart's desire, we should ask if we are really finding ways to avoid responsibility for our own performance in life. We may be seeking excuses to spare ourselves the struggle and effort tha tare always required when we do something new or challenging.
It is never too late to be the people God intended us to be.
I will give some thought today to the excuses I've been using for not making better use of my talents and opportunities.

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Keep It Simple

I shall tell you a great secret, my friend. Don not wait for the last judgment, it takes place every day. --Albert Camus
"Later." How often have we said this? This trick help us avoid the tasks of the day. Life is full of task--many fun, some boring, others hard. Can I accept the task my Higher Power gives me, easy or hard?
When we used alcohol or other drugs, we'd avoid task, if they became hard for us. We believed we had more control than we really did. We started to believe we could control outcomes. What we really were doing was setting ourselves up for a great fall. We had to face the fact that when our Higher Power had given us a task, we said no, and turned away. Thus, we turned away from the guiding hand of our Higher
Power.
Prayer for the Day: God, help me face You and the tasks You give me. Make me a grateful student of life.
Today's Action: Today I will talk with friends. I will tell them what tasks I'm working on.

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Each Day a New Beginning

Everything is so dangerous that nothing is really very frightening. --Gertrude Stein
Life is full of dangers and risks and challenges. We can choose to meet them fearfully or in a spirit of welcome. To choose fear, to say, "I won't take that risk because I might lose," is to prevent ourselves from ever winning. If we welcome the danger, the risk, or the challenge, we acknowledge that life is made up of losses as well as victories, of gains as well as pain.
Life holds the dangers as well as the rewards. We choose how we will act. Sometimes we may feel trapped in a cycle of fearfulness. If we examine our own part, will we find that we are neglecting to take a balanced view? Perhaps, through a fear of losing, we are missing many chances for satisfaction.
I will remember: I have the power to choose what my attitude will be toward this day's offerings.

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Alcoholics Anonymous - Fourth Edition

MORE ABOUT ALCOHOLISM

Many doctors and psychiatrists agree with our conclusions. One of these men, staff member of a world-renowned hospital, recently made this statement to some of us: “What you say about the general hopelessness of the average alcoholics’ plight is, in my opinion, correct. As to two of you men, whose stories I have heard, there is no doubt in my mind that you were 100% hopeless, apart from divine help. Had you offered yourselves as patients at this hospital, I would not have taken you, if I had been able to avoid it. People like you are too heartbreaking. Though not a religious person, I have profound respect for the spiritual approach in such cases as yours. For most cases, there is virtually no other solution.”

p. 43

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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.

This was the background that made me willing to listen on January 8. After being dry for two weeks and sticking close to Jackie, all of a sudden I found I had become the sponsor of my sponsor, for he was suddenly taken drunk. I was startled to learn he had only been off the booze a month or so himself when he brought me the message! However, I made as SOS call to the New York Group, whom I hadn't met yet, and they suggested we both come there. This we did the next day, and what a trip! I really had a chance to see myself from a nondrinking point of view. We checked into the home of Hank, the man who had fired me eleven years before in Mississippi, and there I met Bill, our founder. Bill had then been dry three years and Hank, two. At the time, I thought them just a swell pair of screwballs, for they were not going to save all the drunks in the world but also all the so-called normal people! All they talked of that first weekend was God and how they were going to straighten out Jackie's and my life. In those days we really took each other's inventories firmly and often. Despite all this, I did like these new friends because, again, they were like me. They had also been periodic big shots who had goofed out repeatedly at the wrong time, and they also knew how to split one paper match into three separate matches. (This is very useful knowledge in places where matches are prohibited.) They, too, had taken a train to one town and had wakened hundred of miles in the opposite direction, never knowing how they got there. The same old routines seemed to be common to us all. During that first weekend, I decided to stay in New York and take all they gave out with, except the "God stuff." I knew they had to straighten out their thinking and habits, but I was all right; I just drank too much. Just give me a good front and a couple of bucks, and I'd be right back in the big time. I'd been dry three weeks, had the wrinkles out, and had sobered up my sponsor all by myself!

pp. 226-227

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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."

Most married folks in A.A. have very happy homes. To a surprising extent, A.A. has offset the damage to family life brought about by years of alcoholism. But just like all other societies, we do have sex and marital problems, and sometimes they are distressingly acute. Permanent marriage breakups and separations, however, are unusual in A.A. Our main problem is not how we are to stay married; it is how to be more happily married by eliminating the severe emotional twists that have so often stemmed from alcoholism.

p. 117

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What are you going through in your life right now?
Don't feel you're the only one.
Open your eyes.
Open your heart to your connections with your larger family.
Let them share their stories with you.
Let them share their strengths, hopes, fears, and joys.
Stop looking for what's different and what makes you separate and apart.
Go on an adventure of discovering your common bonds.
--Melody Beattie

"Always hold your head up, but be careful to keep your nose at a friendly level." --Max L. Forman

"Experience is not what happens to a man. It is what a man does with what happens to him." --Aldous Huxley

Prayer is when you talk to God; meditation is when you listen to God. --Diana Robinson

"What do you think of God," the teacher asked. After a pause, the young pupil replied, "He's not a think, he's a feel." --Paul Frost

I must respect the opinions of others even if I disagree with them. --Herbert Henry Lehman

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Father Leo's Daily Meditation

POPULARITY

"Few people are capable of
expressing with equanimity,
opinions which differ from the
prejudices of their social
environment."
-- Albert Einstein

Part of my growth in sobriety is learning to say "no". For years as a
practicing alcoholic I tried to please every body with the result that I
pleased very few and became exhausted in the process! I have
learned that sometimes I need to be unpopular in order to remain
serene; unpopular to practice my spiritual program.

To understand the gift of God's creation requires the acceptance that
we are not the same and, as people, we will have different opinions
and attitudes. Truth has many shades. To be unpopular at times is
reality; truth is always real.

I pray that I might always say and do what I believe to be right,
regardless of public opinion.

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

"Thy word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path." Psalm 119:105

"The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers." Galatians 6:8-10

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Daily Inspiration

Prayer is a great source of joy and the best protection from depression. When we talk, Lord, You help me see solutions for a better day.

Actions have consequences. Lord, may my actions not create difficulties, but rather bring peace and joy to my life.

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NA Just For Today

Fear

" We grow to feel comfortable with our Higher Power as a source of strength. As we learn to trust this Power, we begin to overcome our fear of life."
Basic Text, p. 24

Powerless as we are, living on self-will is a frightening, unmanageable experience. In recovery, we have turned our will and our lives safely over to the care of the God of our understanding. When we lapse in our program, when we lose conscious contact with our Higher Power, we begin to take control of our own lives again, refusing the care of the God of our understanding. If we do not make a daily decision to surrender our lives to the care of our Higher Power, we may become overwhelmed with our fear of life.

Through working the Twelve Steps, we've found that faith in a Power greater than ourselves helps relieve our fear. As we draw closer to a loving God, we become more conscious of our Higher Power. And the more conscious we are of God's care for us, the less our fears.

When we feel afraid, we ask ourselves, "Is this fear an indication of a lack of faith in my life? Have I taken control again, only to find my life still unmanageable?" If we answer yes to these questions, we can overcome our fear by turning our will and our lives back over to care of the God of our understanding.

Just for today: I will rely on the care of my Higher Power to relieve my fear of life.

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You are reading from the book Today's Gift.
Always remember that no matter what the problem may be, there is an infinity of solutions. --Marion Weinstein
A girl named Iris was tormented by the boys at school. Whenever she walked by they would make rude noises. Sometimes, when no one was looking, they would block her way and not let her go home. She was too inexperienced at taking care of herself to realize that believing she couldn't do anything made it true. Feeling helpless kept her from thinking about what she might do.
One day she got so scared that she told her best friend what was happening. Together they began to think of all sorts of things she could do. Knowing she could do something took away the helpless feeling, and the boys noticed and stopped teasing her. It wasn't fun for them anymore.
We often feel helpless in situations that seem too much for us to handle. In fact, help is always available--through friends and family, and through God, who helps us see how we can help ourselves. All we have to do is stop being distracted by that helpless feeling and ask for what we need.
Can I see the many solutions to my problems today?


You are reading from the book Touchstones.
Once the game is over, the king and the pawn go back into the same box. --Italian proverb
Much of our time has been spent saying, "I'm not good enough for that job," "She's too good for me," or "1 don't deserve that compliment." Sometimes we have been very status conscious because underneath we felt unworthy. Many of us have taken either superior or inferior roles with everyone we've dealt with. We ended up with no one who could be our peer or our friend.
True humility occurs when we stop shaming or inflating ourselves and begin accepting ourselves as no worse and no better than anyone else. Then all people are our peers. At our meetings, our powerlessness puts us all in the same box. In the sight of God we are all equal - and status games, which have seemed so important are ultimately silly.
Today, I will remember we are all brothers and sisters in the sight of God.


You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
Everything is so dangerous that nothing is really very frightening. --Gertrude Stein
Life is full of dangers and risks and challenges. We can choose to meet them fearfully or in a spirit of welcome. To choose fear, to say, "I won't take that risk because I might lose," is to prevent ourselves from ever winning. If we welcome the danger, the risk, or the challenge, we acknowledge that life is made up of losses as well as victories, of gains as well as pain.
Life holds the dangers as well as the rewards. We choose how we will act. Sometimes we may feel trapped in a cycle of fearfulness. If we examine our own part, will we find that we are neglecting to take a balanced view? Perhaps, through a fear of losing, we are missing many chances for satisfaction.
I will remember: I have the power to choose what my attitude will be toward this day's offerings.


You are reading from the book The Language Of Letting Go.
Standing Up for Ourselves
We learn some behaviors have self-defeating consequences, while others have beneficial consequences. We learn we have choices. --Beyond Codependency
It is so easy to come to the defense of others. How clear it is when others are being used, controlled, manipulated, or abused. It is so easy to fight their battles, become righteously indignant, rally to their aid, and spur them on to victory.
"You have rights," we tell them. "And those rights are being violated. Stand up for yourself, without guilt."
Why is it so hard, then, for us to rally to our own behalf? Why can't we see when we are being used, victimized, lied to, manipulated, or otherwise violated? Why is it so difficult for us to stand up for ourselves?
There are times in life when we can walk a gentle, loving path. There are times, however, when we need to stand up for ourselves - when walking the gentle, loving path puts us deeper into the hands of those who could mistreat us.
Some days, the lesson we're to be learning and practicing is one of setting boundaries. Some days, the lesson we're learning is that of fighting for our own rights and ourselves.
Sometimes, the lesson won't stop until we do.
Today, I will rally to my own cause. I will remember that it is okay to stand up for myself when that action is appropriate. Help me, God, to let go of my need to be victimized. Help me appropriately, and with confidence, stand up for myself.


I celebrate myself today. I am alive. I am growing. I am willing to do all I am able to do to be the best of who I am. --Ruth Fishel

*****

Journey to the Heart
You're Free to Follow Your Heart

No one has taken your freedom away. You may have relinquished it for reasons known or unknown. But you've always been free-- free to choose.

And you have been choosing, whether or not you have been conscious of your choices. For many years, you chose not to be free. Then you felt stifled, so you groused and rebelled. That was an important part of your journey. It helped you break out of your prison, loosened the chains around you. Now you see the truth. You have always been free.

Celebrate the breaking of the chains. Celebrate your freedom. And share it joyfully with others. Tell yourself, tell others,too, that you're free to trust and follow your own heart.

*****

more language of letting go
Discipline yourself to let go

It may sound odd, but the way to give up being over controlled is to become more disciplined about letting go.
--Stella Resnick, The Pleasure Zone

I was sitting at home worrying one day when a friend called. He asked how I was. I told him I was worrying. Actually, I was crossing the line into obsessing about something that was going on in my life then. "There's nothing you can do about it," he said. "Just relax. It's out of your control."

What my friend was really talking about was practicing the discipline of letting go. After I hung up the phone, I deliberately put my worries and obsessions aside. I surrendered to the way things were. I simply relaxed. It was like a miracle. I was able to move forward with my life.

When we begin letting go, it may seem almost impossible just to relax and let go. As with anything else, with practice and repetition, we will become more skilled. That doesn't mean we won't need to remember to do it. It just means letting go will become easier, in time.

If you've become highly skilled at worrying, obsessing, or trying to control, deliberately practice relaxing and letting go until you're good at that,too.

God, help me make the discipline of relaxing and letting go a daily part of my life. Teach me to let go with poise, dignity, and ease.

*****

A Day at a Time

Reflection for the Day
I must never forget who and what I am and where I come from. I have to remember the nature of my illness and what it was like before I came to The Program. I’ll try to keep the memory green, yet not spend my time dwelling morbidly on the past. I won’t be afraid to enjoy what is beautiful, and to believe that as I give to others, so others will give to me.

Can I ever afford to forget what it used to be like, even for one minute?

Today I Pray
May I never forget the painful days of my addiction. May I never forget that the same misery awaits me if I should slip back into the old patterns. At the same time, may such backwards glances serve only to bolster my own present strength and the strength of others like me. Please, God, do not let me dredge up these recollections in order to outdo or “out-drunk” my fellow members. Like others who are chemically dependent, I must be wary of my desire to be center stage in the spotlight.

Today I Will Remember
I do more when I don’t “outdo.”

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One More Day

The person who tries to live alone will not succeed as a human being.
– Pearl S. Buck

We all enjoy going out to dinner or to a movie. Some of us who are not well, however, choose to become stay-at-homes. Our reasons are many, and one big reason is we don’t want to be stared at or singled out as different. But, in hiding from the stares, we also hide from ourselves.

We don’t want to put ourselves on the line, but we must if we are to become “public” once again. It may mean using a cane or a brace; it may mean utilizing some of the fine adaptive living aids invented to help us. It’s a hard decision, but not as hard as being alone and staying at home.

It takes tremendous inner strength to venture from the protective cocoon of my home. I have the same inner strength as always, and I can use it to survive tough times.

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

Food For Thought

Slips

Each time we give in to our giant appetite and go off the program, it is just as hard to get back on as when we first began. If we forget that we are compulsive overeaters and think that we can handle a little extra food like a "normal" person, we are deceiving ourselves. For us, one extra bite invariably leads to another, and we begin to slide downhill back into despair.

The longer we wait to get back on abstinence, the harder it becomes. If we slip, we sometimes feel that since we haven't been perfect we might as well go ahead and eat a lot, since we have blown our food plan anyway. When we do this, we punish ourselves.

If a slip occurs, we need to put it behind us. It is over and done. We cannot undo it, but we can at this moment stop eating and start abstaining again. We do not need to wait until another day. Every moment we have the choice of abstaining or overeating. Which do you choose right now?

May I choose to abstain now and always.

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One Day At A Time

GOD OF MY UNDERSTANDING

“I believe in God, but not as one thing, not as an old man in the sky.
I believe that what people call God is something in all of us."
John Lennon

Like many people, I originally came to Program primarily seeking help with my compulsive overeating. My main concern was to gain control of my weight and my appetite. I was expecting some kind of diet program, but I found something quite different.

I already considered myself religious and didn't think I needed much help in this area. I also wasn't particularly interested in working on my shortcomings, but I was willing to overlook these "problem" areas of Program because I was so desperate for help.

Well, I did get my weight and appetite under control, but I got much more than that. Program's concept of being able to work with a God of my own understanding may have been the most radical and personally-enlightening theological tidbit I've ever had the pleasure of tripping over. It changed everything I thought I knew about spirituality and God. Through this shift in my understanding, my Higher Power began to change me and help me with my COE by gradually removing all of my past baggage and encumbrances.

Even though I've now reached my recovery goals, my purification continues daily, as does my spiritual growth. I went searching for a diet that actually worked and instead found a whole new way of life. Whoda thunk?

One day at a time...
I will continue to nurture my relationship with the God Of MY Understanding by working the tools of recovery.
~ Rob.

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AA 'Big Book' - Quote

We went back through our lives. Nothing counted but thoroughness and honesty. When we were finished we considered it carefully. - Pg. 65 - How It Works - 3rd. and 4th. Edition

Hour To Hour - Book - Quote

Another day of sobriety begins. Continue to welcome with open arms, those now with less time than you. We DO one kind thing each day for someone: get them a cup of coffee, escort a newcomer to a chair, empty an ashtray after a meeting.

God, as I understand You, show me each day some kind thing I can DO for someone else.

Loving Myself through Action

I want to do something special for myself today. Giving to others and withholding from myself doesn't work. I tend to treat other people the way that I treat myself. If I am stingy with me, I will, somewhere along the line, act that out with other people. If I am hard on myself, I will tend to be hard on others. I am the only person who is with me all hours of the day and I know what feels good and warm to me. I know what makes me feel sustained from within. Today, I will encourage, support and congratulate myself. Each time I do something that pleases me I'll say 'thank you' to myself. Each time I do something well, I'll tell myself 'good job.' I will be my own best cheerleader.

I will encourage and support myself.

- Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor - Book - Quote

Self will and 'running the show' can be like the monkey who sticks his hand into the trap for food. He grasps the food tightly creating a fist that won't slide out the trap door. The monkey struggles but won't release the food and he is trapped. Holding tight to your will and your way can be the fist that traps you.

I Let Go and Let God. What a relief.

"Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book" - Book

If you're thinking about going to a meeting, go to the meeting, and then think about it.

Time for Joy - Book - Quote

I celebrate myself today. I am alive. I am growing. I am willing to do all I am able to be the best of who I am.

Alkiespeak - Book - Quote

'I liked you better when you were drinking.'
'I liked you better when I was drinking too!' - Anon.
__________________
"No matter what you have done up to this moment, you get 24 brand-new hours to spend every single day." --Brian Tracy
AA gives us an opportunity to recreate ourselves, with God's help, one day at a time. --Rufus K.
When you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on. --Franklin D. Roosevelt
We stay sober and clean together - one day at a time!
God says that each of us is worth loving.
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