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Old 12-30-2016, 07:40 AM   #32
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Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 31,074

December 31

Step by Step

Today, I need not fear anything for I have endured and survived the horror of active alcoholism and, by the grace of AA and a Higher Power to which it led me, I have emerged not only intact but a better person. I have kept the faith in the program, in its steps and principles, in the Power stronger than I, and I found faith in myself that I never had before. My gift has been sobriety the last 24 Hours. Having vested not only my heart and soul but my very life in this program, I faced few terrors other than those within myself but met them with the guidance of the steps. Now, nothing can compare and any fear from any source is something I know I can face responsibly, with faith and sobriety. Today, I have nothing to fear except the ghosts of my drinking past, and my program has strengthened me to move beyond them, to leave the fear behind. Yet I do not take for granted the gift of sobriety as something I am owed or even deserve; I have an obligation to it, and that obligation begins with sharing the message. And our common journey continues. Step by step. – Chris M.


~ A YEAR OF MIRACLES ~ (Meditations Written by Members of Nicotine Anonymous) ~

Let us look at our own faults, and not at other people’s. We ought not to insist on everyone following in our footsteps, nor to take upon ourselves to give instruction in spirituality when, perhaps, we do not even know what it is.


Meetings bring many different people together with one common purpose: the desire to quit using nicotine. This is a selfish Program. I go to meetings to gain the benefits of the Program. I want to stay free of nicotine addiction for the rest of my life.

I may find that the meetings are not satisfying my needs. One member or a small group may seem to dominate, meeting after meeting.

Is this good? Are these members sharing their experiences in quitting? Are they sharing knowledge of the Program? This may be to everyone’s benefit. Instead of reacting, I can listen and learn.

Before I attempt to change another person, let me honestly look at my own actions at meetings. Do I dwell on the addiction as I talk, or do I focus on the tools of recovery that the Program offers? Do I put the spotlight on my struggles and difficulties with the addiction, or do I show how I have worked to overcome the addiction, the precious victories? Do I judge others for their education or money instead of listening for their growth and spiritual message?

Today, I will let our Traditions guide me in handling the problems that arise when any group of people gathers.


~ EASY DOES IT ~ (A Book of Daily 12 Step Meditations) ~


And practice these principles in all our affairs.

~ Big Book ~

The longer we are on the Program, the more we enrich all parts of our lives. There is hardly a topic mentioned that does not allow us to learn. It is not that we become progressively dumber in recovery; it is just that we become progressively more open-minded. We seem to be hungry for growth opportunities.

We are not timid about meeting new people and taking part in new recovery experiences. When we have an opportunity to share our experience, strength, and hope, we do so with gratitude and humility. We can’t be arrogant about our progress. We know that false pride is dangerous for us. Others have taken too much credit for recovery and lost it.

When I practice these principles, I acknowledge my powerlessness; believe and trust in my Higher Power; keep a clear, clean conscience; talk with my sponsor; maintain a willingness to change; have a humble attitude; maintain a daily inventory; pray and meditate; attend meetings; and pass it on.


~ WISDOM TO KNOW ~ (More Daily Meditations For Men) ~

You cannot step twice into the same river, for other waters are continually flowing on.

~ Heraclitus ~

On this last day of the year, time is on our minds. Naturally, we look back at the year just passing. Whether we feel grateful that it is over, or grateful for the gifts it brought, we can always be grateful to be in this healing program on this day. Some of us took our first Steps in recovery this year and others marked another year among many years. Once on the path, the critical fact is that we are all brothers, equally seeking the same goal: a sober life and peace of mind.

New Year’s Eve is a time for celebrations and parties. For some of us, New Year’s Eve in the past was a day of complete immersion in our addiction and codependency. There is no point in giving much attention to regrets. Today our celebration has a deeper spiritual meaning. It’s a good time to take stock of how far we have come and for gratitude for the benefits of our recovery. We can look at the challenges we faced and what we learned from them. We can look at the gifts that came into our lives.

Today I thank God for the gifts that continue to flow and enhance my life.


~ A WOMAN’S SPIRIT ~ (More Meditations For Women) ~

Every ending is part of a beginning. Every loss is part of an emptiness that can be filled with newness.

~ Jan Lloyd ~

The door that is closing today may fill us with dread; however, we can find relief when we recall other endings that unexpectedly led to new friend-ships, better jobs, wonderful opportunities.

Life is a process. Every event in our lives is connected to what has gone before and what will come after. There are no real endings; there are only new opportunities for growth and change. For most of us it’s a matter of changing our perspective. The difference is subtle yet extremely powerful, and our lives will never feel the same.

I look forward to these twenty-four hours! I can be glad for everything that comes to me, trusting in its blessing.


~ TODAY I WILL DO ONE THING ~ (Daily Readings for Awareness and Hope) ~

I am learning about bad drugs

Now that I’m clean, I can see what bad drugs really are. They’re the ones where each time you buy them the seller changes, the price changes, and the package changes. Often, even their effects change. Such drugs I now call “street drugs,” and I don’t use them anymore.

The only drugs I use come from a pharmacy. Their price, package, and effects are consistent. I call them “medicine” or “medication.” My medication is prescribed for me by my doctor, and I take it according to strict instructions.

At my next dual recovery meeting I will share my old and new understanding of bad drugs.


~ BODY, MIND, AND SPIRIT ~ (Inspiration and Support for Recovery) ~

I’ve shut the door on yesterday and thrown the key away —
Tomorrow holds no fears for me,
Since I have found today.

~ Vivian Yeiser Laramore ~

Feeling guilty or ashamed about the past — about what we did or did not do, about what happened to us, about who we were — can be our undoing. We must work long and hard in our recovery to work through these feelings, not to forget the past — for it informs all that we value in ourselves today — but to put the past into perspective.

After we’ve taken an inventory and grieved our losses we must forgive ourselves. In forgiving ourselves we can let go of the past and live in today.

With our program of recovery looking back is not as frightening as it once was. And today we do not have to bear what we find alone.

A new year, a new life, can be ours. Love and friendship, support and spiritual growth are waiting for us today. Our yesterdays are over, and we can look to the future with joy and anticipation.

Today help me forgive my self for what’s past and learn to have faith in Your plan for me.


~ MORNING LIGHT ~ (Meditations to Begin Your Day) ~

If every day is an awakening, you will never grow old. You will just keep growing.

~ Gail Sheehy ~

How do you know when you have had a spiritual awakening?

• You will be less confused and have greater under-standing and clarity.

• You will know what it feels like to be at peace.

• You will understand that forgiveness begins when you are capable of forgiving yourself.

• You will be gentle and kind with yourself and with others.

• You will be more willing to surrender to God’s guidance.

• You will be able to see and appreciate the beauty and wonder in life.

• You will discover that your life has purpose.

Having had a spiritual awakening in recovery as the result of your work on the Steps, Step Twelve asks that you engage in outreach and giving to others by sharing what you have learned. By serving as a role model to other addicts, you talk the talk and walk the walk in all that you do and say.

I will practice the principles of recovery with my self and with others.


~ NIGHT LIGHT ~ (A Book Of Nighttime Meditations) ~

Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,
The flying cloud, the frosty light:
The year is dying in the night;
Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.

~ Alfred, Lord Tennyson ~

Past New Year’s Eves may have meant times of excessive chemical use. We may have embarrassed ourselves in many ways. We may have chosen New Year’s Eve as a time to analyze our past behaviors and write long lists of how that was going to change.

Yet tonight is like any other night. We don’t have to feel as though we aren’t having a good time unless we’re at a party or a bar. We can celebrate the new year tomorrow with those closest to us by doing something we enjoy. The past is gone, the future has not arrived. The present is all we have, here and now.

Look to ourselves and what we want to do, not at what we think we should be doing. We can share our feelings at a meeting, spend quality time with our families and loved ones. We need to focus on ourselves and what we need to do for us, and not be diverted by the craziness around us.

Tonight is an ending; tonight is a beginning. Help me stay in the moment to bid farewell to the old and welcome in the new in my own way.


~ DAY BY DAY ~ (Daily Meditations for Recovering Addicts) ~

Being less than perfect

It was not a perfect year. But is there ever a perfect year? Being clean and sober does not purport to offer perfection. It gives us a chance to strive for progress. When we keep our Higher Power in our thoughts and actions, we come closer to perfection all the time.

Despite the disappointments of our complex lives, we are finally beginning to learn how to live. We are finally making progress.

Am I content to be less than perfect?

Higher Power, I pray that I may continue to strive for progress and be satisfied to be an imperfect human.

I will enjoy my humanity today by

God help me to stay clean and sober today!


~ IF YOU WANT WHAT WE HAVE ~ (Sponsorship Meditations) ~

Trust in experience. And in the rhythms.
The deep rhythms of your experience.



At a recent meeting I realized that I wasn’t feeling critical of myself or others. I noticed the sounds around me and felt myself accept that the world is just as it should be. I felt peaceful, happy. I listened to people sharing, without my usual objections. I could appreciate each person’s contribution. I don’t know why this happened or if these feelings will stay with me.


At times, we’re aware of a breakthrough. A habit or outlook suddenly shifts for no apparent reason. But, in fact, you’ve been doing the work of recovery for some time now. When we keep showing up, progress sometimes seems to leap ahead. We may not always love everyone; old problems may arise. But once we’ve had positive experiences of recovery like the one you’ve described, we have memories to draw on for inspiration.

Today, I trust my positive feelings and experiences.



Every man at some time arrives at a place where the course of his entire future rests upon a decision. Judas was one day a saint and the next he was the betrayer of his Lord.

We members of AA also had our moment of great decision. Many more days of decision will probably be our lot, but by the Grace of God and our new-found sobriety, we can meet any situation by reliance on God’s Will rather than our own.


~ WALK SOFTLY AND CARRY A BIG BOOK ~ (Official & Unofficial Sloganeering From the 12 Step Programs) ~

1) Al-Anon: My serenity, my pace, my choice.

2) Drink(ing,): Having a resentment is like drinking poison and expecting someone else to die.

3) Health(y): Take care of your body. If you don’t, where else are you going to live?

by Shelly Marshall


~ The 12 STEP PRAYER BOOK ~ (A Collection of Favorite 12 Step Prayers and Inspirational Readings) ~

I Try to Help People

I try to help people . . . experience their spiritual connectedness by helping them get in touch with both their tenderness and their power. I don’t think there’s such a thing as instant intimacy or instant spirituality—they are things that evolve in us. To reach them . . . we need to see that . . . we are born to evolve . . . It is a growing thing—and there is no fear in it. Not that we haven’t heard the message before. It’s what Christ talked about, and the Buddha, and others. But in the past most of us . . . said, “They’re beyond us, they’re divine . . . we’re nothing but humans, so we can’t make the same connection.” But now, we’re beginning to know we can.

~ Author unknown ~


~ AROUND THE YEAR WITH EMMET FOX ~ (A Book of Daily Readings) ~


The way of Love, upon which you may step at any moment—at this moment if you like—requires no formal permit, has no entrance fee, and no conditions whatever. You need no expensive laboratory in which to train, because your own daily life, and your ordinary daily surroundings, are your laboratory. You need no reference library, no professional training; no external acts of any kind. All you need is to begin steadfastly to reject from your mentality everything that is contrary to the law of love.

You must build up by faithful daily exercise the true Love Consciousness. Love will heal you. Love will comfort you. Love will guide you. Love will illumine you. Love will redeem you from sin, sickness, and death, and lead you into your promised land.

Say to yourself: “My mind is made up; I have counted the cost; and I am resolved to attain the Goal by the path of Love. Others may pursue knowledge, or organize great enterprises for the benefit of humanity, or scale the austere heights of asceticism; but I have chosen the path of Love. My own heart is to be my workshop, my laboratory, my great enterprise, and love is to be my contribution to humanity.”

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God (Romans 8:28). 


~ A DEEP BREATH OF LIFE ~ (365 Daily Inspirations for Heart-Centered Living) ~

The Beginning Is Near

Don’t worry about the world coming to an end today. It’s already tomorrow in Australia.

~ Charles Schultz ~

Since the beginning of time, people have worried about the end of the world. Every generation has had its share of gloomy prophets, and every generation has believed its plight was the worst. Yet, we are still here, and somehow humanity keeps surviving and growing in consciousness.

Life on earth is always changing, and it is always improving. Some–thing is always dying, but something is always being born. To fearfully protect yourself today from danger tomorrow is to miss the beauty here now. Live fully today, and you will be taken care of tomorrow.

As we approach the new year, take stock of the last year. What did you set out to do this year? Have you been true to your goals and yourself? What gifts and awakenings did you receive that you did not plan on? How have you been challenged, and have you found a way to turn your challenges into blessings?

Greet the new year with a sense of joyful anticipation. No matter what has happened this year, you have the power to create your next year as you choose. You are not the same person who started this year. You are wiser, deeper, and richer for your experiences. You will take your knowledge and build on it to make a new year unlike any you have lived before.

Devote this new year to gratitude, blessing, and celebration. Write down what you would like to leave behind and what you would like to take with you. Honor those who have loved and supported you this year by thanking them in your heart and with your words. Do you realize how much grace you have received and how loved you are?

Determine that the next year will be the best one ever. It will be what you want it to be, so aim high. You deserve the very best that life has to offer, because you are the very best.

Thank you for all the gifts and blessings of this year. Walk with me into the new year, and help me find Your love everywhere I go.

I walk in love. My future is blessed by God.
"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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