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Old 05-31-2016, 09:05 AM   #31
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Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 30,558

May 31

Step by Step

"...(D)eep down in every man, woman and child is the fundamental idea of God. It may be obscured by calamity, by pomp, by worship of other things, but in some form or other it is there. For faith in a Power greater than ourselves, and miraculous demonstrations of that power in human lives, are facts as old as man himself." - Alcoholics Anonymous, 3rd Edition, 1976, Ch 4 ("We Agnostics"), p 55.
Today, if I expect AA to work for me, I must work with it, and I must knock down the wall that separates me from a power stronger than myself to begin my recovery. If I am struggling or even rejecting the possibility of such a power, let me read and embrace these words and accept on blind faith the hope that somewhere inside me is a "fundamental idea of God." He, God, need not be a religious entity but a spiritual one, and a "spiritual awakening," even if it is a basic change in my psyche or character, is required if I am to achieve any kind of quality sobriety. Today, I must put aside any resistance and open myself to the idea of a power stronger than myself so that I can earn the benefits of recovery. If alcohol is stronger than me, I have to believe that a force stronger than alcohol can restore me. And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M.


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


MISTAKES: The more I turn outward to others, the stronger I become within. Mistakes are facts of life. It is my response to them that counts.

~ Anonymous ~

It's brave to believe that nothing is impossible, but such an attitude isn't real. It's impossible to change things we have said and actions we wish we hadn't taken.

We can learn from older and wiser members that we can be happy without winning every battle. The most important battle we must win is to stay clean and sober.

We may have some rude awakenings if we think to fight any other battle than staying abstinent. It's foolhardy not to back away from the impossible just so we can feel "heroic."
Each time we back off from confusion, we buy valuable time to find a better way. There is no disgrace in changing directions when the way we're going is wrong.

When I back off things I can't change, I win.


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

I have one request: may I never use my reason against truth.

~ Elie Wiesel ~

Honesty with ourselves is a great asset in every situation we confront. The skill to look reality square in the face and call it what it is takes us a good distance toward coping with it. However, many of us also have the skill to spin or rationalize our actions so that we don’t have to face something unpleasant. That skill provides us with excuses and evasions but it is the greatest betrayal of our selves. When we use our brain to cleverly cover the truth of our actions, we often believe our own lies, and then we’re incapable of rectifying them.

Just as dishonesty builds and grows on itself, so does honesty. We cannot one day decide to be honest and change in a flash because we don’t see all of our self-deceit yet. But we can make the decision to be as honest as we know how. Then we will soon be surprised by how much is revealed to us as the fog of our self-deceit lifts and our honesty builds upon itself.

Today I will strive to see reality as it is and not shape it to suit my ego’s desires.


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

Women, especially, feel caught between our fundamental connectedness and a sense of isolation. The challenge is to be intimate with another and still remain true to ourselves.

~ Sherry Ruth Anderson, Patricia Hopkins ~

Do we respond too quickly to the needs of others? It’s important, of course, to respond respectfully—with love and acceptance—to others’ problems. However, we need to decide what we can comfortably give while remaining true to our own needs. That’s not always easy.

Why is it so hard to feel genuine oneness with others and to feel wholeness as an individual con-currently? A blessing of this recovery path is that we are learning how to do both. It takes time, though. And it takes willingness to be quiet and listen to our inner voice when the call comes to be there for someone else.

It’s good that we desire intimacy; it’s also good that we want some time away from the crowd. Including both, in a balanced way, is a special gift of this journey we make.

I will listen to my own needs along with those voiced by my friends today. God can help me decide how to respond.


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

I need to stay in touch with people

I’m not behaving the way I really want to these days. It's like when I used to get high regularly and then act out. I feel like I’m making the same mistakes. I keep making people mad at me. Sometimes I think it would be better if I didn't see anyone or even talk to anyone.

But that's not what I hear in my support group. They say that if I talk about my behavior and my feelings, if I let out some of the hurt, I will feel better. It's when I keep the feelings inside that I start to spiral down. To be open or ask for help right now is hard for me, yet it looks like that’s what I need to do for my recovery.

I will be sure to get in touch, and stay in touch, with my counsellor, sponsor , or a trusted friend.


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

Love truth, but pardon error.

~ Voltaire ~

Often, we don’t like to admit it when we are wrong, even though simple logic tells us no one can be right all the time. And much of what we often argue about as right or wrong has nothing to do with right and wrong. Is it right or wrong to wear a red dress rather than a blue one? Or to take the bus rather than the train to work?

Life is too short to always try to be right, or to put everything into the category of right or wrong. We save ourselves a lot of grief and pain when we are able to admit we made a mistake, and avoid using the labels “right” and “wrong” when they just don’t apply to the situation. We find great freedom in letting most things just be what they are, without a judgment from us. And we learn to love ourselves and those around us the same way.

Today help me to admit when I am wrong, and not gloat when I am right. May I not see everything in terms of right or wrong. May I avoid being self-righteous.


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

Nothing is so difficult as not deceiving oneself.

~ Ludwig Wittgenstein ~

Look in the mirror and stare at yourself. Think about what you see. Refrain from any desire to wish for some-thing to be different. See yourself for how you look at this particular moment.

The same critical eye with which you see what you really look like is the same view you need to take in your work on Step Five. After having completed a searching and fearless moral inventory in Step Four, you are now ready to admit to God, to yourself, and to another human being what you have found.

It is one thing to confess such things to your Higher Power and to personally accept responsibility. It is entirely another to admit such things to someone else. That is why it is important to choose this person wisely. While you may be tempted to talk to someone whom you have harmed, that is better saved for Step Eight. Instead, work on Step Five with your sponsor. The foundation of trust and honesty in this relationship will provide you with a safe space in which to admit your wrongs.

Today I will work on Step Five with my sponsor. If I have already done so, I will reflect upon what I have done in the past to see if there is anything I have left out.


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

The voice of intelligence is soft and weak. It is drowned out by the roar of fear. It is ignored by the voice of desire. It is contradicted by the voice of shame. It is hissed away by hate and extinguished by anger. Most of all, it is silenced by ignorance.

~ Karl Menninger ~

The story of Sybil tells of a woman who sheltered sixteen personalities within her. Her confusion and fear about the many voices made it almost impossible to make decisions and to be herself. Instead of being one person she was sixteen, until she got help.

Many times we may feel like Sybil. Inside, many voices try to tell us what to do, contradict us, knock us down, or make us cringe in fear. Yet we don t have to listen to those voices. We only need listen to the one that is guided by our Higher Power. That voice tells us we're good, we're doing good things for ourselves, and the program gives us all we need to get better. This voice can become louder and more powerful in time, gradually drowning out the other voices we've let run our lives.

Tonight I'll tune in the best voice−the one of my Higher Power. I'll turn my will over to the voice and let it guide me.


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

Living today well

Our Higher Power’s will for us is always better than our own, but we cannot see this truth unless we let go enough to venture into the new areas to which we are being led. To experience growth, we must let go of old ideas. (Our old ideas fit only our drug world.)

Each day, well lived, moves us closer to what we are seeking. We must become more giving and more willing to use what we have today.

Am I living today well?

Higher Power, help me accept your will for me today.

I will live today well by

God help me to stay clean and sober today!


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

There is a way to look at the past. Don’t hide from it. It will not catch you if you don’t repeat it.



The speaker at a meeting I attended talked about his last days of active addiction. He had no friends, no possessions. He lived in a kind of extreme degradation, isolation, and poverty that I haven’t experienced. If one person hadn’t helped him, he’d never have made it to recovery. For some reason, he reached me on a deeper level than other speakers with whom I have much more in common.


Perhaps your story has more in common with extreme, rock-bottom misery than you know.

In early recovery, I accepted my need for a program of recovery, but thought there were many who were worse off than I was. It took time and willingness to face my past with excruciating honesty, to grasp the depths of my loneliness and despair at the end of active addiction.

A house, a job, a bank account, and even family and friends are no protection from where this disease can take us. Whether we’ve gone all the way downhill or stopped part way down, we sense that we were on a course of self-destruction more isolated and dangerous than we were willing to admit.

Today, I'm grateful for every story of addiction and recovery that I hear; there is something in each of them that illuminates my own path.



For a person to attempt to live apart from this world is as useless as for a drop of water to live apart from the ocean. God put everything in this world and He takes nothing out. To endeavour to withdrawal from the world’s activities is another way of fooling yourself. We are an influence for good or evil regardless of our attempts to hide from society at large.

When a rock falls from a cliff into the sea, it is not merely that the land is one rock less, it means the contour of the whole continent has changed. However, it is still a part of God’s Universe whether it can be seen by man or not.


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


Dear God, please fill me
With your loving spirit, and
Let it flow through me
Into the lives of others.


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


When Nebuchadnezzar sent out his decree that everyone in his kingdom should bow down and worship the golden image that he had erected, there were three men who refused to obey. These were Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, Hebrew officials in the province of Babylon.

Nebuchadnezzar called them before him, and they bluntly told the King that their God would deliver them from the fiery furnace to which they would be consigned, but even if God did not deliver them, they would still serve Him and Him alone.

Nebuchadnezzar had the three men thrust into the fiery furnace, and the heat was so intense that it slew the guards who threw them in. Then, as he looked in upon the three faithful Hebrews, Nebuchadnezzar was astonished to find a fourth man walking in the flames with the other three. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego walked out of the fiery furnace without a blemish or scar.

So it is when we hold steadfastly to God, and give all power to Him. He sends his messenger to deliver us from our furnace of fear and frustration. Then do we know that nothing shall by any means harm us.

Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, who hath sent his Angel, and delivered his servamts that trusted in him . . . (Daniel 3:28).


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

Grossing the Line

The obligation of the comedian is to find where the line is drawn, deliberately cross it, and make the audience glad you took them with you.

~ George Carlin ~

In the film Meetings with Remarkable Men, young George Gurdjieff comes upon a Russian country village where some children are playing a cruel trick on one of their peers. Gurdjieff finds a young schoolboy trapped inside a chalk circle drawn by the other children. Under the superstitious belief that anyone caught inside such a circle is trapped by the devil's power, the boy cannot escape, and he is terrified. With compassion, Gurdjieff rubs out a portion of the circle, and the boy flees.

Many of the beliefs that hold us hostage are no more real than the chalk circle. When we examine our perceived limits or someone else demonstrates that they are not valid, a portion of our chalk line is rubbed out, and we grow beyond our imprisoning perceptions to gain the freedom we deserve.

What do you believe you cannot do? Are you willing to call to question your sense of limits? Would you rather be right, or free?

Make a list of all the things you would like to do, but believe you cannot. Then examine each of your reasons and consider whether they are real, or simply represent a belief you are holding. You may be pleasantly surprised to find that you are not as constrained as you believed. Look fearlessly and honestly upon your limits, and you will find that you are more powerful than any of your fears.

Show me the way to freedom. Dissolve my limits, that I may live the life you intended.

I am unlimited. I am free. My life is an ever-expanding adventure.
"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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