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Old 10-31-2016, 08:27 AM   #31
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Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 31,074

October 31

Step by Step

“I spend a great deal of time passing on what I learned to others who want and need it badly. I do it for four reasons:
1. Sense of duty.
2. It is a pleasure.
3. Because in so doing I am paying my debt to the man who took time to pass it on to me.
4. Because every time I do it I take out a little more insurance for myself against a possible slip.” – Alcoholics Anonymous, 3rd Edition, 1976, “Personal Stories, Pioneers of AA”, Ch 1 (“Doctor Bob’s Nightmare”), pp 180-81.

Today, admitting that my motive to quit drinking was self-serving and hardly altruistic, I am required now to be responsible to my sobriety. That responsibility is no clearer in any other than the 12th Step, the one that gives us our marching orders to carry the message to people who need and want it. A dividend like sobriety that we have earned through blood, sweat and tears brings with it a responsibility, and we appreciate and treasure that dividend when we share it with someone else, and when it works as well for them. As a drinking alcoholic, I blamed my problems on anyone and anything but myself, and it overwhelmed me. Sober now, I share it and, hopefully, sobriety will become even stronger. And our common journey continues. Step by step. – Chris M.


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


FAITH is a lighted doorway, but TRUST is the dark hallway that says, "Do I dare walk this way, not knowing where it will lead?"

~ Anonymous ~

When we have faith in others we are giving them a great gift. We are giving them respect. By the time we found our way into recovery, most of us had lost respect for ourselves and others. We had lost faith in our own judgment. We couldn't tell a truth from a lie.

When we began to regain our faith in ourselves, we weren't sure if it was right to do so or not. When we shared with others as honestly as we could, we found that they trusted us to tell the truth. And we had this unfamiliar sensation that they respected our honesty and us.

We found that sharing honestly created trust in the integrity of others. And they responded the same way to us. Mutual trust then blossomed through faith.

When I share honestly with others in the Program, I am building faith, respect and trust between us.


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

I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed.

~ Michael Jordan ~

Nobody chooses defeat. The reason we get out there and try our best is because we want to succeed. Failure is painful, and loss can be discouraging. To have a successful life we need to learn the techniques that successful people use to deal with failure. They know that every attempt has its risks and that we all experience failure. It is in our failures that we learn the most. Everyone on the recovery path knows the pain of great loss and the guilt of facing up to big mistakes. We also take our failures and turn them into net gain by learning the lessons they contain.

Our strength for the future of our lives comes, in part, from mining the resources to be found in the rubble of failure. We refine those resources by our honesty about them. Our experience with what worked and what didn’t work points the way to a stronger, wiser life. When we demand resilience from ourselves, we rebound from failure to step forward toward success with our next venture.

Today I accept that every failure contains the seeds for success in the future.


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

Sometimes it seems I’ve spent my life trying to live up to others’ expectations of me, and failing. I never thought much about pleasing myself. That would have been “selfish.”

~ JoAnn Reed ~

We can feel burdened, inadequate, and over-whelmed by expectations, even when they are our own. More often, however, the problem originates from outside ourselves. Before we got into the program, we may have been easily caught in the trap of other people’s expectations because we didn’t know who we really were. Now that we are in recovery, the Fourth Step offers us an opportunity to understand ourselves better, which in turn helps us to set our own goals. No longer must someone else’s goals guilt us into action.

Getting to know real freedom from the expectations of others is a two-step process. First we need to see clearly which expectations are ours and which belong to someone else. Then we need to turn to our Higher Power for help in fulfilling oui own expectations, and only our own.

Before taking any action today I will pause to make certain I am fulfilling my expectations, not someone else’s. God will help me with this task.


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

I am practicing expressing myself

One of the first things I learned in therapy for my emotional illness was to express myself. Keeping my feelings inside—which I have done for many years—can contribute to my illness and keep me ill. To recover and stay healthy, I need to release my emotions regularly.

In therapy I also learned some different ways to express myself. For instance, I can talk about my feelings, paint them, or write about them (in a journal, in stories, or in poems). I could even sing or dance my feelings if I wanted to. I am grateful to have these tools that are helping me recover and stay healthy.

I will try a new tool today to see if it might help me express my current feelings.


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

What the superior man seeks is in himself.
What the mean man seeks is in others.

~ Confucius ~

If we constantly compare ourselves to others and carry around an imaginary scorecard, we will never be satisfied with ourselves. Our feelings of value must come from inside us. In the long run, the only way to shake feelings of insecurity is to reach down inside ourselves for our pride and self-worth.

One way is to write down all our positive qualities, no matter how small they may seem, and keep that list for reference. The ability to read maps, the ability to play bridge well, a talent for canning fruit, a talent for fixing cars — these are the pieces that make up human beings. Most of us are made up of pieces like these, and our pieces take on new meaning when we share them with others at Twelve Step meetings. Learning about ourselves means learning our positive qualities and gladly sharing them with others. When we rejoice in the things we do well, we are proud of ourselves on our own merit, not because we compared ourselves to another.

Today help me share something on my list with another.


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

Know thyself.

~ Inscription on the Oracle of Apollo at Delphi ~

Step Ten is, in essence, a follow-up Step for your work on Step Four, when you conducted a searching and fearless moral inventory of yourself. Step Ten provides you with A reminder that your inventory work needs to be ongoing so you do not fall back into inappropriate or destructive behavior, that you continue to treat others with kindness and respect, and that you work the program with dedication and commitment.

While it is a good idea to work on Step Four each year In your recovery, Step Ten encourages you to check in with yourself on a regular basis. You can do this each day, such as first thing in the morning or right before you go to bed at night. Or you can set aside a regular time each Week in which you engage in self-examination.

Ask yourself, “How am I doing?” and be honest in your response. This can help prevent you from suppressing your feelings or ignoring warning signs of something that could turn into a bigger problem if it is not dealt with immediately. If you realize a situation needs your attention, promptly attend to it and make amends if necessary.

I will continue to take a personal inventory and correct those things that need to be set right.


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

There are always two voices sounding in our ears—the voice of fear and the voice of confidence. One is the clamor of the senses, the other is the whispering of the higher self.

~ Charles B. Newcomb ~

Sometimes we may wish others could hear the station our heads are tuned to. When someone says, "you look nice," our station says, "They're only saying that to get a ride to town." When someone says, "You're fun to be with," our station broadcasts, "If they only knew what a bummer you really are."

The host of our station is Fear; his assistants are Doubt and Insecurity. The trio is always on our airwaves, ready to shoot down any good vibrations we receive. If we start to believe we are good people, then we'll put them out of business.

We can let a new voice onto the airways—Trust. When we hear, "You look nice," Trust can say, "You've been trying to improve your appearance and someone noticed!" If we learn to listen to Trust, we will hear affirmations and motivating statements. With Trust we will always hear the Truth.

Tonight, I will believe I am a much better person than Fear, Doubt, and Insecurity would have me believe.


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

Exercising our power

We can use. Our Higher Power won’t stop us. It won’t take a joint out of our hand, tell the doctor not to give us tranquilizers or pain pills, or lock the door to the corner bar. But our Higher Power will give us the strength to refuse that first fix, pill, or drink. It is only necessary for us to practice that refusal.

No is an excellent word to use. Other fancy refusals will work, but no works best of all. After we have accepted the power to refuse mind-altering chemicals, we are given the power to work the steps. Our Higher Power gives us this power, but we have to exercise it ourselves.

Do I exercise my God-given power wisely?

Higher Power, help me to exercise the power you have already given me.

Today I will ask my Higher Power for the power to

God help me to stay clean and sober today!


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

I'm grateful for every drop I drank.



I've heard some people in this program say that they think it may be too late for them, that they wish they'd come here years earlier. I've heard other people say that they got here at such an early age that they sometimes wonder if they quit using too soon. I find myself identifying with both groups at different times.


Anxieties about age, laments that we’re too old or too young for recovery are yet another variation on the theme of denial. It took me as long as it took me to get here; I don't think I could have gotten sober one day sooner. Now that I'm here, I intend to stay, to live whatever seasons and whatever days my life consists of, appreciating the richness of life in recovery.

Some days I feel raw and inexperienced. Other days I feel mature and wise. I learn from the experience of those who are older or younger, from the sponsor who got here before me and the sponsee who got here after me.

Whatever age we've reached, we can be of use. We're learning to trust that what time holds for us is good; when we're struggling with some problem, we're not going to leave before the miracle.

Today, my recovery supports me, wherever I am on the continuum of my life.



The Founders of AA acted wisely when they fixed it so there would be no Big Shots in our fellowship. We are not the best people in the world when it comes to bearing heavy responsibilities. It has proven to be poison to many a good man.

After all, it is not necessary for your fame to spread around the world—there are more drunks on your own street than you can help.


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

Benefiting Others

Dear God, bless You for bringing me from the lowest depths of existence. What excitement has come to me when I discovered I am not a worthless human being. When I drank and used, I thought I was doomed to be incompetent, unworthy, and a dishonest person. No more. My escape from the depths of despair has made me feel needed and trusted. Others listen to my story of how I was, what happened, and what I am like today. Lord, bless You for making me a helpful person by sharing those very experiences that made me feel worthless.


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


Of what does the consecrated life consist?

Your life is a consecrated one when you are ready at all times to do the will of God—when you are willing and anxious that God may be fully expressed through you, through your thoughts, words, and deeds, during every hour of the day.

You are nor concerned with the question of results. Results belong to God.

Here am I; send me (Isaiah 6:8).


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

Out of the Closet

You must look upon your illusions and not keep them hidden…
Illusions have no place where love abides, protecting you from everything that is not true.

~ A Course in Miracles ~

In our fascination with the monsters of Halloween, we forget that the holiday began as a celebration of purification. “Halloween” is short for “All Hallows (Holy) Evening,” the night that precedes November 1st, All Saints' Day. The lore tells that the presence of great spiritual light on All Saints’ Day calls forth all the unhealed spirits so they can be blessed and released. The process is similar to cleaning laundry in a washing machine. When the soap and water touch the garments, the grime is loosened, and it rises to the surface. To look into a washing machine during the agitation cycle, you would be repulsed and think that the clothes are getting dirtier. But they are actually getting cleaner. The muck must be extracted before it can be discarded.

While our culture has forgotten the spiritual origin of Halloween, you can make use of it. Are there any monsters lurking in the closet of your consciousness? Are you carrying any hidden fears, resentments, or grotesque memories that stalk you in the night? Are you annoyed by any emotional goblins that undermine your relationships? If so, open the door and let them fly away. Call forth the energy of love and healing, and ask God to free you of anything that stands between you and your good.

Monsters are dangerous only when we run from them. No bogeyman has any power over us unless we feed it with fear and denial. Face your demons, and you will see that they are illusions. Shine the light of truth on your basement, and you will have a whole new room to play in.

Give me the courage to move beyond my fears and be free.

I release the darkness to make way for the light.
"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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