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Old 09-30-2016, 09:12 AM   #30
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Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 29,904

September 30

Step by Step

“11. – Our relations with the general public should be characterized by personal anonymity. We think AA ought to avoid sensational advertising. Our names and pictures as AA members ought not be broadcast, filmed or publicly printed. Our public relations should be guided by the principle of attraction rather than promotion. There is never need to praise ourselves. We feel it better to let our friends recommend us.” – Alcoholics Anonymous, 3rd Edition, 1976, Appendices, “The Twelve Traditions” (long form), p 567.

Today, no “praise” inasmuch as my drinking is concerned, be it years of sobriety or a decision to attend my first meeting tonight. While it is appropriate to give a quick pat on the back for working toward recovery, the overwhelming “credit” belongs to AA without which we have no lifeline to grab and hold onto. If I should boast about my sobriety as my own achievement, if I become complacent in sobriety or if I neglect to do what the program requires I do, I have probably neglected my responsibility to be one of its “success” stories anonymously. Today, I will be stingy in claiming my sobriety as my own accomplishment and instead remember that it’s largely the product of AA. And our common journey continues. Step by Step. – Chris M.


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


Let each become all that he was created capable of being . . . expand, if possible, to his full growth.

~ Thomas Carlyle ~

Growth is change. It is a necessity in recovery. As our attitudes, actions, and thinking grow, we are aware of the miracle of change in our lives. Our growth becomes evidence of an exciting life. Our growth in character is a result of how well we learn, with gratitude and humility, from experience.

Spiritual, emotional, and physical growth becomes apparent when time and experience cause us to be gentle with ourselves. This happens when we use realistic self-criticism as we review our behavior. Long-timers tell us that "you've got to grow or you've got to go." And we don't ever want to go back to what we were.

Growth is change. When I am willing to grow spiritually, emotionally, physically, and mentally, I change for the better.


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

Chains do not hold a marriage together. It is threads hundreds of tiny threads, which sew people together through the years.

~ Simone Signoret ~

A relationship may begin with love at first sight. Some of us have experienced that feeling many times. But the growth of a relationship is nutured by sharing many experiences and times together. We live through many kinds of events, including the unexpected turns that every life brings. We have enjoyable times together, and we inevitably disappoint each other or frustrate each other. The history we build over time is the storehouse of our lives.

Sometimes when a relationship is strained, we easily say to ourselves, I could do better without this; I could find someone else and have a better life. But to walk away from a relationship would be to walk away from a shared history. Some relationships are so toxic that it is better to cut our losses and leave. But usually we are happier when we can repair the wrongs and build upon our history.

Today I am grateful for the history I share with my intimate partner.


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

Wisdom lets us know that the key is not to judge, but to love and nurture.

~ Jane Nelsen ~

Freeing our minds of judgment is far more difficult than we’d imagined. It often seems our minds fill up by themselves. That’s not true, of course. We cannot always be in control of everything, but we are always in charge of our thoughts.

Harboring only loving thoughts may seem beyond our capabilities at first. So did living without alcohol and other drugs, yet we are managing that one day at a time. Nothing is too much for us to handle if we make the effort moment by moment. Making the decision to “think love” is doable. The proof is in the practice.

How I feel about myself today is tied to how I decide to feel about others. My love of them will help me love myself.


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

I can grow by telling my story

In recovery I no longer have to lie to myself or others. In telling my history of addiction and early recovery as honestly as memory allows, I can practice coming to terms with my life, both the downs and the ups. I can show myself how ready and willing and able I am to practice the important principle of honesty.

In recovery where I am both emotionally and spiritually safe, I have a chance to get rid of some of the guilt and shame about my life. I take advantage of this opportunity (and challenge) when I am honest about my past in the Fifth Step and honest about my present in the Tenth Step.

Today I will practice honesty in my Tenth Step review.


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

Nobody’s family can hang out the sign,
Nothing the matter here.

~ Chinese Proverb ~

While we were drinking and using, we often found it easy to judge others. It made us feel better to say, “Those people have a lot of problems. I’m glad I’m not like them.”

Today, we are much less likely to judge others. We are focused on our own life now. We are busy getting back in shape mentally, physically, and spiritually. We don’t have much time — or much need — to be taking an inventory on other people.

And we have learned the benefits of empathy and sympathy with others. Instead of criticizing, we are learning how to reach out and understand others. As we learn to trust ourselves and our feelings, we find we don’t need to hide behind a wall of selfishness. Now, we are learning the spiritual value of hearing and helping others. As the Twelfth Step reminds us, we keep our program by giving it away.

Today let me be sensitive to the plight of others. Help me not to judge those in need.


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

Memory is the diary we all carry about with us.

~ Mary H. Waldrip ~

Recovery increases your awareness of how you have harmed others. For many, such realization can be a real shock and lead to intense feelings of shame, guilt, despair, and depression. If you stay immersed in such feelings, you may find it hard to move forward. Your emotional baggage from the past will always be with you. If you focus only on the relationships and people you have “broken” as a result of your addiction, you may find it hard to think about anything else.

Step Nine offers you an opportunity to remember what you have done to others and to try to repair as much as you can with them—the broken promises, the emptiness and abandonment you caused others to feel, and the relationships and responsibilities you ignored.

In doing such things, it is important to keep in mind that there is no guarantee you will able to fix everything in ways that restore happiness and reconnection to those relationships that your addiction damaged. Your actions may not lead to reconciliation or rebuild bridges, but they will help you release some of the emotional baggage that has been weighing you down.

I will make direct amends to those I have harmed. I will do so without any expectation of acceptance or forgiveness, but because it is the right thing to do.


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

Our main business is not on see what lies dimly at a distance, but to do what lies clearly at hand-

~ Thomas Carlyle ~

"Five years down the road," says Jack, "I want to have a new job, an intimate relationship, and a bigger house. I want to be earning more money and feel better about myself." What nice dreams! But what is Jack doing for himself now?

My relationship is not going well," sighs Sarah. "This isn't the first time I've been told I have the same character defects. Someday I really want to make changes and be in a warm, supportive relationship. Then I'll be happy." But how can Sarah expect to have a wonderful relationship if she doesn’t begin her work now?

"My family is so messed up," declares Leslie, a parent. "No one communicates. If we had a bigger house we wouldn't argue so much or be so disorganized. When Bill and I start making good money, we can look for that dream house." But when will Bill and Leslie work on the family problems they're having now?

Tonight I can begin to see what lies clearly at hand—not a dream or goal years away from now. All I have is right now. Tonight I can build my future foundations by working on me.


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


There are different ways to pray and different things to pray about. We can use words or we can pray silently through careful, mindful, spiritual acts. We can pray for our-selves or others, for what we need or want, or we can pray to follow the will of our Higher Power.

In fact, we can make a prayer out of most anything we do. The way we do what we do can make most any act a prayer.

Am I staying in conscious contact through my prayers?

Higher Power, help me to keep prayer, whether spoken or silent, an active part of my spiritual life.

I will keep up my prayer life today by

God help me to stay clean and sober today!


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

We are going to learn a new freedom and a new happiness. . . .We will comprehend the word serenity and we will know peace.



I keep hearing people refer to "the Promises." What are they, exactly?


"The Promises" is the name given to a paragraph that follows a discussion of Step Nine in Alcoholics Anonymous (the AA Big Book). That paragraph affirms that several freedoms will come to us without fail, "if we are painstaking" about the process of making amends.

Taking Step Nine with thoroughness and care, the Promises tell us, is the path to freedom from self-pity, self-centeredness, fear, confusion, and a sense of separation from our fellow human beings. One of my favorite sentences in that paragraph is "We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it." When I first read it, it seemed unimaginable. My life was filled with regret. My addiction had helped me to shut out memories of my past life, and had given me still more to regret in the process. But this promise has, in fact, come true for me. Over time in recovery as you work the Steps, the Promises will come true in your life.

Today, I have the courage to take a step toward mental and emotional freedom.



Our AA philosophy is an idealistic philosophy. It has to be in order to be a happy philosophy. Some may declare that it is too much so, that we ignore more materialistic facts. Let us take from our philosophy all the good and the joy it promises. Let us give our gold no acid test.

If our philosophy is unreal and foolish in the eyes of the more materialistic world, then what of it? It enables us to be happier than those that have good sense.


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

Traditional Jewish Prayer

If my lips could sing as many songs
as there are waves in the sea;
If my tongue could sing as many hymns
as the oceans billows;
If my mouth filled the whole sky with praise;
If my face shone like the sun;
If my hands were to soar in the sky like powerful
And my feet run across mountains like a powerful
All that would be not enough
To pay fitting tribute
To You, O Lord my God.


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


A man came to see me in London in great distress. He had attended some lectures I gave, and wanted advice. He was the owner of a general grocery store in a village in the south of England, and hitherto there had been no competition. Now, one of the big chain stores was opening a branch almost opposite to him in the main street, and he was in a panic.

He said, "How can I compete with them? I am ruined."

I said, "You know the Great Law. You know where your supply comes from. Why be afraid?"
He said, "I must do something."

I said, "Stand in your shop each morning and bless it, by claiming that divine Power works through it for great prosperity and peace for all concerned." He nodded his head in agreement.

I added, "Then look down the street to where they are fitting up the new store, and bless that in the same way."

“What? Cut my own throat?" he almost screamed.

I explained that what blesses one, blesses all. I told him that he was really hating his competitor (through fear) and that his hatred would destroy him, while blessing the "enemy" was the way to get rid of hate. I finished by saying, "You cannot cut your throat with prayer; you can only improve everything."

It took some time to persuade him, but at last he got the idea, and when I met him several years later he told me that his business had been better than ever since the chain store appeared; and that it seemed to be getting on well too.

This is what Jesus meant when he said, Love your enemies (Luke 6:27).


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

Supermarket Saints

We must not, in trying to think about how we can make a big difference, ignore the small daily differences we can make, which, over time, add up to big differences that we often cannot foresee.

~ Marion Wright Edelman ~

Down the road from my house lives a saint. He does not lecture, issue cosmic prophecies, or solicit disciples. He dons not a white robe, but a green, hooded sweatshirt. The master gives blessings not from a pulpit, but from a wheelchair. Paralyzed after a stroke, Raymond sits at the end of his driveway, grinning and waving to every car that passes. He can move only his arm, and he uses it to bless. His daily communion begins when the school buses pass in the morning, and concludes when the buses take the children back home in the afternoon. All the kids know Raymond and wave back.

When I pass Raymond, I am usually on my way to an appointment, and my mind is immersed in the busy-ness of life. When I see him, I feel happy; he reminds me that the real business of life is love. It has occurred to me that this man is making a paramount contribution to planetary healing. In his own simple way, he is transforming the world by bringing joy to everyone who passes before him. What greater ministry could one have?

Our spiritual life is founded on the spirit in which we act. When evaluating any activity, check in with your heart. How much peace or reward do you feel? Do you carry the spirit of joy through your day? Do you greet the security guard with respect and appreciation? Can you offer a gentle touch to the child who bumps into you in the supermarket? Can you laugh in the face of a business delay? In the end, you will count your good based on the depth of love you generated, not on the amount of time you spent in the office. In the movie Ghost, as Patrick Swayze's character is about to go into the light at the end of his life, he exclaims, "lt's amazing—you take all the love with you."

I shall not wait for the afterlife to find heaven. I pray to bring the richest spirit to all that I do.

I use every moment to magnify love.
"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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