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Old 04-30-2016, 09:04 AM   #30
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Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 31,018

April 30

Step by Step

Today, instead of an alcoholic, I'm a soberholic. If "alcoholic" calls attention to the fact that I am addicted to alcohol, can't "soberholic" stake my addiction to sobriety? Despite AA's progress in striking down the image of the alcoholic as the down-and-out'er sleeping in alleys or drying out in a flophouse, a jail's drunk tank or mental hospital, a stigma remains. Might I be able to erode that stigma by labeling my addiction to sobriety instead of to alcohol? If so, maybe I can renew my self-confidence and weaken any temptation or lingering doubt about drinking again. As someone addicted to sobriety, why do I need alcohol? Today, at the risk of angering those who warn against trading one addiction for another, I'll substitute dependence on alcohol to addiction to sobriety. And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M.


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

Entertaining hope means recognizing fear.

~ Robert Browning ~

We are taught early in recovery not to be afraid of anxiety. It is a normal part of all lives. It can’t be stopped or gotten rid of.

We can only deal with anxiety by facing it. It is a vital life source that alerts us that something is wrong with our living patterns. As we act and react to anxiety, we build an ability for thinking through solutions carefully rather than making snap judgements. That way, anxiety helps us learn that we must face our problems.

We eagerly work through anxieties instead of ignoring them. Then they don’t get bigger. This also helps us with our spiritual growth because we learn to do what we can to face the cause of our anxiety. Then we turn the rest over to our Higher Power. Real peace is not a lack of problems. Real peace comes from facing up to challenges.

Anxiety tells me there is a problem, so I can face it and learn and grow from dealing with it.


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

An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes that can be made in a narrow field.

~ Niels Bohr ~

At the time they happen, mistakes are always deeply regrettable. No one ever sets out to make a mistake. Fortunately we are not seeking perfection. We weren’t born fully clothed with an instruction book on how to live. We don’t learn anything new from doing the things we already have down pat. Mistakes are how we learn, and some of those lessons are painful indeed. A man who is afraid to risk a mistake shields himself from growing.

So we take risks, knowing we will make mistakes. There is no shame in a mistake that we learn from. It is said that the truly wise man keeps his beginner’s attitude and is always open to learning. Many of us can say that if mistakes create an expert, then we must be well qualified already. And, in fact, for those of us who have learned from them, we truly are smarter and stronger for the experience. The key is first to discard the notion of perfectionism, then to take the reasonable risks that may lead to mistakes, and finally to learn the lessons contained in them.

Today I am grateful for my life experience, and I will continue to take reasonable risks and grow.


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

My life takes the course intended by my Higher Power when I go with the flow instead of against it.

~ Kathy Kendall ~

The number of times we struggle today is directly related to how many outcomes we try to force. Our unwillingness to let go and go with the flow can throw our journey off course. There is a rhythm to our lives—a pace and a direction—that’s been set by our Higher Power. Until we come to believe in that truth and become willing to trust it, we’ll cause ourselves many unnecessary problems and conflicts.

It’s restful to believe that there is a plan for our lives. It takes away the fretting and the guesswork, leaving many hours for play and creativity. It also assures us that we are special, not forgotten as we may have feared in the past.

I am willing to believe that I am on a special journey. Today’s experiences are part of it. I won’t fight them.


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

I deserve respect

People with heart disease or diabetes need not be secretive about their illness to avoid stigma. They are not looked down on for having a serious illness. In short, they are respectively supported throughout their illness.

In the same spirit, I need to be treated with respect as I heal from my addiction and emotional illness. I need to be understood as a good person with two no-fault illnesses, who is doing the best he can. (And yet, there may be times when I need to protect myself from people who are judgemental and insensitive.) However, I am discovering that the more I respect myself, the more others will respect me.

Today I will acknowledge my ongoing recovery and pray to accept those who don’t accept me.


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

By speaking of our misfortunes, we often relieve them.

~ Pierre Corneille ~

In addiction, we were isolated and alone, ashamed to share our thoughts and feelings with other people for fear of rejection. We lived with denial and dishonesty. With no close friends to mirror our lives, we had no objective view of how we were doing.

Now, in recovery, we could feel overwhelmed by what lies ahead, by all the changes we need to make. Alone, it may seem too much for us. We’re still struggling with addiction, one day at a time. We’ve begun the work of recovery, but we may feel we’re of too little value to ask another person for help.

Overcoming those feelings with the help of friends, a sponsor, and our Higher Power can bring a new strength and comfort to our recovery. In asking for help, we feel better about ourselves. When we get the help we need, we’re more confident about trying again. A sponsor can enrich our recovery, giving us that objective view we need so badly, and offering the personal affection and spiritual support we’ve missed so much. With all this love, we are not alone any more. Help is here when we need it.

Today please help me ask for help, and accept the help I receive with grace.


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

Our lives teach us who we are.

~ Salman Rushdie ~

If someone were to ask you, “Who are you, without your job title?” or “What do you know about yourself?” or “What are the qualities that make up who you are?” such questions might be difficult to answer. What is within you is what your addiction has long suppressed. What is within you is what you need to discover, or rediscover, in working through Step Four.

You may not realize that you are filled with ideas and creativity. You have a depth of feelings. You are a store-house of memories. You have talents. You have experience. You are so much more than you could ever imagine. You have wisdom that goes beyond textbooks and degrees as well as strengths that have yet to be discovered.

To grow wiser means to know better who you are. That is the purpose of Step Four. When you immerse yourself in a searching and fearless moral inventory as part of your work in the program, you will discover things about yourself that you had not realized or have long suppressed. You will discover truths that you have long covered up with lies. And you will experience greater understanding about yourself in ways you never have before.

I am ready to find out who I am so I can discover who I can be.


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

Keep watch over your ability and prudence, do not let them slip from sight. . . . Then you will go your way without a care, and your feet will not stumble. When you sit, you need have no fear; when you lie down, your sleep will be pleasant.

~ Proverbs ~

When we lose our confidence, it's easy for us to doubt if we're good at anything. Today may have been a day where nothing seemed to go right. It’s easy to blame ourselves for the people, places, and things that were out of our control.

As we look back over today, we may find we've blamed ourselves for things absolutely out of our control: another's anger, poor communication, or a general mix-up of everything. But just because things didn't work out perfectly doesn’t mean we’ve lost our God-given abilities and talents.

We have capabilities that make us special. Through the program, we're beginning to see we are good at many things. It's not fair to want to throw all those beautiful talents out the window whenever things go wrong - not fair to ourselves.

Tonight I can affirm that I have special talents and abilities. Can I list at least five of them?


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

Changing our thinking

We have strong ideas. Sometimes, as hard as it is, we need to change our stubborn thinking. We’ve learned to accept the bad; now we must learn to accept the good without falling apart.

Our old reasons for certain actions are no longer valid. It’s not that our beliefs and actions have changed; it’s just that our reasons have changed.

Is my thinking changing?

Higher Power, help me to simply accept— without having to understand everything—if waiting to understand keeps me from working my program today.

Today I will examine my thinking about

God help me to stay clean and sober today!


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

Relationships don't end; they change.



There’s another newcomer I’ve been spending a lot of time with. We go to meetings together, go to coffee afterward. We talk on the phone. We’ve gone to some events outside the fellowship, too, and I’m starting to wonder if it’s okay to be getting this involved.


There’s nothing wrong with making new friends! It’s valuable to get to know some peers in recovery, people who got sober at about the same time that you did. Your peers are probably going through experiences similar to your own. Sharing together and offering mutual encouragement can connect you to the fellowship and create a sense of community that is there for you over time. As you grow in recovery, there’s nothing quite like knowing people who remember what you were like in the beginning and who have watched your progress as you have watched theirs.

If other issues related to this are coming up for you, you may need to take a further look. Each situation is different. If something feels “off,” you can trust your gut reaction. Is it really your choice to spend a lot of time together, or do you feel you have to say yes whenever someone “needs” you? Are you sending a message that you’re more available than you really are?

Or are you concerned that something romantic may be developing between you? It can seem wonderful, at first, to be in love and sharing a program of recovery. But a romantic relationship between two newcomers may keep both of you more involved with one another than with the program.

Today, I have a choice about the people I spend time with.
I am rich in support from friends who share the values and experiences of recovery.



It is most discouraging to many of us to find, after many weary months of trying to work on our moral inventory and studied efforts to eliminate some of our worst character defects, that the more we do the more we find to do. It is not that we are not making progress but as we study ourselves from a coldly analytical viewpoint, we find more defects than we ever realized we possessed.

Do not become discouraged when this situation exists. It is very evident proof of progress that you have come to a conscious realization that these new defects exist and you are at least bringing them out in the open where you can get a crack at them.


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


I found God in the morning; we just sat and talked.
I kept Him near me, everywhere I walked.
I called on God at noontime, a heart filled with despair.
I felt His quiet presence; I knew He was there.
We met again at sunset, the warning of the day.
I had made Him happy; I had lived His way.
Then when at bedtime I knelt silently in prayer,
Again His gentle presence I felt. Someone does care.


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


And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.

And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell (Matthew 5:29-30)

The soul’s integrity is the one and only thing that matters. And so Jesus insists that posively no sacrifice can be too great to insure the integrity of one’s soul. Anything that stand in the way of that, must be given up.

Whatever is standing between us and our true contact with God−a sin, an old grudge left unforgiven, stark greed for the things of this world−must go. Such things, however, are so obvious that at least the transgressor is aware of them; it is the subtle things like self-love, self-righteousness, and spiritual pride, that are most difficult for the self to exercise.


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

Blaze Now

On the planes of hesitation lie the sun-bleached bones of untold millions, who while on the verge of victory stopped to wait; and while waiting died.

~ Anonymous ~

In the film Spies Like Us, Chevy Chase and Dan Aykroyd portray a couple of bumbling secret agents who come upon a Russian nuclear installation and inadvertently launch a missile that will lead to atomic devastation. Once the Americans and Russians at the site realize what has happened, Chase asks, “How much time do we have before the end?”

“About 45 minutes,” answers Aykroyd.

Chase looks at the woman he loves and suggests, “Then let’s go out in a blaze of glory!” His beloved smiles, and the two go off to light up the finale in high style. Then the others in the group look at each other and pair off to leave the world with a smile. At that moment, the notions of Russians and Americans, separate languages and nations, disappear. Ultimately, the missiles are recalled, and the end is averted, but not before the couples make love like there is no tomorrow.

Watching this scene, I wondered why we would wait until the end is near to make love. I am not suggesting that we indulge in licentious sex; I consider the scene a metaphor. Sometimes it is only when our life or livelihood is threatened that we give ourselves permission to express the love we deeply desire. Why put off your good? Follow your spirit now, and avoid the rush later.

Make a list of the things that you would love to do, but are waiting until the time is right. Now imagine that you have a month to live, and prioritize what you would do with your time. Then go out and do the things your heart desires. Your sense of joy and vitality will be so great that you will wonder why you ever waited, and you will add years of health and enthusiasm to your life. Don’t wait for the end of your world to be a meteor. Blaze now.

Give me the courage to live my dreams now.

I celebrate my heart's deepest desires by expressing them enthusiastically.
"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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