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Old 11-29-2016, 10:28 AM   #30
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Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 31,074

November 30

Step by Step

Today, understanding that a substitute chemical to replace alcohol that alters my perception of reality is not working toward recovery from an addictive personality, may I also understand that “mind- and mood-altering chemicals” may not necessarily include prescribed medications. If depression continues to be a condition even in sobriety, for example, let me listen to reasons why anti-depressants may not compromise my sobriety but may even improve its quality. The debate in AA and other 12-step programs that any substance which alters mood costs us our sobriety is as old as the program itself. But the program admits it is not a medical one, and that tells me it is my responsibility to seek out knowledge from qualified sources to determine if my sobriety is at risk. Today, understanding that the substances I ingested are not the same as prescribed medications, let me also consider the possibility that acting as my own physician may be writing my own relapse somewhere down the road. And our common journey continues. Step by step. – Chris M.


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


If thou may not continually gather thyself together, do it some time at least once a day.

~ Thomas A’ Kempis ~

For all of us who take meditation seriously, the real purpose is to improve our conscious contact with our Higher Power. But when we meditate, we are also giving ourselves time to digest the rich rewards we find in the Program. We begin our day with a quiet time of prayer, meditation, and reflection. We take the time at night to review our day, to see the things we might improve, to remember the things we aid well and enjoy them.

Meditation is a quiet time in a noisy world. It is a chance to talk with our Higher Power and to listen for answers to our questions. It's an opportunity in the evening to let stress and tension flow away, and to regain serenity. Meditation is a time of healing.

Today, I will also remember that meditation heals me from the scars of a busy, noisy world, and lets me return to serenity, just as it helps me with my conscious contact with my Higher Power.


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

I don’t know the key to success but the key to failure is trying to please everyone.

~ Bill Cosby ~

In our codependency we often think first about what others want. We try to make everyone happy and smooth the edges of conflict for everyone else. It seems like such a caring and loving way to live. We may even be so grandiose as to think we can handle frustrations and swallow disappointments better than others can. Whatever created this urge within us, when we take it to extremes, we are so focused on others that we don’t even know our own feelings. Sometimes we act in dishonest ways to protect others and we get blamed for the failures that inevitably result.

In recovery we develop the humility to understand that we are members of the human race, no stronger than others, no better able to care for others than they can for themselves. Happiness comes from within each person; we cannot create it in them. Our own peace of mind comes from within us, not from pleasing others. If someone is disappointed in us, we are big enough to accept that. Our first obligation is to take responsibility for ourselves, then we can begin to be generous toward others.

Today I will know myself first and accept that I don’t have to please everyone.


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

You’re right where you’re supposed to be.

~ Anonymous ~

Few circumstances in our lives evolve perfectly. Health problems develop, jobs don’t work out, or, even worse, significant others leave us. For a time we can’t cope. We become angry, distraught, or full of self-pity. When a sponsor or friend says “You’re just where you need to be,” we want to scream. With time, however, we usually calm down and accept this message.

A divine plan is unfolding in our lives. We don’t know ahead of time the route we will take or the destination we will arrive at. Our wisdom is simply the certainty that we are “in the right place at the right time.” Our Higher Power is in charge, and whatever our experiences, they are preparing us for the rest of our journey.

I am where I need to be today. And God is planning my trip.


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

I know that abstinence is critical in my life

In the process of hitting bottom, I could think of little else than making sure that I drank and stayed drunk as much as possible. In a way, I believed using was keeping me alive. I knew no other way to deal with my physical or emotional problems.

My daily goal in recovery is the opposite— my life depends on staying clean and sober. Abstinence is my principal tool for dealing with problems. And with the help of my higher power, I can do what it takes to stay abstinent.

I will write a note to myself about the most important thing I must do today to stay abstinent, and carry it with me.


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

When a man is deprived of the power of expression, he will express himself in a drive for power.

~ Jose Arguelles ~

If we are to grow in recovery, if we are to break out of our isolation, if we are one day going to learn to give back some of what we have received, we must find out what our gifts are. That means making art, whether by painting or welding or parenting.

Many of us used to think art was luxury, art was for a highbrow elite and had nothing to do with us or how we lived. But we also used to think that way about prayer or about God, and now we find both at the center of our days.

Art is not about making a product to buy or sell. And it is not about success or failure. Whatever we make is a mirror. It’s feedback. Art is about connecting with nature and God and joining them in their continual act of creation. Art has the power to center us, to stop us in our tracks and make us see.

We’ve found isolation from other people to be a death, an act of isolation. So, too, is the refusal to express ourselves. Through art we can find out what our gifts are, and learn to give them with joy.

Today help me take one step toward finding out what my gifts are.


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

Prayer is not an old woman’s idle amusement. Properly understood and applied, it is the most potent instrument of action.

~ Mohandas “Mahatma” Gandhi ~

Prayer is not a time in which you ask for what you do not have, but when you ask for guidance to understand what you need. It is not demanding fulfillment, but remembering to look around you and give of yourself so others are fulfilled. It is not begging for happiness, but understanding that a positive attitude will help you in life.

Prayer is not asking for your problems to be solved, but learning how to figure things out for yourself. It is not asking for forgiveness, but understanding your mistakes and errors and learning how to forgive yourself. It is not a time in which you make lists of demands, but when you sit in stillness and listen. It is not a time for making promises, but an opportunity to think of the promises you can fulfill.

Prayer is not a time in which you ask your Higher Power to think of you, but a time in which you think of your Higher Power. Prayer is the closest you can come to a spiritual presence, and when you can become closer to yourself.

Today I will use prayer and meditation to connect with my Higher Power so I may more fully understand my purpose


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

Simply to live is a wonderful privilege in itself. . . . But to what are you alive? Is it merely to a daily routine? . . . How much do you really live outside of your chosen profession or occupation?

~ Henry Wood ~

From an acorn to a tree, the oak puts all its energy into growing as strong and tall as it can. Moisture, sunlight, and nutrition are gathered for its leaves, acorns, branches, and trunk. Yet if our oak tree takes all the moisture, sunshine, and nutrition, other nearby trees will be weaker and smaller.

We have within us a forest that demands attention for its growth: a career tree, a family tree, a recovery tree, a parent tree, and a friendship tree. If we spend more time and attention on one than the others, the neglected ones will not grow strong.

Every part of our lives should be important to us: our families and friends as well as our recoveries and careers. It may be commendable to receive lots of promotions at work. But if our families are neglected, the forest inside us will not flourish. Every part of life needs attention for us to succeed.

Tonight I can begin to balance my time. All areas of my life need attention.


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

Lives worth saving

For many of us, the prospect of death was not a big thing. In fact, while we were using, many of us would have preferred to die. So it may not have seemed like much of a favor when our Higher Power saved our lives.

But our Higher Power also showed us that our lives were worth saving. This was the big step for us. We deserved to live! We were worth saving! We were not the wretches we had made ourselves out to be!

How glorious to have our Higher Power show us how we could do its work—how we could carry the message and be worth some-thing to countless others!

Do I value my life highly?

Thank you, Higher Power, for showing me that I am worth saving after all.

I will enhance my self-worth today by

God help me to stay clean and sober today!


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

God knows no distance.



Step Twelve begins with the phrase "Having had a spiritual awakening ..." I'm disappointed to report that I've never had a vision, seen blinding light, or witnessed anything supernatural in recovery.


Let's look at what the whole phrase says. "Having had a spiritual awakening as a result of these steps" reminds us that a spiritual awakening, for most of us, has been a gradual process, a consequence of a whole series of actions that we've taken over time as we've practiced Steps One through Eleven.

Sometimes, instant transformation occurs; perhaps we ourselves, though we may not have heard voices or sensed a divine presence, can remember one particular moment when things seemed to turn around for us. Whether we can recall such a moment or not, the real miracle of recovery is one that has evolved over many days and months, the miracle that we've become willing to grow and are open to doing things differently. I think of the phrase "a spiritual awakening" not as something magically conferred on us by outside forces, but as the waking up of our spirits over time.

Today, the spirit within me is awake.



Many who are active in AA work come to feel that they just can't carry on any longer. There is so much to do; so little time can be spared to do it; so few to do the work. There is a limit to their edurance. After all, a guy has just so much health, strength, and patience.

When the burdens get too heavy and too numerous, take it up with the Big Boss, tell Him you like to do His work, but that it is more than you can handle — ask Him for more help — you'll get it.


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

For My Sponsee

Dear God, You have placed a new sponsee for me to welcome to our recovery world. I pray that this person will be filled with joy, peace, and serenity if it be Your will. I'll try to help. I'm not a professional counselor, medical consultant, or financial expert. I hope to be this individual's friend. I have only my experience, strength, and hope to share. I will teach the ways of the Program and help this person find his or her own answers. I can't prevent a relapse but can only carry this message—and help my sponsee find his or her own spirituality. I will listen and hear and learn from this person. I will love this individual until he or she can experience self-love—and beyond. Thank You, God, for this opportunity.


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


Many years ago a professor wrote a book in which he said that he could always tell if a person were a potential criminal by the shape of his ear! This naturally created something of a furor, and a London newspaper sent a reporter to interview old General Booth, of the Salvation Army, on the subject. The reporter said, "General, you probably have an unmatched experience of human nature in the raw. Do you believe there is such a thing as a criminal ear?"

William Booth laughed loudly through his Mosaic beard, and replied, "Why, of course there is a 'criminal ear'—and we've all got one. If it were not for the grace of God, every one of us would be doing time or deserving to."

William Booth understood human nature. You never can afford to condemn another, because in his shoes you would probably have done just as badly. Have you not noticed that sometimes after condemning someone else rather pharisaically, you have shortly afterward caught yourself in a moral failure?

Wisely did the Master say, "Judge not."

But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at naught thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ (Romans 14:10).


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

Watch Your Bags

When it comes time to do your own life, you either perpetuate your childhood or you stand on it and finally kick it out from under.

~ Rosellen Brown ~

While peering over the edge of the airline counter, I noticed on the agent’s keypad a long strip of paper displaying a question in bold letters: “Are you carrying anything given to you by a stranger?” The notice reminded the agent to ask each passenger this question, in compliance with stricter federal aviation measures to protect airplanes from terrorism.

As the agent processed my ticket, I realized that the question is a good one for all of us: Are you carrying anything given to you by a stranger? Are you unconsciously holding any ideas, beliefs, opinions, morals, judgments, intentions, or world views that you have adopted from others? Learning values from others is natural, but unless they serve you, they are dangerous.

While our parents, teachers, and ministers taught us many valuable lessons, they also passed to us various forms of fear and prejudice. My sixth-grade teacher lived in fear of Communism. When the Russians placed their Sputnik into orbit, Mr. Kraftchick inflicted a long diatribe on our class about how the Soviets could now place nuclear bombs in their satellites and drop them all over America. Since Mr. K. was a wise teacher who ostensibly knew so much more than I did, I accepted his fearful projections, and I be–came terrified. Although this man was a good teacher in many ways, he did a great disservice to us little children by frightening us with his own insecurity. I adopted his nightmare and began to live in terror of nuclear war. When I later visited Russia, I found warm and openhearted people who had grown up fearing that people like me would drop bombs on them.

If you are in pain or fear, or have difficulty with dysfunctional patterns in a relationship or in financial areas, you may be carrying a bomb in your luggage. While you were unaware at the time you accepted it, you now have the wisdom and power to remove it.

Help me to undo illusions from my mind and heart. I pray to live in the real world of love.

I believe in the truth of God’s presence, and let all else go.
"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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