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Old 05-01-2012, 07:53 AM   #1
yukonm
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Daily Recovery Readings -May

May 1

Daily Reflections

HEALING HEART AND MIND

Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being
the exact nature of our wrongs.
TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 55

Since it is true that God comes to me through people, I can
see that by keeping people at a distance I also keep God at
a distance. God is nearer to me than I think and I can
experience Him by loving people and allowing people to love
me. But I can neither love nor be loved if I allow my secrets
to get in the way.
It's the side of myself that I refuse to look at that rules
me. I must be willing to look at the dark side in order to
heal my mind and heart because that is the road to freedom.
I must walk into darkness to find the light and walk into fear
to find peace.
By revealing my secrets - and thereby ridding myself of guilt
- I can actually change my thinking; by altering my thinking,
I can change myself. My thoughts create my future. What I will
be tomorrow is determined by what I think today.

************************************************** *********

Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

The A.A. program is one of charity because the real meaning of
the word charity is to care enough about other people to really
want to help them. To get the full benefit of the program, we
must try to help other alcoholics. We may try to help somebody
and think we have failed, but the seed we have planted may bear
fruit some time. We never know the results even a word of ours
might have. But the main thing is to have charity for others,
a real desire to help them, whether we succeed or not. Do I
have real charity?

Meditation For The Day

All material things, the universe, the world, even our bodies,
may be Eternal Thought expressed in time and space. The more
the physicists and astronomers reduce matter, the more it becomes
a mathematical formula, which is thought. In the final analysis,
matter is thought. When Eternal Thought expresses itself within
the framework of space and time, it becomes matter. Our thoughts,
within the box of space and time, cannot know anything firsthand,
except material things. But we can deduce that outside the box of
space and time is Eternal Thought, which we can call God.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may be a true expression of Eternal Thought.
I pray that God's thoughts may work through my thoughts.

************************************************** *********

As Bill Sees It

We Are Not Fighting, p. 121

We have ceased fighting anything or anyone--even alcohol. For by this
time sanity has returned. We can now react sanely and normally, and
we find that this has happened almost automatically. We see that this
new attitude toward liquor is really a gift of God.

That is the miracle of it. We are not fighting it, neither are we avoiding
temptation. We have not even sworn off. Instead, the problem has
been removed. It does not exist for us. We are neither cocky nor
afraid.

That is how we react--so long as we keep in fit spiritual condition.

Alcoholics Anonymous, pp. 84-85

************************************************** *********

Walk in Dry Places

Accepting Equal Treatment
Growing Spiritually
One of our AA friends was a district judge in a northern community. On his way to speak at our meeting, he was given a speeding ticket by a state policeman.
"Didn't you tell him you are a judge?" we wanted to know. Smiling sheepishly, he shook his head. It occurred to us, then, that acceptance of the speeding ticket without argument was also an exercise in principles for him. First, he was accepting the same laws he administered to others. Additionally, accepting the ticket was a working of the Tenth Step---". . . and when we were wrong promptly admitted it." Finally, he realized that the ticket may have been a disguised blessing to help him correct a tendency to speed.
As recovering alcoholic, we always function better when we accept such principles in our own lives. Every person is special, yet as part of the human race in general, we must accept the same treatment that is given to others. We can grow spiritually when we accept such equality without resentment or demands for special treatment.
As a human being, I know that today I'm subject to all the things that can happen to human beings. I will not demand or expect privileges that are not available on an equal basis to others.

************************************************** *********

Keep It Simple

Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.--Step Five
Step Five can be scary. we're to take the wrongs we listed in our Fourth Srep and share them with God, ourselves, and another person. We may look for an easier, softer way. But Step Five stops us.
We're to share the exact nature of our wrong. Why? So we can take a load off ourselves. So we won't use again. By totally sharing our past wrongs, we can belong once more. We can heal. We start to forgive ourselves. We become more humble. When you share your Fifth Step, holding nothing back. You deserve the peace this Step will bring you.
Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, give me courage to tell it all. Give me courage to admit just how wrong I had become.
Action for the Day: Step Five teaches me that sharing is important. I will find a friend and share my wrongs with that friend. I will hold nothing back.

************************************************** *********

Each Day a New Beginning

Insight is cheap. --Martha Roth
For years we kept ourselves in a split condition: With one part of our minds we looked at ourselves and said, "I do some self-destructive things because I don't believe I deserve love." When we became involved with unsuitable people or abused our bodies, we said, "I am punishing myself--I am expecting too much--I neglect my own needs."
We may see clearly how and why we get in our own way. But unless we have faith in a power greater than ourselves, we won't step aside. We won't let go. We'll do the same thing and "understand" ourselves in the same ways. We may even use our "insight" to keep ourselves stuck--to protect ourselves from the risk of change.
Now, having had a spiritual awakening, having come to believe that a higher power can restore us, we possess a gift more powerful than the keenest insight--faith in our ability to grow and change. We are children of God. All the creative power of the universe streams through us, if we don't block it.
Today, I will have faith, and all will be well.

************************************************** *********

Alcoholics Anonymous - Fourth Edition

LISTENING TO THE WIND - It took an "angel" to introduce this Native American woman to A.A. and recovery.

Why had she given me this, and what made her think I was drinking? Couldn't she see that my bottle was soda? Of all the nerve! I was mortified! I folded the paper neatly and put it in the back pocket of my jeans. As the next few weeks passed, I became sicker by the day. One morning I woke up alone as usual. I hadn't seen my husband in a long time. I needed a drink, and the bottle on the bedside table was dry. I rose on my shaky legs, but they refused to hold my weight. I fell to the floor and began crawling around the house looking for a bottle. Nothing! This meant I had to leave the house and get to a store.

p. 466

************************************************** *********

Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Step Four - "Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves."

Businesswomen in A.A. will naturally find that many of these questions apply to them, too. But the alcoholic housewife can also make the family financially insecure. She can juggle charge accounts, manipulate the food budget, spend her afternoons gambling, and run her husband into debt by irresponsibility, waste, and extravagance.

p. 51

************************************************** *********

"Pay no attention to what the critics say; no statue has ever been put up
to a critic."
--Jean Sibelius

Nature gave us one tongue and two ears so we could hear twice as much
as we speak.
--Epictetus

One of the most valuable things we can do to heal one another is listen
to each other's stories.
--Rebecca Falls

"Sometimes you have to make music with what you got."
--Izhak Perlman

"Don't just do something, sit there! Sit there long enough each morning to decide what is really important during the day ahead."
--Richard Eyre

************************************************** *********

Father Leo's Daily Meditation

SCRIPTURE

"Nobody ever outgrows
Scriptures; the book widens and
deepens with our years."
--Charles Haddan Spurgeon

Not so long ago I had a narrow and rigid religious outlook that was
based solely on my narrow belief system. I was addicted to my religious
approach and any alternative or variation was condemned before
investigation. I was a religious bigot. I was a hypocrite. I hid behind my
dogma and practiced ritual.

Today I have a comprehensive view of religion and God, thanks to the
influence of recovering alcoholics and the discovery of a spiritual
program. Today I am able to see the depth and richness of scripture, a
living library of books and experiences. Today I am able to see beyond
the printed word to the message of healing and love that comes with
honesty and acceptance. Now I know that the bigoted side of me was
fearful and afraid of change. I needed rules to keep people from
discovering what a lonely and spiritually bereft person I was. The rules
and dogmas formed my prison bars. I was drowning in religiosity. Today
I am free to be different. Today I am free to be me.

O wind of Truth, continue to blow and inspire us through our
differences.

************************************************** *********

"O Lord, You are my God. I will exalt You, I will praise Your name,
for You have done wonderful things; Your counsels of old are
faithfulness and truth."
Isaiah 25:1

Forgive your brother from your heart.
Matthew 18:35 NIV

"You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and
surround me with songs of deliverance."
Psalm 32:7

************************************************** *********

Daily Inspiration

Do not allow yourself to be disappointed by any thing or any person, but rather have faith that in all things God is leading you to your ultimate good.

Shine brighter than the sun and liken your heart to the flight of a butterfly. Attitude makes a big difference. Lord, help me to change that which I can and appreciate the blessings which I already have received.
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Old 05-02-2012, 08:41 AM   #2
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May 2

Daily Reflections

LIGHTING THE DARK PAST

Cling to the thought that, in God's hands, the dark past
is the greatest possession you have - the key to life and
happiness for others. With it you can avert death and
misery for them.
ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p 124

No longer is my past an autobiography; it is a reference
book to be taken down, opened and shared. Today as I report
for duty, the most wonderful picture comes through. For,
though this day be dark - as some days must be - the stars
will shine even brighter later. My witness that they do
shine will be called for in the very near future. All my
past will this day be a part of me, because it is the key,
not the lock.

************************************************** *********

Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

In A.A. we often hear the slogan "Easy Does It." Alcoholics
always do everything to excess. They drink too much. They
worry too much. They have too many resentments. They hurt
themselves physically and mentally by too much of everything.
So when they come into A.A., they have to learn to take it
easy. None of us knows how much longer we have to live. Its
probable that we wouldn't have lived very long if we had
continued to drink the way we used to. By stopping drinking,
we have increased our chances of living for a while longer.
Have I learned to take it easy?

Meditation For The Day

You must be before you can do. To accomplish much, be much.
In all cases, the doing must be the expression of the being.
It is foolish to think that we can accomplish much in personal
relationships without first preparing ourselves by being honest,
pure, unselfish, and loving. We must choose the good and keep
choosing it, before we are ready to be used by God to accomplish
anything worthwhile. We will not be given the opportunities
until we are ready for them. Quiet times of communion with the
Higher Power are good preparation for creative action.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may constantly prepare myself for better things
to come. I pray that I may only have opportunities when I am
ready for them.

************************************************** *********

As Bill Sees It

Willingness Is The Key, p. 122

No matter how much one wishes to try, exactly how can he turn his
own will and his own life over to the care of whatever God he thinks
there is?

A beginning, even the smallest, is all that is needed. Once we have
placed the key of willingness in the lock and have the door ever so
slightly open, we find that we can always open it some more.

Though self-will may slam it shut again, as it frequently does, it will
always respond the moment we again pick up the key of willingness.

12 & 12, p. 35

************************************************** *********

Walk in Dry Places

Look out for the power trips
Understanding hidden motives
We can often use a lofty reason to disguise a hidden motive behind our actions. We might be seeking power over people's lives, for example, while claiming that "we're only out to help them." We may argue for a point of view only to establish a position of power. Such power trips are destructive, and others usually see them for what they really are.
If we've really accepted the principles of the Twelve Steps, we have no need for power trips. The logic of Step Eleven, for example, is that we'll always have the power needed to carry out what's in line with God's will for us. We do not have to jostle and manipulate others to establish our importance or our authority.
When we really come to terms with our own tendencies to take power trips, we'll be able to deal with others who come on strong with their power trips. We'll soon perceive that such threats usually fade when we refuse to resist them or be upset by them.
I'll undoubtedly meet people today who are maneuvering for power in different situations. I will neither criticize nor oppose them.My responsibility today is to avoid any of my own tendencies to take such power trips.

************************************************** *********

Keep It Simple

Happiness is not a goal; it is a by-product.---Eleanor Roosevelt
Most of us want to be happy. We just don't know how. We aren't sure what happiness is. We've learned the hard way that some things we wanted didn't make us happy. We're learning that happiness comes when we live the way our Higher Power wants us to live. That's when we’re honest. When we do our best work. When we are a true friend. We make happiness; we don't find it. Sometimes we don't even know we're happy. We're too busy with our work, our recovery program, our friends and family. We need to slow down and know that when we do what we need to, happiness comes.
Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, help me know that I'm most happy when I listen to You and do Your will. You know better than I do what makes me happy.
Action for the Day: What parts of my program am I most happy about? Today I'll think of these and enjoy myself.

************************************************** *********

Each Day a New Beginning

Insight is cheap. --Martha Roth
For years we kept ourselves in a split condition: With one part of our minds we looked at ourselves and said, "I do some self-destructive things because I don't believe I deserve love." When we became involved with unsuitable people or abused our bodies, we said, "I am punishing myself--I am expecting too much--I neglect my own needs."
We may see clearly how and why we get in our own way. But unless we have faith in a power greater than ourselves, we won't step aside. We won't let go. We'll do the same thing and "understand" ourselves in the same ways. We may even use our "insight" to keep ourselves stuck--to protect ourselves from the risk of change.
Now, having had a spiritual awakening, having come to believe that a higher power can restore us, we possess a gift more powerful than the keenest insight--faith in our ability to grow and change. We are children of God. All the creative power of the universe streams through us, if we don't block it.
Today, I will have faith, and all will be well.

************************************************** *********

Alcoholics Anonymous - Fourth Edition

LISTENING TO THE WIND - It took an "angel" to introduce this Native American woman to A.A. and recovery.

I found my empty purse on the floor, but I knew I could never make it to the car. I became terrified. Who could I call? I never saw my friends anymore, and there was no way I could call family. I remembered the number in the pocket of my jeans. I hadn't even gotten dressed for several days. Where were the jeans?
I searched the house until I found them on the floor of the bedroom. The number was in the pocket. After three tries I managed to dial the number. A woman's voice answered.
"I . . . uh . . . got this number from you . . . uh . . . Is this A.A.?" I asked.
"Yes. Do you want to stop drinking?"
"Please, yes. I need help. Oh, God." I felt the fiery tears run down my face.

p. 466 - 467

************************************************** *********

Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Step Four - "Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves."

But all alcoholics who have drunk themselves out of jobs, family, and friends will need to cross-examine themselves ruthlessly to determine how their own personality defects have thus demolished their security.

pp. 51-52

************************************************** *********

My experience has been that putting the program into practice in my
life is not just turning things over to my Higher Power, but turning
them over and then taking my hands off!
--Nancy S.

God has got us covered today!!
--Anonymous

When self-will is running riot, hit the brakes, take time out, talk to God.
Reconnect with God to refresh, renew, restore yourself with Him.
--Tammy B.

You can learn many things from children. How much patience you
have, for instance.
--Franklin P. Adams

I bask in the sunshine of God's love.
--SweetyZee

When the pace of change seems overwhelming, we find stability in
God.
--Sherry Holloway

************************************************** *********

Father Leo's Daily Meditation

FACTS

"Facts do not cease to exist
because they are ignored."
--Aldous Huxley

Reality is not dependent upon our acceptance. Addiction does not have
to be accepted to be real. Alcoholism was killing people long before it
had a name!

I need to remember this in the recovery program for my life. A big
part of my life was spent denying that I had a problem. My
manipulative art was exercised in discovering more acceptable
excuses for my drunkenness, rather than looking at the problem. I
danced toward death with God and denial on my lips. Belief in the God
of Truth did not stop my dishonesty.

The process of self-love and acceptance began in my cry for help.
Surrender brought me sanity. God was working His purpose out in my
life because I was getting out of my way; I was facing the facts.
Spirituality is making the words fit the feelings, and the feelings make
the action.

************************************************** *********

"Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in
love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant
offering and sacrifice to God."
Ephesians 5:1-2

"Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the
eyes of everybody. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at
peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave
room for God's wrath, for it is written: "It is mine to avenge; I will
repay," says the Lord. On the contrary: "If your enemy is hungry,
feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this,
you will heap burning coals on his head." Do not be overcome by evil,
but overcome evil with good."
Romans 12:17-21

************************************************** *********

Daily Inspiration

Do not allow yourself to be disappointed by any thing or any person, but rather have faith that in all things God is leading you to your ultimate good.

Not one day passes without receiving wonderful blessings from our loving and generous God. Lord, may I forget the irritations that distract me from Your happiness.
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Old 05-03-2012, 07:58 AM   #3
yukonm
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May 3

Daily Reflections

CLEANING HOUSE

Somehow, being alone with God doesn't seem as embarrassing
as facing up to another person. Until we actually sit down
and talk aloud about what we have so long hidden, our
willingness to clean house is still largely theoretical.
TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p 60

It wasn't unusual for me to talk to God, and myself, about
my character defects. But to sit down, face to face, and
openly discuss these intimacies with another person was
much more difficult. I recognized in the experience,
however, a similar relief to the one I had experienced
when I first admitted I was an alcoholic. I began to
appreciate the spiritual significance of the program and
that this Step was just an introduction to what was yet
to come in the remaining seven Steps.

************************************************** *********

Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

A.A. teaches us to take it easy. We learn how to relax and
to stop worrying about the past or the future, to give up
our resentments and hates and tempers, to stop being
critical of people, and to try to help them instead.
That's what "Easy Does It" means. So in the time that's
left to me to live, I'm going to try to take it easy, to
relax and not to worry, to try to be helpful to others,
and to trust God. For what's left of my life, is my motto
going to be "Easy Does It"?

Meditation For The Day

I must overcome myself before I can truly forgive other
people for injuries done to me. The self in me cannot
forgive injuries. The very thought of wrongs means that
my self is in the foreground. Since the self cannot forgive,
I must overcome my selfishness. I must cease trying to
forgive those who fretted and wronged me. It is a mistake
for me even to think about these injuries. I must aim at
overcoming myself in my daily life and then I will find
there is nothing in me that remembers injury, because the
only thing injured, my selfishness, is gone.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may hold no resentments. I pray that my mind
may be washed clean of all past hates and fears.

************************************************** *********

As Bill Sees It

The New A.A. and His Family, p. 123

When alcoholism strikes, very unnatural situations may develop which
work against marriage partnership and compatible union. If the man is
affected, the wife must become the head of the house, often the
breadwinner. As matters get worse, the husband becomes a sick and
irresponsible child who needs to be looked after and extricated from
endless scrapes and impasses. Very gradually, usually without any
realization of the fact, the wife is forced to become the mother of an
erring boy, and the alcoholic alternately loves and hates her maternal
care.

Under the influence of A.A.'s Twelve Steps, these situations are often
set right.

<< << << >> >> >>

Whether the family goes on a spiritual basis or not, the alcoholic
member has to if he would recover. The others must be convinced of
his new status beyond the shadow of a doubt. Seeing is believing to
most families who have lived with a drinker.

1. 12 & 12, pp. 117-118
2. Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 135

************************************************** *********

Walk in Dry Places

Knowing a new freedom
Spiritual growth
Most of us place a high value on freedom without always knowing what it really is, or ought to be. "Freedom" in the drinking world is often merely license to indulge ourselves without concern about consequences. This false freedom usually forces us into dependency or the need to rely on others to get us out of trouble.
The "new freedom" that comes out of the 12 Steps is a higher order. It means that by following principles in living we find choices and experiences that were never possible in the old life. We are free from the destructive behavior that always ended in pain and defeat.
This freedom is more of the spirit than of worldly things. It is knowing the truth about ourselves and life. As the Bible says, "You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." In this new freedom, we no longer pursue activities that are ruinous and wasteful. We no longer deceive ourselves with painful illusions and false hopes, because we've learned to live and think on higher levels. Knowing the truth, we're free from alcohol and from the bad thinking that poisoned our lives and relationships.
Today I'll be grateful for the new freedom I have found in the program. I am free from the compulsions that caused me to hurt myself and others. I am free to choose new opportunities for service and self-expression.

************************************************** *********

Keep It Simple

When I have listened to my mistakes, I have grown.---Hugh Prather
Everyone makes mistakes. We all know that. So why is it so hard to admit our own? We seem to think we have to be prefect. We have a hard time looking at our mistakes. But our mistakes can be very good teachers. Our Twelve Step program helps us learn and grow from our mistakes. In Step Four, half of our work is to think of our mistakes. In step Five, we admit our mistakes to God, ourselves, and another person. We learn, we grow and become whole. All by coming to know our mistakes The gift of recovery is not being free from mistakes. Instead, we do the Steps to claim our mistakes and talk about them. We find the gift of recovery when we learn from our mistakes.
Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, help me to see my mistakes as changes to get to know myself better.
Action for the Day: Today Ill talk to a friend about what my mistakes taught me. Today I'll feel less shame.

************************************************** *********

Each Day a New Beginning

. . . love is a great beautifier. --Louisa May Alcott
Meeting life head-on, with a smile, attracts to us people and situations. Our attitudes shape our world--which is not to deny that problems do occur. However, problems can be viewed as special opportunities for personal growth. As gifts, more or less, that we are ready to receive. When the student is ready, the teacher appears. The stumbling blocks we encounter push us beyond our present awareness. They teach us that we are stronger and more creative than we'd thought. Problem-solving is esteem-building.
Negatively confronting the day is sure to complicate any experiences. A simple misunderstanding can be exaggerated into a grave situation, requiring the energy of many people to handle it. On the other hand, a patient, trusting, loving attitude can turn a grave situation into a positive learning experience for all affected.
We can beautify the day by smiling, at it and throughout all the experiences it offers us. The expression of love to everyone we meet guarantees to make us more lovable in return.
How great is my influence today! I can go forth feeling love, if I choose to--guaranteeing an enjoyable day for me and everyone I meet.

************************************************** *********

Alcoholics Anonymous - Fourth Edition

LISTENING TO THE WIND - It took an "angel" to introduce this Native American woman to A.A. and recovery.

Five minutes later she pulled into my driveway. She must have been some kind of angel. How had she appeared from nowhere that day in the laundromat? How had she known? How had I kept her number all that time without losing it?

p. 467

************************************************** *********

Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Step Four - "Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves."

The most common symptoms of emotional insecurity are worry, anger, self-pity, and depression. These stem from causes which sometimes seem to be within us, and at other times to come from without. To take inventory in this respect we ought to consider carefully all personal relationships which bring continuous or recurring trouble. It should be remembered that this kind of insecurity may arise in any area where instincts are threatened. Questioning directed to this end might run like this: Looking at both past and present, what sex situations have caused me anxiety, bitterness, frustration, or depression? Appraising each situation fairly, can I see where I have been at fault? Did these perplexities beset me because of selfishness or unreasonable demands? Or, if my disturbance was seemingly caused by the behavior of others, why do I lack the ability to accept conditions I cannot change? These are the sort of fundamental inquiries that can disclose the source of my discomfort and indicate whether I may be able to alter my own conduct and so adjust myself serenely to self-discipline.

p. 52

************************************************** *********

"No matter how much you talk to your plant, if you don't water it, it's
going to die."
--Mike Perry

"Some things you have to do every day. Eating seven apples on Saturday
night instead of one a day just isn't going to get the job done."
--Jim Rohn

Everyone has creative ability. What you choose to do with it is entirely
up to you.
--Unknown

Never make a permanent decision based on a temporary storm. No
matter how raging the billows are today, remind yourself: "This too
shall pass!"
--T. D. Jakes

No matter what we have done, God always offers us the chance to begin
anew. Knowing that God grants us a new beginning, we, too, can look
at our parents, our children, our partner or our friends, anyone with
whom we've had some distance, and say, "Let's have a new
beginning." Love is greater than any of our mistakes.
--Mary Manin Morrissey

************************************************** *********

Father Leo's Daily Meditation

UNIQUENESS

"God sees nothing average."
--Anonymous

God created every human being from the dust and yet He bestowed
within all of us His image. This means that we are divine. We are
creatures created to create. We share God's life for the universe. We
are anything but average!

And yet for years we thought we were not good enough. We needed
drugs, food or people to make us okay. We considered ourselves
"less-than", inferior or freaks.

But today we awake to a new message. The spiritual message tells us
that we are forever holding the hand of God. He needs you and me to
work in His vineyard. In us He makes miracles. Today I know that I am
beautiful. I am important. I am unique.

Master, part of Your beauty is in Your healing power. Help me to be
healed daily by beholding my beauty that is forever within and without.

************************************************** *********

The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall
stand for ever.
Isaiah 40:8

Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one
another in honor.
Romans 12:10

"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust
destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for
yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and
where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is,
there your heart will be also."
Matthew 6:19-21

************************************************** *********

Daily Inspiration

Patience grows with practice and elevates the hearts of those who benefit from it as well as your own. Lord, may my actions show love and speak loudly of Your presence within me.

Most of us never set our sights as high as Jesus intended we should. Lord, may the celebration of Your birth serve as a rebirth within me of my sense of commitment, consecration and purpose.
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Old 05-04-2012, 08:15 AM   #4
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May 4

Daily Reflections

"ENTIRELY HONEST"

We must be entirely honest with somebody if we expect to live long or
happily in this world.
ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 73-74

Honesty, like all virtues, is to be shared. It began after I shared ". . .
[my] whole life's story with someone . . . " in order to find my place in
the Fellowship. Later I shared my life in order to help the newcomer
find his place with us. This sharing helps me to learn honesty in all my
dealings and to know that God's plan for me comes true through honest
openness and willingness.

************************************************** *********

Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

When I was drinking, I always tried to build myself up. I used to tell tall
stories about myself. I told them so often that I half believe some of them
now, even though I know they aren't true. I used to hang around the
lowbrow barrooms so I could feel superior to the other customers. The
reason I always tried to build myself up was that I knew deep down
in my heart that I really didn't amount to anything. It was a kind of
defense against my feeling of inferiority. Do I still build myself up?

Meditation For The Day

God thought about the universe and brought it into being. His thought
brought me into being. I must think God's thought after Him. I must
often keep my mind occupied with thoughts about God and meditate on
the way He wants me to live. I must train my mind constantly in quiet
times of communion with God. It is the work of a lifetime to develop to
full stature spiritually. This is what I am on earth for. it gives meaning to
my life.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may think God's thoughts after Him. I pray that I may live
as He wants me to live.

************************************************** *********

As Bill Sees It

Freedom to Choose, p. 124

Looking back, we see that our freedom to choose badly was not,
after all, a very real freedom.

When we chose because we "must," this was not a free choice,
either. But it got us started in the right direction.

When we chose because we "ought to," we were really doing better.
This time we were earning some freedom, making ourselves ready
for more.

But when, now and then, we could gladly make right choices without
rebellion, hold-out, or conflict, then we had our first view of what
perfect freedom under God's will could be like.

Grapevine, May 1960

************************************************** *********

Walk in Dry Places

Secrets of the New Happiness____ Success in living.
Most of us know whether other people are truly happy. What's odd, however, is that we don't often try to practice the things that bring happiness to others. Often, the happiness we're striving for is really a form of excitement____ trying to be continuously stimulated so as not to be bored or depressed.
Excitement does not create happiness. We find true happiness when we learn to serve others in right ways; that is, without demanding their gratitude or some other recognition. We also find true happiness in self-acceptance___ being generally satisfied with our lot in life and grateful for the self-improvement we've found. We find happiness, too, in keeping occupied with useful activities that place demands on our energies and abilities.
There is no such thing as a happy alcoholic who is still drinking. There are also recovering people who have not yet found happiness. But the program unlocks the happiness, and we do have members whose happiness is an example to others.
I can be happy one day at a time. I will make the choice to be happy today, and to let tomorrow come in its own time. Nothing can interfere with today's happiness.

************************************************** *********

Keep It Simple

I am the greatest.---Muhammad Ali
We need to believe in ourselves. we're sober. We're honest. We're trustworthy. We're not making so many problems for other people anymore We do our share. We can even help others sometimes.
We're glad that others help us. We thank our Higher Power every day. But we also give ourselves credit. We're working our program. We can handle life as best we can. And as long as we ask our Higher Power to work through us, we are the greatest.
Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, help me feel proud of the changes in my life.
Action for the Day: Today, I'll talk with my sponsor about pride. What is good pride? What should I watch out for?

************************************************** *********

Each Day a New Beginning

The rare and beautiful experiences of divine revelation are moments of special gifts. Each of us, however, lives each day with special gifts which are a part of our very being, and life is a process of discovering and developing these God-given gifts within each one of us. --Jeane Dixon
Have we discovered what our gifts are? We assuredly have them, and now that we are abstinent we have opportunities, daily, to share them with others. Sharing them knowingly will bring joy to us, but more than that, we will grow in appreciation of ourselves. And we do need to realize how very important we are to others.
Many of us came into this program nearly feet first. Most of us were filled with rage, shame, or both. Life had dumped on us. We had survived only minimally. The knowledge that we had something to offer the human race was not ours, then. It may still be knowledge that escapes us, from time to time. But we can learn to acknowledge it.
We have many talents that are ours alone to offer the world. Perhaps we express ourselves adroitly; maybe we write particularly well. Listening when it's most needed by a friend may be our finest talent today. We might have gifts as a musician or a manager. Our inner self knows our strengths. We can listen for that voice.
God is trying to get my attention today, to direct my energies to make the most of my special talents. I will be aware.

************************************************** *********

Alcoholics Anonymous - Fourth Edition

LISTENING TO THE WIND - It took an "angel" to introduce this Native American woman to A.A. and recovery.

The A.A. woman made sure I had no more alcohol in the house. She was very tough on me for a long time. I went to meetings every day and started taking the steps. The First Step showed me that I was powerless over alcohol and anything else that threatened my sobriety or muddled my thinking. Alcohol was only a symptom of much deeper problems of dishonesty and denial. Now it was a matter of coming to grips with a Power greater than myself. That was very hard for me. How could all these white people even begin to think they could understand me? So they brought a sober Indian woman up to work with me for a day. That was a very powerful day. That Indian woman cut me no slack at all. I will never forget her. She convinced me I was not unique. She said that these white folks were the best thing that ever happened to me.

p. 467

************************************************** *********

Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Step Four - "Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves."

Suppose that financial insecurity constantly arouses these same feelings. I can ask myself to what extent have my own mistakes fed my gnawing anxieties. And if the actions of others are part of the cause, what can I do about that? If I am unable to change the present state of affairs, am I willing to take the measures necessary to shape my life to conditions as they are? Questions like these, more of which will come to mind easily in each individual case, will help turn up the root causes.

pp. 52-53

************************************************** *********

It's easy to feel grateful when we receive a raise, meet the love of our life
or watch our children succeed, but spiritual gratitude is not
circumstantial. It arises from a true knowing that God is our Source.
We can feel thankful for every day, even in the middle of life's
challenges.
--Mary Manin Morrissey

"Life Is A Challenge - Meet it!
Life Is A Song - Sing It!
Life Is A Dream - Realize It!
Life Is A Game - Play It!
Life Is Love - Enjoy It!" --
--Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba

God's love freely gives me, blessings, wonders, joys.
--SweetyZee

Money is not required to buy one necessity of the soul.
--Henry David Thoreau

Praise the young and they will flourish.
--Irish Proverb

"Action eradicates fear. No matter what you fear, positive,
self-affirming action can diminish or completely cancel that which you
are fearful of."
--Mark Victor Hansen

"All of us tend to put off living. We are all dreaming of some magical
rose garden over the horizon instead of enjoying the roses that are
blooming outside our windows today."
--Dale Carnegie

"You had better live your best and act your best and think your best
today; for today is the sure preparation for tomorrow and all the other
tomorrows that follow."
--Harriet Martineau

My drunkalog can be summed up very simply . . . "Nothing went the way
I planned."
--unknown

************************************************** *********

Father Leo's Daily Meditation

WAR

"War is only a cowardly escape
from the problems of peace."
--Thomas Mann

Sometimes it is easier to attack than it is to discuss and seek harmony. It
is easier to lash out, hurt, maim or destroy than it is to listen, forgive,
understand and reconcile. Violence is so often the cowardly way out.

The sadness for our society is that war and violence are often presented
as manly or heroic. Our modern heroes so often carry weapons rather
than the olive branch. Surrender is seen as cowardice. Gentleness is
seen as weakness. The diplomat is seen as the schemer.

My recovery teaches me that nothing is gained by acts of violence,
whereas in the atmosphere of peace, God and man can be reconciled.

Give me the courage to surrender on a daily basis and bring harmony
into my world.

************************************************** *********

"He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD
require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with
your God."
Micah 6:8

A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.
Proverbs 15:1

"This is the day which the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in
it."
Psalms, 118:24

"For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against
principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this
age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.
Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to
withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand."
Ephesians 6:12 -13

The steadfast love of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting.
Psalm 103:17

************************************************** *********

Daily Inspiration

It takes far less effort to concentrate on one thought at a time and usually eliminates the confusion we often create for ourselves. Lord, I pray for clarity of thought and the wisdom that it brings.

When we become aware that we possess all the spiritual treasures necessary for a productive and happy life, we will never want for anything. Lord, You are a limitless source of abundance and love.
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Old 05-05-2012, 07:05 AM   #5
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Posts: 10,982
May 5

Daily Reflections

THE FOREST AND THE TREES

. . . . what comes to us alone may be garbled by our own
rationalization and wishful thinking. The benefit of talking
to another person is that we can get his direct comment and
counsel on our situation. . . . .
TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 60

I cannot count the times when I have been angry and frustrated
and said to myself, "I can't see the forest for the trees!" I
finally realized that what I needed when I was in such pain was
someone who could guide me in separating the forest and the
trees; who could suggest a better path to follow; who could
assist me in putting out fires; and help me avoid the rocks and
pitfalls.
I ask God, when I'm in the forest, to give me the courage to
call upon a member of A.A.

************************************************** *********

Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

I had to show off and boast so that people would think I
amounted to something, when, of course, both they and I knew
that I really didn't amount to anything. I didn't fool anybody.
Although I've been sober for quite a while, the old habit of
building myself up is still with me. I still have a tendency to
think too well of myself and to pretend to be more than I really
am. Am I always in danger of becoming conceited just because
I'm sober?

Meditation For The Day

I cannot ascertain the spiritual with my intellect. I can only
do it by my own faith and spiritual faculties. I must think of
God more with my heart than with my head. I can breathe in God's
very spirit in the life around me. I can keep my eyes turned
toward the good things in the world. I am shut up in a box of
space and time, but I can open a window in that box by faith.
I can empty my mind of all the limitations of material things.
I can sense the Eternal.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that whatever is good I may have. I pray that I may
leave to God the choice of what good will come to me.

************************************************** *********

As Bill Sees It

Look Beyond The Horizon, p. 125

My workshop stands on a hill back of our home. Looking over the
valley, I see the village community house where our local group
meets. Beyond the circle of my horizon lies the whole world of A.A.

<< << << >> >> >>

The unity of A.A. is the most cherished quality our Society has. Our
lives, the lives of all to come, depend squarely upon it. Without unity,
the heart of A.A. would cease to beat; our world arteries would no
longer carry the life-giving grace of God.

1. A.A. Today, p. 7
2. 12 & 12, p. 129

************************************************** *********

Walk in Dry Places

Tough Honesty? Honesty
The term tough love came into use to describe an attitude that aims to correct bad behavior by refusing to indulge or enable it. In the same way, we must recognize that there's such a thing as tough honesty when situations require us to deal with unpleasant facts.
One employer liked to compliment his subordinates even for work that he actually considered substandard. Later on, however, he would express his real opinions to an intermediate supervisor, who would then be forced to convey the bad news to the workers involved. The employer thought he was being kind, when he was actually being deceptive and treacherous simply because he wanted to be liked.
We have a moral obligation to practice though honesty whenever it is required, if something unacceptable needs to be dealt with, we must do so in a timely manner..... Taking care to be as reasonable and fair as possible in stating our case.
Being honest in this way with others is also a reminder that we should always be honest with ourselves.
Today I'll face the need for real honest whenever it's required. I'll be upfront with myself and others about anything that must be faced and dealt with. I will not use supposed kindness as an excuse for bearing false witness.

************************************************** *********

Keep It Simple

Forgiveness is all-powerful. Forgiveness heals all ills.---Catherine Ponder
We need to forgive so we can heal. Forgiveness means not wanting to get even. Forgiveness means letting go of self-will. Anger and hate are forms of self-will take up room in our heart. Yet, a still, small voice inside of us wants to forgive. Just as others have forgiven us, we need to forgive them. When we forgive, we give our will to our Higher Power. When we forgive, we make room in our heart for our Higher Power. By giving up our anger and our hate, we let that still, small voice come through a little louder. This is how we heal. This is why forgiving is so powerful for us.
Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, help me let go of self-will. Help me forgive people.
Action for the Day: I will list any anger or hate I have. I will think about how this gets in my way, and I'll pray to have this removed.

************************************************** *********

Each Day a New Beginning

. . . it is a peaceful thing to be one succeeding. --Gertrude Stein
Success is at hand. While we read these words, we are experiencing it. At this very instant, our commitment to recovery is a sign of success, and we feel peace each time we let go of our struggle, turning to another for help, for direction. Because we strive only for perfection, we recognize nothing less; we block our awareness of the ordinary successes that are ours again and again. Thus, the serenity the program promises us eludes us. But we are succeeding. Every day that we are abstinent, we succeed.
We can think of the times--perhaps only yesterday--when we listened to a friend in need, or finished a task that was nagging at us. Maybe we made an appointment to begin a project we've been putting off. Success is taking positive action, nothing more.
Many of us, in our youth, were taught that success only came in certain shapes and sizes. And we felt like failures. We need new definitions; it's time to discard the old. Luckily for us, the program offers us new ones.
Every person, every situation, can add to my success today. My attitude can help someone else succeed, too.

************************************************** *********

Alcoholics Anonymous - Fourth Edition

LISTENING TO THE WIND - It took an "angel" to introduce this Native American woman to A.A. and recovery.

"Where would you be without them?" she asked. "What are the alternatives? You got any better ideas for yourself? How many Indians do you know who are going to help you sober up?" At the time, I couldn't think of any. I surrendered behind the tears of no answers and decided to do it their way. I found the Power greater than myself to be the magic above the heads of the people in the meetings. I chose to call that magic Great Spirit.

p. 467

************************************************** *********

Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Step Four - "Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves."

But it is from our twisted relations with family, friends, and society at large that many of us have suffered the most. We have been especially stupid and stubborn about them. The primary fact that we fail to recognize is our total inability to form a true partnership with another human being. Our egomania digs two disastrous pitfalls. Either we insist upon dominating the people we know, or we depend upon them far too much. If we lean too heavily on people, they will sooner or later fail us, for they are human, too, and cannot possibly meet our incessant demands. In this way our insecurity grows and festers. When we habitually try to manipulate others to our own willful desires, they revolt, and resist us heavily. Then we develop hurt feelings, a sense of persecution, and a desire to retaliate. As we redouble our efforts at control, and continue to fail, our suffering becomes acute and constant. We have not once sought to be one in a family, to be a friend among friends, to be a worker among workers, to be a useful member of society. Always we tried to struggle to the top of the heap, or to hide underneath it. This self-centered behavior blocked a partnership relation with any one of those about us. Of true brotherhood we had small comprehension.

p. 53

************************************************** *********

"'I always remember the friendliness and kindness and closeness we all
felt. Later, I could go anyplace in the whole United States and find a
friend in A.A.'"
--Henrietta D.

"Gratitude is the heart's memory."
--French Proverb

For all my good intentions, there are days when things go wrong or I fall
into old habits. When things are not going well, when I'm grumpy or
mad, I'll realize that I've not been paying attention to my soul and I've
not been following my best routine.
--Robert Fulghum

The best gifts to give:
To your friend - loyalty;
To your enemy - forgiveness;
To your boss - service;
To a child - a good example;
To your parents - gratitude and devotion;
To your mate - love and faithfulness;
To all men and women - love;
To God - your life.
--Author Unknown

"Everyone is a house with four rooms, a physical, a mental, an emotional and a spiritual. Most of us tend to live in one room most of the time, but
unless we go into every room every day, even if only to keep it aired, we
are not a complete person."

************************************************** *********

Father Leo's Daily Meditation

HOPE

"Hope is the pillar that holds up
the world. Hope is the dream of
the working man."
--Pliny the Elder

I look at the world and I discover an order, a pattern to life, a balance
within the system. I do not believe in a God of chaos. I find a spiritual
stability in creation. Night follows day; people, regardless of culture or
creed, are remarkably similar in feelings and needs; death makes way
for life. The God who created this world has given the seeds of hope
within the living of life. I am the key to the understanding of the
universe.

In this observation I find hope. If I continue to go with the flow of life, I
will find peace and stability. It is only when I fight the system that I
experience pain.

May the God of order and stability continue to bring balance into my life
by the spiritual changes I continue to make.

************************************************** *********

"Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I
press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called
me heavenward in Christ Jesus."
Philippians 3:13-14

"Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!"
Philippians 4:4

"Come near to God and he will come near to you."
James 4:8a

"To You, O LORD, I lift up my soul. O my God, I trust in You; Let me
not be ashamed; Let not my enemies triumph over me."
Psalm 25:1-2

"I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in
me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved
me and gave himself for me."
Galatians 2:20

************************************************** *********

Daily Inspiration

To become more efficient and happier, daily spend some quiet time with God and with yourself. Lord, what joy it is to know that You will listen.

What we endure in this life is nothing compared to the glory that God has in store for us in heaven. Lord, take every moment of my life as a prayer to praise and glorify Your holy name.
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Old 05-06-2012, 08:01 AM   #6
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May 6

Daily Reflections

"HOLD BACK NOTHING"

The real tests of the situation are your own willingness to
confide and your full confidence in the one with whom you
you share your first accurate self-survey. . . . Provided
you hold back nothing, your sense of relief will mount from
minute to minute. The dammed-up emotions of years break
out of their confinement, and miraculously vanish as soon
as they are exposed. As the pain subsides, a healing
tranquility takes its place.
TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS p. 61-62,

A tiny kernel of locked-in feelings began to unfold when I
first attended A.A. meetings and self-knowledge then became
a learning task for me. This new self-understanding brought
about a change in my responses to life's situations. I
realized I had the right to make choices in my life, and
the inner dictatorship of habits slowly lost its grip.
I believe that if I seek God I can find a better way to
live and I ask Him daily to assist me in living a sober
life.

************************************************** *********

Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

I've noticed that the ones who do the most for A.A. are not
in the habit of boasting about it. The danger of building
myself up too much is that, if I do, I'm in danger of having
a fall. That pattern of thought goes with drinking. If one
side of a boat gets too far up out of the water, it's liable
to tip over. Building myself up and drinking go together.
One leads to the other. So if I'm going to stay sober, I've
got to keep small. Have I got the right perspective on myself?

Meditation For The Day

The way sometimes seems long and weary. So many people today
are weary. The weariness of others must often be shared by me.
The weary and the heavy laden, when they come to me, should
be helped to find the rest that I have found. There is only
one sure cure for world-weariness and that is turning to
spiritual things. In order to help bring about the turning
of the weary world to God, I must dare to suffer, dare to
conquer selfishness in myself, and dare to be filled with
spiritual peace in the face of all the weariness of the
world.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may be a help to discouraged people. I pray
that I may have the courage to help bring about what the
weary world needs but does not know how to get.

************************************************** *********

As Bill Sees It

"Admitted to God . . .", p. 126

Provided you hold back nothing in taking the Fifth Step, your sense of
relief will mount from minute to minute. The dammed-up emotions of
years break out of their confinement, and miraculously vanish as soon
as they are exposed. As the pain subsides, a healing tranquillity takes
its place. And when humility and serenity are so combined, something
else of great moment is apt to occur.

Many an A.A., once agnostic or atheist, tells us that it was during this
stage of Step Five that he first actually felt the presence of God.
And even those who already had faith often become conscious of God
as they never were before.

12 & 12, p. 62

************************************************** *********

Walk in Dry Places

Dealing with Fear____ Challenges
Some of us suffer from a free-floating anxiety that is like a general fear, while others have specific fears that cause distress. Sometimes the specific fears are easier to face, because they can at least be identified. Most of us dread that other kind--- a sort of general apprehension that things are not well or that something very bad is about to happen.
It's reasonable to have some fear when facing trouble or risk. It's unreasonable, however, to let fear keep us from acting in our own best interests. A review of the past may show that may of us did that while drinking-- and brought even more calamities upon ourselves.
Whatever the fear, the answer is always the same. We must apply our principles to the problem, take ay reasonable action and then place the outcome in God's hands. No person can do more than this.
This will not bring permanent victory over fear. It will however, give us confidence in the program as a tool for dealing with fears that arise in the future.
I may have to deal with fear today, but I will accept it as part of the human condition. I know that I have great spiritual resources to deal with any fear that might arise, and this gives me confidence and reassurance.

************************************************** *********

Keep It Simple

Anyone who follows a middle course is called a sage.--- Maimonides
Much of the wisdom of our program is about how to live in the middle. We learn how to pause and think before we act. We ask, "What is the best way to handle this?" We look for the smooth part of the road. Our actions tell us who we are. We listen to our actions, and we think about them. This listening and thinking takes time. This slows us down. It's good for us. It gives us time to talk with our Higher Power. After all, we want our actions to come from the new values our Higher Power has given us. Thus, over time we act and feel wiser. The wisdom of the program becomes part of who we are.
Prayer for the Day: I pray that I I don't get caught up in the rush of the day. Higher Power, teach me to stop and think, to seek Your wisdom.
Action for the Day: Today, I'll set aside time to think, meditate, and be alone. I will listen to what's inside me.

************************************************** *********

Each Day a New Beginning

I stand before you as a tower of strength, the weight of the world on my shoulders. As you pass through my life, look, but not too close, for I fear I will expose the vulnerable me. --Deidra Sarault
Vulnerability is as much a part of being human as is strength. Our vulnerability prevents our strength from becoming hard, brittle, self-serving. Our soft edges invite others' openness and their expressions of love.
We learned long ago to be "strong." We were encouraged to need no help, to need nobody. Now, we struggle to ask for help. As we grow in understanding of our human needs, and as we become more aware of the spiritual help available, the difficulty of reaching out to others is eased.
No longer need we look to pills, booze, food, or lovers for strength. All the strength we'll ever need is as close as our thoughts. At this moment, we are a tower of strength, not one weighted with burdens. Rather, our strength is a gift of our connection to a spiritual power that can free us from all the troubles we shoulder. Our vulnerable selves will open our souls to the flood of strength just waiting for our prayers.
I will be as strong as I need to be, when I tap the spiritual source that awaits my call. I will risk my vulnerable self today.

************************************************** *********

Alcoholics Anonymous - Fourth Edition

LISTENING TO THE WIND - It took an "angel" to introduce this Native American woman to A.A. and recovery.

The Twelve Steps worked like a crowbar, prying into my dishonesty and fear. I didn't like the things I learned about myself, but I didn't want to go back where I had come from. I found out that there was no substance on the planet that could help me get honest. I would do just about anything to avoid working on myself.

pp. 467-468

************************************************** *********

Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Step Four - "Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves."

Some will object to many of the questions posed, because they think their own character defects have not been so glaring. To these it can be suggested that a conscientious examination is likely to reveal the very defects the objectionable questions are concerned with. Because our surface record hasn't looked too bad, we have frequently been abashed to find that this is so simply because we have buried these self same defects deep down in us under thick layers of self-justification. Whatever the defects, they have finally ambushed us into alcoholism and misery.

pp. 53-54

************************************************** *********

"If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant: if we did not
sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome."
--Anne Bradstreet

We can find no better insurance policy, than working a diligent
program.
--SweetyZee

Today, I will come back to balance with any need or want that seems
to be controlling my life. Instead of dwelling on it, I'll give it to God
and focus on taking care of myself.
--Melody Beattie

God is the only constant.
--Ruth Casey

At times fear grips me and I can concentrate only on the anxiety.
Then I realize I am in God's care and I need only trust and the fear
subsides.
--Michele Fedderly

************************************************** *********

Father Leo's Daily Meditation

CHILDLIKE

"In every real man a child is
hidden that wants to play."
--Friedrich Nietzsche

My spiritual program means that I can play and have fun in my life. I
am forty years old and I can still enjoy going on the swings in the park.
But more importantly I have a daily sense of adventure. My eyes light
up as I ask: How? When? Where? These words still dominate my life.

I can still get excited about life; I can still get excited about my life.

God is forever present in His world of color, movement and change.
But for me God is most clearly seen in people. They are a constant
fascination for me. Part of my play involves people-watching and as I
gaze my mouth still opens in amazement. The child in me still enjoys
the world in which I play.

Thank You for toys, people and "difference" because they add color
to my life.

************************************************** *********

Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free,
and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.
Galatians 5:1

For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use
liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one
another. For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: You
shall love your neighbor as yourself. But if you bite and devour
one another, beware lest you be consumed by one another!
Galatians 5:13-15

************************************************** *********

Daily Inspiration

Each day offers many situations for accomplishment, joy, change and personal growth. Lord, grant me the ability to recognize these moments and the energy to benefit from these daily opportunities.

God knows what is best for you in all matters of your life. Rely on His wisdom. Lord, I place my trust in You because You answer every prayer.
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Old 05-15-2012, 05:34 AM   #7
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May 15

Daily Reflections

KNOW GOD; KNOW PEACE

It is plain that a life which includes deep resentment leads
only to futility and unhappiness. . . . But with the alcoholic,
whose hope is the maintenance and growth of a spiritual
experience, this business of resentment is infinitely grave.
ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p 66

Know God;
Know peace.

No God;
No peace.

************************************************** *********

Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

In A.A. we find a new strength and peace from the realization
that there must be a Power greater than ourselves that is
running the universe and that is on our side when we live a
good life. So the A.A. program really never ends. You begin by
overcoming drink and you go on from there to many new
opportunities for happiness and usefulness. Am I really
enjoying the full benefits of A.A.?

Meditation For The Day

"Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all
these things shall be added unto you." We should not seek
material things first, but seek spiritual things first and
material things will come to us, as we honestly work for them.
Many people seek material things first and think they can then
grow into knowledge of spiritual things. You cannot serve God
and Mammon at the same time. The first requisites of an abundant
life are the spiritual things: honesty, purity, unselfishness, and
love. Until you have these qualities, quantities of material things
are of little real use to you.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may put much effort into acquiring spiritual things.
I pray that I may not expect good things until I am right
spiritually.

************************************************** *********

As Bill Sees It

Victory in Defeat, p. 135

Convinced I never could belong, and vowing I'd never settle for any
second-rate status, I felt I simply had to dominate in everything I
chose to do: work or play. As this attractive formula for the good
life began to succeed, according to my then specifications of success,
I became deliriously happy.

But when an undertaking occasionally did fail, I was filled with
resentment and depression that could be cured only by the next
triumph. Very early, therefore, I came to value everything in terms
of victory or defeat--"all or nothing." The only satisfaction I knew
was to win.

<< << << >> >> >>

Only through utter defeat are we able to take our first steps toward
liberation and strength. Our admissions of personal powerlessness
finally turn out to be firm bedrock upon which happy and purposeful
lives may be built.

1. Grapevine, January 1962
2. 12 & 12, p. 21

************************************************** *********

Walk in Dry Places

Trusting others
Personal Relationships
Some people trust others too much, while a few seem to have no trust at all. Either stance is wrong and leads to some kind of trouble.
As we grow in our Twelve Step program, we learn the truth about trust. We can trust others if our expectations aren't too high. We have to remember, however, that as human beings they can fail us. However, it's also unrealistic to be suspicious of everyone. The truth is that most people aren't out to get us or to hurt us. They are pursuing their own interests, just as we must do.
As we grow emotionally, we come to see that we have less difficulty trusting others. We no longer make outrageous demands on them or stretch their patience to the limits. We also realize that there are many times when we can work co-operatively with everybody's interest in mind.
I'll think realistically about others today, being careful not to expect either too much or too little from the. I'll certainly not expect more from them than I could reasonably expect from myself.

************************************************** *********

Keep It Simple

That day is lost on which one has not laughed.---French proverb
For a long time, we didn't really laugh. It's surprising when we think about it: we hadn't really laughed for so long. . .we almost forgot how good we could feel. It feels so good to laugh again!
Now, our spirits come more alive each day. Now, we feel what alcohol and other drugs stuffed deep inside us. Pain, fear, and anger come up. But so do happiness and joy, thankfulness and a sense of humor. In early recovery, we work through the hard feelings. As we grow in the program, we have more and more room for happiness.
Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, wake me up to the joy and laughter that today hold for me. Don't let me miss it!
Action for the Day: Today, I'll spread some laughter. I will learn a joke and tell it to three people.

************************************************** *********

Each Day a New Beginning

Difficulties, opposition, criticism--these things are meant to be overcome, and there is a special joy in facing them and in coming out on top. It is only when there is nothing but praise that life loses its charm, and I begin to wonder what I should do about it. --Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit
To be alive means to experience difficulties, conflicts, challenges from many directions. What we do with adverse conditions both determines and is determined by who we are. Resistance, most of us have learned, heightens the adversity. Acceptance of the condition, trusting all the while the lesson it offers us is for our benefit, ensures that we'll "come out on top."
Difficulties are opportunities for advancement, for increased self-awareness, for self-fulfillment. So often we hear and remind one another, that we grow through pain. We can face any situation knowing we have the strength of the program to shore us up. Strangely, we need challenges in order to grow; without growth we wither. Happiness is the bounty for facing the momentarily unhappy conditions.
Any difficulty I meet today offers me a chance for even greater happiness; it guarantees my growth.

************************************************** *********

Alcoholics Anonymous - Fourth Edition

TWICE GIFTED - Diagnosed with cirrhosis, this sick alcoholic got sobriety--plus a lifesaving liver transplant.

A series of circumstances brought me to a new doctor. I had to see a doctor because once again I had become fearfully ill, and I was unable to work. My stomach was distended, and my ankles were swollen nearly twice their normal size due to fluid retention. The whites of my eyes has yellowed from jaundice, I had spidery broken veins all over my body, my skin itched all over and took on an eerie greenish-gray appearance. My blood had apparently thinned, because the light touch would cause a terrible bruise and even a small scratch would bleed for a very long time. Dark marks appeared on my face and arms, my hair began to fall out, and because I had no appetite at all, I was very weak and extremely fatigued. The new physician took one look at my appearance and my blood test results, and asked if I drank. I said that I used to but had abstained for quite a while. This was a blatant lie.

pp. 472-473

************************************************** *********

Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Step Five - "Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs."

When we reached A.A., and for the first time in our lives stood among people who seemed to understand, the sense of belonging was tremendously exciting. We thought the isolation problem had been solved. But we soon discovered that while we weren't alone any more in a social sense, we still suffered many of the old pangs of anxious partners. Until we had talked with complete candor of our conflicts, and had listened to someone else do the same thing, we still didn't belong. Step Five was the answer. It was the beginning of true kinship with man and God.

p. 57

************************************************** *********

Look past the body, past the personality, past the behavior, into the
window of one another's souls. There we make a connection. The God
in me recognizes and honors the God in you.
--Mary Manin Morrissey

"One of the biggest things I've learned is that I don't always have to
be right."
--Jeffrey B. Swartz

"One of the most tragic things I know about human nature is that all
of us tend to put off living. We are all dreaming of some magical
rose garden over the horizon - instead of enjoying the roses that are
blooming outside our windows today."
--Dale Carnegie

"The future is always beginning now."
--Mark Strand

"The best thing about the future is that it only comes one day at a
time."
--Abraham Lincoln

Enjoy God's handiwork all around you.
--Susan D. Petropulos

************************************************** *********

Father Leo's Daily Meditation

TEACHING

"To teach is to learn."
--Japanese Proverb

The more I learn the more I know that I do not understand. Life is full
of new and wonderful information; paradoxes and confusion abound;
every new idea leads to a further truth - and the journey seems
endless.

In a sense we are all disciples; we are all learning from each other and
the role of teacher and student is forever being exchanged. In my
sobriety I am able to see how many wonderful "things" exist in the
world - so many fascinating and interesting places to visit, so many
loving and insightful people. God has given me so much, I am so
grateful to be able to learn in His garden.

Teacher, may I never stop learning and being a student in Your world.

************************************************** *********

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father
of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction,
so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction,
with the Comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God."
II Corinthians 1:3-4

I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me, and I
in him, he bears much fruit; for apart from me you can do nothing.
John 15:5

"The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them; he delivers them
from all their troubles."
Psalm 34:17

************************************************** *********

Daily Inspiration

If you are waiting to be happy, you never will be. Lord, the only moment that I can count on and be in charge of is right now. Help me choose to be happy.

One of God's greatest gifts to us is eternal life. Lord, may I daily care for the needs of my soul, grow strong in my love for You, and be an extension of You during my time on earth.
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Old 05-16-2012, 09:06 AM   #8
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Posts: 10,982
May 16

Daily Reflections

WE FORGIVE. . . .

Often it was while working on this Step with our sponsors
or spiritual adviser that we first felt truly able to
forgive others, no matter how deeply we felt they had
wronged us. Our moral inventory had persuaded us that
all-round forgiveness was desirable, but it was only when
we resolutely tackled Step Five that we inwardly knew
we'd be able to receive forgiveness and give it, too.
TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 58

What a great feeling forgiveness is! What a revelation
about my emotional, psychological and spiritual nature.
All it takes is willingness to forgive; God will do the
rest.

************************************************** *********

Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

In the story of the Good Samaritan, the wayfarer fell among
robbers and was left lying in the gutter, half dead. And a
priest and a Levite both passed by on the other side of the
road. But the Good Samaritan was moved with compassion and
came to him and bound up his wounds and brought him to an
inn and took care of him. Do I treat another alcoholic like
the priest and the Levite or like the Good Samaritan?

Meditation For The Day

Never weary in prayer. When one day you see how unexpectedly
your prayer has been answered, then you will deeply regret
that you have prayed so little. Prayer changes things for you.
Practice praying until your trust in God has become strong.
And then pray on, because it has become so much a habit that
you need it daily. Keep praying until prayer seems to become
communion with God. That is the note on which true times of
prayer should end.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may form the habit of daily prayer. I pray that
I may find the strength I need, as a result of this communion.

************************************************** *********

As Bill Sees It

Giving Up Defects, p. 136

Looking at those defects we are unwilling to give up, we ought to
erase the hard and fast lines that we have drawn. Perhaps in some
cases we shall say, "This I cannot give up yet. . ." But we should not
say to ourselves, "This I will never give up!"

The moment we say, "No , never!" our minds close against the grace
of God. Such rebellion may be fatal. Instead, we should abandon
limited objectives and begin to move toward God's will for us.

12 & 12, pp. 68-69

************************************************** *********

Walk in Dry Places

Trees Don't grow to the sky
Progress
Release from a compulsion can be a dramatic experience. It maqy also mean immediate relase from vexing problems caused by the compulsion. This time can bring such a sense of well-being that it's sometimes called the HONEYMOON or CLOUD NINE period.
In any growth process, however, we must remember that a law of diminishing returns sets in. This is expressed in the saying that trees don't grow to the sky. At some point, we will discover that our joyous feeling of pleasure has cooled down to an ordinary state of feeling well, that we are not becoming increasingly joyous by the day.
There's nothing wrong with such a mental plateau. If we're practicing the Twelve Step program, we're still moving forward, onward, and upward. Diminishing returns must still be counted as returns.
I'll accept today's progress with gratitude and humility. I won't expect more than a reasonable feeling of well-being and contentment, but that is considerable.

************************************************** *********

Keep It Simple

The time to relax is when you don't have time for it.---Sydney J. Harris
Relaxing is one of the little joys of life. We can learn to take time from our busy day to chat with a friend, take a hot bath, or spend a few moments sitting alone under a tree. The busier we are, the more we need to take time to relax.
When we rest, we stop fussing about the outside world. We find out how we're doing inside. While relaxing, we can best listen to our Higher Power. Our minds calm down. We put busy thoughts aside. Sometimes, we can almost hear our Higher Power say, "Stay quiet and listen! I have something to tell you!"

************************************************** *********

Each Day a New Beginning

It is only the women whose eyes have been washed clear with tears who get the broad vision that makes them little sisters to all the world. --Dorothy Dix
The storms of our lives benefit us like the storms that hit our towns and homes and wash clean the air we breathe. Our storms bring to the surface the issues that plague us. Perhaps we still fear a job with responsibilities. Perhaps we still struggle with the significant other persons in our lives. Possessiveness is a particular storm that often haunts our progress. Storms force us to acknowledge these liabilities that continue to stand in our way, and acknowledgment is the step necessary to letting go.
Recovery is a whole series of storms, storms that help to sprout new growth, storms that flush clean our own clogged drains. The peace that comes after a storm is worth singing about.
Each storm can be likened to a rung on the ladder to wholeness, the ladder to full membership in the healthy human race. The storms make climbing tough, but we get strength with each step. The next storm will be more easily weathered.
If today is a stormy day, let me remember it will freshen the air I breathe.

************************************************** *********

Alcoholics Anonymous - Fourth Edition

TWICE GIFTED - Diagnosed with cirrhosis, this sick alcoholic got sobriety--plus a lifesaving liver transplant.

In reality the only person who was being fooled was me. My new doctor explained that I had a disease called cirrhosis of the liver. How far it had progressed was hard to tell, but by the symptoms I was having and the results of my tests, the disease seemed fairly advanced. The picture he painted was very bleak. As the disease worsened, I would become sicker and weaker, and finally there would be a slow and painful progression, usually ending in a fatal episode of bleeding into the stomach or lapsing into a coma and death. With that, he referred me to a special clinic, not an ordinary group of doctors but a liver transplant clinic.

p. 473

************************************************** *********

Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Step Five - "Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs."

This vital Step was also the means by which we began to get the feeling that we could be forgiven, no matter what we had thought or done. Often it was while working on this Step with our sponsors or spiritual advisers that we first felt truly able to forgive others, no matter how deeply we felt they had wronged us. Our moral inventory had persuaded us that all-round forgiveness was desirable, but it was only when we resolutely tackled Step Five that we inwardly knew we'd be able to receive forgiveness and give it, too.

pp. 57-58

************************************************** *********

Blowing out another's candle will not make yours shine brighter.
--unknown

God, give me the courage to follow my heart.
Teach me how to experience more joy in my life.
--Melody Beattie

"God never said it would be easy, only worth it."
--unknown

The most effective way to achieve right relations with any living thing
is to look for the best in it, and then help that best into the fullest
expression.
--Allen J. Boone

Secret of Life
Take time to Think. It is the source of Power.
Take time to Play. It is the secret of perpetual Youth.
Take time to be Friendly. It is the road to Happiness.
Take time to Work. It is the price of Success.
Take time to Pray. It is the greatest Power on Earth.
Take time to Love and be Loved. It is the way of God.
--Author Unknown

************************************************** *********

Father Leo's Daily Meditation

LIBERTY

"Liberty means responsibility.
That is why most men dread it."
--George Bernard Shaw

The fellowship of recovering addicts and their families rejoice in the
freedom of life; the exchange of slavery to a drug or person for
liberty; a life of choice, rather than meaningless compulsion.

But with the gift of liberty comes the weight of responsibility. Today I
am responsible for my life. No longer can I say I do not know; no
longer can I blame others for my disease; no longer can I manipulate in
the "playground of denial".

The spiritual program requires a maturity of lifestyle that involves
responsibility - but the joys are immense.

O Master of liberty and responsibility, let me not forget to laugh.

************************************************** *********

And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches
in glory by Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:19

"I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress;
My God, in Him I will trust.
Psalm 91:2

I sought the LORD, and He heard me, And delivered me from all my
fears. They looked to Him and were radiant, And their faces were not
ashamed. This poor man cried out, and the LORD heard him, And
saved him out of all his troubles. The angel of the LORD encamps all
around those who fear Him, And delivers them.
Psalm 34:4-7

************************************************** *********

Daily Inspiration

When your mind takes you to places you don't want to go, you have the power to bring yourself back. Lord, strengthen my ability to focus on that which I am experiencing now so that I will truly live and lose none of the time You have given to me.

Loneliness happens when you build walls instead of bridges. Lord, bless me with a welcoming spirit for those that might need me today.
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Old 05-17-2012, 11:46 AM   #9
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May 17

Daily Reflections

. . . . AND FORGIVE

Under very trying conditions I have had, again and again,
to forgive others--also myself.
AS BILL SEE IT p. 268

Forgiveness of self and forgiveness of others are just two
currents in the same river, both hindered or shut off
completely by the dam of resentment. Once that dam is lifted,
both currents can flow. The Steps of A.A. allow me to see how
resentment has built up and subsequently blocked off this
flow in my life. The Steps provide a way by which my
resentments may - by the grace of God as I understand Him -
be lifted. It is as a result of this solution that I can find
the necessary grace which enables me to forgive myself and
others.

************************************************** *********

Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

A lot of well-meaning people treat alcoholics like the priest
and the Levite. They pass by on the other side by scorning
them and telling them what low people they are, with no
willpower. Whereas, they really have fallen for alcohol, in
the same way as the man in the story fell among robbers. And
the member of A.A. who is working with others is like the
Good Samaritan. Am I moved with compassion? Do I take care
of another alcoholic whenever I can?

Meditation For The Day

I must constantly live in preparation for something better to
come. All of life is a preparation for something better. I must
anticipate the morning to come. I must feel, in the night of
sorrow, that understanding joy that tells of confident
expectation of better things to come. "Sorrow may endure for
a night, but joy cometh in the morning." Know that God has
something better in store for you, as long as you are making
yourself ready for it. All your existence in this world is a
training for a better life to come.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that when life is over, I will return to an eternal,
spaceless life with God. I pray that I may make this life a
preparation for a better life to come.

************************************************** *********

As Bill Sees It

Beyond Agnosticism, p. 137

We of agnostic temperament found that as soon as we were able to
lay aside prejudice and express even a willingness to believe in a
Power greater than ourselves, we commenced to get results, even
though it was impossible for any of us to fully define or comprehend
that Power, which is God.

<< << << >> >> >>

"Many people soberly assure me that man has no better place in the
universe than that of another competing organism, fighting its way
through life only to perish in the end. Hearing this, I feel that I still
prefer to cling to the so-called illusion of religion, which in my own
experience has meaningfully told me something very different."

1. Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 46
2. Letter, 1946

************************************************** *********

Walk in Dry Places

Rehearsing Outcomes
Serenity
Imagination is undeniably a human faculty that accounts for much progress. Compulsive people, however, can use imagination in a most destructive way.
One destructive practice is that of rehearsing i our minds the outcome of some treat or problem, usually expecting the worst. While we should not avoid facing real problems, it's wrong to assume that the worst will always happen. This tendency to anticipate the worst possible outcome can actually produce the very outcome we'd like to avoid, thus making it a self-fulfilling prophecy.
We can deal with such pessimistic thinking by reminding ourselves that God is in charge and will bring our good to pass in just the right way.If we're going to rehearse anything, let it be an outcome that includes the best for everybody, including ourselves.
I'll expect the best today, knowing that all outcomes and results are in God's hands.

************************************************** *********

Keep It Simple

Each day provides its own gifts.---Ruth P. Freedman
Spiritual growth is the greatest gift we can receive. And we earn it through taking risks. There is much risk involved in working the Steps: The risk of admitting that we're out of control. The risk of turning our will and lives over to a Power greater than ourselves. The risk of letting go of character defects. The risk of making amends to people we've harmed. The risk of admitting our wrongs. The risk of telling our stories as we carry the message of hope. To grow spiritually, we need these adventures. These challenges. These risk.
Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, help me to take the risks that I need in order to grow.
Action for the Day: I will look at today as an adventure with my Higher Power. I will list the fears I'll need to let go of.

************************************************** *********

Each Day a New Beginning

Loving allows us to live and through living we grow in loving. --Evelyn Mandel
Many days it seems too easy to be centered on ourselves, wondering if others love us rather than loving others. On those days, we may have to act "as if" we love the persons who live on our pathways. The unexpected gift is that we do begin to feel both love and loved. Living becomes easier, and so does loving. Acting "as if" is a good way of learning those behaviors that don't feel natural. And in time, acting "as if" is necessary no more.
I can behave in any way I decide to. I can choose to think about others, and love them. I can choose to forget myself, today.

************************************************** *********

Alcoholics Anonymous - Fourth Edition

TWICE GIFTED - Diagnosed with cirrhosis, this sick alcoholic got sobriety--plus a lifesaving liver transplant.

The initial interview with this group of doctors made it clear that if I wanted to live, I was going to have to prove that alcohol was no longer going to be part of my life. I was thirty-seven years old at the time, a relatively young woman for what was happening to my body. I was suddenly very afraid of dying, and I was desperate.

p. 473

************************************************** *********

Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Step Five - "Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs."

Another great dividend we may expect from confiding our defects to another human being is humility--a word often misunderstood. To those who have made progress in A.A., it amounts to a clear recognition of what and who we really are, followed by a sincere attempt to become what we could be. Therefore, our first practical move toward humility must consist of recognizing our deficiencies. No defect can be corrected unless we clearly see what it is. But we shall have to do more than see. The objective look at ourselves we achieved in Step Four was, after all, only a look. All of us saw, for example, that we lacked honesty and tolerance, that we were beset at times by attacks of self-pity or delusions of personal grandeur. But while this was a humiliating experience, it didn't necessarily mean that we had yet acquired much actual humility. Though now recognized, our defects were still there. Something had to be done about them. And we soon found that we could not wish or will them away by ourselves.

p. 58

************************************************** *********

Do you know how important now is? Enjoy it as much as you can,
because no matter how much you want to hold on to "now," it's going
to be "was."
--Sid Caesar

All yesterdays are canceled, and tomorrow is but a speculation, today
is the day God has made.
--SweetyZee

If it was going to be easy to raise kids, it never would have started
with something called labor.
--Cited in Even More of...The Best of BITS & PIECES

Aristotle said: "Those who say there is only one road to Rome don't
know Rome very well." New Thought teaches us not only to tolerate
but to honor all paths to God. All religions have love at their core.
We are meant to learn to love one another, love God and love
ourselves. No religion is bigger than God.
--Mary Manin Morrissey

"In forgiving ourselves, we make the journey from guilt for what we
have done (or not done) to celebration of what we have become."
--Joan Borysenko

************************************************** *********

Father Leo's Daily Meditation

TOLERANCE

"Tolerance is the positive and
cordial effort to understand
another's beliefs, practices and
habits without necessarily sharing
or accepting them."
--Joshua Liebman

Today I am able to tolerate people, listen to what they are saying and
if I do not agree with them, it is okay! I do not have to agree with a
person to tolerate or befriend him.

This is a new attitude for me and is part of my spiritual program.
When I was drinking, I would not listen to people who had ideas
different to mine. I would not tolerate people who had a different
philosophy on life. Other religions were discounted as being cultish,
crude or superstitious. I have learned that my disease of alcoholism
made me very arrogant and narrow in my attitude to life - I rejected
two-thirds of the world as being heretical!

Today I can tolerate and learn from people who view God, the world
and morality differently from me. Spirituality is teaching me to be
open and accepting.

Lord, may I find traces of Your love in different philosophies and
religions.

************************************************** *********

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and
supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made
known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all
understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through
Christ Jesus.
Phil. 4:6-7

Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow
to speak, slow to wrath: for the wrath of man worketh not the
righteousness of God.
James 1:19-20

"You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because
the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world."
I John 4:4

"For we walk by faith, not by sight."
2 Corinthians 5:7

************************************************** *********

Daily Inspiration

Change first from the inside and the other things will follow. Lord, bless me the desire to become a better person and the firmness of will to succeed because I know that together we have the power to change my life.

God never promised to make your troubles go away, but He did promise to give you the strength and power to overcome them. Lord, when I am weak, strengthen me, when I forget, remind me and when the day is done, accept my thanksgiving because without You I am nothing.
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Old 05-19-2012, 03:32 AM   #10
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May 19

Daily Reflections

GIVING WITHOUT STRINGS

And he well knows that his own life has been made richer, as an extra
dividend of giving to another without any demand for a return.
AS BILL SEES IT, p. 69

The concept of giving without strings was hard to understand when I
first came into the program. I was suspicious when others wanted to
help me. I thought, "What do they want in return?" But I soon
learned the joy of helping another alcoholic and I understood why they
were there for me in the beginning. My attitudes changed and I
wanted to help others. Sometimes I became anxious, as I wanted them
to know the joys of sobriety, that life can be beautiful. When my life
is full of a loving God of my understanding and I give that love to my
fellow alcoholic, I feel a special richness that is hard to explain

************************************************** *********

Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

Fellowship is a big part of staying sober. The doctors call it group
therapy. We never go to an A.A. meeting without taking something
out of it. Sometimes we don't feel like going to a meeting and we think
of excuses for not going. But we usually end up by going anyway and
we always get some lift out of every meeting. Meetings are part of
keeping sober. And we get more out of a meeting if we try to contribute
something to it. Am I contributing my share at meetings?

Meditation For The Day

"He brought me up out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set
my feet upon a rock and established my goings." The first part, "He
brought me up out of a horrible pit," means that by turning to God and
putting my problems in His hands, I am able to overcome my sins and
temptations. "He set my feet upon a rock" means that when I trust
God in all things, I have true security. "He established my goings"
means that if I honestly try to live the way God wants me to live, I will
have God's guidance in my daily living.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that my feet may be set upon a rock. I pray that I may rely on
God to guide my comings and goings.

************************************************** *********

As Bill Sees It

Basis of All Humility, p. 139

For just so long as we were convinced that we could live exclusively
by our own individual strength and intelligence, for just that long was
a working faith in a Higher Power impossible.

This was true even when we believed that God existed. We could
actually have earnest religious beliefs which remained barren
because we were still trying to play God ourselves. As long as we
placed self-reliance first, a genuine reliance upon a Higher Power
was out of the question.

That basic ingredient of all humility, a desire to seek and do God's
will, was missing.

12 & 12, p. 72

************************************************** *********

Walk in Dry Places

Principles are Enduring
Problem Solving
We often emphasize -Principles before personalities-- in Twelve Step programs, sometimes without fully understanding what's involved. The real message of this slogan is that we should treat people equally while following certain guidelines in our own actions.
While we are influenced by strong personalities, we cannot rely on them for complete guidance and direction. People can betray us or simply fail us through no fault of their own. Principles, on the other hand, are enduring and will be with us long after personal relationships wither away.
One unfailing principle for living is to live each day remembering that God is guiding and directing all actions and outcomes. While we will be grateful for the assistance and cooperation of others, we will not hold them responsible for our success or failures.
I'll live today with the belief that God's good plan is working in all people's lives. I will not expect too much or too little of others, but rather will deal with them fairly and decently.

************************************************** *********

Keep It Simple

The art of living is more like wrestling than dancing.---Marcus Aurelius
The struggles of life teach us a lot. They challenge our beliefs. As we struggle, we come to believe that our friends, family, and Higher Power will be there for us in hard times. But we must do our part. We need to call and honestly let people know how we are doing. We need to pray and ask our Higher Power for help. If we do these things, we'll come to respect and learn from hard times.
Prayer for the Day: I pray for the wisdom to see that struggles are part of live. Higher Power, I pray for Your help in not taking struggles too personally.
Action for the Day: I'll list four times I've struggled and what I learned from each stuggle. I'll share this with a friend.

************************************************** *********

Each Day a New Beginning

. . . if we are suffering illness, poverty, or misfortune, we think we shall be satisfied on the day it ceases. But there too, we know it is false, so soon as one has got used to not suffering, one wants something else. --Simone Weil
Perhaps it's the human condition never to be satisfied and yet always to think, "If only . . ." However, the more we look within for wholeness, the greater will be our acceptance of all things, at all times.
So frequently we hear that happiness is within. But what does that mean when we may have just lost the job that supported us and our children? Or when the car won't start and funds are low? Or when we are feeling really scared and don't know whom to talk to or where to go? "Happiness is within" is such a grand platitude at those times.
Nevertheless, our security in any situation is within, if we but know how to tap it. It is within because that is where the strength we are blessed with resides, the strength given us from the power greater than ourselves. "Going within" takes, first, a decision. Next, it takes stillness, and then, patience. But peace will come.
We will quit wanting when we have learned how to turn to our inner strength. We will find serenity rather than suffering.
I will go within whenever I feel the rumblings of dissatisfaction today. I will look there for my joy and sense of well-being and know that divine order is in charge.

************************************************** *********

Alcoholics Anonymous - Fourth Edition

TWICE GIFTED - Diagnosed with cirrhosis, this sick alcoholic got sobriety--plus a lifesaving liver transplant.

During the six months of evaluation by the clinic, I was given a blood test at least weekly, sometimes randomly, to validate that I was not drinking. I had weekly meetings with the psychiatrist on the transplant team. My family members attended some of those meetings, and the doctor also had contact with my sponsor. Another mandate was that I enter some type of psychotherapy with a professional, either group or individual sessions. This too was not something I would have chosen for myself, but it has turned out to be a very positive force in my life. At the time of evaluation, there had to be evidence that I was doing everything possible to assure my continued sobriety. After a six-month period I was officially listed as a candidate for a liver transplant.

p. 474

************************************************** *********

Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Step Five - "Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs."

Hence it was most evident that a solitary self-appraisal, and the admission of our defects based upon that alone, wouldn't be nearly enough. We'd have to have outside help if we were surely to know and admit the truth about ourselves--the help of God and another human being. Only by discussing ourselves, holding back nothing, only by being willing to take advice and accept direction could we set foot on the road to straight thinking, solid honesty, and genuine humility.

p. 59

************************************************** *********

An old timer had shared in the meeting about praying for something,
and that God had answered her request. Someone asked her, "How
do you know it was God who granted your request?"
She replied..."I didn't ask anyone else."
--unknown

"When someone does something well, applaud! You will make two
people happy."
--Samuel Goldwyn

"Take time for solitude. How else can you contemplate the blessings
of recovery."
--Abby Warman

Be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind. Talk health,
happiness, and prosperity to every person you meet. Make all your
friends feel there is something special in them. Look at the sunny side
of everything. Think only of the best, work only for the best, and
expect only the best. Be as enthusiastic about the success of others as
you are about your own. Forget the mistakes of the past and press on
to the greater achievements of the future. Give everyone a smile.
Spend so much time improving yourself that you have no time left to
criticize others. Be too big for worry and too noble for anger.
--Christian D. Larsen

Try to enjoy everything you do, Life is too short not to.
--unknown

************************************************** *********

Father Leo's Daily Meditation

MONEY

"Money is the symbol of duty. It
is the sacrament of having done
for mankind that which mankind
wanted."
--Samuel Butler

St. Paul said, "The laborer is worthy of his hire." In one sense money -
how people pay us for the services we have performed - is symbolic of
our value in the community. Of course, this is not always true and
people can make money by dishonest and destructive methods.

However, in our society money is also a force behind much creativity
and job satisfaction. The danger is to become a "snob". Thinking that
we are better than others because we earn more money.

Spirituality is about discovering the "oneness" of mankind and
incorporating our creative "difference" - we can all learn from each
other. Pretentiousness is indicative of insecurities that need to be
dealt within our recovery program.

O Lord, let my gratitude be seen in my relationship with others.

************************************************** *********

"To you, O Lord, I called; to the Lord I cried for mercy: 'What gain is
there in my destruction, in my going down to the pit? Will the dust
praise you? Will it proclaim your faithfulness? Hear, O Lord, and be
merciful to me; O Lord, be my help.' You turned my wailing into
dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my
heart may sing to you and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give
you thanks forever."
Psalm 30:8-12

************************************************** *********

Daily Inspiration

It is far better to feel fulfilled than to feel important because you have taken on too much. Lord, help me eliminate the unnecessary demands in my life which only cause stress.

We are powerless to change our past, but we can change how we look at it. Lord, help me to realize that my past has made me a stronger person and show me that these experiences have taught me valuable life lessons.
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