September 30, 2004

Out of Control

Thought to Ponder . . .

When a person tries to control their drinking they have already lost control.

"We alcoholics are men and women who have lost the ability to control our drinking. We know that no real alcoholic ever recovers control. All of us felt at times that we were regaining control, but such intervals -- usually brief -- were inevitably followed by still less control, which led in time to pitiful and incomprehensible demoralization. We are convinced to a man that alcoholics of our type are in the grip of a progressive illness. Over any considerable period we get worse, never better."

c. 2001 AAWS, Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 30

From AA Thought for the Day (courtesy

September 29, 2004

Positive Thoughts


Love heals and protects you.


I allow love into my life and I AM safe and secure.


I close my eyes and see myself wrapped in a soft blanket of God's loving energy. I feel my mind and body relax as I allow this loving energy to comfort, heal, and protect me. I see myself going through my day with confidence. I imagine myself acting and responding from a place of inner peace. I feel safe and secure in my world. In my mind's eye, I see myself and others experiencing the healing power of God's love. As I quietly exhale, I combine these images with joy and let them go, knowing that they will create the good things I am visualizing and thinking.

© 2002 Institute For Creative Living
All rights reserved.


"In some circumstances we have gone out deliberately to get drunk, feeling ourselves justified by nervousness, anger, worry, depression, jealousy or the like. But even in this type of beginning we are obliged to admit that our justification for a spree was insanely insufficient in the light of what always happened.

We now see that when we began to drink deliberately, instead of casually, there was little serious or effective thought during the period of premeditation of what the terrific consequences might be."

c.1976AAWS, Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 37

From Thought For The Day(free registration required)

September 29, 2004

Be Here Now

"When we stop living in the here and now, our problems become magnified unreasonably."

From the NA Basic Text, p.96

"Just for today" - it's a comforting thought. If we try to live in the past, we may find ourselves torn by painful, disquieting memories. The lessons of our using are not the teachers we seek for recovery. Living in tomorrow means moving in with fear.

We cannot see the shape of the secret future, and uncertainty brings worry. Our lives look overwhelming when we lose the focus of today.

Living in the moment offers freedom. In this moment, we know that we are safe. We are not using, and we have everything we need. What's more, life is happening in the here and now. The past is gone and the future has yet to arrive; our worrying won't change any of it. Today, we can enjoy our recovery, this very minute.

Just for today: I will stay in the here and now. Today - this moment - I am free.

pg. 283

"It is human nature to think wisely and act foolishly"


"It is human nature to think
wisely and act foolishly."
-- Anatole France

I experienced blackouts in my drinking. Often I would wake up and not
know where I had been, what I had said or what I had done. I would
awake to peer through windows searching for my car. I would
telephone to find out what time I had left the party and if anything had
happened. Often as I bathed I would discover bruises or bleeding from
an unremembered incident.

There were other times I knew what I had done, knew what I had said,
remembered how I behaved -- and yet still I went back for more. I
drank alcoholically for years because my pride would not allow me to
be alcoholic. I created the wisest excuses for staying sick!

Today my sobriety requires a wisdom that is based on reality.

From Tammy's Recovery Links email.

Came to Believe

Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Step Two - "Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity."

"This is only one man's opinion based on his own experience, of course. I must quickly assure you that A.A.'s tread innumerable paths in their quest for faith. If you don't care for the one I've suggested, you'll be sure to discover one that suits if only you look and listen.

Many a man like you has begun to solve the problem by the method of substitution. You can, if you wish, make A.A., itself your `higher power.' Here's a very large group of people who have solved their alcohol problem. In this respect they are certainly a power greater than you, who have not even come close to a solution. Surely you can have faith in them.

Even this minimum of faith will be enough. You will find many members who have crossed the threshold just this way. All of them will tell you that, once across, their faith broadened and deepened. Relieved of the alcohol obsession, their lives unaccountably transformed, they came to believe in a Higher Power, and most of them began to talk of God."

pp. 27-28 Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, copyright AA World Services

September 27, 2004


Father Leo's Daily Meditation


"Prayer is not asking. It is a
language of the soul."
-- Mohandas Gandhi

At school I was told that prayer is "talking to God". Then I discovered
that prayer is more than this -- prayer is a relationship with God. It is
a two-way system -- I talk to God but I must also listen to Him. Like
any relationship that is going to work and grow, it needs time. I must
spend time developing my relationship with God. I must create an
awareness of his presence in my life because I believe He is always
there for me.

But more than this, prayer is a yearning for truth within the center of
my being. In prayer I get in touch with that part of me that will be
forever restless until it finds rest, eternal rest, in Him.

O God, prayer is my journey into You.

From Tammy's Recovery Links

Seeing Ourselves in Others

September 26
Seeing Ourselves In Others
"It will not make us better people to judge the faults of another."

Basic Text, p.37

How easy it is to point out the faults of others! There's a reason for this: The defects we identify most easily in others are often the defects we are most familiar with in our own characters. We may notice our best friend's tendency to spend too much money, but if we examine our own spending habits we'll probably find the same compulsiveness. We may decide our sponsor is much too involved in service, but find that we haven't spent a single weekend with our families in the past three months because of one service commitment or another.

What we dislike in our fellows are often those things we dislike most in ourselves. We can turn this observation to our spiritual advantage. When we are stricken with the impulse to judge someone else, we can redirect the impulse in such a way as to recognize our own defects more clearly. What we see will guide our actions toward recovery and help us become emotionally healthy and happy individuals.

Just for today:

I will look beyond the character defects of others and recognize my own.

pg. 280

Daily Acceptance

As Bill Sees It page 44

Daily Acceptance

TOO much of my life has been spent in dwelling upon the faults of others. This is a most subtle and perverse form of self-satisfaction, which permits us to remain comfortably unaware of our own defects. Too often we are heard to say. "If it weren't for him (or her), how happy I would be."
<<< >>> <<< >>>
OUR very first problem is to accept our present circumstances as they are, ourselves as we are, and the people around us as they are. This is to adopt a realistic humility without which no genuine advance can even begin. Again and again, we shall need to return to that unflattering point of departure. This is an exercise in acceptance that we can profitably practice every day of our lives.

PROVIDED we strenuously avoid turning these realistic surveys of the facts of life unto unrealistic alibis for apathy or defeatism, they can be the sure foundation upon which increased emotional health and therefore spiritual progress can be built.

#1 Letrer, 1966
#2 Grapevine, March 1962
Copyright A.A. World Services Inc.

Pray for God's Direction

A.A. Thought for the Day

Until we came into A.A. most of us had tried desperately to stop drinking. We were filled with the delusion that we could drink like our friends. We tried time and again to take it or leave it, but we could do neither. We always lapsed into ceaseless, unhappy drinking. Wives or husbands, families, friends, and employers threw up their hands in hurt bewilderment, in despair, and finally in disgust. We wanted to stop. We realized that every reason for drinking was only a crazy excuse. Have I given up every excuse for drinking?

Meditation for the Day

Many things can upset you and you can easily get off the track. But remember that God is near you all the time, ready to help if you ask. You cannot forever stand against God's will for you, nor can you forever upset God's plan for your life, even though God's plan may be postponed by your willfulness. A whole world of men and women cannot permanently change God's laws nor His purpose for the universe. The sea of life may look very rough to us, but we can believe that our Captain steers the boat on a straight course.

Prayer for the Day

I pray that I may try to steer a straight course. I pray that I may accept God's direction in my life's journey.

You are reading from the book Twenty-Four Hours a Day by Anonymous
Copyright 1975 by Hazelden Foundation.

September 24, 2004

Second Step Prayers

Heavenly Father, I know in my heart that only you can restore me to sanity. I humbly ask that you remove all twisted thought & addictive behavior from me this day. Heal my spirit & restore in me a clear mind.

Alternate Prayer

I pray for an open mind so I may come to believe in a Power greater than myself. I pray for humility & the continued opportunity to increase my faith. I don’t want to be crazy any more.

Turn Crises into Opportunities

“They rise to the Heavens and descend to the depths; their souls melt for fear of harm.”
— Psalm 107:26

If we were permitted to design the course of our lives, we would undoubtedly eliminate all crises. Indeed, if we were given the authority to design the course of the world, we would eliminate many types of unpleasantness, both physical and emotional.

However, we did not design the world, and so we must adapt to its laws. Everyone has crises; some are major, some are minor. If we triumph over a certain crisis, we ascend to a new strength of character. If we succumb to the crisis, we lose character strength.

Very often, triumph consists of making a change, and failure consists of being adamant and continuing to do things as before. That resistance to change often comes from fear. We feel more secure with what is familiar, and so we plod along the familiar path even though it may be ruinous.

"I will fear no evil, for You are with me" (Psalms 23:4). Faith and trust in G-d will give us a sense of security and the courage to take advantage of the opportunities for growth that are contained in a crisis, and instead of descending into the depths, we can rise to new heights.

... consider a crisis an opportunity for growth, and with trust in G-d have the courage to make constructive changes in my life.

From the book Growing Each Day / By Dr. Abraham J. Twerski

Recovery Requires Vigilance

We have seen the truth demonstrated again and again: "Once an alcoholic, always an alcoholic." Commencing to drink after a period of sobriety, we are in a short time as bad as ever. If we are planning to stop drinking, there must be no reservation of any kind, nor any lurking notion that someday we will be immune to alcohol.


Today I am an alcoholic. Tomorrow will be no different. My alcoholism lives within me now and forever. I must never forget what I am. Alcohol will surely kill me if I fail to recognize and acknowledge my disease on a daily basis. I am not playing a game in which a loss is a temporary setback. I am dealing with my disease, for which there is no cure, only daily acceptance and vigilance.


Be Willing to Believe in a Higher Power

"My friend suggested what then seemed a novel idea. He said, 'Why don't you choose your own conception of God?'

That statement hit me hard. It melted the icy intellectual mountain in whose shadow I had lived and shivered many years. I stood in the sunlight at last. It was only a matter of being willing to believe in a Power greater than myself. Nothing more was required of me to make my beginning."

c. 1976AAWS, Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 12

September 23, 2004

Resign from the Debating Society

September 22, 2004

Open Mind

First, Alcoholics Anonymous does not demand that you believe anything. All of its Twelve Steps are but suggestions. Second, to get sober and to stay sober,you don't have to swallow all of Step Two right now. Looking back, I find that I took it piecemeal myself. Third, all you really need is a truly open mind. Just resign from the debating society and quit bothering yourself with such deep questions as whether it was the hen or the egg that came first.

Again I say, all you need is the open mind.

c. 1952 AAWS, Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, p. 26.
Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc.

Thought to Ponder . . .

Minds are like parachutes -- they won't work unless they're open.

AA-related 'Alconym' . . .

H O W = Honesty, Open-mindedness, Willingness.

Recovery Aided by Higher Power


It has been proved that we afflicted persons cannot recover by our own will power. We've failed again and again. Therefore, I believe that there must be a Higher Power that helps us. I think of that Power as the grace of God. And I pray every morning for the strength to stay rational today. I know that Power is there because it never fails to help me. Do I believe that this program works through the grace of God to help me?


Once I am born of the spirit, that is my life's breath. Within me is the Life of life, so that I can never perish. The Life down through the ages has kept God's children through peril, adversity, and sorrow. I must try never to doubt or worry but to follow where the Life leads me. How often, when I am least aware, God goes before me to prepare the way, soften a heart, or put aside a resentment. As the Life spirit grows, my natural wants become less important.


I pray that my life may become centered in God more than in myself. I pray that my will may be directed toward doing His will.

You are reading from the book, Look to this Day by Alan L. Roeck

Copyright 1978 by Hazelden Foundation. All rights reserved.

September 22, 2004

The Gift of Recovery Requires Care

Keeping the Gift

"Life takes on a new meaning when we open ourselves to this gift."

Basic Text, p.102

Neglecting our recovery is like neglecting any other gift we've been given. Suppose someone gave you a new car. Would you let it sit in the driveway until the tires rotted? Would you just drive it, ignoring routine maintenance, until it expired on the road? Of course not! You would go to great lengths to maintain the condition of such a valuable gift.

Recovery is also a gift, and we have to care for it if we want to keep it. While our recovery doesn't come with an extended warranty, there is a routine maintenance schedule. This maintenance includes regular meeting attendance and various forms of service. We'll have to do some daily cleaning - our Tenth Step - and, once in a while, a major Fourth Step overhaul will be required. But if we maintain the gift of recovery, thanking the Giver each day, it will continue.

The gift of recovery is one that grows with the giving. Unless we give it away, we can't keep it. But in sharing our recovery with others, we come to value it all the more.

Just for today: My recovery is a gift, and I want to keep it. I'll do the required maintenance, and I'll share my recovery with others.

pg. 276

From Sponsor to Sponsor

Handicapped by Prejudice

"Besides a seeming inability to accept much on faith, we often found ourselves handicapped by obstinacy, sensitiveness, and unreasoning prejudice. Many of us have been so touchy that even casual reference to spiritual things make us bristle with antagonism. This sort of thinking had to be abandoned. Though some of us resisted, we found no great difficulty in casting aside such feelings. Faced with alcoholic destruction, we soon became as open minded on spiritual matters as we had tried to be on other questions. In this respect alcohol was a great persuader. It finally beat us into a state of reasonableness."

~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, We Agnostics, pg. 47~

September 21, 2004

For all that has been, thanks; to all that will be, yes & other quotes

For all that has been, thanks; to all that will be, yes.

- Dag Hammarskjold

We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.

- Winston Churchill

Via A Network for Grateful Living

It is one of the most beautiful compensations of this life that no man can sincerely try to help another without helping himself.

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson ~

We Are Not Responsible for Others' Feelings

I can still remember my mother clutching her heart, threatening to have a heart attack and die, and blaming it on me.--Anonymous

For some of us, the idea that we were responsible for other people's feelings had its roots in childhood and was established by members of our nuclear family. We may have been told that we made our mother or father miserable, leading directly to the idea that we were also responsible for making them happy. The idea that we are responsible for our parents' happiness or misery can instill exaggerated feelings of power and guilt in us.

We do not have this kind of power over our parents -- over their feelings, or over the course of their lives. We do not have to allow them to have this kind of power over us.

Our parents did the best they could. But we still do not have to accept one belief from them that is not a healthy belief. They may be our parents, but they are not always right. They may be our parents, but their beliefs and behaviors are not always healthy and in our best interest.

We are free to examine and choose our beliefs. Let Go of guilt. Let go of excessive and inappropriate feelings of responsibility toward parents and other family members. We do not have to allow their destructive beliefs to control us, our feelings, our behaviors, or our life.

Today, I will begin the process of setting myself free from any self-defeating beliefs my parents passed on to me. I will strive for appropriate ideas and boundaries concerning how much power and how much responsibility I can actually have in my relationship with my parents.

Melody Beattie ©

What a Relief - I Don't Have to Drink Anymore

AA Thought for the Day

Most certainly I was powerless over alcohol, and for me, my life had become unmanageable. It wasn't how far I had gone, but where I was headed. It was important to me to see what alcohol had done to me and would continue to do if I didn't have help. At first it was a shock to realize I was an alcoholic, but the realization that there was hope made it easier. The baffling problem of getting drunk when I had every intention of staying sober was simplified. It was a great relief to know I didn't have to drink any more.

c. 2001 AAWS, Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 354.

We Have No Control Over Outcome

"In economics, the bottom line measures success and failure. Someone who goes into a business venture with complete recklessness, yet makes a great deal of money, is considered a successful entrepreneur. Another person who was extremely cautious and applied sound business principles, yet went bankrupt, is considered a failure.

Unfortunately, we tend to apply these values to our personal, non-business lives. If things do not turn out the way we wish, we may think that we have performed badly. This is not true. If parents abuse and neglect their children, yet one child wins the Nobel Prize, or discovers the cure for cancer, they do not suddenly become good parents. On the other hand, if they did their utmost to raise their children well, yet one becomes a criminal, they are not necessarily bad parents.

We must understand that we have no control over outcome. All we can control is process, i.e. what we do. If we act with sincerity and with the best guidance available, then what we are doing is right.

Parents whose children turn out to be anti-social invariably fault themselves and may be consumed by guilt. Their pain is unavoidable, but their guilt is unjustified.

Humans do not have the gift of prophecy, nor do we always have the most accurate knowledge. We should hold ourselves responsible for that which we can control, but we should not hold ourselves responsible for that which is beyond our control.

... try to realize that I must judge the correctness of my actions by how I arrive at them, and not by what results from them.

From the book Growing Each Day / By Dr. Abraham J. Twerski

Your Own Conception of God is Enough

"Much to our relief, we discovered we did not need to consider another's conception of God. Our own conception, however inadequate, was sufficient to make the approach and to effect a contact with Him. As soon as we admitted the possible existence of a Creative Intelligence, a Spirit of the Universe underlying the totality of things, we began to be possessed of a new sense of power and direction, provided we took other simple steps."

~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, We Agnostics, pg. 46

September 19, 2004

Prescription for Sobriety

From Stephanie's Recovery Page:

"If you want to stay sober, this is what I was taught to do on a daily basis
1. Don't Drink
2. Go to a meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous
3. Read the book Alcoholics Anonymous
Starting from the front cover
4. Get a sponsor, females with females, males with males, and contact your sponsor daily.
5. Work the steps of Alcoholics Anonymous under the guidance of your sponsor according to the directions in the book Alcoholics Anonymous.
6. Pray

In the morning: Ask whatever you believe in for the desire to drink to be removed and for a day sober

At night: Tell that power you believe in Thank you."

Put Your Problems in the Hands of Your Higher Power

Let us continue with Steps Two, Three, and Eleven. We must turn to a Higher Power for help, because we are helpless ourselves. When we put our drink problem in God's hands and leave it there, we have made the most important decision of our lives. From then on, we trust God for the strength to keep sober. This takes us off the center of the universe and allows us to transfer our problems to a Power outside ourselves. By prayer and meditation, we seek to improve our conscious contact with God. We try to live each day the way we believe God wants us to live.

September 18, 2004

Top Ten Ways to Live Authentically

Here is an article that offers these tips for authentic living:

1. Know your purpose
2. Know your values
3. Know your needs
4. Know your passions
5. Live from the inside out
6. Honor your strengths
7. Take time to play
8. Be aware of your self-talk
9. Surround yourself with inspiration
10. Serve others

Gratefulness Leads to Peace

From A Network for Grateful Living:

"Peace, rightly understood, is inseparable from gratefulness. When we are grateful, we peacefully accept what is.

As long as we are merely thankful, we give thanks for what we perceive to be beneficial, but there always remains the lurking fear that something harmful may come our way instead.

To be grateful is more. It is our courageous trust that life itself --kind or harsh, happy or sad -- is good, if only we receive it as gift.

The moment we trust in this truth, we are at peace. A person at peace will serve as an agent of peace in the world."

Eight Recovery Principles

By Pastor Rick Warren for Celebrate Recovery:

"R=Principle 1 - Realize I'm not God; I admit that I am powerless to control my tendency to do the wrong thing and my life is unmanageable.

'Happy are those who know they are spiritually poor'

E=Principle 2 - Earnestly believe that God exists, that I matter to him, and that he has the power to help me recover.

'Happy are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted'

C=Principle 3 - Consciously choose to commit all my life and will to God's care and control.

'Happy are the meek'

O=Principle 4 - Openly examine and confess my faults to God, to myself, and to myself, to God, and to someone I trust.

'Happy are the pure in heart'

V=Principle 5 - Voluntarily submit to every change God wants to make in my life and humbly ask Him to remove my character defects.

'Happy are those whose greatest desire is to do what God requires'

E=Principle 6 - Evaluate all my relationships; Offer forgiveness to those who have hurt me and make amends for harm I've done to others except when to do so would harm them or others.

'Happy are the merciful' 'Happy are the peacemakers'

R=Principle 7 - Reserve a daily time with God for self examination, Bible readings and prayer in order to know God and His will for my life and to gain the power to follow His will.

Y=Principle 8 - Yield myself to God to be used to bring this Good News to others, both by my example and by my words.

'Happy are those who are persecuted because they do what God requires'"

If You Are New

Consider visiting Information on Alcoholics Anonymous and You can get sober in Alcoholics Anonymous from the West Baltimore AA Group for basic information on the Fellowship. As they state:

"This information is both for people who may have a drinking problem and for those in contact with people who have, or are suspected of having, a problem. Most of the information is available in more detail in literature published by A.A. World Services, Inc... This tells what to expect from Alcoholics Anonymous. It describes what A.A. is, what A.A. does, and what A.A. does not do."

Two Monks

"Two monks were traveling together when they came across a river crossing. There on the bank, they saw a beautiful woman, finely dressed, who wished to cross the river but was unable to do so. Without a word, the older monk simply picked up the woman and carried her to the other side.

The young monk, seemingly agitated for the rest of their journey, could not contain himself. Once they reached their destination after a couple of days, he exploded at the older monk. "How could you, a monk, even consider carrying a woman in your arms, much less a young and beautiful one? It is against our teachings. It is very dangerous."

"I put her down two days ago," said the older monk. "Why are you still carrying her?"

Via StoryBlog

Count Blessings not Troubles

"Today, I'm counting my blessings instead of my troubles. When I walked into the friendly atmosphere of my first AA meeting, I knew I was where I belonged. Here were people who had thought and felt as I had. Here was the understanding I'd been searching for all my life. These people were my friends,and I felt their sincere interest in me.

With these new and enlightening doors opening up to me, I was able to make the eventual decision to stop drinking, a day at a time -- because I, too, was an alcoholic. And with this came the only real freedom, the freedom of truth."

copyright. 1976AAWS, Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 355

September 17, 2004

The Power of Paradox

What glorious mysteries paradoxes are! They do not compute, yet when recognized and accepted, they reaffirm something in the universe beyond human logic.

When I face a fear, I am given courage; when I support a brother or sister, my capacity to love myself is increased; when I accept pain as part of the growing experience of life, I realize a greater happiness; when I look at my dark side, I am brought into new light; when I accept my vulnerabilities and surrender to a Higher Power, I am graced with unforeseen strength.

I stumbled through the doors of A.A. in disgrace, expecting nothing from life, and I have been given hope and dignity. Miraculously, the only way to keep the gifts of the program is to pass them on.

---from Daily Reflections by A.A. members for A.A. members (page 62)

Look Beyond "Reality"

From "As Bill Sees It"

Inward Reality

It is being constantly revealed, as mankind studies the material world, that its outward appearance is not inward reality at all. The prosaic steel girder is a mass of electrons whirling around each other at incredible speed, and these tiny bodies are governed by precise laws. Science tells us so. We have no reason to doubt it.

When, however, the perfectly logical assumption is suggested that, infinitely beyond the material world as we see it, there is an all powerful, guiding, creative Intelligence, our perverse streak comes to the surface and we set out to convince ourselves that this isn't so. Were our contention true, it would follow that life originated out of nothing, means nothing, and proceeds nowhere.

Admit Defeat to Secure Victory

Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Step One - "We admitted we were powerless over alcohol--that our lives had become unmanageable."

We know that little good can come to any alcoholic who joins A.A. unless he has first accepted his devastating weakness and all its consequences. Until he so humbles himself, his sobriety--if any--will be precarious. Of real happiness he will find none at all. Proved beyond doubt by an immense experience, this is one of the facts of A.A. life. The principle that we shall find no enduring strength until we first admit complete defeat is the main taproot from which our whole Society has sprung and flowered.

pp. 21-22

Emotional Balance (from Sponsor to Sponsor)

"Emotional balance is one of the first results of meditation, and our experience bears this out."

Basic Text p.45

Though each of us defines "emotional balance" a little differently, all of us must find it. Emotional balance can mean finding and maintaining a positive outlook on life, regardless of what may be happening around us. To some, it might mean an understanding of our emotions that allows us to respond, not react, to our feelings. It can mean that we experience our feelings as intensely as we can while also moderating their excessive expression.

Emotional balance comes with practice in prayer and meditation. We get quiet and share our thoughts and hopes and concerns with the God of our understanding. Then we listen for guidance, awaiting the power to act on that direction.

Eventually, our skills in maintaining near-balance get better, and the wild up-and-down emotional swings we used to experience begin to settle. We develop an ability to let others feel their feelings; we have no need to judge them. And we fully embrace our own personal range of emotions.

Just for today: Through regular prayer and meditation, I will discover what emotional balance means to me.

From "Just For Today" pg 270

Original Third Step Prayer (attributed to Dr. Bob)

Dear God, I'm sorry about the mess I've made of my life. I want to turn away from all the wrong things I've ever done and all the wrong things I've ever been. Please forgive me for it all. I know You have the power to change my life and can turn me into a winner.

Thank You, God for getting my attention long enough to interest me in trying it Your way.

God, please take over the management of my life and everything about me. I am making this conscious decision to turn my will and my life over to Your care and am asking You to please take over all parts of my life.

Please, God, move into my heart. How ever You do it is Your business, but make Yourself real inside me and fill my awful emptiness. Fill me with your love and Holy Spirit and make me know Your will for me.

And now, God, help Yourself to me and keep on doing it. I'm not sure I want You to, but do it anyhow. I rejoice that I am now a part of Your people, that my uncertainty is gone forever, and that You now have control of my will and my life.

Thank You and praise Your name.


September 16, 2004

We Know Only a Little

"We all realize that we know only a little. God will constantly disclose more to all of us. Ask Him in your morning meditations what you can do today for the person who is still sick. The answers will come, if your own house is in order. See to it that your relationship with God is right and great events will come to pass for you and countless others. Give freely of what you find in A.A. But obviously, you cannot transmit something that you haven't got. So make a life study of A.A."

Principles of the Twelve Steps

From: "pdixonrae"
Subject: Passing It On

Principles of the Twelve Steps
1. Honesty/ Acceptance
2. Hope/ Open-mindedness
3. Faith/ Willingness
4. Courage
5. Integrity/Trust
6. Willingness
7. Humility
8. Brotherly Love
9. Forgiveness/ Self Discipline
10. Perseverance
11. Ever Presence of God/ Spirituality
12. Service to Fellowman

Troubles of Our Own Making

"Selfishness-self-centeredness! That, we think, is the root of all our troubles. Driven by a hundred forms of fear, self-delusion self-seeking, and self-pity, we step on the toes of our fellows and they retaliate. Sometimes they hurt us, seemingly without procvocation, but we invariably find that at some time in the past we have made decvisions based on self which later placed us in a position to be hurt.

So our troubles, we think, are basically of our own making. They arise out of ourselves, and the alcoholic is an extreme example self-will run riot, though he usally doesn't think so.

Above everything, we alcoholics must be rid of this selfishness. We must, or it kills us."

Alcoholics Anonymous page 62
Copyright A.A. World Services Inc.

Comfort from Fragments of Prayer

"When I am feeling depressed, I repeat to myself statements such as these:

'Pain is the touchstone of progress.' . . .
'Fear no evil.' . . .
'This, too, will pass.' . . .
'This experience can be turned to benefit.'

These fragments of prayer bring far more than comfort. They keep me on the track of right acceptance; they break up my compulsive themes of guilt, depression, rebellion, and pride; and sometimes they endow me with the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference."

Bill W., AAGrapevine, March 1962

copyright 1967AAWS, As Bill Sees It, p. 110

September 13, 2004

Seventh Step Prayer

My Creator, I am willing that You should have all of me, good and bad.

I pray that You now remove from me every single defect of character which stands in the way of my usefulness to You and my fellows.

Grant me strength, as I go out from here to do Your bidding.

The Serenity Prayer

GOD, Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, Courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

Living ONE DAY AT A TIME; Enjoying one moment at a time; Accepting hardship as the pathway to peace. Taking, as He did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it.

Trusting that He will make all things right if I surrender to His Will;

That I may be reasonably happy in this life, and supremely happy with Him forever in the next. Amen

Reinhold Neibuhr-1926

Third Step Prayers

God, I offer myself to You
To build with me and do with me as You will.
Relieve me of the bondage of self, that I may better do Your will.
Take away my difficulties, that victory over them may bear witness to those I would help of Your Power, Your Love, and Your Way of Life.
May I do Your will always!

Alternate Prayer

Take my will & my life,
Guide me in my recovery,
Show me how to live

Original Third Step Prayer (attributed to Dr. Bob)

Dear God, I'm sorry about the mess I've made of my life. I want to turn away from all the wrong things I've ever done and all the wrong things I've ever been. Please forgive me for it all. I know You have the power to change my life and can turn me into a winner.

Thank You, God for getting my attention long enough to interest me in trying it Your way.

God, please take over the management of my life and everything about me. I am making this conscious decision to turn my will and my life over to Your care and am asking You to please take over all parts of my life.

Please, God, move into my heart. How ever You do it is Your business, but make Yourself real inside me and fill my awful emptiness. Fill me with your love and Holy Spirit and make me know Your will for me.

And now, God, help Yourself to me and keep on doing it. I'm not sure I want You to, but do it anyhow. I rejoice that I am now a part of Your people, that my uncertainty is gone forever, and that You now have control of my will and my life.

Thank You and praise Your name.



"You are going to meet these new friends in your own community. Near you, alcoholics are dying helplessly like people in a sinking ship. If you live in a large place, there are hundreds. High and low, rich and poor, these are future fellows of Alcoholics Anonymous. Among them you will make lifelong friends. You will be bound to them with new and wonderful ties, for you will escape disaster together and you will commence shoulder to shoulder your common journey. Then you will know what it means to give of yourself that others may survive and rediscover life. You will learn the full meaning of 'Love thy neighbor as thyself.'"

~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, A Vision For You, pg. 152~

Inspirational Quotes from Tammy's Recovery Resources

None of us has gotten where we are solely by pulling ourselves up from our own bootstraps. We got here because somebody bent down and helped us.
--Thurgood Marshall

Three things in human life are important: The first is to be kind. The second is to be kind. And the third is to be kind.
--Henry James

"We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them."
--Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

"Listen or Thy tongue will keep Thee deaf."
--American Indian Proverb

Rather than regretting that I wasted half of my life drinking, I am just grateful that God has given me the rare opportunity to live two lives in one lifetime.

Seek the End of the Urge to Make Excuses

Reflection for the Day

What wonderful things could happen in my life if I could get rid of my natural impulse to justify my actions? Is honesty so deeply repressed under layers of guilt that I can't release it to understand my motives? Being honest with ourselves isn't easy. It's difficult to search out why I had this or that impulse and, more importantly, why I acted upon it. Nothing makes us feel so vulnerable as to give up the crutch of the alibi, yet my willingness to be vulnerable will go a long way toward helping me grow in the Program. Am I becoming more aware that self- deception multiplies my problems?

Today I Pray

May God remove my urge to make excuses. Help me to face up to the realities that surface when I am honest with myself. Help me to know, as certainly as day follows sunrise that my difficulties will be lessened if I can only trust His will.

Today I Will Remember

I will be willing to do God's will.

September 12, 2004

Responsibility Brings Freedom


For the readiness to take the full consequences of our past acts, and to take responsibility for the well-being of others at the same time, is the very spirit of Step Nine.

In recovery, and through the help of Alcoholics Anonymous, I learn that the very thing I fear is my freedom. It comes from my tendency to recoil from taking responsibility for anything: I deny, I ignore, I blame, I avoid. Then one day, I look, I admit, I accept. The freedom,the healing and the recovery I experience is in the looking, admitting and accepting. I learn to say, "Yes, I am responsible." When I can speak those words with honesty and sincerity, then I am free.

Prayer of St. Francis

Lord, make me a channel of thy peace
--that where there is hatred, I may bring love
--that where there is wrong, I may bring the spirit of forgiveness
--that where there is discord, I may bring harmony
--that where there is error, I may bring truth
--that where there is doubt, I may bring faith
--that where there is despair, I may bring hope
--that where there are shadows, I may bring light
--that where there is sadness, I may bring joy.

Lord, grant that I may seek rather to comfort than to be comforted
--to understand, than to be understood
--to love, than to be loved.

For it is by self-forgetting that one finds.
It is by forgiving that one is forgiven.
It is by dying that one awakens to Eternal Life. Amen."

--12 & 12, p. 99

September 11, 2004

Humility from AA texts

As Bill Sees It

Perception of Humility, p. 156

An improved perception of humility starts a revolutionary change in our outlook. Our eyes begin to open to the immense values which have come straight out of painful ego-puncturing. Until now, our lives have been largely devoted to running from pain and problems. Escape via the bottle was always our solution.

Then, in A.A., we looked and listened. Everywhere we saw failure and misery transformed by humility into priceless assets.

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

To those who have made progress in A.A., humility amounts to a clear recognition of what and who we really are, followed by a sincere attempt to become what we could be.

12 & 12
1. pp. 74-75
2. p. 58

Life Without Addiction is Glorious

A.A. Thought For The Day

Continuing the answers to the question of how a person can live without liquor and be happy, we say: "You will be bound to the other A.A.s with new and wonderful ties, for you and they will escape disaster together and all will commence shoulder to shoulder the common journey to a better and more satisfactory life. You will know what it means to give of yourself that others may survive and rediscover life. You will become happy, respected, and useful once more. Since these things have happened to us, they can happen to you." Have these things happened to me?

Meditation For The Day

God manifests Himself in human lives as strength to overcome evil and power to resist temptation. The grace of God is that power which enables a human being to change from a useless, hopeless individual to a useful, normal person. God also manifests Himself as love--love for other people, compassion for their problems, and a real willingness to help them. The grace of God also manifests itself as peace of mind and serenity of character. We can have plenty of power, love, and serenity in our lives if we are willing to ask God for these things each day.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may see God's grace in the strength I receive, the love I know, and the peace I have. I pray that I may be grateful for the things I have received through the grace of God.