October 29, 2004

The Greatest of these is Love

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears.

When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13:1-13

Pray for those who wrong you

"God, I realize that the people who wronged me are perhaps spiritually blocked people. I ask you to help me show them the same tolerance, pity, and patience that I would cheerfully grant a sick friend. Please show me how to be helpful to those I resent, and save me from my anger. Show me where I have been selfish, self-seeking, dishonest or fear-based, thus causing my own trouble, and relieve me of the notion that I have to retaliate or that I am a victim."

Power of Forgiveness

From InnerSelf.com Magazine:

"'Forgiveness is the demonstration that you are the light of the world. Through your forgiveness does the truth about your self return to your memory.'
.....Course in Miracles

It is a reality of life that you will occasionally experience pain, disappointment, upset, loss, and injury. Whether physical, emotional, spiritual, familial, or economic - someone, somewhere at some time will contribute to a negative experience that will affect you. Even angels have their traumas. The question then becomes, HOW LONG DO YOU PROLONG THIS NEGATIVITY BEFORE MOVING FORWARD?

Each moment you cling to this trauma after it occurs, you cause the past trauma to generate an entirely new sequence of thoughts, emotions, and actions. Until you can give up your attachment to the past incident, you are cursed to maintain and magnify the pain... "

October 27, 2004

Focus on Gratitude, not Annoyances

Growing Each Day
By Rabbi Abraham J. Twerski

“They praise G-d for His kindness and relate His wonders to other people.”
— Psalms 107:8

This verse is repeated four times in this chapter, emphasizing the obligation people have to express their gratitude to G-d for His kindnesses.

Human beings have the capacity for complaining about their distress as well as being thankful for benevolence. Unfortunately, in many people these traits are not balanced, and the capacity to complain may outweigh that of being grateful.

There is a story about a mother who was walking along the seashore with her son. Unexpectedly, a huge wave descended upon them and carried the child out to sea. The distraught mother began begging to G-d: "Please, G-d, save my child! Give me back my little son!" Shortly afterwards, another huge wave deposited the child, unharmed, right at her feet.

The mother embraced the child, and turning her eyes toward heaven, exclaimed, "Thank You, G-d. Thank You, thank You forever." A moment later, she looked at her child, then turned her eyes to heaven once again and asked: "Where is the hat he was wearing?"

Many humorous stories have a kernel of truth. How often do we forget kindnesses and focus instead on annoyances, even when the disparity between them is in the magnitude of the saving of a child versus the loss of a hat.

... try to bear in mind the many great kindnesses that G-d has done for me, and ignore the relatively insignificant displeasures in my life.

Rabbi Abraham J. Twerski, M.D. is a psychiatrist and ordained rabbi. He is the founder of the Gateway Rehabilitation Center in Pittsburgh, a leading center for addiction treatment. An Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, he is a prolific author, with some 30 books to his credit, including, "Growing Each Day", from which this was excerpted.

October 26, 2004

Kindness is all that matters...pass it on

Father Leo's Daily Meditation


"Kindness in words creates
confidence. Kindness in thinking
creates profoundness. Kindness
in giving creates love."
-- Lao-tzu

It costs me nothing to say "hello" and yet it might make all the difference to my neighbor. It costs me nothing to give a hug and yet that hug might make all the difference to a friend. It costs me nothing to listen to anothers pain and yet the listening might make all the difference to another person.

Love is to be found in the small, ordinary acts of kindness as well as in the extravagant gesture. I need to seek God in the everyday happenings of life alongside the "religious". Spirituality is in the smile that is real!

Today I know that I give only what I received --- and I received a great deal. People loved me enough to be patient, they cared enough to telephone, they encouraged me with the gentle word of hope: I am in the flow.

Lord, You have created this wondrous patterned fabric of life --- may I find You in its smallest detail.

Troubles Double as Blessings

As Bill Sees It

Trouble: Constructive or Destructive?, p. 110

"There was a time when we ignored trouble, hoping it would go away. Or, in fear and in depression, we ran from it, but found it was still with us. Often, full of unreason, bitterness, and blame, we fought back. These mistaken attitudes, powered by alcohol, guaranteed our destruction, unless they were altered.

"Then came A.A. Here we learned that trouble was really a fact of life for everybody--a fact that had to be understood and dealt with. Surprisingly, we found that our troubles could, under God's grace, be converted into unimagined blessings.

"Indeed, that was the essence of A.A. itself: trouble accepted, trouble squarely faced with calm courage, trouble lessened and often transcended. This was the A.A. story, and we became a part of it. Such demonstrations became our stock in trade for the next sufferer."

Letter, 1966

October 25, 2004

My Favorite Recovery Sayings - part 6

There are a million excuses to drink, but no good reason.
A sober alcoholic s like a turtle on a fence post: You know he had help.
God didn't save you from drowning to beat you up on the beach.
Sobriety is God's gift to me; what I do with it is my gift to God.
When the pupil is ready, the teacher will appear.
If you're too busy to pray, you're too busy.
Follow the advice you hear yourself giving to others.
Talking about the spiritual part of the program is like talking about the wet part of the ocean.
Most good ideas are simple.
Don't believe everything you think.
Don't try to teach a pig to sing. First, pigs can't sing and secondly, it annoys the pig.
On a good day, things are okay and you don't drink; on a great day, things are lousy and you don't drink.
Worry is like sitting in a rocking chair; you can do it all day long and get nowhere.

My Favorite Recovery Sayings - part 1

First things first
Keep it simple
Easy does it
One day at a time
Have an Attitude of Gratitude
Just for today
Let go and let God
Easy does it, but DO IT.
Accept, don't expect
Be here now
Turn it over.
Utilize, don't analyze.
Those who laugh - last.
Today, we have a choice.
Identify, don't compare
It isn't "me" and "you" anymore; it's "we" and "us."
Live and let live.

My Favorite Recovery Sayings - part 5

We come to the program thinking we are at the end of the line, whereas we are just at the start of a journey.
Although we are not responsible for our disease, we are responsible for our recovery.
The problem with isolating is that you get such bad advice.
All the happiness there is in this world comes from thinking about others, and all the suffering comes from preoccupation with yourself.
I often obsessively pursue feeling good...no matter how bad it makes me feel.
If you want to quit drinking, you are going to have to quit drinking.
I would rather go through life sober, believing I am an alcoholic, than go through life drunk, trying to convince myself that I am not.
An alcoholic is a person who wants to be held while he's isolating.
Resentments are like stray cats: if you don't feed them, they'll go away.

My Favorite Recovery Sayings - part 4

It is not enough to have a good mind. The main thing is to use it well.
The smallest good deed is better than the grandest good intention.
Alcohol gave me wings to fly, then it took away the sky. (Big Book)
You can act your way into right thinking, but you can't think your way into right acting.
Don't be so humble, you're not that great.
Trust in Allah, but tie up your camel. (Old Arab Saying)
Be aware that tomorrow's resentments are fed by today's expectations. (Bill R.)
A joy shared is twice the joy; a pain shared is half the pain.
Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be. (Abe Lincoln)
In sobriety, you can no longer deceive yourself as sincerely as you did before

My Favorite Recovery Sayings - part 3

You teach best what you most need to learn
Where God guides, God provides.
I can't do His will my way.
You can't change the wind, but you can adjust the sails.
Those who anger you, conquer you.
The measure of your anxiety is the measure of your distance from God.
If you feel guilty - stop doing what's making you feel guilty.
No God - No Peace; Know God - Know Peace.
Nobody can make you feel inferior without your consent.
If you're thinking about going to a meeting, go to the meeting and think about it later.
AA is like riding a bicycle - you can coast for awhile but if you don't start pedaling, you'll soon fall on your ass.

My Favorite Recovery Sayings - part 2

Meeting makers make it.
Stick with the winners and win with the stickers.
When you sober up a horse thief, all you have is a sober horse thief
Daniel didn't go back to the lion's den to get his hat
We suffer from alcohol-ISM, not alcohol-WASM
My worst day sober was better than my best day drunk
If you don't want to slip, stay away from slippery places
Whenever you fall, pick something up.
A pint of example is worth a gallon of advice.
Bring the body and the mind will follow.
Don't quit 5 minutes before the miracle happens.
Action is the antidote to despair.
When one door closes, another one opens.
I'm starting to become what I see.

The Universe Does Not Revolve Around Me

A.A. Thought for the Day

Fifth, I have learned to live one day at a time. I have finally realized the great fact that all I have is now. This sweeps away all vain regret and it makes my thoughts of the future free of fear. Now is mine. I can do what I want with it. I own it, for better or worse. What I do now, in this present moment, is what makes up my life. My whole life is only a succession of nows. I will take this moment, which has been given to me by the grace of God, and I will do something with it. What I do with each now will make me or break me. Am I living in the now?

Meditation for the Day

We should work at overcoming ourselves, our selfish desires and our self-centeredness. This can never be fully accomplished. We can never become entirely unselfish. But we can come to realize that we are not at the center of the universe and that everything does not revolve around us at the center. I am only one cell in a vast network of human cells. I can at least make the effort to conquer the self-life and seek daily to obtain more and more of this self-conquest. "He that overcomes himself is greater than he who conquers a city."

Prayer for the Day

I pray that I may strive to overcome my selfishness. I pray that I may achieve the right perspective of my position in the world.

©Hazelden Foundation PO Box 176 Center City, MN 55012©

October 24, 2004

Self-PIty is a Luxury We Cannot Afford

"Self-pity is one of the most unhappy and consuming defects that we know. It is
a bar to all spiritual progress and can cut off all effective communication with our
fellows because of its inordinate demands for attention and sympathy. It is a maudlin form of martyrdom, which we can ill afford.

"The remedy? Well, let's have a hard look at ourselves, and a still harder one
at A.A.'s Twelve Steps to recovery. When we see how many of our fellow A.A.'s have
used the Steps to transcend great pain and adversity, we shall be inspired to try these life-giving principles for ourselves."

c. 1967, As Bill Sees It, page 238

October 23, 2004

"By surrendering control, we gain a far greater power."

Just For Today -- Surrender

"By surrendering control, we gain a far greater power."

Basic Text, p.43

When we were using, we did everything we could to run things our way. We used every scheme imaginable to bring our world under control. When we got what we wanted, we felt powerful, invincible; when we didn't, we felt vulnerable, defeated. But that didn't stop us - it only led to more efforts to control and manipulate our lives into a manageable state.

Scheming was our way of denying our powerlessness. As long as we could distract ourselves with our plans, we could put off accepting that we were out of control. Only gradually did we realize that our lives had become unmanageable and that all the conning and manipulating in the world was not going to put our lives back in order.

When we admit our powerlessness, we stop trying to control and manage our way to a better life - we surrender. Lacking sufficient power of our own, we seek a Power greater than ourselves; needing support and guidance, we ask that Power to care for our will and our lives. We ask others in recovery to share their experience with living the NA program instead of trying to program our own lives. The power and direction we seek is all around us; we need only turn away from self to find it.

pg. 309

"Living just for today relieves the burden of the past and the fear of the future."
Basic Text, pp. 90-91

The Basic Text and Just for Today are owned and copyright by Narcotics Anonymous

Lord of the dance, teach me the steps.

Father Leo's Daily Meditation


"A cynic is a man who knows the
price of everything and value of
-- Oscar Wilde

I never knew the value of my life until I looked beyond it. For years I was so self-obsessed that I missed the joy and beauty of this wonderful world. I was so concerned with details and minutia of life that I missed the fun of living.

I now see that my behavior had its roots in my childhood. I was the child in a dysfunctional family. I became a parent to my parents. I took charge of everybody's life and I felt responsible and guilty. Everything was work and I did not learn how to play.

Today I am working on my recovery. I am "dumping" my feelings of guilt, shame and anger. I am beginning to understand that I am not responsible for my parents and I am beginning to feel free. Today I am learning how to play.

Lord of the dance, teach me the steps.

October 22, 2004

A Gentle Concept of a Higher Power

Daily Reflections


Obviously, the dilemma of the wanderer from faith is that of profound confusion. He thinks himself lost to the comfort of any conviction at all. He cannot attain in even a small degree the assurance of the believer, the agnostic, or the atheist. He is the bewildered one.


The concept of God was one that I struggled with during my early years of sobriety. The images that came to me, conjured from my past, were heavy with fear, rejection and condemnation.

Then I heard my friend Ed's image of a Higher Power: As a boy he had been allowed a litter of puppies, provided that he assume responsibility for their care. Each morning he would find the unavoidable "byproducts" of the puppies on the kitchen floor. Despite frustration, Ed said he couldn't get angry because "that's the nature of puppies." Ed felt that God viewed our defects and shortcomings with a similar understanding and warmth.

I've often found solace from my personal confusion in Ed's calming concept of God.


Fear not the Future, nor be Burdened by the Past

God's Will Today

"This decision demands continued acceptance, ever - increasing faith, and a daily commitment to recovery."

IP No.14, "One Addict's Experience…"

Sometimes, we really live the Third Step - and it's great! We don't regret the past, we aren't afraid of the future, and we're generally pleased with the present. Sometimes, though, we lose our vision of God's will in our life.

Many of us dream of erasing the mistakes of our past, but the past cannot be erased. Many of us are grateful this is so, for our past experiences have brought us to the recovery we enjoy today. By working the program, we can learn to accept the past and reconcile ourselves with it by amending our wrongs. Those same Twelve Steps can help eliminate our worries over the future. When we practice NA principles on a daily basis in all our affairs, we can leave the results up to our Higher Power.

It seems as though our members with the strongest faith are the ones who are best able to live in the present moment. Enjoyment, appreciation, and gratitude for the quality of our lives - these are the results of faith in life itself. When we practice the principles of our program, today is the only day we need.

Just for today:

I will make the most of today, and trust that yesterday and tomorrow are in God's care.

pg. 307

"Living just for today relieves the burden of the past and the fear of the future."

Basic Text, pp. 90-91

The Basic Text and Just for Today are owned and copyright by Narcotics Anonymous.

October 20, 2004

Bring the Body and the Mind Will Follow

"Today's thought is:

We can act ourselves into right thinking easier than we can think ourselves into right acting.

The best thing for us to do in our 12 Step Program is to be honest in how we act and think. We must be true to that belief.

We can't think for others, and they can't think for us. Friends can tell us the lessons they have learned from their experiences. If those lessons fit us, we can use them to help guide us and our thinking. We often hear, "Take what you need and leave the rest."

As good for us as our ideas are, we must not force them on others. We can only offer them. And we won't be true to ourselves if we are jealous of other people's ideas. We never know what we can do until we try, and we can't be sure what ideas are best for us until we test them."

You are reading from the book: "Easy Does It" by Anonymous

Copyright 1999 by Hazelden Foundation. All rights reserved.

You can sign up to receive today's gift daily by email by registering for free at Hazelden - Join Our Online Community

October 19, 2004

Like Yourself to Open Up to Others

From an article in the The Register-Guard, Eugene, Oregon:

"Our ability to be open rests on how well we like ourselves as we are, regardless of what other people think. If we don't know and care about ourselves, we can't open up to letting others know and care about us. That means we can't be vulnerable if we never take the time to find out - and appreciate - who we really are.

In treatment centers, we deal with this issue every day. Usually, by the time people seek our services, they have built some pretty thick walls. They don't want to let anybody in. Many experienced abuse as children, so they have long since lost their willingness to trust anyone.

Often, they experience self-hatred. We regularly see them express a strong need to be right all the time, and a posture of "I'll get them before they get me." They say they don't care what others think - and they've often acted that way - but they're actually extremely concerned with the opinions of others.

In a way, alcoholics and addicts fear being vulnerable in healthy ways, while making themselves vulnerable in unhealthy ways. Our job is to help patients reverse that pattern, and the techniques we use in treatment can be used by anyone who wants an authentic, appropriately vulnerable life - with the freedom and intimacy that comes with it."

Via dryblog

I, Robot -- Not

“It is the nature of a person to be influenced by his fellows and comrades.”
— Maimonides, Hil. De'os 6:1

We can never escape the influence of our environment. Our life-style impacts upon us and, as if by osmosis, penetrates our skin and becomes part of us.

Our environment today is thoroughly computerized. Computer intelligence is no longer a science-fiction fantasy, but an everyday occurrence. Some computers can even carry out complete interviews. The computer asks questions, receives answers, interprets these answers, and uses its newly acquired information to ask new questions.

Still, while computers may be able to think, they cannot feel. The uniqueness of human beings is therefore no longer in their intellect, but in their emotions.

We must be extremely careful not to allow ourselves to become human computers that are devoid of feelings. Our culture is in danger of losing this essential aspect of humanity, remaining only with intellect. Because we communicate so much with unfeeling computers, we are in danger of becoming disconnected from our own feelings and oblivious to the feelings of others.

As we check in at our jobs, and the computer on our desk greets us with, "Good morning, Mr. Smith. Today is Wednesday, and here is the agenda for today," let us remember that this machine may indeed be brilliant, but it cannot laugh or cry. It cannot be happy if we succeed, or sad if we fail.

... try to remain a human being in every way — by keeping in touch with my own feelings and being sensitive to the feelings of others.

Rabbi Abraham J. Twerski, M.D. is a psychiatrist and ordained rabbi. He is the founder of the Gateway Rehabilitation Center in Pittsburgh, a leading center for addiction treatment. An Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, he is a prolific author, with some 30 books to his credit, including, "Growing Each Day", from which this was excerpted

Enjoy the Ride

Thought to Consider . . .

The joy is in the journey, so enjoy the ride.

October 18, 2004

When the Pupil is Ready, the Teacher Will Appear

Yahoo! Groups : Spirit-Matter

The greatest Guru is helpless as long as the disciple is not eager to learn.
Eagerness and earnestness are all-important. Confidence will come with
experience. Be devoted to your goal - and devotion to him who can guide you
will follow. If your desire and confidence are strong, they will operate
and take you to your goal, for you will not cause delay by hesitation and

- Nisargadatta Maharaj

Laughter, the Best Recovery Medicine

From Wings of Eagles Recovery Org:

"Then I began to see the miracles that happen only in AA. People who would nearly crawl in the doors, sick and broken, and who in a few weeks of meetings and not drinking one day at a time would get their health back, find a little job and friends who really cared, and then discover a God in their lives. But the most compelling part of AA, the part that made me want to try this sober thing, was the laughter, the pure joy of the laughter that I heard only from sober alcoholics."

c. 2001, Alcoholics Anonymous, page 333


For many of us, laughter is something we don’t experience for many years in active drug/alcohol use -- there is not much in our lives that brings a moment of laughter.

When we recover, we begin to face all kinds of emotions that are new to us or forgotten by us and we have to learn how to deal with them in a sober minded manner. Not so hard once we discover God, His word and His precepts.

The easiest emotion is laughter that comes from joy -- the joy of feeling happy again – of seeing humor in situations – only can come when we allow our friends and God into our lives with honesty.

Readers Digest has a column called “laughter the best medicine.”

It is true, laughter is healing, healthy and hope sustaining in our recovery -- pure joy – the joy of God leading your steps in your recovery walk.

Wings Devotional© Daily Meditation Translation
is property of Wings Of Eagles Recovery©
Just for Today -- A Daily Devotional

Treat Others with Kindness

from: "How It Works"


"We avoid retaliation or argument. We wouldn't treat sick people that way. If we do, we destroy our chance of being helpful. We cannot be helpful to all people, but at least God will show us how to take a kindly and tolerant view of each and every one."

© 2001, Alcoholics Anonymous, page 67

The Glass is Half Full

Today's thought is:

As he thinketh in his heart, so is he.
--Proverbs 23:7

How we view our circumstances directly affects how we feel about them. Being in debt can cause us to cast dark shadows over our world -- shadows that create a sense of doom and gloom. I can't get out from under it; I can't go on vacation; I can't get my hair cut, buy a shirt, go out to dinner, get season tickets; I would go to school but . . .

Most of us were told as children not to say can't and to never say never. We rephrase our negative thoughts and statements in the positive and in the present, as if the positive already exists. Our outlook and, amazingly, our circumstances brighten considerably. Ideas about how to move forward pop into our head, replacing excuses with a powerful energy -- an energy that moves us toward accomplishing our goals.

Today I will ask myself whether I see the glass as half empty or half full.

You are reading from the book:
Letting Go of Debt by Karen Casanova

Copyright 2000 by Hazelden Foundation. All rights reserved.

October 17, 2004

Flimsy Reed the Hand of my Higher Power

Flimsy Reed

What seemed at first a flimsy reed,has proved to be the loving and powerful hand of God. A new life has been given us or, if you prefer,"a design for living" that really works. . .

We have no desire to convince anyone that there is only one way by which faith can be acquired. If what we have learned and felt and seen means anything at all, it means that all of us, whatever our race, creed, or color are the children of a living Creator with whom we may form a relationship upon simple and understandable terms as soon as we are willing and honest enough to try.

c. 2001 AAWS, Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 28

Thought to Ponder . . .

No God, no peace -- know God, know peace.

Perceptions of Truth Change in Recovery

"Everything we know is subject to revision, especially what we know
about the truth."
Basic Text, p.91

Many of us thought we could recognize "The Truth:' We believed the truth was one thing, certain and unchanging, which we could grasp easily and without question. The real truth, however, was that we often couldn't see the truth if it hit us square in the face. Our disease colored everything in our lives, especially our perception of the truth-in fact, what we "knew" about the truth nearly killed us.

Before we could begin to recognize truth, we had to switch our allegiance from our addiction to a Higher Power the source of all that is good and true. The truth has changed as our faith in a Higher Power has grown. As we've worked the steps, our entire lives have begun to change through the healing power of the principles of recovery. In order to open the door for that change, we have had to surrender our attachment to an unchanging and rigid truth.

The truth becomes purer and simpler each time we encounter it. And just as the steps work in our lives every day-if we allow them-our understanding of the truth may change each day as' we grow.

Just for today:

I will open my eyes and my heart to changes brought about by the steps. With an open mind, I can understand the truth in my life today.

pg. 303 Just For Today Daily Meditation
© Narcotics Anonymous 1991

Inspirational Words

"I can forgive, but I can not forget" is only another way of saying, "I will not forgive." Forgiveness ought to be like a cancel note - torn in two and burned up so that it never can be shown against one.
--Henry Ward Beecher

To carry a grudge is like being stung to death by one bee.
--William H. Walton

Life is not always what one wants it to be, but to make the best of it as it is, is the only way of being happy.
--Jennie Jerome Churchill

Until you make peace with who you are, you'll never be content with what you have.
--Doris Mortman

Ask not that events should happen as you will, but let your will be that events should happen as they do, and you shall have peace.

God's word refreshes our minds; God's spirit renews our strength.

October 15, 2004

No Magic Cure

from: "A Friend Looks at Alcoholics Anonymous"

"Men and women who use alcohol as an escape are not the only ones who are afraid of life, hostile to the world, fleeing from it into loneliness. Millions who are not alcoholics are living today in illusory worlds, nurturing the basic anxieties and insecurities of human existence rather than face themselves with courage and humility. To these people, A.A. can offer as a cure no magic potion, no chemical formula, no powerful drug. But it can demonstrate to them how to use the tools of humility, honesty, devotion, and love, which indeed are the heart of the Twelve Steps of our recovery."

© 1957, Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age, page 279

"We did not choose to become addicts."

Just For Today
October 15 Choices

"We did not choose to become addicts." Basic Text p. 3

When we were growing up, all of us had dreams. Every child has heard a relative or neighbor ask, "What do you want to be when you grow up?" Even if some of us didn't have elaborate dreams of success, most of us dreamed of work, families, and a future of dignity and respect. But no one asked, "Do you want to be a drug addict when you grow up?"

We didn't choose to become addicts, and we cannot choose to stop being addicts. We have the disease of addiction. We are not responsible for having it, but we are responsible for our recovery. Having learned that we are sick people and that there is a way of recovery, we can move away from blaming circumstances-or ourselves-and into living the solution. We didn't choose addiction, but we can choose recovery.

Just for today: I choose recovery.

October 14, 2004

Recover For Yourself

From Wings of Eagles Recovery:

"We have to stay sober no matter how life treats us, no matter whether non-alcoholics appreciate our sobriety or not. We have to keep our sobriety independent of everything else, not entangled with any people, and not hedged in by any possible cop-outs or conditions.

"Over and over, we have found we cannot stay sober long just for the sake of wife, husband, children, lover, parents, other relative, or friend, nor for the sake of a job, nor to please a boss (or doctor or judge or creditor) -- not for ANYONE other than ourselves.

c. 1975, Living Sober, page 64


People pleasing many times is what got us into this addiction in the first place. Trying to serve other gods like people, drugs, alcohol, bosses, even ourselves has always led to our failure. We have to love ourselves first, enough to want to make it -- then we can love God with all our hearts and strive to walk in His ways.

Even if those that surround us, spouses, children, friends, relatives and bosses don’t see our success each day or express displeasure because it is not happening enough -- we will be able to stay focused and know that it is one day at a time -- and that God rejoices in the successes that we achieve no matter how small. When we allow ourselves to try and please others – then we will never be able to measure up to their standards, and their standards may also be skewed as they are recovering also.

Stay God centered and motivated and do it for yourself.

Discover Your Hidden Spirituality


"I invent nothing. I rediscover."
-- Auguste Rodin

I believe that spirituality is given to every human being and we need only discover it in our lives to experience its power. The history of my life has been more of a "cycle" than a straight line leading into the distance. I am constantly returning to past events, reminiscences and experiences that were part of my yesterdays but converge into my present. I am rediscovering my yesterdays in my todays; the fruits of my tomorrows are planted within today.

So it seems that my journey is not simply forward. It also involves a rediscovery of yesterday in today. My life is a mystery that exists within God.

O Lord, with You eternity is ever present and occasionally I get a glimpse of it.


"He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge."
Psalm 91:4

"Behold what manner of love the father hath bestowed upon us that we should be called the children of God."
1 John 3:1

Make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness,
knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control,
perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness,
brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love.
2 Peter 1:5-7

October 13, 2004

The Two Great Lessons of Life

From the Alcoholism and AA Recovery Page:

The Two Great Lessons of Life

"It" is not personal;


Everyone is doing the best they can.

"It" happens, but "it" is not personal. "It" is simply the luck of the draw. If I had not been there at that certain place, at that certain time, "it" would have happened anyway.

"It" is like a tree falling in the woods. If I am there and it falls on my head, I think God is punishing me. But if I am not there, the tree falls anyway. Well, I am not "there" 99 percent of the time. It is just that I am so self centered that I think only of those things that happen in my immediate environment, and then attribute that happening to have happened just because I was there. Self-centerness, this is the root of our problem (since we quit drinking)

"It" did not happen because I was there or wait till when I got there. "It" has nothing to do with me. This is the first great lesson of life. "It" 'is not personal.'

The second great lesson of life is: "Everybody is doing the best they can." We all do what we think we have to do to get what we want. Most of the time this is not delaying our gratification. Psychologist have long known that "behavior is purposeful." Usually the reason we do not do any better is because we do not know any better. Knowing in this case may be emotional experience as well as intellectual knowledge.

In those cases where we do know better, but do not do better, we simply have made a poor decision in not delaying our gratification. We mistakenly think that in our case there is nothing to be gained by deferring our gratification and doing the healthy thing until we get the healthy reward.

People do not hate us. They are not against us. Living life among them is not some sort of competition. They do not act the way they act because they are trying to get ahead of us. They are afraid and resentful and they act the way they act because they think this is the only way they can scratch out an existence in what they perceive to be a cold, forbidding world. They simply do not believe that we love them enough to support them and nurture them if they let go and let God.

It is senseless to be angry and resentful toward people who are doing the best they can. They are worthy of forgiveness--it is we who are at fault for trying to find a reason to degrade them.

Our job is to expend enough energy in trying to understand them that we have no room left in our conscious minds for anger and fear. As we then actually do come to understand them, we see why they acted as they did. We probably agree that if we were in their shoes, working with their knowledge, belief systems, and attitudes, we would have acted the same way. Many times, as others see us making this supreme effort to understand them, they become more trusting of us and more willing to let down their guard and let serenity in.

Go Placidly amid the noise and haste

From the AA Grapevine Digital Archive:

Volume 17 Issue 2
July 1960

GO PLACIDLY amid the noise and the haste and remember what peace there may be in silence as far as possible without surrender. Be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly and listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant. They too have their story. Avoid loud and aggressive persons; they are vexations to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become bitter or vain, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time. Exercise caution in your business affairs for the world is full of trickery, but let this not blind you to what virtue there is. Many persons strive for high ideals and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection, neither be cynical about love, for, in the face of aridity and disenchantment, it is as perennial as the grass. Take kindly the council of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune, but do not distress yourself with dark imaginings; many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here, and whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should, therefore be at peace with God. Whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labours and aspirations in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul. With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world."

October 12, 2004

Let Go of Resentments

It is plain that a life which includes deep resentment leads only to futility and unhappiness. To the precise extent that we permit these, do we squander the hours that might have been worth while. But with the alcoholic, whose hope is the maintenance and growth of a spiritual experience, this business of resentment is infinitely grave. We found that it is fatal. For when harboring such feeling we shut ourselves off from the sunlight of the Spirit. The insanity of alcohol returns and we drink again. And with us, to drink is to die.

We began to see that the world and its people had really dominated us. Under that unhappy condition, the wrongdoing of others, fancied or real, had power to actually kill us, because we could be driven back to drink through resentment. We saw that these resentments must be mastered, but how? We could not wish them away.

This was our course: We realized that the people who wronged us were perhaps spiritually sick. So we asked God to help us show them the same tolerance, pity, and patience that we would cheerfully grant a sick friend.

Today, we avoid retaliation or argument. We cannot treat sick people that way. If we do, we destroy our chance of being helpful. We cannot be helpful to all people, but at least God will show us how to take a kindly and tolerant view of each and every one.


Acceptance is the Answer

"And acceptance is the answer to all my problems today. When I am disturbed, it is because I find some person, place, thing, situation -- some fact of my life -- unacceptable to me, and I can find no serenity until I accept that person, place, thing, or situation as being exactly the way it is supposed to be at this moment.

Nothing, absolutely nothing happens in God's world by mistake. Until I could accept my alcoholism, I could not stay sober; unless I accept life completely on life's terms, I cannot be happy. I need to concentrate not so much on what needs to be changed in the world as on what needs to be changed in me and in my attitudes."

Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 449
Copyright © 1976 A.A.W.S. Inc.

Thought to Consider . . .

Acceptance is not submission; it is acknowledgment of the facts of a situation, then deciding what you're going to do about it.

Willingness is the Key

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

October 11, 2004

Tribute to Christopher Reeve

Yahoo! Groups : WeAreSpiritFirst Messages:

"He was only 52 years old...Christopher Reeve, only 52 years....

I can't imagine how difficult these past years have been not only for Christopher
but also his wonderful wife Dana and his children.
I know we all saw Christopher in his chair, but I could always see past that..
To me he was always Superman, with or without flight...
NO doubt he walked to his new home, although we will all admit
a bit earlier than we all expected.

He died of complications of a heart attack that sent him into a coma
late yesterday. How sad our world will be without him.
He did so much for spinal cord injuries, he did so much to touch
our hearts about what it takes to be a human being...

I know he touched my heart in more ways than I can express..
I searched for a quote that would depict Christopher Reeve and found this one...

Closing Quote from Christopher Reeve:

"'When the first Superman movie came out I was frequently asked 'What is a hero?' I remember the glib response I repeated so many times. My answer was that a hero is someone who commits a courageous action without considering the consequences--a soldier who crawls out of a foxhole to drag an injured buddy to safety. And I also meant individuals who are slightly larger than life: Houdini and Lindbergh, John Wayne, JFK, and Joe DiMaggio. Now my definition is completely different. I think a hero is an ordinary individual who finds strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles."

The Gift of Belonging

Perhaps one of the greatest rewards of meditation and prayer is the sense of belonging that comes to us. We no longer live in a completely hostile world.
We are no longer lost and frightened and purposless.

The moment we catch even a glimpse of God's truth, justice, and love as the real and eternal things in life, we are no longer deeply disturbed by all the seeming evidence to the contrary that surrounds us in purely human affairs. We know God lovingly watches over us. We know that if we turn to Him , all will be well with us, here and hereafter.

Twelve and Twelve page 105
Copyright A.A. World Services Inc.

Eyeglasses and Attitudes

Just For Today
October 11 Eyeglasses and attitudes

"Our best thinking got us into trouble.... Recovery is an active
change in our ideas and attitudes." Basic Text p.53

In active addiction, the world probably looked like a horrible place. Using helped us tolerate the world we saw. Today, however, we understand that the world's condition wasn't really the problem. It was our ideas and attitudes about the world that made it impossible for us to find a comfortable place in it.

Our attitudes and our ideas are the eyeglasses through which we see our lives. If our "glasses" are smudged or dirty, our lives look dim. If our attitudes aren't well focused, the whole world appears distorted. To see the world clearly, we need to keep our attitudes and ideas clean, free of things like resentment, denial, self-pity, and closed-mindedness. To insure our vision of life is in focus, we have to bring our ideas in line with reality.

In addiction, our best thinking kept us from clearly seeing either the world or our part in it. Recovery serves to correct the prescriptions in our attitudinal eyewear. By stripping away our denial and replacing it with faith, self-honesty, humility, and responsibility, the steps help us see our lives in 3 a whole new way. Then the steps help us keep our spiritual lenses clean, encouraging us to regularly examine our idea' our attitudes, and our actions.

Today, seen through the clean lenses of faith and recover the world looks like a warm, inviting place to live.

Just for today:
I will view the world and my life through the clean spiritual lenses of my program.

Just For Today Daily Meditation is the property of Narcotics Anonymous ©
1991 by World Service Office Inc.

October 09, 2004

Recovery Principles Could Help Congress

Excerpts from a remarkable article from Hazelden: Alive and Free:

"The humility that addiction brings is sadly missing in American politics today," said Jim Ramstad, a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Minnesota and a recovering alcoholic. "Unfortunately, the unity that all Americans felt following 9/11 has been replaced by the politics of division. There's too much rancor and bitterness. People aren't listening to what's being said by the other side or searching for some common ground. Total honesty on both sides of the aisle would be a great substitute for political spin."

"'In 20 years of AA, I've never once experienced antagonism because of personal differences,' said Rick R. 'The only arguments I've witnessed aren't because someone is rich or poor or black or white; they're because someone isn't being truthful to themselves or to the group about their addiction. You don't come to a mutual-help meeting as a Republican or Democrat or a millionaire or a bum; you come as someone who is trying to stay clean and sober. You're no better and you're no worse than the person sitting next to you, but you're all better for being there and for trying.'"

"Addiction and recovery are the great levelers," he continued. "They remind us that we are imperfect beings. We all have deficiencies and character flaws. It would be a lot easier to gain mutual support and establish a common ground if everyone practiced the principles of recovery. Could you imagine the good we could do if we could transform Congress into one big meeting of recovering people where people say what they mean and mean what they say?"

--Published October 4, 2004
Alive & Free is a health column that provides information to help prevent substance abuse problems and address such problems. It is created by Hazelden, a nonprofit agency based in Center City, Minn., that offers a wide range of information and services on addiction.

Via dryblog

Serenity Prayer Analyzed

From AA NA Recovery Zone:

"God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference!

Just what are we really saying when we say this prayer?
Well let's break it down.




















From: "Alcoholism & Spirituality"
by Charles Whitfield"

Foster an Attitude of Gratitude

"Another exercise that I practice is to try for a full inventory of my blessings and then for a right acceptance of the many gifts that are mine -- both temporal and spiritual. . .

I try to hold fast to the truth that a full and thankful heart cannot entertain great conceits. When brimming with gratitude, one's heartbeat must surely result in outgoing love, the finest emotion that we can ever know."

Bill. W., March 1962
c.1988AAGrapevine, The Language of the Heart, p. 271

Thought to Consider . . .

I have learned what a heart full of gratitude feels like.

October 08, 2004

Depending on Our Higher Power -- Just For Today

From "Sponsor to Sponsor Recovery Publications"

Depending On Our Higher Power

"As recovering addicts, we find that we are still dependent, but our dependence has shifted from the things around us to a loving God and the innerstrength we get in our relationship with Him."

Basic Text pp.67-68

For many addicts, rebelliousness is second nature. We didn't want to depend on anyone or anything, and especially not on God. The beauty of using, we thought, was that it gave us the power to be and feel anything we wanted, all by ourselves. But the price we paid for this illusory freedom was a dependence beyond our worst nightmares. Rather than freeing us, using enslaved us.

When we came to Narcotics Anonymous, we learned that dependence on God didn't have to mean what we may have thought it meant. Yes, if we wanted to be restored to sanity, we would need to tap "a Power greater than ourselves." However, we could choose our own concept of this Higher Power - we could even make one up. Dependence on a Higher Power would not limit us, we discovered; it would free us.

The Power we find in recovery is the power we lacked on our own. It is the love we were afraid to depend on others for. It is the sense of personal direction we never had, the guidance we couldn't humble ourselves to ask for or trust others to give. It is all these things, and it is our own. Today, we are grateful to have a Higher Power to depend on.

Just for today:

I will depend on the love and inner strength I draw from the God of my own understanding.

pg. 293

Proof in God's Pudding

Meditation for the Day

God can make us truly grateful and humble. Since we cannot see God, we
must believe in Him without seeing. What we can see clearly is the change in
human beings, when they sincerely ask God for the strength to change. We
should cling to faith in God and in His power to change our ways. Our faith in God will be rewarded by a useful and servicable life. God will not fail to show us the way we should live, when in real gratitude and true humility we turn to Him.

Copyright Hazelden Foundation

Easy Does It with Mistakes

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

“A just person may fall seven times and rise.”

— Proverbs 24:16

Although we may have realized that we learn our most valuable lessons the hard way, and that therefore we may tolerate our mistakes because of their educational value, we are apt to be intolerant of a mistake that we repeat. "I should have known better from last time," one says.

We should stop berating ourselves. Some lessons are not learned so easily, even from experience. The reason? We may understand something with our intellect, yet it may not have filtered down into our hearts and bones and muscles. In other words, if we lack an emotional grasp of a concept, the intellectual awareness alone may not suffice to deter us from repeating a mistake.

We are human. Rather than blame ourselves for a repetitive mistake, we should realize that the anguish we feel when we have failed to learn from a previous experience might just give us the emotional insight that can prevent that same mistake in the future.

In fact, new mistakes can shed light on old mistakes. When we do something wrong once, we may make only a superficial repair. Soon afterwards, in a different situation, we again fall flat. We may continue to fall until we realize that all our failures point to a flaw in ourselves that we had never noticed. Once we have uncovered the real reason for our mistakes, we can correct it and greatly, genuinely improve ourselves.

... try to maintain faith in myself even when I make the same mistake over and over again.

October 06, 2004

Forgive Yourself First

Father Leo's Daily Meditation:

"Forgiveness is the key to action
and freedom."
-- Hannah Arendt

Early in sobriety I found it easy to forgive others but hard to forgive myself. This kept me sick and negative, even in recovery, because I was unable to practice self-love. I still blamed me and felt responsible for being alcoholic. I had not surrendered to the reality of alcoholism as a disease.

Then a moment of sanity was granted me whereby I understood that I was not responsible for being alcoholic, but that I am responsible for my recovery. And my recovery involves a love and respect of self. This knowledge brought a tremendous joy and freedom that led to action within the recovering community. Only by loving me will I be able to love you, and in both these ways I show my love of God.

May I always hold on to the spiritual power of forgiveness.

Expectations Lead to Resentments

Hazelden - Thought for the Day:

Life is not always what one wants it to be, but to make the best of it as it is, is the only way of being happy.
--Jennie Jerome Churchill

We are generally so certain that we know what's best for ourselves. And we are just as often certain that what we think is best will guarantee happiness. Perhaps we should reflect on all the times in the past when our wishes didn't come true--fortunately.

Did any one of us expect to be doing today, what we each are doing? We may have expected children, a particular kind of home, a certain career, but did we really anticipate all that life has wrought? Addiction, and then recovery from it, was probably not in our pictures. But it does fit into the big picture. The happiness we experience today probably doesn't visit us in the way we anticipated a few years back. But it is measured out according to our needs. The choice to be happy with what is, is ours to make, every moment.

I can take life as it is, and trust that it is just right, just what it needs to be. The big picture guarantees me lasting happiness. Today's experiences will move me a step closer.

You are reading from the book:

Each Day a New Beginning by Karen Casey

Copyright 1982, 1991 by Hazelden Foundation. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America. No portion of this publication may be reproduced in any manner without the written permission of the publisher.

October 04, 2004

The Blessings of Friendship Abound

Be aware of the blessings of friendship and know that to have a friend you must be one in return. Lord, help me to be able to smile, to share, to listen and to be available when I am needed.


Today be cheerful when it is difficult and patient when that, too, is difficult. Lord, I will let Your love for me flow through me and touch those around me.


Ask and you shall receive,
Seek and ye shall find,
Knock and it shall be opened unto you.
Matthew 7:7

From Tammy's Recovery Links

October 03, 2004

More AA Speaker Tapes

AA Speaker Tapes

A Sioux Prayer


"Oh, Great Spirit, whose voice I hear in the winds
Whose breath gives life to the world, hear me
I come to you as one of your many children
I am small and weak
I need your strength and wisdom

May I walk in beauty
Make my eyes ever behold the red and purple sunset.
Make my hands respect the things you have made
And my ears sharp to your voice.
Make me wise so that I may know the things you have taught your children.

The lessons you have written in every leaf and rock
Make me strong--------!
Not to be superior to my brothers, but to fight my greatest enemy....myself

Make me ever ready to come to you with straight eyes,
So that when life fades as the fading sunset,
May my spirit come to you without shame."

Translated by Chief Yellow Lark -1887

AA Speaker Tapes

Can't make a meeting...listen to a speaker tape right here on the Internet including...From the Archives...

"Bill Wilson (yes, THAT Bill Wilson) speaking in Atlanta, Georgia in 1951. Hear Bill himself talk about the first days of AA, the Traditions, and the cornerstone of service in our fellowship." (74 min) (requires realplayer)

23rd Psalm for Recovery

The Lord is my sponsor, I shall not want.

He makes me to go to many meetings.

He leads me to sit back, relax, and listen with an open mind, He restores my soul, my sanity, and my health.

He leads me in the path of sobriety, serenity, and fellowship for my own sake.

He teaches me to think, to take it easy, to live and let live, and do first things first.

He makes me more humble and grateful.

He teaches me to accept the things I cannot change, to change the things I can and gives me the wisdom to know the difference.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of despair, frustration, guilt, and remorse, I will fear no evil.

For Thou are with me, your program, your way of life, your twelve steps, they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies: rationalization. fear, anxiety, self-pity, resentment.

You anoint my confused mind and jangled nerves with knowledge, understanding and hope.

No longer am I alone, neither am I afraid, nor sicken, nor helpless, nor hopeless.

My cups runs over,

Surely sobriety and serenity shall follow me every day of my life, one day at a time, twenty-four hours at a time.

As I surrender my will to You and carry Your message to others, I will dwell in the house of Higher Power, as I understand him, one day at a time, forever and ever.



October 02, 2004

The River of Love

The River of Love is a flash animation that "focuses our hearts on the flowing power of love and its miraculous ability to transform our lives."

Your Intutive Voice

This WisdomFlash animation is about everyone having an inner voice... 'most people just ignore it. But it has a purpose. If you listen to that inner voice, you can leave fear and anxiety behind'

Via dryblog

Resentment, the Number One Offender

AA Thought for the Day
(courtesy AAOnline.net)

This business of resentment is infinitely grave. We found that it is fatal.
For when harboring such feelings we shut ourselves off from the sunlight of the Spirit. The insanity of alcohol returns and we drink again. And with us, to drink is to die.

c. 2001 AAWS, Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 66

Thought to Ponder

Resentment is like taking poison...
and waiting for the other person to die.

Word for the Day

From Gratefulness.org

A hundred times a day I remind myself that my inner and outer life depend on the labors of other people, living and dead, and that I must exert myself in order to give in the full measure I have received and am still receiving.

- Albert Einstein

12th Step Work

Recovery Through Giving

For a new prospect, outline the program of action, explaining how you made a self-appraisal, how you straightened out your past, and why you are now endeavoring to be helpful to him. It is important for him to realize that your attempt to pass this on to him plays a vital part in your own recovery. Actually, he may be helping you more than you are helping him. Make it plain that he is under no obligation to you.


October 01, 2004

Laughter, the Best Medicine

Father Leo's Daily Meditation

"We are all here for a spell, get
all the good laughs you can."
-- Will Rogers

When I first heard recovering alcoholics laughing, I thought I was in the wrong place. I was angry that they treated the disease so lightly. Then slowly I began to see that laughter is part of joy --- a deep joy that comes from personal healing. Laughter is spiritual because it is a positive response to life. It is the noise of optimism.

And there is so much in life to laugh about --- not only the funny things we did, but also the "humor" that abounds in living. How funny is our self-righteousness! How amusing we are in courtship. How ridiculous we appear when we pretend to be serious and "in charge".

Laughter is the conversation of angels.

Let me see the miracle of humor in the gift of life --- and let me be prepared to share it.

Take Care of Your Side of the Street

"Putting out of our minds the wrongs others had done, we resolutely looked for our own mistakes. Where had we been selfish, dishonest, self-seeking and frightened? Though a situation had not been entirely our fault, we tried to disregard the other person involved entirely. Where were we to blame? The inventory was ours, not the other man's. When we saw our faults we listed them. We placed them before us in black and white. We admitted our wrongs honestly and were willing to set these matters straight."

~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, How It Works, pg. 67~