January 31, 2005

We Owe a Debt of Gratitude to Bill W. and Dr. Bob

As Bill Sees It

Companion and Partner, p. 18

"Dr. Bob was my constant companion and partner in the great A.A. adventure. As the physician and great human being he was, he chose work with others as his prime A.A. vocation and achieved a record which, in quantity and in quality, none will ever surpass. Assisted by the incomparable Sister Ignatia at St. Thomas Hospital in Akron, he--without charge--medically treated and spiritually infused five thousand sufferers.

"In all the stress and strain of A.A.'s pioneering time, no hard word ever passed between us. For this, I can thankfully say that the credit was all his."
<< << << >> >> >>

I took my leave of Dr. Bob, knowing that he was to undergo a serious operation. The old, broad smile was on his face as he said almost jokingly, "Remember, Bill, let's not louse this thing up. Let's keep it simple!" I turned away, unable to say a word. That was the last time I ever saw him.

1. Letter, 1966
2. A.A. Comes Of Age, p. 214

If I Drink I Will Die

I am an alcoholic. If I drink I will die. My, what power, energy, and emotion this simple statement generates in me! But it's really all I need to know for today. Am I willing to stay alive today? Am I willing to stay sober today? Am I willing to ask for help and am I willing to be a help to another suffering alcoholic today? Have I discovered the fatal nature of my situation? What must I do, today, to stay sober?


We Can No Longer Depend on Drinking for Anything

A.A. Thought for the Day

As we became alcoholics, the bad effects of drinking came more and more to outweigh the good effects. But the strange part of it is that, no matter what drinking did to us, loss of our health, our jobs, our money, and our homes, we still stuck to it and depended on it. Our dependence on drinking became an obsession.

In A.A., we find a new outlook on life. We learn how to change from alcoholic thinking to sober thinking. And we find out that we can no longer depend on drinking for anything. We depend on a Higher Power instead. Have I entirely given up that dependence on drinking?

Meditation for the Day

I will try to keep my life calm and unruffled. This is my great task, to find peace and acquire serenity. I must not harbor disturbing thoughts. No matter what fears, worries, and resentments I may have, I must try to think of constructive things, until calmness comes. Only when I am calm can I act as a channel for God's spirit.

Prayer for the Day

I pray that I may build up instead of tearing down.
I pray that I may be constructive and not destructive.

"Twenty-Four Hours A Day" is a © Copyrighted book of
Hazelden Foundation.

Peace, the Handmaiden of an Inner Freedom

I have had my share of problems, heartaches, and disappointments because that is life, but also I have known a great deal of joy and a peace that is the handmaiden of an inner freedom. I have a wealth of friends and, with my AA friends, an unusual quality of fellowship. For, to these people, I am truly related. First, with mutual pain and despair, and later through mutual objectives and newfound faith and hope.

c. 2001 AAWS, Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 276
Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc.

Thought to Ponder . . .

Within our wonderful new world, we have found freedom from our fatal obsession.

January 30, 2005

Give Freely of That Given to You

Just For Today
January 30
Giving It away

"We must give freely and gratefully that which has been freely and gratefully given to us." Basic Text p. 47

In recovery, we receive many gifts. Perhaps one of the greatest of these gifts is the spiritual awakening that begins when we stop using, growing stronger each day we apply the steps in our lives. The new spark of life within is a direct result of our new relationship with a Higher Power, a relationship initiated and developed by living the Twelve Steps. Slowly, as we pursue our program, the radiance of recovery dispels the darkness of our disease.

One of the ways we express our gratitude for the gifts of recovery is to help others find what we've found. We can do this in any number of ways: by sharing in meetings, making Twelfth Step calls, accepting a commitment to sponsorship, or volunteering for H & I or phone line duty. The spiritual life given to us in recovery asks for _expression, for "we can only keep what we have by giving it away."

Just for today:

The gift of recovery grows when I share it. I will find someone with whom to share it.

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

January 29, 2005

Learn to Write in the Sand

Two friends were walking through the desert. In a specific point of the journey, they had an argument, and Friend One slapped Friend Two in the face. Friend Two was hurt, but -- without saying anything -- wrote in the sand:


They kept on walking until they found an oasis, where they decided to relax in the cool water. Friend Two started drowning, and Friend One pulled him from the water and saved him. When he recovered from the fright, Friend Two wrote on a stone:


Friend One asked Friend Two, "Why, after I hurt you, did you write in the sand, and now you write on a stone?" Friend Two, smiling, replied, "When a friend hurts us, we should write it down in the sand, where the winds of forgiveness can erase it; when something great happens, we should engrave it in the stone of the memory of the heart, where no wind can erase it."

Learn to write in the sand.

What a Joy it is to be Free

We are going to know a new freedom. . . .


Freedom for me is both freedom from and freedom to. The first freedom I enjoy is freedom from the slavery of alcohol. What a relief! Then I begin to experience freedom from fear -- fear of people, of economic insecurity, of commitment, of failure, of rejection. Then I begin to enjoy freedom to -- freedom to choose sobriety for today, freedom to be myself, freedom to express my opinion, to experience peace of mind, to love and be loved, and freedom to grow spiritually. But how can I achieve these freedoms? The Big Book clearly says that before I am halfway through making amends, I will begin to know a "new" freedom; not the old freedom of doing what I pleased, without regard to others, but the new freedom that allows fulfillment of the promises in my life. What a joy to be free!


Surrender to Win

On the face of it, surrendering certainly does not seem like winning. But it is in AA. Only after we have come to the end of our rope, hit a stone wall in some aspect of our lives beyond which we can go no further; only when we hit "bottom" in despair and surrender, can we accomplish sobriety which we could never accomplish before. We must, and we do, surrender in order to win.

c. 1955 AAWS, Alcoholics Anonymous, 2nd Edition, pp. 341-2

Thought to Consider . . .

Life didn't end when I got sober -- it started.
Don't quit; surrender.

January 25, 2005

Unity Prayer of Protection

The Light of God surrounds me.
The Love of God enfolds me.
The power of God protects me.
The presence of God watches over me.
Wherever I am, God is.
And all is well.

Harboring Resentments is Self-Imposed Slavery

"It is plain that a life which includes deep resentment leads only to futility and unhappiness." Big Book Page 66
The moment you start to resent a person you become that person's slave. He or she controls your dreams, absorbs your digestion, robs you of your peace of mind and good will, and takes away the pleasure of your work.

A person you resent ruins your spirituality and nullifies your prayers. You cannot take a vacation without that person going along! He or she destroys your freedom of mind and hounds you wherever you go. There is no way to escape the person you resent.

That person is with you when you are awake and invades your privacy when you sleep. That person is close beside you when you eat, when you drive your car, and when you are on the job.

You can never have efficiency or happiness. The person you resent influences even the tone of your voice. He or she requires you to take medicine for indigestion, headaches, and loss of energy. That person even steals your last moment of consciousness before you go to sleep.

So if you want to be a slave, harbor your resentments.

You are reading from the book:
Twelve Step Prayer Book - Second Edition
Copyright 2004, Hazelden Foundation

Honesty is Essential to Recovery

Father Leo's Daily Meditation
"Honesty is the first chapter of the book of wisdom." -- Thomas Jefferson
It is impossible to have a spiritual program without being honest. It is impossible to be recovering from addiction without being honest. An aspect of sobriety is honesty.

Today I can see that I was never really known when I was "using" because I was so dishonest. I stopped other people from getting to know me. I stopped me from getting to know me. Part of my pain involved my dishonesty; part of my loneliness and feelings of isolation was caused by my dishonesty; the unmanageability that nearly destroyed my life grew in my dishonesty.

Today I need to be honest, rigorously honest --- even in the small things. I can no longer exist to please others --- I need to please myself. I need to love myself by being honest.

O God of wisdom, let me find truth in the honesty of my own life.

January 24, 2005

Truth, the Liberator

"How truth makes us free is something that we AA's can well understand. It cut the shackles that once bound us to alcohol. It continues to release us from conflicts and miseries beyond reckoning; it banishes fear and isolation." © 1967, As Bill Sees It, page 70
Truth, honesty -- the basis of our success -- we must learn this character trait in order to release us from the past hurts and failures. We have lived in lies in our active addiction -- we must put them behind us. God knows our hearts and our minds -- we are hiding nothing from Him.

When the truth is exposed -- we are free. Truth may bring consequences, but they pass and we raise the bar a little higher each time. This releases us from conflicts and brings us closer to God, our family and ourselves.

Truth is the liberator.
“Teach me your way, O LORD,
and I will walk in your truth;
give me an undivided heart,
that I may fear your name.
I will praise you, O Lord my God, with all my heart;
I will glorify your name forever." -- Psalm 86:11-12
Read carefully and meditate:
If God brings you to it, He will bring you through it!

Wings Devotional© Daily Meditation Translation is property of Wings of Eagles Recovery Org.

January 23, 2005

Wallowing in Self Pity is Self-Destructive

"Self-pity is one of the most destructive of defects; it will drain us of all positive energy."

Basic Text, p. 77

In active addiction, many of us used self-pity as a survival mechanism. We didn't believe there was an alternative to living in our disease—or perhaps we didn't want to believe. As long as we could feel sorry for ourselves and blame someone else for our troubles, we didn't have to accept the consequences of our actions; believing ourselves powerless to change, we didn't have to accept the need for change. Using this "survival mechanism" kept us from entering recovery and led us closer, day by day, to self-destruction. Self-pity is a tool of our disease; we need to stop using it and learn instead to use the new tools we find in the NA program.

We have come to believe that effective help is available for us; when we seek that help, finding it in the NA program, self-pity is displaced by gratitude. Many tools are at our disposal: the Twelve Steps, the support of our sponsor, the fellowship of other recovering addicts, and the care of our Higher Power. The availability of all these tools is more than enough reason to be grateful. We no longer live in isolation, without hope; we have certain help at hand for anything we may face. The surest way to become grateful is to take advantage of the help available to us in the NA program and to experience the improvement the program will bring in our lives.

Just for today: I will be grateful for the hope NA has given me. I will cultivate my recovery and stop cultivating self-pity.

pg. 53

copyright Narcotics Anonymous

Redirect Negative Traits

“Be courageous as a leopard, light as an eagle, swift as a deer, and strong as a lion to do the will of your Heavenly Father.”
— Ethics of the Fathers 5:23
Numerous traits comprise the character of a human being. We tend to consider some traits as commendable and others as undesirable.

Traits per se are neither good nor bad. They acquire a value according to the way they are applied. Hate is generally assumed to be a very loathsome trait, but when one despises evil and injustice and seeks to eradicate them, it becomes a constructive and admirable trait. Love, on the other hand, is generally looked upon as a very positive trait. Yet, when misapplied, love can transgress the boundaries of decency and result in grossly immoral behavior.

Rather than seek to eradicate an undesirable trait, we might consciously redirect it so that it serves a useful function. While redirection can happen with some drives at an unconscious level (which constitutes the psychological defense mechanism of sublimation), we have no control over what happens in the unconscious.

Preferably, we should avoid dismissing a trait which is generally considered unacceptable and consciously redirect it into a positive channel. It is obviously to our advantage to redirect energy, rather to have to repress it, since maintaining that repression requires expenditure of energy.

... try to direct all my traits in a way that will serve a constructive purpose.

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. He is a prolific author, with some 30 books to his credit, including,"Growing Each Day", from which this was excerpted.

Service in a Spirit of Humility

The member talks to the newcomer not in a spirit of power but in a spirit of humility and weakness.


As the days pass in A.A., I ask God to guide my thoughts and the words that I speak. In this labor of continuous participation in the Fellowship, I have numerous opportunities to speak. So I frequently ask God to help me watch over my thoughts and my words, that they may be the true and proper reflections of our program; to focus my aspirations once again to seek His guidance; to help me be truly kind and loving, helpful and healing, yet always filled with humility, and free from any trace of arrogance.

Today I may very well have to deal with disagreeable attitudes or utterances -- the typical stock-in-trade attitude of the still-suffering alcoholic. If this should happen, I will take a moment to center myself in God, so that I will be able to respond from a perspective of composure, strength and sensibility.


The Illusion of a Return to Normal Drinking

No person likes to think he is bodily and mentally different from his fellows. Therefore, it is not surprising that our drinking careers have been characterized by countless vain attempts to prove we could drink like other people. The idea that somehow, someday he will control and enjoy his drinking is the great obsession of every abnormal drinker. The persistence of this illusion is astonishing. Many pursue it into the gates of insanity or death.

c. 1976, 2001 AAWS, Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 30

Drinking Leads Down a Blind Alley

Alcoholics are people whose drinking got them into a "blind alley." They haven't been able to learn anything from their drinking experiences. They are always making the same mistakes and suffering the same consequences over and over again. They refuse to admit they're alcoholic. They still think they can handle the stuff. They won't swallow their pride and admit that they're different from ordinary drinkers. They won't face the fact that they must spend the rest of their lives without liquor. They can't visualize life without ever taking a drink. Am I out of this blind alley?

from AA Thought for the Day
©Hazelden Foundation PO Box 176 Center City, MN 55012©

January 22, 2005

A New Way of Thinking

A.A. Thought for the Day

To grasp the A.A. program, we have to think things out. Saint Paul said: "They are transformed by the renewing of their minds." We have to learn to think straight. We have to change from alcoholic thinking to sober thinking. We must build up a new way of looking at things. Before we came into A.A., we wanted an artificial life of excitement and everything that goes with drinking. That kind of a life looked normal to us then. But as we look back now, that life looks the exact opposite of normal. In fact, it looks most abnormal. We must reeducate our minds. Am I changing from an abnormal thinker to a normal thinker?

Meditation for the Day

I will take the most crowded day without fear. I believe that God is with me and controlling all. I will let confidence be the motif running through all the crowded day. I will not get worried, because I know that God is my helper. Underneath are the everlasting arms. I will rest in them, even though the day is full of things crowding in upon me.

Prayer for the Day

I pray that I may be calm and let nothing upset me. I pray that I may not let material things control me and choke out spiritual things.

From "Twenty-Four Hours A Day" -- a © Copyrighted book of Hazelden Foundation.

January 20, 2005

Faith and Trust Lead to Happiness

From Growing Each Day
by Dr. Twerski

Every human being craves happiness. People are more than willing to spend great sums of money in the hope of achieving happiness. Unfortunately, their efforts are usually in vain, because happiness cannot be bought. Luxurious homes, sumptuous feasts, and lavish occasions may provide transitory pleasures, but never true happiness.

Living with faith and trust in G-d can deliver the sought-for happiness. The reason more people do not achieve happiness is because they fall short of the requisite degree of faith and trust in G-d.

We may worry about our financial future and the ability to provide for our families the way we would like, especially during economic downturns. When adversities occur, we are likely to become deeply dejected. A profound and unquestioning faith and trust in Divine benevolence will provide the serenity, security, and convictions that could eliminate these worries and sadness.

People have varying degrees of faith and trust. The higher their level, the lesser are their worries and sadness. If we were able to achieve complete faith and trust, our dispositions would be such that happiness would radiate from us.

... seek to strengthen my faith and trust in G-d so that I may achieve true happiness and be an example for 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, and 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.

What is Success?

"Wealth. A lofty position in society. Luxurious possessions. Power. These are the benchmarks by which many people define success. A big bank account is too often valued over intelligence, kindness, fulfillment, or generosity. But what is real success? Poet Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote that it is 'To laugh often and much...To appreciate beauty...To give of one's self' and 'To have played and laughed with enthusiasm and sung with exultation.' His striking words hold a deeper meaning about the unique relationship between the path to success and the eventual destination. The most successful people, those who feel most accomplished, are simply those who have taken the necessary steps to do that which they have always wanted to do. "

From DailyOM - Nurturing Mind Body & Spirit

January 19, 2005

Live in the Solution of Forgiveness

"As we realize our need to be forgiven, we tend to be more forgiving. At least we know that we are no longer intentionally making life miserable for people." Basic Text, p. 38

In our addiction we often treated others badly, sometimes deliberately finding ways to make their lives miserable. in our recovery, we may still have a tendency to pass judgment on others' actions because we think we know how that person should behave. But as we progress in our recovery we often find that, to accept ourselves, we must accept those around us. It may be difficult to watch as someone's insanity manifests itself. But if we detach ourselves from the problem, we can start living in the solution. And if we feel affected by another's actions, we can extend the principle of forgiveness.

Just for today: I will strive to forgive rather than be forgiven. I will try to act in such a way that I feel worthy of self-love.

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

Chose Love over Fear


You have two basic choices in life; love or fear. Choose love.


I AM love and I express love in every thought, word, and deed.


As I close my eyes, I allow myself to sense a spring of love bubbling up from my center. I imagine this love flowing throughout my body, mind, and emotions, healing and transforming every part of my life. In my mind's eye I see the love within me connecting to the love that is flowing throughout the world. I affirm that in this love there is nothing to fear. I trust that this Universal Source of love will protect and care for me at all times. I imagine myself going throughout my day sending and receiving love everywhere I go. In this love, I become a magnet for all the good things I deserve in life. I combine these images and thoughts with a feeling of joy and let them go.

Copyright © 2002 Institute For Creative Living

January 16, 2005

Help is Available for the Asking

"Alcoholics are experts at not being able to see their own illness. They are often the last to admit that they have a drinking problem.

"Help is available, but you must make the decision to ask for it....[In A.A.] you will simply meet men and women who have found a way to free themselves from their dependence on alcohol and have begun to repair the damage it has done to their lives. Such freedom and recovery can be yours, too."

c. 1976, A.A. for the Woman (A.A. Pamphlet P-5),
pages 8 and 9

January 15, 2005

We Pick Up the Gifts Laid at Our Feet

Almost none of us liked the self-searching,the leveling of our pride, the confession of shortcomings which the process requires for its successful consummation. But we saw that it really worked in others, and we had come to believe in the hopelessness and futility of life as we had been living it.

When, therefore, we were approached by those in whom the problem had been solved, there was nothing left for us but to pick up the simple kit of spiritual tools laid at our feet. We have found much of heaven and we have been rocketed into a fourth dimension of existence of which we had not even dreamed.

c. 2001 AAWS, Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 85

Small Acts Have Great Power

Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. It's overwhelming to consider the continuous opportunities there are to make our love felt.

Leo Buscaglia

We Pause and Ask

As we go through the day we pause, when agitated or doubtful and ask for the right thought or action.


Today I humbly ask my Higher Power for the grace to find the space between my impulse and my action; to let flow a cooling breeze when I would respond with heat; to interrupt fierceness with gentle peace; to accept the moment which allows judgment to become discernment; to defer to silence when my tongue would rush to attack or defend.

I promise to watch for every opportunity to turn toward my Higher Power for guidance. I know where this power is: it resides within me, as clear as a mountain brook, hidden in the hills -- it is the unsuspected Inner Resource.

I thank my Higher Power for this world of light and truth I see when I allow it to direct my vision. I trust it today and hope it trusts me to make all effort to find the right thought or action today.


January 14, 2005

The World Can Become a Garden

If we make our goal to live a life of compassion and unconditional love, then the world will indeed become a garden where all kinds of flowers can bloom and grow.

Dr. Elisabeth K├╝bler-Ross

Moral Inventory is Nothing to Fear

When AA suggests a fearless moral inventory, it must seem to every newcomer that more is being asked of him than he can do. Both his pride and his fear beat him back every time he tries to look inside himself. Pride says, "You need not pass this way," and Fear says, "You dare not look!" But the testimony of AA's who have really tried a moral inventory is that pride and fear of this sort turn out to be bogeymen, nothing else.

c. 1952 AAWS, Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, p. 49
Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc.

For help with your inventory, please review Online Fourth Step Resources.

A Different Version Of The Serenity Prayer

God, grant me the Serenity to Accept the fact that I am not perfect, and neither is anyone else!

The Courage to change what I can about me, with your help, now !

And the Wisdom to let it go at that !

January 13, 2005

Give Faith a Chance

Instead of regarding ourselves as intelligent agents,spearheads of God's ever advancing Creation, we agnostics and atheists chose to believe that our human intelligence was the last word, the alpha and the omega, the beginning and end of all. Rather vain of us, wasn't it?

We, who have traveled this dubious path, beg you to lay aside prejudice, even against organized religion. We have learned that whatever the human frailties of various faiths may be, those faiths have given purpose and direction to millions. People of faith have a logical idea of what life is all about.

c. 2001 AAWS, Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 49

I Pray For My Friends

"Dear God...
With this prayer, I call to mind my friends.
I ask for Your blessing on them.
May angels fill their nights and bless their days.
May they find joy and peace and harmony.
May I be a source of happiness in their lives.
May our bonds be strong and based on truth.
May they always know that in me, they have support.
May I live a life that lives up to this prayer.
Thank You, God.

~Marianne Williamson~

Sober Life Now Not So Strange

A.A. Thought for the Day

When we first came into A.A., a sober life seemed strange. We wondered what life could possibly be like without ever taking a drink. At first, a sober life seemed unnatural. But the longer we're in A.A., the more natural this way of life seems. And now we know that the life we're living in A.A., the sobriety, the fellowship, the faith in God, and the trying to help each other, is the most natural way we could possibly live.

"Twenty-Four Hours A Day" is a © Copyrighted book of Hazelden Foundation.

January 12, 2005

A Daily Reprieve

It is easy to let up on the spiritual program of action and rest on our laurels. We are headed for trouble if we do, for alcohol is a subtle foe. We are not cured of alcoholism. What we have is a daily reprieve contingent on the maintenance of our spiritual condition.

Every day is a day when we must carry the vision of God's will into all our activities. "How can I best serve Thee -- Thy will (not mine) be done." These are thoughts which must go with us constantly. We can exercise our will power along this line all we wish. It is the proper use of the will.

c. 1976, 2001 AAWS, Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 85

Faith Displaces Doubt and Discouragement

"If we were logical, the future would be bleak indeed. But we are more than logical. We are human beings, and we have faith, and we have hope, and we can work."
--Jacques Cousteau

What is faith? It is believing in possibilities. It is the ability to carry on with our plans or to be true to our work even though we feel discouraged or tired. It is staying active in relationships even when we receive little in return or when our friends aren't able to respond.

If there were no doubt, there would be no need for faith. Faith is temporarily putting our doubts on the shelf and working toward our goals. Faith is trusting that help and support will be there for us even though they're not in view. It is looking at a map and choosing a new destination, getting on the road to go there, and trusting the marks on the map symbolize a real place that we will find.

I will leave room for my doubts and discouragement, but I will not indulge them. I will choose to go with hope. I will give my energy to the better possibilities.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Today's meditation comes from the book
Touchstones: A Book of Daily Meditations for Men
by Anonymous C 1986

Trust In God's Loving Care

Today's thought is:
It is a mistake to look too far ahead. Only one link in the chain of destiny can be handled at a time.
--Sir Winston Churchill

How many times today will we think or say, I wish I knew what was going to happen? We can find contentment in the knowledge that God will take care of us, regardless of the outcome of any situation. And even more importantly, God already knows the outcome, and we'll know it too when the time is right. We never need to worry; all is well. We're given the knowledge and direction we need when we're ready for it.

If we had known two or three or ten or twenty years ago that we'd be sharing our current journey with non-using, non-drinking men and women, we'd likely have expressed horror and disbelief. And yet we're here, gratefully so, living more peace-filled moments than we would have ever imagined possible. We got here, little by little, with God's care. We'll get where we're supposed to be in the same loving manner.

I will trust each moment of my life to God's loving care.

You are reading from the book:
In God's Care by Karen Casey
Copyright 1991 by Hazelden Foundation.

January 11, 2005

An Antitode to Worry

We can "fear" things into existence. But knowing that God loves us unconditionally can deliver us from tormenting worry.

If you know how to worry, you know how to meditate. It means to think of something over and over. Meditation on God’s Word is one of the major ways you can find deliverance from worrying. Just as we once formed a habit of worrying (meditating on the problem), we can form a new habit of meditating on God’s Word. Take portions of Scripture that comfort you, and roll them over and over in your mind. Do it on purpose!

As soon as you are facing a difficult situation that tempts you to worry, begin to confess and meditate on Scripture. In this way, you do warfare with the enemy of your soul (Satan).

When you begin to worry, go find something to do. Get busy being a blessing to someone; do something fruitful. Talking about your problem or sitting alone, thinking about it, does no good; it serves only to make you miserable. Above all else, remember that worrying is totally useless. Worrying will not solve your problem.

Excerpted from "In Pursuit of Peace: 21 Ways to Conquer Anxiety, Fear, and Discontentment" by Joyce Meyer c. Warner Faith

We Strive For Balance

The concept of letting go can be confusing to many of us. When are we doing too much or trying too hard to control people and outcomes? When are we doing too little? When is what we're doing an appropriate part of taking care of ourselves? What is our responsibility, and what isn't?

These issues can challenge us whether we've been in recovery ten days or ten years. Sometimes, we may let go so much that we neglect responsibility to ourselves to others. Other times, we may cross the line from taking care of ourselves to controlling others and outcomes.

There is no rule book. But we don't have to make ourselves crazy: we don't have to be so afraid. We don't have to do recovery perfectly. If it feels like we need to do a particular action, we can do it. If no action feels timely or inspired, don't act on it.

Having and setting healthy limits - healthy boundaries isn't a tidy process. We can give ourselves permission to experiment, to make mistakes, to learn, to grow. We can talk to people, ask questions, and questions ourselves. If there's something we need to do or learn, it will come apparent.

Lessons don't go away. If we're not taking care of ourselves enough, we'll see that. If we are being too controlling, we'll grow to understand that too. Things will work out. The way will become clear.

Today, I will take actions that appear appropriate. I will let go of the rest. I will strive for the balance between self-responsibility, responsibility to others, and letting go.

Melody Beattie © Hazelden Foundation

January 10, 2005

Relapse Warning Signs

As I progress in recovery, I am saddened when I hear the words: "I, (He or She) went back out." I feel sorry for the person involved, but such instances also help me to remember what it was like when I was in active addiction. And remembering and staying in constant contact with the memory of the pain is essential to avoid sliding into relapse.

Other signs that you may be headed to a relapse follow:

1. EXHAUSTION - Allowing yourself to become chronically overly tired, often by doing too much or taking on too many tasks.

2. DISHONESTY - This may begin with indulging in a pattern of little lies and deceits with fellow workers, friends, and family. Then come important lies to yourself -- "rationalizing" - making excuses for not doing what you don't want to do, or for doing what you know you should not do.

3. IMPATIENCE - Perceiving that things are not happening fast enough. Others are not doing what they should or what you want them to do.

4. ARGUMENTATIVENESS - Particularly about petty matters, believing that you must always be right.

5. DEPRESSION - Persistent despair.

6. FRUSTRATION - At people and also because things may not be going your way.

7. SELF-PITY - "Poor me, Poor me" often leads to "Pour me a drink"

8. COCKINESS - Believing that you are cured and can handle any situation easily.

9. COMPLACENCY - Becoming blase about the program because you think you don't need it.

10. EXPECTING TOO MUCH TOO FAST "I've changed, why hasn't everyone else?" or "I've changed, why haven't all my problems disappeared?"

11. LETTING UP ON DISCIPLINES - Prayer, meditation, daily inventory, AA attendance. This can stem either from complacency or boredom. You cannot afford to be bored with your program. The cost of relapse is always too great.

12. USE OF OTHER THAN YOUR DRUG OF CHOICE - You may feel the need to ease things with a chemical other than the main one you were addicted to. For example, you may never have had a problem with chemicals other than alcohol, but you can easily set in motion the process of losing sobriety by smoking a joint or popping a pill.

13. NEGATIVE THINKING - By focusing on the negative side of things, you take away one of the primary tools of recovery -- an attitude of gratitude. Positive thinking is powerful, so is negative thinking.

14. "IT CAN'T HAPPEN TO ME" - This is dangerous thinking. Almost anything can happen to you if you get careless. Remember you have a progressive disease, and you will be in worse shape if you relapse.

15. OMNIPOTENCE - This is a feeling that results from a combination of many of the above. You now have all the answers for yourself and others. No one can tell you anything. You ignore suggestions or advice from others. Relapse is probably imminent unless drastic change takes place.

The above checklist of symptoms leading to relapse is based on a Hazelton Foundation pamphlet called, "A Look at Relapse".

January 09, 2005

Need Proof of God? Go to a Meeting


The meetings of AA are the only place where Catholics, Jews, Protestants, and even agnostics get together harmoniously on a religious basis. They do not talk theology. Many would say they know nothing about it. What they do know is that in their utter helplessness they were introduced to a Power . . . which made possible a victory that had seemed incredible.

I have listened to many learned arguments about God, but for honest-to-goodness experiential evidence of God -- give me a good meeting of AA!

c. 1985 AAWS, Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age, p. 324

Fill Our Hearts With Gratitude

As Bill Sees It

A Full and Thankful Heart, p. 37

One 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. Here I try to achieve a state of joyful gratitude.

When such a brand of gratitude is repeatedly affirmed and pondered, it can finally displace the natural tendency to congratulate myself on whatever progress I may have been enabled to make in some areas of living.

I try hard 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 never know.

Grapevine, March 1962

We Use the Tools of Recovery to Rebuild Our Lives

"Narcotics Anonymous offers addicts a program of recovery that is more than just a life without drugs. Not only is this way of life better than the hell we lived, it is better than any life that we have ever known." Basic Text p. 103

Few of us have any interest in "recovering" what we had before we started using. Many of us suffered severely from physical, sexual, and emotional abuse. Getting high and staying high seemed like the only possible way to cope with such abuse. Others suffered in less noticeable but equally painful ways before addiction took hold. We lacked direction and purpose. We were spiritually empty. We felt isolated, unable to empathize with others. We had none of the things that give life its sense and value. We took drugs in a vain attempt to fill the emptiness inside ourselves. Most of us wouldn't want to "recover" what we used to have.

Ultimately, the recovery we find in NA is something different: a chance at a new life. We've been given tools to clear the wreckage from our lives. We've been given support in courageously setting forth on a new path. And we've been given the gift of conscious contact with a Power greater than ourselves, providing us with the inner strength and direction we so sorely lacked in the past.

Recovering? Yes, in every way. We're recovering a whole new life, better than anything we ever dreamed possible. We are grateful.

Just for today: I've recovered something I never had, something I never imagined possible: the life of a recovering addict. Thank you, Higher Power, in more than words can say.

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

Eliminate emotional "hangovers"


When a drunk has a terrific hangover because he drank heavily yesterday, he cannot live well today. But there is another kind of hangover which we all experience whether we are drinking or not. That is the emotional hangover, the direct result of yesterday's and sometimes today's excesses of negative emotion -- anger, fear, jealousy, and the like. If we would live serenely today and tomorrow,we certainly need to eliminate these hangovers.

c. 1952 AAWS, Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, p. 88
Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc.

January 08, 2005

Staying Sober is Job One

Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

Keeping sober is the most important thing in my life. The most important decision I ever made was my decision to give up drinking. I am convinced that my whole life depends on not taking that first drink. Nothing in the world is as important to me as my own sobriety. Everything I have, my whole life depends on that one thing. Can I afford ever to forget this, even for one minute?

Meditation For The Day

I will discipline myself. I will do this disciplining now. I will turn out all useless thoughts. I know that the goodness of my life is a necessary foundation for its usefulness. I will welcome this training, for without it God cannot give me his power. I believe that this power is a mighty power when used in the right way.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may face and accept whatever discipline is necessary. I pray that I may be fit to receive God's power in my life.

God is Love

Father Leo's Daily Meditation


"I could not say I believe. I know! I have had the experience of being gripped by something that is stronger than myself, something that people call God."
-- Carl Jung

God is beyond our comprehension, and in a sense we are all agnostics --- none of us KNOW know; uncertainty is part of faith.

However, there are "moments" when God is alive and vivid in new and stimulating experiences that are beyond explanation other than --- "that's God". Loving relationships, friendships, the beauty of nature, the complexities of life and the universe; not to mention music, poetry and the conscience of man: all speak of God.

History is full of holy men who carry the message: God is love and He is to be discovered in our love of self and others.

God, known and yet incomprehensible, help me to discover You in my doubts and confusions.

January 06, 2005

Surrender to the Spirit

The more willing you are to surrender to the energy within you,
the more power can flow through you.
--Shakti Gawain

For some of us, the problem with spirituality is that it usually gets around to God. And for us, God has always been a distant, angry, hard-to-approach authority figure. Yet, the root of the word spirituality is spirit, not God. We don't have to believe in God to claim our spirituality.

And spirit isn't something set apart from us. It's inside us. It surrounds us. It's the energy moving through the trees, mountains, rivers, and other people. When we accept that this energy is moving through us, we understand that we are, by nature,
connected and part of the whole.

When we stop fighting our spiritual nature and surrender to it, we open the flood gates and allow more energy to flow through us; we become empowered. We are given the strength to do what we couldn't before. As we let go, we are given the strength to more easily and effortlessly express our true, unique selves.

I willingly surrender to a Higher Power, the energy moving inside me.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Today's meditation comes from the book
The Color of Light
by Perry Tilleraas C 1988

Progress not Perfection

All or Nothing?

Acceptance and faith are capable of producing 100 per cent sobriety. In fact, they usually do; and they must, else we could have no life at all. But the moment we carry these attitudes into our emotional problems, we find that only relative results are possible. Nobody can, for example, become completely free from fear, anger, and pride.

Hence, in this life we shall attain nothing like perfect humility and love. So we shall have to settle, respecting most of our problems, for a very gradual progress, punctuated sometimes by very heavy setbacks. Our oldtime attitude of "all or nothing" will have to be abandoned.


Surrender for Victory


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


When alcohol influenced every facet of my life, when bottles became the symbol of all my self-indulgence and permissiveness, when I came to realize that, by myself, I could do nothing to overcome the power of alcohol, I realized I had no recourse except surrender. In surrender I found victory -- victory over my selfish self-indulgence, victory over my stubborn resistance to life as it was given to me. When I stopped fighting anybody or anything, I started on the path to sobriety, serenity and peace.


Become the Change

"We must become the change we want to see."
"Whatever you do may be insignificant,
but it is very important that you do it."
- Mahatma Gandhi

January 05, 2005

The Gift of Choice

"Through the Twelve Steps, I have been granted the gift of choice. I am no longer at the mercy of a disease that tells me the only answer is to drink. If willingness is the key to unlock the gates of hell, it is action that opens those doors so that we may walk freely among the living."

from: "My Chance to Live"
© 2001, Alcoholics Anonymous, page 317

Let Go of Control

Father Leo's Daily Meditation


"It's the most unhappy people who most fear change."
-- Mignon McLaughlin

When I was drinking, I hated change. I hated things not being the same. I feared anything being different. Rarely did I want to go anywhere new. My attitudes were fixed and rigid. I resented any criticism of my behavior. The unexpected was seen as sabotage or a threat. My paranoia was extreme.

Today I have decided to let go of the control, the pretense and the arrogance. I face life as it comes --- and today I do not drink. I am responsible for my life but I cannot control the world. Today I am learning to relax in the acceptance of my disease.

May I always discover the courage to change the things I can.

God is a Constant Companion

Whoever is happy will make others happy too. He who has courage and faith will never perish in misery.
--Anne Frank
Acknowledging our gratitude for the blessings in our life releases the happiness that we sometimes keep hidden within our heart. And happiness can be contagious. We all know people who are always bubbly, who always look on the bright side of events, who genuinely inspire happiness in us when we're around them. We, too, can serve as a catalyst for happiness in the lives of others.

Knowing that we're never left alone to solve any problem or handle any situation relieves us of much of the anxiety that crowds out happiness. Having God as a constant companion, and having faith that we are moving toward the best outcome for the present circumstance, makes happiness a far more frequent visitor in our life. Happiness becomes habitual when we keep our focus on God as our play's director, the source for all our decisions.
I will share happiness and my faith in God with others today.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Today's meditation comes from the book
In God's Care: Daily Meditations on Spirituality in Recovery
by Karen Casey C 1991

Our Differences are but Delightful Flourishes

"That sense of being different, which had long plagued me, disappeared when I saw the threads that run through all of us. Sharing our stories, our feelings, it is the areas where we are the same that impress me. The differences are but delightful flourishes on the surface, like different-colored costumes, and I enjoy them. But the basic ways we are human, the basic ways we simply are, stand out to me now. I came to see that we all are really one, and I no longer feel alone."

From "Because I'm an Alcoholic:"
c. 2001, Alcoholics Anonymous, page 347

January 04, 2005

Take a deep breath and talk to God

Just For Today
January 2

"Sometimes when we pray, a remarkable thing happens: We find the means, ways, and energies to perform tasks far beyond our capacities."
Basic Text p. 44

Coping successfully with life's minor annoyances and frustrations is sometimes the most difficult skill we have to learn in recovery. We are faced with small inconveniences daily. From untangling the knots in our children's shoelaces to standing in line at the market, our days are filled with minor difficulties that we must somehow deal with.

If we're not careful, we may find ourselves dealing with these difficulties by bullying our way through each problem or grinding our teeth while giving ourselves a stern lecture about how we should handle them. These are extreme examples of poor coping skills, but even if we're not this bad there's probably room for improvement.

Each time life presents us with another little setback to our daily plans, we can simply take a deep breath and talk to the God of our understanding. Knowing we can draw patience, tolerance, or whatever we need from that Power, we find ourselves coping better and smiling more often.

Just for today: I will take a deep breath and talk to my God whenever I feel frustrated.

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

Steps to Peace and Hope

From Beliefnet.com -- Today's Inspiration Reading:
"Peace is a daily, a weekly, a monthly process, gradually changing opinions, slowly eroding old barriers, quietly building new structures. —John F. Kennedy

Hope is believing in spite of the evidence, then watching the evidence change. —Jim Wallis, editor of "Sojourners"
How do we stay in touch with and convey to our children spirit and meaning peace, love, and good will? How can we embody each of these in our actions? What follows are some answers to these questions.

1. Speak from the heart.
Let people know either by your spoken words, or through notes you send, how much you love and care about them. Avoid the superficial and inauthentic. Reach deep into your heart and soul, and speak from these when you connect with others. Encourage your children to do the same.

2. Forgive someone.
Think of one person, past or present, toward whom you have ill feelings. Be it a parent, a sibling, a spouse, child, or someone who was once your friend, ask yourself if you can find it in your heart to grant them forgiveness. Sit down and write a note of forgiveness to this person. This note is just for you. When you're finished, ask yourself if you're ready to make a phone call or send an actual note that helps mend fences. Talk to your children about your process and see if they have someone they need to forgive. Let them know that forgiving is one of the greatest gestures of generosity we can make.

3. Listen with compassion.
So often conversation tends toward the mundane. We go through the motions of talking and listening while our internal conversations ramble on. This year, try listening with an open heart even if you disagree. Listening compassionately simply means that you're making an effort to understand. Try putting yourself in the other person's place as you listen, and see what you can learn. Encourage your children to do this as well. Compassionate listening is another gesture of true magnanimity.

4. Stop and notice.
The rush-rush nature of life often compels us to engage in back-to-back activities without soaking in what we're experiencing. Stop, notice, and take in the small moments: the look in your child's eyes as you admire a drawing she made for you in school; the feel of your mother's arms around you after having been apart; the sound of your friend's voice a thousand miles away. Then, later, reflect. Take some time to write about subtle observations and emotions that you experienced just by stopping and noticing. Resist getting swept up in the swirl. Instead, stay present to the richness of each moment.

5. Make a difference for someone in need.
What can you do to make a difference in someone's life? My sister has a wonderful ritual of taking her children to a home for the aged each New Year's. She and her girls give homemade gifts to elderly people who have no families to visit them. My sister has shared many stories with me about the tears and hugs of the people she and her children have connected with. The small handmade gifts and shared conversation are priceless to the elderly people who would otherwise be alone during this time. Think of things you and your family can do to reach out to others.

6. Continue several of the above suggestions all year long.
If we each made the conscious decision to live in the spirit of peace, love, and goodwill every single day, our world would slowly start to change. For this new year, and all year long, remind yourself and your children that this essential change in our world begins with each of you. We can each be the candle that helps to light the world.

For those of you who have loved ones serving overseas, deepest prayers go to you and to those you love. May they be well wherever they are, and may, someday soon, we find a way to live in peace."

January 03, 2005

Recovery Resolutions for the New Year

Today's thought is:

When I came into this program, was I a desperate person? Did I have a soul-sickness? Was I so sick of myself and my way of living that I couldn't stand looking at myself in a mirror? Was I ready for the program? Was I ready to try anything that would help me to get straightened out and to get over my soul- sickness? Should I ever forget the condition I was in?


In the new year, I will strive to live one day at a time. I will do my best to make each day one of preparation for better things ahead. I will try not to dwell on the past or the future, only on the present. I will endeavor to bury every fear of the future, all thoughts of unkindness and bitterness, all my dislikes, my resentments, my sense of failure, and my disappointments in others and in myself, my gloom and despondency. I will attempt to leave all these things buried and go forward, in this new year, into a new life.


I pray that God, as I understand God, will guide me one day at a time in the new year. I pray that each day I will be supplied with the wisdom and the strength that I need.

Based on a reading from the book: Look to this Day by Alan L. Roeck
Copyright 1978 by Hazelden Foundation.

January 02, 2005

Vigilance Important to Recovery

"We keep what we have only with vigilance..."

Basic Text, p. 57

How do we remain vigilant about our recovery? First, by realizing that we have a disease we will always have. No matter how long we've been clean, no matter how much better our lives have become, no matter what the extent of our spiritual healing, we are still addicts. Our disease waits patiently, ready to spring the trap if we give it the opportunity.

Vigilance is a daily accomplishment. We strive to be constantly alert and ready to deal with signs of trouble. Not that we should live in irrational fear that something horrible will possess us if we drop our guard for an instant; we just take normal precautions. Daily prayer, regular meeting attendance, and choosing not to compromise spiritual principles for the easier way are acts of vigilance. We take inventory as necessary, share with others whenever we are asked, and carefully nurture our recovery. Above all, we stay aware.

We have a daily reprieve from our addiction as long as we remain vigilant. Each day, we carry the principles of recovery into all we do, and each night, we thank our Higher Power for another day clean.

Just for today: I will be vigilant, doing everything necessary to guard my recovery.

Copyright Narcotics Anonymous or the NA World Service Conference.

Denial is Part of the Disease

"Perhaps the strangest and most insidious aspect of the disease of alcoholism is its ability to hide itself from the sufferer. Alcoholics are experts at not being able to see their own illness. They are often the last to admit that they have a drinking problem.

"Help is available, but you must make the decision to ask for it....[In A.A.] you will simply meet men and women who have found a way to free themselves from their dependence on alcohol and have begun to repair the damage it has done to their lives. Such freedom and recovery can be yours, too."

c. 1976, A.A. for the Woman (A.A. Pamphlet P-5),
page 8-9

The Gift of Faith

"When I was driven to my knees by alcohol, I was made ready to ask for the gift of faith. And all was changed. Never again, my pains and problems notwithstanding, would I experience my former desolation. I saw the universe to be lighted by God's love; I was alone no more."

Bill W., Letter, 1966
c. 1967AAWS, As Bill Sees It, p. 51

January 01, 2005

Live with Passion. Today

"One message we hear from the time we are children is that it is better to
give than receive. It is best to be humble. It is best to not shine a light
on ourselves.

True, and not so true. We also need to recognize that until we honor ourselves with love and compassion that we will not be able to give fully to another, or shine the light on another nor will we truly understand humility. These simply steps will take you on a path to honoring your uniqueness every day. Use them as a way to see how you are doing. Celebrate what is working, and choose to make adjustments where there is adjustment necessary.

1. Take time for quiet daily. Yes, there is much that needs to get done. Once you maintain a habit of being quiet either to contemplate, pray, or meditate, you will be amazed how much more efficiently you will perform your tasks, duties and projects.

2. Treat yourself with as much care, if not more, than you treat others. Love and nurture yourself as you love and nurture those around you OR as you would LIKE to nurture those around you. Once you master caring for yourself, caring for others will become effortless and spring from the heart instead of from duty.

3. Accept compliments from others with grace. Never, ever disrespect the person you are complimenting by disregarding or negating their compliment. Instead, accept it as you would a treasure box or a long awaited gift. Be grateful they can see something extra special about you!

4. Spend time investing in and cultivating close friendships. Incorporate friend building activities into your daily routine. Exercise with a friend, share meals together, keep in touch with a brief email or 10 minute daily phone call (and time the call and KEEP the appointment.)

5. Surround yourself with beauty. Honor your home by decorating as a way to express who you are at your core. If you are bold, use bold colors and accessories. Light scented candles, listen to music you love, use soaps that are lathery and smell great. Go for the multi sensory approach.

6. Give joyfully and receive with open arms. Recognize that giving and receiving are on the same continuum and not separate at all! Learning to give completely translates into receiving more than you could ever plan or expect to receive. The results take care of themselves.

7. Become a part of a larger community. This may mean a mastermind group or it may be a circle of friends or a book discussion group. Connect yourself with people who share your interests, goals and vision for the world. Synergy will empower you incredibly when you join in a community where you can equally give and receive on a very regular basis.

8. Mentor someone simply for the pleasure of observing and becoming involved in their growth. Invite someone who does not have the same level as skills as you do along for the ride with you. Listen to their input and see what you can create together. Chances are you will learn a lot from them (and vice versa!) creating both a Win/Win situation as well as learning about your own strengths and weaknesses in the process.

9. Live a purposeful, vision, values, cause oriented life. Recognize and embrace that you are creating your life as a masterful artist each and every day. You can choose each day whether you want to simply let life happen each day or if you want to create it fully. Choose the latter.

10. Love yourself with all your heart, soul, and strength without attachment to what you are achieving in your life today. Be compassionate and understanding while also standing firm in the knowledge that you are both incredibly unique and incredibly capable.

When you can master this balance, being attached to your outcomes is not an issue because you will be achieving outcomes beyond your own imagination. You will be so magnetic you will wonder where YOU have been all this time! The answer? You are RIGHT there, ready and waiting to follow these simple principles. Live with Passion. Today."

(C) 2001 Julie Jordan Scott

Give Thanks Each Day

"You simply will not be the same person two months from now after consciously giving thanks each day for the abundance that exists in your life. And you will have set in motion an ancient spiritual law: the more you have and are grateful for, the more will be given you."

Sarah Ban Breathnach
Simple Abundance