June 30, 2005

Learning to Give, Learning to Live

I spent most of my life worrying about myself, thinking that I was unwanted, that I was unloved. I've learned since being in AA that the more I worry about me loving you, and the less I worry about you loving me, the happier I'll be.

I discovered a fellowship of human beings that I'd never seen before. . .I learned how to be a friend. . . There was nowhere else I could have done that. I have learned that the more I give, the more I will have; the more I learn to give, the more I learn to live.

c. 2003 AAWS, Experience, Strength And Hope, p. 218

Progress, Not Perfection

When we early A.A.'s got our first glimmer of how spiritually prideful we could be, we coined this _expression: "Don't try to be a saint by Thursday!" That oldtime admonition may look like another of those handy alibis that can excuse us from trying for our best. Yet a closer view reveals just the contrary. This is our A.A. way of warning against pride-blindness, and the imaginary perfections that we do not posses.

Only Step One, where we made the 100 per cent admission that we were powerless over alcohol, can be practiced with absolute perfection. The remaining eleven Steps state perfect ideals. They are goals toward which we look, and the measuring sticks by which we estimate our progress.


June 28, 2005

Counting My Blessings, Not My Troubles

Today, I'm counting my blessings instead of my troubles.

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

With these new and enlightening doors opening up to me, I was able to make the eventual decision to stop drinking, a day at a time -- because I, too, was an alcoholic.

c. 2003 AAWS, Experience, Strength And Hope, p. 315

Stay Focused, Stay Clean and Sober

In recovery, we have to be single minded – we have to learn how to live drug/alcohol free -- then we have to concentrate on implementing the steps we learn to stay sober. We can’t for a moment begin to think that we have all the answers – we have found a way to stay sober – not to conquer the world. Tradition 6 helps us to stay single minded -- we are about God and recovery – nothing else -- we are for sure single minded -- we have a primary purpose -- learning how to live sober with God controlling – guiding us one day at a time. Wavering from that truth, opens us up to the world of relapse – stay focused stay sober.

Wings Devotional© Daily Meditation Translation is property of Wings Of Eagles Recovery©

God Is Love

And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him.
1 John 4:15-16

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.
1 Corinthians 13:4-8

We Are Not a Glum Lot

"We have been speaking to you of serious, sometimes tragic things. We have been dealing with alcohol in its worst aspect. But we aren't a glum lot. If newcomers could see no joy or fun in our existence, they wouldn't want it. We absolutely insist on enjoying life. We try not to indulge in cynicism over the state of the nations, nor do we carry the world's troubles on our shoulders."

c. 2001, Alcoholics Anonymous, page 132

June 27, 2005

Replace Denial with Self Honesty

Today's thought is:

Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom.
--Thomas Jefferson

Denial is something that comes easily to us. We lied to ourselves about what was happening in our lives. Now, in recovery, being honest with ourselves is still a tricky matter. We don't like to admit when we are mean, or when we are not living up to responsibilities.

When we were in denial, we ran away from life, we got deeper into our addiction, and we got into more and more trouble. The same thing can happen again if we aren't honest with ourselves. If we deny things, we will get more and more confused.

But there is a simple answer if we find this happening to us. We can practice rigorous honesty, first with ourselves, then with others. It may not be easy to look at ourselves honestly, but it's essential to staying sober.

Today let me be honest with myself.

You are reading from the book:
Our Best Days by Nancy Hull-Mast
Copyright 1990 by Hazelden Foundation.

June 26, 2005

Knowing the Difference

"Some things we must accept, others we can change. The wisdom to know the difference comes with growth in our spiritual program." Basic Text, p.92

It's relatively easy to accept the things we like-it's the things we don't like that are hard to accept. But remaking the world and everyone in it to suit our tastes would solve nothing. After all, the idea that the world was to blame for all our problems was the attitude that kept us using-and that attitude nearly killed us.

In the course of working the steps, we begin to ask ourselves hard questions about the roles we ourselves have played in creating the unacceptable lives we've lived. In most cases, we've found that what needed changing was our own attitude and our own actions, not the people, places, and things around us.

In recovery, we pray for wisdom to know the difference between what can and can't be changed. Then, once we see the truth of our situation, we pray for the willingness to change ourselves.

Just for today:

Higher Power, grant me the wisdom to know the difference between what can be changed and what I must accept. Please help me gratefully accept the life I've been given. pg. 174

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

Laughter, Tears, and Love

For weeks I sat in the back of the rooms, silent when others shared their experience,
strength and hope. I listened to their stories and found so many areas where we overlapped -- not all of the deeds, but the feelings of remorse and hopelessness.

I learned that alcoholism isn't a sin, it's a disease. That lifted the guilt I had felt. I learned that I didn't have to stop drinking forever, but just not pick up that first drink one day. I could manage that.

There was laughter in these rooms and sometimes tears, but always love, and when I was able to let it in, that love helped me heal.

c. 2001 AAWS, Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 344

The Real World of Spirit and Faith

Mine was exactly the kind of deep-seated block we so often see today in new people who say they are atheistic or agnostic. Their will to disbelieve is so powerful that apparently they prefer a date with the undertaker to an open-minded and experimental quest for God.

Happily for me, and for most of my kind who have since come along in A.A., the constructive forces brought to bear in our Fellowship have nearly always overcome this colossal obstinacy. Beaten into complete defeat by alcohol, confronted by the living proof of release, and surrounded by those who can speak to us from the heart, we have finally surrendered.

And then, paradoxically, we have found ourselves in a new dimension, the real world of spirit and faith. Enough willingness, enough open-mindedness--and there it is!

A.A. TODAY, P. 9

Surrender is the Beginning of a New Way of Life

"Our fears are lessened and faith begins to grow as we learn the true meaning of surrender We are no longer fighting fear; anger; guilt, self-pity, or depression." Basic Text p. 26

Surrender is the beginning of a new way of life. When driven primarily by self-will, we constantly wondered whether we'd covered all the bases, whether we'd manipulated that person in just the right way to achieve our ends, whether we'd missed a critical detail in our efforts to control and manage the world.

We either felt afraid, fearing our schemes would fail; angry or self-pitying when they fell through; or guilty when we pulled them off. It was hard, living on self-will, but we didn't know any other way.

Not that surrender is always easy. On the contrary, surrender can be difficult, especially in the beginning. Still, it's easier to trust God, a Power capable of managing our lives, than to trust only ourselves, whose lives are unmanageable. And the more we surrender, the easier it gets.

When we turn our will and our lives over to the care of our Higher Power, all we have to do is our part, as responsibly and conscientiously as we can. Then we can leave the results up to our Higher Power. By surrendering, acting on faith, and living our lives according to the simple spiritual principles of this program, we can stop worrying and start living.

Just for today: I will surrender self-will. I will seek knowledge of God's will for me and the power to carry it out. I will leave the results in my Higher Power's hands. pg. 184

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

June 24, 2005

Don't Forget to Play

Finding balance

Let's not forget to play. Our new way of life is a serious matter, but it is not intended as a punishment; nor do we need to repent and suffer for the rest of our lives. Our new way of life is intended to produce growth.

But growth takes work. And work needs play for balance. If we forget to play and be joyful, our life will become unbalanced and we will suffer needlessly.

Have I found some balance in my life?

Higher Power, help me remember that all living things need balance: let me laugh, let me play, let me grow.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Today's meditation comes from the book, Day by Day, by Anonymous, Copyright 1974, 1998 Daily Meditations for Recovering Addicts

June 23, 2005

Real Love is Service to Others

“Let everyone understand that real love of God does not consist in tear-shedding, nor in that sweetness and tenderness for which we usually long, just because they console us, but in serving God in justice, fortitude of soul and humility.”

—St. Teresa of Avila

"It is true that prayer is the means by which we experience the reality of God. But once God has become a living reality for us, we simply have to love our fellow men. We cannot do otherwise. Once we receive the new life of the Spirit, we begin to live in love. And living in love, we are moved quite naturally and joyfully to serve others. God is love and if we live in union with God, we have the strength and longing to love others. Service is a spiritual activity, the natural fruit of love. God, who is love, is ever serving and caring for Creation. Human beings are made to be like God and so they too should never tire of serving others."

-Sadhu Sundar Singh

June 21, 2005

Accepting Life As It Is

"In our recovery, we find it essential to accept reality. Once we can do this, we do not find it necessary to use drugs in an attempt to change our perceptions."

Basic Text, p. 87

Drugs used to buffer us from the full force of life. When we stop using drugs and enter recovery, we find ourselves confronted directly with life. We may experience disappointment, frustration, or anger. Events may not happen the way we want them to. The self-centeredness we cultivated in our addiction has distorted our perceptions of life; it is difficult to let go of our expectations and accept life as it is.

We learn to accept our lives by working the Twelve Steps of Narcotics Anonymous. We discover how to change our attitudes and let go of character defects. We no longer need to distort the truth or to run from situations. The more we practice the spiritual principles contained in the steps, the easier it becomes to accept life exactly as it comes to us.

Just for today:
I will practice self-acceptance by practicing the Twelve Steps.
pg. 180

Copyright 1991 Narcotics Anonymous World Services

Honesty Means More than Not Lying

Honesty means more than just not lying. The kind of honesty that is truly indispensable in recovery is self-honesty, which is neither easy nor simple to achieve. In our addiction, we created a storm of self-deception and rationalization, a whirlwind of lies in which the small, quiet voice of self-honesty could not be heard. To become honest with ourselves, we first must stop lying to ourselves. In our Eleventh Step meditations, we must become quiet. Then, in the resulting stillness, we must listen for truth. When we become silent, self-honesty will be there for us to find.

Just for today:
I will be quiet and still, listening for the voice of truth within myself. 1 will honor the truth I find. pg. 179

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

Look for the Good in Others and Find It in Yourself

Today's thought is:

It is a piece of great good luck to deal with someone who values you at your true worth. --Baltasar Gracian

We have the ability to comfort and heal by recognizing each other's value. It's a pity that we don't often do that. Each time we recognize the worth of others as sons and daughters of God, we are acknowledging their power and ours to create, to love, to make a difference in this world.

Each time we see goodness, creativity, and love in someone else we are also acknowledging it in ourselves. When we deny it in others, we deny it in ourselves and in God who created us.

Meeting anyone -- an acquaintance, a stranger -- is a holy encounter. As we see others, we see ourselves. As we treat others, we treat ourselves. Each encounter, then, is another opportunity to accept or reject our own worth.

I will look for value in others and find it in myself.

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

June 19, 2005

Feeling Great

We usually learn to shut down our feelings when we are very young. Probably too young to realize that our feelings were not dangerous, but were part of the experience of being alive as a human being. Back then, experiencing the intensity of our internal physiological changes we came to label "emotions," seemed so overwhelming. We probably thought we'd die, if we didn't take some action to at least diminish their intensity.

In order to protect ourselves from experiencing the feelings we fear, we develop very ingenious ways of functioning at the very edge of non-feeling. We engage in numerous ways to silence, deaden, numb, anesthetize, or otherwise withdraw from our feelings. And the problem created by these protective strategies is that we become, like good ol' Rip, unconscious of our being alive. We sleep through our existence until we die.

Practical ways we avoid feeling may include: watching TV every moment we are alone...every moment we are home; wearing headphones to fill our awareness with canned music and words; avoiding silence at all cost; continually talking to anyone who will listen and if no one is around, we'll talk to ourselves; bringing out the food, the alcohol, the drugs to fill our bodies with chemicals which will distract us from knowing our own internal experiences. Rather than allow ourselves to become aware of what we feel within, we only pretend to live through overwork, oversleeping, overdoing, and continually searching for new and better ways to block out those feelings we fear. Is it any wonder we usually don't feel great?

To begin feeling great, you need to be reassured that no emotions you might experience, no matter how intense, are dangerous in and of themselves. Every feeling you have, even feeling nothing at all is worthy of your attention. Begin by paying attention to your senses.

Spend a minute or five every hour to really answer the questions: what am I seeing now? What am I hearing? What am I feeling from my skin? What am I tasting and smelling? Begin attending to the signals your senses are always sending.

With gentle acceptance of whatever bubbles up from within, spend some time every day attending to your body. What part of your body feels tense, empty, painful, relaxed, nothing at all. Take your time and breathe deeply. Sometimes physical shaking or tingling in some part of your body occurs. Allow to happen whatever happens within.

Learn to regularly focus your attention to your thinking and begin to shut that down. Thinking usually effectively blocks the awareness of feelings. Resist the temptation to think about what is happening or to analyze all the time. Allow your attention to focus on internal sensations apart from thinking.

Eventually, as you continue to focus your conscious attention on your feelings, your fear of being overwhelmed by their intensity, or losing control of them, will diminish and perhaps be replaced by a genuine confidence in your emotional life.

Feeling great requires feeling greatly. It requires waking up and paying attention to our emotions, no matter how intense. It is, after all, our emotions that enrich our experience of being alive, signal our consciousness of our wants and needs, and add zest and joy to every single change inside. Feelings also provide us with energy. Energy to use in fulfilling our needs. Energy to express what our being alive really means. Energy to feel great about being awake, alert, vital, and aware. Energy to feel alive at all! I agree with what Carlos Casteneda once wrote: "You must feel everything, otherwise the world loses its meaning." May you feel great about everything in life!

By Lloyd J. Thomas, Ph.D., Licensed Psychologist.

Pay It Forward with Gratitude

Gratitude should go forward, rather than backward.

I am very grateful that my Higher Power has given me a second chance to live a worthwhile life. Through Alcoholics Anonymous, I have been restored to sanity. The promises are being fulfilled in my life. I am grateful to be free from the slavery of alcohol. I am grateful for peace of mind and the opportunity to grow, but my gratitude should go forward rather than backward. I cannot stay sober on yesterday's meetings or past Twelfth-Step calls; I need to put my gratitude into action today. Our co-founder said our gratitude can best be shown by carrying the message to others. Without action, my gratitude is just a pleasant emotion. I need to put it into action by working Step Twelve, by carrying the message and practicing the principles in all my affairs. I am grateful for the chance to carry the message today!


Real Work in Life

We have this choice every day of our lives. We can take the path that leads to insanity and death. And remember, our next drunk could be our last one. Or we can take the path that leads to a reasonably happy and useful life. The choice is ours each day of our lives. God grant that we take the right path. Have I made my choice today?

Meditation for the Day

Your real work in life is to grow spiritually. To do this you must follow the path of diligently seeking good. The hidden spiritual wonders are revealed to those who diligently seek this treasure. From one point to the next, you have to follow the way of obedience to God's will until finally you reach greater and greater spiritual heights. Work on the material plane should be secondary to your real life's work. The material things that you need most are those that help you to attain the spiritual.

Prayer for the Day

I pray that I may keep growing spiritually. I pray that I may make this my real life's work.

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

Seeking God's Will

Whose Will?

We have seen A.A.'s ask with much earnestness and faith for God's explicit guidance on matters ranging all the way from a shattering domestic or financial crisis to a minor personal fault, like tardiness. A man who tries to run his life rigidly by this kind of prayers, by this self-serving demand of God for replies, is a particularly disconcerting individual. To any questioning or criticism of his actions, he instantly proffers his reliance upon prayer for guidance in all matters great or small. He may have forgotten the possibility that his own wishful thinking and the human tendency to rationalize have distorted his so-called guidance. With the best of intentions, he tends to force his will into all sorts of situations and problems with the comfortable assurance that he is acting under God's specific direction.


"How can anybody expect God to acquiesce in the half-baked prayers that a lot of us send up to Him? He would have the world in a worse chaos than it is now in five minutes.

"Real prayer is not telling God what WE want. It is putting ourselves at His disposal so that He can tell us what He wants. Prayer is not trying to get God to change His will. It is trying to find out what His will is, to align ourselves or realign ourselves with His purpose for the world and for us....That's why it is good to begin these meetings with silence.

"Dante said, 'In His will is our peace.'"

c. 1957, Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age, page 265-266

June 15, 2005

Thinking, Feeling and Acting Like the Person I Want to Be

Today's thought is:

Our deeds determine us, as much as we determine our deeds.
--George Eliot

Who are we, really? It seems like we are one person on the inside, and yet we often act like someone else. Can a good person do bad things? Can a bad person do good things? It's pretty confusing, isn't it?

Our recovery program teaches us that we can change who we are by changing the things we do. We can become the kind of person we want to be by acting as if we are already that person. For example, if we want to be sober, we can act as if we are a sober person; that is, don't drink, and don't hang out in places where people go to drink. If we want to be a caring person, we can do caring actions for others.

We are the person we feel like on the inside. We are also the person we act like on the outside. In recovery, we change how we think, feel, and act. We practice making changes in each of these areas, and every time we do well in one area, we help in the others too.

Prayer for the Day

Higher Power, Help me become the person I want to be by changing how I act, how I feel, and how I think. I am sick and tired of acting, feeling, and thinking like an addict.

Today's Action

Today I will watch how I think, feel, and act. I will remind myself to think, feel, and act like the person I want to be.

You are reading from the book: God Grant Me... by Anonymous
Copyright 2005 by Hazelden Foundation

June 12, 2005

Opening Up to Change

Self-searching is the means by which we bring new vision, action, and grace to bear upon the dark and negative side of our natures. With it comes the development of that kind of humility that makes it possible for us to receive God's help. . . . we find that bit by bit we can discard the old life -- the one that did not work -- for a new life that can and does work under any conditions whatever.

AS BILL SEES IT, pp. 10, 8

I have been given a daily reprieve contingent upon my spiritual condition, provided I seek progress, not perfection. To become ready for change, I practice willingness, opening myself to possibilities of change. If I realize there are defects that hinder my usefulness in A.A. and toward others, I become ready by meditating and receiving direction.

"Some of us have tried to hold on to our old ideas and the result was nil until we let go absolutely" (Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 58). To let go and let God, I need only surrender my old ways to Him; I no longer fight nor do I try to control, but simply believe that, with God's help, I am changed and affirming this belief makes me ready. I empty myself to be full of awareness, light, and love, and I am ready to face each day with hope.


Flowing in the Stream of Goodness

A.A. Thought for the Day

We finally came to the bottom. We did not have to be financially broke, although many of us were. But we were spiritually bankrupt. We had a soul-sickness, a revulsion against ourselves and against our way of living. Life had become impossible for us. We had to end it all or do something about it. Am I glad I did something about it?

Meditation for the Day

Faith is not seeing, but believing. I am in a box of space and time and cannot see spacelessness or eternity. But God is not within the shell of time and space. He is timeless and spaceless. He cannot be fully comprehended by our finite minds. But we just try to make a union between our purposes and the purposes of God. By trying to merge our minds with the mind of God, a oneness of purpose results. This oneness of purpose puts us in harmony with God and others. Evil comes from being in disharmony with God and good comes from being in harmony with Him.

Prayer for the Day

I pray that I may be in harmony with God. I pray that I may get into the stream of goodness in the universe.

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

Higher Power is a Source of Strength

Sooner or later, every AA comes to depend upon a Power greater than himself. He finds that the God of his understanding is not only a source of strength, but also a source of positive direction.

Realizing that some fraction of that infinite resource is now available, his life takes on an entirely different complexion. He experiences a new inner security together with such a sense of destiny and purpose as he has never known before.

- Bill W., January 1948
c. 1988 The AA Grapevine, Inc., The Language Of The Heart, p. 77

June 11, 2005

Risking Vulnerability is Necessary for Growth

"As we grow, we learn to overcome the tendency to run and hide from ourselves and our feelings."

Basic Text, p. 81

Rather than risk vulnerability, many of us have developed habits that keep others at a safe distance. These patterns of emotional isolation can give us the feeling we are hopelessly locked behind our masks. We used to take risks with our lives; now we can take risks with our feelings. Through sharing with other addicts, we learn that we are not unique; we do not make ourselves unduly vulnerable simply by letting others know who we are, for we are in good company. And by working the Twelve Steps of the NA program, we grow and change. We no longer want or need to hide our emerging selves. We are offered the opportunity to shed the emotional camouflage we developed to survive our active addiction.

By opening ourselves to others, we risk becoming vulnerable, but that risk is well worth the rewards. With the help of our sponsor and other recovering addicts, we learn how to express our feelings honestly and openly. In turn, we become nourished and encouraged by the unconditional love of our companions. As we practice spiritual principles, we find strength and freedom, both in ourselves and in those around us. We are set free to be ourselves and to enjoy the company of our fellow addicts.

Just for today:

I will openly and honestly share with another recovering addict. I will risk becoming vulnerable and celebrate my self and my friendship with other NA members. I will grow.

pg. 150

Copyright Narcotics Anonymous

Living with Integrity

"A boat with no leaks is said to have integrity, as is a solid piece of furniture. It is their wholeness-no gaps or weaknesses-that gives them their integrity. People who have integrity convey a similar "seaworthiness" and stability. There is the sense that they can be counted on, that their actions will be consistent with their ideals. Just being in the presence of someone with this quality creates a feeling of steadiness even in a chaotic environment. These people are natural leaders because we sense that it is safe to follow them. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Gandhi are clear examples of modern human beings who embodied integrity.

All spiritual traditions have vows, precepts, and tenets that are designed to encourage us to live in harmony with a higher vision of what humanity can be. Following a set of precepts, or taking a vow, can teach us what it feels like to be true to a set of elevated ideals in which we think beyond I, me, and mine.

Being true to a vow in the face of temptation builds strength and power. We learn first hand the benefits of sacrificing short-term gains in favor of long-term vision. We learn the value of doing what is right, and not just what is easy. In a culture obsessed with convenience and freedom, integrity can be a rare quality. Perhaps this is because we have a cultural habit of resisting limitation and restriction. And yet, limitation and restriction often provide the structure in which integrity can be born.

Living with integrity generates self-confidence and self-esteem. It is important to take time on a regular basis to examine whether your actions, your words and your vision are in alignment. Make it a priority to look into any imbalances you find and commit to resolving them. Take time to consider and, when necessary, revise your overall vision for life, making sure your actions and words support your ideals."

From DailyOM - Integrity

Prayer for Guidance

Dear God, protect me and provide for me.
Guide me and illuminate the path of my pilgrimage.
Grant me courage, commitment, and strength.
Teach me to care and give without reservation.
Make me aware of gratitude and principle.
Help me recognize your presence around me.
And let my life be a reflection of your love.


Written by Greg Pierce, 4 December 1987

June 10, 2005

Being God-Dependent

Reflection for the Day

It was far easier for me to accept my powerlessness over my addiction than it was for me to accept the notion that some sort of Higher Power could accomplish that which I had been unable to accomplish myself. Simply by seeking help and accepting the fellowship of others similarly afflicted, the craving left me. And I realized that if I was doing what I was powerless alone to do, then surely I was doing so by some Power outside my own and obviously greater. Have I surrendered my life into the hands of God?

Today I Pray

May God erase in me the arrogant pride which keeps me from listening to Him. May my unhealthy dependence on chemicals and my clinging dependence on those near by be transformed into reliance on God. Only in this kind of dependence-reliance on a Higher Power will I find my own transformation.

Today I Will Remember

I am God-dependent.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Today's meditation comes from the book
A Day at a Time
Daily Reflections for Recovering People
by Anonymous C 1989

Let Go of Yesterday

"Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could; some blunders and absurdities have crept in; forget them as soon as you can.

Tomorrow is a new day; you shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense."

Ralph Waldo Emerson

June 07, 2005

Nurturing a Positive Outlook

Today's thought is:

A negative attitude creates problems, not opportunities.

Some of us exaggerate small setbacks, making our lives far more complicated than necessary. Instead, we need to nurture a positive outlook. The wise among us say, "It's all in how you look at it."

Acknowledging our negative attitude is the first step to discovering happiness. As Wilhelm von Humboldt said, "I am more and more convinced that our happiness or unhappiness depends far more on the way we meet the events of life than on the nature of those events themselves." We can't deny the difficulty inherent in many circumstances, nor the pain that accompanies losses. We can, however, choose to see our experiences, no matter how traumatic, as lessons moving us closer to the enlightened state God intends for us.

I will see my experiences as positive lessons today. No one can change my perception but me.

You are reading from the book:
A Life of My Own by Karen Casey
Copyright 1993 by Hazelden Foundation.

June 06, 2005

Being Grateful for Problems

Living new lives

If we thank our Higher Power each day for the problems in our lives, we will find that we can live and cope with them. And if it is our Higher Power's will, our problems will be transformed in ways we cannot comprehend. We don't fully understand our lives.

If we become willing to let our Higher Power handle each situation in its way, we will see that we are living ourselves into new ways of being. We will experience a freedom and joy that we could not have understood in our old ways of thinking and being.

We cannot think ourselves into a better life; we must live ourselves each day into better thinking.

Am I living myself into a new life?

Higher Power, I am grateful for the problems in my life; they help me change
myself into a new being.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Today's meditation comes from the book
Day by Day
by Anonymous C 1974, 1998
Daily Meditations for Recovering Addicts
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Building Great Relationships

To build great relationships, you must do 2 things:

Place a high value on people. Face it: if you're self-absorbed, you won't make building good relationships a priority. You've got to place a high value on people. That means expecting the best of them; assuming their motives are good unless they prove otherwise; valuing them by their best moments, not their worst; giving them your friendship with no strings attached, rather than asking for theirs.

Try to understand people. Many of us care about others, yet we still remain out of touch. Often that's because we don't try to understand them. Surveys consistently show that the number one problem in churches (and companies) that fail to grow, is leadership that's out of touch with people's needs.

To improve your understanding of people and build great relationships, keep in mind the following truths, and actions you can take to bridge the gap caused by them.

(a) People are insecure, so give them confidence.
(b) People want to feel special, so sincerely compliment them.
(c) People desire a better tomorrow, so offer them hope.
(d) People need to be understood, so listen to them.
(e) People are basically self-centered, so speak to their needs first.
(f) People get emotionally low, so encourage them.
(g) People want to be associated with success, so help them to win.

When you try to understand people and help them to succeed, you lay the groundwork for great relationships - and you influence people for God! --Author Unknown


Picture your body as a structure, with four rooms; a physical, a mental, an emotional, and a spiritual room. Do not live in just one room at a time, but go into every room every day; even if it is to only open a window and let in fresh air.


Our lives are not determined by what happens to us, but how we react to what happens; not by what life brings to us, but the attitude that we bring to life. A positive attitude causes a chain reaction of positive thoughts, events, and outcomes. It is a catalyst...a spark that creates extraordinary results.

June 05, 2005

Growth from Failures and Setbacks

Our spiritual and emotional growth in A.A. does not depend so deeply upon success as it does upon our failures and setbacks. If you will bear this in mind, I think that your slip will have the effect of kicking you upstairs, instead of down.


In keeping with the pain and adversity which our founders encountered and overcame in establishing A.A., Bill W. sent us a clear message: a relapse can provide a positive experience toward abstinence and a lifetime of recovery. A relapse brings truth to what we hear repeatedly in meetings -- "Don't take that first drink!" It reinforces the belief in the progressive nature of the disease, and it drives home the need for, and beauty of, humility in our spiritual program. Simple truths come in complicated ways to me when I become ego driven.


AA Synthesis

"Certainly nobody invented Alcoholics Anonymous. A.A. is a synthesis of principles and attitudes which came to us from medicine and from religion. We alcoholics have simply streamlined those forces, adapting them to our special use in a society where they can work effectively. Our contribution was but the missing link in a chain of recovery which is now so significant and of such promise for the future."

c. Three Talks to Medical Societies by Bill W., Co-Founder of Alcoholics Anonymous (A.A. Pamphlet P-6) - pages 9-10