Oct. 31, 2013 – Step by Step


Step by Step
Thursday, Oct. 31, 2013

“I spend a great deal of time passing on what I learned to others who want and need it badly. I do it for four reasons:
1. Sense of duty.
2. It is a pleasure.
3. Because in so doing I am paying my debt to the man who took time to pass it on to me.
4. Because every time I do it I take out a little more insurance for myself against a possible slip.” – Alcoholics Anonymous, 3rd Edition, 1976, “Personal Stories, Pioneers of AA”, Ch 1 (“Doctor Bob‘s Nightmare”), pp 180-81.

Today, admitting that my motive to quit drinking was self-serving and hardly altruistic, I am required now to be responsible to the gift of sobriety. That responsibility is no clearer in any other than the 12th Step, the one that gives us our marching orders to carry the message to people who need and want it. A dividend like sobriety that we have earned through blood, sweat and tears brings with it a responsibility, and we appreciate and treasure that dividend when we share it with someone else, and when it works as well for them. As a drinking alcoholic, I “shared” my problems by blaming anyone and anything but myself, and it overwhelmed me; as a soberholic, so must I also share it and, hopefully, sobriety will become an even stronger condition than the attraction to alcohol. And our common journey continues. Step by step. – Chris M., 2013

 

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Oct. 31, 2013 – Twenty-Four Hours a Day


Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Thursday, Oct. 31, 2013

AA Thought for the Day
I have more peace and contentment. Life has fallen into place. The pieces of the jigsaw puzzle have found their correct position. Life is whole, all of one piece. I am not cast hither and yon on every wind of circumstance or fancy. I am no longer a dry leaf cast up and away by the breeze. I have found my place of rest, my place where I belong. I am content. I do not vainly wish for things I cannot have. I have “the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can and wisdom to know the difference.”

Have I found contentment in AA?

Meditation for the Day
In all of us there is an inner consciousness that tells of God, an inner voice that speaks to our hearts. It is a voice that speaks to us intimately, personally, in a time of quiet meditation. It is like a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path. We can reach out into the darkness and figuratively touch the hand of God. As the Big Book puts it: “Deep down in every man, woman and child is the fundamental idea of God. We can find the Great Reality deep down within us. And when we find it, it changes our whole attitude toward life.”

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may follow the leading of the inner voice. I pray that I may not turn a deaf ear to the urging of my conscience.

Hazelden Foundation

 

Oct. 31, 2013 – A Day at a Time


A Day at a Time
Thursday, Oct. 31, 2013

Reflection for the Day
If I’m to continue growing in The Program, I must literally “get wise to myself.” I must remember that for most of my life I’ve been terribly self-deceived. The sin of pride has been at the root of most of my self-deception, usually masquerading under the guise of some virtue. I must work continually to uncover pride in all its subtle forms, lest it stop me in my tracks and push me backward once again to the brink of disaster.

When it comes to pride, do I believe, in Emerson‘s words, that “it is impossible for a man to be cheated by anyone but himself …?”

Today I Pray
May I know that button-popping pride is inappropriate for me as a recovering addict. It hides my faults from me. It turns people off and gets in the way of my helping others. It halts my progress because it makes me think I’ve done enough self-searching and I’m “cured.” I pray to my Higher Power that I may be realistic enough to accept my success in The Program without giving in to pride.

Today I Will Remember
Pride halts progress.

Hazelden Foundation

 

Oct. 31, 2013 – The Eye Opener


The Eye Opener
Thursday, Oct. 31, 2013

The Founders of AA acted wisely when they fixed it so there would be no Big Shots in our fellowship. We are not the best people in the world when it comes to bearing heavy responsibilities. It has proven to be poison to many a good man.

After all, it is not necessary for your fame to spread around the world – there are more drunks on your own street than you can help.

Hazelden Foundation

 

Oct. 31, 2013 – Today’s Gift from Hazelden


Thursday, Oct. 31, 2013

Today’s thought from Hazelden is:

The sad truth is that most evil is done by people who never make up their minds to be either good or evil.
 — Hannah Arendt

How often have we found ourselves in a predicament and innocently saying, “How did I get into this?” When someone has been injured by our actions because we failed to think about them, do we take the responsibility? If a friend is unfairly treated on the job, do we take a stand for him? When we know people are starving, what do we do about it? When our loved ones say they are lonely and wish we would talk to them, how do we respond?

In this program we have chosen to live by our values. We cannot sit passively and fail to live up to those values. Each situation is different, so we must think about what is called for. When we do not think about our reactions, we are in danger of adding to the evil in the world. When we act upon our principles, we feel more hopeful and wholesome.

Today, I will be alert to the difference between good and evil in my actions. I pray for the strength to take a stand.

From the book:

Touchstones by Anonymous

Touchstones ©1986, 1991 by Hazelden Foundation

 

Oct. 30, 2013 – Step by Step


Step by Step
Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2013

“Men and women drink essentially because they like the effect produced by alcohol. The sensation is so elusive that, while they admit it is injurious, they cannot after a time differentiate the true from the false. To them, their alcoholic life seems the only normal one. They are restless, irritable and discontented, unless they can again experience the sense of ease and comfort which comes at once by taking a few drinks – drinking which they see others taking with impunity. After they have succumbed to the desire again, as so many do, and the phenomenon of craving develops, they pass through the well-known stages of a spree, emerging remorseful, with a firm resolution not to drink again. This is repeated over and over, and unless this person can experience an entire psychic change, there is very little hope of his recovery.” – Alcoholics Anonymous, 3rd Edition, 1976, “The Doctor’s Opinion,” pp xxvi-vii.

Today, if I cannot forget “the effect” of alcohol as I grew progressively drunker, let me never forget the morning after with its consequences, none of which I care to be responsible for anymore. If I can cling to what the morning-after costs were and that they were my “bottom,” may they be potent enough to remove any desire to drink again because, should I drink again, there likely will be no stopping until another bottom hits – if I survive long enough. I abused that “firm resolution” not to drink again when I was hung over, or standing in front of a judge with my latest DUI or after I broke every promise I’d made to family and friends. A “firm resolution” is so easy then; it can be just as easy if I apply it to being sober – if I remember the consequence instead of “the effect.” Today, I don’t need or want to remember the effect; the consequences are enough. And our common journey continues. Step by step. – Chris M., 2013

 

Oct. 30, 2013 – Twenty-Four Hours a Day


Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2013

AA Thought for the Day
I have real friends, where I had none before. My drinking companions could hardly be called my real friends though, when drunk, we seemed to have the closest kind of friendship. My idea of friendship has changed. Friends are no longer people whom I can use for my own pleasure or profit. Friends are now people who understand me and I them, whom I can help and who can help me to live a better life. I have learned not to hold back and wait for friends to come to me, but to go halfway and to be met halfway, openly and freely.

Does friendship have a new meaning for me now?

Meditation for the Day
There is a time for everything. We should learn to wait patiently until the right time comes. Easy does it. We waste our energies in trying to get things before we are ready to have them, before we have earned the right to receive them. A great lesson we have to learn is how to wait with patience. We can believe that all our life is a preparation for something better to come when we have earned the right to it. We can believe that God has a plan for our lives and that this plan will work out in the fullness of time.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may learn the lesson of waiting patiently. I pray that I may not expect things until I have earned the right to have them.

Hazelden Foundation