Reflection for the Day Now that we’re sober and living in reality, it’s sometimes difficult to see ourselves as others see us and, in the process, determine how much progress we’ve made in recovery. In the old days, the back-of-the-bar mirror presented us with a distorted and illusory view of ourselves; the way we imagined ourselves to be and the way we imagined ourselves to appear in the eyes of others. A good way for me to measure my progress today is simply to look about me at my friends in The Program. As I witness the miracle of their recoveries, I realize that I’m part of the same miracle – and will remain so as long as I’m willing.
Am I grateful for reality and the Divine miracle of my recovery?
Today I Pray May God keep my eyes open for miracles – those marvelous changes that have taken place in my own life and in the lives of my friends in the group. May I ask no other measurement of progress than a smile I can honestly mean and a clear eye and a mind that can, at last, touch reality. May my own joy be my answer to my question, “How am I doing?”
Today I Will Remember Miracles measure our progress: Who needs more?
In your AA talks, you may have the eloquence of a Patrick Henry but, if your AA work stops there, you are only fooling the new man temporarily. He will soon get wise to the fact that you are but a phonograph – nice to listen to but of no use to anyone beyond this one function.
Beautiful sentiments need lovely actions or they have but little value. Lovely actions speak for themselves.
AA Thought for the Day What am I going to do today for AA? Is there someone I should call up on the telephone or someone I should go to see? Is there a letter I should write? Is there an opportunity somewhere to advance the work of AA which I have been putting off or neglecting? If so, will I do it today? Will I be done with procrastination and do what I have to do today? Tomorrow may be too late. How do I know there will be a tomorrow for me? How about getting out of my easy chair and getting going?
Do I feel that AA depends partly on me today?
Meditation for the Day Today look upward toward God, not downward toward yourself. Look away from unpleasant surroundings, from lack of beauty, from the imperfections in yourself and in those around you. In your unrest, behold God’s calmness; in your impatience, God’s patience; in your limitations, God’s perfection. Looking upward to God, your spirit will begin to grow. Then others will see something in you that they also want. As you grow in the spiritual life, you will be enabled to do many things that seemed too hard for you before.
Prayer for the Day I pray that I may keep my eyes trained above the horizon of myself. I pray that I may see infinite possibilities for spiritual growth.
Today, let me not feel any regrets, grief or loss or be bitter from the sweet of what I must leave behind in my new and continuing journey toward recovery and sobriety. Some people and places that were a significant, even enabling part of my life in my drinking days may no longer have a place in my new life in recovery, and I must be prepared that I may have to cut some losses in order to attain greater gains. If I am reluctant to move on without someone or something that was an influential part of my life as a drinking alcoholic, may I be able to remove myself from the emotional and use the logic to ask if maintaining old ties is worth the risk to my recovery. If so, I have no choice but to move on although I will never be alone. Today, if my sobriety requires it, I may have to make the tough choices between what once was seemingly precious to me and moving toward something even more precious. And our common journey continues. After the tears. – Chris M., 2014
Anger dwells only in the bosom of fools. — Albert Einstein
Anger can be a healthy emotion, provided we don’t wallow in it or attack other people. When we express anger honestly and without reservation, we can prevent walls of resentment from building up and blocking us off from the intimacy that we strive for in our relationships.
When we allow anger to fester in our heart, we surrender our peace of mind and lose our sense of purpose and self-worth. When we harbor anger rather than openly and respectfully expressing it, we no longer hear our inner spirit. Thus we are cut off from our innate wisdom to guide us in our actions.
We’re often drawn to people who express their feelings honestly. This style of communicating serves as an invitation to build a relationship with them based on trust. From this trust we learn to open ourselves to God’s love for us as we are.
Today I will feel my anger, express it when necessary, and then let it go so that I can deepen my trust of other people and of God.
Reflection for the Day Someone once said that the mind’s direction is more important than its progress. If my direction is correct, then progress is sure to follow. We first come to The Program to receive something for ourselves, but soon learn that we receive most bountifully when we give to others. If the direction of my mind is to give rather than to receive, then I’ll benefit beyond my greatest expectations. The more I give of myself and the more generously I open my heart and mind to others, the more growth and progress I’ll achieve.
Am I learning not to measure my giving against my getting, accepting that the act of giving is its own reward?
Today I Pray May I not lose sight of that pillar of The Program – helping myself through helping others in our purpose of achieving comfortable sobriety. May I feel that marvel of giving and taking and giving back again from the moment I take the First Step. May I care deeply about others’ maintaining their freedom from chemicals, and may I know that they care about me. It is a simple – and beautiful – exchange.
Today I Will Remember Give and take and give back again.
“The less people tolerated (alcoholics), the more we withdrew from society, from life itself. As we became subjects of King Alcohol, shivering denizens of his mad realm, the chilling vapor that is loneliness settled down. It thickened, ever becoming blacker. Some of us sought out sordid places, hoping to find understanding companionship and approval. Momentarily we did – then would come oblivion and the awful awakening to face the hideous Four Horsemen – Terror, Bewilderment, Frustration, Despair.” – Alcoholics Anonymous, 3rd Edition, 1976, Ch 11 (“A Vision for You”), p 151.
Today, neither must I forget nor live again in my days of the “hideous Four Horsemen,” remembering that they once again will overwhelm me – if I allow them. I must not let either time or the distance from my last drink dim the desperation of the “chilling vapor that is loneliness” and the “sordid places” I sought for approval, acceptance or simple companionship. Nor must I forget the shattered quiet morning after when self-loathing, desperation and physical and emotional emptiness fueled the cycle to do it all over again and face another night of that “chilling vapor” of loneliness and another shattered quiet morning after. My life in sobriety is a day-by-day reprieve from that desperate drinking, and I must not take for granted today that sobriety is guaranteed to me tomorrow. And our common journey continues. After the tears. – Chris M., 2014