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ALLENJOSEPH's Photo ALLENJOSEPH SparkPoints: (519,062)
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5/27/21 12:34 A

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May 27

Walk in Dry Places

Who is important?
Respect for people.

The Twelve step movement grew out of an earlier society, the Oxford group, whose members believed in “key People.” They embraced the idea that attracting promising individuals with high standing would, in turn, attract others.

We’ve also had such people in AA and other 12 step groups, and we are grateful for their examples and efforts. We’ve learned, however, not to view one person as more important than another's. We could even harm a recovering person by focusing on his or her personal prestige in the community. Our purpose is to help people get well, not to run a club emphasizing social standing.

We’ll find our program working much better if we treat all people equally, and view them as equal in the sight of God. We have a standing in God’s sight that is eternal and everlasting.
I’ll extend kind and generous thoughts toward every person I meet today. We are all children of equal standing in the sight of God.



Nothing Is Impossible with God.
Each Day Is A New Beginning.
When You Draw Close To God, God Will Draw Close To You.

Spark People Team Leader, GLITTERGIRL, from Team, "I Can't Do This On My Own", helped me reach my goal in 2012. I was able to maintain my weight for several months, but now I have to get serious again as much of my hard work I let go of, putting my focus on another issue. I will keep on, until I get back to my goal.


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5/26/21 12:54 A

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May 26

Walk in Dry Places

Today’s problem
Orderly living

Facing a vexing or even threatening problem, we sometimes feel a sense of hopefulness or futility. “How will I ever get through this situation?” we think.

The truth is we have probably worked our way through many situations much like today’s problem. It is a wonder, for example, that most of us survived the crises brought on by our compulsion. We will certainly be able to work through or around today’s problem.

The Twelve step program is a plan for mastering the problems of life. As we apply its principles in all of our affairs, we find improvements beginning to appear. We also can find the confidence and fortitude that we’ve always needed.

Knowing that my Higher power is in the midst of the situation, I’ll face today’s problem with the assurance of an outcome that will be for my highest good.




Nothing Is Impossible with God.
Each Day Is A New Beginning.
When You Draw Close To God, God Will Draw Close To You.

Spark People Team Leader, GLITTERGIRL, from Team, "I Can't Do This On My Own", helped me reach my goal in 2012. I was able to maintain my weight for several months, but now I have to get serious again as much of my hard work I let go of, putting my focus on another issue. I will keep on, until I get back to my goal.


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ALLENJOSEPH's Photo ALLENJOSEPH SparkPoints: (519,062)
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5/25/21 12:55 A

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May 25

Walk in Dry Places

Forgetting past failures
Living today.

“You never do anything right!” Some of us carry this accusation deep in our minds, perhaps from childhood. We remember past mistakes and failures, sometimes dredging them up again when new failures occur.

When we do this, we unduly burden ourselves with a past that should be released and forgotten. The result of past mistakes was a feeling of inadequacy and helplessness that prolonged our sickness. In those troubled days, we were trying to solve our problems in ways that actually made the problems worse. On that path, there was no hope of a real solution.

Today our failure and mistakes are but signs that we are will human and still fall short of perfection. But now we can use failure to good advantage and even learn from it. Our best progress will come when we separate ourselves from the mistakes and failures of the past.

Today I will not believe that “I never did anything right!” I will go through the day knowing that I am capable and effective, and have the help of my higher power in everything I do.



Nothing Is Impossible with God.
Each Day Is A New Beginning.
When You Draw Close To God, God Will Draw Close To You.

Spark People Team Leader, GLITTERGIRL, from Team, "I Can't Do This On My Own", helped me reach my goal in 2012. I was able to maintain my weight for several months, but now I have to get serious again as much of my hard work I let go of, putting my focus on another issue. I will keep on, until I get back to my goal.


level 25
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5/24/21 12:45 A

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May 24

Walk in Dry Places

Guidance and Power in making Decisions.
Higher power

The Twelve Step movement grew out of an earlier society that emphasized taking “quiet times” and seeking continuous guidance in a group setting. While this isn’t usually practiced by 12 step groups anymore, such exercises are still recommended for individuals.

Our needs in seeking guidance are twofold; FIRST, we must reach a belief that our higher power is always available to supply the guidance and power we need. SECOND, we must take care to set aside personal opinions and prejudices while letting real guidance come through. We can easily fall into serious error by assuming that our own impulses and prejudices are “the will of God” for ourselves and others.

How can we identify real guidance when it comes? Usually, we have a sense of peace and rightness about a God-inspired decision. This will be accompanied by a confidence that the correct way will bed shown to us, perhaps a step at a time. The right decision will also be morally correct, involving no harm to others.

I’ll seek the guidance of my Higher power in all things today, knowing that I have within myself the capacity to heed such guidance and follow it.






Nothing Is Impossible with God.
Each Day Is A New Beginning.
When You Draw Close To God, God Will Draw Close To You.

Spark People Team Leader, GLITTERGIRL, from Team, "I Can't Do This On My Own", helped me reach my goal in 2012. I was able to maintain my weight for several months, but now I have to get serious again as much of my hard work I let go of, putting my focus on another issue. I will keep on, until I get back to my goal.


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5/23/21 12:19 A

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May 23

Walk in Dry Places

Avoid the paralysis of analysis
Practical Spirituality

The good news of the Twelve step program is that we have a Higher Power whose presence serves as a source of guidance and understanding as we go through each day. Letting this power work through us is only a matter of will….. God draws as near to us as we wish to draw near to God.

As we let our Higher Power work, we remember that no scientific explanation for this process is necessary. We could paralysis our spiritual activity by trying to analyze it, thus bringing about an undesirable “paralysis or analysis.” It’s also not necessary to win another’s endorsement of what we’re trying to do. We must not be influenced by any scorn or ridicule of our efforts.

All that’s necessary is that we know God in our own lives and stay faithful to our program. We let the presence of God work freely and smoothly as we go about our business.

I’ll work today with the comfortable knowledge that God is really doing work through me.




Nothing Is Impossible with God.
Each Day Is A New Beginning.
When You Draw Close To God, God Will Draw Close To You.

Spark People Team Leader, GLITTERGIRL, from Team, "I Can't Do This On My Own", helped me reach my goal in 2012. I was able to maintain my weight for several months, but now I have to get serious again as much of my hard work I let go of, putting my focus on another issue. I will keep on, until I get back to my goal.


level 25
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ALLENJOSEPH's Photo ALLENJOSEPH SparkPoints: (519,062)
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5/21/21 11:58 P

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May 22

Walk in Dry Places

Emotional sobriety may be elusive
Serenity

It is easy to know when one is maintaining sobriety as far as alcohol is concerned. Emotional sobriety is more difficult to measure, because is it usually gauged by our behavior and feelings in response to people and situations.

If we lack emotional sobriety, we are likely to end up in “dry drunks”. This means we lose emotional control under pressure or when threatened. We may think we have this control, yet find ourselves falling apart when seemingly small problems come up.

Maybe we have to accept that we will never have all the emotional control that we admire in others. This emotional sensitivity may even be part of our alcoholism. Most important, we must ensure that emotional binges do not become binges involving real booze.

Nor should wed judge ourselves too harshly when we undergo another emotional binge, or “dry drunk.” Such judgmental attitudes, even toward ourselves, may be a form of false pride.
Today I’ll seek all the serenity I can find. If I lose my cool temporarily, I’ll accept it as part of my general problem and get back to orderly thinking as quickly as possible.



Edited by: ALLENJOSEPH at: 5/22/2021 (00:10)
Nothing Is Impossible with God.
Each Day Is A New Beginning.
When You Draw Close To God, God Will Draw Close To You.

Spark People Team Leader, GLITTERGIRL, from Team, "I Can't Do This On My Own", helped me reach my goal in 2012. I was able to maintain my weight for several months, but now I have to get serious again as much of my hard work I let go of, putting my focus on another issue. I will keep on, until I get back to my goal.


level 25
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ALLENJOSEPH's Photo ALLENJOSEPH SparkPoints: (519,062)
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Posts: 30,705
5/21/21 1:02 A

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May 21

Walk in Dry Places

What is a disappointment?
Handling My Outlook

Try as we will for success and achievement, we still must face a number of disappointments in our lives. We may be disappointed by a sales presentation that failed, a repair project that became a nightmare, or a vacation plan that turned sour. How can we handle such disappointments in the spirit of the Twelve Step program?

We must remember not to be too hard on ourselves when disappointments occur. Disappoints are part of the human experience, not misfortunes that come only to certain individuals. If we’ve done our best in any situation, we are not responsible if it did not work out.

Even more important, we should use every disappointment as a learning experience. It’s always possible that one disappointment will provide kernels of truth that will help us succeed in our next effort. Many people point to specific disappointments or setbacks as times when they are able to find new direction.

There are even times when disappointment in a lesser enterprise clears the way for success in a larger one. Whatever the outcome, no disappointment need be final—- nor should we take it as proof that we’re somehow inadequate and unworthy.

I will be positive in my outlook, expecting every effort to be effective and successful. If disappointment comes, however, I will take it in stride, knowing that it’s only a temporary detour in my successful life


Nothing Is Impossible with God.
Each Day Is A New Beginning.
When You Draw Close To God, God Will Draw Close To You.

Spark People Team Leader, GLITTERGIRL, from Team, "I Can't Do This On My Own", helped me reach my goal in 2012. I was able to maintain my weight for several months, but now I have to get serious again as much of my hard work I let go of, putting my focus on another issue. I will keep on, until I get back to my goal.


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Posts: 30,705
5/20/21 12:28 A

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May 20

Walk in Dry Places

Gratitude is not natural.
Gratitude

“Nobody ever gave me a helping hand,” a young alcoholic complained, having handed in prison. “My life has been one bad break after another.”

While this person indeed had bad breaks, it’s doubtful that he’d never been given a helping hand by somebody. If we have no gratitude, it’s likely that we don’t ever recognize a helping hand when it is extended. We may have believed any assistance we took was our right, even resenting our benefactors.

The remedy for such immature thinking is a conscious effort to cultivate gratitude. IF we’re not aware of feeling it, we can at least act as if we have it. Thank people for any favor, no matter how small. Express appreciation for the wonderful people around you. Give people praise at every opportunity.

This will help start a current of gratitude that can be amplified in time. You’ll come to recognize many helping hands.

Today I’ll be grateful and appreciative of everything in my life. I’ll let gratitude build up in my life until I can feel it and others can sense that I have it.



Nothing Is Impossible with God.
Each Day Is A New Beginning.
When You Draw Close To God, God Will Draw Close To You.

Spark People Team Leader, GLITTERGIRL, from Team, "I Can't Do This On My Own", helped me reach my goal in 2012. I was able to maintain my weight for several months, but now I have to get serious again as much of my hard work I let go of, putting my focus on another issue. I will keep on, until I get back to my goal.


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ALLENJOSEPH's Photo ALLENJOSEPH SparkPoints: (519,062)
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5/19/21 12:40 A

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May 19

Walk in Dry Places

Principles are Enduring
Problem Solving

We often emphasize -Principles before personalities– in Twelve Step programs, sometimes without fully understanding what’s involved. The real message of this slogan is that we should treat people equality while following certain guidelines in our own actions.

While we are influenced by strong personalities, we cannot rely on them for complete guidance and direction. People can betray us or simply fail us through no fault of their own. Principles, on the other hand, are enduring and will be with us long after personal relationships wither away.

One unfailing principle for living is to live each day remembering that God is guiding and directing all actions and outcomes. While we will be grateful for the assistance and cooperation of others, we will not hold them responsible for our successor failures.

I’ll live today with the belief that God’s good plan is working gin all people’s lives. I will not expect too much or too little of others, but rather will deal with them fairly and decently.


Nothing Is Impossible with God.
Each Day Is A New Beginning.
When You Draw Close To God, God Will Draw Close To You.

Spark People Team Leader, GLITTERGIRL, from Team, "I Can't Do This On My Own", helped me reach my goal in 2012. I was able to maintain my weight for several months, but now I have to get serious again as much of my hard work I let go of, putting my focus on another issue. I will keep on, until I get back to my goal.


level 25
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ALLENJOSEPH's Photo ALLENJOSEPH SparkPoints: (519,062)
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Posts: 30,705
5/18/21 12:56 A

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May 18

Walk in Dry Places

No Limits on our Higher power

The Spiritual Way

One ancient saying claims that “with God, all things are possible.” That’s quite a statement, one we may claim to believe without living as though we do.

What it really means is that God exists outside the conditions and restrictions that make our own lives so limited. The more we can move into conscious contact with God, the more freedom and power we will experience.

It might be said that all real human progress is the same order. Every advancement in science really reveals more information about God and the universe. We are always discovering new possibilities for humankind as we stretch the frontiers of knowledge.

Our most serious lag is in learning to understand ourselves and each other. It is humbling to realize that the ideas we’re using in Twelve Step programs have been around for centuries. Faced with impossible problems, we must remember that God can solve these problems if only we ask.

I’ll follow today the old idea of working as if everything depended on me and believing as if everything depended on God.




Nothing Is Impossible with God.
Each Day Is A New Beginning.
When You Draw Close To God, God Will Draw Close To You.

Spark People Team Leader, GLITTERGIRL, from Team, "I Can't Do This On My Own", helped me reach my goal in 2012. I was able to maintain my weight for several months, but now I have to get serious again as much of my hard work I let go of, putting my focus on another issue. I will keep on, until I get back to my goal.


level 25
519,062 SparkPoints
ALLENJOSEPH's Photo ALLENJOSEPH SparkPoints: (519,062)
Fitness Minutes: (281,545)
Posts: 30,705
5/17/21 12:41 A

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May 17

Walk in Dry Places

Rehearsing Outcomes
Serenity

Imagination is undeniably a human faculty that accounts for much progress. Compulsive people, however, can use imagination in a most destructive way.

One destructive practice is that of rehearsing i our minds the outcome of some treat or problem, usually expecting the worst. While we should not avoid facing real problems, it’s wrong to assume that the worst will always happen. This tendency to anticipate the worst possible outcome can actually produce the very outcome we’d like to avoid, thus making it a self-fulfilling prophecy.

We can deal with such pessimistic thinking by reminding ourselves that God is in charge and will bring our good to pass in just the right way.If we’re going to rehearse anything, let it be an outcome that includes the best for everybody, including ourselves.

I’ll expect the best today, knowing that all outcomes and results are in God’s hands.


Nothing Is Impossible with God.
Each Day Is A New Beginning.
When You Draw Close To God, God Will Draw Close To You.

Spark People Team Leader, GLITTERGIRL, from Team, "I Can't Do This On My Own", helped me reach my goal in 2012. I was able to maintain my weight for several months, but now I have to get serious again as much of my hard work I let go of, putting my focus on another issue. I will keep on, until I get back to my goal.


level 25
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ALLENJOSEPH's Photo ALLENJOSEPH SparkPoints: (519,062)
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Posts: 30,705
5/16/21 12:33 A

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May 16

Walk in Dry Places

Trees Don’t grow to the sky
Progress


Release from a compulsion can be a dramatic experience. It may also mean immediate release from vexing problems caused by the compulsion. This time can bring such a sense of well-being that it’s sometimes called the HONEYMOON or CLOUD NINE period.

In any growth process, however, we must remember that a law of diminishing returns sets in. This is expressed in the saying that trees don’t grow to the sky. At some point, we will discover that our joyous feeling of pleasure has cooled down to an ordinary state of feeling well, that we are not becoming increasingly joyous by the day.

There’s nothing wrong with such a mental plateau. If we’re practicing the Twelve Step program, we’re still moving forward, onward, and upward. Diminishing returns must still be counted as returns.

I’ll accept today’s progress with gratitude and humility. I won’t expect more than a reasonable feeling of well-being and contentment, but that is considerable.



Nothing Is Impossible with God.
Each Day Is A New Beginning.
When You Draw Close To God, God Will Draw Close To You.

Spark People Team Leader, GLITTERGIRL, from Team, "I Can't Do This On My Own", helped me reach my goal in 2012. I was able to maintain my weight for several months, but now I have to get serious again as much of my hard work I let go of, putting my focus on another issue. I will keep on, until I get back to my goal.


level 25
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ALLENJOSEPH's Photo ALLENJOSEPH SparkPoints: (519,062)
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Posts: 30,705
5/15/21 12:44 A

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May 15

Walk in Dry Places

Trusting others
Personal Relationships

Some people trust others too much, while a few seem to have no trust at all. Either stance is wrong and leads to some kind of trouble.

As we grow in our Twelve Step program, we learn the truth about trust. We can trust others if our expectations aren’t too high. We have to remember, however, that as human beings they can fail us. However, it’s also unrealistic to be suspicious of everyone. The truth is that most people aren’t out to get us or to hurt us. They are pursuing their own interests, just as we must do.

As we grow emotionally, we come to see that we have less difficulty trusting others. We no longer make outrageous demands on them or stretch their patience to the limits. We also realize that there are many times when we can work co-operatively with everybody’s interest in mind.

I’ll think realistically about others today, being careful not to expect either too much or too little from the. I’ll certainly not expect more from them than I could reasonably expect from myself.

Nothing Is Impossible with God.
Each Day Is A New Beginning.
When You Draw Close To God, God Will Draw Close To You.

Spark People Team Leader, GLITTERGIRL, from Team, "I Can't Do This On My Own", helped me reach my goal in 2012. I was able to maintain my weight for several months, but now I have to get serious again as much of my hard work I let go of, putting my focus on another issue. I will keep on, until I get back to my goal.


level 25
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ALLENJOSEPH's Photo ALLENJOSEPH SparkPoints: (519,062)
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Posts: 30,705
5/14/21 12:38 A

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May 14

Walk in Dry Places

Making Laws For Ourselves
Attaining Freedom

Being human means that we’re subject to all the laws and limitations that apply to human beings. We should not, however, put more limitations on ourselves than might be required by our situation.

Recovering People should be able to do anything within their capabilities. It’s usually a mistake to think that our problem means forfeiture of opportunities. One person, for example, often told his friends that he could not return to his former profession in sales because “nobody want to hire an alcoholic salesman.”

But it is not written anywhere that firms will not gladly welcome a capable sales associate who is recovering. Many alcoholics do return to their former employment upon recovery. Our friend was simply making a law for himself by believing he was blocked from this field.

Let’s always remember that recovery is freedom, not bondage. And let’s see ourselves doing anything that’s reasonable and proper for others.

Having rejoined the human race, I’ll enthusiastically accept all the advantages and opportunities others have.


Nothing Is Impossible with God.
Each Day Is A New Beginning.
When You Draw Close To God, God Will Draw Close To You.

Spark People Team Leader, GLITTERGIRL, from Team, "I Can't Do This On My Own", helped me reach my goal in 2012. I was able to maintain my weight for several months, but now I have to get serious again as much of my hard work I let go of, putting my focus on another issue. I will keep on, until I get back to my goal.


level 25
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ALLENJOSEPH's Photo ALLENJOSEPH SparkPoints: (519,062)
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5/13/21 12:57 A

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May 13

Walk in Dry Places

Who’s to blame?
Personal responsibility.

Unless we’re unusual, we’ve probably accepted the widespread practice of blaming certain individuals and groups when trouble occurs. Most likely, we’ll also have people whom we blame for our own difficulties: unloving parents, careless teachers, unfair bosses, and others on an endless list.
However accurate it may be, such blame-placing does nothing constructive. It really serves only to reinforce our bitterness and resentment, thus assuring that more of the same “injustices” will come to us.
The real truth is that we have no complete explanation for the world’s individual and social wrongs. While certain individuals are admittedly guilty of wrongdoing, it often turns out that they’ve also been victims of cruelty or neglect. Our goal, as people committed to a spiritual way of life, is to rise above all blame placing while striving for improvement in our own treatment of others.
Though I may read and hear much to the contrary, I’ll resist the notion that certain people or groups must be held accountable for the world’s problems. I’ll focus my attention, this day, on improvement in my own life.

Nothing Is Impossible with God.
Each Day Is A New Beginning.
When You Draw Close To God, God Will Draw Close To You.

Spark People Team Leader, GLITTERGIRL, from Team, "I Can't Do This On My Own", helped me reach my goal in 2012. I was able to maintain my weight for several months, but now I have to get serious again as much of my hard work I let go of, putting my focus on another issue. I will keep on, until I get back to my goal.


level 25
519,062 SparkPoints
ALLENJOSEPH's Photo ALLENJOSEPH SparkPoints: (519,062)
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Posts: 30,705
5/12/21 12:46 A

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May 12

Walk in Dry Places

Repeating the old hurts
Serenity

It’s been pointed out that the real meaning of resentment is to “re-feel” an old injury. This means that we let ourselves feel again the pain we had when we were previously wronged.
Common sense tells us that this is a foolish practice. But with emotions like resentment, common sense can be crowded out. It is a rare person who can avoid resentment about matters that caused deep injury. Resentment is so much a part of everyday life. In fact, that it’s considered abnormal not to resent a real wrong.

We’ve also been conditioned to believe that we’re being spineless and wimpy if we don’t become outraged by certain injustices and wrongs. There’s a difference, however, between feeling strongly that something is wrong and being sullen and resentful about it. The first kind of feeling helps us remedy the problem; the second feeling simply intensifies our hurt. Under no circumstances can we afford resentment.

I’ll make this day resentment-free, despite the currents of feeling and bitterness around me. “Re-feeling” old injuries is not the way to the happier life I seek.



Nothing Is Impossible with God.
Each Day Is A New Beginning.
When You Draw Close To God, God Will Draw Close To You.

Spark People Team Leader, GLITTERGIRL, from Team, "I Can't Do This On My Own", helped me reach my goal in 2012. I was able to maintain my weight for several months, but now I have to get serious again as much of my hard work I let go of, putting my focus on another issue. I will keep on, until I get back to my goal.


level 25
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ALLENJOSEPH's Photo ALLENJOSEPH SparkPoints: (519,062)
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Posts: 30,705
5/11/21 12:43 A

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May 11

Walk in Dry Places

Unfair People
Relations

Now and then, we encounter people who are almost blatant in their unfairness to others. We may make a 200-mile drive to a customer who is completely unprepared to see us, despite having had advanced notice. Or we may have a friend who is openly critical of our shortcomings while completely overlooking his or her own.

Unfair though these people may be, they give us the opportunity to exercise spiritual muscles. We can improve ourselves and the world by refusing to retaliate when such unfairness occurs.
The long-term benefit is that many of these unfair people change or fade out of our lives. As we handle such things spiritually, we recall times when we too were unfair, and we realize that such faults are part of the human condition. We are lucky people because we’re being given the opportunity to raise the human condition to a higher level. We also hear that “life’s isn’t fair”, it’s just there” Not understanding life completely , we’re not sure about its fairness. What we are sure about is that we value fairness and can show more of it now that we’re sober.

I will not seek out unfair treatment today, but neither will I be upset if it occurs. If it does, I’ll deal with it as another lesson in my spiritual growth.


Nothing Is Impossible with God.
Each Day Is A New Beginning.
When You Draw Close To God, God Will Draw Close To You.

Spark People Team Leader, GLITTERGIRL, from Team, "I Can't Do This On My Own", helped me reach my goal in 2012. I was able to maintain my weight for several months, but now I have to get serious again as much of my hard work I let go of, putting my focus on another issue. I will keep on, until I get back to my goal.


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Posts: 30,705
5/10/21 1:09 A

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May 10

Walk In Dry Places

Doing the impossible things

Achievements.

One of our friends became critical of our AA group, suggesting that we were limiting ourselves by focusing solely on recovery when so many other accomplishments waited on the horizon. After all, isn’t it written that “with God, all things are possible?”

It is indeed true that we should place no limits at all on our Higher Power. Even nonbelievers will admit that nature and the universe show power and intelligence that are far beyond our understanding.

What limits us is our own ability to receive and use our Higher Power in proper ways. Even if our journey in the program gives us boundless self-confidence, we must always deal with our own selfish tendencies and the temptation to seek personal gain rather than personal improvement. Certain kinds of success can be fully as toxic as any drug. Some of us, in fact, can deal with disappointments more effectively than we can with too much success.

The Idea of “doing impossible things” is fully covered in the Steps. We seek knowledge of “God’s will for us and the Power to carry that out.” This means that we’ll find the where-withdrawal to do anything that belongs in our lives. Anything else is needless and perhaps even dangerous.

I’ll not feel that I lack faith simply because I haven’t been able to reach certain goals. My Higher Power will show me how to balance my life so I can accept what is rightfully mine. There is no need to do the seemingly “impossible” unless it is in the order of things.




Nothing Is Impossible with God.
Each Day Is A New Beginning.
When You Draw Close To God, God Will Draw Close To You.

Spark People Team Leader, GLITTERGIRL, from Team, "I Can't Do This On My Own", helped me reach my goal in 2012. I was able to maintain my weight for several months, but now I have to get serious again as much of my hard work I let go of, putting my focus on another issue. I will keep on, until I get back to my goal.


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ALLENJOSEPH's Photo ALLENJOSEPH SparkPoints: (519,062)
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Posts: 30,705
5/9/21 12:28 A

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May 9

Walk in Dry Places

The Importance of Hope
Maintaining Optimism.

As a great virtue, hope is ranked with faith and love. But those of us caught in the thicket of alcoholism and other addictions had much experience with hopes that turned out to be merely cruel illusions. In recovery, however, hope has a sound purpose. It is really a form of optimism, an underlying belief that things will work out in spite of the obstacles and problems we face. This helps provide the strength and energy we need to succeed in the face of opposition and setbacks.

We also own much of our recovery to the capacity for hope that was in our friends and family members. Henrietta D… wife of AA member Number three, told an interviewer that she had never lost hope that her husband would eventually recover. She saw it as the answer to her hope and prayers when Bill W. and Dr. Bob arrived at her husband’s bedside in Akron’s City Hospital… an when he left, he never drank again.

Hope is the optimism that keeps us moving toward our highest good. Let’s keep it alive.

I’ll face my day with the underlying belief that things will work out in the long run. I’ll refuse to be overwhelmed by temporary setbacks.



Nothing Is Impossible with God.
Each Day Is A New Beginning.
When You Draw Close To God, God Will Draw Close To You.

Spark People Team Leader, GLITTERGIRL, from Team, "I Can't Do This On My Own", helped me reach my goal in 2012. I was able to maintain my weight for several months, but now I have to get serious again as much of my hard work I let go of, putting my focus on another issue. I will keep on, until I get back to my goal.


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5/8/21 12:36 A

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May 8

Walk in Dry Places

Regrets over roads not taken
Releasing the past.

Looking back, every one of us can point to moment when we made choices that helped set the course of our lives. It?s easy to waste time and energy wondering what our lives would have been like if other choices had been made at these critical points.

Such thinking is mostly a waste of time and may reflect dissatisfaction with our lives today. Whatever our past mistakes, the decisions we made that brought us sobriety were the correct ones. Realizing this, many of us even come to feel gratitude for the problem that brought us into the program.

We are never able to say with certainty that different choices made earlier in life would have been better in the long run. Bill W., an AA co-founder, said that a business setback moved him to make the calls that led him to Dr. Bob, the other co-founder. Had his business venture succeeded, it?s doubtful that Bill would have been thinking about helping another alcoholic.

The best choice any of us can make is to turn such maters and questions over to our Higher Power. We have a duty to do the best we can with today?s opportunities and conditions.

I’ll live today in the present. The good experiences from the past are always with me, and I can benefit from any lessons learned by my mistakes.




Nothing Is Impossible with God.
Each Day Is A New Beginning.
When You Draw Close To God, God Will Draw Close To You.

Spark People Team Leader, GLITTERGIRL, from Team, "I Can't Do This On My Own", helped me reach my goal in 2012. I was able to maintain my weight for several months, but now I have to get serious again as much of my hard work I let go of, putting my focus on another issue. I will keep on, until I get back to my goal.


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5/7/21 12:26 A

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May 7

Walk in Dry Places

Did I have a dysfunctional family?
Healing the Past.

We hear much about the long-term effects of growing up in a dysfunctional family. Many alcoholics, in fact, have bitter memories of their own parents’ drinking, and may feel this caused needless deprivation and misery.

Whether our families were dysfunctional or not, we must agree that most of our parents did the best they could. We cannot bring back the past—- nor can they, —-and it is best released, forgiven, and forgotten. Our wisest course is to use the tools of the program to reach the maturity and well-being that will bring happiness into our own lives. This will not happen, however, if we believe that growing up in a dysfunctional home has left us permanently impaired.

In our fellowship, we can find endless examples of people who used the Twelve Steps to overcome all kinds of emotional and physical disabilities. Just when we start thinking something in our past is a permanent handicap, we meet other people who survived the same bitter experiences and are living life to the fullest. They’ve cleared away the wreckage of their past in order to build wisely for the future.

I’ll remember today that I am not bound or limited by anything that was ever done or said to me. I face the day with self-confidence and a sense of expectancy, knowing that I am really a fortunate person with many reasons to be grateful.

Nothing Is Impossible with God.
Each Day Is A New Beginning.
When You Draw Close To God, God Will Draw Close To You.

Spark People Team Leader, GLITTERGIRL, from Team, "I Can't Do This On My Own", helped me reach my goal in 2012. I was able to maintain my weight for several months, but now I have to get serious again as much of my hard work I let go of, putting my focus on another issue. I will keep on, until I get back to my goal.


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5/6/21 12:46 A

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May 6

Walk in Dry Places

Dealing with Fear
Challenges

Some of us suffer from a free-floating anxiety that is like a general fear, while others have specific fears that cause distress. Sometimes the specific fears are easier to face, because they can at least be identified. Most of us dread that other kind— a sort of general apprehension that things are not well or that something very bad is about to happen.

It’s reasonable to have some fear when facing trouble or risk. It’s unreasonable, however, to let fear keep us from acting in our own best interests. A review of the past may show that may of us did that while drinking– and brought even more calamities upon ourselves.

Whatever the fear, the answer is always the same. We must apply our principles to the problem, take ay reasonable action and then place the outcome in God’s hands. No person can do more than this.

This will not bring permanent victory over fear. It will however, give us confidence in the program as a tool for dealing with fears that arise in the future.

I may have to deal with fear today, but I will accept it as part of the human condition. I know that I have great spiritual resources to deal with any fear that might arise, and this gives me confidence and reassurance.



Nothing Is Impossible with God.
Each Day Is A New Beginning.
When You Draw Close To God, God Will Draw Close To You.

Spark People Team Leader, GLITTERGIRL, from Team, "I Can't Do This On My Own", helped me reach my goal in 2012. I was able to maintain my weight for several months, but now I have to get serious again as much of my hard work I let go of, putting my focus on another issue. I will keep on, until I get back to my goal.


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5/5/21 12:58 A

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May 5

Walk in Dry Places

Tough Honesty?
Honesty

The term tough love came into use to describe an attitude that aims to correct bad behavior by refusing to indulge or enable it. In the same way, we must recognize that there’s such a thing as tough honesty when situations require us to deal with unpleasant facts.

One employer liked to compliment his subordinates even for work that he actually considered substandard. Later on, however, he would express his real opinions to an intermediate supervisor, who would then be forced to convey the bad news to the workers involved. The employer thought he was being kind, when he was actually being deceptive and treacherous simply because he wanted to be liked.

We have a moral obligation to practice though honesty whenever it is required, if something unacceptable needs to be dealt with, we must do so in a timely manner….. Taking care to be as reasonable and fair as possible in stating our case.

Being honest in this way with others is also a reminder that we should always be honest with ourselves.

Today I’ll face the need for real honest whenever it’s required. I’ll be upfront with myself and others about anything that must be faced and dealt with. I will not use supposed kindness as an excuse for bearing false witness.




Nothing Is Impossible with God.
Each Day Is A New Beginning.
When You Draw Close To God, God Will Draw Close To You.

Spark People Team Leader, GLITTERGIRL, from Team, "I Can't Do This On My Own", helped me reach my goal in 2012. I was able to maintain my weight for several months, but now I have to get serious again as much of my hard work I let go of, putting my focus on another issue. I will keep on, until I get back to my goal.


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5/4/21 1:04 A

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May 4

Walk In Dry Places

Secrets of the New Happiness
Success in living.

Most of us know whether other people are truly happy. What’s odd, however, is that we don’t often try to practice the things that bring happiness to others. Often, the happiness we’re striving for is really a form of excitement____ trying to be continuously stimulated so as not to be bored or depressed.

Excitement does not create happiness. We find true happiness when we learn to serve others in right ways; that is, without demanding their gratitude or some other recognition. We also find true happiness in self-acceptance___ being generally satisfied with our lot in life and grateful for the self-improvement we’ve found. We find happiness, too, in keeping occupied with useful activities that place demands on our energies and abilities.

There is no such thing as a happy alcoholic who is still drinking. There are also recovering people who have not yet found happiness. But the program unlocks the happiness, and we do have members whose happiness is an example to others.

I can be happy one day at a time. I will make the choice to be happy today, and to let tomorrow come in its own time. Nothing can interfere with today’s happiness.



Nothing Is Impossible with God.
Each Day Is A New Beginning.
When You Draw Close To God, God Will Draw Close To You.

Spark People Team Leader, GLITTERGIRL, from Team, "I Can't Do This On My Own", helped me reach my goal in 2012. I was able to maintain my weight for several months, but now I have to get serious again as much of my hard work I let go of, putting my focus on another issue. I will keep on, until I get back to my goal.


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5/3/21 12:43 A

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May 3

Walk in Dry Places

Knowing a new freedom
Spiritual growth

Most of us place a high value on freedom without always knowing what it really is, or ought to be. “Freedom” in the drinking world is often merely license to indulge ourselves without concern about consequences. This false freedom usually forces us into dependency or the need to rely on others to get us out of trouble.

The “new freedom” that comes out of the 12 Steps is a higher order. It means that by following principles in living we find choices and experiences that were never possible in the old life. We are free from the destructive behavior that always ended in pain and defeat.

This freedom is more of the spirit than of worldly things. It is knowing the truth about ourselves and life. As the Bible says, “You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” In this new freedom, we no longer pursue activities that are ruinous and wasteful. We no longer deceive ourselves with painful illusions and false hopes, because we’ve learned to live and think on higher levels. Knowing the truth, we’re free from alcohol and from the bad thinking that poisoned our lives and relationships.

Today I’ll be grateful for the new freedom I have found in the program. I am free from the compulsions that caused me to hurt myself and others. I am free to choose new opportunities for service and self-expression.



Nothing Is Impossible with God.
Each Day Is A New Beginning.
When You Draw Close To God, God Will Draw Close To You.

Spark People Team Leader, GLITTERGIRL, from Team, "I Can't Do This On My Own", helped me reach my goal in 2012. I was able to maintain my weight for several months, but now I have to get serious again as much of my hard work I let go of, putting my focus on another issue. I will keep on, until I get back to my goal.


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5/1/21 11:53 P

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May 2

Walk in Dry Places

Look out for the power trips
Understanding hidden motives


We can often use a lofty reason to disguise a hidden motive behind our actions. We might be seeking power over people’s lives, for example, while claiming that “we’re only out to help them.” We may argue for a point of view only to establish a position of power. Such power trips are destructive, and others usually see them for what they really are.

If we’ve really accepted the principles of the Twelve Steps, we have no need for power trips. The logic of Step Eleven, for example, is that we’ll always have the power needed to carry out what’s in line with God’s will for us. We do not have to jostle and manipulate others to establish our importance or our authority.

When we really come to terms with our own tendencies to take power trips, we’ll be able to deal with others who come on strong with their power trips. We’ll soon perceive that such threats usually fade when we refuse to resist them or be upset by them.

I’ll undoubtedly meet people today who are maneuvering for power in different situations. I will neither criticize nor oppose them.My responsibility today is to avoid any of my own tendencies to take such power trips.



Nothing Is Impossible with God.
Each Day Is A New Beginning.
When You Draw Close To God, God Will Draw Close To You.

Spark People Team Leader, GLITTERGIRL, from Team, "I Can't Do This On My Own", helped me reach my goal in 2012. I was able to maintain my weight for several months, but now I have to get serious again as much of my hard work I let go of, putting my focus on another issue. I will keep on, until I get back to my goal.


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5/1/21 1:01 A

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May 1

Walking In Dry Places

Accepting Equal Treatment
Growing Spiritually

One of our AA friends was a district judge in a northern community. On his way to speak at our meeting, he was given a speeding ticket by a state policeman.

“Didn’t you tell him you are a judge?” we wanted to know. Smiling sheepishly, he shook his head. It occurred to us, then, that acceptance of the speeding ticket without argument was also an exercise in principles for him. First, he was accepting the same laws he administered to others. Additionally, accepting the ticket was a working of the Tenth Step—“. . . and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.” Finally, he realized that the ticket may have been a disguised blessing to help him correct a tendency to speed.

As recovering alcoholic, we always function better when we accept such principles in our own lives. Every person is special, yet as part of the human race in general, we must accept the same treatment that is given to others. We can grow spiritually when we accept such equality without resentment or demands for special treatment.

As a human being, I know that today I’m subject to all the things that can happen to human beings. I will not demand or expect privileges that are not available on an equal basis to others.



Nothing Is Impossible with God.
Each Day Is A New Beginning.
When You Draw Close To God, God Will Draw Close To You.

Spark People Team Leader, GLITTERGIRL, from Team, "I Can't Do This On My Own", helped me reach my goal in 2012. I was able to maintain my weight for several months, but now I have to get serious again as much of my hard work I let go of, putting my focus on another issue. I will keep on, until I get back to my goal.


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4/30/21 12:05 A

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April 30

Walk in Dry Places

Addicted to Crisis

Personal Relations

It’s sometimes a surprise to learn that we mismanage our affairs even in sobriety. We may even find that we seem to be addicted to problem situations. It takes a crisis, it seems, to give us the energy and purpose we need to get things done.

One common form of this strange addiction is procrastination. Some of us have a tendency to put off important tasks until the very last moment, and then work overtime to get the job done.

Is this laziness? Maybe it is, to some extent. Maybe, however, we need an impending emergency to get motivated and energized to do what needs to be done. Maybe we’re addicted to crisis.

If so, this may be another disease that can be arrested but not cured. We arrest it by slowly adopting better work habits and paying closer attention to schedules and deadlines. Working with greater efficiency, we’ll have more time and energy for the things that really matter.

Today I don’t need a crisis to take charge of my life and do what needs to be done. I’ll tackle at least one thing I’ve been putting off, and either complete the task or get a good start on it.


Nothing Is Impossible with God.
Each Day Is A New Beginning.
When You Draw Close To God, God Will Draw Close To You.

Spark People Team Leader, GLITTERGIRL, from Team, "I Can't Do This On My Own", helped me reach my goal in 2012. I was able to maintain my weight for several months, but now I have to get serious again as much of my hard work I let go of, putting my focus on another issue. I will keep on, until I get back to my goal.


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4/29/21 12:25 A

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April 29

Walk in Dry Places

Remember the Past, but don’t live in it.
Living today.

In some ways, the Twelve Step recovery process invites trouble in dealing with the past. We’re supposed to forget the past and live for today. But the opening thoughts delivered at meetings often review the past in painful detail, thus reinforcing the tendency to relive it. How should we approach this problem?

Our need is to remember the past while releasing any bitterness, regrets, or hurts connected with it. We must never live in the past, which we are doing when we feel either resentment or remorse about actions of others or ourselves. It is, however, helpful to remember what happened in the past so that we will no longer repeat the same mistakes.

We should also remember the past as a means of keeping ourselves both humble and honest. It should help us feel gratitude that we no longer have to live as we once did.

Remembering the past in open “lead” meetings is sometimes called “qualifying” as an alcoholic. It is an aid to carrying the message of recovery and a way of building more strength and understanding for today and tomorrow.

I’ll be pleased today that I can remember the past without living in it. I am free from the old hurts and problems that would keep me from directing all of my energies and attention to what I am doing here and now.



Nothing Is Impossible with God.
Each Day Is A New Beginning.
When You Draw Close To God, God Will Draw Close To You.

Spark People Team Leader, GLITTERGIRL, from Team, "I Can't Do This On My Own", helped me reach my goal in 2012. I was able to maintain my weight for several months, but now I have to get serious again as much of my hard work I let go of, putting my focus on another issue. I will keep on, until I get back to my goal.


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4/28/21 1:01 A

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April 28

Walk in Dry Places

Expect Miracle-working Coincidences
Spiritual direction

Somebody said that a wonderful coincidence is when God acts but does not
choose to leave a signature. Wonderful coincidences are appearing every moment of the day. People who live the spiritual life are especially positioned to recognize and understand coincidences.

The founding of AA abounds with coincidences that boggle the mind. Almost by chance, the Oxford Group ideas found their way to Bill Wilson. A business trip took him to Akron where, coincidentally. An earnest group of Oxford Group people were trying to help Dr. Bob Smith to sobriety. With his business venture in collapse, Bill made the telephone call that put him in touch with Dr. Bob, eventually resulting in the launch of AA.

Such miraculous coincidences work for the fellowship, and they’re also at work in our individual lives. If we look closely, we’ll discover that many such coincidences helped bring about our recovery or some other blessing.

God is the guiding power behind these coincidences. What appears to be chance is really a marvelous intelligence coordinating random events for the good of all.

I’ll have confidence today that God is always bringing positive results out of a number of random events.


Nothing Is Impossible with God.
Each Day Is A New Beginning.
When You Draw Close To God, God Will Draw Close To You.

Spark People Team Leader, GLITTERGIRL, from Team, "I Can't Do This On My Own", helped me reach my goal in 2012. I was able to maintain my weight for several months, but now I have to get serious again as much of my hard work I let go of, putting my focus on another issue. I will keep on, until I get back to my goal.


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4/27/21 1:02 A

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April 27

Walk in Dry Places

Happy People are likable.
Personal relations.

Who are the people we really like, and to be with? Most of the time, they are happy people, people who like themselves and others.

Being happy is almost the entire secret of being likable. Though no person can expect to be liked by everybody, likable people have the inside track most of the time.

How do we become happy and thus likable? We’re continuously told that happiness cannot be found in property, power, and prestige. It is rooted instead in self-acceptance. In feeling loved and wanted, and in giving genuine service, maybe just in the form of very useful work.

Twelve Step programs are structured to make us happy if we persevere long enough in working the individual steps. While it may seem contradictory, even people with heavy burdens and personal sorrows can find underlying happiness in the program. A great deal of this also hinges on our belief in a Higher Power and a confidence that we have a place in the universal system.

I can be happy today in spite of things that others would consider burdensome and depressing. Happiness really comes from God, and it also serves to attract friends into my life.





Nothing Is Impossible with God.
Each Day Is A New Beginning.
When You Draw Close To God, God Will Draw Close To You.

Spark People Team Leader, GLITTERGIRL, from Team, "I Can't Do This On My Own", helped me reach my goal in 2012. I was able to maintain my weight for several months, but now I have to get serious again as much of my hard work I let go of, putting my focus on another issue. I will keep on, until I get back to my goal.


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4/26/21 1:07 A

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April 26

Walk in Dry Places

Never withholding ourselves.
Living Sober.

We may have let ourselves believe that we’re supposed to display an attitude that expresses our opinions of others. If a person is crude and boorish, we should be cool and defensive for our self-protection. If a person is warm and friendly, we should respond in warm and friendly ways.
If we have believed these things, then we’re actually letting others control our attitudes and behavior. We are letting personalities interfere with the high principles we are learning in AA. We are not living at the best possible level.
In reality, we should always display an attitude that reflects kindness, optimism, friendliness, and concern. There other person’s disposition, whether it’s sour or sweet, should have nothing to do with our being what we want to be. We should never withhold the fine inner qualities that develop and grow as we continue to live the program.
In time, we begin to learn that this attitude always comes back to us in the form of greater peace and happiness. And what’s great about iti s that it’s always under our direct control.
As I go about my business today, I will express a kindliness and concern toward everybody. Nobody’s behavior can make me adopt a suspicious or defensive attitude.


Nothing Is Impossible with God.
Each Day Is A New Beginning.
When You Draw Close To God, God Will Draw Close To You.

Spark People Team Leader, GLITTERGIRL, from Team, "I Can't Do This On My Own", helped me reach my goal in 2012. I was able to maintain my weight for several months, but now I have to get serious again as much of my hard work I let go of, putting my focus on another issue. I will keep on, until I get back to my goal.


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4/25/21 12:20 A

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April 25

WALK IN DRY PLACES

FIXING NEEDS
Inventory.

AA pioneers once thought of their work as “fixing” drunks. That was dropped in AA, but “getting a fix” survives in the drug culture.

The truth is, we can’t fix anybody, nor can we fix any problem with a destructive, mood altering drug. What we’re really seeking ? what every compulsive person really seeks?. Is to fix the conflicting needs that tear us apart at the seams.

We can fix many of those needs over time if we practice Twelve step principles. “That searching and fearless moral inventory”, humbling though it may be, will expose the fierce drives that are consuming us. Sharing the truth about ourselves with others helps us understand both what is right and what is wrong in our lives. The power to change ourselves, when we desire it, comes from a Higher Power? God as we understand Him.

Somebody has summed this process up this way: “Need a fix? Fix the need!” We can use that idea to fix our needs today by following the Twelve Step program. At times, we may not even by completely aware of our real needs. This too will be revealed to us as we continue in this program.

I’ll start my day by affirming that there’s no need that can cause me to do anything destructive. As any problem arises, I learn how to fix my needs in healthy ways.



Nothing Is Impossible with God.
Each Day Is A New Beginning.
When You Draw Close To God, God Will Draw Close To You.

Spark People Team Leader, GLITTERGIRL, from Team, "I Can't Do This On My Own", helped me reach my goal in 2012. I was able to maintain my weight for several months, but now I have to get serious again as much of my hard work I let go of, putting my focus on another issue. I will keep on, until I get back to my goal.


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4/24/21 12:53 A

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April 24

Walk in Dry Places

Do I trigger gossip?
Personal inventory.

There is a saying that “listening to gossip is gossip”. How true! If there were no listeners, there would never be any gossip.

Some of us who pride ourselves in refraining from gossip may still have a problem with it. It’s possible we still keep our ears open for any juicy gossip that could fall our way. We might also “shake the tree” if we believe another person has some gossip to share with us. This is done in seemingly innocent ways, sometimes just by mentioning the name of a person to another who may have strong opinions to express.

The harm of gossip lies in what we do to ourselves when we engage in it. There is no way we can continue to have spiritual growth if we practice gossip, even as passive listeners. Spiritual growth takes place within us, and it needs an environment completely free of an ill will.

Let’s beware of any tendency to say things that induce others to gossip. At the same time, let’s tune out gossip that seems to occur spontaneously. Gossip is the enemy of the growth we desire.

It is a real relief to know that today I have no desire to spread gossip or listen to it. This includes things I might read in magazines or newspapers.



Nothing Is Impossible with God.
Each Day Is A New Beginning.
When You Draw Close To God, God Will Draw Close To You.

Spark People Team Leader, GLITTERGIRL, from Team, "I Can't Do This On My Own", helped me reach my goal in 2012. I was able to maintain my weight for several months, but now I have to get serious again as much of my hard work I let go of, putting my focus on another issue. I will keep on, until I get back to my goal.


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4/23/21 1:09 A

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April 23

WALK IN DRY PLACES

WHEN AM I MANIPULATIVE?

Personal relations.

Without understanding our motives, we can easily lapse into behavior aimed at manipulating others. Sulking is a means of letting others know we are displeased and forcing them to attempt to win our approval. Flattery is a false expression of approval that we don’t really feel?. Giving others good strokes for our own purpose. Withholding deserved praise is a means of putting others down, something we’re likely to do because of our jealousy.

Manipulative behavior is almost always selfish behavior. IT is usually a false means of trying to get our own way. It is certainly an immature way of dealing with people and situations.

The best way to avoid being manipulative is to be ourselves at all times. We have neither the right nor the responsibility to control or regulate other people. Our best approach, in trying to influence others’ actions, is simply to state our own case with sincerity and honest. Others must be free to act, free to choose, and free to make their own decisions without manipulative interference on our part.

I will be myself at all times today. I will not assume false roles simply for the purpose of bending others to my own will. Manipulative behavior is controlling behavior, which I must avoid.

The door to the human heart can only be opened from the Inside.


Nothing Is Impossible with God.
Each Day Is A New Beginning.
When You Draw Close To God, God Will Draw Close To You.

Spark People Team Leader, GLITTERGIRL, from Team, "I Can't Do This On My Own", helped me reach my goal in 2012. I was able to maintain my weight for several months, but now I have to get serious again as much of my hard work I let go of, putting my focus on another issue. I will keep on, until I get back to my goal.


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4/22/21 12:48 A

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April 22

WALK IN DRY PLACES

FAKING IT, AND THEN MAKING IT.
Finding the Spirit of the Thing

We’re sometimes advised to “fake it until you make it.” But how can
anything false really lead us to recovery? Aren’t we told that this is
an honest program?

We’re not being dishonest by pushing ourselves to become actively
involved in AA. The self-help movements have told us for years that we
have to form an image of what we want to be in order to reach our goals.

We are forming an image that corresponds to the sober people we want to
be. We are actually rehearsing sober living and working to accept a
picture of sobriety in our heart of hearts.

There’s also much to be said for “faking it” enough to attend meetings
and try to benefit from association with people – even those we
don’t like. This puts us in line for the change we really need.

A lot of members say that they “white-knuckled it” during the first
months or years of sobriety. If this worked to bring recovery, it had to
be the right approach.

Even if there is rebellion within, today I’ll talk and act like the
sober person I want to be.

Nothing Is Impossible with God.
Each Day Is A New Beginning.
When You Draw Close To God, God Will Draw Close To You.

Spark People Team Leader, GLITTERGIRL, from Team, "I Can't Do This On My Own", helped me reach my goal in 2012. I was able to maintain my weight for several months, but now I have to get serious again as much of my hard work I let go of, putting my focus on another issue. I will keep on, until I get back to my goal.


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4/21/21 1:36 A

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April 21

Walk in Dry Places

The Good that I do
Action

Why do we hold back when we’re offered the opportunity to help others or to do something unusually kind? Why is it that many people are reluctant to give of themselves unless rewarded with recognition or praise?

We may hold back because we do not understand that any good action always brings its own reward. Despite Shakespeare’s timeless saying, the good we do is not “interred with our bones”… it does survive, now and in the future.

We’ve learned in Twelve Step programs that it’s not really satisfying to work only for recognition and praise. There also has to be a confident feeling that our efforts are contributing to a large good with a worthwhile purpose. That’s what makes AA so special to people who are completely devoted to it… we know that anything done for AA makes the world a better place.

We should also know that those who can help others are fortunate, well-favored people. Others may want to help, but lack the tools. We have the tools to give the help that changes lives—- and the world.

The good that I do today is a treasure I’ll always possess. I need not fear the act of letting my higher self take over and guide me.


Nothing Is Impossible with God.
Each Day Is A New Beginning.
When You Draw Close To God, God Will Draw Close To You.

Spark People Team Leader, GLITTERGIRL, from Team, "I Can't Do This On My Own", helped me reach my goal in 2012. I was able to maintain my weight for several months, but now I have to get serious again as much of my hard work I let go of, putting my focus on another issue. I will keep on, until I get back to my goal.


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4/20/21 1:04 A

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April 20

WALK IN DRY PLACES

AVOIDING EMOTIONAL WHIRLPOOLS

Serenity

If we were rattling down a rough river, we would try to steer away from whirlpools and rocky rapids. Living each day requires the same alertness. We’re asking for trouble if we drift into malicious discussions about other people… even those who seem to deserve it. We’re also sliding into rocky rapids if we get into supercharged arguments about political and religious issues.

How do we avoid touchy situations that can lead to violent arguments or terrible breakdowns in personal relationships? We can begin by recognizing that we’re not on this earth to judge, manipulate, or control other people. We’ll do well today to keep our own performance up to a good standard.

We can also respond correctly to people who seem hopelessly wrong. Borrowing an idea from one Twelve Step program, we can detach from such people with love, even if circumstances require continuing contact with them. At whatever cost, we must avoid emotional whirlpools and rocky rapids in life.

Looking ahead at the things might happen today. I’ll adjust my thinking for situations that could be troublesome or destructive. I will try especially hard to avoid trouble with my fellow workers.



Nothing Is Impossible with God.
Each Day Is A New Beginning.
When You Draw Close To God, God Will Draw Close To You.

Spark People Team Leader, GLITTERGIRL, from Team, "I Can't Do This On My Own", helped me reach my goal in 2012. I was able to maintain my weight for several months, but now I have to get serious again as much of my hard work I let go of, putting my focus on another issue. I will keep on, until I get back to my goal.


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4/19/21 12:50 A

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April 19

WALK IN DRY PLACES

WHO PUSHES MY BUTTONS?

Personal Relations

AA old-timers would be mystified today to hear program members talk about people “pushing their buttons.” (They can’t get your goat if they don’t know where it is tied) This expression wasn’t around when the early AA members pulled themselves out of the swamp and began their long journey to sobriety.

But they had their buttons pushed aplenty. Dr. Bob, treating alcoholics at St. Thomas Hospital; heard snide comments from other physicians who resented giving bed space to drunks. Bill W. struggling to launch a worldwide movement, took most every alcoholic, then and now, gets some heavy kidding from the world of drinkers.

What is the real problem in these instances? Are others pushing our buttons, or do we set ourselves up for this by being sensitive and vulnerable? Nobody could push our buttons if we didn’t have buttons to push.

We no longer have to worry about button-pushers if we accept them as they are, realizing that we don’t need their approval and can’t really be hurt by anything they do or say. Our serenity in the face of such problems may actually serve to attract people to AA.

Nobody can push my buttons unless I let them. Today I’ll be serene and clam no matter what others say and do. Thanks to the program, I’ll not worry about certain individuals who try to get under my skin.


Nothing Is Impossible with God.
Each Day Is A New Beginning.
When You Draw Close To God, God Will Draw Close To You.

Spark People Team Leader, GLITTERGIRL, from Team, "I Can't Do This On My Own", helped me reach my goal in 2012. I was able to maintain my weight for several months, but now I have to get serious again as much of my hard work I let go of, putting my focus on another issue. I will keep on, until I get back to my goal.


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4/18/21 12:22 A

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April 18

WALK IN DRY PLACES

MISTAKES ARE FOR LEARNING

Personal growth

One sign of an alcoholic’s immaturity is revealed in responses to personal mistakes. We take each simple mistake as further proof of our inadequacy. As one person observed, “I can handle a general catastrophe, but running my nylons can ruin my day.”

Some of us may feel we’re victims of past conditioning – a parent, for example, who berated us when the slightest thing went wrong. But we’re at fault if we continue to let ourselves be victimized by such experience. We should give no person – past, present, or future – the right to set the level of our self-esteem.

Properly viewed, all mistakes are for learning purposes. We often have to make a few mistakes before we can learn anything. Sometimes a mistake can occur simply to teach us one basic lesson – that we are human and cannot be perfect in everything we do.

Above, all, we should never condemn ourselves for the countless mistakes that occurred while we were drinking. Our alcoholism, a terrible mistake in the sight of many, led to the deep learning we find in AA. Nothing that brings us this far can really be a mistake in the sight of God.

In sobriety, I’m learning tolerate the shortcomings and mistakes of others. I will extend the same grace to myself today if I make a simple mistake.


Nothing Is Impossible with God.
Each Day Is A New Beginning.
When You Draw Close To God, God Will Draw Close To You.

Spark People Team Leader, GLITTERGIRL, from Team, "I Can't Do This On My Own", helped me reach my goal in 2012. I was able to maintain my weight for several months, but now I have to get serious again as much of my hard work I let go of, putting my focus on another issue. I will keep on, until I get back to my goal.


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4/17/21 12:44 A

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April 17

WALK IN DRY PLACES

WE CAN’T GO HOME AGAIN

Living here and now

Despite all evidence that we must live for today, some of us persist in trying to recapture the past. We may be holding a few good memories that we would like to bring alive today. More likely, we may also be re-fighting old battles in the hope that this time we’ll come out winners.

But since change is taking place everywhere at every moment, we can never return to any previous place or time. Time does march on, and we are part of the parade. Whether we were winners or losers in the past, we can live only in the here and now.

The good news is that we can retain any lessons from the past and put them to use today. If we have scalding memories of twisted relationships, we can remind ourselves that growth and understanding now place us out of harm’s way. And if we remember the things that did turn our right even in the confused past, we can reflect that even greater good is possible today.

Our home is never in the past. It is in the time and place where we are today. As we make the best of it, all of our future homes in place and time will improve, for “in God’s house are many mansions.”

Accepting the value of all of its lessons, I will close the door firmly on the past, knowing that I must devote all of my interest and energies to the present moment.



Nothing Is Impossible with God.
Each Day Is A New Beginning.
When You Draw Close To God, God Will Draw Close To You.

Spark People Team Leader, GLITTERGIRL, from Team, "I Can't Do This On My Own", helped me reach my goal in 2012. I was able to maintain my weight for several months, but now I have to get serious again as much of my hard work I let go of, putting my focus on another issue. I will keep on, until I get back to my goal.


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4/16/21 12:41 A

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April 16

Walk in Dry Places

Fix the Need
Taking Inventory

Recovering users have a saying: “Need a fix? Fix the need” It’s great advice, if we combine it with our daily inventory.

In good behavior and bad, we’re always trying to meet our needs. As compulsive people, we have lots of experience with destructive ways of meeting them. Driven by nameless hungers, we tried desperately to combat boredom, to raise our low self-esteem, to find companionship. What we actually did was place more distance between ourselves and the true satisfying of our needs.

On the new path, one way of fixing needs is to come to terms with them. Maybe we had a need for success that was really a frantic effort to “show others” that we were all right. We should want to succeed, but let’s begin by exchanging any false goal for one that’s right for us. Maybe we have other needs that are based on defective principles and immature hopes.

What do we rally need? All of us need self-honesty, self-worth, friendship, and purpose…. all available in the AA program as part of sober living. Finding these, we’ll gain insight that will enable to sort out and understand other needs,….. and perhaps find those that correspond to our heart’s desire and bring real happiness. It’s something we can turn over, because God knows our needs before we even ask.

I’ll remember today that my needs exist to serve my way of life, and that I must never be a slave to them.



Nothing Is Impossible with God.
Each Day Is A New Beginning.
When You Draw Close To God, God Will Draw Close To You.

Spark People Team Leader, GLITTERGIRL, from Team, "I Can't Do This On My Own", helped me reach my goal in 2012. I was able to maintain my weight for several months, but now I have to get serious again as much of my hard work I let go of, putting my focus on another issue. I will keep on, until I get back to my goal.


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4/15/21 1:03 A

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April 15

WALK IN DRY PLACES

When Things are Not humanly possible.
Facing Difficulties

We’re reminded again and again that “No human power could have relieved our alcoholism.” Whatever it is that keeps us sober must come from a Higher Power … God as we understand Him.

This fact about our alcoholism also has broader application to the general conditions of life. There’s an almost endless list of conditions that are not humanly possible to change. Some of these conditions apply only to us; others, such as war and disease, cruelly afflict all of humankind. Looking at this sorry picture, many of us wish we had the power to apply Twelve Step principles to all human problems.

While we don’t have such power at the moment, we do have the power to take a spiritual view of all seemingly hopeless conditions. This includes trying to do whatever we can about any problem, while recognizing that the real solution must eventually come from a Higher Power. We must never lose hope that God will cork with us and through us to create a better world. In a small way, we can help by sharing what happened to us in our recovery from alcoholism. No human power could have relieved our alcoholism, but God could and did.

Though I live and work with people who may be frightened and cynical, I’ll hold to the idea that a Higher Power is working ceaselessly to improve the human condition in general. There is no reason why the miraculous healing power that relieved my alcoholism should not apply to other problems in my life.



Nothing Is Impossible with God.
Each Day Is A New Beginning.
When You Draw Close To God, God Will Draw Close To You.

Spark People Team Leader, GLITTERGIRL, from Team, "I Can't Do This On My Own", helped me reach my goal in 2012. I was able to maintain my weight for several months, but now I have to get serious again as much of my hard work I let go of, putting my focus on another issue. I will keep on, until I get back to my goal.


level 25
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4/14/21 12:47 A

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April 14

WALK IN DRY PLACES

THE BEST OF THE PAST

Living Today

We’re told that we should forget the past when we come into AA. Since we can’t change it, we should not waste time and energy reliving it.

Let’s be careful, however, not to take this advice too literally. There was much in our past that was good, even when we were drinking. We have a right and a need to treasure these important things.

The real dangers of living in the past come either from brooding about its mistakes or from thinking that our best days are already behind us. We can think of the past as a foundation for the good we expect today and in all the days ahead.

I’ll preserve the best in my memories of the past, knowing that these helped bring me to my present state of recovery.




Nothing Is Impossible with God.
Each Day Is A New Beginning.
When You Draw Close To God, God Will Draw Close To You.

Spark People Team Leader, GLITTERGIRL, from Team, "I Can't Do This On My Own", helped me reach my goal in 2012. I was able to maintain my weight for several months, but now I have to get serious again as much of my hard work I let go of, putting my focus on another issue. I will keep on, until I get back to my goal.


level 25
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4/13/21 12:46 A

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April 13

WALK IN DRY PLACES

NO CONDITIONAL SOBRIETY

Admission of Powerlessness

Sobriety in AA is unconditional. This means that there’s never been a reason for drinking, no matter how bad our circumstances may become. As the AA pioneers were fond of saying, “THERE’S NOTHING THAT DRINKING WON’T MAKE WORSE.”

How do we know if we’ve been setting conditions on sobriety? It’s revealed to us in our own thinking. If we believe, for example, that a certain setback such as the ending of a relationship is just cause for drinking, we have made our sobriety conditional.

In such cases, what we need to do is clear up our own thinking on the subject. Maybe further inventory is needed, or perhaps we should let ourselves learn from the experience of others. Self-honesty is also important in getting priorities in order.

The decision to choose unconditional sobriety brings additional benefits in helping us to organize our lives. Once we completely understand that sobriety is all-important, it becomes easier to make other decisions that bear on keeping sober. We find ourselves choosing the ideas and activities that enhance sobriety, while rejecting other things that could threaten it.

I’ll never waver in a moment from my relief that I must continue to seek sobriety – unconditionally. There is nothing that could ever justify my taking a drink.




Nothing Is Impossible with God.
Each Day Is A New Beginning.
When You Draw Close To God, God Will Draw Close To You.

Spark People Team Leader, GLITTERGIRL, from Team, "I Can't Do This On My Own", helped me reach my goal in 2012. I was able to maintain my weight for several months, but now I have to get serious again as much of my hard work I let go of, putting my focus on another issue. I will keep on, until I get back to my goal.


level 25
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4/12/21 12:39 A

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April 12

WALK IN DRY PLACES

BEATING DEPRESSION

Emotional Fortitude

If you’re seeking a lively meeting discussion topic, bring up depression. It’s so closely tied to alcoholism that some people even think alcoholics are attempting to “treat” depression when they drink.

Others feel that depression shows they’re not “working” the program. Overcoming depression is a monumental undertaking, but that doesn’t mean it cannot be done. The dearly mistake is that believe your circumstances are so hopeless that there’s no solution. Sometimes, as AA co-founder Bill Wilson contended (based on personal experience), depression actually corrects itself in time. Stay sober, live rightly, keep physically and mentally active, and in time some depressive mood swings will ease. Even more serious clinical depression can be treated.

It’s human to be temporarily depressed about a terrible failure or setback. The Twelve Steps are tools for coping with unpleasant situations, but we still might feel bad about tem for a time. The really good news is that enough fortitude will see us through for the long term. We have much experience to show that this is true.

Whether today’s mood is up or down, I’ll hold to the view that the Twelve Steps will help me defeat mental depression in time. My Higher Power assures me that joy and peace are my rightful state of mind.




Nothing Is Impossible with God.
Each Day Is A New Beginning.
When You Draw Close To God, God Will Draw Close To You.

Spark People Team Leader, GLITTERGIRL, from Team, "I Can't Do This On My Own", helped me reach my goal in 2012. I was able to maintain my weight for several months, but now I have to get serious again as much of my hard work I let go of, putting my focus on another issue. I will keep on, until I get back to my goal.


level 25
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4/11/21 12:33 A

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April 11

WALK IN DRY PLACES

HELPING OTHERS

Motives

It may sound selfish, but you should always help others for no reason other than your own benefit. In giving assistance, guard against posing as an idealist or even a Good Samaritan. We are not saints, and our spiritual progress is interrupted the moment we begin to act more saintly than we really are.

Two things happen when we help others in the full knowledge that we are really helping only ourselves. First, we do not place the other person in a demeaning role or make him or her obligated to us. Second, we sidestep the swollen egotism that could arise if we view ourselves as rescuers.

In helping others, we are only passing on the good that has come to us. Any good action will always bring rich rewards in personal well-being. People we have helped will be grateful to us when it becomes clear that we don’t demand their gratitude. They will also be inspired to follow this example, which is the true AA spirit that became evident with the first Twelve Step calls.

I’ll look for opportunities to help others in the same way that a businessman looks for ways to increase profits. I know that I grow as a person when I help others in the right spirit.



Nothing Is Impossible with God.
Each Day Is A New Beginning.
When You Draw Close To God, God Will Draw Close To You.

Spark People Team Leader, GLITTERGIRL, from Team, "I Can't Do This On My Own", helped me reach my goal in 2012. I was able to maintain my weight for several months, but now I have to get serious again as much of my hard work I let go of, putting my focus on another issue. I will keep on, until I get back to my goal.


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4/10/21 12:37 A

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April 10

WALK IN DRY PLACES

Protecting Sobriety

Though AA members never criticize drinking customs, we do tell newcomers that it’s wise to avoid situations involving alcohol. Even this is not an absolute, because we also concede that it’s sometimes necessary to attend a cocktail reception or to lunch with a friend in a bar. So how do we distinguish between what’s safe and what’s likely to lead to trouble.

The litmus test is always to look at our own motives and spiritual guidance. A drink has no power over us unless we want to take the drink. If we are not deliberately seeking out drinking situations, our motives are probably good. If our spiritual house is in order, our Higher Power will also protect us in any situation.

Wherever we go, however, we should also make our sobriety the first priority of business. Whatever the importance of any social event, it is insignificant compared with the importance of sobriety. Keep sobriety at the top of your list, and the other decisions will follow in proper order. We should hole the additional thought that “walking in dry places” is really thinking of ourselves as always being in dry places under God’s guidance.

Today I will focus on the sober world I want to enjoy and share. The world of drinking has nothing for me. I may encounter situations involving casual drinking today, but I will not be part of them in mind and spirit. I will think and walk in dry places.



Nothing Is Impossible with God.
Each Day Is A New Beginning.
When You Draw Close To God, God Will Draw Close To You.

Spark People Team Leader, GLITTERGIRL, from Team, "I Can't Do This On My Own", helped me reach my goal in 2012. I was able to maintain my weight for several months, but now I have to get serious again as much of my hard work I let go of, putting my focus on another issue. I will keep on, until I get back to my goal.


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4/9/21 12:33 A

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April 9

WALK IN DRY PLACES

UNDERSTANDING COMPULSION

Protecting Sobriety

Often called a “compulsive illness,” alcoholism is still a baffling mystery to most people. All we really know is that a single drink, a pleasant beverage for many, becomes a deadly trigger for alcoholics. We may even think it’s unfair that we’re unable to enjoy the pleasant customs of social drinking. If we let down our guard, we can even entertain the thought that we’ve somehow been cured of the compulsion to drink.

But we don’t have to understand the exact nature of compulsion to realize that we are victims of it. Bitter experience and the tragic examples of others should tell us that our compulsion exists and is activated by the first drink. That’s really all the understanding we need for living successfully in sobriety.

If there’s anything we should question, it’s not whether we have the compulsion, but why we would have any doubts after so much bad experience with alcohol. After all, if we always had a bad reaction from any other food or beverage, we would soon give it up. Why is there so much persistence in denying that we are compulsively attached to alcohol?

We still may be trying to convince ourselves that we can take a drink safely, and this delusion is another way the compulsion works. All we have to understand is that a single drink leads to our destruction.

I’ll remember today that I’ve accepted the fact that I am alcoholic and subject to disaster with a first drink. I’ll live today with the knowledge that I only have to understand that I have a compulsion to drink.



Nothing Is Impossible with God.
Each Day Is A New Beginning.
When You Draw Close To God, God Will Draw Close To You.

Spark People Team Leader, GLITTERGIRL, from Team, "I Can't Do This On My Own", helped me reach my goal in 2012. I was able to maintain my weight for several months, but now I have to get serious again as much of my hard work I let go of, putting my focus on another issue. I will keep on, until I get back to my goal.


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4/8/21 12:39 A

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April 8

Walk in Dry Places

Keep it Simple, BUT not simple-minded
Working the Steps.

Dr. Bob Smith left little in the way of written material for AA’s future. His phrase Keep it Simple, however, is now a guiding slogan in the program. What did he really have in mind with this final piece of advice?

We can take it as certain that Dr. Bob. A highly intelligent man was not saying that we shouldn’t use our heads for real thinking and study. One of the blessings of sobriety, in fact, should be the ability to think clearly and effectively. It would be a mistake to believe that one must renounce a brainpower and education in order to stay sober.

The real aim of keeping it simple should be to stay mindful of the principles and essentials that are key to everybody else. Even the most difficult subject can usually be mattered by processes of simplification. The deepest book, for example, is still composed of only twenty-six letters.

We can Keep it Simple by building or lives around the principles of the Twelve Step program. When we discover new ideas, they’ll reinforce and expand what we’ve already learned. In this way, we should always be learning and growing… which is beautiful simple, but certainly not simple-minded.

I’ll be grateful today for the ability to think and to understand complicated subjects. With a strong foundation in the bedrock principles of AA, I can use my mind in constructive and progressive ways.



Nothing Is Impossible with God.
Each Day Is A New Beginning.
When You Draw Close To God, God Will Draw Close To You.

Spark People Team Leader, GLITTERGIRL, from Team, "I Can't Do This On My Own", helped me reach my goal in 2012. I was able to maintain my weight for several months, but now I have to get serious again as much of my hard work I let go of, putting my focus on another issue. I will keep on, until I get back to my goal.


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4/7/21 12:25 A

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April 7

WALK IN DRY PLACES

DESERVING HAPPINESS

Emotional Control

Somewhere in the course of living sober, we should realize that we can deserve to be happy. If happiness is eluding us, the fault may lie in a peculiar guilt from our past. In a perverse way, we may be using unhappiness as penance for our past wrongs.

We deserve to be happy if we are doing the things that should bring happiness to ourselves and others. Thinking and living rightly is a path to happiness. Meeting our obligations to society and others contributes to personal happiness. Placing the overall responsibility for our lives in God’s hands is yet another route to happiness.

We can also learn from our experience. Did any of us ever meet a truly happy person who was totally self-seeking? Do we remember any happy, serene people among our drinking companions? Did any of our temporary successes and victories bring permanent happiness?

AA experience gives us the answers we need. Happiness is always in the direction of love and service, never in anything selfish. We deserve to be happy, but we must plant seeds of happiness by our thoughts and actions.

I’ll be happy today. If I’m worrying about something, I’ll suspend the worry and let myself be happy in spite of it. I deserve to be happy and I am usually the person who is responsible for this happiness.


Nothing Is Impossible with God.
Each Day Is A New Beginning.
When You Draw Close To God, God Will Draw Close To You.

Spark People Team Leader, GLITTERGIRL, from Team, "I Can't Do This On My Own", helped me reach my goal in 2012. I was able to maintain my weight for several months, but now I have to get serious again as much of my hard work I let go of, putting my focus on another issue. I will keep on, until I get back to my goal.


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4/6/21 12:22 A

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April 6

Walk in Dry Places

The Barrier of Sick Pride
Sharing Feelings

Pride can be either sick or healthy. It’s sick pride that keeps us in bondage to alcohol. It’s healthy pride that emerges when we have high self-esteem. Finding the right path in sobriety always involves a battle to keep sick pride out of our lives.

What if I’m at a discussion meeting and I feel reluctant to admit that certain character defects are still giving me trouble? Can this be sick pride carrying on the pretense that I have risen above such problems? What if someone takes issue with a point I’ve tried to make in a discussion? Does sick pride cause me to react in self-defense?

We learn in the 12 Step program that we gain nothing by attempting to conceal our character defects from our fellow members. We gain everything by sharing our true feelings and letting others know we are vulnerable human beings. There is never any need to defend or explain anything we’ve tried to say in a meeting. The real message always comes through in our attitude, and it will reach those for whom it’s intended.

I’ll check myself today to see if sick pride is dictating what I say and do. The more I can let others see me as I really am, the more honest my relationships will be.



Nothing Is Impossible with God.
Each Day Is A New Beginning.
When You Draw Close To God, God Will Draw Close To You.

Spark People Team Leader, GLITTERGIRL, from Team, "I Can't Do This On My Own", helped me reach my goal in 2012. I was able to maintain my weight for several months, but now I have to get serious again as much of my hard work I let go of, putting my focus on another issue. I will keep on, until I get back to my goal.


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4/5/21 12:55 A

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April 5

Walk in Dry Places

Letting Go of Resentment

Releasing the Past

How can we really put an end to festering resentments toward other people? “Pray for these people,” the Old-timers said. “Go out of your way to do something good for them.” This is a big order for most of us, but we are working for a big reward: Sobriety, peace of mind, and personal progress.

When we pray for others in this manner, we’re practicing the noble art of forgiveness. How do we know when it’s staring to work? Lewis B. Smedes, a master teacher of forgiveness, offers this thought: “You will know that forgiveness has begun when you recall those who hurt you and feel the power to wish them well.”

Forgiveness also is supposed to include forgetting the wrong. What we really forget is the hurt connected with it. When anything that once evoked pain comes to mind, we’re growing spiritually if it no longer has the power to hurt us.

We then discover that we had been letting go our resentments hurt us again and again. We also learn that one effort to forgive is not nearly enough. Forgiveness takes the same amount of practice and emotional power we put into carrying the resentment!

Today will bring enough problems. I don’t have either the time or the energy to play the old tapes that cause me pain. I’ll practice praying for those who hurt me, and I’ll take it for granted that my Higher Power is removing my resentments.




Nothing Is Impossible with God.
Each Day Is A New Beginning.
When You Draw Close To God, God Will Draw Close To You.

Spark People Team Leader, GLITTERGIRL, from Team, "I Can't Do This On My Own", helped me reach my goal in 2012. I was able to maintain my weight for several months, but now I have to get serious again as much of my hard work I let go of, putting my focus on another issue. I will keep on, until I get back to my goal.


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4/4/21 12:23 A

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April 4

Walk in Dry Places

You are not alone
Fellowship

If you feel isolated and lonely, tape the letters ~~ YANA~~ to the dash in your car. “You Are Never Alone” can help bring a surge of confidence when you most need it.

We are not alone because we have thousands of friends who have shared our experience and who understand our feelings. We also are not alone because we have a Higher Power who presides over the affairs of all humankind. We can never be separated from this Power except in our own minds.

We must remember that we will always need other people. Virtually everything that benefits us is supplied by the skills and knowledge of others.We can believe that we are completely independent, but the truth is that no person survives completely alone.

The typical problem for many of us is in failing to seek help from others. If extreme loneliness is closing in on us, the best prescription is a meeting and the company of other members.

I’ll not be too proud to ask for help today or to explain to others that I need them and appreciate them. I should also freely admit that help from others led me to sobriety—and helps maintain it today.




Nothing Is Impossible with God.
Each Day Is A New Beginning.
When You Draw Close To God, God Will Draw Close To You.

Spark People Team Leader, GLITTERGIRL, from Team, "I Can't Do This On My Own", helped me reach my goal in 2012. I was able to maintain my weight for several months, but now I have to get serious again as much of my hard work I let go of, putting my focus on another issue. I will keep on, until I get back to my goal.


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4/3/21 12:51 A

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April 3

WALK IN DRY PLACES

MORE WILL BE REVEALED

Spiritual Growth

There’s an old saying, “To him that hath, more shall be given.” That
saying applies to our growth in AA. If we dedicate ourselves to the
program, new information and understanding will continue to flow in our
direction.

This is not because God is singling us out for special favors. It’s
simply a law of life. When we are interested in a subject, we find more
knowledge coming to us almost “Out of the blue” as we continue to seek
it. It’s almost as if hidden forces were gathering up ideas and pushing
them in our direction.

What’s happened is that we have put ourselves in line for such growth.
We have our antennae out, and we become conditioned to recognize useful
ideas as they come to us. We are Open-Minded to our good.
This same process has also led to more general knowledge about
alcoholism. When the early AA’s attained sobriety, most of the
information about alcoholism was summed up in a handful of books. Now
there are hundreds of books, symposia, and speeches dealing with the
subject. More was revealed, and we can hope that even more will be
revealed as we continue to focus on recovery.

I can expect useful information to come to me from a number of sources.
My interest in my recovery and self-improvement helps attract the
information and understanding I need.



Nothing Is Impossible with God.
Each Day Is A New Beginning.
When You Draw Close To God, God Will Draw Close To You.

Spark People Team Leader, GLITTERGIRL, from Team, "I Can't Do This On My Own", helped me reach my goal in 2012. I was able to maintain my weight for several months, but now I have to get serious again as much of my hard work I let go of, putting my focus on another issue. I will keep on, until I get back to my goal.


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4/2/21 12:38 A

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April 2

WALK IN DRY PLACES

ACCEPTING RISK
Facing Reality.

Like it or not, life seems to have certain risks that just can’t be
avoided. Alcoholics are not really comfortable with risk-taking. This is
especially true in situations that include risk of rejection, risk of
defeat, or risk of loss.

If we try to get through life without accepting some risk, however,
we’re simply not being realistic. The refusal to accept risk may also
mean that we miss wonderful opportunities in the process.

What should we do? We should face risk intelligently and with spiritual
preparation. FIRST, we do everything possible to reduce risk in any
situation (thus making it a “calculated risk”). THEN we pray for
guidance and inspiration (but not a certain outcome). FINALLY, we do
our very best to succeed in the situation, whether it’s a courtship, a
job search, competition in sports, or whatever.

We might surprise ourselves by succeeding more times than we fail. But
even in temporary failure, we gain if we follow through in accepting
reasonable and necessary risks.

I’ll exercise prudence and good judgment in all my undertakings today,
but I won’t expect to be able to “play it safe” in everything. As a
human being, I have to take risks in life.




Nothing Is Impossible with God.
Each Day Is A New Beginning.
When You Draw Close To God, God Will Draw Close To You.

Spark People Team Leader, GLITTERGIRL, from Team, "I Can't Do This On My Own", helped me reach my goal in 2012. I was able to maintain my weight for several months, but now I have to get serious again as much of my hard work I let go of, putting my focus on another issue. I will keep on, until I get back to my goal.


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4/1/21 12:50 A

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April 1

WALK IN DRY PLACES

THERE ARE NO COINCIDENCES

Guidance

Here’s an exercise that can strengthen your belief in a Higher Power:

Review your life for seemingly insignificant things that were actually
major turning points. A chance meeting, for example, may have resulted
in an astonishing career opportunity for lifelong romance. Such
surprises come to everybody, and people often wonder what their lives
would have been like without these “coincidences.”

The founding of AA also seemed to be a series of coincidences and chance
happenings. The message reached Bill W. by a circular route, and then
an unexpected business opportunity took him to Akron, Ohio, where he
finally met Dr. Bob. The unusual aspect was that Akron just “Happened”
to have stalwart members of the Oxford Group, the same fellowship that
had helped Bill W.

People with strong spiritual foundations in AA have come to see these
happenings not as coincidences but as the guidance of a Higher Power.
This Higher Power was…and is… continuously working through inspired
people.

We’ll find similar chance happenings for good in our own lives. We
don’t control them except by keeping our own house in order. This
assures us that the outcome of any “coincidence” will be favorable.

I’ll carry on my activities today without trying to second-guess what my
Higher Power has in mind for me. At the same time, I’ll know that a
superior intelligence is directing my affairs in wonderful ways.


Nothing Is Impossible with God.
Each Day Is A New Beginning.
When You Draw Close To God, God Will Draw Close To You.

Spark People Team Leader, GLITTERGIRL, from Team, "I Can't Do This On My Own", helped me reach my goal in 2012. I was able to maintain my weight for several months, but now I have to get serious again as much of my hard work I let go of, putting my focus on another issue. I will keep on, until I get back to my goal.


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3/31/21 12:38 A

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March 31

WALK IN DRY PLACES

A JOURNEY, NOT A DESTINATION

How It Works

“Now that you’re sober, why do you stay in AA?” AA members frequently hear this from others not familiar with the fellowship, but it’s understandable. They see AA as a place where one goes to be “cured,” whereas we learn to see it as an ongoing recovery process that is never really completed.

Sobriety is not an object that one can acquire and then put on a shelf somewhere or on the wall like a diploma. It is more of a journey in living, with each day’s march being a goal in itself.

You could also say that sobriety is like the “manna from heaven” described in the Old Testament. Fresh manna arrived each day, but could not be saved for the future. It is the same with us. Today’s experience in sobriety is what sustains us, and we’re in trouble if we’re trying to depend on what was accomplished in the past.

Though we do use the term permanent sobriety, we never truly possess it. Our quest for sobriety is a lifetime journey.

I’ll be on guard against any feeling of “having it made.” Sure, past success should be helpful in maintaining today’s sobriety. But the quality of today’s sobriety will depend only on today’s thinking and behavior.



Nothing Is Impossible with God.
Each Day Is A New Beginning.
When You Draw Close To God, God Will Draw Close To You.

Spark People Team Leader, GLITTERGIRL, from Team, "I Can't Do This On My Own", helped me reach my goal in 2012. I was able to maintain my weight for several months, but now I have to get serious again as much of my hard work I let go of, putting my focus on another issue. I will keep on, until I get back to my goal.


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3/30/21 12:35 A

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March 30

WALK IN DRY PLACES

IDENTIFY, DON’T COMPARE

Good Judgment

There’s always danger in com-paring ourselves with others. If we use behavior and drinking as yardsticks, such comparisons can lead us to believe that we might not really be alcoholics. This mistaken conclusion has been the un-doing of some alcoholics.

The better course is to identify with the problems others have in common with us. Though drinking patterns and habits may vary between two people, individuals may at least share the fears and delusions that drinking brought.

Other common factors that bind alcoholics together are emotional immaturity, a misplaced faith that alcohol solves problems, loneliness, and a tendency toward resentments. These also make good discussion topics for meetings.

At the very beginning of AA, the founders had trouble coming up with a real definition of alcoholism. Since then, we’ve done very well by letting members “diagnose” themselves. It’s best to leave it this way: If your drinking is a problem in your life, AA has an answer for you.

Today I will not waste time comparing myself with others. Having accepted my alcoholism, I’ll devote my attention to the things that enhance sobriety.

Nothing Is Impossible with God.
Each Day Is A New Beginning.
When You Draw Close To God, God Will Draw Close To You.

Spark People Team Leader, GLITTERGIRL, from Team, "I Can't Do This On My Own", helped me reach my goal in 2012. I was able to maintain my weight for several months, but now I have to get serious again as much of my hard work I let go of, putting my focus on another issue. I will keep on, until I get back to my goal.


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3/29/21 12:37 A

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March 29

WALK IN DRY PLACES

STICK WITH THE WINNERS

Making the Right Choices

In the world of drinking, people lead each other down paths of further destruction. In the world of AA, that same destructive process can still go on through wrong thinking. It’s possible for AA members to encourage resentments, criticism, gossip, and other dead-end practices.

That’s why people are urged to “stick with the winners” in order to find and maintain sobriety. Seek out people who are doing well in the program, people whose progress is noticeable and admirable. They can be of real help as sponsors, as friends, or simply as role models.

It’s important to remember that the winners can be from all walks of life. The first AA member in Detroit earned only a modest living, while the second Detroit member became a wealthy manufacturer after finding sobriety. In AA terms, both men were winners. They stayed sober, they stayed active in the fellowship, and they helped others.

“Sticking with the winners” does not mean we should shun people who are having difficulty with the program. It does mean we should avoid accepting ideas and ways of living that do not lead to sobriety.

I’ll spend time in the company of people who have a good record of following the program.

Nothing Is Impossible with God.
Each Day Is A New Beginning.
When You Draw Close To God, God Will Draw Close To You.

Spark People Team Leader, GLITTERGIRL, from Team, "I Can't Do This On My Own", helped me reach my goal in 2012. I was able to maintain my weight for several months, but now I have to get serious again as much of my hard work I let go of, putting my focus on another issue. I will keep on, until I get back to my goal.


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3/28/21 12:38 A

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March 28

WALK IN DRY PLACES

KEEP COMING BACK— IT WORKS IF YOU WORK IT

Fortitude

A popular self-help book noted that there is tremendous power in repetition—like the tap-tap-tap of a hammer that finally drives the nail through a board. AA works in much the same way; attendance at meetings is the steady tap-tap- tap that helps bring about lasting sobriety and personal improvement.

Attending meetings is also much like attending school. Nobody learns everything in one classroom session, and it’s also true that the student must put forth an effort to learn.

We should accept AA as something that will gradually grow on us if we become part of it and apply ourselves to its principles. The willingness to continue attending meetings is some evidence of sincerity and commitment. We discover that there are few meetings that bring us world-shaking revelations and experiences, but as we keep coming back and working the program, our own lives will improve steadily. This is the result of many meetings, not just a few.

I’ll do everything possible today to strengthen my sobriety and my understanding of the program. Rather than seeking shortcuts, I’ll be grateful for steady progress.



Nothing Is Impossible with God.
Each Day Is A New Beginning.
When You Draw Close To God, God Will Draw Close To You.

Spark People Team Leader, GLITTERGIRL, from Team, "I Can't Do This On My Own", helped me reach my goal in 2012. I was able to maintain my weight for several months, but now I have to get serious again as much of my hard work I let go of, putting my focus on another issue. I will keep on, until I get back to my goal.


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3/27/21 12:50 A

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March 27

WALK IN DRY PLACES

IF IT WORKS, DON’T FIX IT

Accepting Life

A lot of things in life are all right just as they are. This is hard to understand in a world that puts high value on improvement and progress, but since there are so many things that do need fixing, it’s best not to tamper with things that are working.

Sometimes we think something should be changed in another person’s life. Two AA members decided, for example, that a mutual AA friend de-served higher status employment than what he was doing. They seized upon an unusual profession that seemed to fit his talents and interests, and were disappointed and even a bit offended when he decided he wasn’t interested. He continued to follow his regular trade until his retirement thirty years later.

In truth, there had really been nothing that needed “fixing” in his choice of a vocation. He had been earning a living doing very honest but difficult work. It was somewhat presumptuous of his friends to outline a new career for him, and it could have led to considerable harm.

Let’s leave people and things alone unless our help is requested and something really does need fixing.

I’ll look around today and notice the things in my life that are working well and really don’t need changing. Then I’ll focus my attention on the things that really should be fixed.


Nothing Is Impossible with God.
Each Day Is A New Beginning.
When You Draw Close To God, God Will Draw Close To You.

Spark People Team Leader, GLITTERGIRL, from Team, "I Can't Do This On My Own", helped me reach my goal in 2012. I was able to maintain my weight for several months, but now I have to get serious again as much of my hard work I let go of, putting my focus on another issue. I will keep on, until I get back to my goal.


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3/26/21 1:13 A

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March 26

Walk in Dry Places

I can’t…. God can…. I think I’ll let God
Guidance

One of the delusions that keep alcoholics in bondage is the belief in the power of the personal will. “I still think I’m strong enough to whip it,” alcoholics have declared defiantly, just before heading out for another debacle.

Willpower has a role in recovery, but only in making a decision to turn the problem over to Higher Power. This sets in motion powerful forces that come to our assistance. We don’t know how and why this process works as it does. We do know that it has worked repeatedly for those who sincerely apply it in their lives.

What’s needed to start the process is an admission of defeat, a willingness to seek a Higher Power, and at least enough open-minded-ness to give it all a fair chance. The outcome can be very surprising.

There’s also no need to be apologetic about our Higher Power after we’ve found sobriety. Nobody had a better plan, and we can remember that other severe problems can be handled in the same way.

I’ll do my best today to solve every problem and meet every responsibility. If something is too much for me, I’ll turn it over in the same way I did my drinking problem.



Nothing Is Impossible with God.
Each Day Is A New Beginning.
When You Draw Close To God, God Will Draw Close To You.

Spark People Team Leader, GLITTERGIRL, from Team, "I Can't Do This On My Own", helped me reach my goal in 2012. I was able to maintain my weight for several months, but now I have to get serious again as much of my hard work I let go of, putting my focus on another issue. I will keep on, until I get back to my goal.


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3/25/21 12:57 A

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March 25

Walk In Dry Places

Expect Miracles
Belief

Some have claimed that there have been no miracles since the fourteenth century. This is a smug way of saying that miracles do not happen.
Emmet Fox conceded that miracles don't happen in the sense of violating the perfect, universal system of law and order. But there is such a thing as appealing to a higher law, and this too is part of the constitution of the universe. Prayer is a means of doing this, and enough prayer will get you out of any difficulty, Fox insisted.
People who have found sobriety in AA are actually modern miracles. They expect more miracles to continue happening" otherwise, there would be no point in continuing to work with newcomers. And while we're expecting miracles, let's remember that countless other human problems will yield to a spiritual approach. Life itself is miraculous when we study it: why shouldn't there be more miracles ahead?
I'll keep an open mind on the subject of miracles. Since we still can glipmse only a fragment of the universe, it should follow that there's also much more to learn about the spiritual processes that rescued us from alcoholism.


Nothing Is Impossible with God.
Each Day Is A New Beginning.
When You Draw Close To God, God Will Draw Close To You.

Spark People Team Leader, GLITTERGIRL, from Team, "I Can't Do This On My Own", helped me reach my goal in 2012. I was able to maintain my weight for several months, but now I have to get serious again as much of my hard work I let go of, putting my focus on another issue. I will keep on, until I get back to my goal.


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3/24/21 1:08 A

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March 24

Walk in Dry Places

This Too Shall Pass
Fortitude

Growing older in sobriety, we soon become aware of the fact that both good and bad experiences eventually pass on. No matter how beautiful or ugly a situation becomes, it must change in time. In discussions, we catch this idea by reminding ourselves that “This too shall pass.”

We are very fortunate that this is true. Were it otherwise, intolerable conditions would last forever. Our business is to make sure that our own thoughts and actions lead to betterment, for ourselves and others. While we should be willing to accept unpleasantness if the re is no way of avoiding it, we should always hope … And work for improvement.

When unpleasant experiences do pass on. We must also be careful not to resurrect them by brooding about how badly we were treated or trying to get even with others. This only prolongs the trouble. The good news in AA is that we can survive any experience and put it behind us.

Whatever I’m facing today, I’ll know that it is temporary and has no power to keep me from the deeper happiness and gratitude I have in the 12 step program.


Nothing Is Impossible with God.
Each Day Is A New Beginning.
When You Draw Close To God, God Will Draw Close To You.

Spark People Team Leader, GLITTERGIRL, from Team, "I Can't Do This On My Own", helped me reach my goal in 2012. I was able to maintain my weight for several months, but now I have to get serious again as much of my hard work I let go of, putting my focus on another issue. I will keep on, until I get back to my goal.


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3/23/21 1:21 A

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March 23

WALK IN DRY PLACES

THINK, THINK, THINK

Prudence

It’s hard to believe, but some AA members insist that newcomers shouldn’t think. “Whoever said you should think?” some members are told. The newcomer is apparently supposed to suspend all thinking for several months until reaching a certain level of recovery.

This is nonsense, and it also contradicts AA teaching. If we don’t want people to use their heads, why do we have printed cards on meeting room walls that say, “Think, Think, Think”? We are always capable of thinking, even in moments of deep despair. Indeed, we could not keep from thinking.

A constructive approach to thinking is to form complete sentences from the slogan on the wall: Think what might happen if I take one drink. Think of the wonderful new life that awaits me in sobriety. Think about ways of improving myself and fol-lowing a more satisfactory lifestyle.
It’s also important to remember that good thinking will drive out bad thinking—but good thinking has to be cultivated.

I’ll keep my thinking centered today on the good things that can be done in life. I’ll focus my attention only on matters that are under my control, and I know that better thinking will bring better conditions.



Nothing Is Impossible with God.
Each Day Is A New Beginning.
When You Draw Close To God, God Will Draw Close To You.

Spark People Team Leader, GLITTERGIRL, from Team, "I Can't Do This On My Own", helped me reach my goal in 2012. I was able to maintain my weight for several months, but now I have to get serious again as much of my hard work I let go of, putting my focus on another issue. I will keep on, until I get back to my goal.


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3/22/21 12:32 A

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March 22

Walk in Dry Places

Let Go and Let God
Guidance.

Though it came from outside AA, the idea of “letting go and letting God” has taken root in the fellowship. The trouble comes when we try to decide what it really means. We obviously need to continue working and we still have to make important decisions. SO how d o we let God take charge?

Surrendering to God’s will is a shift that takes place in our attitude. We take whatever actions seem reasonable and proper according to our view of things. We remember, however, that a better plan may be unfolding in every situation. In many cases, it can even be a case of wanting too little rather than too much. One member, for example, sought guidance in a business decision. He was disappointed when the deal feel through, but discovered, only a few weeks later, an even better opportunity that worked out perfectly.

“Letting God” is really a form of working Step Eleven.. Seeking “Knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.” As we do that, our lives must become enriched and improved in every way.

I’ll approach the day with the idea that God is working it out for the highest good of everybody. Temporary setbacks won’t bother me if I know that God’s plan is unfolding in my life.


Nothing Is Impossible with God.
Each Day Is A New Beginning.
When You Draw Close To God, God Will Draw Close To You.

Spark People Team Leader, GLITTERGIRL, from Team, "I Can't Do This On My Own", helped me reach my goal in 2012. I was able to maintain my weight for several months, but now I have to get serious again as much of my hard work I let go of, putting my focus on another issue. I will keep on, until I get back to my goal.


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3/21/21 12:00 A

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March 21

Walk in Dry Places

Living One Day at a Time
Time management

It’s surprising that some alcoholics learn how to “live one day at a time” while drinking. It had to work that way, or their drinking life would have been even more intolerable. It was convenient to shut off thoughts of tomorrow if one had enough money to drink today. It was also convenient to blot out thoughts of yesterday, which only meant remorse.

In sobriety, living one day at a time is an excellent way to focus our minds so we can pour our energies into the work at hand. In reviewing the wasted yesterdays, we can always find ways that we could have been more productive and effective. But we missed opportunities because we were still struggling with regrets or fearing what might happen in the future.

It’s never too late to change all that. We need neither regret the past nor fear the future. The AA secret is to make the best of today’s challenges. It may mean just chipping away at a massive problem that seems insurmountable. Living just for today, we can do today’s job well.

I’ll live comfortably and happily in the here and now. This means releasing the past and accepting the future as something I’ll deal with at the proper time.


Nothing Is Impossible with God.
Each Day Is A New Beginning.
When You Draw Close To God, God Will Draw Close To You.

Spark People Team Leader, GLITTERGIRL, from Team, "I Can't Do This On My Own", helped me reach my goal in 2012. I was able to maintain my weight for several months, but now I have to get serious again as much of my hard work I let go of, putting my focus on another issue. I will keep on, until I get back to my goal.


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3/20/21 12:49 A

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March 20

Walk in Dry Places

Think, Think, Think
Prudence.

It’s hard to believe, but some AA members insist that newcomers shouldn't think. “Whoever said you should think?” some members are told. The newcomer is apparently supposed to suspend all thinking for several months until reaching a certain level of recovery.

This is nonsense, and it also contradicts AA teaching. If we don’t want people to use their heads, why do we have printed cards on meeting room walls that say, “Think, Think, Think”? We are always capable of thinking, even in moments of deep despair. Indeed, we could not keep from thinking.

A constructive approach to thinking is to form complete sentences from the slogan on the wall: THINK what might happen if I take one drink. THINK of the wonderful new life that awaits me in sobriety. THINK about ways of improving myself and following a more satisfactory lifestyle.

It’s also important to remember that good thinking will drive out bad thinking…. But good thinking has to be cultivated.

I’ll keep my thinking centered today on the good things that can be done in life. I’ll focus my attention only on matters that are under my control, and I know that better thinking will bring better conditions.


Nothing Is Impossible with God.
Each Day Is A New Beginning.
When You Draw Close To God, God Will Draw Close To You.

Spark People Team Leader, GLITTERGIRL, from Team, "I Can't Do This On My Own", helped me reach my goal in 2012. I was able to maintain my weight for several months, but now I have to get serious again as much of my hard work I let go of, putting my focus on another issue. I will keep on, until I get back to my goal.


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3/19/21 12:39 A

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March 19

Walk in Dry Places

Where is God?
Guidance.

AA members have always had a difficult time explaining the “God business”. We didn’t want to be considered religious, but at the same time we’ve always believed some contact with a Higher Power is necessary for real personal growth.

There’s nothing wrong… for our purposes… in simply visualizing God as a Higher Power that has always been within us and around us. “Before they call, I will answer,” goes an old saying, and that was true even in our darkest days. Many of us also believe that a higher power helped bring AA into being and move it along to become a worldwide force for good.

But God works in ways that can seem to come from change or coincidence. Quite often, we’ll find that little events had far-reaching results in our lives. When we review how such things happened, we should not conclude that this happens only to certain “special” people. All human beings are part of God’s creation and can avail themselves of guidance and direction. The more serious problem is that guidance and direction are sometimes ignored or rejected.

I’ll go about my affairs today with the knowledge that my Higher Power is making the important decisions in my life. I’ll come out about where God wants me to be.



Nothing Is Impossible with God.
Each Day Is A New Beginning.
When You Draw Close To God, God Will Draw Close To You.

Spark People Team Leader, GLITTERGIRL, from Team, "I Can't Do This On My Own", helped me reach my goal in 2012. I was able to maintain my weight for several months, but now I have to get serious again as much of my hard work I let go of, putting my focus on another issue. I will keep on, until I get back to my goal.


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3/18/21 12:48 A

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March 18

Walk In Dry Places

Should everybody like me?
Personal Relations.

In AA discussions, the term "people pleasers" doesn't fare very well. When people say they are people-pleasers, they're acknowledging that it's also a problem

It's a problem because it reflects a desire to have everybody's acceptance and approval…… to be universally liked. But from what we know about human relationships, this is not possible. No matter how hard we work to be pleasant and likable, some people may still detest us for reasons we cannot understand. When that happens, we should not blame ourselves or step up our efforts to them and to avoid giving offense in any way, while accepting the fact that they do not like us.

If our own behavior is mature and reasonable, even the people who don't like us will at least respect us. That may be the best we can hope for , and it is certainly far better than shameless people pleasing. In the end, people-pleasers don't please anybody and, as a famous comedian notes about himself, they "get no respect."

I'll try hard to be pleasant and cordial to everyone I meet today. If some people do not respond in the same way. I'll accept this without feeling hurt or betrayed.




Nothing Is Impossible with God.
Each Day Is A New Beginning.
When You Draw Close To God, God Will Draw Close To You.

Spark People Team Leader, GLITTERGIRL, from Team, "I Can't Do This On My Own", helped me reach my goal in 2012. I was able to maintain my weight for several months, but now I have to get serious again as much of my hard work I let go of, putting my focus on another issue. I will keep on, until I get back to my goal.


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3/17/21 12:55 A

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March 17

Walk in Dry Places

Is it Easy?
Practicing principles

There’s no “softer, easier way,” we’re told. If so, why are we also urged to embrace the slogan “Easy does it?” Which is right?

Both are right, because they express two different ideas. The softer, easier way doesn’t work because it grows out of self-deception and falls short of a thorough working of the program. “Easy does it” works because it describes an approach to action that is relaxed, confident, and careful.

The person seeking an easier, softer way usually avoids taking some of the steps that are considered necessary in maintaining sobriety. It’s a way of trying to win without doing sufficient work. The person following the “Easy does it” principle pays attention to every detail, but carries on without reasonable haste or excessive loafing.

In a spiritual sense, “Easy does it” also means letting the Higher Power carry the load. At all times, however, we must continue to make choices and bear responsibility for our actions.

I’ll be relaxed and confident while carrying on a full day’s activity. There is always time to do things the right way.



Nothing Is Impossible with God.
Each Day Is A New Beginning.
When You Draw Close To God, God Will Draw Close To You.

Spark People Team Leader, GLITTERGIRL, from Team, "I Can't Do This On My Own", helped me reach my goal in 2012. I was able to maintain my weight for several months, but now I have to get serious again as much of my hard work I let go of, putting my focus on another issue. I will keep on, until I get back to my goal.


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3/16/21 12:31 A

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March 16

Walk in Dry Places

Anger…. A dangerous weapon
Self-control

One reason some of us have trouble overcoming anger is that we’ve used it too often as an offensive weapon. It can be employed as an excuse to leave the house, it can bring an argument to an explosive end, and it can make others fearful and defensive. In the past this brought results of a sort, and helped reinforce the idea that anger works.

The trouble with anger, though, is that it’s destructive. Once angry, we hurt ourselves and we hurt others. Terrible things said in anger leave wounds that never heal, creating problems that lead to more anger.

The AA program can show us that there is virtually no justification for anger, under any and all circumstances. If we sense it coming on, we have the choice of taking charge of our feelings. If we’re angry over another’s behavior, we can remember that anger might be a way of reacting, but it’s not necessary in our lives.

I’ll make it through this day without a trace of anger. I’ll frequently remind myself that anger is destructive and that my real purpose is to build a better life.



Nothing Is Impossible with God.
Each Day Is A New Beginning.
When You Draw Close To God, God Will Draw Close To You.

Spark People Team Leader, GLITTERGIRL, from Team, "I Can't Do This On My Own", helped me reach my goal in 2012. I was able to maintain my weight for several months, but now I have to get serious again as much of my hard work I let go of, putting my focus on another issue. I will keep on, until I get back to my goal.


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3/15/21 12:42 A

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March 15

WALK IN DRY PLACES

THE SECRET OF DETACHMENT

Dealing with Others

“Detaching with love” is what those close to alcoholics do when they realize they can’t change them. The same principle should apply to any distressing situation, but how does it work? How can I detach from people who really bother me—especially fellow workers, or perhaps a boss or customer?

The secret of detachment is expressed in the biblical charge, “Resist not evil.” We don’t fight or resist the other person, or even try to change an-other’s behavior. We stop believing that the other person’s behavior can really control us in the future. We become impersonal about something that was once highly charged with resentment and bitterness. At no point, however, do we say that the others’ wrong behavior is all right, nor do we lie to ourselves about what the other is doing.

Detachment does not mean that the outcome will be recovery or change for the other person. That sometimes happens, and we’re grateful when it does. If we detach in the right way, however, the outcome will always be better than anything we could bring about by fighting the situation. We have to count an outcome favorable if we stay sober and under control in the midst of an insane situation.

I will detach myself from conflicts with others if they arise today. I am not going to fight anything or anybody, and I know this will bring me closer to the ideal of living at peace with everybody.



Nothing Is Impossible with God.
Each Day Is A New Beginning.
When You Draw Close To God, God Will Draw Close To You.

Spark People Team Leader, GLITTERGIRL, from Team, "I Can't Do This On My Own", helped me reach my goal in 2012. I was able to maintain my weight for several months, but now I have to get serious again as much of my hard work I let go of, putting my focus on another issue. I will keep on, until I get back to my goal.


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3/13/21 11:59 P

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March 14

WALK IN DRY PLACES

LIVING WITH DEPRESSION

Mood Management

Getting sober is often only a first small step in getting well. Many recovering alcoholics must also face an underlying depression that seems to mock their efforts to attain real serenity. But sobriety does not cause the depression. It simply lays bare a condition that was present all along, but had been masked by repeated binges. It’s probably true, too, that many of us used alcohol partly as a drug to combat depression because it temporarily lifted our mood and relieved our pain.

One fact about depression is that it comes and goes; we can endure it partly by knowing that “this too shall pass.” Another fact is that physical activity helps in coping with it. AA co-founder Bill W., victimized by profound depression even in his sober years, found that walking provided some relief, though he had to force himself to do it at times. A third fact about depression is that we can usually alleviate its effects by helping others and by staying close to AA circles, even when we’re too depressed to contribute much. It’s also helpful to discuss the problem with understanding friends and sponsors, or a therapist, if necessary.

I’ll believe today that I can maintain a good mood level that continues to build as I carry out my responsibilities and make AA first in my life. Depression may challenge me, but I don’t have to give in to it.



Nothing Is Impossible with God.
Each Day Is A New Beginning.
When You Draw Close To God, God Will Draw Close To You.

Spark People Team Leader, GLITTERGIRL, from Team, "I Can't Do This On My Own", helped me reach my goal in 2012. I was able to maintain my weight for several months, but now I have to get serious again as much of my hard work I let go of, putting my focus on another issue. I will keep on, until I get back to my goal.


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3/13/21 1:00 A

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March 13

Walk in Dry Places

Believing In Justice____Justice

“What goes around, comes around,” is a popular saying. It’s often used to suggest that certain arrogant, unprincipled people will eventually receive their comeuppance. It conveys the idea that there’s a hidden justice at work in human affairs that assures all injustice will eventually be punished.
But if it works to punish, this hidden justice also rewards right actions, and this is more important in our working of the program. If we act from good motives, we’ll always find that our work is rewarded in some way. No alcoholic who performs a service in the fellowship goes unrewarded. Quite often the reward is simply a personal sense of well-being and growth in character, but these may be more important than money or recognition.

Justice is one of the cardinal virtues–a Godlike attribute that human beings strive to understand. Believing in justice is believing in the Hidden Power that orders justice in all things.
I’ll view my world today as something that is controlled and ordered by a Just Power. Reward and retribution are built into the scheme of things, but I’ll focus more on actions that bring the right kind of rewards.


Nothing Is Impossible with God.
Each Day Is A New Beginning.
When You Draw Close To God, God Will Draw Close To You.

Spark People Team Leader, GLITTERGIRL, from Team, "I Can't Do This On My Own", helped me reach my goal in 2012. I was able to maintain my weight for several months, but now I have to get serious again as much of my hard work I let go of, putting my focus on another issue. I will keep on, until I get back to my goal.


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3/12/21 12:05 A

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March 12

WALK IN DRY PLACES

POPULAR GOSSIP

Higher Thinking

The newsstands are full of publications that seem to delight in exposing the sins and foibles of celebrities and prominent officials. Think of the excitement that’s been generated just over the sexual misadventures of important people running for public office.

While some of these disclosures may be true, we don’t help ourselves by reveling in them or reading them. We may even harm ourselves if we get secret enjoyment over the fall of a celebrity. It’s never beneficial to find ourselves thinking, “It serves him right!”

Reading such trash, even in the daily news-papers, is a form of gossip. We can use our time in better ways if we wish to enhance our sobriety.

If this sounds a little too stringent, we should remind ourselves that growth in sobriety calls for better management of our thinking and attitudes. Nobody ever got drunk simply because he or she read gossipy trash. But neither did that person make progress over the general problem of gossip.

I’ll have no interest in the weaknesses or short-comings of those who might be in the news. Popular gossip can be just as harmful as personal gossip.




Nothing Is Impossible with God.
Each Day Is A New Beginning.
When You Draw Close To God, God Will Draw Close To You.

Spark People Team Leader, GLITTERGIRL, from Team, "I Can't Do This On My Own", helped me reach my goal in 2012. I was able to maintain my weight for several months, but now I have to get serious again as much of my hard work I let go of, putting my focus on another issue. I will keep on, until I get back to my goal.


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3/11/21 12:56 A

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March 11

WALK IN DRY PLACES

LIVING WITH BAD VIBES

Human Relations

Some of us are sensitive to the feelings we pick up from people in the immediate environment. The feelings we sense from the people around us can be as powerful as odors and sounds. We can feel tense in the presence of domineering people, and we can be uncomfortable around people who seem resentful.

Acceptance and knowledge help us retain mastery of ourselves in these situations. But we don’t have to tune in to another person’s bad feelings, just as we wouldn’t tune in to a radio station whose music bothered us. We can also detach from the situation in thought, just as Al- Anon-trained spouses detach from alcoholics in a spirit of love and understanding.

The less we try to resist such a situation, the less power it has to disturb us. And the less involved we become with such situations, the sooner they seem to change. People in Twelve Step pro-grams sometimes report miraculous changes when they adjust their own feelings. One frequently hears of outcomes such as this: “I learned not to let this person bother me, and two weeks later he was transferred to another department!”

My own sensitivity makes me vulnerable to good or bad feelings in the atmosphere. Recognizing them for what they are. I’ll enjoy the good feelings and refuse to be disturbed or upset by those that seem bad.




Nothing Is Impossible with God.
Each Day Is A New Beginning.
When You Draw Close To God, God Will Draw Close To You.

Spark People Team Leader, GLITTERGIRL, from Team, "I Can't Do This On My Own", helped me reach my goal in 2012. I was able to maintain my weight for several months, but now I have to get serious again as much of my hard work I let go of, putting my focus on another issue. I will keep on, until I get back to my goal.


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3/10/21 12:51 A

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March 10

WALK IN DRY PLACES

OUSTING THE GREEN DEMON

Victory over Jealousy

We hear of successful people who drop their old friends after moving up the ladder. Maybe, however, it wasn’t their choice. Maybe they were driven to do so because their friend’s jealousy made the friendship unworkable. We have little trouble accepting a stranger’s good fortune; it’s a different feeling, however, when friends and co-workers move ahead of us.

If the green demon of jealousy strikes during the day, we can come to terms with it in several ways. First, accept no guilt that it happens, because jealousy is part of the human condition. Next, depersonalize it by remembering that good fortune comes to all people in various ways. Then check your own gratitude level to make sure that it hasn’t been sinking. This serves as a reminder that there’s no shortage of the things that really make for happiness and personal well-being in life.

We can easily tell when we’ve been able to oust the green demon. We’ll be able to be relaxed and gracious while extending congratulations for an-other person’s good fortune. And months down the road, we’ll be genuinely sympathetic—not vindictive—if the other person’s luck turns sour.

While I don’t expect to feel jealousy today, I accept the fact that it can happen. Should it appear, I’ll work calmly to deal with it.


Nothing Is Impossible with God.
Each Day Is A New Beginning.
When You Draw Close To God, God Will Draw Close To You.

Spark People Team Leader, GLITTERGIRL, from Team, "I Can't Do This On My Own", helped me reach my goal in 2012. I was able to maintain my weight for several months, but now I have to get serious again as much of my hard work I let go of, putting my focus on another issue. I will keep on, until I get back to my goal.


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3/9/21 12:07 A

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March 9

Walk in Dry Places

The Best outcome is just and equitable.
Principle over personality.

Looking ahead to this day, I may face a possible conflict with another person over a certain issue. How should I respond to this?
If I’m to follow my principles, I should hold to the idea of seeking the best outcome for everybody concerned. It may be very harmful to look at these conflicts as a case of winning or losing. If I seem to win when I’m wrong, I will lose in the long run. If I seem to lose even when I’m right, I can know that there’s just resolution of everything in time. I will always win, however, if I keep my thinking straight and take care to avoid resentment and bitterness.
It’s not surprising that the world is beset by conflicts. Millions of people have conditioned themselves to selfish ways of thinking and behaving that are bound to cause such conflicts. Much harm is done by people who are absolutely sure they are right at all times.
As human beings, we cannot expect to be excluded from these conflicts simply because we have a Twelve Step program. We do, however, have a means of dealing with such conflicts effectively when we respond according to principle. This makes us privileged people in a way, but it is good to know that any person can have the same privileges by following the right principles.
Unpleasant as any conflict may seem, it does give me an opportunity to learn and to grow. I will seek to benefit from any such conflict today.


Nothing Is Impossible with God.
Each Day Is A New Beginning.
When You Draw Close To God, God Will Draw Close To You.

Spark People Team Leader, GLITTERGIRL, from Team, "I Can't Do This On My Own", helped me reach my goal in 2012. I was able to maintain my weight for several months, but now I have to get serious again as much of my hard work I let go of, putting my focus on another issue. I will keep on, until I get back to my goal.


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3/8/21 12:51 A

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March 8

WALK IN DRY PLACES

WHAT DO I PROJECT?

Personal Relations

Were we ever told that our problems with other people really started within ourselves? If we have trouble getting along with another person, for example, is it because we are projecting mixed signals of fear and suspicion to-ward that person? We tend to reap what we sow—we get back the attitudes we project.

At the same time, however, we can’t take total responsibility for the way others treat us or behave toward us. We cannot reform or control impossible people. When dealing with impossible people, we have control over our own feelings and responses. This helps us avoid potential trouble and enables us to deal with difficult situations.

But the principle of sowing what we reap—that is, getting back what we project—can really be proved by the person whose resentments and bitterness have driven away most of his or her friends. A simple change of attitude on our part can bring startling change for the better in the responses of others. With practice, the principle also applies to the broad area of human relations in many ways. For purposes of inventory, therefore, we should always look first at ourselves and our own thoughts and feelings when we find ourselves in a bad situation with others.

I will take care today to see that my thoughts and feelings toward others reflect what I want in my own life. I cannot expect to harbor secret resentments without getting some of my own back.


Nothing Is Impossible with God.
Each Day Is A New Beginning.
When You Draw Close To God, God Will Draw Close To You.

Spark People Team Leader, GLITTERGIRL, from Team, "I Can't Do This On My Own", helped me reach my goal in 2012. I was able to maintain my weight for several months, but now I have to get serious again as much of my hard work I let go of, putting my focus on another issue. I will keep on, until I get back to my goal.


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3/7/21 12:23 A

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March 7

WALK IN DRY PLACES

FIRST THINGS FIRST

Order

The struggle to bring order into our lives starts with lots of little things. One recovering per-son discovered that it was a good exercise simply to put the cap back on the toothpaste tube in the morning. This was a reminder that things should be put in their proper place, and the discipline helped later in organizing larger matters.

It is very easy to overlook orderly procedures in the haste to get things done, or to avoid anything that seems unpleasant or demanding. But such oversight always carries a heavy price later on. When we don’t return things to their proper place, for example, we lose them or waste hours looking for them. We may bungle a job simply because we were too lazy to look up the right information or to read directions.

That’s why “First things first” is much more than just a slogan. It’s actually a principle for living, a guide that tells us there is an orderly approach to everything. If we can find that order without becoming slavishly compulsive about it, we’ll find that it simplifies lots of things later on.

I’ll try to do things in an orderly manner today. When I find myself taking short cuts or becoming too hurried, I’ll regain control by remembering to establish priorities.


Nothing Is Impossible with God.
Each Day Is A New Beginning.
When You Draw Close To God, God Will Draw Close To You.

Spark People Team Leader, GLITTERGIRL, from Team, "I Can't Do This On My Own", helped me reach my goal in 2012. I was able to maintain my weight for several months, but now I have to get serious again as much of my hard work I let go of, putting my focus on another issue. I will keep on, until I get back to my goal.


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3/6/21 12:40 A

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March 6

WALK IN DRY PLACES

EXAMPLE, NOT EXCEPTION

Helping Others

It’s always heady stuff when others congratulate us on our victory over alcohol. Fair-minded people will have considerable admiration for what appears to be a bootstrap effort to make a comeback from despair and defeat.

We can accept this praise with grace and modesty. At some point, however, we should emphasize that our recovery was an example of spiritual principles at work and that thousands have been able to follow in the same path. Sober AA members are not exceptions; they are examples of what the program can do in people’s lives.

It is important to emphasize that we are ordinary people. The marvelous thing about the program is that it works for ordinary people like ourselves. Many people in the fellowship have great talent and ability, but those gifts have nothing to do with staying sober. The gifted person gets sober the same way anybody does—by admitting powerlessness over alcohol and by accepting the program.

We are also helped most by people who can serve as examples in our lives. It is always inspiring to know that we can follow in their paths and find what has been given to them.

I want to provide a good example for others today. I will go through the day remembering that my sobriety is a gift that can be bestowed on anybody—it was not an exception just for me.


Nothing Is Impossible with God.
Each Day Is A New Beginning.
When You Draw Close To God, God Will Draw Close To You.

Spark People Team Leader, GLITTERGIRL, from Team, "I Can't Do This On My Own", helped me reach my goal in 2012. I was able to maintain my weight for several months, but now I have to get serious again as much of my hard work I let go of, putting my focus on another issue. I will keep on, until I get back to my goal.


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3/5/21 12:37 A

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March 5

WALK IN DRY PLACES

A VISION FOR YOU

A Positive Attitude

One of the methods that helps in recovery is to see yourself as a sober person living a clean life. This is the “vision for you” that the society’s founders offered in AA’s early days, and it’s still powerful today.

While being careful to avoid self-will, we can use this method with great success in living each day. Along with seeing ourselves sober, we can see ourselves living and working according to the best principles we know. We can see a business relationship improving. We can see some longstanding problems being solved. We can see a brighter side to negative situations that have persisted in spite of our best efforts to change them.

One author also talked about “seeing God on both sides of the table in any business negotiation.” We desire success, of course, but it’s also important to know that any negotiation ought to be successful for both parties. If we’re really practicing spiritual principles in all of our affairs, there should be no desire to outmaneuver another per-son in any negotiation. There is always a price that is fair and satisfactory for both parties, and there are always terms suitable for both sides.

I will go through this day visualizing it as I think it should be according to the highest and best principles I know. I will put aside self-will and see everybody benefiting from any negotiation in which I am involved.



Nothing Is Impossible with God.
Each Day Is A New Beginning.
When You Draw Close To God, God Will Draw Close To You.

Spark People Team Leader, GLITTERGIRL, from Team, "I Can't Do This On My Own", helped me reach my goal in 2012. I was able to maintain my weight for several months, but now I have to get serious again as much of my hard work I let go of, putting my focus on another issue. I will keep on, until I get back to my goal.


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ALLENJOSEPH's Photo ALLENJOSEPH SparkPoints: (519,062)
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Posts: 30,705
3/4/21 12:58 A

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March 4

WALK IN DRY PLACES

DON’T FEED THE HABIT

Enhancing Sobriety

We quickly learn that it’s wrong to do anything that “feeds” a drinking habit. A recovering person would be foolish, for example, to spend time in a drinking environment simply to “be with friends.”

It’s constructive to take that same approach to-ward other problems we’d like to get out of our lives. If gossip has been my problem, for example, I should not feed it by listening to gossip or even by reading gossipy articles and books. If I have ac-cumulated debts through overspending, I should cut off window shopping and other practices that may bring on more unnecessary debt. And if I want to rid my life of self-pity, I should not spend a single moment brooding over the bad breaks I have had in the past.

Bad habits have a life of their own. They are somewhat like rodents that have found their way into the house and have become star boarders. One way to control rodents is to eliminate their food supply. That same principle applies to bad habits we want to eliminate from our own lives.

I’ll make a strong effort to cut off any line of thinking that feeds my bad habits, whatever they are. This might include avoiding practices that others see as harmless and trivial. However, nothing is harmless or trivial if it has become destructive in my life.


Nothing Is Impossible with God.
Each Day Is A New Beginning.
When You Draw Close To God, God Will Draw Close To You.

Spark People Team Leader, GLITTERGIRL, from Team, "I Can't Do This On My Own", helped me reach my goal in 2012. I was able to maintain my weight for several months, but now I have to get serious again as much of my hard work I let go of, putting my focus on another issue. I will keep on, until I get back to my goal.


level 25
519,062 SparkPoints
ALLENJOSEPH's Photo ALLENJOSEPH SparkPoints: (519,062)
Fitness Minutes: (281,545)
Posts: 30,705
3/2/21 12:20 A

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March 2

WALK IN DRY PLACES

DO WE NEED SOME FEAR?

Courage

It’s easy to get into an argument about the role of fear in our lives. Some say that we need some fear—it helps us get out of the path of an oncoming truck.

Is that really true? If it is, it’s still not like the fear that was present with alcoholism. This fear was more likely to make us freeze and lose all power of action in the face of a threat. It was the sort of fear that paralyzes us, making us unable to move out of the way when a truck is bearing down on us.

Fear is even more destructive when it keeps us from doing the simple things we need to function in our lives. Fear certainly can’t be helpful when it makes us unable to face a new customer or ride in an airplane for necessary business travel. Some people even put off medical examinations simply because they fear bad news—and thus delay treatment, so that their condition becomes worse.

We might not need to get rid of all fear, but we do need to dispose of the unhealthy kind that keeps us from necessary actions on our own be-half.

A really strong sense of the program can help me deal with fear today. One good idea for coping with fear is to remember that if God is for us, nobody can really be against us. Keeping that thought in mind can help stabilize our feelings in the face of threatening situations.



Nothing Is Impossible with God.
Each Day Is A New Beginning.
When You Draw Close To God, God Will Draw Close To You.

Spark People Team Leader, GLITTERGIRL, from Team, "I Can't Do This On My Own", helped me reach my goal in 2012. I was able to maintain my weight for several months, but now I have to get serious again as much of my hard work I let go of, putting my focus on another issue. I will keep on, until I get back to my goal.


level 25
519,062 SparkPoints
ALLENJOSEPH's Photo ALLENJOSEPH SparkPoints: (519,062)
Fitness Minutes: (281,545)
Posts: 30,705
3/1/21 12:40 A

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March 1

Walk in Dry Places

Danger in excitement
Mood alterations

The lure of excitement is hard to understand. While we may think of ourselves as sensible, practical people, the hard truth is that many alcoholics have a strong need to feel excited. This excitement can take many forms, and some of them are dangerous.

One lure of excitement comes through the impulsive need for change. Some of us have had weird habits of suddenly quitting jobs and pulling up stakes for no reason other than being bored. An even more destructive attraction is the belief that a new romance can restore our zest for living and bring new joys and happiness.

The sober truth is that nobody can live sensibly and sanely by seeking continuous excitement and stimulation. We are better off with steady growth in the patterns we know best than with seeking excitement that finally leads to destruction.

At the same time, we should not belittle the pleasures and joys we get through ordinary living. If we earn those pleasures and joys through responsible actions, they will give us far more happiness than momentary feelings of excitement.

In quietness and confidence is our strength. I do not need to be excited in any way today. I am more effective and more in control when I am not being swayed by feverish emotion that distorts my judgment.



Nothing Is Impossible with God.
Each Day Is A New Beginning.
When You Draw Close To God, God Will Draw Close To You.

Spark People Team Leader, GLITTERGIRL, from Team, "I Can't Do This On My Own", helped me reach my goal in 2012. I was able to maintain my weight for several months, but now I have to get serious again as much of my hard work I let go of, putting my focus on another issue. I will keep on, until I get back to my goal.


level 25
519,062 SparkPoints
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