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7/25/21 8:43 A

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One receives only that which is given. The game of life is a game of boomerangs. Our thoughts, deeds and words, return to us sooner or later, with astounding accuracy.
~Florence Scovel Shin

Each of us can attest to the truth or this passage. During the difficult times, however, it is not uppermost in our minds that "what goes around, comes around." It feels all too easy to be justifiably resentful or to gossip or to ignore another's presence. And the repercussions are seldom immediate. They will come, though.

Goodness is likewise repaid. Giving love, attention, and respect to the individuals who share our lives and to the people who cross our paths by chance will smooth our own passage day by day. The effects of our goodness will often be felt quickly. A smile elicits a smile. Kind thoughts bless us as well as the receiver. Life events do come full circle.

With a bit of effort, I can smile at someone today, even though I'm frowning inside. Both will be better for it.

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7/21/21 8:56 A

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True denial is a powerful protective device.
~A Course in Miracles

Denial has gotten a bad reputation in recovery circles. One of the greatest obstacles to recovery from addiction is denial. Who would seek help for an illness that doesn’t exist? Many of us resisted help, suffered needlessly, and caused others to suffer while we went on denying that anything was wrong.

But sometimes denial can be a good thing, especially when it comes to fear. When we are afraid of anything, we are saying it has the power to hurt us. We give fear power by believing in it. But if God is for us, who can truly hurt us? Our fears are of our own making. When we deny the ability of any ungodly thought to bring us down, we are using denial properly.

My fears can hurt me only with my permission.

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7/20/21 8:59 A

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Listening
Before engaging your mouth, put your mind in gear.

~Anonymous

Our world is full of speechmakers who would serve better if they learned the importance of listening. The ability to hear is stressed within our group. It is true that we owe it to fellow members to tell the valuable lessons we learn while dealing with reality. But by listening, we can find truth from outside ourselves, too. Old-timers remind us to “take the cotton out of our ears and put it in our mouth.”

An old proverb says, “When the pupil is ready, the teacher will appear.” Another tells us, “Find a teacher and you find a friend.” When we learn to be attentive, we continue to be students long after our school years are over. Even when we read, we can listen well to truths.

One gift of being a good listener is to hear unexpectedly some truth I may have been told but was not ready to hear.

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7/19/21 8:50 A

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If they try to rush me, I always say, “I’ve only got one other speed—and it’s slower.”
~Glenn Ford

We tend to feel ourselves under pressure to perform, to produce, to excel. But pressure makes us feel rushed, and we become careless with ourselves and with others. We miss seeing and enjoying the small, simple things in life. We get things and people out of focus.

Pressure can come from inside, too—from our shame and sense of unworthiness. Then we find it difficult to look the world in the eye because of our secretive lives. We may feel we have to keep moving in order to prevent ourselves from assessing the true nature of our addiction and the harm it did to ourselves and others.

But now we know we can slow down and take each day, each hour, and minute as it comes. By slowing down, we learn to see the world more clearly and enjoy the company of others. We do have time to get to know ourselves and reach out to others. The reward is a deeper, quieter, lovelier life.

Time is not an enemy to be conquered, but part of the rhythm of life. Each day I try to slow down and live.

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7/17/21 5:50 P

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Conceit spoils the greatest genius…and the great charm of power is modesty.
~Louisa May Alcott

Addiction does bad things to our egos. We see ourselves as very different from others. Either we think we are better, with puffed-up egos, or we think we are worse than others, feeling sorry for ourselves. Either way, the rules don’t apply to us, of course, because we are special. The Big Book says that the early members of AA realized that they were pretty self‑centered, and that was a big part of the problem for them. It’s a big part of the problem for most of us in recovery today, too. It seems to go with addiction.

We must get real about who we are and what we have to offer others. We need to accept that life doesn’t revolve around us. Rather we are here to work with others, with our talents, and with love to make life better and more meaningful for all of us. That is how we make a real difference in this world.

Prayer for the Day
Higher Power, please help me learn more about my talents, my strengths, and my purpose for being here. What part of your work would you like me to do today?

Today's Action
Today I will learn about my gifts. I will ask four people who know me in different parts of my life this question: “What positive thing do I bring when I join a group of people?”

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7/16/21 9:03 A

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Real joy comes not from ease or riches or from the praise of men, but from doing something worthwhile.
~W. T. Grenfell

Joy, like happiness and freedom, is a major prize of recovery. And like these other two conditions, joy eludes those who seek it directly. It is a result of, and dependent on, something else.

Joy is a secondary effect of a primary action. When we create an environment that supports and encourages someone else, we find joy in the doing. There may be no more valuable human enterprise than lightening someone else’s load, leading someone who’s lost to the safe road, or extending a hand to someone who has fallen.

Such opportunities present themselves daily to recovering people. At every meeting, we’re in touch with people who greatly need the counsel, wisdom, and example of those who have made a decision about the past, have left behind what was, and are creating sweet new days as they walk the path of recovery.

If we hope to know joy, we must share what we have.

Today, I will pass along the kindness that has been shown me.

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7/15/21 8:50 A

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Control
Many of us have been trying to keep the whole world in orbit with sheer and forceful application of mental energy.

What happens if we let go, if we stop trying to keep the world orbiting and just let it whirl? It’ll keep right on whirling. It’ll stay right on track with no help from us. And we’ll be free and relaxed enough to enjoy our place on it.

Control is an illusion, especially the kind of control we’ve been trying to exert. In fact, controlling gives other people, events, and diseases, such as alcoholism, control over us. Whatever we try to control does have control over us and our life.

I have given this control to many things and people in my life. I have never gotten the results I wanted from controlling or trying to control people. What I received for my efforts is an unmanageable life, whether that unmanageability was inside me or in external events.

In recovery, we make a trade-off. We trade a life that we have tried to control, and we receive in return something better—a life that is manageable.

Today, I will exchange a controlled life for one that is manageable.

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7/12/21 8:55 A

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Given how much suffering there is in the world and in any given individual’s life, it is astounding that we are all not having a good cry at least once a week. Such regular cleansing is good for body, mind, and spirit. Many men have overcome the negative conditioning that prevents them from shedding healing tears.

When sadness is particularly prolonged, intense, and focused on a specific loss such as the death of a loved one, divorce, or loss of a job or significant functional ability through injury or illness, it transforms into the more complex brew of grief. Initially, grief always disorients and overwhelms. It represents an arduous transition from loss in some form to reintegration. One never “gets over” difficult experiences, but we can somehow fit them into the fabric of the big picture of our life.

Grief cycles and past losses may unexpectedly arise when least expected. A new sorrow may trigger memories of older ones. Grieving is more a marathon than a sprint. The more we feel our sadness and allow our grief, the more spontaneity and aliveness we will have.

Grieving well is a skill I can learn over time, and letting myself cry is good medicine.

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7/9/21 11:21 A

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Living the Twelve Step way is a twenty-four-hour-a-day opportunity.
Twelve Step programs expose us to ideas that seem foreign. It takes time to embrace a new value system we can live by every day. Absorbing and using these principles for every decision and action removes the worry from our lives.

Changing how we’ve thought and acted doesn’t happen overnight. Changing one thing at a time is enough at first. Perhaps we’ll give up our feeling of hopelessness. The Second Step tells us that God can free us from our insanity, our hopelessness. All we need do is ask for help, and hope will come. Maybe we decide the urge to take over someone else’s life must end. Doing the First Step numerous times a day will help us remember that we are powerless over everyone else. If discomfort from an old relationship keeps haunting us, maybe it’s time to make amends and get on with life.

Our value system shapes every part of our lives. Twelve Step philosophy simplifies our lives, particularly when the baggage of the past has been cleared away.

This isn’t a part-time program for me. I want to live by these principles every minute. My life will reflect how successfully I do it.

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7/2/21 8:54 A

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Reflection for the Day
What wonderful things could happen in my life if I could get rid of my natural impulse to justify my actions. Is honesty so deeply repressed under layers of guilt that I can’t release it to understand my motives? Being honest with ourselves isn’t easy. It’s difficult to search out why I had this or that impulse and, more importantly, why I acted upon it. Nothing makes us feel so vulnerable as to give up the crutch of “the alibi,” yet my willingness to be vulnerable will go a long way toward helping me grow in the program. Am I becoming more aware that self- deception multiplies my problems?

Today I Pray
May my Higher Power remove my urge to make excuses. Help me to face up to the realities that surface when I am honest with myself. Help me to know, as certainly as day follows sunrise, that my difficulties will be lessened if I can only trust my Higher Power’s will.

Today I Will Remember
I will be willing to do my Higher Power’s will.

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6/28/21 8:50 A

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Being sick and tired
We get sick and tired of blaming others for our faults. We get sick and tired of running the show. We get sick and tired of trying to impress people. We are sick and tired of being sick and tired.

We need only remember that when anything gets to be too much, when we get sick and tired of anything, our Higher Power is always ready to help to take it from us.

Am I feeling sick and tired about anything now?

Higher Power, help me turn things over to you before I get that sick and tired feeling.

Today I will ask my Higher Power to take over two problems. They are…

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6/27/21 8:47 A

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No sooner do we think we have assembled a comfortable life than we find a piece of ourselves that has no place to fit in.
~Gail Sheehy

We usually think of children going through stages. If we talk about a man going through a stage, there is usually a tone of a put-down in it. But adults go through stages in their lives too. We have different drives and needs at 22 than we had at 16. Age 40 brings a different experience than 30. It would be sad to reach age 60 or 70 and have no more wisdom than we had twenty years earlier. An adult life crisis can come anytime. We may have grown out of a formerly comfortable job. Perhaps we feel new urgings for a more satisfactory relationship than we have settled for. From our recovery experience, we know that crisis can bring growth.

Courage is required of us from the cradle to the grave. Change continues throughout life. With courage, we can face our crises and the changes that come, and eventually we find the gift of new growth.

Help me find courage enough to live this day and meet the challenges it brings.

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6/26/21 9:08 A

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Every saint has a past and every sinner has a future.
~Oscar Wilde

We all change. We learn, and change, and grow. We once made alcohol or other drugs our Higher Power. Perhaps we had other Higher Powers too—like money, gambling, food, or sex. But it’s never too late to be in touch with a true Higher Power. Each day we do this, we deepen our recovery. Each day we follow a false higher power, we feed our disease.

Prayer for the Day
Higher Power, help me put my life and will in Your hands today. Help me be a saint, just for today.

Action for the Day
How have my ideas about saints and sinners changed since I got into a Twelve Step program? I’ll talk with my sponsor about it today.

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6/25/21 8:44 A

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Life deals more rigorously with some than others.
~Lewis F. Presnall

How often we think about a friend, He sure is lucky! And probably just as often we say to ourselves, why did that happen to me? It's not fair! The truth is, life isn't always fair. We don't all get the same experiences, the same lessons. But we each learn what we need to learn in order to fulfill our destiny.

We have to learn to trust. Maybe a bike gets stolen or a friend moves away. It's not easy to accept such things as these, but we must all learn to understand and accept losses in our lives.

Perhaps we fail a test. The lesson we learn from this may be to study harder or to consider a different course of study in school. There are always reasons for why things happen, but we don't have to know them.

Can I trust in the lessons of my failures today?

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6/19/21 3:20 P

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Great opportunities to help others seldom come, but small ones surround us every day.
~Sally Koch

From its earliest days, the Twelve Step program began with the Twelfth Step. When a certain recovering man in Ohio was tentatively making his way into sobriety, day by day, he quickly realized that his progress depended on telling his story to other suffering alcoholics. He realized that by helping others, he was helping himself stay sober.

A fundamental rule of good mental health is to be helpful to others. We can do that by telling our story: where we were and how far we have come. But helpfulness is an attitude. We can cultivate this attitude, looking for ways to be helpful while not taking on a caretaking role. Generosity of spirit in all our dealings with others, without looking for anything in return, creates a feeling of connection with others. Helping others can also dispel depression and self-pity.

Today, I will look for ways to be helpful and generous to others.

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6/18/21 8:57 A

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Parents can only give good advice or put them on the right paths, but the final forming of a person's character lies in their own hands.
~Anne Frank

We must take responsibility for ourselves, for who we become, for how we live each day. The temptation to blame others may be ever present. And much of our past adds up to wasted days or years perhaps, because we did blame someone else for the unhappiness in our lives.

We may have blamed our own parents for not loving us enough. We may have labeled our husbands the villains. Other people did affect us. That's true. However, we chose, you and I, to let them control us, overwhelm us, shame us. We always had other options, but we didn't choose them.

Today is a new day. Recovery has opened up our options. We are learning who we are and how we want to live our lives. How exhilarating to know that you and l can take today and put our own special flavor in it. We can meet our personal needs. We can, with anticipation, change our course. The days of passivity are over, if we choose to move ahead with this day.

l will look to this day. Every day is a new beginning.

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6/14/21 8:52 A

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Fear
F.E.A.R. = Frustration, Ego, Anxiety, and Resentment

~Anonymous

We don’t want to return to the life we led before recovery, but fear should never be the reason why we don’t. Fear keeps us from being open to the program. If we’re only in the program because we’re afraid of the old way of life, we’ll never pay attention and open our souls to learn about the new. We’ll be too busy looking back over our shoulders to make sure the old life isn’t creeping up on us.

We have to want the program out of a desire for a new life, not out of a fear of the old. Positive thinking and behavior will be in charge if we are to make any character growth. Every fear encourages negative thinking that can destroy us. Guilt and shame come from the past, just like fear. If those feelings are what drive us, we will never grow.

I will make it a practice to take note of my fears. I will take an inventory of each fear until I understand what caused it. Then I will be able to find a way to work through them.

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6/14/21 8:52 A

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Sorrow you can hold, however desolating, if nobody speaks to you. If they speak, you break down.
~Bede Jarrett

Who among us has not known the loneliness of this addiction: the shame, the despair, the feeling of utter abandonment by other people, and the terror of being out of control? When calling an old lover or finding ourselves in the wrong part of town, we feel fearful, separate. We think, “I’m not like other people; they don’t do these things.” This is the message of our addiction. It says to us, “You are an outcast. You need me because you’re nothing without me. You’re worthless.”

As we recover, we discover that our addiction is a liar. We are not worthless, and we are not alone. We are a group of people recovering together, helping each other along.

And so, when you are in pain and unable to speak, I will be your voice. You will be my voice. I will be your heart. You will be my heart. We will hold each other up, and we, with the help of a Higher Power, will quite literally love each other into recovery.

God, I thank you for bringing me into recovery. Let me show you my gratitude by growing in my recovery.

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6/13/21 10:29 A

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

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

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

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

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

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

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6/12/21 6:22 P

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Genuine self-love is the greatest protection against dependent relationships.
~Robert Coleman

Adult children meetings can help people who are struggling for emotional independence. As one woman shared, “I’ve taken any kind of treatment just to ‘have a man.’ To save my self-esteem, I’ve just ended a bad relationship. But it’s still hard. Sometimes I feel so terrified I just want to run to him—but I haven’t. Each day I stay put I count as a success.”

Like many before her, this woman is learning the difference between love and dependency. She is thinking new thoughts and coming up with better options. In working her program, she is focusing on her own needs rather than someone else’s. By acknowledging that she has always been accepted by her Higher Power, she is seeing her baby steps turn into a giant leap toward the independence of genuine self-worth.

I will learn to take care of myself, understanding that as I do so my vulnerability to dependent relationships lessens.

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6/12/21 6:21 P

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Recognizing Choices
We have choices, more choices than we let ourselves see. We may feel trapped in our relationships, our jobs, our life. We may feel locked into behaviors—such as caretaking or controlling.

Feeling trapped is a symptom of codependency. When we hear ourselves say, “I have to take care of this person.” “I have to say yes…” “I have to try to control that person.” “I have to behave this way, think this way, feel this way…” we can know we are choosing not to see choices.

That sense of being trapped is an illusion. We are not controlled by circumstances, our past, the expectations of others, or our unhealthy expectations for ourselves. We can choose what feels right for us, without guilt. We have options.

Recovery is not about behaving perfectly or according to anyone else’s rules. More than anything else, recovery is about knowing we have choices and giving ourselves the freedom to choose.

Today, I will open my thinking and myself to the choices available to me. I will make choices that are good for me.

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6/9/21 8:59 A

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To be reliable means to show up and to be trustworthy. Bumper sticker wisdom reminds us: you must be present to win. For anything of any import to occur in any situation, we must first be in attendance, available with our time, energy, and talents. How many times did we get nothing—and contribute nothing—to group counseling sessions when we first started in recovery, because we were somewhere else in our hearts and in our heads?

So showing up is the first requirement, but then we must also be willing to honor our word and actually follow through. When we do this, we gradually learn the critical importance of doing what we said we would do, even if we encounter difficulties. This opens the door to other important lessons, including the value of asking for help while we are doing our best to stay true to our intent.

And being trustworthy also includes holding close anything confidential someone else shares with us—in or out of a Twelve Step program setting. When we put the concept of reliability into practice, we nurture many positive attributes: being present, asking for support, keeping our word, and following through with our actions.

Being reliable teaches me in many different ways.

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6/8/21 8:54 A

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Alcoholics suffer from “self-will run riot.” We do too!
Being certain that we were right, that our way was the right way, was part of our old lives. Many of us fell into the habit of picking up the pieces when a spouse or other family member made a mess of some situation. And that fueled our belief that we knew best.

In regard to some circumstances, we probably do know best. After all, each of us is right some of the time. But learning to back off from a situation, even when it appears we are right, empowers us. Not having to be right gives us a new freedom. It lessens the tension between us and other people. It relieves us of the burden of trying to make outcomes match our expectations.

Our path through life will be easier to navigate if we try to be right only regarding ourselves.

Today I will only decide what’s right for me.

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5/30/21 8:53 A

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Reflection for the Day
Why don’t I spend part of today thinking about my assets rather than my liabilities? Why not think about victories instead of defeats—about the ways in which I am gentle and kind? It’s always been my tendency to fall into a sort of cynical self-hypnosis, putting derogatory labels on practically everything I’ve done, said, or felt. Just for today, I’ll spend a quiet half hour trying to gain a more positive perspective on my life. Do I have the courage to change the things I can?

Today I Pray
Through quietness and a reassessment of myself, may I develop a more positive attitude. If I am part of something bigger than myself, created in the image of a Higher Power, there must be goodness in me. I will think about that goodness and the ways it manifests itself. I will stop putting myself down, even in my secret thoughts. I will respect what reflects my Higher Power. I will respect myself.

Today I Will Remember
Self-respect is respect for our Higher Power.

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5/29/21 8:53 A

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Turning it over
It is true that if we turn our wills and our lives over to our Higher Power, our problems will be lifted. It is easier to speak this truth than to live it.

Looking back, we see that following our own will has caused serious problems in our lives. Let’s give this truth a chance. Let’s pray, meditate, listen, and believe.

Am I turning it over?

Higher Power, help me to stop holding on so tight and to have faith.

Today I will turn my will over to my Higher Power by…

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5/26/21 8:46 A

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The fir tree has no choice about starting its life in the crack of a rock. Yet at the top some twigs hold their green needles year after year, giving proof that misshapen, imperfect, scarred—the tree lives.
~Harriet Arrow

We often wish we had been born into better circumstances or blame our parents for our problems. Like the fir tree we could say, “If only I had taken sprout in a fertile meadow, life would be easier.” “If only I had had a better life as a boy” “If only I didn’t have my particular hardships”

By accepting the facts of our own lives, we mature into feelings of joy and pleasure alongside our griefs. Every man has to struggle with his own unique set of circumstances, even if they are not fair. Fairness is not an issue. Reality is what we have to deal with.

I will accept life on its own terms and rejoice in it.

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5/25/21 8:54 A

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If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
~AA saying

Before recovery, we never thought we had enough alcohol or other drugs. More would make us feel better, we thought. Sometimes, we are like this in our recovery too. We know we need to change, so we want to do it all right now. If we can just change ourselves totally, we’ll feel better, we think.

But we can’t change all at once. If we ask our Higher Power to take charge of our lives, we’ll have the chance to change a little at a time. We’ll learn the right things when we need to know them.

Prayer for the Day
Higher Power, help me fix what needs fixing today.

Action for the Day
I’ll make a list of what is broken. Which things on my list can I fix today?

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5/25/21 8:54 A

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…sparrow, your message is clear: it is not too late for my singing.
~Tess Gallagher

There was once a mother who loved to hang the laundry out on the clothesline in the backyard. Her baby crawled through the sheets and towels that almost touched the grass. The baby didn't talk yet, so nobody knew what she was thinking.

Ten years later, the baby, twelve years old, told her that her happiest memory of childhood was playing in her "playhouse" of laundry on the line. She remembered thinking that her mother hung the sheers out there just so she could play in the grass and wind and sun!

How wonderful to be living in a world where we can accidentally make people happy! This knowledge is a miraculous gift, and can give us reason to do every task well and with love, because it may be remembered for a lifetime by someone near to us.

What happy memory do I have of childhood?

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5/22/21 3:49 P

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AA Thought for the Day
We also strengthen our faith by working with other alcoholics and finding that we can do nothing ourselves to help them, except to tell them our own story of how we found the way out. If the other person is helped, it’s by the grace of God and not by what we do or say. Our own faith is strengthened when we see another alcoholic find sobriety by turning to God. And finally we strengthen our faith by having quiet times every morning. Do I ask God in this quiet time for the strength to stay sober this day?

Meditation for the Day
My five senses are my means of communication with the material world. They are the links between my physical life and the material manifestations around me. But I must sever all connections with the material world when I wish to hold communion with the Great Spirit of the universe. I have to hush my mind and bid all my senses be still, before I can become attuned to receive the music of the heavenly spheres.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may get my spirit in tune with the Spirit of the universe. I pray that through faith and communion with Him I may receive the strength I need.

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5/22/21 8:59 A

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No man who sets out to achieve total masculinity can ever be man enough.
~Frank Pittman

Some people attack the whole idea of masculinity as a problem in the world. They claim it is the cause of wars, abuse, and the reckless pursuit of power. As grown-up men, we know that those people are speaking of masculinity that has not grown up. Boys trying to be men take the appearance of masculinity to extremes. They look at masculinity from the outside: they know they have not yet achieved it, so they try to imitate it.

As adult men, we have come to terms with ourselves and with life. We carry the values of strength and protection of those we love, and we value our virility for all its pleasures. We also know from life experience that all men are complex; we don’t need to hide our vulnerability in order to be strong. We don’t have to worry about our masculinity, because that is a given. We don’t have to prove it to ourselves or anyone else. From that grown-up perspective, we accept ourselves as both strong and gentle, capable both of fighting for what we believe in and yielding to others when that’s what’s called for.

Today, I accept that I have nothing to prove about being a man, and I can grow in all the ways any adult needs to continue to grow.

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5/21/21 8:58 A

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Make yourself a blessing to someone. Your kind smile or pat on the back just might pull someone back from the edge.
~Carmelia Elliott

Someone will be helped today by our kindness. Compassionate attention assures others that they do matter, and every one of us needs that reassurance occasionally. The program has given us the vehicle for giving and seeking the help we need—it's sponsorship.

Not all of the people we encounter share our program, however. Sponsorship as we know it isn't a reality in their lives. Offering words of encouragement to them, or a willing ear, can be unexpected gifts. They will be deeply appreciated.

The real gift, though, is to ourselves. Helping someone in need benefits the helper even more. Our own closeness to God and thus assurance about our own being is strengthened each time we do God's work—each time we do what our hearts direct.

We are healed in our healing of others. God speaks to us through our words to others. Our own well-being is enhanced each time we put someone else's well-being first.

We're all on a trip, following different road maps, but to the same destination. I will be ready to lend a helping hand to a troubled traveler today. It will breathe new life into my own trip.

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5/18/21 8:50 A

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We are born helpless. As soon as we are fully conscious we discover loneliness. We need others physically, emotionally, intellectually; we need them if we are to know anything, even ourselves.
~C. S. Lewis

People today are taught at an early age to be self-sufficient. Independence is considered a strength, and dependence a weakness. As a result, we come to believe that we can make it on our own. And we can, but at what cost? Many of us fill our loneliness with chemical substances. Humans are social creatures; we need each other for physical and emotional support, and for a healthy exchange of ideas.

Even more, we need each other for spiritual development. God loves us equally and often speaks to us through one another. We truly learn about our spiritual nature in the loving acts we exchange.

I am never lonely when showing someone that I care.

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5/18/21 8:49 A

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Values
By accepting God’s help we learn to think clearly, to play fairly, and to give generously.

~Bill P. & Fred H.

Our values change in recovery as we become less and less selfish. The value screen through which we see life is changed. We no longer ask what everyone can do for us; we ask what we can do for them. We no longer seek out situations that only comfort us; we discover ways to comfort. We find that we feel better about ourselves when we help others. We learn from our program that what we have been searching for our whole lives is wrapped up in service to others.

The valuable relationship is the one that creates a closer contact with our Higher Power, so we seek out situations and people that bring us into closer contact. The values we show in the work of recovery look different from the ones we once held. Every day brings a new chance to become a conductor of life.

My values no longer change with every passing fancy. My life is beginning to mean something and to count for things that are good.

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5/15/21 4:30 P

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The words “I am…” are potent words; be careful what you hitch them to. The thing you’re claiming has a way of reaching back and claiming you.
~A. L. Kitselman

Today is our chance to leave the past behind and live in the present. It doesn’t matter what we did as a practicing addict. If we’re abstinent today, if we’re working our program today, if we’re doing the best we can today, that’s all that counts.

It’s easy to live in the shame and negativity of the past without even realizing it. But those days are over—we don’t live that life anymore. We can forgive ourselves or someone else today, and let our changed life be our amends for the past.

Forgiveness, gratitude, intimacy, gentleness, honesty: these are the gifts we give to ourselves and others when we live in the present.

How do I feel right now? Do I feel serene, or is something bothering me? Being honest about what’s going on with me is a good way to live in the present.

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5/15/21 9:00 A

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It got to the point that I felt even my own shadow was against me.
~Anonymous

Often during our active addiction, we trusted no one. We felt everyone was out to get us, out to cheat us. We became the kings and queens of self-pity. The reality was, we were being cheated, but not by others. An illness called addiction cheated us out of our dignity and integrity. It brought out the worst in us. It was very unpleasant, and we became very unpleasant to be around.

Recovery asks us to step past the blaming and self-pity, and see our illness as the cheat. We do inventories in order to see past the denial and see the values we believe in. We work to better ourselves in order to have a pleasant life and be pleasant people. We stop seeing ourselves as entitled. Instead we see what needs to be done.

Prayer for the Day
Higher Power, help me be of service and move past my self-pity.

Today's Action
Today I will list my favorite ways to feel sorry for myself. I will read this list to my group members and ask them to confront me if they see me using any of these.

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5/12/21 8:55 A

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Hope and patience are two sovereign remedies for all, the surest reposals, the softest cushions to lean on in adversity.
~Robert Burton

It is just as easy to think “I can” as it is to think “I can’t.” Both attitudes are habitual orientations to life that can become automatic with practice. Neither attitude has as much to do with the task at hand as it does with the inner spirit of the person facing the task. In either case, the task is the same—only the attitude is different.

But what a difference! The “I can” people are the ones we want to spend time with and to use as models. These are the people who either have never lost, or have worked to regain the positive outlook we are all born with. It never occurs to a baby, for example, that all that staggering and falling means he or she will never learn to walk. Babies grow, move forward, succeed. They haven’t learned to hang back or fear defeat. Knee-jerk negativity is something we can all do without. Let’s backtrack to that time in our lives when all things were possible…because they still are.

Today, I will focus on my successes. “I can” is my credo.

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5/11/21 8:55 A

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Finding Our Own Truth
We must each discover our own truth. It does not help us if those we love find their truth. They cannot give it to us. It does not help if someone we love knows a particular truth in our life. We must discover our truth for ourselves. We must each discover and stand in our own light. We often need to struggle, fail, and be confused and frustrated. That’s how we break through our struggle; that’s how we learn what is true and right for ourselves.

Each of us has our own share of truth, waiting to reveal itself to us. Each of us has our own share of the light, waiting for us to stand in it, to claim it as ours. Encouragement helps. Support helps. A firm belief that each person has truth available—appropriate to each situation—is what will help. Each experience, each frustration, each situation, has its own truth waiting to be revealed. Don’t give up until you find it—for yourself. We shall be guided into truth, if we are seeking it. We are not alone.

Today, I will search for my own truth, and I will allow others to do the same. I will place value on my vision and the vision of others. We are each on the journey, making our own discoveries—the ones that are right for us today.

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5/11/21 8:54 A

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The inner magician knows that getting comfortable with uncertainty is a very useful skill. We are, in fact, dancing an eternal tango with the unfamiliar. Those many moments on our life journey when the universe does not seem to be aligned with our vision can be painful and obstructive. And it can be overwhelming when we’re faced with a big life decision. Thoughts of a new job, the next step in a relationship, moving to a new place, a big health decision, or the leap of committing to be a father can paralyze us. These large choices can unearth lots of fear and unfinished business—and sometimes push us back into our addictive patterns.

There are very specific steps that can help us to get unstuck. The first is to honor and accept uncertainty as our teacher. Uncertainty accompanies our most dogged attempts to figure things out. Not knowing what to do happens so often in life, we’d think everyone would get good and more relaxed about inhabiting our uncertain lives. A really common barrier to life’s flow is that most of us repeatedly respond to uncertainty with fear and withdrawal rather than curiosity and openness.

I will start to notice how I normally react to uncertainty in my life.

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5/8/21 8:43 A

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Loving others begins with respect.
So many books have been written on “how to love” that many of us assume we don’t know how and maybe will never learn. We can simplify the process, however, by focusing on the Golden Rule. For starters, we can treat others as respectfully as we’d like to be treated. People respond well to respect, and they often pay us respect in return.

Next, let’s put the needs of at least one other person ahead of our own today. It’s imperative that we do it willingly, not resentfully. We can ask God to help us. We’ll discover an unexpected benefit: Not being self-absorbed for a change is really quite refreshing.

Finally, we can ask God for freedom from the thinking that keeps us from loving others. Each person who enters our circle of experience today can be loved by us if we are willing to turn to God for help.

Loving others is easier if I keep it simple. I will focus on courtesy today.

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5/7/21 8:53 A

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Reflection for the Day
When a person wakes up each morning and rises through sweaty nausea to face frightening reality with bones rattling and nerves screaming; when a person stumbles through the day in a pit of despair, wishing to die, but refusing to die; when a person gets up the next day and does it all over again—well, that takes guts. That takes a kind of real, basic survival courage, a courage that can be put to good use if that person ever finds their way to recovery. That person has learned courage the hard way, and when that person finds recovery, they discover new and beautiful ways to use their courage. Have I the courage to keep trying, one day at a time?

Today I Pray
May I put the “guts-to-survive” kind of courage left over from my drinking and using days into good use through my recovery. If I was able to “hang on” enough to live through the miseries of my addiction, may I translate that same will to survive into my recovery program. May I use my courage in new, constructive ways.

Today I Will Remember
My Higher Power preserved me to help carry out my life’s true purpose.

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5/7/21 8:53 A

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Overcoming indecision
We often find it difficult to make simple decisions in our everyday lives. Sometimes the major decisions are easier to make than minor ones. But it is good practice to ask for help on any issue we need help with, major or minor, simple or complex.

Over time our Higher Power will help us see life situations with increasing clarity. Over time everyday decisions will become easier to make, and everyday irritations will stop paralyzing our thinking.

Am I conquering my indecision?

Higher Power, I pray for greater self-awareness and the willingness to ask for help with everyday indecision.

Today I will ask for help with…

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5/6/21 8:53 A

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It is extraordinary how extraordinary the ordinary person is.
~George F. Will

At our meetings, we often hear stories of the courage of ordinary people and their triumph against great odds. When we hear of a person’s life being restored, we are witnesses to miracles. Our friends are heroes, and so are we. As a man describes his passage from insanity to recovery, we are moved.

Whenever we are truly open to knowing the people around us, whether at a meeting or in getting to know a neighbor, we will see heroism. It is amazing that when we get to know most people, and hear what their lives have been like, we find so much to admire and respect. It is a privilege to have such friends. It is amazing that they are so abundant when we open ourselves to them. God truly does speak to us through others.

I am grateful when I think about the extraordinary people around me and the courage in each of them. I am grateful to be among them.

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5/6/21 8:52 A

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One of the most important parts of the AA program is to give our drink problem to God honestly and fully.
~Twenty-Four Hours a Day

We don’t handle our drinking or other drug problem. We don’t take care of this problem by ourselves. We turn our problem over to our Higher Power. We need to be very clear about this; we can’t handle our drinking or other drug problem! Our Higher Power keeps us sober through the Steps and the fellowship of the program.

Our job is to hand over our problem to our Higher Power. We do this daily by acting like sober people.

Prayer for the Day
Higher Power, I know I can’t handle drinking and using other drugs. I turn my problem over to You. Please take from me the urge to drink or use.

Action for the Day
Today, I’ll remember why I can’t handle or take care of my problem with alcohol or other drugs. And I’ll remember why my Higher Power can.

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5/5/21 8:46 A

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An oak and a reed were arguing about their strength. When a strong wind came up, the reed avoided being uprooted by bending and leaning with the gusts of wind. But the oak stood firm and was torn up by the roots.
~Aesop

Within each of us, as in the reed and the oak, is a single characteristic which is both our strongest and weakest trait. The bending which keeps the reed alive makes it weak, we might think. Some of us see both sides of every argument and are good team players, fair judges, and compassionate friends. But like the reed—always bending to the needs of others—we may never know what we want or who we are.

Some of us believe we are like the oak: strong and tough and successful in the face of most difficulty. But we may never learn to accept flaws in ourselves.

We are wise to remember that no trait is strong or weak, but we make it so by how we use it. We can use our strength to stand straight in the face of hardship, and we can use our strength to bend.

What is my strongest and weakest trait?

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5/4/21 8:57 A

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AA Thought for the Day
In AA we often hear the slogan “Easy does it.” Alcoholics always do everything to excess. They drink too much. They worry too much. They have too many resentments. They hurt themselves physically and mentally by too much of everything. So when they come into AA, they have to learn to take it easy. None of us knows how much longer we have to live. It’s probable that we wouldn’t have lived very long if we had continued to drink the way we used to. By stopping drinking, we have increased our chances of living for a while longer. Have I learned to take it easy?

Meditation for the Day
You must be before you can do. To accomplish much, be much. In all cases, the doing must be the expression of the being. It is foolish to think that we can accomplish much in personal relationships without first preparing ourselves by being honest, pure, unselfish, and loving. We must choose the good and keep choosing it, before we are ready to be used by God to accomplish anything worthwhile. We will not be given the opportunities until we are ready for them. Quiet times of communion with our Higher Power are good preparation for creative action.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may constantly prepare myself for better things to come. I pray that I may only have opportunities when I am ready for them.

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5/3/21 8:56 A

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Gossip needn’t be false to be evil—there’s a lot of truth that shouldn’t be passed around.
~Frank A. Clark

To be a friend is a trust placed in us. Naturally, as we get to know someone better, and we grow closer over time, he lets us into his more private and personal world, and he does that in a spirit of trust. In a sense, he is saying we may come past the fence that keeps most people out because he trusts us. Maybe he even lets us know some guarded secrets about his life. We need to be sure that we live up to the trust placed in us. Our self-respect and our character are at stake: how loyally do we honor that trust?

When we attend our meetings, we hear many things that are spoken in trust. Hearing someone’s story is a privilege and an honor, and with that comes our duty to honor and protect the privacy of our fellow members. When someone takes us into his privacy, it becomes our job to protect it. If we fail to keep his trust, it reflects on us as not worthy of the honor.

Today, I am grateful for the chance to know other men and women so well that they share their private lives with me. I honor that trust by protecting their privacy.

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5/2/21 8:55 A

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All of us have unique talents and gifts. No obstacle, be it physical, mental or emotional, has the power to destroy our innate creative energies.
~Liane Cordes

Believing this fully is difficult at times; for some of us, most of the time. But it is true. What each of us can con­tribute to the world is unlike every other contribution. Each talent is slightly different from every other talent and they are all needed. We are all needed.

Creativity—any kind—writing, photography, cooking, child care, weaving, managing, woodworking—nourishes the self that feels isolated and worthless. And as the self is nourished, it grows; it recovers.

Recovery means changing our lifestyle. It means reaching out to others and being there for one another. It means rejoining the human race by giving of ourselves. Our talents are the gifts the human race awaits—needs, in fact. Do we know our talents?

l will search out my secret dreams today. In them lie my talents. l will develop them. Help awaits me.

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4/27/21 8:55 A

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Anger is a wind which blows out the lamp of the mind.
~Anonymous

Surges of anger may come to us unbidden, but we don’t have to let anger lead us around by the nose. Allowing anger to color our attitudes and control our behavior is entirely up to us. Many of us are ruled by anger. This is destructive, both physically and spiritually. Not only is anger a corrosive emotion that eats at our stomach lining and our serenity, it also separates us from our Higher Power.

Many of us find relief from anger in our Twelve Step recovery programs. We learn to accept things we can’t change. Our furious reactions to people, places, and things that are not under our control subside when we turn them over to God.

Many of us suppress our anger. We would do better to acknowledge it and forgive. Above all, we need to ask for help. It works. God offers us freedom from anger, which is the same freedom we received from addiction.

If I can’t turn off my anger, I can turn it over to God.

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4/26/21 11:04 A

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Touching Hands
If only all the hands that reach could touch.

~Mary A. Loberg

When we were using, we may have been surrounded by people, but we felt alone. When we were beaten down to the pits of despair, we reached for helping hands. We found many extended to touch ours.

We can never stand so tall as when we stoop to reach the searching hands of those who may need our help. We know that the hands we touch will give us still more strength to work our program and carry our message of love.

Now we, too, are willing to reach out to help others who are still suffering, whether they’re in the program or not. We want to give them the “hand up” we got from our friends and sponsor.

Unless my hands touch others, my recovery program will not survive. This union of hands is one of the secrets of its success.

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4/25/21 11:22 A

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It is an old and ironic habit of human beings to run faster when we have lost our way.
~Rollo May

Our boundaries are both inside and outside ourselves. No one can set them for us; only we can set them. When we come into recovery, boundaries are often unfamiliar. We may wonder, what are they? How do we use them? Many of us come from families where, as children, our boundaries were disregarded, creating a pattern we continue to act on as adults.

Starting to set boundaries for ourselves takes time and practice. Because the experience is unfamiliar, we may often find ourselves veering between two extremes—holding back for fear of blurring our boundaries or acting as if we have no boundaries at all. But our willingness to set boundaries and stick with them brings us a clearer sense of who we are. We begin to learn where we start and end. We learn the same about other people. With boundaries come a new sense of self-respect as we affirm to ourselves that we are not objects to be trampled on or used, but we are human beings with dignity.

I know my own limits, and if I don’t, I have every right to learn them.

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4/24/21 6:57 P

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Nothing is worth more than this day.
~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Life—each day of it, each minute of it—is such a miracle. Let’s stop and think about it for a minute. Where does it come from? Why was it given to each of us?

Life is not the same for any two people. Every person has a life that is different from everyone else’s. Yet in some ways it is the same for all of us. We are all born, and we all die. We all lose people we love and welcome new people to love into our lives.

The flavor of life today—the exact mix of sunshine and clouds, happiness and sadness, courage and fear, love and loneliness—will never be the same again. Not tomorrow or the next day.

Prayer for the Day
Higher Power, help me appreciate the beauty of your world and the richness of my life today.

Today's Action
Today I will smile—at everyone.

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4/24/21 6:56 P

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Fear is static that prevents me from hearing myself.
~Samuel Butler

The trouble with deep feelings is they shout over the soft-spoken voices of our thoughts. When our consciousness is bombarded with the deafening volume of out-of-control emotions, perspective is impossible.

When fear is in control, fight or flight are our only options. More often than not, we choose flight and scurry off to one of our numerous hiding places. There, we can’t hear the dissenting opinions voiced by our own thoughts; in effect, our most responsible self is drowned out.

But action talks louder than fear or any other rampaging emotion. If confronted directly and bravely, any tyrant emotion reveals itself as a mouse rather than a lion, a mouse whose terrifying roar is really a squeak held up to a microphone.

Let me not be intimidated by emotional outbursts. I know that persistent, rational action will see me through.

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4/24/21 6:55 P

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Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
~Step Four of Al-Anon

By the time we get to the Fourth of the Twelve Steps, we are ready to face our darker side, the side that prevents us from loving ourselves and others, from letting others love us, and from enjoying life. The purpose of Step Four is not to make ourselves feel worse; our purpose is to begin to remove our blocks to joy and love.

We look for fears, anger, hurt, and shame from past events—buried feelings that may be affecting our life today. We search for subconscious beliefs about ourselves and others that may be interfering with the quality of our relationships. These beliefs say: I’m not lovable… I’m a burden to those around me… People can’t be trusted… I can’t be trusted… I don’t deserve to be happy and successful… Life isn’t worth living. We look at our behaviors and patterns with an eye toward discerning the self-defeating ones. With love and compassion for ourselves, we try to unearth all our guilt—earned and unearned—and expose it to the light.

We perform this examination without fear of what we shall find, because this soul-searching can cleanse us and help us feel better about ourselves than we ever dreamt possible.

God, help me search out the blocks and barriers within myself. Bring what I need to know into my conscious mind, so I can be free of it. Show me what I need to know about myself.

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4/18/21 10:47 A

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Self-love can seem a confusing maze in which many of us feel lost and hopeless. We hold on tightly to memories of the love we did not receive in the past, using them as a shield to protect us from being vulnerable and hurt again. Our hearts stay closed, although the yearning for deep connection may remain.

Self-love asks us to be mindful and hold our own well-being and happiness in positive regard. This is not a narcissistic, selfish perspective, an always aim-to-feel-good state. Rather, it is an honoring of our very being. It is a dynamic appreciation for both our strengths and weaknesses, grounded in the gradual acceptance of who we are as a whole being—with all our unique physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual flavors and flaws.

Addictive behaviors helped us run from our faults rather than learn to accept and then, perhaps, transform them. Knowing what we feel, think, and want leads to a deeper understanding of self-care and healthy boundaries. It is a lifelong journey that we nourish by small actions and wise choices each and every day.

Today, I will focus on improving one personal quality that will help me love myself more.

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4/18/21 10:47 A

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Old habits are hard to break.
Our behavior and beliefs were ingrained by the time we entered the Twelve Step program. Our family of origin had taught us how to interpret our experiences. Our friends had complimented us for our values, or for the absence of them. So we had developed stock responses to many situations. We didn’t think very hard or long about what to do. Unfortunately, we made many mistakes.

We are learning from those mistakes now, and we are slowly developing new responses. We are learning how to listen rather than how to shame or try to control. We are learning how to let other people make their own decisions. Seeking help from people who share this program is a big step for us. From the Steps we are absorbing a new set of values and a new understanding of who we really are. And we are trying to give our lives and will to God daily.

Our process for change will be a long one, but perfection is not expected. Making a tiny bit of progress, every day, is all that’s necessary.

I can’t change the things that need changing overnight. Just knowing that some habits need to go is a beginning. Today I’ll work on one of them.

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4/18/21 10:46 A

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Reflection for the Day
Looking back at those last desperate days before I came to recovery, I remember more than anything the feelings of loneliness and isolation. Even when I was surrounded by people, including my own family, the sense of “aloneness” was overwhelming. Even when I tried to act sociable and wore the mask of cheerfulness, I usually felt a terrible anger of not belonging. Will I ever forget the misery of “being alone in a crowd”?

Today I Pray
I thank my Higher Power for the greatest single joy that has come to me outside of my sobriety—the feeling that I am no longer alone. May I not assume that loneliness will vanish overnight. May I know that there will be a lonely time during recovery, especially since I must pull away from my former junkie friends or drinking buddies. I pray that I may find new friends who are recovering. I thank my Higher Power for the fellowship of the program.

Today I Will Remember
I am not alone.

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4/17/21 6:36 P

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Sticking to the basics
If we don’t stick to the basics, we’ll lose sight of who we are and where we came from. We are not perfect, spiritual giants. We’re addicts who have found a solution to our living problem, a practical solution to an impractical lifestyle.

And if we forget the basics—where we come from, working the Steps, and attending meetings—we may be subject to unrealistic ideals and illusions. These can get in the way of recovery.

Am I learning to live one day at a time?

Higher Power, help me to keep it simple and stick to the basics.

Today I’ll be sure to stick to the basics by…

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4/17/21 6:35 P

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For him who confesses, shams are over and realities have begun; he has exteriorized his rottenness. If he has not actually got rid of it, he at least no longer smears it over with a hypocritical show of virtue.
~William James

On the path we are following, confession is a frequent part of our experience. We admit our powerlessness; we make a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves and admit our wrongs; we make amends to people we have harmed; and we continue with personal inventory, promptly admitting our wrongs. With each of these Steps, we grow spiritually. By expressing on the outside what we privately know inside, we feel relief and gain self-respect.

Sometimes we have harbored and protected a real rottenness inside that needed to be exposed so we could change. Other times, what we felt was rottenness turned out—under the light of confession—to be only a human foible in need of airing. In either case, we grew stronger as we drew closer to reality and gave up the show of virtue by admitting our mistakes.

I will walk the path of recovery today by confessing my wrongs promptly.

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4/17/21 6:35 P

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The only way to speak the truth is to speak lovingly.
~Henry David Thoreau

Recovery teaches us to tell the truth. We must be honest if we want to save our lives. We must learn to speak with care—care for ourselves and for others.

To be honest means to speak in a fair and truthful way. To be honest and loving means learning when to speak, and how to speak, in a caring way. We can help others by honestly telling them what we think and feel and see—but only when we do this with love.

We must be careful when we speak. Speaking the truth is like using a very sharp knife—it can be used for good, or it can be used to hurt others. We should never handle it carelessly or use it to hurt someone.

Prayer for the Day
Higher Power, help me know the truth. Help me speak the truth to others with love.

Action for the Day
I’ll make a list of three times I’ve hurt someone by being honest, but not with love. I’ll also list three times I’ve helped someone by being truthful, with love.

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4/17/21 6:35 P

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Everyone has talent. What is rare is the courage to follow the talent.
~Erica Jong

How easy it is to look at others with envy, certain that everyone we know is better in every way: school, sports, games, appearance. What we may not know is that each of us is exactly right the way we are. And what's more, no one of us is without talent. Perhaps we simply have not discovered it yet, or maybe we've been certain we knew what the talent should be, rather than letting the talent within us emerge.

It's reassuring to know that we are talented, that we are special just as we are, that no one else is able to bring to this life exactly the same ingredients that we're able to bring.

What special talent shall I exercise today?

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4/17/21 6:34 P

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AA Thought for the Day
A lot of well-meaning people treat alcoholics like the priest and the Levite. They pass by on the other side by scorning them and telling them what low people they are, with no willpower. Whereas, they really have fallen for alcohol, in the same way as the man in the story fell among robbers. And the member of AA who is working with others is like the Good Samaritan. Am I moved with compassion? Do I take care of another alcoholic whenever I can?

Meditation for the Day
I must constantly live in preparation for something better to come. All of life is a preparation for something better. I must anticipate the morning to come. I must feel, in the night of sorrow, that understanding joy that tells of confident expectation of better things to come. “Sorrow may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.” Know that God has something better in store for you, as long as you are making yourself ready for it. All your existence in this world is training for a better life to come.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that when life is over, I will return to an eternal, spaceless life with God. I pray that I may make this life a preparation for a better life to come.

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4/17/21 6:34 P

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We don’t pay our sponsors for their time. Instead, we pay it forward. We turn around and help the next person. That’s how the whole thing works.
~Michael Graubart

We all stand on the shoulders of those who have been our teachers, and on the shoulders of those who taught our teachers. When we pick a sponsor for our recovery, we look for someone we admire and trust, someone who has demonstrated success in his recovery.

Perhaps we feel we have a long way to go and a lot to learn. Perhaps we are struck by the big job we have ahead. But all we need to do is make progress. And we don’t have to reinvent the wheel. When we learn from our sponsor and from other people in our recovery community who are making progress, we get to stand on their shoulders. They let us see much more than we could see alone.

Today, I am grateful for all the benefits of having a good sponsor.

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4/13/21 8:55 A

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I want to do it because I want to do it. Women must try to do things as men have tried. When they fail, their failure must be but a challenge to others.
~Amelia Earhart

Fear of failure plagues many women, not just those who get into trouble with drugs, alcohol, food. Those of us in this recovery program may still fear failure. Halting our addiction doesn't solve all our problems, but it does allow us to realistically take stock of our assets. Knowing our assets and accepting them provides the confidence we need to attempt a project, to strive for a goal.

Another plus of this recovery program is the help available from our groups and our higher power. All things become possible when we understand we are not alone. Seeing other women strive and succeed or strive, fail, and strive again, undefeated, creates an energy flow that can spur us on, if we choose. Feeling good about others' accomplishments can motivate each of us.

Today, I will pay particular attention to the accomplishments of other women, those close to me and those I read or hear about. I will believe their example and feel the forward push.

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4/13/21 8:54 A

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We must be willing to forgive without limit even as God forgives; otherwise we cannot be forgiven.
~Nels F. S. Ferré

Few of us find it easy to forgive a genuinely felt offense. We may be too protective of our ego. Our grievances are too deeply embedded. So in trying to forgive, we often give offense. As a consequence, the effort to forgive becomes an opportunity for us to act as judge and jury, to see someone’s error and, magnanimously, not hold it against him or her. Or to make sure the offender sees how long-suffering and tolerant we are. Or to bargain: if the offender will only do such-and-such, we’ll forgive.

In such grudging hands, real forgiveness hardly stands a chance. Better that we ask our Higher Power to do it for us. We can help best by asking God to take over. To truly appreciate the healing force of forgiveness, we must be willing to extend it all the way.

I will ask nothing in exchange for my forgiveness.

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4/12/21 8:59 A

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Intellectualizing
Don’t intellectualize, utilize.

~Anonymous

Many times we waste our minds by using them too much. A mind out of control can waste a life. Our mind can tell us we are better or less than another. It can tell us we need things we don’t, and that we should fear situations we needn’t. The power of the mind to intellectualize a life into a mess is amazing.

Our program should be utilized not intellectualized. We do not need to waste time debating points about the program. We will not resolve with other intellectuals whether or not alcoholism and drug addiction are physical diseases or bad habits. The point, for us addicts, is that we will waste our life, die, or go insane if we do not stay in recovery. All we have to do is look around a meeting room to see whether or not it works.

The Steps tell me HOW the program works. The Traditions tell me WHY it works. My sponsor and fellow members show me THAT it works.

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4/11/21 8:55 A

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Unextinguished laughter shakes the skies.
~Homer

From the beginning of recorded literature, poets have sung of the glory of laughter. Being human means having the power to laugh, and as long as we are here, we will surely need and cherish that power.

Laughter can reconcile us with others and with the world. When we watch a funny movie, for example, we feel a bond with others as we laugh together. Through our laughter we are brought closer to other people.

Addiction isolates and drives us into ourselves. We retreat from our common humanity into a single unhappy consciousness. Our world narrows and joy retreats. Laughter is shut out.

In our groups we rediscover the joy of belonging to a community. Laughter is one sign of that community, and as we join in, we feel our isolation fading and a new sense of love and belonging emerging.

I am rediscovering the joy of laughter that keeps me in touch with others.

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4/11/21 8:43 A

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A very small degree of hope is sufficient to cause the birth of hope.
~Stendhal

For many of us, when we walked into recovery, we were without hope. But even at our very first meeting we were greeted by the smiles, joy, laughter, and hope of those addicts who began the recovery journey before we did. We wanted what they had. We had nothing, so their hope had to be ours until we could create some of our own. Their joy had to be ours until we could find some of our own. Their values had to be ours until we could establish a value system of our own. Their smiles will always be a part of us.

Now it is our job to greet the newcomers and the old comers at meetings. We can smile at them, giving them hope and watching it grow. This is the essence of our fellowship.

Prayer for the Day
Higher Power, help me to be hope for others. Help me to make others feel that life, even when tough, is worth living. Help me to live a life that attracts others to you.

Today's Action
At the next meeting I go to, I will make it a point to greet, smile at, and say hello to anyone I don’t know, as well as many I do know.

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4/7/21 8:55 A

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A relationship can’t be healthier than the people in it.
~Mary Kay W.

We all dream of having marvelous relationships. But unless we’re willing to work our own recovery program, that dream will stay a dream. The other person in the relationship, the partner, complicates the equation even more because he or she also must be serious about personal growth if our dream is to come true.

The issues faced by adult children invariably affect relationships. Why? Because it is precisely our capacity for intimacy that has been “dented” most, as shown in our fear of commitment and in our compulsive need to please, to never be alone, and to place others first. We fear abandonment and are afraid to ask that our needs be met. Intimacy is a key relationship issue for adult children.

The first step in making our dreams come true has nothing to do with him or her or them. It has to do with us and our taking responsibility for our own health and well-being.

Today, I pray for greater understanding of my own strengths and weaknesses as a partner in a relationship. I will make myself ready for the kind of relationship I dream about.

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4/7/21 8:55 A

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Boundaries
Sometimes, life and people seem to push and push. Because we are so used to pain, we may tell ourselves it doesn’t hurt. Because we are so used to people controlling and manipulating us, we may tell ourselves there is something wrong with us.

There’s nothing wrong with us. Life is pushing and hurting to get our attention. Sometimes, the pain and pushing are pointing toward a lesson. The lesson may be that we’ve become too controlling. Or maybe we’re being pushed to own our power to take care of ourselves. The issue is boundaries.

If something or somebody is pushing us to our limits, that’s exactly what’s happening: we’re being pushed to our limits. We can be grateful for the lesson that’s here to help us explore and set our boundaries.

Today, I will give myself permission to set the limits I want and need to set in my life.

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4/7/21 8:54 A

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Intuition enhances the knowledge we have gained and the expertise we have developed. Described by Buckminster Fuller—a highly innovative and creative architect, author, and visionary—as “cosmic fishing,” this natural faculty of mind has great survival value. We might imagine our intuition as a divining rod that helps locate underground streams, so we know where to dig. Or we might visualize it as a simple lifting of the veil, a flash of lightning, or dipping our finger to touch the cosmic ocean of information.

Intuition allows us to tune into the voices of unseen inner guides or whispers heard in the middle of the night, despite the normal bubbling of thoughts in the jumble of our mind. Just like we are learning to be more fluent with our feelings in recovery, intuition asks us to recognize and decipher our body’s vivid messages—verbal, visual, or kinesthetic (body-felt awareness). Then we will appreciate that those everyday hunches, which seem to descend like an offering from outside, are really a direct line to our connection with all that is. We flash on what normally might be missed in the daily hustle and bustle of our lives to gain insight on what could be.

I welcome the magic of intuitive knowledge in things both large and small.

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4/6/21 8:52 A

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Program friendships are special.
Until we came into the program we may have thought that friendships were all alike. We counted on friends to socialize and gossip with, maybe to share a secret with. But when we were really scared about our lives and the future, we felt too vulnerable to let anyone else know our innermost thoughts.

What relief the program has brought us, and what good friends! No problem seems as terrifying now that we are no longer shouldering it alone. Having to make a decision no longer overwhelms us when we have other people to discuss it with. Letting ourselves be deeply cared for, with all our faults, is a new experience too. All these gifts come automatically to us within the fellowship. All that is asked of us is that we be a friend too.

I will extend my heart in friendship today, and my concerns will be lightened.

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4/6/21 8:51 A

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Reflection for the Day
How many of us would presume to announce, “Well, I’m sober and I’m happy. What more can I want or do? I’m fine just the way I am.” Experience has taught us that the price of such smug complacency—or, more politely, self-satisfaction—is an inevitable backslide, punctuated sooner or later by a very rude awakening. We have to grow or else we deteriorate. For us, the status quo can only be for today, never for tomorrow. Change we must; we can’t stand still. Am I sometimes tempted to rest on my laurels?

Today I Pray
May I look around me and see that all living things are either growing or deteriorating. Nothing that is alive is static; life flows on. May I be carried along on that life-flow, unafraid of change, disengaging myself from the snags along the way that hold me back and interrupt my progress.

Today I Will Remember
Living is changing.

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4/5/21 8:35 A

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Dealing with daily problems
For many of us, substances were an escape from the trials of the world. We deeply resented them and earnestly sought escape. Simply getting sober did not wipe away all our problems. Now, however, we have an opportunity to deal with them constructively.

If we do not take that first pill, drink, or fix, our problems can be solved, and stumbling blocks can become stepping stones to a better life.

Am I learning how to deal with daily problems?

Higher Power, I pray to accept my daily problems and for your help in dealing with them.

One thing I will do today to deal constructively with my problems is…

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4/5/21 8:34 A

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I wasn’t exactly brought up in one of those Norman Rockwell paintings you used to see on the cover of the Saturday Evening Post.
~Reggie Jackson

We have many myths about other people’s lives. When we compare ourselves to these stories, we come up short. We think of Hollywood families, TV sitcoms, or maybe even those Rockwell paintings that idealized small-town American life in the mid-1900s. We may have stories our father told about his moment of glory and how he met his challenges. Any of these images selects part of the truth and highlights it, creating a myth that might be worthwhile if we don’t take it too literally.

Living real life never feels as serene as our fantasies. A myth lifts us up and carries us away to other possibilities, but we should always take it with a grain of salt. A father’s recollections or a Rockwell painting romanticizes a piece of reality by omitting the drudgery and confusion of life. Myths are meant as inspirations, not as measurements of our lives.

The difficulties and confusion I feel may just be part of real life. Serenity comes when I accept the mixture that real life is.

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4/5/21 8:34 A

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Make yourself an honest person, and then you may be sure that there is one rascal less in the world.
~Thomas Carlyle

Honesty does not mean saying all we think or feel. Many of our thoughts and feelings are only with us for a minute. They are not always the truth. For example, saying to someone you love, “I hate you!” in the middle of an argument can destroy things.

Honesty means living by what is true to us. Then we choose when and how to say things to others. Think of honesty as the air we breathe: it’s what keeps us alive, but it can get polluted and kill. It must be treated with respect and care.

Prayer for the Day
Higher Power, help me know the power of honesty. Help me speak it with care and respect.

Action for the Day
Before I speak today I’ll ask myself, “Is this true? Am I speaking because this needs to be said?”

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4/4/21 8:30 A

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Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

The little rabbit stood alone, watching her family and friends hop and skip about her in the forest, playing her favorite rabbit game. Try as she might, each time she attempted to join in, she tripped about awkwardly. When this happened, the other rabbits laughed uproariously at her and called her "Grace." Soon even she forgot her real name.

But in the moments when Grace was alone, she danced around the trees with ease. She was as smooth and graceful as any ballerina. An old owl sat high above her one night, watching her intently The moonlight streamed through the treetops like a soft spotlight and he sat and watched as little Grace moved in and out of the moonbeams. Finally, he said, "Grace, you are more graceful than any creature I've ever seen." Grace was startled that someone had been watching her, but listened carefully to the wise owl's words as he continued. "You have carried this beauty within you all the time, but locked it inside when you tried too hard." If we remember to relax and trust in ourselves, we, too, will discover that we are able.

What hidden ability can l set loose today?

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4/3/21 8:53 A

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AA Thought for the Day
When I was drinking, I was absolutely selfish. I thought of myself first, last, and always. The universe revolved around me. When I woke up in the morning with a hangover, my only thought was how terrible I felt and what I could do to make myself feel better. And the only thing I could think of was more liquor. To quit was impossible. I couldn’t see beyond myself and my own need for another drink. Can I now look out and beyond my own selfishness?

Meditation for the Day
Remember that the first quality of greatness is service. In a way, God is the greatest servant of all, because He is always waiting for us to call on Him to help us in all good endeavors. His strength is always available to us, but we must ask it of Him through our own free will. It is a free gift, but we must sincerely seek it. A life of service is the finest life we can live. We are here on earth to serve others. That is the beginning and the end of our real worth.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may cooperate with God in all good things. I pray that I may serve God and others and so lead a useful and happy life.

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4/3/21 8:52 A

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Spring is when you feel like whistling even with a shoe full of slush.
~Doug Larson

Life is never just one thing. It is quite possible to feel optimistic and happy even when some things are not right with us. An optimistic outlook gives us energy to handle the harder challenges we have to deal with. Research shows that people who have a positive attitude have a stronger immune system, are healthier, live longer, and are even more likely to recover from serious illness.

To believe in hopeful outcomes is largely a matter of choice. Many of us have experienced big disappointments and defeats in life. But having come this far, we can look back and see that somehow we had the capacity to deal with it. The Second Step guides us to believe in hopeful possibilities. We can’t say that things will always turn out just the way we hope, but that we can cope with whatever happens.

Today, I choose to believe that a Power greater than myself can help me deal with life, and I have reason to be optimistic.

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4/2/21 8:58 A

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I stand before you as a tower of strength, the weight of the world on my shoulders. As you pass through my life, look, but not too close, for I fear l will expose the vulnerable me.
~Deidra Sarault

Vulnerability is as much a part of being human as is strength. Our vulnerability prevents our strength from becoming hard, brittle, self-serving. Our soft edges invite others' openness and their expressions of love.

We learned long ago to be "strong”. We were encouraged to need no help, to need nobody. Now, we struggle to ask for help. As we grow in understanding of our human needs, and as we become more aware of the spiritual help avail­ able, the difficulty of reaching out to others is eased.

No longer need we look to pills, booze, food, or lovers for strength. All the strength we'll ever need is as close as our thoughts. At this moment, we are a tower of strength, not one weighted with burdens. Rather, our strength is a gift of our connection to a spiritual power that can free us from all the troubles we shoulder. Our vulnerable selves will open our souls to the flood of strength just waiting for our prayers.

I will be as strong as I need to be when l tap the spiritual source that awaits my call. I will risk my vulnerable self today.

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4/2/21 8:57 A

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The greatest mystery of life is that satisfaction is felt not by those who take and make demands but by those who give and make sacrifices.
~Nikolai Berdyaev

What a different world this would be if we knew that seeking fame and fortune, and striving for gain would only bring us discord and misery. Beginning with childhood, we all receive messages that getting is the purpose of living: we must have romantic love, sexual fulfillment, possessions, and prestige to be happy. This is emphasized constantly by various forms of advertising, business, and entertainment.

God has a different message: Help one another. We learn from experience in our program that happiness comes from giving—whether it be time, talent, money, or other things. Experience tells us that giving what we have to help someone else makes us a lot happier than keeping it to ourselves.

Today I will put my emphasis on giving.

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3/31/21 8:48 A

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Being Practical
Theories are like the tail feathers of a rooster, highly ornamental but not much use in a high wind.

~Arthur E. Holt

Theories for effective living are important, but unless we put them into action, they are worthless. The Twelve Steps and the slogans are among the theories that have been tested by millions who have put them into action. They have withstood the “high winds” of living.

Meditation on some theories may do nothing for our recovery except make us feel better. Even this is useful. By working the kinds of behavior and thinking in our lives that we find in theories, we make those theories into practical realities.

It is less important to look well than to be well. Theories by themselves look good. Working them makes us good.

What I ask for while I am on my knees in prayer is never as vital to me as what I do with the answers I receive once I am back on my feet.

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3/30/21 8:57 A

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Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.
~Psalm 30:5

It’s important to know we are not to blame if we didn’t learn when we were children what we needed to know about relationships and living a healthy life. It’s not a child’s job to teach themselves what is needed to live happily.

It may be difficult as adults to learn the things we should have learned as children and adolescents, but it is not impossible. We can rely on the courage, strength, and humility we show by being willing to live in recovery “One day at a time.” We can also ask our Higher Power to help us develop our spirituality, which gives us the inner truth we need to live.

We may feel angry sometimes or get tired of struggling, but we must have faith that we can do it. The yearning within us to have relationships and to contribute our skills and talents must become reality. Continuing to grow gives us a sense of accomplishment and a wider world that is ours to experience.

Today I will feel proud of my ability to take risks in order to enlarge my life.

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3/30/21 8:56 A

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Learning is a skill we develop that leads to lifelong adventure.
~Anonymous

Recovery asks that we commit ourselves to a life of learning. We do not turn our backs on our past; we learn from it. Past mistakes become guides and warnings to others and to us. As we use the Steps, our sponsor, and the fellowship, we make sense of how we got so lost. We gain knowledge of how we were seduced by intensity, which we mistook for intimacy. We see how we followed our instincts instead of spiritual principles. We see how our illness needed us to believe we were of little value. We see how our pain equaled entitlement to keep using. If we sit and listen, we learn much.

While listening in our healing circles, we are learning how to do life, how to do the next right thing. We start to see how to be of service to others instead of being a burden. We use this new knowledge over and over in this adventure we call life.

Prayer for the Day
Higher Power, help me to be open and committed to learning. Keep me from the arrogance that was part of my addiction.

Today's Action
Today I will write down five things that I’ve learned during my sobriety that have helped me have a better life.



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3/30/21 8:56 A

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Accepting Change
The winds of change blow through our life, sometimes gently, sometimes like a tropical storm. Yes, we have resting places—time to adjust to another level of living, time to get our balance, time to enjoy the rewards. We have time to catch our breath.

But change is inevitable, and desirable. Sometimes, when the winds of change begin to rustle, we’re not certain the change is for the better. We may call it stress or a temporary condition, certain we’ll be restored to normal. Sometimes, we resist. We tuck our head down and buck the wind, hoping that things will quickly calm down, get back to the way things were. Is it possible we’re being prepared for a new “normal”?

Change will sweep through our life, as needed, to take us where we’re going. We can trust that our Higher Power has a plan in mind, even when we don’t know where the changes are leading.

We can trust that the change taking place is good. The winds will take us where we need to go.

Today, help me, God, to let go of my resistance to change. Help me be open to the process. Help me believe that the place I’ll be dropped off will be better than the place where I was picked up. Help me surrender, trust, and accept, even if I don’t understand.

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3/29/21 8:54 A

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Everything is great as it is—and there is always room for improvement. Just as there is no one “right” way to live, people define happiness for themselves in different ways. The truth is that we are all seeking to find happiness and to avoid suffering, and this common human striving connects and bonds us all.

It is useful to remind ourselves that we each go through periods of feeling lost, and then found, as we endeavor to find joy. Our own struggles with addictions can be perceived as misguided attempts to relieve pain and find good feelings. All our mistakes and missteps are just variations on this basic human theme. What we may finally realize, with time, is that pleasure is not synonymous with happiness, but rather a temporary gratification of a desire.

Is it even possible to stabilize happiness, when everything else is constantly changing? Perhaps we just learn to appreciate and enjoy it when it presents itself and let go of seeking and struggling to achieve it. We can have a good time with all the variations along the happiness continuum, from contentment and delight to elation and ecstasy, each experience emanating a deeply felt, complete sense that all is well.

I hold the keys to my own happiness. Where have I hidden them?

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3/28/21 8:45 A

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Secrets keep us walled in.
False pride keeps us stuck in old behavior and unnecessary pain. Why is it so hard to acknowledge who we really are? Do we think it’s a secret? We can be assured that admitting our failings to another person and to God, as suggested by the Fifth Step, won’t be startlingly new information to either.

Until we have done this Step we cannot fathom the relief we will feel. Our secrets have constricted us. Our obsession with them has stolen our peace of mind and our creativity. We are much more than our defects, but we can’t see that until we have unburdened ourselves of them.

After revealing it all, we see that we’re not so different from everyone else. The person we’ve chosen to hear our Fifth Step doesn’t bat an eye at even the worst of our transgressions. Any expectation we might have had that God would punish us vanishes. We know now that God has always known who we are. And we are coming to believe that we have been loved unconditionally all along.

Why am I so afraid of telling who I really am? I’ll take a chance by telling someone at least one small secret today and see what happens.

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3/28/21 8:45 A

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Reflection for the Day
Few of us are entirely free from a sense of guilt. We may feel guilty because of our words or actions, or for things left undone. We may even feel guilty because of irrational or false accusations by others. When I’m troubled by a gnawing feeling of guilt, obviously I can’t put into my day all I’m capable of. So I must rid myself of guilt—not by pushing it aside or ignoring it, but by identifying it and correcting the cause. Have I finally begun to learn to “Keep it simple”?

Today I Pray
May I learn not to let myself be “guilted”—made to feel guilty when I don’t consider that I am. Since I doubtless have the dregs of guilt left over from my behavior, I do not need the extra burden of unreasonable blame laid on me. I count on my Higher Power to help me sort out and get rid of these twinges and pangs of guilt, which, whether justified or not, need to be recognized and unloaded.

Today I Will Remember
The verdict of guilty is not for life.

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3/27/21 5:09 P

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Accepting ourselves
Many of us used to think that our Higher Power hates this or that about us or about others, but our Higher Power doesn’t hate at all. Our Higher Power accepts us and loves us no matter how we have lived. It understands that we are capable of changing.

This is the only way we come to know our Higher Power, even as we begin to accept ourselves and others. The ability to accept ourselves more and more is a gift. It comes as we build upon the strong, valuable parts of ourselves.

Am I learning to accept myself?

Higher Power, help me believe in your acceptance, forgiveness, and generosity; help me to be willing to see myself in a new way.

Today I will work on self-acceptance by…

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3/27/21 5:09 P

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I shall tell you a great secret, my friend. Do not wait for the last judgment. It takes place every day.
~Albert Camus

We live our program in one-day portions—and our actions today have immediate consequences. For instance, if we listen to a brother or a sister in the program, we may be enriched and the other person strengthened for today’s challenge. We don’t have to confront every temptation of life on this day—only the portion we can handle. Our old insanity would have us predict the entire story of our future from today’s limited viewpoint. But our spiritual orientation guides us to restrain ourselves. We simply live in this moment.

The rewards of recovery are granted every day. We begin with the gift of a new day and new possibilities. We now have relationships that sustain us through difficulty and give us reason to celebrate. We have a new feeling of self-respect and hope.

I am grateful for the rewards of each day in my spiritual awakening.

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3/27/21 5:08 P

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To make the world a friendly place,
One must show it a friendly face.
~James Whitcomb Riley

We are beginning to learn that we get what we expect. Why? If we believe that people are out to get us, we’ll not treat them well. We will think it’s okay to “get them” before they “get us.” Then, they’ll be angry and want to get even. And on it goes.

It’s great when we can meet the world with a balance. We are now honest people. We can expect others to be fair with us. We get the faith, strength, and courage to do this because of our trust in our Higher Power.

Prayer for the Day
Higher Power, help me to find reminders today that the world can be a friendly place. I will put my best face forward and hope that my good energy will be reflected back.

Action for the Day
Today I’ll spread friendliness. I will greet people with a smile.

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3/17/21 8:52 A

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AA Thought for the Day
When we were drinking, we used to be ashamed of the past. Remorse is terrible mental punishment: ashamed of ourselves for the things we’ve said and done, afraid to face people because of what they might think of us, afraid of the consequences of what we did when we were drunk. In AA we forget about the past. Do I believe that God has forgiven me for everything I’ve done in the past, no matter how horrible it was, provided I’m honestly trying to do the right thing today?

Meditation for the Day
God’s spirit is all around you all day long. You have no thoughts, no plans, no impulses, no emotions that He does not know about. You can hide nothing from Him. Do not make your conduct conform only to that of the world and do not depend on the approval or disapproval of others. God sees in secret, but He rewards openly. If you are in harmony with the Divine Spirit, doing your best to live the way you believe God wants you to live, you will be at peace.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may always feel God’s presence. I pray that I may realize this Presence constantly all through the day.

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3/17/21 8:52 A

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My father didn’t tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it.
~Clarence Budington Kelland

The most powerful teaching is done by example. We all have strong feelings about our fathers and what we learned or didn’t learn from them. Some of us have fathers who stand as great examples of how we would like to live. Some of us have fathers who are negative examples that we want to avoid. Some of us never got to know our fathers. For most of us, it is a complicated mixture of all those things.

Now, as we continue to grow and change in adulthood, we are faced with growing beyond what our parents taught us, both the good and the bad. We need to forge ahead and become our own growing version of adult men. There are many men who can serve as examples to us; some of them were in our past, and some of them are now friends and mentors. Sometimes the example is unconscious. It is always helpful to notice who we admire, who sets an example that we would like to follow. Take the best of what they have to offer and leave the rest.

Today, I am grateful for what I received from my father and from all the other men who have set examples in my life.

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3/17/21 8:51 A

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On occasion l realize it's easier to say the serenity prayer and take that leap of faith than it is to continue doing what I'm doing.
~S.H.

The pain of change is a reality. But so is the pain of no change—when change is called for. In spite of our de­sires. changing others will never be an option, whereas changing ourselves takes only a decision and is a choice always available.

We can take an inventory for a moment. What are we presently doing that makes us ashamed or angry or fearful? We can let go of that behavior and responsibly choose a new tack. If strength is needed, or confidence to try a new behavior, we can simply ask that it be ours. The Third Step promises that our lives are in God's care and our needs are always being attended to—not always our wants, but in every instance our needs.

Most of our struggles, today as in the past, are attached to persons and situations we are trying to forcibly control. How righteous our attitudes generally are! And so imposing is our behavior that we are met with resistance, painful resistance. Our recourse is now and always to accept those things we cannot change, and willingly change that which we can. Our personal struggles will end when we are fully committed to the Serenity Prayer.

The wisdom to know the difference is mine today.

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3/14/21 5:02 P

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You can’t be walked on unless you’re lying on the floor.
~Sylvia L.

A woman told her group about the problems she was having with her kids. It seems they never did what they were told, didn’t go to school unless they felt like it, and were often verbally abusive. In general, they pretty much did whatever they pleased. Of course, this caused their mother a great deal of pain. As an adult child, she was asking the group for direction.

One of the members who had been sitting quietly slipped in this little gem of wisdom, “You can’t be walked on unless you’re lying on the floor. If you don’t like the footprints on your back, why don’t you stand up?”

The abused parent probably didn’t like to hear that, but it was the truth. At times, we all tend to blame our problems with others on their stubbornness or selfishness. But the other side of that picture, the side we can do something about, has to do with passivity.

Today, I ask my Higher Power to back me up when I assert my rights. Today, I will not let myself be abused.

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3/13/21 5:20 P

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The hardness of God is kinder than the softness of men, and his compulsion is our liberation.
~C. S. Lewis

One reason it’s so hard for us to love others as God loves us is that we have no standard in our own experience to go by. The closest thing to a human standard is the ideal love of a parent for a child. God’s love exceeds that. The kind of love that God offers us is beyond our comprehension. It is unconditional. We know this because of the innumerable times we have betrayed God, gone back on our own word, and cursed God—only to be welcomed back whenever we’re ready, and to find ourselves blessed and comforted.

Someone said, “God has to love us; it’s His job.” Our program has taught us our “job” is to love others unconditionally, too. We don’t have to understand God’s love; it’s impossible. But if we are to find peace, we do have to try our best to imitate it.

Today I will try my best to love others unconditionally, as God does.

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