Thursday, May 23, 2013
When the spiritual malady is overcome, we straighten out
mentally and physically.
ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 64
It is very difficult for me to come to terms with my
spiritual illness because of my great pride, disguised by my
material successes and my intellectual power. Intelligence
is not incompatible with humility, provided I place
humility first. To seek prestige and wealth is the ultimate
goal for many in the modern world. To be fashionable and
to seem better than I really am is a spiritual illness.
To recognize and to admit my weaknesses is the
beginning of good spiritual health. It is a sign of spiritual
health to he able to ask God every day to enlighten me, to
recognize His will, and to have the strength to execute it.
My spiritual health is excellent when I realize that the
better I get, the more I discover how much help I need from
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
WE . . . (The first word of the First Step)
TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 21
When I was drinking all I could ever think about was "I, I,
I," or "Me, Me, Me." Such painful obsession of self, such
soul sickness, such spiritual selfishness bound me to the
bottle for more than half my life.
The journey to find God and to do His will one day at a
time began with the first word of the First Step . . . "We."
There was power in numbers, there was strength in
numbers, there was safety in numbers, and for an alcoholic
like me, there was life in numbers. If I had tried to recover
alone I probably would have died. With God and another
alcoholic I have a divine purpose in my life . . . I have
become a channel for God's healing love.
Tuesday, May 21, 2013
A LIST OF BLESSINGS
One exercise that I practice is to try for a full inventory of
my blessings. . . .
AS BILL SEES IT, p. 37
What did I have to be grateful for? I shut myself up and
started listing the blessings for which I was in no way
responsible, beginning with having been born of sound
mind and body. I went through seventy-four years of living
right up to the present moment. The list ran to two pages,
and took two hours to compile; I included health, family,
money, A.A. —the whole gamut.
Every day in my prayers, I ask God to help me
remember my list, and to be grateful for it throughout the
day. When I remember my gratitude list, it's very hard to
conclude that God is picking on me.
Monday, May 20, 2013
ONE DAY AT A TIME
Above all, take it one day at a time.
AS BILL SEES IT, p. 11
Why do I kid myself that I must stay away from a drink for
only one day, when I know perfectly well I must never
drink again as long as I live? I am not kidding myself
because one day at a time is probably the only way I can
reach the long-range objective of staying sober.
If I determine that I shall never drink again as long as I
live, I set myself up. How can I be sure I won't drink when
I have no idea what the future may hold?
On a day-at-a-time basis, I am confident I can stay away
from a drink for one day. So I set out with confidence. At
the end of the day, I have the reward of achievement.
Achievement feels good and that makes me want more!
Sunday, May 19, 2013
GIVING WITHOUT STRINGS
And he well knows that his own life has been made richer,
as an extra dividend of giving to another without any
demand for a return.
AS BILL SEES IT, p. 69
The concept of giving without strings was hard to
understand when I first came into the program. I was
suspicious when others wanted to help me. I thought,
"What do they want in return?" But I soon learned the joy
of helping another alcoholic and I understood why they
were there for me in the beginning. My attitudes changed
and I wanted to help others. Sometimes I became anxious,
as I wanted them to know the joys of sobriety, that life can
be beautiful. When my life is full of a loving God of my
understanding and I give that love to my fellow alcoholic, I
feel a special richness that is hard to explain.
Saturday, May 18, 2013
FREEDOM TO BE ME
If we are painstaking about this phase of our development,
we will be amazed before we are half way through. We are
going to know a new freedom and a new happiness
ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 83
My first true freedom is the freedom not to have to take a
drink today. If I truly want it, I will work the Twelve Steps
and the happiness of this freedom will come to me through
the Steps—sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly. Other
freedoms will follow, and inventorying them is a new
happiness. I had a new freedom today, the freedom to be
me. I have the freedom to be the best me I have ever been.
Friday, May 17, 2013
. . . AND FORGIVE
Under very trying conditions I have had, again and again,
to forgive others—also myself
AS BILL SEES IT, p. 268
Forgiveness of self and forgiveness of others are just two
currents in the same river, both hindered or shut off
completely by the dam of resentment. Once that dam is
lifted, both currents can flow. The Steps of A.A. allow me
to see how resentment has built up and subsequently
blocked off this flow in my life. The Steps provide a way
by which my resentments may—by the grace of God as I
understand Him— be lifted. It is as a result of this solution
that I can find the necessary grace which enables me to forgive
myself and others.
Thursday, May 16, 2013
WE FORGIVE . . .
Often it was while working on this Step with our sponsors
or spiritual advisers that we first felt truly able to forgive
others, no matter how deeply we felt hey had wronged us.
Our moral inventory had persuaded us that all-round
forgiveness was desirable, but it was only when we
resolutely tackled Step Five hat we inwardly knew we'd be
able to receive forgiveness and give it, too.
TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 58
What a great feeling forgiveness is! What a revelation
about my emotional, psychological and spiritual nature.
All it takes is willingness to forgive; God will do the rest.
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
KNOW GOD; KNOW PEACE
It is plain that a life which includes deep resentment leads
only to futility and unhappiness. . . . But with the alcoholic,
whose hope is the maintenance and growth of a spiritual
experience, this business of resentment is infinitely grave.
ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 66
No God; No
Tuesday, May 14, 2013
IT'S OKAY TO BE ME
Time after time newcomers have tried to keep to themselves
certain facts about their lives. . . . they have turned to
easier methods. . . . But they had not learned enough
humility. . . .
ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, pp. 72-73
Humility sounds so much like humiliation, but it really is
the ability to look at myself—and honestly accept what I
find. I no longer need to be the "smartest" or "dumbest" or
any other "est." Finally, it is okay to be me. It is easier for
me to accept myself if I share my whole life. If I cannot
share in meetings, then I had better have a sponsor —
someone with whom I can share those "certain facts" that
could lead me back to a drunk, to death. I need to take all
the Steps. I need the Fifth Step to learn true humility.
Easier methods do not work.
Monday, May 13, 2013
THE EASIER, SOFTER WAY
If we skip this vital step, we may not overcome drinking.
ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 72
I certainly didn't leap at the opportunity to face who I was,
especially when the pains of my drinking days hung over
me like a dark cloud. But I soon heard at the meetings
about the fellow member who just didn't want to take Step
Five and kept coming back to meetings, trembling from the
horrors of reliving his past. The easier, softer way is to take
these Steps to freedom from our fatal disease, and to put
our faith in the Fellowship and our Higher Power.
Sunday, May 12, 2013
THE PAST IS OVER
A.A. experience has taught us we cannot live alone with
our pressing problems and the character defects which
cause or aggravate them. If. . . Step Four . . . has revealed
in stark relief those experiences we'd rather not remember .
. . then the need to quit living by ourselves with those
tormenting ghosts of yesterday gets more urgent than ever.
We have to talk to somebody about them.
TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 55
Whatever is done is over. It cannot be changed. But my
attitude about it can be changed through talking with those
who have gone before and with sponsors. I can wish the
past never was, but if I change my actions in regard to what
I have done, my attitude will change. I won't have to wish
the past away. I can change my feelings and attitudes, but
only through my actions and the help of my fellow