Daily reflections thread for every day


#41

Daily Reflections
April 10
GROWING UP

The essence of all growth is a willingness to change for the better and then an unremitting willingness to shoulder whatever responsibility this entails.

— AS BILL SEES IT, p. 115

Sometimes when I’ve become willing to do what I should have been doing all along, I want praise and recognition. I don’t realize that the more I’m willing to act differently, the more exciting my life is. The more I am willing to help others, the more rewards I receive. That’s what practicing the principles means to me. Fun and benefits for me are in the willingness to do the actions, not to get immediate results. Being a little kinder, a little slower to anger, a little more loving makes my life better day by day.


#42

Daily Reflections
April 12
GIVING UP INSANITY

. . . where alcohol has been involved, we have been strangely insane.
— ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 38

Alcoholism required me to drink, whether I wanted to or not. Insanity dominated my life and was the essence of my disease. It robbed me of the freedom of choice over drinking and, therefore, robbed me of all other choices. When I drank, I was unable to make effective choices in any part of my life and life became unmanageable. I ask God to help me understand and accept the full meaning of the disease of alcoholism.


#43

Daily Reflections
April 14
THE “NUMBER ONE OFFENDER”

Resentment is the “number one” offender. It destroys- more alcoholics than anything else. From it stem all forms of spiritual disease, for we have been not only mentally and physically ill, we have been spiritually sick.
— ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 64

As I look at myself practicing the Fourth Step, it is easy to gloss over the wrong that I have done, because I can easily see it as a question of “getting even” for a wrong done to me. If I continue to relive my old hurt, it is a resentment and resentmentbars the sunlight from my soul. If I continue to relive hurts and hates, I will hurt and hate myself-. After years in the dark of resentments, I have found the sunlight. I must let go of resentments; I cannot afford them.


#44

I’m at my third meeting today. This has been the topic twice. I loved this reading bc it helped me alot with the problems I’m dealing with.

Thanks for posting @DowntroddenGoat


#45

Daily Reflections
April 15
THE BONDAGE OF RESENTMENTS

. . . harboring resentment is infinitely grave. For then we shut ourselves off from the sunlight of the spirit.
— AS BILL SEES IT, p. 5

It has been said, “Anger is a luxury I cannot afford-.” Does this suggest I ignore this human emotion?I believe not. Before I learned of the A.A. program, I was a slave to the behavior patterns of alcoholism. I was chained to negativity, with no hope of cutting loose. The Steps offered me an alternative. Step Four was the beginning of the end of my bondage. The process of “letting go” started with an inventory. I needed not be frightened, for the previous Steps assured me I was not alone. My Higher Power led me to this door and gave me the gift of choice. Today I can choose to open the door to freedom and rejoice in the sunlight of the Steps, as they cleanse the spirit within me.


#46

Daily Reflections
April 16
ANGER: A “DUBIOUS LUXURY”

If we were to live, we had to be free of anger. The grouch and the brainstorm were not for us. They may be the dubious luxury of normal men, but for alcoholics these things are poison.
— ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 66

“Dubious luxury.” How often have I remembered those words. It’s not just anger that’s best left to nonalcoholics; I built a list including justifiable resentment, self-pity, judgmentalism, self-righteousness, false pride and false humility. I’m always surprised to read the actual quote. So well have the principles of the program been drummed into me that I keep thinking all of these defects are listed too. Thank God I can’t afford them or I surely would indulge in them.


#47

Daily Reflections
April 17
LOVE AND FEAR AS OPPOSITES

All these failings generate fear, a soul-sickness in its own right.
— TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 49

“Fear knocked at the door; faith answered; no one was there.” I don’t know to whom this quote should be attributed, but it certainly indicates very clearly that fear is an illusion. I create the illusion myself. I experienced fear early in my life and I mistakenly thought that the mere presence of it made me a coward. I didn’t know that one of the definitions of “courage” is “the willingness to do the right thing in spite of fear.” Courage, then, is not necessarily the absence of fear.
During the times I didn’t have love in my life I most assuredly had fear. To fear God is to be afraid of joy. In looking back, I realize that, during the times I feared God most, there was no joy in my life. As I learned not to fear God, I also learned to experience joy.


#48

Daily Reflections
April 18
SELF-HONESTY

The deception of others is nearly always rooted in the deception of ourselves. . . . When we are honest with another person, it confirms that we have been honest with ourselves and with God.
— AS BILL SEES IT, p. 17

When I was drinking, I deceived myself about reality, rewriting it to what I wanted it to be. Deceiving others is a character defect-even if it is just stretching the truth a bit or cleaning up my motives so others would think well of me. My Higher Power can remove this character defect, but first I have to help myself become willing to receive that help by not practicing deception. I need to remember each day that deceiving myself about myself is setting myself up for failure or disappointment in life and in Alcoholics Anonymous. A close, honest relationship with a Higher Power is the only solid foundation I’ve found for honesty with self and with others.


#49

Daily Reflections
April 19
BROTHERS IN OUR DEFECTS

We recovered alcoholics are not so much brothers in virtue as we are brothers in our defects, and in our common strivings to overcome them.
— AS BILL SEES IT, p. 167

The identification that one alcoholic has with another is mysterious, spiritual-almost incomprehensible. But it is there. I “feel” it. Today I feel that I can help people and that they can help me. It is a new and exciting feeling for me to care for someone; to care what they are feeling, hoping for, praying for; to know their sadness, joy, horror, sorrow, grief; to want to share those feelings so that someone can have relief. I never knew how to do this-or how to try. I never even cared. The Fellowship of A.A., and God, are teaching me how to care about others.


#50

Daily Reflections
April 20
SELF-EXAMINATION

. . . we ask God to direct our thinking, especially asking that it be divorced from self-pity, dishonest or self-seeking motives.
— ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 86

When said sincerely, this prayer teaches me to be truly unselfish and humble, for even in doing good deeds I often used to seek approval and glory for myself. By examining my motives in all that I do, I can be of service to God and others, helping them do what they want to do. When I put God in charge of my thinking, much needless worry is eliminated and I believe He guides me throughout the day. When I eliminate thoughts of self-pity, dishonesty and self-centeredness as soon as they enter my mind, I find peace with God, my neighbor and myself.


#51

Daily Reflections
April 21
CULTIVATING FAITH

“I don’t think we can do anything very well in this world unless we practice it. And I don’t believe we do A.A. too well unless we practice it. . . . We should practice . . . acquiring the spirit of service. We should attempt to acquire some faith, which isn’t easily done, especially for the person who has always been very materialistic, following the standards of society today. But I think faith can be acquired; it can be acquired slowly; it has to be cultivated. That was not easy for me, and I assume that it is difficult for everyone else. . . .”
— DR. BOB AND THE GOOD OLDTIMERS, pp. 307-08

Fear is often the force that prevents me from acquiring and cultivating the power of faith. Fear blocks my appreciation of beauty, tolerance, forgiveness, service, and serenity.


#52

Daily Reflections
April 22
NEW SOIL . . . NEW ROOTS

Moments of perception can build into a lifetime of spiritual serenity, as I have excellent reason to know. Roots of reality, supplanting the neurotic under- brush, will hold fast despite the high winds of the forces which would destroy us, or which we would use to destroy ourselves.
— AS BILL SEES IT, p. 173

I came to A.A. green-a seedling quivering with exposed taproots. It was for survival but it was a beginning. I stretched, developed, twisted, but with the help of others, my spirit eventually burst up from the roots. I was free. I acted, withered, went inside, prayed, acted again, understood anew, as one moment of perception struck. Up from my roots, spirit-arms lengthened into strong, green shoots: high-springing servants stepping skyward. Here on earth God unconditionally continues the legacy of higher love. My A.A. life put me “on a different footing . . . [my] roots grasped a new soil” ( Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 12).


#53

Daily Reflections
April 23
A.A. IS NOT A CURE-ALL

It would be a product of false pride to claim that A.A. is a cure-all, even for alcoholism.
— AS BILL SEES IT, p. 285

In my early years of sobriety I was full of pride, thinking that A.A. was the only source of treatment for a good and happy life. It certainly was the basic ingredient for my sobriety and even today, with over twelve years in the program, I am very involved in meetings, sponsorship and service. During the first four years of my recovery, I found it necessary to seek professional help, since my emotional health was extremely poor. There are those folks too, who have found sobriety and happiness in other organizations. A.A. taught me that I had a choice: to go to any lengths to enhance my sobriety. A.A. may not be a cure-all for everything, but it is the center of my sober living.


Sponsorship Advice
#54

Daily Reflections
April 24
LEARNING TO LOVE OURSELVES

Alcoholism was a lonely business, even though we were surrounded by people who loved us. . . . We were trying to find emotional security either by dom- inating or by being dependent upon others. . . . We still vainly tried to be secure by some unhealthy sort of domination or dependence.
— AS BILL SEES IT, p. 252

When I did my personal inventory I found that I had unhealthy relationships with most people in my life-my friends and family, for example. I always felt isolated and lonely. I drank to dull emotional pain. It was through staying sober, having a good sponsor and working the Twelve Steps that I was able to build up my low self-esteem. First the Twelve Steps taught me to become my own best friend, and then, when I was able to love myself, I could reach out and love others.


#55

Daily Reflections
April 25
ENTERING A NEW DIMENSION

In the late stages of our drinking, the will to resist has fled. Yet when we admit complete defeat and when we become entirely ready to try A.A. principles, our obsession leaves us and we enter a new dimen-sion- freedom under God as we understand Him.

— AS BILL SEES IT, p. 283

I am fortunate to be among the ones who have had this awesome transformation in my life. When I entered the doors of A.A., alone and desperate, I had been beaten into willingness to believe anything I heard. One of the things I heard was, “This could be your last hangover, or you can keep going round and round.” The man who said this obviously was a whole lot better off than I. I liked the idea of admittingdefeat and I have been free ever since! My heart heard what my mind never could: “Being powerless over alcohol is no big deal.” I’m free and I’m grateful!


#56

Daily Reflections
April 26
HAPPINESS IS NOT THE POINT

I don’t think happiness or unhappiness is the point. How do we meet the problems we face? How do we best learn from them and transmit what we have learned to others, if they would receive the knowl- edge?
— AS BILL SEES IT, p. 306

In my search “to be happy,” I changed jobs, married and divorced, took geographical cures, and ran myself into debt-financially, emotionally and spiritually. In A.A., I’m learning to grow up. Instead of demanding that people, places and things make me happy, I can ask God for self-acceptance. When a problem overwhelms me, A.A.'s Twelve Steps will help me grow through the pain. The knowledge I gain can be a gift to others who suffer with the same problem. As Bill said, “When pain comes, we are expected to learn from it willingly, and help others to learn. When happiness comes, we accept it as a gift, and thank God for it.” ( As Bill Sees It, p. 306)


#57

Daily Reflections
April 27
JOYFUL DISCOVERIES

We realize we know only a little. God will constantly disclose more to you and to us. Ask Him in your morning meditation what you can do each day for the man who is still sick. The answers will come, if your own house is in order. But obviously you cannot transmit something you haven’t got. See to it that your relationship with Him is right, and great events will come to pass for you and countless others. This is the Great Fact for us.
— ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 164

Sobriety is a journey of joyful discovery. Each day brings new experience, awareness, greater hope, deeper faith, broader tolerance. I must maintain these attributes or I will have nothing to pass on. Great events for this recovering alcoholic are the normal everyday joys found in being able to live another day in God’s grace.


#58

Daily Reflections
April 28
TWO “MAGNIFICENT STANDARDS”

All A.A. progress can be reckoned in terms of just two words: humility and responsibility. Our whole spiritual development can be accurately measured by our degree of adherence to these magnificent standards.

— AS BILL SEES IT, p. 271

To acknowledge and respect the views, accomplishments and prerogatives of others and to accept being wrong shows me the way of humility. To practice the principles of A.A. in all my affairs guides me to be responsible. Honoring these precepts gives credence to Tradition Four—and to all other Traditions of the Fellowship. Alcoholics Anonymous has evolved a philosophy of life full of valid motivations, rich in highly relevant principles and ethical values, a view of life which can be extended beyond the confines of the alcoholic population. To honor these precepts I need only to pray, and care for my fellow man as if each one were my brother.