Recovery Quote of the Day

July 21st

"Acceptance and faith are capable of producing 100 percent sobriety. In fact, they usually do; and they must, else we could have no life at all. But the moment we carry these attitudes into our emotional problems, we find that only relative results are possible. Nobody can, for example, become completely free from fear, anger and pride."
As Bill Sees It, All or Nothing?, p. 6

In early sobriety, I found great comfort in reading page 449 (3rd edition, page 417 in 4th edition). Before the program, I was paralyzed by overwhelming emotions. I walked around in uncertainty, anger or self-pity most of the time. Reading page 449 helped me slow my racing mind and gave me a small degree of peace. However, it was not a panacea, and I often found myself in situations that I could not “just accept and move on.” There are times in life, like grief, that need to be processed. With the help of those in the program, and deep faith, we can get through anything. Faith is like electricity; we can’t see it, but we can see the light the moment we hit the switch. It is inevitable that we will be faced with difficulties, and when they occur, it would be best to have our house in order. Outside clutter only compounds stress, hence, a well practiced step 10, 11 and 12 are crucial to our ability to get through life’s difficult or traumatic events. Today, after many years in the program and being able to witness so many miracles in others and myself, I have complete faith in God and the AA process. Like Bill W., I know I’m not free of crippling emotions, but now I know I can lean into the many tools of the program and endless support to navigate through just about anything. :heart:

Have a beautiful day in sobriety my friends.

5 Likes

In sobriety, we suddenly learn we don’t have to react to everything. However, with that comes those times when we just don’t know what to do in a given situation when we don’t immediately react.

An old timer told me early on that when you don’t know what to do, do nothing. Pray/meditate and let God enter the equation and guide our actions. Unfortunately for me that means waiting on God’s time… Which often doesn’t coincide with Goat’s time. I just have to trust in the fact that while God is seldom early, he is never late.

6 Likes

July 22nd

"What God wants me to do is rarely what I want to do. For instance, if I want to avoid or leave, God wants me to stay and handle. If I want to be understood or accepted by others, God wants me to try to understand or accept others a bit more. If I want to forget, God wants me to forgive. If I want to point the finger of blame at someone else, God wants me to see my part in creating the disaster. If I want to dislike someone because of a grating character defect he or she has, God wants me to see the same defect in myself."
The Best of the Grapevine [Vol. 3], pp. 218-219

When I first heard contrary action, I thought that was absurd. I soon came to understand the immense value in this principle. My thinking and living habits were defective to say the least. By taking contrary action, like going to a meeting even though you don’t want to, became a guiding force in my life. I don’t always do the opposite of what I think, but it does help me to pause and reflect before making decisions or taking action. By pausing and asking God for the right thought or action, I’m able to avoid some of the perils of self will. Finding God’s will for us was a mystery to me until I started practicing step 10. It became clear that where I had been selfish, I should have been kind and considerate. The more I could stay away from negative characteristics like sloth, pride, ego, impatience and anger, the more serenity and peace entered my life. When I can consistently practice God’s will such as honesty, humility, caring, forgiveness and love, I feel a higher conscious contact with God and others. It’s quite odd and remarkable that we take contrary action to get through issues, but after awhile, they become an intuitive thought. :heart:

Have a beautiful day in sobriety my friends.

5 Likes

July 23rd

"We perceive that only through utter defeat are we able to take our first steps toward liberation and strength. Our admissions of personal powerlessness finally turn out to be firm bedrock upon which happy and purposeful lives may be built."
TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS p 21

When I first heard the word surrender, it was a rough concept to follow. Where I grew up, that would have been a sign of weakness that others would have exploited. However, I also heard early on that the definition of surrender is to go over to the winning side, and that was enough incentive for me to try it. Initially, we have to surrender to our disease. The war is over, and we lost; alcohol got the best of us. Fighting our disease was a pointless battle that could not be won. But, after we are sober a while and the obsession to drink is lifted, surrender turns inward to a power greater than ourselves. In order to avoid the pitfalls of self will, we need to make a daily surrender to our Higher Power – “I can’t, God can, so let Him.” Our book mentions that we stop fighting everything and everyone, and that is especially true about our belief and faith in God. It’s ironic that we need to surrender to win, but that is essential to our recovery and spiritual growth. When we play God, life quickly goes sideways, and we surely set ourselves up for some form of emotional discomfort. Have you fully surrendered today? :heart:

Have a beautiful day in sobriety my friends.

4 Likes

July 24th

"Only Step One, where we made the 100 percent admission we were powerless over alcohol, can be practiced with absolute perfection."
TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS p. 68

We never graduate in the program, and for this I am thankful. Every day in recovery has been a new learning process, one of which I am very willing to take. Stagnation can be a scourge for the alcoholic, and a producer of melancholy. We are wise to recognize the importance of the above passage from the 12&12. The steps are a journey and a process, not a destination. “Our ego seeks the destination; our soul seeks the journey.” As we grow and evolve in the fellowship, so too does the depth, meaning, and understanding of the steps grow and evolve within us. Don’t go through life, grow through life! My understanding and application of the steps has changed over time, and it has developed into a warm comforting blanket. One litmus test I use at least once a month is to go through all the steps in my head, and try to honestly gage where I’m at on applying them in my life. This simple exercise keeps me grounded, and it reminds me that I need to keep growing as a person. Growing old is inevitable, growing up is optional, but growing spiritually is up to me. :heart:

Have a beautiful day in sobriety my friends.

2 Likes

July 25th

"Pride is the basic breeder of most human difficulties, the chief block to true progress. Pride lures us into making demands upon ourselves or upon others which cannot be met without perverting or misusing our God-given instincts. When the satisfaction of our instincts for sex, security, and a place in society becomes the primary object of our lives, then pride steps in to justify our excesses."
As Bill Sees It, Seeking Fool’s Gold, p.12

Pride and ego, for me, have always been two of the most difficult character defects to battle. Their opposite, true humility, has also been difficult to practice. As we grow up, we are programmed to find success and make money. If we don’t, we are labeled as losers or lazy. In addition, practically every form of media pushes the “boy meets girl” mentality, so that too becomes a driving force in our lives. Then we come into the program, and we discover pride’s destructive nature and how it can never bring lasting peace and serenity. We are faced with reprogramming our drives in order to find that true inner peace. If we fully engage in the program, and thoroughly follow the steps, this is a process that can occur over time. I have always found the best path away from pride and ego towards humility has been helping others with no expectation of anything in return. Churchill once said, “We make a living on what we get, but we make a life on what we give.” Just giving, for the sake of giving, brings me that inner peace I so desperately wanted. The true gift of love is not to be loved in return, it’s the giving of our love; there is no greater emotion than loving another. Today, I’m at peace with myself and others, thanks to the principles of our amazing fellowship. :heart:

Have a beautiful day in sobriety my friends.

4 Likes

July 26th

"Faith is more than our greatest gift; sharing with others is our greatest responsibility. May we of A.A. continually seek the wisdom and the willingness by which we may well fulfill that immense trust which the Giver of all perfect gifts has placed in our hands."
As Bill Sees It, The Shared Gift, p. 13

I am so glad that the members of our fellowship introduced me gradually to spirituality and faith. The program has a remarkable way of drawing in your attention through attraction. Even if I didn’t completely believe in the beginning, I believed that you believed, and that was a good start. It didn’t take long before I recognized that something extraordinary was happening around me, in me, and through me. As I began to shed the wreckage of my past by taking the steps, my belief and faith grew exponentially. Now, I live in complete faith, and life difficulties have become much easier to face. My challenge, as it is for all those with time, is to profess our faith through our actions, not just push our beliefs on others. “Give a great sermon, but try to use your life, not your lips.” Carrying the responsibility of showing the spiritual nature of our program has been one of the most rewarding aspects of my recovery. I only hope that I am carrying the message as well as those that showed me the way in early sobriety. I am so thankful for the life I have today, and I owe it all to AA, and a deep faith in an all-loving, all-forgiving God. :heart:

Have a beautiful day in sobriety my friends.

3 Likes

July 27th

"Once we have taken this step, withholding nothing, we are delighted. We can look the world in the eye. We can be alone at perfect peace and ease. Our fears fall from us. We begin to feel the nearness of our Creator. We may have had certain spiritual beliefs, but now we begin to have a spiritual experience. The feeling that the drink problem has disappeared will often come strongly. We feel we are on the Broad Highway, walking hand in hand with the Spirit of the Universe."
Alcoholics Anonymous, Into Action, pg. 75

At our meetings, we often read the 9th step promises, but each of our steps contain promises. Some of my favorites are in the 3rd step (p. 63), the 5th step (p. 75 - see above quote), and the 10th step (pages 84-85). There is no denying that something happens to us after we read our 4th step to our sponsors. After I finished the 5th step, it felt like I was walking on air; I physically felt lighter. I now know that I was having an undeniable and profound spiritual experience. I also felt like I was finally deeply implanted in the heart of our program. Up until that time, I saw myself as being on the fringes, but not quite completely a part of the club. This spiritual experience and closeness to the program has been the same experience of nearly all those that have honestly taken their 5th step. Completing the 4th and 5th steps were two of the most important spiritual blockages that I needed to overcome in order to gain a better understanding and deeper faith in God. And yes, the 5th step promises came true for me and for countless others. :heart:

Have a beautiful day in sobriety my friends.

4 Likes

July 28th

"Under the lash of alcoholism, we are driven to A.A., and there we discover the fatal nature of our situation. Then, and only then, do we become as open- minded to conviction and as willing to listen as the dying can be. We stand ready to do anything which will lift the merciless obsession from us."
Twelve Steps & Twelve Traditions, p. 24

Only through the gift of desperation do so many of us find the willingness to open our hearts and minds to new ideas. Before coming to the program, I was stuck in a prison of guilt, shame, and lack of self esteem. I didn’t see any way out, and I was completely closed off to the possibility that spirituality would be my path out of misery. Our minds are like parachutes – if we don’t open them, they are of no use. I also had to learn that you can’t have an open mind with an open mouth! By being beaten into submission, I became open to a new perspective on spirituality. It was also vital to have the willingness to put the work into clearing away my spiritual blockages. Until the program, I had no idea that these impediments existed and were preventing a conscious contact with God. I now know that openness and willingness are essential elements of our recovery and spiritual journey. Today, I can honestly say that I’m a grateful alcoholic, because my disease gave me the gift of desperation - the gateway to deep and meaningful spirituality. :heart:

Have a beautiful day in sobriety my friends.

5 Likes

morning my friend.

2 Likes

Good morning Paul… :heart:

1 Like

July 29th

"Our whole treasured philosophy of self-sufficiency had to be cast aside. This had not been done with old-fashioned willpower; it was instead a matter of developing the willingness to accept these new facts of living. We neither ran nor fought. But accept we did. And then we were free. There had been no irretrievable disaster.”
The Language of the Heart, p. 271

In early sobriety, I heard that we shouldn’t pray to get what we want, but instead, to pray to want what we get. The concept of acceptance comes slowly for most of us. Not seeking a fix from a substance, new purchase, new job or new accomplishments, was a complete paradigm shift for most of us with hard wired addictive tendencies. We were constantly in search of something or someone to make us feel better. In all honesty, we were all chasing windmills and doomed for frustration and eventual disappointment. Then, we discover the simple act of “acceptance.” There is incredible freedom when you can finally accept that you can’t change people, places or things. The most we can hope for is to change our level of acceptance and our attitude. We are told to read page 449 (417 in the 4th edition) when faced with uncertainty. Personally, I had to read it so often, the binding in my book separated. After many years of sobriety, I still find great comfort in reading the passage of acceptance in our book. Today, with great thanks to the program, I have enough faith to accept the things I can not change. :heart:

Have a beautiful day in sobriety my friends.

4 Likes

July 30th

"For all its usual destructiveness, we have found that fear can be the starting point for better things. Fear can be a steppingstone to prudence and to a decent respect for others. It can point the path to justice, as well as to hate. And the more we have of respect and justice, the more we shall begin to find the love which can suffer much, and yet be freely given. So fear need not always be destructive, because the lessons of its consequences can lead us to positive values."
As Bill Sees It, Fear as a Steppingstone, p. 22

If someone would have asked me what I feared before I came to the program, I would have said, “Nothing!” But, after opening my heart and mind to new thoughts and way of living, I recognized that I did indeed have numerous fears. Most of the fears I identified in my inventory were negative fears that were keeping me from becoming whom I really was or wanted to be. But, there were fears that I recognized as being a positive influence in my life, like the fear of slipping and self destructing. When I wrote those initial fears, they were all very real to me at that time. In hindsight, I see that they were all “future tripping.” I get the honor of hearing many 5th steps, and most fears are universal to us all (fear of failure, not being loved, public speaking, et al.). In a book study during a discussion of page 68 (fear inventory), we all realized that none of our fears ever materialized in our lives. If we let our head take over, it will always take us to the worst case scenario, that rarely, if ever, materializes the way we project it. Fear and regret are twin thieves that rob us of peace and being in the present. Today I don’t fear tomorrow, because I know my Higher Power will be there waiting for me. :heart:

Have a beautiful day in sobriety my friends.

3 Likes

July 31st

"You can’t ever get everything you want. It is impossible. Luckily, there is another option: You can learn to control your mind, to step outside of this endless cycle of desire and aversion. You can learn not to want what you want, to recognize desires but not be controlled by them."
-Bhanta Henepola Gunaratana-

We live in a world in which we are judged by what we have. In fact, we can’t live life very effectively without resources. Our lives begin to be ruled by the almighty dollar, and in a sense, it becomes a controlling and twisted Higher Power. When we take the steps, we learn to make God and sobriety our highest priorities. Putting God and the program ahead of other life desires comes easier when we first get sober and begin to climb out of our drinking nightmare. But, after a while, we begin to get our lives back, and money, property and prestige begin to Edge God Out (EGO). Desires achieved increase thirst like salt water - we are hard wired to want more! So many people slip in their first year of sobriety for this very reason. It truly is a daily reprieve contingent on the maintenance of our spiritual condition. If I let the pursuit of materialistic things control me, I will never be satisfied, and I’m doomed for a life of disappointment and frustration. “Things always turn out best for the people who make the best out of the way things turn out.” When I make God my guiding force in life, I’m able to attain peace and serenity. If I can find the courage to completely trust God, life just simply becomes easier to live. :heart:

Have a beautiful day in sobriety my friends.

4 Likes

August 1st

"All turmoil comes from the deep, nagging feeling that we should be different from what we are … If we could totally accept who and what we are (changing each instant), we would find ourselves moving in the silent immenseness of now."
Vietnam, September 1974, “Awareness,” Spiritual Awakenings

As I was growing up, I wanted to be anyone but myself. I certainly did not want to be a part of my crazy dysfunctional family. During my drinking and using days, I would create different personas. In hindsight, I would have been just as accepted being who I really was. Mark Twain once said, “If you tell the truth, then you don’t have to remember anything.” In sobriety, it was so refreshing to be able to gain the courage to be whom I really was and to accept my truths about myself. No more lies! With the guidance of the program, I have continued to grow as a person into a man I can be proud to be. Accepting yourself, faults and all, is one of the most remarkable and unexpected gifts of this program. As we grow and change, we can let our new self see the world, and relationships with others, in new ways. As my spirituality has evolved, so too has my perception of life and all it has to offer. Some things have to be believed to be seen! I can’t imagine how shallow my life would have been without the spiritual principles of our beautiful and transformative program. :heart:

Have a beautiful day in sobriety my friends.

7 Likes

Thank you Edmund for this thread. I read it daily with hope!!!

2 Likes

Thank you @Lotusflower for taking the time to read the thread. I truly hope in some way it helps. I put my heart and soul into it and pray that it might be a positive influence in one’s life.
Proud of you Des, keep up the good work. Stay focused and determined in your resolve. Wishing you peace and serenity on your journey in sobriety my friend. :heart:

4 Likes

I’m humbled by your response. I feel your sincerity and thankful to God for you and your messages. It helps alot. I am opening up.
Walking towards freedom
Thank you!!! :pray:t5::blush: it’s nice to feel supported on this journey !!

3 Likes

Just read your profile Des and this stood out to me. “Embracing the life God intends for me to live.” That is a beautiful thing my friend. It made my heart smile when I read that. Thank you for being you and bringing joy into my life. :heart:
P. S. I have another thread that’s called “just for today in narcotics anonymous.” It’s copied out of the book word for word. It’s pretty good also, if you get time @Lotusflower check it out. It might help. :heart:

2 Likes

August 2nd

"I know that I am not a total loss, even when I think I am. I know that freedom and usefulness, love, outgoingness, and sharing are the important things in life. But even more important, I have to care for me and achieve a sense of self-worth. So I continue to listen. I am still open to suggestions. I continue on my way. And I am on the way up."
The Best of the Grapevine [Vol. 1], pp. 24-25

None of us came in on a winning streak. Our lives were a mess, and our self esteem was virtually non existent. As we got sober, our lives begin to improve, but the residue of self loathing still lurked in the shadows. Gaining a healthy degree of self worth took time and effort. To truly believe in ourselves, it was essential that we shed the baggage we carried into the program. It’s not enough to just take the steps; we need to continue apply them in our every day living. In early sobriety, I heard the saying, “Let us love you until you can love yourself.” At first, I thought it a bit corny, but after a short while, I recognized its immense value to me and others suffering from crushing self-doubt and broken self worth. I have thoroughly enjoyed growing in the program, and I greatly appreciate the process of gaining life affirming self worth by simply helping others and living the principles of the program. :heart:

Have a beautiful day in sobriety my friends.

4 Likes