Daily Reflections

December 8 |  Service

General-Self-help

Life will take on new meaning. To watch people recover, to see them help others, to watch loneliness vanish, to see a fellowship grow up about you, to have a host of friends — this is an experience you must not miss. . . . Frequent contact with newcomers and with each other is the bright spot of our lives.

— ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 89
It is through service that the greatest rewards are to be found. But to be in a position of offering true, useful and effective service to others, I must first work on myself. This means that I have to abandon myself to God, admitting my faults and clearing away the wreckage of my past. Work on myself has taught me how to find the necessary peace and serenity to successfully merge inspiration and experience. I have learned how to be, in the truest sense, an open channel of sobriety.

 

December 7  |  True Ambition

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True ambition is not what we thought it was. True ambition is the deep desire to live usefully and walk humbly under the grace of God.

— TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, pp. 124-25
During my drinking years, my one and only concern was to have my fellow man think highly of me. My ambition in everything I did was to have the power to be at the top. My inner self kept telling me something else but I couldn’t accept it. I didn’t even allow myself to realize that I wore a mask continually. Finally, when the mask came off and I cried out to the only God I could conceive, the Fellowship of A.A., my group and the Twelve Steps were there. I learned how to change resentments into acceptance, fear into hope and anger into love. I have learned also, through loving without undue expectations, through sharing my concerns and caring for my fellow man, that each day can be joyous and fruitful. I begin and end my day with thanks to God, who has so generously shed His grace on me.

December 6  |  When the Chips are Down

Casino chips on gaming tableWhen we developed still more, we discovered the best possible source of emotional stability to be God Himself. We found that dependence upon His perfect justice, forgiveness, and love was healthy, and that it would work where nothing else would. If we really depended upon God, we couldn’t very well play God to our fellows nor would we feel the urge wholly to rely on human protection and care.

— TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 116
It has been my experience that, when all human resources appear to have failed, there is always One who will never desert me. Moreover, He is always there to share my joy, to steer me down the right path, and to confide in when no one else will do. While my well-being and happiness can be added to, or diminished, by human efforts, only God can provide the loving nourishment upon which I depend for my daily spiritual health.

December 5  |  In All Our Affairs

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. . . we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

— TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 106

I find that carrying the message of recovery to other alcoholics is easy because it helps me to stay sober and it provides me with a sense of well-being about my own recovery. The hard part is practicing these principles in all my affairs. It is important that I share the benefits I receive from A.A., especially at home. Doesn’t my family deserve the same patience, tolerance and understanding I so readily give to the alcoholic? When reviewing my day I try to ask, “Did I have a chance to be a friend today and miss it?” “Did I have a chance to rise above a nasty situation and avoid it?” “Did I have a chance to say ‘I’m sorry,’ and refuse to?”

Just as I ask God for help with my alcoholism each day, I ask for help in extending my recovery to include all situations and all people!

December 4  |  Into Action

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A.A. is more than a set of principles; it is a society of alcoholics in action. We must carry the message, else we ourselves can wither and those who haven’t been given the truth may die.

— AS BILL SEES IT, p. 13

I desperately wanted to live, but if I was to succeed, I had to become active in our God-given program. I joined what became my group, where I opened the hall, made coffee, and cleaned up. I had been sober about three months when an oldtimer told me I was doing Twelfth-Step work. What a satisfying realization that was! I felt I was really accomplishing something. God had given me a second chance, A.A. had shown me the way, and these gifts were not only free — they were also priceless! Now the joy of seeing newcomers grow reminds me of where I have come from, where I am now, and the limitless possibilities that lie ahead. I need to attend meetings because they recharge my batteries so that I have light when it’s needed. I’m still a beginner in service work, but already I am receiving more than I’m giving. I can’t keep it unless I give it away. I am responsible when another reaches out for help. I want to be there — sober.

From the book Daily Reflections


December 3  |  In All Our Affairs

newjersey-jerseycity-newyork-511973-o

. . . we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

— TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 106

I find that carrying the message of recovery to other alcoholics is easy because it helps me to stay sober and it provides me with a sense of well-being about my own recovery. The hard part is practicing these principles in all my affairs. It is important that I share the benefits I receive from A.A., especially at home. Doesn’t my family deserve the same patience, tolerance and understanding I so readily give to the alcoholic? When reviewing my day I try to ask, “Did I have a chance to be a friend today and miss it?” “Did I have a chance to rise above a nasty situation and avoid it?” “Did I have a chance to say ‘I’m sorry,’ and refuse to?”

Just as I ask God for help with my alcoholism each day, I ask for help in extending my recovery to include all situations and all people!


December 2  |  Serenity

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Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, . . .

— TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 106
As I continued to go to meetings and work the Steps, something began to happen to me. I felt confused because I wasn’t sure what it was that I was feeling, and then I realized I was experiencing serenity. It was a good feeling, but where had it come from? Then I realized it had come “. . . as the result of these steps.” The program may not always be easy to practice, but I had to acknowledge that my serenity had come to me after working the Steps. As I work the Steps in everything I do, practicing these principles in all my affairs, now I find that I am awake to God, to others, and to myself. The spiritual awakening I have enjoyed as the result of working the Steps is the awareness that I am no longer alone.

 

December 1  |  “Suggested” Steps

Crooked-Stick-suggestion-box.jpgOur Twelfth Step also says that as a result of practicing all the Steps, we have each found something called a spiritual awakening. . . . A.A.’s manner of making ready to receive this gift lies in the practice of the Twelve Steps in our program.

— TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, pp. 106-07
I remember my sponsor’s answer when I told him that the Steps were “suggested.” He replied that they are “suggested” in the same way that, if you were to jump out of an airplane with a parachute, it is “suggested” that you pull the ripcord to save your life. He pointed out that it was “suggested” I practice the Twelve Steps, if I wanted to save my life. So I try to remember daily that I have a whole program of recovery based on all Twelve of the “suggested” Steps.
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