SELF-EXAMINATION


SELF-EXAMINATION April 20, 2014

. . . 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.

From the book Daily Reflections
© Copyright 1990 by Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc.

SELF-HONESTY


SELF-HONESTY April 18, 2014

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.

From the book Daily Reflections
© Copyright 1990 by Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc.

ANGER: A DUBIOUS LUXURY


ANGER: A “DUBIOUS LUXURY” March 16,2014

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.

From the book Daily Reflections
© Copyright 1990 by Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc.

THE NUMBER ONE OFFENDER


THE “NUMBER ONE OFFENDER” March 14, 2014

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.

From the book Daily Reflections
© Copyright 1990 by Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc.

A LIFETIME PROCESS


A LIFETIME PROCESS March 6

We were having trouble with personal relationships, we couldn’t control our emotional natures, we were a prey to misery and depression, we couldn’t make a living, we had a feeling of uselessness, we were full of fear, we were unhappy, we couldn’t seem to be of real help to other people. . . .

ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 52

These words remind me that I have more problems than alcohol, that alcohol is only a symptom of a more pervasive disease. When I stopped drinking I began a lifetime process of recovery from unruly emotions, painful relationships, and unmanageable situations. This process is too much for most of us without help from a Higher Power and our friends in the Fellowship. When I began working the Steps of the A.A. program, many of these tangled threads unraveled but, little by little, the most broken places of my life straightened out. One day at a time, almost imperceptibly, I healed. Like a thermostatbeing turned down, my fears diminished. I began to experience moments of contentment. My emotions became less volatile. I am now once again a part of the human family.

From the book Daily Reflections
© Copyright 1990 by Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc.

NO ONE DENIED ME LOVE


NO ONE DENIED ME LOVE March 31

On the A.A. calendar it was Year Two. . . . A newcomer appeared at one of these groups. . . . He soon proved that his was a desperate case, and that above all he wanted to get well. . . . [He said], “Since I am the victim of another addiction even worse stigmatized than alcoholism, you may not want me among you.”

TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, pp. 141-42

I came to you—a wife, mother, woman who had walked out on her husband, children, family. I was a drunk, a pill-head, a nothing. Yet no one denied me love, caring, a sense of belonging. Today, by God’s grace and the love of a good sponsor and a home group, I can say that—through you in Alcoholics Anonymous—I am a wife, a mother, a grandmother and a woman. Sober. Free of pills. Responsible.

Without a Higher Power I found in the Fellowship, my life would be meaningless. I am full of gratitude to be a member of good standing in Alcoholics Anonymous.

From the book Daily Reflections
© Copyright 1990 by Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc.

TRUSTED SERVANTS


TRUSTED SERVANTS March 29

They are servants. Theirs is the sometimes thankless privilege of doing the group’s chores.

TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 134

In Zorba the Greek, Nikos Kazantzakis describes an encounter between his principal character and an old man busily at work planting a tree. “What is it you are doing?” Zorba asks. The old man replies: “You can see very well what I’m doing, my son, I’m planting a tree.” “But why plant a tree,” Zorba asks, “if you won’t be able to see it bear fruit?” And the old man answers: “I, my son, live as though I were never going to die.” The response brings a faint smile to Zorba’s lips and, as he walks away, he exclaims with a note of irony: “How strange—I live as though I were going to die tomorrow!”

As a member of Alcoholics Anonymous, I have found that the Third Legacy is a fertile soil in which to plant the tree of my sobriety. The fruits I harvest are wonderful: peace, security, understanding and twenty-four hours of eternal fulfillment; and with the soundness of mind to listen to the voice of my conscience when, in silence, it gently speaks to me, saying: You must let go in service. There are others who must plant and harvest.

From the book Daily Reflections
© Copyright 1990 by Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc.

EQUALITY


EQUALITY March 28

Our membership ought to include all who suffer from alcoholism. Hence we may refuse none who wish to recover. Nor ought A.A. membership ever depend upon money or conformity. Any two or three alcoholics gathered together for sobriety may call themselves an A.A. group, provided that, as a group, they have no other affiliation.

ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 563

Prior to A.A., I often felt that I didn’t “fit in” with the people around me. Usually “they” had more/ less money than I did, and my points of view didn’t jibe with “theirs.” The amount of prejudice I had experienced in society only proved to me just how phony some self-righteous people were. After joining A.A., I found the way of life I had been searching for. In A.A. no member is better than any other member; we’re just alcoholics trying to recover from alcoholism.

 

From the book Daily Reflections
© Copyright 1990 by Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc.

THE TEACHING IS NEVER OVER


THE TEACHING IS NEVER OVER March 26

Abandon yourself to God as you understand God. Admit your faults to Him and to your fellows. Clear away the wreckage of your past. Give freely of what you find and join us. We shall be with you in the Fellowship of the Spirit, and you will surely meet some of us as you trudge the Road of Happy Destiny. May God bless you and keep you—until then.

ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 164

These words put a lump in my throat each time I read them. In the beginning it was because I felt, “Oh no! The teaching is over. Now I’m on my own. It will never be this new again.” Today I feel deep affection for our A.A. pioneers when I read this passage, realizing that it sums up all of what I believe in, and strive for, and that—with God’s blessing—the teaching is never over, I’m never on my own, and every day is brand new.

 

From the book Daily Reflections
© Copyright 1990 by Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc.

A FULL AND THANKFUL HEART


A FULL AND THANKFUL HEART March 25

I try hard to hold fast to the truth that a full and thankful heart cannot entertain great conceits. When brimming with gratitude, one’s heartbeat must surely result in outgoing love, the finest emotion that we can ever know. AS BILL SEES IT, p. 37 I believe that we in Alcoholics Anonymous are fortunate in that we are constantly reminded of the need to be grateful and of how important gratitude is to our sobriety. I am truly grateful for the sobriety God has given me through the A.A. program and am glad I can give back what was given to me freely. I am grateful not only for sobriety, but for the quality of life my sobriety has brought. God has been gracious enough to give me sober days and a life blessed with peace and contentment, as well as the ability to give and receive love, and the opportunity to serve others—in our Fellowship, my family and my community. For all of this, I have “a full and thankful heart.”

 

From the book Daily Reflections

© Copyright 1990 by Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc.