When I came into A.A., I found men and women who had been through the same things I had been through. But now they were thinking more about how they could help others than they were about themselves. They were a lot more unselfish than I ever was. By coming to meetings and associating with them, I began to think a little less about myself and a little more about other people. I also learned that I didn’t have to depend on myself alone to get out of the mess I was in. I could get a greater strength than my own. Am I now depending less on myself and more on God?
Meditation for the Day
You cannot help others unless you understand the person you are trying to help. To understand the problems and temptations of others, you must have been through them yourself. You must do all you can to understand others. You must study their backgrounds, their likes and dislikes, their reactions and their prejudices. When you see their weaknesses, do not confront the person with them. Share your own weaknesses, sins, and temptations and let other people find their own convictions.
When we were drinking, we used to be ashamed of the past. Remorse is terrible mental punishment: ashamed of ourselves for the things we’ve said and done, afraid to face people because of what they might think of us, afraid of the consequences of what we did when we were drunk. In A.A. we forget about the past. Do I believe that God has forgiven me for everything I’ve done in the past, no matter how black it was, provided I’m honestly trying to do the right thing today?
Meditation for the Day
God’s spirit is all about you all day long. You have no thoughts, no plans, no impulses and no emotions that He does not know about. You can hide nothing from Him. Do not make your conduct conform only to that of the world and do not depend on the approval or disapproval of others. God sees in secret, but He rewards openly. If you are in harmony with the Divine Spirit, doing your best to live the way you believe God wants you to live, you will be at peace.
Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may always feel God’s presence. I pray that I may realize this Presence constantly all through the day.
There are some situations that I can’t do anything about and when I find myself struggling to try to fix the situations I find myself realizing there is nothing I can do but put my trust in God. My willingness today depends on my relationship with a Higher Power whom I choose to call God. When I find myself in a situation where I’m hurting I find myself asking God why and then learning to turn my will and life over to the care of God. I find peace in these actions. I have found when I become dependent on God I become dependent on myself more and more. For me this was and is a freeing process. Living life on life’s terms is sometimes hard for me. I find myself imposing my will and then realize that my will never works. When I trust in my Higher Power I learn to let it go. For me in the beginning it was a relationship I had to build gradually since I looked at God in a punishing way and was punishing myself. When I started to see God as a loving, caring and forgiving God is when my relationship began and I was able to forgive myself and move on. Life has become a different journey for me when I learned to trust God and turn my will over. So whatever Higher Power you have learned to trust in it. This process always grows throughout the years.
The more we become willing to depend upon a Higher Power, the more independent we actually are. TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 36 I start with a little willingness to trust God and He causes that willingness to grow. The more willingness I have, the more trust I gain, and the more trust I gain, the more willingness I have. My dependence on God grows as my trust in Him grows. Before I became willing, I depended on myself for all my needs and I was restricted by my incompleteness. Through my willingness to depend upon my Higher Power, whom I choose to call God, all my needs are provided for by Someone Who knows me better than I know myself—even the needs I may not realize, as well as the ones yet to come. Only Someone Who knows me that well could bring me to be myself and to help me fill the need in someone else that only I am meant to fill. There never will be another exactly like me. And that is real independence.
. . . out of every season of grief or suffering, when the hand of God seemed heavy or even unjust, new lessons for living were learned, new resources of courage were uncovered, and that finally, inescapably, the conviction came that God does “move in a mysterious way His wonders to perform.”
TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 105
After losing my career, family and health, I remained unconvinced that my way of life needed a second look. My drinking and other drug use were killing me, but I had never met a recovering person or an A.A. member. I thought I was destined to die alone and that I deserved it. At the peak of my despair, my infant son became critically ill with a rare disease. Doctors’ efforts to help him proved useless. I redoubled my efforts to block my feelings, but now the alcohol had stopped working. I was left staring into God’s eyes, begging for help. My introduction to A.A. came within days, through an odd series of coincidences, and I have remained sober ever since. My son lived and his disease is in remission. The entire episode convinced me of my powerlessness and the unmanageability of my life. Today my son and I thank God for His intervention.
When we saw others solve their problems by a simple reliance upon the Spirit of the Universe, we had to stop doubting the power of God. Our ideas did not work. But the God idea did. ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 52 Like a blind man gradually being restored to sight, I slowly groped my way to the Third Step. Having realized that only a Power greater than myself could rescue me from the hopeless abyss I was in, I knew that this was a Power that I had to grasp, and that it would be my anchor in the midst of a sea of woes. Even though my faith at that time was minuscule, it was big enough to make me see that it was time for me to discard my reliance on my prideful ego and replace it with the steadying strength that could only come from a Power far greater than myself.
Can I get well? If I mean: “Can I ever drink normally again?” the answer is no. But if I mean, “Can I stay sober?” the answer is definitely yes. I can get well by turning my drink problem over to a Power greater than myself, that Divine Principle in the universe which we call God, and by asking that Power each morning to give me the strength to stay sober for the next twenty-four hours. I know from the experience of thousands of people that if I honestly want to get well, I can get well. Am I faithfully following the A.A. program?
Meditation for the Day
Persevere in all that God’s guidance moves you to do. The persistent carrying out of what seems right and good will bring you to that place where you would be. If you look back over God’s guidance, you will see that His leading has been very gradual and that only as you have carried out His wishes, as far as you can understand them, has God been able to give you more clear and definite leading. You are led by God’s touch on a quickened, responsive mind.
Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may persevere in doing what seems right. I pray that I may carry out all of God’s leading, as far as I can understand it.