Just for today, I need not fear anything for I have endured and survived the devastation of active alcoholism and, by the grace of AA and a Higher Power to which it led me, I have emerged not only intact but a better person. I have kept the faith in the Program, its Steps and Principles, the Power stronger than I and I found faith in myself that I never had before, and my gift has been the sobriety of the last 24 Hours. Having vested not only my heart and soul but my very life in this Program of recovery, I faced few terrors other than those within myself but met them with the guidance of the Steps. Now, nothing can compare and any fear from any source is something I know I can face responsibly, with faith and sobriety. Today, I have nothing to fear except the ghosts of my drinking past, and my Program has empowered me to move beyond them, to leave the fear behind. But I do not take for granted that the gift of sobriety is something I am owed or even deserve; I have an obligation to it, and that obligation begins with sharing the message. And our common journey continues. Just for today. - Chris M., 2012
AA Thought for the Day I shall be loyal in my attendance, generous in my giving, kind in my criticism, creative in my suggestions, loving in my attitudes. I shall give AA my interest, my enthusiasm, my devotion and, most of all, myself. The Lord's Prayer has become part of my AA thoughts for each day: "Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil."
Have I given myself?
Meditation for the Day As we look back over the year just gone, it has been a good year to the extent that we have put good thoughts, good words and good deeds into it. None of what we have thought, said or done need be wasted. Both the good and the bad experiences can be profited by. In a sense, the past is not entirely gone. The result of it, for good or evil, is with us at the present moment. We can only learn by experience and none of our experience is completely wasted. We can humbly thank God for the good things of the year that has gone.
Prayer for the Day I pray that I may carry good things into the year ahead. I pray that I may carry on with faith, with prayer and with hope.
Reflection for the Day God grant me the SERENITY to accept the things I cannot change; COURAGE to change the things I can; and WISDOM to know the difference - living one day at a time; enjoying one moment at a time; accepting hardships as the pathway to peace; taking, as He did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it: Trusting that He will make all things right if I surrender to His Will; that I may be reasonably happy in this life and supremely happy with Him forever in the next. Amen.
Today I Pray May I look back at this past year as a good one, in that nothing I did or said was wasted. No experience - however insignificant it may have seemed - was worthless. Hurt gave me the capacity to feel happiness; bad times made me appreciate the good ones; what I regarded as my weaknesses became my greatest strengths. I thank God for a year of growing.
Today I Will Remember Hope is my "balance brought forward" - into a new year's ledger.
Every man at some time arrives at a place where the course of his entire future rests upon a decision. Judas was one day a saint and the next the betrayer of the Lord.
We members of AA also had our moment of great decision. Many more days of decision will probably be our lot, but by the Grace of God and our new-found sobriety, we can meet any situation by reliance on God's Will rather than our own.
May you live all the days of your life. -- Jonathan Swift
Tonight, at midnight, a new year will begin. None of us know what the new year will hold. But we can trust ourselves to hold on to the spirit of recovery as we go through the year. As a new year is about to begin, we can rejoice in our new way of life. We can give our will and our life to our Higher Power. By doing these things, we'll be ready for the new year.
Prayer for the Day Higher Power, I pray that I'll start the new year safe in Your loving arms, I pray that I'll keep working my program.
Action for the Day Tonight, at midnight, I'll say the Serenity Prayer. I will think of all the others who will join me in my prayer. We are a recovering community.
Just for today, I awaken to a new day with full memory of the night before but, if not, the day that awaits offers a chance for another beginning. Grant me the wisdom and courage, Higher Power, to seize the opportunity to continue or even begin to work toward something better, something I thirst and hunger for - sobriety, serenity, peace, calm, a worthy self-image, and a sense of gratitude that I am here even to be given yet another second chance. My best hope for what I seek is AA and its Steps and Principles and, today, may I finally decide that enough is enough of the alcoholic hangover and all the garbage that comes with it. But let me be disciplined enough, too, to understand that what sobriety and recovery offer comes with a price - that I seek some way to be of service to anyone else who needs and wants what I seek. Today, I have yet another chance for another new beginning. Let me not let the lifeboat go by without me on board. And our common journey continues. Just for today. - Chris M., 2012
AA Thought for the Day To the extent that I fail in my responsibilities, AA fails. To the extent that I succeed, AA succeeds. Every failure of mine will set back AA work to that extent. Every success of mine will put AA ahead to that extent. I shall not wait to be drafted for service to others, but I shall volunteer. I shall accept every opportunity to work for AA as a challenge, and I shall do my best to accept every challenge and perform my task as best I can.
Will I accept every challenge gladly?
Meditation for the Day People are failures in the deepest sense when they seek to live without God's sustaining power. Many people try to be self-sufficient and seek selfish pleasure and find that it does not work too well. No matter how much material wealth they acquire, no matter how much fame and material power, the time of disillusionment and futility usually comes. Death is ahead, and they cannot take any material thing with them when they go. What matters is if I have gained the whole world, but lost my own soul.
Prayer for the Day I pray that I will not come empty to the end of the my life. I pray that I may so live that I will not be afraid to die.
Reflection for the Day My life before coming to The Program was not unlike the lives of so many of us who were cruelly buffeted and tormented by the power of our addictions. For years, I had been sick and tired. When I became sick and tired of being sick and tired, I finally surrendered and came to The Program. Now I realize that I had been helped all along by a Higher Power; it was He, indeed, who allowed me to live so that I could eventually find a new way of life.
Since my awakening, have I found a measure of serenity previously unknown in my life?
Today I Pray May I realize that my Higher Power has not suddenly come into my life like a stranger opening a door when I knocked. The Power has been there all along, if I will just remember how many brushes with disaster I have survived by a fraction of time or distance. Now that I have come to know my Higher Power better, I realize that I must have been saved for something - for helping others like me.
Today I Will Remember I am grateful to be alive and recovering.
If man was created by God in the image of God and did not possess human frailties, he would be God. All men would then be perfect and Heaven would exist here on earth. There would be no logical reason for it to operate simply as a branch of Heaven.
With our limited understanding of God's purpose, we must suppose that man was intended from the very first to work out his own evolution. The reason this process has required so many centuries has been man's persistence in the exercise of his puny little will as opposed to the Will of God. That we are less than God is due to our freedom of choice between being one with God and our attempt to play God.
I've shut the door on yesterday, And thrown the key away. Tomorrow holds no fears for me, Since I have found today. -- Vivian Yeiser Laramore
Feeling guilty or ashamed about the past - about what we did or did not do, about what happened to us, about who we were - can be our undoing. We must work long and hard in our recovery to work through these feelings, not to forget the past - for it informs all that we value in ourselves today - but to put the past into perspective.
After we've taken an inventory and grieved our losses we must forgive ourselves. In forgiving ourselves we can let go of the past and live in today.
With our program of recovery, looking back is not as frightening as it once was. And today we do not have to bear what we find alone.
A new year, a new life, can be ours. Love and friendship, support and spiritual growth are waiting for us today. Our yesterdays are over, and we can look to the future with joy and anticipation.
Today help me forgive myself for what's past and learn to have faith in Your plan for me.
Just for today, when resolutions for the coming new year are in vogue, I will make none because to do so would overlook the Program's edict to take life one day at a time. Further, I have no guarantee that an entire year is promised me, and I cannot live for a day in the future because, in doing that, I am neglecting today. The AA Program discourages us from living or looking too far ahead if today is sacrificed and encourages us to make our resolutions daily. Today, as I awaken to greet a new day, my resolution is to adhere to the Steps and Principles of the Program and not drink and, further, to grow in the sobriety I seek on this day. And our common journey continues. Just for today. -Chris M., 2012
AA Thought for the Day Participating in the privileges of the movement, I shall share in the responsibilities, taking it upon myself to carry my fair share of the load, not grudgingly but joyfully. I am deeply grateful for the privileges I enjoy because of my membership in this great movement. They put an obligation upon me which I will not shirk. I will gladly carry my fair share of the burdens. Because of the joy of doing them, they will no longer be burdens, but opportunities.
Will I accept every opportunity gladly?
Meditation for the Day Work and prayer are the two forces which are gradually making a better world. We must work for the betterment of ourselves and other people. Faith without works is dead. But all work with people should be based on prayer. If we say a little prayer before we speak or try to help, it will make us more effective. Prayer is the force behind the work. Prayer is based on faith that God is working with us and through us. We can believe that nothing is impossible in human relationships, if we depend on the help of God.
Prayer for the Day I pray that my life may be balanced between prayer and work. I pray that I may not work without prayer or pray without work.
Reflection for the Day The success of The Program, I've been taught, lies in large measure in the readiness and willingness of its members to go to any lengths to help others tyrannized by their addictions. If my readiness and willingness cools, then I stand in danger of losing all that I've gained. I must never become unwilling to give away what I have, for only by so doing will I be privileged to keep it.
Do I take to heart the saying, "Out of self into God into others ...?"
Today I Pray May I never be too busy to answer a fellow addict's call for help. May I never become so wound up in my pursuits that I forget that my own continuing recovery depends on that helping - a half-hour or so on the telephone, a call in person, a lunch date, whatever the situation calls for. May I know what my priorities must be.
Is someone happier, better or braver because of some act of yours today? If you can answer yes to any or all of them, then you can feel rather confident that you are progressing in the AA way of living.
If you can't - then you are not giving it the old College try and you are cheating yourself out of a lot of happiness that could have been yours.
Today's thought from Hazelden is: The years teach us much, which the days never knew. -- Ralph Waldo Emerson
We don’t need to know everything today, and so we don’t. We don’t know why some people act the way they do, or why we are addicts when others aren’t. All we need to know today is what to do to preserve sobriety for this day. This means doing the small things we need to do right now.
We live life from moment to moment, and we can be grateful for that. There is nothing too hard to do for this moment only. We are clean and sober this moment, and so we are growing. As we live our day fully today, we will find no part of it bigger than the moment it occupies.
Today let me live life the best I can by staying in the present.
Just for today, let me loosen my grip on my perspective that the Program hammers what I cannot do and, instead, understand that it empowers me with what I can do. While I cannot continue in futile endeavor to regain control over alcohol, I can disempower it by not feeding it. While I cannot continue to engage in conduct that injures myself and others, I can chart a 180-degree course change and start to give something nurturing instead of inflicting harm. And while I cannot always make direct amends for whatever reason, I can make indirect amends by working a Program in which my sobriety is its own amend. The Program of AA is not one of cannot; it is, instead, a Program of can. Today the first word in can't is can. And our common journey continues. Just for today. - Chris M., 2012
AA Thought for the Day AA may be human in its organization, but it is divine in its purpose. The purpose is to point me toward God and the good life. My feet have been set upon the right path. I feel it in the depths of my being. I am going in the right direction. The future can be safely left to God. Whatever the future holds, it cannot be too much for me to bear. I have the Divine Power with me to carry me through everything that may happen.
Am I pointed toward God and the good life?
Meditation for the Day Although unseen, the Lord is always near to those who believe in Him and trust Him and depend on Him for the strength to meet the challenges of life. Although veiled from mortal sight, the Higher Power is always available to us whenever we humbly ask for it. The feeling that God is with us should not depend on any passing mood of ours; we should try to be always conscious of His power and love in the background of our lives.
Prayer for the Day I pray that I may feel that God is not too far away to depend on for help. I pray that I may feel confident of His readiness to give me the power that I need.
Reflection for the Day The Program, for me, is not a place nor a philosophy, but a highway to freedom. The highway leads me toward the goal of a "spiritual awakening as a result of these Steps." The highway doesn't get me to the goal as quickly as I sometimes wish, but I try to remember that God and I work from different timetables. But the goal is there, and I know that the Twelve Steps will help me reach it.
Have I come to the realization that I - and anyone - can now do what I had always thought impossible?
Today I Pray As I live The Program, may I realize more and more that it is a means to an end rather than an end in itself. May I keep in mind that the kind of spirituality it calls for is never complete, but is the essence of change and growth, a drawing nearer to an ideal state. May I be wary of setting time-oriented goals for myself to measure my spiritual progress.
Today I Will Remember Timetables are human inventions.
It is very often easier to identify an alcoholic by his hang-over than by his drinking pattern. Alcoholics, for the most part, resemble the non-alcoholics when they have a load aboard, but in the morning, when the sweats and the shakes set in, then the alcoholic can be identified by the degree of his suffering. The alcoholic's hang-over cannot be gotten rid of by 10:30 simply with aspirin or Bromos.
One needs something to believe in, something for which one can have wholehearted enthusiasm. -- Hannah Senesh
Life offers little if we sit passively in the midst of activity. Involvement is a prerequisite if we are to grow. For our lives' purposes we need enthusiasm; we need enthusiasm in order to greet the day expectantly. When we look toward the day with anticipation, we are open to all the possibilities for action.
We must respond to our possibilities if we are to mature emotionally and recover spiritually. Idly observing life from the sidelines guarantees no development beyond our present level. We begin to change once we start living up to our commitment to the program - its possibilities and our purpose - and it's that change, many days over, that moves us beyond the negative, passive outlook of days gone by.
The program has offered us something to believe in. We are no longer the people we were. So much more have we become! Each day's worth of recovery carries us closer to fulfilling our purpose in life.
I believe in recovery, my own; when I believe in success, I'll find it. There is magic in believing.
Just for today, the first word in hopelessness is hope; the first word in helplessness is help; the first word in senselessness is sense; the first word in powerlessness is power. Within insanity is sanity; within fear, fearlessness; within pain, strength; within anger, reconciliation. This is our Program: from hopelessness comes hope; from helplessness, help; from senselessness, sense; from powerlessness, power; from insanity, sanity; from fear, courage; from pain, strength; from anger, forgiveness. And from them - sobriety. It's that simple. And our common journey continues. Just for today. - Chris M., 2012
AA Thought for the Day I need the AA principles for the development of the buried life within me, that good life which I had misplaced but which I found again in this fellowship. This life within me is developing slowly but surely, with many setbacks, many mistakes, many failures, but still developing. As long as I stick close to AA, my life will go on developing, and I cannot yet know what it will be, but I know that it will be good. That's all I want to know. It will be good.
Am I thanking God for AA?
Meditation for the Day Build your life on the firm foundation of true gratitude to God for all His blessings and true humility because of your unworthiness of these blessings. Build the frame of your life out of self-discipline; never let yourself get selfish or lazy or contented with yourself. Build the walls of your life out of service to others, helping them to find the way to live. Build the roof of your life out of prayer and quiet times, waiting for God's guidance from above. Build a garden around your life out of peace of mind and serenity and a sure faith.
Prayer for the Day I pray that I may build my life on AA principles. I pray that it may be a good building when my work is finished.