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September 18, 2011 Daily Reflections

Two-Way Tolerance

“Your point of view was once mine. Fortunately, A.A. is constructed so that we need not debate the existence of God; but for best results, most of us must depend upon a Higher Power. You say the group is your Higher Power, and no rightminded A.A. would challenge your privilege to believe precisely that way. We should all be glad that good recoveries can be made even on this limited basis.

“But turnabout is fair play. If you would expect tolerance for your point of view, I am sure you would be willing to reciprocate. I try to remember that, down through the centuries, lots of brighter people than I have been found on both sides of this debate about belief. For myself, of late years, I am finding it much easier to believe that God made man, than that man made God.”

LETTER, 1950

From “As Bill Sees It”

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September 16, 2011 Daily Reflections

Keystone of the Arch

Faced with alcoholic destruction, we soon became as open-minded on spiritual matters. In this respect alcohol was a great persuader. It finally beat us into a state of reasonableness.

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We had to quit playing God. It didn’t work. We decided that hereafter, in this drama of life, God was going to be our Director. He would be the Principal; we, His agents.

Most good ideas are simple, and this concept was the keystone of the new and triumphal arch through which we passed to freedom.

ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS 1. P. 48 2. P. 62

from “As Bill Sees it”

 

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September 15, 2011 Daily Reflections

Room for Improvement

We have come to believe that A.A.’s recovery Steps and Traditions represent the approximate truths which we need for our particular purpose. The more we practice them, the more we like them. So there is little doubt that A.A. principles will continue to be advocated in the form they stand now.

If our basis are so firmly fixed as all this, then what is there left to change or to improve?

The answer will immediately occur to us. While we need not alter our truths, we can surely improve their application to ourselves, to A.A. as a whole, and to our relation with the world around us. We can constantly step up the practice of “these principles in all our affairs.”

GRAPEVINE, FEBRUARY 1961
from “As Bill Sees It”

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September 14, 2011 Daily Reflections

Life Is Not a Dead End

When a man or a woman has a spiritual awakening, the most important meaning of it is that he has now become able to do, feel, and believe that which he could not do before on his unaided strength and resources alone. He has been granted a gift which amounts to a new state of consciousness and being.

He has been set on a path which tells him he is really going somewhere, that life is not a dead end, not something to be endured or mastered. In a very real sense he has been transformed, because he has laid hold of a source of strength which he had hitherto denied himself.

TWELVE AND TWELVE, PP. 106-107

from “As Bill Sees It”

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This post was brought to you by Los Angeles Sober Livings (LA-SL.com).

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September 8, 2011 Daily Reflections

“Selfish?”

“I can see why you are disturbed to hear some A.A. speakers say, `A.A. is a selfish program.’ The word `selfish’ ordinarily implies that one is acquisitive, demanding, and thoughtless of the welfare of others. Of course, the A.A. way of life does not at all imply such undesirable traits.

“What do these speakers mean? Well, any theologian will tell you that the salvation of his own soul is the highest vocation that a man can have. Without salvation — however we may define this — he will have little or nothing. For us if A.A., there is even more urgency.

“If we cannot or will not achieve sobriety, then we become truly lost, right in the here and now. We are of no value to anyone, including ourselves, until we find salvation from alcohol. Therefore, our own recovery and spiritual growth have to come first– a right and necessary kind of self-concern.”

LETTER, 1966
from “As Bill Sees It”

 

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This post was brought to you by Los Angeles Sober Livings (LA-SL.com).

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September 7, 2011 Daily Reflections

Debits and Credits

Following a gossip binge, we can well ask ourselves these questions: “Why did we say what we did? Were we only trying to be helpful and informative? Or were we not trying to feel superior by confessing the other fellow’s sins? Or, because of fear and dislike, were we not really aiming to damage him?”

This would be an honest attempt to examine ourselves, rather than the other fellow.

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Inventory-taking is not always done in red ink. It’s a poor day indeed when we haven’t done something right. As a matter of fact, the eaking hours are usually well filled with things that are constructive. Good intentions, good thoughts, and good acts are there for us to see.

Even when we have tried hard and failed, we may chalk that up as one of the greatest credits of all.

1. GRAPEVINE, AUGUST 1961 2. TWELVE AND TWELVE, P. 93

From “As Bill Sees It”

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September 6, 2011 Daily Reflections

Whose Responsibility?

“An A.A. group, as such, cannot take on all the personal problems of its members, let alone those of nonalcoholics, in the world around us. The A.A. group is not, for example, a mediator of domestic relations, nor does it furnish personal financial aid to anyone.

“Though a member may sometimes be helped in such matters by his friends in A.A., the primary responsibility for the solutions of all his problems of living and growing rests squarely upon the individual himself. Should an A.A. group attempt this sort of help, its effectiveness and energies would be hopelessly dissipated.

“This is why sobriety — freedom from alcohol — through the teaching and practice of A.A.’s Twelve Steps, is the sole purpose of the group. If we don’t stick to this cardinal principle, we shall almost certainly collapse. And if we collapse we cannot help anyone.”

LETTER, 1966

from “As Bill Sees It”

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September 5, 2011 Daily Reflections

Clearing a Channel

During the day, we can pause where situations must be met and decisions made, and renew the simple request “Thy will, not mine, be done.”

If at these points our emotional disturbance happens to be great, we will more surely keep our balance provided we remember, and repeat to ourselves, a particular prayer or phrase that has appealed to us in our reading or meditation. Just saying it over and over will often enable us to clear a channel choked up with anger, fear, frustration, or misunderstanding, and permit us to return to the surest help of all — our search for God’s will, not our own, inthe moment of stress.

TWELVE AND TWELVE, PP. 102-103

from “As Bill Sees It”

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September 4, 2011 Daily Reflections

R.S.V.P. — Yes or No?

Usually, we do not avoid a place where there is drinking — if we have a legitimate reason for being there. That includes bars, night clubs, dances, receptions, weddings, even plain ordinary parties.

You will note that we made an important qualification. Therefore, ask yourself, “Have I any good social, business, or personal reason for going to this place? Or am I expecting to steal a little vicarious pleasure from the atmosphere?” Then go or stay away, whichever seems better. But be sure you are on solid spiritual ground before you start and that your motive in going is thoroughly good. Do not think of what you will get out of the occasion. Think of what you can bring to it.

If you are shaky, you had better work with another alcoholic instead!

ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, PP. 101-102

from “As Bill Sees It”

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September 2, 2011 Daily Reflections

Only God Is Unchanging

“Change is the characteristic of all growth. From drinking to sobriety, from dishonesty to honesty, from conflict to serenity, from hate to love, from childish dependence to adult responsibility — all this and infinitely more represent change for the better.

“Such changes are accomplished by a belief in and a prectice of sound principles in favor of good ones that work. Even good principles can sometimes be displaced by the discovery of still better ones.

“Only God is unchanging; only He has all the truth there is.”
LETTER, 1966

from “As Bill Sees It”

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