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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 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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September 1, 2011 Daily Reflections

Breach the Walls of Ego

People who are driven by pride of self unconsciously blind themselves to their liabilities. Newcomers of this sort scarcely need comforting. The problem is to help them discover a chink in the walls their ego has built, through which the light of reason can shine.

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The attainment of greater humility is the foundation principle of each of A.A.’s Twelve Steps. For without some degree of humility, no alcoholic can stay sober at all.

Nearly all A.A.’s have found, too, that unless they develop much more of this precious quality than may be required just for sobriety, they still haven’t much chance of becoming truly happy. Without it, they cannot live to much useful purpose, or, in adversity, be able to summon the faith that can meet any emergency.

TWELVE AND TWELVE 1. P. 46 2. P. 70

from “As Bill Sees It”

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August 30, 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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August 29, 2011 Daily Reflections

Dependence — Unhealthy or Healthy

“Nothing can be more demoralizing than a clinging and abject dependence upon another human being. This often amounts to the demand for a degree of protection and love that no one could possibly satisfy. So our hoped-for protectors finally flee, and once more we are left alone — either to grow up or to disintegrate.”

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We discovered the best 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 to rely wholly on human protection and care.

1. LETTER, 1966 2. TWELVE AND TWELVE, P. 116

from “As Bill Sees It”

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August 28, 2011 Daily Reflections

“How Can You Roll with a Punch?”

On the day that the calamity of Pearl Harbor fell upon our country, a great friend of A.A. was walking alone a St. Louis street. Father Edward Dowling was not an alcoholic, but he had been one of the founders of the struggling A.A. group in his city. Because many of his usually sober friends had already taken to their bottles that they might blot out the implications of the Pearl Harbor disaster, Father Ed was anguished by the thought that his cherished A.A. group would probably do the same.

Then a member, sober less than a year, stepped alongside and engaged Father Ed in a spirited conversation — mostly about A.A. Father Ed saw, with relief, that his companion was perfectly sober.

“How is it that you have nothing to say about Pearl Harbor? How can you roll with a punch like that?”

“Well,” replied the yearling, “each of us in A.A. has already had his own private Pearl Harbor. So why should we drunks crack up over this one?”

GRAPEVINE, JANUARY 1962

from “As Bill Sees It”

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