Daily Reflection 09/08/2016

8
September
“WE ASKED HIS PROTECTION”
We asked His protection and care with complete abandon.
— ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 59

I could not manage my life alone. I had tried that road and failed. My “ultimate sin” dragged me down to the lowest level I have ever reached and, unable even to function, I accepted the fact that I desperately needed help. I stopped fighting and surrendered entirely to God.

Only then did I start growing! God forgave me. A Higher Power had to have saved me, because the doctors doubted that I would survive. I have forgiven myself now and I enjoy a freedom I have never before experienced. I’ve opened my heart and mind to Him. The more I learn, the less I know — a humbling fact — but I sincerely want to keep growing. I enjoy serenity, but only when I entrust my life totally to God. As long as I am honest with myself and ask for His help, I can maintain this rewarding existence.

Just for today, I strive to live His will for me — soberly.

I thank God that today I can choose not to drink.

Today, life is beautiful!

Daily Reflection 09/07/2016

7
September
“OUR SIDE OF THE STREET”
We are there to sweep off our side of the street, realizing that nothing worth while can be accomplished until we do so, never trying to tell him what he should do. His faults are not discussed. We stick to our own.
— ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, pp. 77-78
I made amends to my dad soon after I quit drinking. My words fell on deaf ears since I had blamed him for my troubles. Several months later I made amends to my dad again. This time I wrote a letter in which I did not blame him nor mention his faults. It worked, and at last I understood! My side of the street is all that I’m responsible for and — thanks to God and A.A. — it’s clean for today.

Daily Reflection 08/25/2016

25

August

THE GIFT OF BONDING
Relieve me of the bondage of self, that I may better do Thy will.
— ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 63
Many times in my alcoholic state, I drank to establish a bond between myself and others, but I succeeded only in establishing the bondage of alcoholic loneliness. Through the A.A. way of life, I have received the gift of bonding—with those who were there before me, with those who are there now, and with those yet to come. For this gracious gift from God, I am forever grateful.

08/17/2016 Reflection

17
August
RIGHTING THE HARM
In many instances we shall find that though the harm done others has not been great, the emotional harm we have done ourselves has.
— TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 79
Have you ever thought that the harm you did a business associate, or perhaps a family member, was so slight that it really didn’t deserve an apology because they probably wouldn’t remember it anyway? If that person, and the wrong done to him, keeps coming to mind, time and again, causing an uneasy or perhaps guilty feeling, then I put that person’s name at the top of my “amends list,” and become willing to make a sincere apology, knowing I will feel calm and relaxed about that person once this very important part of my recovery is accomplished.

Daily Reflection 08/09/16

9
August
“. . . OF ALL PERSONS WE HAD HARMED”
. . . and became willing to make amends to them all.
— TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 77

One of the key words in the Eighth Step is the word all. I am not free to select a few names for the list and to disregard others. It is a list of all persons I have harmed. I can see immediately that this Step entails forgiveness because if I’m not willing to forgive someone, there is little chance I will place his name on the list. Before I placed the first name on my list, I said a little prayer: “I forgive anyone and everyone who has ever harmed me at any time and under any circumstances.”

It is well for me to contemplate a small, but very significant, two-letter word every time the Lord’s Prayer is said. The word is as. I ask, “Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.” In this case, as means, “in the same manner.” I am asking to be forgiven in the same manner that I forgive others. As I say this portion of the prayer, if I am harboring hatred or resentment,I am inviting more resentment, when I should be calling on the spirit of forgiveness.

AA Daily Reflection- August 3rd

3
August
. . . TO BE OF SERVICE

Our real purpose is to fit ourselves to be of maximum service to God and the people about us.

— ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 77

It is clear that God’s plan for me is expressed through love. God loved me enough to take me from alleys and jails so that I could be made a useful participant in His world. My response is to love all of His children through service and by example. I ask God to help me imitate His love for me through my love for others.

Daily Reflection 08/02/2016

2
August
WE BECOME WILLING . . .

At the moment we are trying to put our lives in order. But this is not an end in itself.

— ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 77

How easily I can become misdirected in approaching the Eighth Step! I wish to be free, somehow transformed by my Sixth and Seventh Step work. Now, more than ever, I am vulnerable to my own self-interest and hidden agenda. I am careful to remember that self-satisfaction, which sometimes comes through the spoken forgiveness of those I have harmed, is not my true objective. I become willing to make amends, knowing that through this process I am mended and made fit to move forward, to know and desire God’s will for me.

Daily Reflection 07/29/2016

29
July
ANONYMOUS GIFTS OF KINDNESS
As active alcoholics we were always looking for a handout in one way or another.
— “THE TWELVE TRADITIONS ILLUSTRATED,” p. 14

The challenge of the Seventh Tradition is a personal challenge, reminding me to share and give of myself. Before sobriety the only thing I ever supported was my habit of drinking. Now my efforts are a smile, a kind word, and kindness.

I saw that I had to start carrying my own weight and to allow my new friends to walk with me because, through the practice of the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, I’ve never had it so good.

Daily Reflection July 25th, 2016

25
July
THOSE WHO STILL SUFFER
For us, if we neglect those who are still sick, there is unremitting danger to our own lives and sanity.
— TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 151
I know the torment of drinking compulsively to quiet my nerves and my fears. I also know the pain of white-knuckled sobriety. Today, I do not forget the unknown person who suffers quietly, withdrawn and hiding in the desperate relief of drinking. I ask my Higher Power to give me His guidance and the courage to be willing to be His instrument to carry within me compassion and unselfish actions. Let the group continue to give me the strength to do with others what I cannot do alone.

Daily Reflection- July 21st

21
July
A PRICELESS GIFT
By this time in all probability we have gained some measure of release from our more devastating handicaps. We enjoy moments in which there is something like real peace of mind. To those of us who have hitherto known only excitement, depression, or anxiety – in other words, to all of us – this newfound peace is a priceless gift.
— TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 74
I am learning to let go and let God, to have a mind that is open and a heart that is willing to receive God’s grace in all my affairs; in this way I can experience the peace and freedom that come as a result of surrender. It has been proven that an act of surrender, originating in desperation and defeat, can grow into an ongoing act of faith, and that faith means freedom and victory.

Daily Reflection July 20th

20
July
SHORTCOMINGS REMOVED
But now the words “Of myself I am nothing, the Father doeth the works” began to carry bright promise and meaning.
— TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 75
When I put the Seventh Step into action I must remember that there are no blanks to fill in. It doesn’t say, “Humbly asked Him to (fill in the blank) remove our shortcomings.” For years, I filled in the imaginary blank with “Help me!” “Give me the courage to,” and “Give me the strength,” etc. The Step says simply that God will remove my shortcomings. The only footwork I must do is “humbly ask,” which for me means asking with the knowledge that of myself I am nothing, the Father within “doeth the works.”

July 15th Daily Reflection

15

July
PRIDE

For thousands of years we have been demanding more than our share of security, prestige, and romance. When we seemed to be succeeding, we drank to dream still greater dreams. When we were frustrated, even in part, we drank for oblivion. Never was there enough of what we thought we wanted.

In all these strivings, so many of them well-intentioned, our crippling handicap had been our lack of humility. We had lacked the perspective to see that character-building and spiritual values had to come first, and that material satisfactions were not the purpose of living.

— TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 71
Pride is a big one for me. Pride can be the absolute foundation or the absolute crumbling of a recovery process.
I will tell a brief story of myself. As I was out drugging and drinking for longer than 8 years of my pre-adult into early adult life and living with each lie and rationalization, I lost touch with many of my closest friends and family members. That is not an unusual tale for the addict. Addiction steps over all things including friends and family.
Then came my recovery. The year was 2010 and I was, once again, in legal trouble. After going through a work-release facility for a misdemeanor drug charge(and subsequent probation violation) I had been released in January of that year. By March I was back on probation in another county for another misdemeanor drug offense. As I was driving intoxicated yet again I called the drug testing hotline as myself and 3 “friends”(or so I thought) were all in the car together and I heard those words that every addict on probation dreads:
“You are scheduled to report for testing tomorrow”.
I had just turned 25. I had just gotten out of jail not 6 months earlier and I was about to be wasting away once again. All of a sudden I was stone-cold sober. I prayed for guidance and for help. “The addicts last prayer” some call it: “Lord, I promise get me through this and I will…..”. Of course, that prayer is said so many times without the follow through on the addicts part.
However, this time was different. I went down to the drug lab, failed my test, however, when I got back I removed myself from those situations and began my recovery.
The Lord blessed me with an opportunity as the courts granted me home detention. Instead of once again violating the rules or looking for ways to circumvent them, I played by the rules. I also began living a healthy lifestyle(remember, recovery is a LIFESTYLE and BEHAVIORAL change- you cannot simply just put down the drug and do everything else the same). By the end of the 3 months on home detention I had lost 70 lbs(healthy), had a healthy diet and routine, and was active in my recovery groups.
Slowly, I got better and more gainful employment and the relationships I had lost all of a sudden were renewed. Family members calling me and I felt confident and healthy enough to not ignore the call. Friends I thought I would never again be able to to be close to were once again prevalent in my life and would later be the best men at my wedding.
Then, in 2013, at the pinnacle of what I viewed as my successes after receiving a promotion and proving to be more reliable than so many friends and family that had at one point seemingly written me off, I got prideful and lost humility.
I challenged God. I asked him: WHY? Why do I have to give this credit to you?!?!?!?! So many people who threw me to the curb and wrote me off now see me as this reliable and consistent person who is capable of not just a healthy lifestyle, but as someone who is intelligent and thriving in their life and stated goals. I HAVE TO GIVE THIS CREDIT TO YOU?!??!?!
I grew angry. All of a sudden I had this chip on my shoulder to everyone, including God. I wanted to not just be shown as the man who was capable of this successful lifestyle and recovery, but as a man who was BETTER than those who had once written me off. That pride and grandious mentality slithered in like a weed through cracked concrete and, with it, put a chink my recovery armor. Slowly, that pride allowed me to put my relationships at risk, led me away from meetings under rationalizations of “I don’t have the time”, put a wedge between me and my fiance. Finally, it came to a head with a predictable outcome in 2015 when I ultimately, 5 years after being clean, would have  a relapse with alcohol. There I was, that man who had “overcome” so much in my mind, humbled back in an intake center as I had been pulled over for drinking and driving. Thank the Lord no one was hurt. I had been humbled.
I tell you this story because PRIDE can be your greatest ally or your fiercest opposition in your recovery. However, YOU have to make the choice on how pride will impact you. Will you take PRIDE in your recovery? Will you use that pride in your recovery to show your humility and help others? Will you allow that pride to become a chip on your shoulder and weigh you down? That choice, just like your recovery, is up to you.
 However, after getting back into my recovery in full force I now live with this bible verse every day and ask that anyone in an active recovery keep this bible verse close to you; regardless of your belief.
Matthew 23:12- For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.
Thank the Lord, however you see Him, for another day of sobriety and live today for today.
If you need us we are here.
Address: 441 S Ritter Ave, Indianapolis, IN 46219

July 6th Daily Reflection

6
July
IDENTIFYING FEAR . . .

The chief activator of our defects has been self-centered fear. . . .

— TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 76

When I feel uncomfortable, irritated, or depressed, I look for fear. This “evil and corroding thread” is the root of my distress: Fear of failure; fear of others’ opinions; fear of harm, and many other fears. I have found a Higher Power who does not want me to live in fear and, as a result, the experience of A.A. in my life is freedom and joy. I am no longer willing to live with the multitude of character defects that characterized my life while I was drinking. Step Seven is my vehicle to freedom from these defects. I pray for help in identifying the fear underneath the defect, and then I ask God to relieve me of that fear. This method works for me without fail and is one of the great miracles of my life in Alcoholics Anonymous.

Daily Reflection 06/29/2016

29
June
A RIPPLING EFFECT
Having learned to live so happily, we’d show everyone else how. . . . Yes, we of A.A. did dream those dreams. How natural that was, since most alcoholics are bankrupt idealists. . . . So why shouldn’t we share our way of life with everyone?
— TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 156
The great discovery of sobriety led me to feel the need to spread the “good news” to the world around me. The grandiose thoughts of my drinking days returned. Later, I learned that concentrating on my own recovery was a full-time process. As I became a sober citizen in this world, I observed a rippling effect which, without any conscious effort on my part, reached any “related facility or outside enterprise,” without diverting me from my primary purpose of staying sober and helping other alcoholics to achieve sobriety.

Daily Reflection 06/28/2016

28
June
THE DETERMINATION OF OUR FOUNDERS
A year and six months later these three had succeeded with seven more.
— ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 159

If it had not been for the fierce determination of our founders, A.A. would have quickly faded like so many other so-called good causes. I look at the hundreds of meetings weekly in the city where I live and I know A.A. is available twenty-four hours a day. If I had had to hang on with nothing but hope and a desire not to drink, experiencing rejection wherever I went, I would have sought the easier, softer way and returned to my previous way of life.