3rd Step Prayer of Alcoholics Anonymous

3rd Step Prayer

God, I offer myself to Thee–to build with me and to do with me as Thou wilt. Relieve me of the bondage of self, that I may better do Thy will. Take away my difficulties, that victory over them may bear witness to those I would help of Thy Power, Thy Love, and Thy Way of Life. May I do Thy will always!
Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 63

Inner Joy (taken from Daily word)

Inner Joy
I let my light shine!

Today I choose to live joyfully. My delight in life is inwardly generated, a natural by-product of the living, loving presence of God in me.

As I move through my day, I find ways to express my heart’s contentment. My attitude is positive, upbeat, and enthusiastic. I look for ways to be helpful and encouraging. I am happy, and it shows!

When I have an affirmative attitude, I am keen to notice and appreciate joy in other people. When I let my light shine, I notice the light of others shining back at me. Together we create a joyful space.

As we share optimism, love, and happiness, the circumference of joy expands, and the world is blessed.

Keep it Simple (Recovery Reading for 20 September)

Keep It Simple

The best way to cheer yourself up is to try to cheer somebody else up.
—Mark Twain
Sometimes it does no good to try to “deal” with your feelings. For the
moment, we’re stuck. We can only see things one way. No matter
what anyone says, we’re closed up. For the moment. But this puts our
sobriety at risk.
How do we stop self-pity? Focus on someone else. When we really want
to help someone else be happy, we’ll ask our Higher Power’s help.
Then things start to change, because our good deeds come back to us.
Remember, service will always keep us sober.
Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, sometimes I get stuck in my old ways.
Help me change my focus at those times. Help me stay sober.
Action for the Day: I will think of a time when I was stuck in bad feelings.
How did I get out of that spot.

As Bill Sees It 20 September (Daily recovery reading)

Higher Power AS GUIDE

See to it that your relationship with your Higher Power is right, and great events will come to pass for you and countless others. This is the Great Fact for us.

ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 164

Having a right relationship with God seemed to be an impossible order. My chaotic past had left me filled with guilt and remorse and I wondered how this “God business” could work. A.A. told me that I must turn my will and my life over to the care of God, as I understand God. With nowhere else to turn, I went down on my knees and cried, “God, I can’t do this. Please help me!” It was when I admitted my powerlessness that a glimmer of light began to touch my soul, and then a willingness emerged to let God control my life. With Him as my guide, great events began to happen, and I found the beginning of sobriety.

From the book Daily Reflections
© Copyright 1990 by Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc.

How to be humble

How to be humble

“It’s hard to be humble,” says an old country song, “when you’re perfect in every way.” Very few people, of course, actually think they’re perfect in every way, but it can still be pretty hard to be humble, especially when you live in a society that encourages competition and individuality. Even in such a culture, however, humility is an important virtue. Learning to be humble is of paramount importance in most religions and spiritual traditions, and humility can also help you develop as a person and enjoy richer relationships with others.

Steps

Appreciate your talents. Being humble doesn’t mean you can’t feel good about yourself. Self-esteem is not the same as pride. Both come from a recognition of your own talents and qualities, but pride–the kind of pride that leans toward arrogance–is rooted in insecurity about them. Think about the abilities you have and be thankful for them.
Understand your limitations. No matter how talented you are, there is almost always somebody who can do something better than you can. Even if you are the best in the world at doing one thing, there are other things–important, worthwhile things–that you cannot do, and you may never be able to do some of these things. Add to this the fact that there are a great many things that no person can do, and you can get some idea of your limitations. Recognizing your limitations does not mean abandoning your dreams, and it doesn’t mean giving up on learning new things or improving your existing abilities. It does mean coming to terms with the very real limits of your abilities.
Recognize your own faults. We judge others because it’s a lot easier than looking at our own faults. Unfortunately, it’s also completely unproductive and, in many cases, harmful. Judging others causes strife in relationships, and it prevents new relationships from forming. Perhaps even worse, it prevents us from trying to improve ourselves. We make judgments about others all the time, and we often don’t even realize it. As a practical exercise, try to catch yourself in the act of judging another person or group of people, and whenever you do, judge yourself instead and consider how you could improve yourself.
Stop comparing. Why? Because, it’s just about impossible to be humble when we’re striving to be the “best” or trying to be “better” than others. Instead, try describing things more objectively. Rather than saying that so and so is the best guitarist ever, say what exactly it is that you appreciate about his skills, or simply say that you like his playing style. Let go of meaningless, simplistic comparisons, and you’ll be able to enjoy doing things without worrying about whether you’re better or worse at them than others.
Appreciate the talents and qualities of others. Challenge yourself to look at others and appreciate the things they can do and, more generally, to appreciate people for who they are. Understand that everybody is different and relish the chance you have to experience different people. You will still have your personal tastes, your likes and dislikes, but train yourself to separate your opinions from your fears and you will appreciate others more–you will be humbler.
Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Never be afraid to admit that you made a mistake. Part of being humble is understanding that you will make mistakes. Understand this, and understand that everyone else makes mistakes, and you will have a heavy burden lifted off of you. Why do we make mistakes? Because we don’t know everything. Any one person can know only the smallest bits and pieces of the tremendous knowledge that has accumulated over the past. What’s more, we experience only a sliver of the present, and we know nothing of the future.
Don’t be afraid to defer to others’ judgment. It’s easy to acknowledge that you make mistakes and that you’re not always right. Somewhat more difficult however, is the ability to acknowledge that in many cases other people–even people who disagree with you–may be right. Deferring to your spouse’s wishes, to a law you don’t agree with, or even, sometimes, to your child’s opinion takes your recognition of your limitations to a different level. Instead of simply saying that you know that you’re fallible, you take action based on that fact. Of course, if you know that a particular course of action is wrong, you shouldn’t follow it. On closer inspection, though, you may realize that you don’t actually know this as often as you think you do.
Rejuvenate your sense of wonder. Because we, as individuals, know practically nothing, you’d expect that we’d be awestruck more often than we typically are. Children have this sense of wonder, and it inspires the curiosity that makes them such keen observers and capable learners. Do you really know how your microwave works? Could you build one on your own? What about your car? Your brain? A rose? The jaded, “I’ve seen it all” attitude makes us feel far more important than we are. Be amazed like a child and you will not only be humbled; you will also be readier to learn.
Seek guidance. Contemplate moral texts and proverbs about humility. Pray for it, meditate on it, do whatever it takes to get your attention off yourself. If you’re not into spirituality, consider the scientific method or vipassana. Science requires humility. It requires that you let go of your preconceived notions and judgments and understand that you don’t know as much as you think you do.
Think about yourself under different circumstances. Much of what we give ourselves credit for should actually be credited to luck. Suppose you graduate from an Ivy League university at the top of your class. You definitely deserve a lot of credit for the many hours of studying and for your perseverance. Consider though, that there may be somebody just as intelligent and hardworking as you who simply had different parents, grew up in a different place, or simply had the bad luck to make one wrong choice in life. That person – you, really – might be in jail now, or they might have been killed in a war or starved to death. Always remember that with a little bad luck yesterday, your whole life could be different today and, furthermore, that today could be the day your luck changes.
Help others. A big part of being humble is respecting others, and part of respecting others is helping them. Treat other people as equals and help them because it is the right thing to do. It’s been said that when you can help others who cannot possibly help you in return, you have learned humility.

Tips

Keep in mind that being humble has many benefits. Humility can help you be more content with your life, and it can also help you endure bad times and improve your relationships with others. It’s also essential to being an effective learner. If you think you know it all, you won’t be open-minded enough to seek out new knowledge. Humility is also, somewhat counter-intuitively, an excellent tool for self-development in general. After all, if you feel superior, you have no incentive to improve. Most of all, being humble allows you to be honest with yourself.

Warnings

Pretending to be humble isn’t the same as being humble, and often people who pretend to be humble do it in order to seek out praise. Other people will recognize this, and even if you fool some, you won’t derive the same benefits as you would through actually developing humility.

Similarly, don’t confuse being humble with being sycophantic (being overly-praiseful of someone for your own profit). This is a common misconception, but the two attitudes are completely different.

Daily Recovery Reading on Responsibility

I am responsible for my own recovery

Although you may have been guided to a program, a counselor, or group therapy, your follow-through with any of these recovery processes has been entirely up to you. Only you can make the commitment to yourself that you want to process your childhood pain in order to live a healthier and happier life today.

This doesn’t mean that you have to do it all alone. Going to support groups and finding friends that you can talk to while you are going through the healing process is a responsible and sensible way to make the process safer and more comfortable. Getting the right kind of support demonstrates intelligence and independence because it gives a broader base to your recovery.

Even with this support in place, it is still up to you to reach out to others, to keep in contact with your new friends and call them when you need to talk during a rough period. Your willingness is completely your responsibility. You can remind yourself with this affirmation that the buck does indeed stop here, that your recovery is your responsibility.

Taken from
Affirmations for
Adult children
of abusive parents

Steven Farmer with Juliette Anthony

isbn 0-345-37429-0

Develop the right attitude

Develop the Right Attitude

Here are 10 suggestions to help you develop and maintain a healthy self-image.
1. Hate your sin, but never hate yourself.
2. Be quick to repent.
3. When God gives you light, walk in it.
4. Stop saying negative things about yourself. God loves you and it’s wrong to hate what He loves. He has great plans for you, so you’re in conflict with Him when you speak negatively concerning your future.
5. Never be afraid to admit that you’ve made a mistake and don’t always assume that when things go wrong, or always say, “It must be my fault.”
6. Don’t meditate excessively on what you’ve done, right or wrong; both of these activities keep your mind on you! Center your thoughts on Your Higher Power.
7. Take good care of yourself physically. Make the best of what God gave you to work with, but don’t be obsessed with your appearance.
8. Never stop learning, but don’t allow your education to become a point of pride. God doesn’t use you because of what’s in your head: He uses you because of what’s in your heart.
9. Realize that your talents are a gift, not something you have manufactured yourself; never look down on people who can’t do what you do.
10. Don’t despise your weaknesses; they keep you dependent on God.
– – –

Learn From Animals (Recovery Reading)

All animals except man know that the ultimate of life is to enjoy it.
-Samuel Butler

If we take time to watch animals, we see that they have a zest for life that seems to engage them totally in whatever they are doing. A cat chasing its tail, a dog going after a ball, a horse running along the shore, a dolphin leaping and diving – all are actions that reveal energy and delight in simply being alive.
Life, we say, is to be enjoyed, but how many of us manage to put this theory into practice? We often associate pleasure with guilt or with acting out or with hurting or being hurt, and so we stand back from the full enjoyment of our power to be really alive.
Letting go of our shame and feelings of unworthiness will help us to let go and live. If we can tap into the spontaneity that runs through the animal kingdom, we will rediscover the sheer joy of being alive.

I’ll try to take time to watch animals at play and learn from their vitality and enjoyment.

31 May
Reading from Answers of the Heart
Meditation/self help
saa
isbn 978-0-89486-568-8

Acceptance Recovery Reading “Damn it! ” – Iyanla Vanzant

Damn it!
In the midst of a valley experience, the temptation is to look at all the things you can’t do and the list of reasons why.
The human ego always encourages us to hold on to our limitations. It always seems easier to look at what is wrong rather than stretch to what could possibly be just fine. If we would see things as perfectly fine, just the way they are, no matter what they are, we might realize we are fine too. For some of us, this is a far stretch. But that’s fine, and so are you.
If you are alive, that’s fine. If you have a vision for tomorrow, that’s fine. People may be pressuring you or upset with you. That’s fine. You may be upset, afraid, angry, and anxious, that’s just fine. You will get over it. If you can remember a time, any time when you were in a fix, a jam, a place in your life you did not want to be, that is fine. Now, can you remember that you are not where you were anymore? Or realize you made it through… somehow? Haven’t you always gotten what you needed? And when you didn’t, you made it through anyway. Perhaps things did not work out the way you wanted, but they are turning out. Most important of all, they are turning out to be just fine.

No matter what, it’s fine.

Pg 40
Faith in the Valley
Iyanla Vanzant

Discernment – Reading Rokelle Lerner

Today I discern between fantasy and reality.

As a child, I tried to understand the difference between fantasy and reality. Unfortunately, my parents were addicted and could not help me.
I can still feel the terror that stemmed from my belief that I was the cause of awful events!
Was I really bad enough to cause Mom’s drinking? Did I cause my dad to get sick?
Deep within I have a three-year-old who questions cause and effect. As I let this child surface, I can visualize that little face with eyes filled with shame and confusion.

Today I will use my adult self to alleviate the anxiety that has plagued me and clear up my three-year-old’s misconceptions. I will remind myself that children are at the mercy of the adults around them. A sense of well-being pervades my consciousness today as I replae magical thinking with a healthy reality.

Page 315
Affirmations for the Inner Child
Rokelle Lerner
ISBN 1-55874-054-6