Support with Consistency

“Today my prayers consist mostly of saying thank you to my Higher Power for my sobriety and for the wonder of God’s abundance, but I need to ask also for help and the power to carry out His will for me.” – Daily Reflections

This was my exact prayer this morning. My goal is to repeat this gratitude to God daily. My diligence in the past has been shoddy and near non-existent, but today, I am asking for support with consistency. iLmL

- RichieB

Around the Corner

“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 Reflections 7/21

Everything that has happened to me that has caused discomfort, defeat, and desperation eventually has led to a growing faith in a higher power through this program. So when I am in discomfort, angry, or worried, I can trust that freedom and victory are around the corner if I use the tools of the program and take spiritual actions on a daily basis. ILML!

-JasonW

Spread Happiness

“Happiness is contagious.” – Attitudes of Gratitude in Love

When we are around someone who is upset, it’s hard to be happy. The same applies if those around us are distraught, frustrated, in self-pity or detached. The lesson today isn’t about trying to change or get away from them, it’s about the powerful effect we can have on others. I’ve learned that how I feel (when I’m around others) can either make them feel better or worse. When I am spiritually fit, happy, joyous and free, a full on lover of life, grateful and optimistic, I spread happiness – and that’s a GREAT thing. Today I’ll take spiritual care of myself so that I can be a conduit of wonderful loving energy. ILML!

- JamesQ

Finding a Personal Higher Power

“… saying to ourselves many times each day “Thy will be done.” We are then in much less danger…” Alcoholics Anonymous p.88

I’ve read that danger is one letter away from anger. When I read this passage from the Big Book, it reminded me that it’s hard to be in anger when I’m truly connected and seeking God’s will. But for many, believing in God, let alone knowing God’s will, was impossible, as it used to be for me. What is God? What is God’s will?

I think this is where the exercise I was given for step 2 came in handy. It was suggested to me that I write down on paper what I would like my personal God to be. For some this could be easy , particularly if they already have a clear concept: a Mountain, Jesus, Buddha, etc. But for me, who really didn’t believe in God, this was a challenge. Here were (and still are) some of the things on my list:

Loving
Kind
Humorous
Caring
Gentle
Fun
Respectful
Encouraging
Forgiving
Believes in me
Full of wisdom
100% always there for me
Wants the very best for me
Helps me work on my defects
Complimentary – builds me up
Light and easy, not uptight
But of all, mostly Loving

Today, because the one word that describes my personal understanding of God more than any other is Love, it’s easy to know what God’s will for me is: to be loving. Period. If I’m loving, I’m plugged into God and the solution. And when I’m not acting in a loving manner, I’m disconnected.

Being loving applies to both others and me. At first knowing how to do this was difficult. If I’m too concerned with being loving towards myself, at their expense, I may be go overboard and be selfish. If I’m too loving towards them, at my expense, I may feel like a martyr and be resentful.

Today, because of Al-Anon, I’m beginning to understand that it’s ok to say no to someone’s request if I’m uncomfortable doing it or it’s something they are quite capable of doing for themselves. It’s also ok if they are not happy with me, because today I’m ok with or without their approval. Alternatively, I also understand that I’m more likely to be selfish when I’m not plugged in, asking to do God’s will regularly (be loving). Often this comes as a result of getting away from one or more of the basic consistent and regular actions of my program:

Prayer
Meditation
Meetings
Calling my sponsor
Reaching out to sponsees
Working on my steps
Writing daily inventory & gratitude list
Reading program/recovery literature
Taking physical exercise
Eating healthy
Getting sleep
Keeping my house, car & life organized

So to sum it up, saying “Thy will be done.” throughout the day is a reminder for myself to be loving. It helps me remember to love myself and others. It’s also what has enabled me to come to a place where I believe in my core, feel in my heart and know in my mind that I LOVE MY LIFE!

- JamesQ

What do I Expect Today?

“Identify your expectations.” – Until Today

Doing this one thing has saved me thousands of hours of misery, anger, frustration and self-pity. Before program I never even thought to do this. Because I journal almost every day I’ve honed the habit by repetition. What do I expect today?… Everyone to be nice? Money to be ok? My car to start? No tooth ache? By recognizing and writing down my expectations, one by one, I can switch them to hopes but release the outcome. I can say “ok, that would be great, but if it doesn’t happen my life will be great anyway”. In this way I’m choosing my feelings ahead of time, rather than reacting to events. This allows me to roll with the punches and stay happy no matter what happens today. When I take the time to recognize my expectations, I give myself the gift of being ok when they are not met. What expectations do you have which might upset you if not met today? When I go from awareness to acceptance, ILML!

- JamesQ

Be in the Solution

“… some of our defects… feel just a little superior… greed masquerade as ambition… gossip barbed with anger… envy… procrastination…” 12&12

I still get sucked into all these things after years in recovery. What does that mean? I’m perfectly imperfect. I make lots of mistakes. The amazing, wonderful and hopeful news is that I’m getting better every day. These days I often find myself in humility, giving to others, speaking kind words about people, being grateful for the gifts in my life, and taking care of business – being responsible. Recognizing the problem but choosing to be in the solution guides me to do the next right thing. ILML!

- JamesQ

My Mantra for the Day

“Criticizing may be a helpful first stage in learning, but it is seductive because it holds little risk and we feel safe doing it. In that comfort we forget to go forward to create what we really want. Our negative energy, when we are seduced by it, creates negative results. When we look back upon today, we will admire those choices that risked creating something positive. Today, I will not give my energy to denouncing but to creating what I believe is worthwhile.”
– Touchstones 6/30

A good reminder that my perception, positive thinking can get me everywhere. I have been struggling with negative thoughts lately and negative thoughts get me negative results. Either He is or He isn’t. I choose to believe that He is, so with that being my reality, everything happens exactly how it is supposed to in God’s world. That will be my mantra for the day. ILML!

- JasonW

Play Well with Others

“… the secret to their happiness is that they have found a way to truly appreciate the quirks in another’s personalities rather than being driven crazy by them.” Attitudes of Gratitude in Love

Are they slow or just easygoing? Reclusive or just comfortable in their own company? Loud and testy or exciting and spicy? Confrontational or passionate? My perception, judgement, and reaction is skewed by my past experiences and attitude. By lightening up and adopting a positive attitude, I can have more acceptance. Today I want to play well with others, and I’m working my program right now in order to do that. ILML!

- JamesQ

Grateful I am Me

“… my assets are the foundation upon which my new, healthier life is being built.” – Courage to Change

So often in program the focus is on eradicating unhealthy behavior or defects and learning new tools. That’s really important. But equally important is learning to really, accept, love and believe in ourselves. Looking in the mirror I don’t just say “I love you James”. Rather, I’ve learned to also list off all the things I do love about myself. In this way I remember each day to be grateful I am me, a really cool guy who is a hard worker, great dad, husband, man, friend and lover of life. It’s a beautiful day in sunny Santa Monica and ILML!

- JamesQ