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Joy happens as we cease fighting everyone and everything and surrender to the good orderly direction of life.- Nancy Folsum
Living on the edge of depression and panic, we had little experience with joy.  Our hearts were worn and battle-scarred, utterly unfamiliar with the peace that joy can bring.
Days, and sometimes years into our recovery, we one day find ourselves sitting side by side with joy.  What a new feeling.  It’s solid, it’s peaceful.  It has nothing to do with where we’re sitting or standing.  It has nothing to do with what’s going on outside us, or with who said what to whom.  It is a feeling too happy to be true, and joy is the only word that pops into our head to describe it.
Joy is the gravy of recovery, and it is beyond measure.  Now that we are living in a healthy and life-filled way, there’s always a chance that joy will find it’s way into our day.  In this knowledge we rejoice.
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The Blame Game

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Quote is from “Voices of Recovery”  February 25th:  “The Blame Game”
“We realize the futility of continuing to blame others for our compulsive behaviors and our unmanageable lives.”
-The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of O.A., p. 46  (edited and adapted for content)
Ouch! This idea hits hard.  For many years I transferred blame for my uncontrolled behavior and unmanageable life to the villain of the day.  Depending on the situation that resulted in my abuse, the villain could be my parents, sister, husband, children, employer, coworkers, friends, or enemies.  In other words, anyone or anything that stood between me and my desires, which could cause in me those excessive behaviors.  Today, I acknowledge that my compulsive behaviors are a choice not an outcome imposed on me by some external force.
I know today that my Higher Power will help me make reasonable choices about all aspects of my life, if I only ask.  Thanks to the presence of a Higher Power in my life, I am no longer at the mercy of multiple dictators.
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AA Thought For The Day

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When we came to our first A.A. meeting, we looked up at the wall at the end of the room and we saw the sign “But for the Grace of God.”  We knew right then and there that we would have to call on the Grace of God in order to get sober and get over our soul-sickness.  We heard speakers tell how they had come to depend on a Power greater than themselves.  That made sense to us and we made up our minds to try it.  Am I depending on the Grace of God to help me stay sober?
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Its True

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Knowing what I need to do and doing it are two separate things.  I came to the rooms of A.A. knowing full well that I had a problem with alcohol, and accepting A.A. as a solution to this problem, has allowed me to grow, change and become an achiever of true sobriety, one Step at a time.  It’s all in the “Big Book.”  I was told, early on, not to let doubt define my life – that through recovery all things and anything is possible.  God has always been there for me, in my darkest hours, and in my happiest times.  Today I have good, solid friends who share my recovery – women who have been there and done that, all with a strong desire to stay sober.  Honesty is the first Spiritual Principle, that tells me how important this behavior is.  I no longer have to lie, I no longer have to cheat, and I no longer have to steal – I am rid of those negative behaviors.  Today my focus is on truth, honesty, and integrity, that’s a pretty deadly combo of Spiritual Principles.  In the Program I was taught to use whatever I can, based on the Big Book “suggestions,” the principle of honesty, and a plan of daily living through the Steps and Principles.
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Working The Program

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I certainly know about the hard times, the bad times and those times of doubt, fear, and anxiety.  In recovery I am learning to accept the good times, instead of waiting for that “other shoe” to drop.  I used to expect bad stuff to happen to me – and while I know it still does – I also know that it is quite often offset by good events and happenings.  I can easily see my growth when I compare my “now” with my “then.”  Recovery is something that has to be worked for, it does not occur through some magic or mystical means.  It does require effort, work, and being willing to claim my seat at the tables, again and again.  God works in mysterious ways – heard that one quite often.  While it’s true that I may not understand God’s intentions or His purpose for me, that’s not my job, it is my job to suit up and show up to my recovery.  It is also my job to continue to put one foot in front of the other, and do the next right thing whenever I have doubts.  I am reminded to do what is mine to do and leave the rest in God’s loving, caring and hard-working hands.
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Here And Now

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The present moment is all we have.  Yes, we have plans and goals, a vision for tomorrow. But now is the only time we possess.  And it is enough. We can clear our mind of the residue of yesterday.  We can clear our mind of fears of tomorrow.  We can be present, now.  We can make ourselves available to this moment, this day. It is by being fully present now that we reach the fullness of tomorrow.
Have no fear, child, a voice whispers.  Have no regrets.  Relinquish your resentments.  Let Me take your pain.  All you have is the present moment.  Be still.  Be here.  Trust.
All you have is now.  It is enough.
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Thank You

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There is a different way to live and there is a different life available to all who have the desire to stop drinking.  It has turned my life around, and gives me hope for continued sobriety and peace.  I think it’s a good thing to have those in the medical field come to the meetings, I believe they will be in a better position to treat those who need help, when they are educated as to the benefits of being a member of A.A.  They can direct their patients to a way of living that has a proven record of helping others to abstain from alcohol.  I know that any time I attend a meeting I represent A.A., and any time I claim sobriety through A.A., I claim the Program to be the one right course of action that has brought about the changes I see in my life.  I have enough serenity today to accept life on life’s terms.  I have the courage to change what needs to be changed, and there is much requiring change.  I have the wisdom to know that the Program of Alcoholics Anonymous is the one true program that has continued to work for all who seek help.  For all that I have received I remain truly grateful, and humbled beyond measure.
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