• kenl posted an update in the group Group logo of CommunityCommunity 3 weeks, 2 days ago

    NOVEMBER 1 Reflection for the Day
    Those whom I most respect in the Gamblers Anonymous Program – and, in turn, those from whom I’ve learned the most – seem convinced that pride is, as one person put it, the “root-sin.” In moral theology, pride is the first of the seven deadly sins. It is also considered the most serious, standing apart from the rest by virtue of its unique quality. Pride gets right into our spiritual victories. It insinuates itself into all our successes and accomplishments, even when we attribute them to God.

    Do I struggle against pride by working the Tenth Step regularly, facing myself freshly and making things right where they’ve gone wrong?

    Today I Pray
    May I be on guard constantly against the sneakiness of pride, which can creep into every achievement, every triumph, every reciprocated affection. May I know that whenever things are going well for me, my pride will be on the spot ready to take credit. May I watch for it.

    Today I Will Remember
    Put pride in its place.

    NOVEMBER 2 Reflection for the Day
    The more self-searching we do, the more we realize how often we react negatively because our “pride has been hurt.” Pride is at the root of most of my personal problems. When my pride is “hurt,” for example, I almost invariably experience resentment and anger – sometimes to the point where I’m unable to talk or think rationally. When I’m in that sort of emotional swamp, I must remind myself that my pride – and nothing but my pride – has been injured. I have to pause and try to cool off until such time as I can evaluate the problem realistically.

    When my pride is injured or threatened, will I pray for humility so that I can rise above myself?

    Today I Pray
    May I know that if my pride is hurt, the rest of me may not be injured at all. May I know that my pride can take a battering and still come back for more, stronger than ever. May I know that every time my pride takes a blow, it is liable to get more defensive, nastier, more unreasonable, more feisty. May I learn to keep my upstart pride in another place, where it will not be so easily hurt – or so willing to take credit.

    Today I Will Remember
    Humility is the only authority over pride.

    NOVEMBER 3 Reflection for the Day
    The Gamblers Anonymous Red Book says: “The word spiritual can be said to describe those characteristics of the human mind that represent the highest and finest qualities, such as kindness, generosity, honesty, and humility. Inasmuch as the Gamblers Anonymous Fellowship advocates consideration of these principles as a way of life, it is said that ours is a spiritual fellowship.” I have begun to understand that my spirituality has to do with my wholeness – the healthy congruency of truths, as I now perceive them, and my inner self.

    Do I continue to strive for qualities that will bring me the greatest long-term happiness?

    Today I Pray
    May I work toward taking into myself those “highest and finest qualities” that define my spiritual being. May I know the joys that come through living the GA way, until all life becomes a celebration shared especially with others who, like me, are trying to live up to these God-inspired principles.

    Today I Will Remember
    From spiritual holes to spiritually whole.

    NOVEMBER 4 Reflection of the Day
    In the words of Teilhard de Chardin, “We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.” Even though we acknowledge in theory that we are spiritual beings, most compulsive gamblers had to experience some sort of spiritual awakening before we were willing to turn our lives over to a Higher Power. It was then that we could finally say we were spiritual beings. For some of us, it was as though we had experienced spirituality for the first time in our lives. But, no matter what our spiritual base had been previously, once we discovered this new sense of spirituality, it became an experience and a feeling we would not soon be willing to leave behind.

    Am I grateful for the “awakening” that has put me in touch with my Higher Power – and with my own spiritual essence?

    Today I Pray
    May I not forget how my outlook towards life, myself, friends, loved ones, and God had deteriorated prior to coming to Gamblers Anonymous. May I do whatever it takes to keep my spiritual life from hitting bottom again. May I keep growing spiritually – a day at a time.

    Today I Will Remember
    Let my spirituality guide my humility.

    NOVEMBER 5 Reflection for the Day
    For many months after I came to Gamblers Anonymous, I paid little attention to the Eleventh Step, to the practice of serious meditation and prayer. I felt that it might help me meet an emergency – such as a sudden craving to return to gambling – but it remained among the lowest levels on my list of priorities. In those early days, I equated prayer and meditation with mystery and even hypocrisy. I’ve since found that the results of prayer and meditation are more rewarding than I could have ever imagined. For me today, the harvest is increasingly bountiful, and I continue to gain peace of mind and strength far beyond my human limitations.

    Is my former pain being replaced by tranquility?

    Today I Pray
    May I find my own best way to God, my own best technique of meditation – whether I use an oriental mantra or the name of Jesus Christ, or just allow the spirit of God, as I understand Him, to settle into me and give me peace. By whatever means I reach my God, may I learn to know Him well and feel His presence – not only in these quiet times, but in everything I do.

    Today I Will Remember
    Meditation is opening myself to the spirit of God.

    NOVEMBER 6 Reflection for the Day
    There are no boundaries to meditation. It has neither width, depth, nor height, which means that it can always be further developed without limitation of any sort. Meditation is an individual matter; few of us meditate in the same way, and in that sense, it is truly a personal adventure. For all of us who practice meditation seriously, however, the purpose is the same: to improve our conscious contact with God. Despite its lack of specific dimensions and despite its intangibility, meditation is, in reality, the most intensely practical thing that we can do. One of its first rewards, for example, is emotional balance. What could be more practical than that?

    Am I broadening and deepening the channel between me and God?

    Today I Pray
    As I seek God through daily prayer and meditation, may I find the peace that passes understanding, that balance that gives perspective to the whole of life. May I center myself in God.

    Today I Will Remember
    My balance comes from God.

    NOVEMBER 7 Reflection for the Day
    There are those in the Gamblers Anonymous Program who, at the beginning, shun meditation and prayer as they would avoid a pit filled with rattlesnakes. When they do finally take the first tentative and experimental step, however, and unexpected things begin to take place, they begin to feel different. Invariably, such tentative beginnings lead to true belief, to the extent that those who once belittled prayer and meditation often become walking advertisements for its rewards. We hear in the GA Program that “almost the only scoffers at prayer are those who never really tried it.”

    Is there an obstinate part of me that still scoffs?

    Today I Pray
    May I learn, however irreverent I have been, that prayer is not to be mocked; I see the power of prayer effecting miracles around me, and I wonder. If I have refused to pray, may I look to see if pride is in my way – that old pride that insists on doing things on its own. Now that I have found a place for prayer in my life, may I reserve that place – religiously.

    Today I Will Remember
    Whoever learns to pray keeps on praying.

    NOVEMBER 8 Reflection for the Day
    My conscious contact with God depends entirely on me and on my desire for it. God’s power is available for me to use at all times; whether I decide to use it or not is my choice. It has been said that “God is present in all His creatures, but all are not equally aware of His presence.” I’ll try to remind myself every day of how much depends on my awareness of God’s influence in my life. And I’ll try to accept His help in everything I do.

    Will I remember that God knows how to help me, that He can help me, and that He wants to help me?

    Today I Pray
    May I be aware always that God’s power and peace are a bottomless well within me. I can draw bucket after bucket from it to refresh and purify my life. All I need to supply are the buckets and the rope. The water is mine – free, fresh, healing, and unpolluted.

    Today I Will Remember
    The well is God’s; I bring the buckets.

    NOVEMBER 9 Reflection for the Day
    As time passes, daily communion with God is becoming as essential to me as breathing in and out. I don’t need a special place to pray, because God always hears my call. I don’t need special words with which to pray, because God already knows my thoughts and my needs. I have only to turn my attention to God, aware that His attention is always turned to me.

    Do I know that only good can come to me if I trust God completely?

    Today I Pray
    May my communion with God become a regular part of my life, as natural as a heartbeat. May I find, as I grow accustomed to the attitude of prayer, that it becomes less important to find a corner of a room, a bedside, a church pew, or even a special time of day, for prayer. May my thoughts turn to God automatically and often, whenever there is a lull in my day or a need for direction.

    Today I Will Remember
    Let prayer become a habit.

    NOVEMBER 10 Reflection for the Day
    When I first came to Gamblers Anonymous, I thought humility was just another word for weakness. But gradually I learned that there’s nothing incompatible between humility and intellect, just as long as I place humility first. As soon as I began to do that, I was told, I would receive the gift of faith – a faith that would work for me as it has worked and continues to work for countless others who have been freed of their gambling addiction and have found a new way of life in the GA program.

    Have I come to believe, in the words of Heine, that “the actions of men are like the index of a book; they point out what is most remarkable in them”?

    Today I Pray
    May I never let my intelligence be an excuse for lack of humility. It is so easy, if I consider myself reasonably bright and capable of making decisions and handling my own affairs, to look down upon humility as a property of those less intelligent. May I remember that intelligence and humility are both God-given.

    Today I Will Remember
    If I have no humility, I have no intelligence.

    NOVEMBER 11 Reflection for the Day
    What, exactly, is humility? Does it mean that we are to be submissive, accepting everything that comes our way, no matter how humiliating? Does it mean surrender to ugliness and a destructive way of life? On the contrary. The basic ingredient of all humility is simply a desire to seek and do God’s will.

    Am I coming to understand that an attitude of true humility confers dignity and grace on me, strengthening me to take intelligent spiritual action in solving my problems?

    Today I Pray
    May I discover that humility is not bowing and scraping, kowtowing, or letting people walk all over me – all of which have built-in expectations of some sort of personal reward, like approval or sympathy. Real humility is awareness of the vast love and unending might of God. It is the perspective that tells me how I, as a human being, relate to that Divine Power.

    Today I Will Remember
    Humility is awareness of God.

    NOVEMBER 12 Reflection for the Day
    There are few “absolutes” in the Gamblers Anonymous Twelve Steps of Recovery. We’re free to start at any point we can, or will. God, as we understand Him, may be defined as simply a “Power greater”; for many of us in the Program, the group itself was the first “Power greater.” And this acknowledgment is relatively easy to make if a newcomer knows that most of the members are free of compulsive gambling and he or she isn’t. This admission is the beginning of humility. Perhaps for the first time, the newcomer is at least willing to disclaim that he himself – or she herself – is God.

    Is my behavior more convincing to newcomers than my words?

    Today I Pray
    May I define and discover my own Higher Power. As that definition becomes clearer and closer to me, may I remember not to insist that my interpretation is right. For each must find his or her own Higher Power. If a newcomer is feeling godless and alone, the power of the group may be enough for now. May I never discredit the power of the group.

    Today I Will Remember
    Group power can be a Higher Power.

    NOVEMBER 13 Reflection for the Day

    All progress can be boiled down and measured by just two words: humility and responsibility. It’s said that our entire spiritual development can be precisely measured by our degree of adherence to those standards. Only by abandoning my self-centeredness and maintaining contact with a Higher Power can I achieve true humility. Only by regaining contact with reality can I develop responsibility.

    Am I trying my honest best to live by standards of humility and responsibility?

    Today I Pray
    I pray that of all the good words and catch phrases and wisps of inspiration that come to me, I will remember these two above all: humility and responsibility. These may be the hardest to come by – humility because it means shooing away my pride, responsibility because I am in the habit of using my gambling addiction as a thin excuse for getting out of obligations. I pray that I may break these old patterns.

    Today I Will Remember
    First humility, then responsibility.

    NOVEMBER 14 Reflection for the Day
    First search for a little humility, my sponsor urged me. If you don’t, he said, you’re greatly increasing the risk of going out there again. After a while, in spite of my lifelong rebelliousness, I took his advice; I began to try to practice humility, simply because I believed it was the right thing to do. I hope sincerely that the day will come when most of my rebelliousness will be just a memory, that then I’ll practice humility because I deeply want it as a way of life.

    Am I willing to try humility today, if only for a moment? Will I learn to hunger for the feeling I get from it?

    Today I Pray
    Since I – like so many compulsive gamblers – am a rebel, may I know that I will need to practice humility. May I recognize that humility does not come easily to a rebellious nature, whether I am out-and-out defiant, dug-in negative, or, more subtly, determined in a roundabout way to change everything else but myself. I pray that by practicing humility it will become instinctive for me.

    Today I Will Remember
    Get the humble habit.

    NOVEMBER 15 Reflection for the Day
    As a newcomer to Gamblers Anonymous, I was told that my admission of my powerlessness over gambling was my first step toward freedom from its deadly grip; I soon came to realize the truth of that fact. In that regard, surrender was a dire necessity. But for me that was only a small beginning toward acquiring humility. I’ve learned in Gamblers Anonymous that to be willing to work for humility – as something to be desired for itself – takes most of us a long, long time.

    Do I realize that a whole lifetime of self-centeredness can’t be shifted into reverse in a split second?

    Today I Pray
    May I search for my own humility as a quality that I must cultivate to survive, not just an admission that I am powerless over my compulsive gambling. Step one is just that – step one in the direction of acquiring an attitude of humility. May I be realistic enough to know that this may take half a lifetime.

    Today I Will Remember
    Pride blew it; let humility have a chance.

    NOVEMBER 16 Reflection for the Day
    We sometimes hear humility defined as the state of being “teachable.” In that sense, most of us in the Gamblers Anonymous Fellowship who are able to stay free of gambling have acquired at least a smattering of humility, or we never would have learned to stay away from that first bet. Humility, I have come to know, is being open to listening to others, continuously open to learning.

    Do I see humility as a pathway to continuing improvement?

    Today I Pray
    Now that I have made a start at developing humility, may I keep it up. May I open myself to the will of God and the suggestions of my friends in the group. May I remain teachable, confrontable, receptive, and conscious that I must stay that way in order to be healthy.

    Today I Will Remember
    To remain confrontable.

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    NOVEMBER 17 Reflection for the Day
    Many of us recovering compulsive gamblers stubbornly cling to false ideas and positions simply because we fear we’d be left defenseless if we admitted having been wrong. The thought of “backing down” still seems distasteful to some of us. But we come to learn that our self-esteem soars when we’re able to push pride into the background and truly face the facts. Chances are that people with true humility have more genuine self-esteem than those of us who are repeatedly victimized by pride.

    Does pride, either blatantly or deviously, keep me from thorough and continuing attention to the Tenth Step?

    Today I Pray
    May pride stay out of my way, now that I’ve found a road to follow. May I avoid that familiar, destructive cycle of pride – the ego that balloons up out of all proportion and then deflates with a fizzle. May I learn the value of “backing down.”

    Today I Will Remember
    Pride is the arch-enemy of self-esteem.

    NOVEMBER 18 Reflection for the Day
    “Nothing is enough to the man for whom enough is too little,” wrote the Greek philosopher Epicurus. Now that we’re free from gambling, and are building our self-respect and winning back the esteem of family and friends, we have to avoid becoming smug about our new-found success. For most of us success has always been a heady brew; even in our new life, it’s still possible to fall into the dangerous trap of “big-shotitis.” As insurance, we ought to remember that we’re free today only by the grace of God.

    Will I remember that any success I have today is not mine but God’s?

    Today I Pray
    May I keep a constant string-on-the-finger reminder that I have found freedom through the grace of God – just so I don’t let my pride try to convince me I did it all myself. May I learn to cope with success by ascribing it to a Higher Power, not to my own questionable superiority.

    Today I Will Remember
    Learn to deal with success.

    NOVEMBER 19 Reflection for the Day
    I no longer argue with people who believe that satisfaction of our natural desires is the primary purpose of life. It’s not our business in Gamblers Anonymous to knock material achievement. When we stop and think about it, no group of people ever made a worse mess of trying to live by that “la dolce vita” formula than we did. We always insisted on more than our share – in all areas. And even when we seemed to be winning, that only fueled our compulsion so that we dreamed of still greater winnings. Our compulsion was never satisfied

    Am I learning that material satisfactions are simply by-products and not the chief aim of life? Am I gaining a perspective that puts character-building and spiritual values first?

    Today I Pray
    May I recognize that I never did handle excesses very well, based on my past experience. I have been apt to “want more” of whatever it is I have – love, winnings, money, property, things. May the Gamblers Anonymous Program teach me that I must concentrate on my spiritual, rather than my material, bounty.

    Today I Will Remember
    It’s okay to be spiritually greedy.

    NOVEMBER 20 Reflection for the Day
    I’ve come to measure success in a whole new way. My success today isn’t limited by social or economic benchmarks. Success is mine today, no matter what the undertaking, when I tap the power of God within me and allow myself to be an open channel for the expression of His good. The spirit of success works through me as increased vision and understanding, as creative ideas and useful service – as efficient use of my time and energy, and as cooperative effort with others.

    Will I try to keep my mind centered in the realization that within me is the God-implanted power to succeed?

    Today I Pray
    May I develop a new concept of success, based on measurements of the qualities that come from God’s treasure-filled bank of good. To draw from that bank, all I have to do is look within myself. May I know that God’s riches are the only kind that are fully insurable, because they are infinite. May I look in God’s bank for my security.

    Today I Will Remember
    Spiritual “success” is my security.

    NOVEMBER 21 Reflection for the Day
    Adversity introduces man to himself, a poet once said. For me, the same is true even of imagined adversity. If I expect another person to react in a certain way in a given situation – and he or she fails to meet my expectation – well, then I hardly have the right to be disappointed or angry. Yet I occasionally still experience feelings of frustration when people don’t act or react as I think they should. Through such imagined – or, better yet, self-inflicted – adversity, I come face to face again with my old self, the one who wanted to run the whole show.

    Is it finally time for me to stop expecting and to start accepting?

    Today I Pray
    May I stop putting words in people’s mouths, programming them – in my own mind – to react as I expect them to. Expectations have fooled me before: I expected unbounded love and protection from those close to me, perfection from myself, undivided attention from casual acquaintances. On the adverse side, I expected failure from myself, and rejection from others. May I stop borrowing trouble – or triumph either – from the future.

    Today I Will Remember
    Accept. Not expect.

    NOVEMBER 22 Reflection for the Day

    “We succeed in enterprises which demand the positive qualities we possess,” wrote de Tocqueville, “but we excel in those which can also make use of our defects.” We learn in Gamblers Anonymous that our defects do have value – to the extent that we use them as a starting point for change and a pathway to better things. Fear can be a stepping stone to prudence, for example, as well as to respect for others. Fear can also help us turn away from hate and toward understanding. In the same way, pride can lead us toward the road of humility.

    Am I aware of my direction today? Do I care where I’m going?

    Today I Pray
    I pray that my Higher Power will show me how to use my defects in a positive way, because nothing – not even fear or selfishness or greed – is all bad. May I trust that every quality that leads me into trouble has a reverse side that can lead me out. Pride, for instance, can’t puff itself up unduly without bursting and demonstrating that it is, in essence, only hot air. May I learn from my weaknesses.

    Today I Will Remember
    Good news out of bad.