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Posts Tagged ‘prayer’

Is sobriety all that we are to expect of a spiritual awakening? No, sobriety is only a bare beginning; it is only the first gift of the first awakening. If more gifts are to be received, our awakening has to go on. As it does go on, we find that bit by bit we can discard the old life–the one that did not work–for a new life that can and does work under any conditions whatever. Regardless of worldly success or failure, regardless of pain or joy, regardless of sickness or health or even of death itself, a new life of endless possibilities can be lived if we are willing to continue our awakening, through the practice of the Twelve Steps

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As we live the spiritual life, we find words and logic are only capable of pointing in the direction of some truths. Words do not contain the entire truth our experience may be teaching us. This is like the difference between hearing about fishing versus actually being on the water, smelling the misty air, and feeling the fish tug on our line. Spiritual development is a form of education. We are developing the part of us that learns by experience, that has a feeling without exactly knowing why, that understands stories better than statistics. Gradually, we accept more experiences in our lives as mysteries, as not fitting into any specific categories. Many experiences will have more meaning than cold facts could ever express. As this side of us develops, we don’t discard reason and judgment; we become deeper human beings

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We have a spiritual experience in knowing and being touched by something much larger than us, something beyond what we understand, something of mysterious dimensions. It can happen as we stand on the banks of an ageless river, listen to beautiful music, read scripture, or say a prayer with a friend. When we set aside defiance, willfulness, and our demands to subdue whatever we meet, we become receptive to a larger reality. The experience of awe brings out the best in a man because it instills a spirit of respect and gratitude. It inspires humility and expands our minds into realms we can’t express in words

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Knowing our loneliness and admitting it to us is the beginning of a spiritual path for many of us. Today we are on a spiritual journey. We already have the means to translate the pain of our loneliness into a deeper spiritual dimension. Most of us in this program came in deeply aware of their feelings of isolation. Now, with the companionship of our Higher Power, we can spend time alone and use it for spiritual growth. As we develop a relationship with ourselves and deepen our knowledge of our Higher Power, our loneliness transforms into solitude. In this quiet moment today, we can be more accepting of ourselves than we were in the past. We admit loneliness has caused us pain, but now we can see that it also can lead us to our deeper self where we find serene solitude. This change is a movement into the spiritual world

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We are not offered a painless existence, but we are offered opportunities for gathering perspective from the painful moments. And our perspectives are cushioned by the principles of the program. The rough edges of life, the storms that whip our very being, are gifts in disguise. We see life anew, when the storm has subsided. We can enjoy the calm, if that surrounds us today. We deserve the resting periods. They give us a chance to contemplate and make fully our own that which the recent storm brought so forcefully to our attention. We are powerless over the storm’s onslaught. But we can gain from it and be assured that the storm gives all the meaning there is in the calm

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In spite of our best efforts to work our programs and lean on God’s guidance, we sometimes don’t understand what’s going on in our life. We trust, wait, pray, listen to people, listen to ourselves, and the answer still does not come. During those times, we need to understand that we are right where we need to be, even though that place may feel awkward and uncomfortable. Our life does have purpose and direction. We are being changed, healed, and transformed at levels deeper than we can imagine. Good things, beyond our capacity to imagine, are being prepared and brought to us. We are being led and guided. We can become peaceful. We do not have to act in haste or urgency just to relieve our discomfort, just to get an answer. We can wait until our mind is peaceful. We can wait for clear direction. Clarity will come

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We need balance between work and play. We need balance between giving and receiving. We need balance in thought and feelings. We need balance in caring for our physical self and our spiritual self. A balanced life has harmony between a professional life and a personal life. There may be times when we need to climb mountains at work. There may be times when we put extra energy into our relationships. But the overall picture needs to balance. Just as a balanced nutritional diet takes into account the realm of our nutritional needs to stay healthy, a balanced life takes into account all our needs: our need for friends, work, love, family, play, private time, recovery time, and spiritual time – time with God. If we get out of balance, our inner voice will tell us. We need to listen

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