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Reflection for the Day
#91
JANUARY 30 Reflection for the Day

Have I gained freedom simply because one day I was weak and the next day I became suddenly strong? Have I changed from the helpless and hopeless person I once seemed to be simply by resolving, “from now on, things will be different”? Is the fact that I am more comfortable today than ever before the result of my own will power? Can I take credit for pulling myself up by my own bootstraps? I know better, for I sought refuge in a Power greater than myself – a Power that is still beyond my ability to visualize.

Do I consider the change in my life a miracle far beyond the working of any human power?

Today I Pray
As the days of abstinence lengthen, and the moment of decision becomes farther behind me, may I never lose sight of the Power that changed my life. May I remember that my abstinence is an ongoing miracle, not just a once-in-a-lifetime transformation.

Today I Will Remember
Life is an ongoing miracle.
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#92
JANUARY 31 Reflection for the Day


One of the most constructive things I can do is to learn to listen to myself and get in touch with my true feelings. For years, I tuned myself out, going along, instead, with what others felt and said. Even today, it sometimes seems that they have it all together, while I’m still stumbling around. Thankfully, I’m beginning to understand that people-pleasing takes many forms. Slowly but steadily, I’ve also begun to realize that it’s possible for me to change my old patterns.

Will I encourage myself to tune in to the real me? Will I listen carefully to my own inner voice with the expectation that I’ll hear some wonderful things?

Today I Pray
I pray that I may respect myself enough to listen to my real feelings, those emotions that for so long I refused to hear or name or own, emotions that festered in me like a poison. May I know that I need to stop often, look at my feelings, listen to the inner me.

Today I Will Remember
I will own my feelings.
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#93
FEBRUARY 1 Reflection for the Day


The longer I’m in the Gamblers Anonymous Program, the more clearly I see why it’s important for me to understand why I do what I do, and say what I say. In the process, I’m coming to realize what kind of person I really am. I see now, for example, that it’s far easier to be honest with other people than with myself. I’m learning also that we’re all hampered by our need to justify our actions and words.

Have I taken an inventory of myself as suggested in the Twelve Steps? Have I admitted my faults to myself and to another human being?

Today I Pray
May I not be stalled in my recovery process by the enormity of the Program's Fourth Step – taking a moral and financial inventory of myself – or by admitting these shortcomings to myself and to another human being. May I know that honesty to myself about myself is all-important.

Today I Will Remember
I cannot mend if I bend the truth.
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#94
FEBRUARY 2 Reflection for the Day


Looking back, I realize just how much of my life has been spent in dwelling upon the faults of others. It provided much self-satisfaction, to be sure, but I see now just how subtle and actually perverse the process became. After all was said and done, the net effect of dwelling on the so-called faults of others was self-granted permission to remain comfortably unaware of my own defects.

Do I still point my finger at others and thus self-deceptively overlook my own shortcomings?

Today I Pray
May I see that my preoccupation with the faults of others is really a smokescreen to keep me from taking a hard look at my own, as well as a way to bolster my own failing ego. May I check out the “why’s” of my blaming.

Today I Will Remember
Blame-saying is game-playing.
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#95
FEBRUARY 3 Reflection for the Day


Gamblers Anonymous enables us to discover two roadblocks that keep us from seeing the value and comfort of the spiritual approach: self-justification and self-righteousness. The first grimly assures me that I’m always right. The second mistakenly comforts me with the delusion that I’m better than other people – “holier than thou.”

Just for today, will I pause abruptly while rationalizing and ask myself why I am doing this, and whether my self-justification is really honest?

Today I Pray
May I overcome the need to be “always right” and know the cleansing feeling of release that comes with admitting, openly, a mistake. May I be wary of setting myself up as an example of self-control and fortitude, and give credit where it is due – to a Higher Power.

Today I Will Remember
To err is human, but I need to admit it.
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#96
FEBRUARY 4 Reflection for the Day


Rare is the recovering compulsive gambler who will now dispute the fact that denial is a primary symptom of the illness. The Gamblers Anonymous Program teaches us that compulsive gambling actually tells the afflicted person that he or she really isn’t sick at all. Not surprisingly, then, our lives as addictive gamblers were characterized by endless rationalizations and dishonesty and, in short, a steadfast unwillingness to accept the fact that we were, without question, emotionally and mentally different from our fellows.

Have I admitted to my innermost self that I am truly powerless over my compulsion to gamble?

Today I Pray
May the First Step be not half-hearted for me, but a total admission of powerlessness over my addiction. May I rid myself of that first symptom – denial – which refuses to recognize any other symptom of my illness.

Today I Will Remember
Deny denial.





FEBRUARY 5 Reflection for the Day


If I am troubled, worried, exasperated, or frustrated, do I tend to rationalize the situation and lay the blame on someone else? When I am in such a state, is my conversation punctuated with, “He did…….,” “She said…….,” “Theydid…….,”? Or can I honestly admit that perhaps I’m at fault. My peace of mind depends on overcoming my negative attitudes and my tendency to rationalize.

Will I try, day by day, to be rigorously honest with myself?

Today I Pray
May I catch myself as I talk in the third person, “He did…,” or “They promised…,” or “She said she would…” and listen for the blaming that has become such a pattern for me and preserves delusion. May I do a turnabout and face myself instead.

Today I Will Remember
Honesty is the only policy.
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#97
FEBRUARY 6 Reflection for the Day

I used to be an expert at unrealistic self-appraisal. At certain times, I would look only at that part of my life that seemed good. Then I would magnify whatever real or imagined virtues I had attained. Next, I would pat myself on the back for the fantastic job I was doing in the Program. Naturally, this generated a craving for still more “accomplishments” and still greater approval. Wasn’t that the pattern of my days during active addiction? The difference now, though, is that I can use the best alibi known – the spiritual alibi.

Do I sometimes rationalize willful actions and nonsensical behavior in the name of “spiritual objectives”?

Today I Pray
God help me to know if I still crave attention and approval to the point of inflating my own virtues and magnifying my accomplishments in the Program or anywhere. May I keep a realistic perspective about my good points, even as I learn to respect myself.

Today I Will Remember
Learn to control inflation.
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#98
FEBRUARY 7 Reflection for the Day


Honesty is a word I had to be reacquainted with. Before coming to Gamblers Anonymous, I bounced lies and half-truths around so often in my head that I believed they were all true. Today I strive for rigorous honesty – with myself and with others. Above all, I must always remain honest with myself about where the credit for my recovery belongs – with my Higher Power and the Fellowship of GA.

Have I accepted the fact that self-deception can only damage me, providing a clouded and unrealistic picture of the person I really am?

Today I Pray
May God allow me to push aside my curtain of fibs, alibis, rationalizations, justifications, distortions, and downright lies and let in the light on the real truths about myself. May I meet the person I really am and take comfort in the person I can become.

Today I Will Remember
Hello, Me. Meet the real Me.
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#99
FEBRUARY 8 Reflection for the Day

When we first stopped gambling, it was an enormous relief to find that the people we met in the Gamblers Anonymous Program seemed quite different than those apparently hostile masses we know as “they.” We were met, not with criticism and suspicion, but with understanding and concern. However, we still encounter people who get on our nerves, both within the Program and outside it. Obviously, we must begin to accept the fact that there are people who’ll sometimes say things we disagree with, or do things we don’t like.

Am I beginning to see that learning to live with differences is essential to my comfort and, in turn, to my continuing recovery?

Today I Pray
May I recognize that people’s differences make our world go around and tolerate people who “rub me the wrong way.” May I understand that I must give them room, that some of my hostile attitudes toward others may be leftovers from the unhealthy days when I tended to view others as mobilized against me.

Today I Will Remember
Learn to live with differences.
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FEBRUARY 9 Reflection for the Day

The slogan “Live and Let Live” can be extremely helpful when we are having trouble tolerating other people’s behavior. We know for certain that nobody’s behavior – no matter how offensive, distasteful, or vicious – is worth the price of a relapse. Our own recovery is primary, and while we must be unafraid of walking away from people or situations that cause us discomfort, we must also make a special effort to try to understand other people – especially those who rub us the wrong way.

Can I accept the fact that, in my recovery, it is more important to understand than to be understood?

Today I Pray
When I run headlong into someone’s unpleasant behaviour, may I first try my best to understand. Then, if my abstinence from gambling seems threatened, may I have the courage to remove myself from the situation.

Today I Will Remember
Live and let live.
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