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Reflection for the Day
#21
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.
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#22
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.
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.
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#23
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.
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#24
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.
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#25
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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#26
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.
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#27
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.
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#28
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.
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#29
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.
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#30
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.
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