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    “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”

    Today we open the door to a new and positive outlook on life. This “letting in” process expands our horizons and allows us to accept ourselves more fully.

    For most of us it is painful to admit our powerlessness. It forces us to confront the fact that our lives are not working as we had hoped, and that in all probability, our own behavior is the cause.

    Because each of us is the product of our past, we have been programmed into mind-sets and attitudes we’ve never thought to question.

    We’re like the young bride whose husband asked why she cut off the end piece of ham before she baked it. “Mother taught me to fix it this way,” she replied. But, suddenly curious about it, she asked her mother why she made ham this way. “Because,” replied her mother, “your granny did hers this way.” More determined than ever to get to the bottom of the puzzle, the bride went to her grandmother to solve the mystery. “Well, child,” said granny, “I did it because a whole ham wouldn’t fit into my oven.”

    Just like that young bride and her mother, it rarely occurs to us to wonder why we do a thing. We’re as conditioned by habit as Pavlov’s dog—the bell rings and we perform.

    The initial step, then, is for us to admit that it is soley up to us to discover why we have continued to behave in a way that brings up negative feelings and causes us great discomfort.

    Today’s Step: To admit that I am powerless is both a relief and a source of new hope.

    Step By Step, Daily meditations for living the Twelve Steps, by Muriel Zink




    “Are you part of the problem–or part of the solution?” anonymous

    Did you ever wonder why–although we each have eyes, ears, noses, and mouths—we all look so distinctly different? Of course there are family resemblences, and occassionally we’ll meet someone who “looks just like cousin Sally.” But isn’t it incredible that with the billions of people who inhabit this planet, barring identical twins, no two of us look exactly alike?

    This is also true of our personalities, our thought processes, our likes and dislikes, and our beliefs and disbeliefs. We vacillate between wanting to conform and wanting to rebel. Often we view the world with suspicious eyes, feeling we have been treated unfairly. Many of us tend to look at life as a struggle against unreasonable odds.

    But there’s another way to look at things. We can alter our attitudes and begin to act positively and constructively. We can learn to see value in situations that appear negative, and attempt to come to terms with the world and all its imperfections. These are all worthwhile and attainable goals. But, to achieve them, we must first acknowledge our present dilemma.

    It would be handy to have a blueprint for such an undertaking. But because each one of us is unique and special, we can only generalize about the process. We must each plot our own course to fit who we are.

    Today’s step: I can look past behavior and past programming with new eyes.

    Step By Step, meditations for living the 12 Steps. Muriel Zink




    “There never were, since the creation of the world, two cases exactly parallel.” Lord Chesterfield

    Whenever we are confronted with a challenge that involves letting go of our own opinions and being willing to follow a plan suggested by someone else, we immediately begin to see all the glitches, all the exceptions we’re sure do not apply to us.

    “My case is different!” we cry. It is so necessary for us to preserve our own uniqueness, our own specialness, that we’re sure that letting go will plunge us into a sea of nothingness. Right? Wrong.

    We are, all of us, unique. We have our own special sense of identity that has been with us since birth. Some of us have positive self-images. Others of us suffer from low self-esteem. However, we are still uniquely “us,” and we’re afraid of anything that might take that feeling of “us-ness” away.

    This step, and those that follow, have been carefully designed to help us get to know the very important and precious individual we really are. This process scrapes away the facades and subterfuges we thought were necessary for our survival. It allows us to see ourselves as free, productive and worthwhile human beings; to see that while we are different, we also share many facets of sameness with other human beings. These similiarities allow us not only to profit by the experience of others, but also to recognize that so many of our actions have been the result of misguided ideas and faulty information. We can cherish our uniqueness while still learning from the experience of others.

    Todays Step: I know that the path I have chosen is the right one for me, and I will walk it unafraid.Step By Step, meditations for living the 12 steps. Muriel Zink

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