Archive for Daily Reflections

Endigar 725 ~ The Key is Willingness

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on January 2, 2016 by endigar

From the Daily Reflections of March 07;

Once we have placed the key of willingness in the lock and have the door ever so slightly open, we find that we can always open it some more.  (Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, page 35).

The willingness to give up my pride and self-will to a Power greater than myself has proved to be the only ingredient absolutely necessary to solve all of my problems today. Even the smallest amount of willingness, if sincere, is sufficient to allow God to enter and take control over any problem, pain, or obsession. My level of comfort is in direct relation to the degree of willingness I possess at any given moment to give up my self-will, and allow God’s will to be manifested in my life. With the key of willingness, my worries and fears are powerfully transformed into serenity.





I would like to say that willingness came to me from an intelligent assessment of my dire situation under active alcoholism and later, addiction. My mind did not provide me such a welcome defense. Instead, it was the primal clawing for life that came from desperation. The most ancient aspect of my brain had to be activated to become willing to reconnect with a Higher Power that I held responsible for my post marital apocalypse. My willingness first unlocked the door to my recovery when I acknowledged the insanity of effectively deceiving myself. The door of willingness has been pushed ever wider with a lot of work to grasp the sanity of the truth about myself and my place in this universe. Rather than reconnecting with my ineffective religion, I have connected with an exciting relationship with the God of my understanding, which is something I had not expected. It gets better, but it does begin with willingness.

Endigar 724 ~ The Idea of Faith

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on January 1, 2016 by endigar

From the Daily Reflections of March 06;

Do not let any prejudice you may have against spiritual terms deter you from honestly asking yourself what they mean to you.  (Alcoholics Anonymous, page 47).

The idea of faith is a very large chunk to swallow when fear, doubt and anger abound in and around me. Sometimes just the idea of doing something different, something I am not accustomed to doing, can eventually become an act of faith if I do it regularly, and do it without debating whether it’s the right thing to do. When a bad day comes along and everything is going wrong, a meeting or a talk with another drunk often distracts me just enough to persuade me that everything is not quite as impossible, as overwhelming as I had thought. In the same way, going to a meeting or talking to a fellow alcoholic are acts of faith; I believe I’m arresting my disease. These are ways I slowly move toward faith in a Higher Power.





The idea of Faith is that the habit of courage is rewarded. Hope spotlights that which is worth having in my life and my faith keeps me moving in that direction, giving substance to my heart’s truest desires and providing evidence of my Higher Power’s enthusiastic, loving support and guidance one day at a time. It is a powerfully intuitive knowing enhanced and clarified through fearless, repeated action.

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” ~ author unknown (Hebrews Chapter 11, New King James Version of the Bible).

“What used to be the hunch or the occasional inspiration gradually becomes a working part of the mind. Being still inexperienced and having just made conscious contact with God, it is not probable that we are going to be inspired at all times. We might pay for this presumption in all sorts of absurd actions and ideas. Nevertheless, we find that our thinking will, as time passes, be more and more on the plane of inspiration. We come to rely upon it.” ~ Bill Wilson (Alcoholics Anonymous, page 87)

Endigar 723 ~ Weeding the Garden

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on December 25, 2015 by endigar

From the Daily Reflections of March 04;

The essence of all growth is a willingness to make a change for the better and then an unremitting willingness to shoulder whatever responsibility this entails. (As Bill Sees It, page 115).

By the time I had reached Step Three I had been freed of my dependence on alcohol, but bitter experience has shown me that continuous sobriety requires continuous effort. Every now and then I pause to take a good look at my progress. More and more of my garden is weeded each time I look, but each time I also find new weeds sprouting where I thought I had made my final pass with the blade. As I head back to get the newly sprouted weed (it’s easier when they are young), I take a moment to admire how lush the growing vegetables and flowers are, and my labors are rewarded. My sobriety grows and bears fruit.





For me, it is important to tell the difference between responsibility and slavery. Responsibility is the result of my informed consent, my personal plan of growth, and my devotion to aggressive self-care. The purpose for weeding the garden is to create a fertile environment for the development of crops and the birth of beauty in my own heart.

Slavery weeding is a facade masquerading as responsibility. There is no personal investment in the soil of my heart through thoughtful planning or a strong “yes!” of consent to that hope delivered in meditation with my Higher Power. I comply to but never obey the voice of my strongest Self. I never own the Garden in which I labor.

I have run from slavery and then found myself running from responsibility as well. My work strengthens me, my slavery buries me. It is important for me to know the difference when I am called to til the ground. AA and some other intimate voices have helped me to love my work.

Endigar 722 ~ New Page Published

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on December 22, 2015 by endigar

  CLICK >New Page Published < CLICK

page listing

Endigar 721 ~ A Lifelong Task

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on December 20, 2015 by endigar

From the Daily Reflections of March 05;

“But just how, in these circumstances, does a fellow ‘take it easy?’ That’s what I want to know.”  (Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, page 26).

I was never known for my patience. How many times have I asked, “Why should I wait, when I can have it all right now?” Indeed, when I was first presented the Twelve Steps, I was like the proverbial “kid in a candy store.” I couldn’t wait to get to Step Twelve; it was surely just a few months’ work, or so I thought! I realize now that living the Twelve Steps of A.A. is a lifelong undertaking.




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I find it amusing that the primary lesson of asking for help and making connections in order to stay sober is not something I easily generalize to the rest of my life issues. I have dealt with anxiety by impatiently returning to isolated thinking. After years of private struggle producing public consequences, I have finally discovered real solutions by reaching out for help. Even so, resisting that tendency to interpret success as quitting time is a lifelong task indeed.

Endigar 720 ~ Understanding the Malady

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on December 19, 2015 by endigar

From the Daily Reflections of December 19;

When dealing with an alcoholic, there may be a natural annoyance that a man could be so weak, stupid and irresponsible. Even when you understand the malady better, you may feel this feeling rising.  (Alcoholics Anonymous, page 139).

Having suffered from alcoholism, I should understand the illness, but sometimes I feel annoyance, even contempt, toward a person who cannot make it in A.A. When I feel that way, I am satisfying my false sense of superiority and I must remember, but for the grace of God, there go I.




Human skull, studio shot

I dislike the phrase “but for the grace of God, there go I.” It implies to me that in spite of the grace of God, there goes he or she. It does not give me a sense of gratitude to witness others marching forward to their inevitably tragic end. Too often I have been that creature that is aptly described as weak, stupid, and irresponsible. Sometimes I suffer survivor’s remorse when I see others fall and I am still standing. There is an unnerving randomness to this recovery. At least it appears that way in the beginning.

That one thing that seems to separate me as a survivor from them as casualties is the ability to have a selfishness that pushes me to connect with others. My counselor prefers to call it self care, but it is more aggressive than my isolated selfishness, not less. It is not gentle. I strive for serenity.  I have chest pounding confidence in humility. And when others fall, I must simply honor their surrender and let them go because I cannot teach others to snarl at death. This program is not for those who need it, but for those who want it. And this seems to excite the God of my understanding.

“Listen, and understand! The Disease is out there! It can’t be bargained with. It can’t be reasoned with. It doesn’t feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And it absolutely will not stop, ever, until you are dead. . . Come with me, if you want to live.” ~ paraphrase of the words of Kyle Reese in the 1984 Terminator.

Endigar 719 ~ Overcoming Self-Will

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on November 15, 2015 by endigar

From the Daily Reflections of March 03;

So our troubles, we think, are basically of our own making. They arise out of ourselves, and the alcoholic is an extreme example of self-will run riot, though he usually doesn’t think so. Above everything, we alcoholics must be rid of this selfishness. We must, or it kills us! (Alcoholics Anonymous, page 62).

For so many years my life revolved solely around myself. I was consumed with self in all forms—self-centeredness, self-pity, self-seeking, all of which stemmed from pride. Today I have been given the gift, through the Fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous, of practicing the Steps and Traditions in my daily life, of my group and sponsor, and the capacity— if I so choose—to put my pride aside in all situations which arise in my life. Until I could honestly look at myself and see that I was the problem in many situations and react appropriately inside and out; until I could discard my expectations and understand that my serenity was directly proportional to them, I could not experience serenity and sound sobriety.





Notice that the Big Book says “we alcoholics must be rid of this selfishness,” and does not say “we alcoholics must be rid of selfishness.” There is a particular brand of selfishness described in great detail on the preceding pages that is destructive. It is isolated, disconnected selfishness.

Notice that when the contributor to the Reflections says that for so many of his years life revolved “solely” around himself, and then the gift of the Fellowship of AA was the capacity to practice the Steps and Traditions in “his” daily life, of having “his” group, and “his” sponsor and the ability to put “his” pride aside in “his” life. The positive form of selfishness is one that leads us to self-care through connections with the collective.

I think it is also important to tell the difference between pride and self-confidence. When someone wishes to play down their faults, their weaknesses, to hide them from others, and even from themselves, they create a wall built with self-delusions, arrogant proclamations of what they perceive to be their strengths, and they avoid the healing intimacy that only humility can provide.  This is pride. On the other hand, self-confidence grows when one takes a fearless moral inventory and sees plainly both strength and weakness, and recognizes the need to connect with their God and a trusted network of fellow seekers.



Endigar 717 ~ Hope

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on October 25, 2015 by endigar

From the Daily Reflections of March 02;

Do not be discouraged. (Alcoholics Anonymous, page 60).

Few experiences are of less value to me than fast sobriety. Too many times discouragement has been the bonus for unrealistic expectations, not to mention self-pity or fatigue from my wanting to change the world by the weekend. Discouragement is a warning signal that I may have wandered across the God line. The secret of fulfilling my potential is in acknowledging my limitations and believing that time is a gift, not a threat.

Hope is the key that unlocks the door of discouragement. The program promises me that if I do not pick up the first drink today, I will always have hope. Having come to believe that I keep what I share, every time I encourage, I receive courage. It is with others that, with the grace of God and the Fellowship of A.A., I trudge the road of happy destiny. May I always remember that the power within me is far greater than any fear before me. May I always have patience, for I am on the right road.





My dichotomy of perspective is frustratingly fascinating to me. Although nothing significant may change in my environment, my shift in emotions and perspective throws me threw the mirror glass, into the home of whatever reflection I was gazing into. For me, hope is always connected with faith in a plan, a process, a course of action. The ultimate results belong to the human collective, and is grafted into the ultimate work of the Infinite One.  When my expectations are guided by my fear of being alone and discounted, then my home is the world of the Infinite No One, the human exile, the futility of work. My expectations have been misdirected into a war with whatever scapegoat my beaten soul can wrap around.

When I am able to believe in the guided destiny of my Higher Power, when I believe in the value of the collective body of humanity, when I can breath and know that my work counts, I can make a plan in my 24 hour circle and I can feel the hope of a new and more powerful life unfolding in and around me. My hope is the life flower of deep roots in the soil where I have been planted.

Endigar 716 ~ It Works

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on October 17, 2015 by endigar

From the Daily Reflections of March 01;

It works — it really does. (Alcoholics Anonymous, page 88).

When I got sober I initially had faith only in the program of Alcoholics Anonymous. Desperation and fear kept me sober (and maybe a caring and/or tough sponsor helped!). Faith in a Higher Power came much later. This faith came slowly at first, after I began listening to others share at meetings about their experiences — experiences that I had never faced sober, but that they were facing with strength from a Higher Power. Out of their sharing came hope that I too would — and could — “get” a Higher Power. In time, I learned that a Higher Power — a faith that works under all conditions — is possible. Today this faith, plus the honesty, open mindedness and willingness to work the Steps of the program, gives me the serenity that I seek. It works — it really does.






It is funny to me that in the meeting I went to tonight, the topic was the third step. What is the “It” in “It works?” Let’s put that pronoun in a larger scope, zoom out and see the preceding idea that really works:

What used to be the hunch or the occasional inspiration gradually becomes a working part of the mind. Being still inexperienced and having just made conscious contact with God, it is not probable that we are going to be inspired at all times. We might pay for this presumption in all sorts of absurd actions and ideas. Nevertheless, we find that our thinking will, as time passes, be more and more on the plane of inspiration. We come to rely upon it.

We usually conclude the period of meditation with a prayer that we be shown all through the day what our next step is to be, that we be given whatever we need to take care of such problems. We ask especially for freedom from self-will, and are careful to make no request for ourselves only. We may ask for ourselves, however, if others will be helped. We are careful never to pray for our own selfish ends. Many of us have wasted a lot of time doing that and it doesn’t work. You can easily see why.

If circumstances warrant, we ask our wives or friends to join us in morning meditation. If we belong to a religious denomination which requires a definite morning devotion, we attend to that also. If not members of religious bodies, we sometimes select and memorize a few set prayers which emphasize the principles we have been discussing. There are many helpful books also. Suggestions about these may be obtained from one’s priest, minister, or rabbi. Be quick to see where religious people are right. Make use of what they offer.

As we go through the day we pause, when agitated or doubtful, and ask for the right thought or action. We constantly remind ourselves we are no longer running the show, humbly saying to ourselves many times each day “Thy will be done.” We are then in much less danger of excitement, fear, anger, worry, self-pity, or foolish decisions. We become much more efficient. We do not tire so easily, for we are not burning up energy foolishly as we did when we were trying to arrange life to suit ourselves.

It works – it really does. (Alcoholics Anonymous, page 87-88)

The interesting thing is that this passage says that our isolated selfishness, even when coupled with prayer, simply does not work. But, when I recognize that I have freedom with a purpose, that I am responsible for the effort and the God of my understanding is in charge of the results, that I can trust the GOMU to care for the direction of my will energy and the expression of my life, this is the It that works. This God thing works.

Endigar 715 ~ What? No President?

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on October 14, 2015 by endigar

From the Daily Reflections of February 28;

When told that our Society has no president having authority to govern it, no treasurer who can compel the payment of any dues, . . . our friends gasp and exclaim, “This simply can’t be. . . .” (Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, page 132).

When I finally made my way to A.A., I could not believe that there was no treasurer to “compel the payment of dues.” I could not imagine an organization that didn’t require monetary contributions in return for a service. It was my first and, thus far, only experience with getting “something for nothing.” Because I did not feel used or conned by those in A.A., I was able to approach the program free from bias and with an open mind. They wanted nothing from me. What could I lose? I thank God for the wisdom of the early founders who knew so well the alcoholic’s disdain for being manipulated.




The ruler of AA first appeared to me as the need to survive. I knew nothing other than self-preservation when I first entered the rooms. I huddled in the sanctuary of abstinence, and said, “take me to your leader, I am in need of asylum, a safe passage to sanity.” I was told to come on in and discover the God of my own understanding. In here, the Spirit of Sobriety will guide you. Trust the process. So I did. My isolated selfishness is being ever transformed to a self-care that manifests in my own personal relationship with GOMU (God of my understanding).

[An Alcoholic’s Paraphrase of Micah Chapter 7, verses 7 and 8]

But as for me, I will look to Gomu,

I will wait with hope and expectancy for the God of my Sobriety.

My God will hear me.

Rejoice not against me, oh my disease.

For when I fall, I shall arise.

When I sit in darkness, the Lord shall be a light to me.