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Daily Recovery Readings – October 26

NA Just For Today
October 26
The Path To Self-Acceptance

“The most effective means of achieving self-acceptance is through applying the Twelve Steps of recovery.”
IP No.19, “Self-Acceptance”

Our addiction has been a source of shame to many of us. We have hidden ourselves from others, sure that if anyone got to know who we really were they would reject us. NA helps us learn self-acceptance.

Many of us find a great deal of relief just from attending meetings, hearing fellow addicts share their stories, and discovering that others have felt the same way we feel about ourselves. When others share honestly with us who they are, we feel free to do the same. As we learn to tell others the truth about ourselves, we learn to accept ourselves.

Self-disclosure, however, is only the beginning. Once we’ve shared the things that make us uncomfortable with our lives, we need to find a different way to live – and that’s where the steps come in. We develop a concept of a Higher Power. We inventory our lives, in detail, and discuss our inventory with our sponsor. We ask the God of our understanding to remove our character defects, the shortcomings that are the source of our troubles. We take responsibility for the things we’ve done and make amends for them. And we incorporate all these disciplines into our daily lives, “practicing these principles in all our affairs.”

By working the steps, we can become people we are proud to be. We can freely tell the truth about ourselves, for we have nothing to hide.

Just for today: I will walk the path to self-acceptance. I will show up, tell the truth, and work the steps.

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Daily Reflections
October 26
ONE ULTIMATE AUTHORITY

For our group purpose there is but one ultimate authority—a loving God as He may express Himself in our group conscience.
TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 132

When I am chosen to carry some small responsibility for my fellows, I ask that God grant me the patience, open-mindedness, and willingness to listen to those I would lead. I must remind myself that I am the trusted servant of others, not their “governor,” “teacher,” or “instructor.” God guides my words and my actions, and my responsibility is to heed His suggestions. Trust is my watchword, I trust others who lead. In the Fellowship of A.A., I entrust God with the ultimate authority of “running the show.”

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day
October 26
A.A. Thought For The Day

Sixth, I have A.A. meetings to go to, thank God. Where would I go without them?  Where would I be without them? Where would I find the sympathy, the understanding, the fellowship, the companionship? Nowhere else in the world. I have come home. I have found the place where I belong. I no longer wander alone over the face of the earth. I am at peace and at rest. What a great gift has been given me by A.A.! I do not deserve it.  But it is nevertheless mine. I have a home at last. I am content. Do I thank God everyday for the A.A. Fellowship?

Meditation For The Day

Walk all the way with another person and with God. Do not go part of the way and then stop. Do not push God so far into the background that He has no effect on your life. Walk all the way with Him. Make a good companion of God, by praying to Him often during the day. Do not let your contact with Him be broken for too long a period. Work all the way with God and with other people, along the path of life, wherever it may lead you.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may walk in companionship with God along the way. I pray that I may keep my feet upon the path that leads upward.

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As Bill Sees It
October 26
A VISION OF THE WHOLE, p. 297

“Though many of us have had to struggle for sobriety, never yet has this Fellowship had to struggle for lost unity. Consequently, we sometimes take this one great gift for granted. We forget that, should we lose our unity, the millions of alcoholics who still ‘do not know’ might never get their chance.

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“We used to be skeptical about large A.A. gatherings like conventions, thinking they might prove too exhibitionistic. But, on balance, their benefit is huge. While each A.A.’s interest should center principally in those about him and upon his own group, it is both necessary and desirable that we all get a larger vision of the whole.

“The General Service Conference in New York also produces this effect upon those who attend. It is a vision-stretching process.”

1. Letter, 1949
2. Letter, 1956

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Walk In Dry Places
October 26
Who is an Alcoholic?
AA’s mission

Though AA’s avowed mission is to carry its message to alcoholics, the fellowship does not really have a one-size-fits-all definition of alcoholism. This has created some confusion when nonalcoholics inadvertently show up at meetings that are supposed to be for alcoholics only, or when people with other addictions seek AA’s help. A few groups even insist that people must declare themselves alcoholics in order to participate in a “closed” meeting.

But who is an alcoholic? The AA pioneers were not insistent that people should immediately declare themselves alcoholics in order to receive help. Newcomers were invited to attend meetings and then decide for themselves if they were alcoholics and needed the program. In today’s environment, we have the added factor that troubled people might be addicted to both drugs and alcohol. Such cross-addiction, in fact, seems to be a strong trend. We also know that any alcoholic can easily become cross-addicted if he or she uses other drugs.

Our best course is to keep the door open for any person who comes to AA sincerely desiring help. If people find their answer in AA, they probably belong in the fellowship.

I’ll be grateful today that I was able to admit that I had a problem and needed AA’s help. I’ll accept others just as I was accepted. To stay sober and grow in the program. I do not need to define alcoholism for anybody other myself.

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Keep It Simple
October 26

Nobody give you freedom.
Malcolm X

We were not free. We were prisoners of our illness. What our illness wanted, we give itour dignity, our self-respect, even our families. Our prison walls were made of denial, false pride, and self-will run riot. Now we know that brick walls don’t have to stop us. We don’t have to bang our heads on them.

Slowly, we’re learning about freedom. We’re learning that freedom. We’re learning that freedom comes from within. It comes when we think clearly and make our own choices.

It comes when we follow a better way of life. It comes when we take care of ourselves. It comes when we take responsibility. The key to freedom is in loving our Higher Power.

Do you choose freedom?

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, show me how to walk away from a wall or go around it. But teach me to stop and think when I get to a wall. Maybe it’s there for my safety.

Today’s Action: Today I’ll think about all the freedom I have given myself by living a sober way of life.

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Each Day a New Beginning
October 26

My life has been a tapestry of rich and royal hue, an everlasting vision of the ever-changing view.
–Carole King

Every event of our lives is contributing a rich thread to our personal tapestry. Each of us is weaving one unique to ourselves, but all of our tapestries are complementary. We need others’ rich designs in order to create our own.

We seldom have the foresight to understand the worth, the ultimate value of a particular circumstance at its beginning. But hindsight offers us clarity. It’s good to reflect on the many circumstances that failed to thrill us; in all cases we can now see why we needed them. As our trust in God and the goodness of all experiences grows, we’ll more quickly respond with gladness when situations are fresh. No experience is meant for harm. We are coming to understand that, even though on occasion we forget.

Practicing gratitude will help us more fully appreciate what has been offered us. Being grateful influences our attitude; it softens our harsh exterior and takes the threat out of most new situations.

If I greet the day, glad to be alive, I will be gladdened by all the experiences in store for me. Each is making a necessary contribution to my wholeness.

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Alcoholics Anonymous
October 26
THE PERPETUAL QUEST

– This lawyer tried psychiatrists. biofeedback, relaxation exercises, and a host of other techniques to control her drinking. She finally found a solution, uniquely tailored, in the Twelve Steps.

The first difference between that night and all the others was that I did not immediately go directly to a bar to get lubricated or home with my regular giant weekend supply of booze. Instead I went to my club to swim, where strangely enough I also did not drink. I was so hungover that I had to give up trying to swim and instead wrapped myself in a bathrobe and sat in a dark corner of the locker room lounge for two hours, feeling desperately sorry for myself.

p. 394

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions
October 26

Tradition Three – “The only requirement for A.A. membership is a desire to stop drinking.”

At first the elders could look only at the objections. “We deal,” they said, “with alcoholics only. Shouldn’t we sacrifice this one for the sake of the many?” So went the discussions while the newcomer’s fate hung in the balance. Then one of the three spoke in a very different voice. “What we are really afraid of,” he said, “is our reputation. We are much more afraid of what people might say than the trouble this strange alcoholic might bring. As we’ve been talking, five short words have been running through my mind. Something keeps repeating to me, “What would the Master do?” “Not another word was said. What more indeed could be said?

p. 142

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Xtra Thoughts
October 26

“Don’t limit a child to your own learning, for he was born in another time.”
–Rabbinical Saying

It’s amazing how well I feel when I’m not thinking about myself.
–Bob Y

“Appreciate people. Nothing gives more joy than appreciation.”
–Ruth Smeltzer

“When someone does something well, applaud! You will make two people happy.”
–Samuel Goldwyn

And when you have reached the mountain top, then you shall begin to climb.
–Kahlil Gibran

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation
October 26
KINDNESS

“Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love.”
— Lao-tzu

It costs me nothing to say “hello” and yet it might make all the difference to my neighbor. It costs me nothing to give a hug and yet that hug might make all the difference to a friend. It costs me nothing to listen to anothers pain and yet the listening might make all the difference to another person.

Love is to be found in the small, ordinary acts of kindness as well as in the extravagant gesture. I need to seek God in the everyday happenings of life alongside the “religious”. Spirituality is in the smile that is real!

Today I know that I give only what I received — and I received a great deal. People loved me enough to be patient, they cared enough to telephone, they encouraged me with the gentle word of hope: I am in the flow.

Lord, You have created this wondrous patterned fabric of life — may I find You in its smallest detail.

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Bible Scriptures
October 26

Pleasant words are a honeycomb sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.
Proverbs 16:24

“Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity.”
1 Timothy 4:12

“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God…”
Ephesians 2:8

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Daily Inspiration
October 26

You have the choice to do or not to do and realizing this allows you to accomplish more than you thought possible. Lord, help me make wise decisions with my time and not allow the pressures of life to drain my effectiveness.

Often times that which we find difficult is that which teaches. Lord, may I always be able to see the good that comes from even my trials.

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A Day At A Time
October 26

Reflection For The Day

From time to time when I see the slogan, But for The Grace of God, I remember how I used to mouth those words when I saw others whose addictions had brought them to what I  considered a “hopeless and helpless” state.  The slogan had long been a cop-out for  me, reinforcing my denial of my own addiction by enabling me to point to others seemingly worse off than I.  “9if I ever get like that, I’ll quit,” was my on-repeated refrain.   Today, instead, But for the Grace of God has become my prayer of thankfulness, reminding me to be grateful to my Higher Power for my recovery, my life, and the way of life I’ve found in The Program.  Was anyone ever more “hopeless and helpless: than I?

Today I Pray

May I know that “but for The grace of God.”   I could be dead or insane by now, because there have been others who wanted on addictive paths when I did who are no longer here.  May that same grace of God help those who are still caught in the downward spin, who are heading for disaster as sure as gravity.

Today I Will Remember

I have seen God’s amazing Grace.

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One More Day
October 26

Don’t part with your illusions.  When they are gone, you may still exist, but you have ceased to live.
—  Mark Twain

Even as we approached young adulthood, we clung to our dreams about the future.  In those days it may have seemed to us that anything was possible.

It’s not immature to hold on to a dream, even when we know the dream is unlikely to come true.  Bald men wish for a full head of hair.  Some of us wish we still had young skin.  Even through a long-term medical condition has become part of our lives, many of us still hold on to the illusions of our own health being restored.

Now we have a few more years — or decades — behind us.  We accept that some things are possible and some are not.   Most of us are comfortable with the knowledge.  And still we hope.

I hold dearly to many of my illusions.  The possibilities of what might occur keep  my days full of excitement.

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One Day At A Time
October 26
Paths

“I shall be telling this with a sigh Somewhere ages and ages hence:  Two roads diverged in a wood and I — I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.”
–Robert Frost

As a compulsive overeater, I longed to find a solution to my problems. Like so many of us, I tried all the heavily traveled roads ~ the endless means to lose weight and to alleviate my indulgent eating behaviors. But at the end — and there was always an end — of every new “method of weight loss” I returned to walking my old path of destructive compulsive overeating. I always went back to the old eating behaviors as well as the consequences of those behaviors. I had heard of OA but did not know anyone who belonged to its groups. It seemed like the whole world was on the latest fad diet — diets that I could never continue for more than a few days or weeks.

Since joining The Recovery Group, I now walk a new path and have abandoned the old roads and the diet of the week. I have been on this road nearly a year now, and it is a wonderfully pleasant trek. I indeed believe “I shall be telling this with a sigh, somewhere ages and ages hence.” I have found an incredible amount of recovery spiritually, emotionally and physically. I am traveling on “the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference!”

One day at a time…
I will enjoy this road less taken…a path of acceptance and surrender. It is a path of spiritual, emotional and physical recovery!

~ Karen A.

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Elder’s Meditation of the Day – October 26

“It seems that if Elders can feel that you are open to learning, they are more than generous with their teaching.”
–Chief Councilor, Leonard George

There is a saying, when the student is ready the teacher appears.

If the Elders sense that you are ready, they will help you see and learn new things.  Most human beings love to share what they know with people who are excited to listen.

If you are talking to someone and you feel they really aren’t listening, you won’t want to tell them much.

Before you go talk to the Elders, examine your motives – are you really excited about listening to them?

My Creator, give me an open mind.

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Journey To The Heart
October 26
Let the World Help You Open Up

The universe is gentle, loving, benevolent, full of gifts, full of life, full of love. Don’t worry if you feel scared, or if you feel yourself closing down to life’s magic. That feeling won’t last long. It won’t last forever.

Take a walk. Touch a tree, hug it until your fear subsides. Feel the earth under your feet. Watch a sunrise. Ask the universe and God to help you open up. Say it aloud. Then watch what happens. Go where your heart leads, where your inner voice directs you to go. You will find yourself in circumstances that bring you back to your heart.

The universe will help you open up. It will do all it can, lovingly, gently, and with care. It will teach you all you need to know, help you learn all you came here to learn. It will guide you and lead you, open doors and shut windows, until you reach your destination– an open heart and a soul aligned with love.

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Today’s Gift
October 26

Whoever is happy will make others happy, too.
—Anne Frank

Anne Frank had good reason to be unhappy, full of fear, and deeply discouraged. Years of her life were spent in a small apartment hiding from the Nazis who wanted to destroy her and her family. Yet even in this little hiding place she had happiness. It was something she had inside which did not depend on what happened around her. She had riches of the heart. She had faith that kept her going. She had love and concern for her family and others, which made even a restricted life very rich with feelings. It is tempting to believe that we will be happy when we have something outside ourselves, which will make us happy. But happiness is not something we have to find outside; the seeds are in our hearts already.

What happiness can I find in my latest setback?

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The Language Of Letting Go
October 26
Clarity

I know better than to not trust God., But sometimes, I forget that.

When we are in the midst of an experience, it is easy to forget that there is a Plan. Sometimes, all we can see is today.

If we were to watch only two minutes of the middle of a television program, it would make little sense. It would be a disconnected event.

If we were to watch a weaver sewing a tapestry for only a few moments, and focused on only a small piece of the work, it would not look beautiful. It would look like a few peculiar threads randomly placed.

How often we use that same, limited perspective to look at our life – especially when we are going through a difficult time.

We can learn to have perspective when we are going through those confusing, difficult learning times. When we are being pelted by events that make us feel, think, and question, we are in the midst of learning something important.

We can trust that something valuable is being worked out in us – even when things are difficult, even when we cannot get our bearings. Insight and clarity do not come until we have mastered our lesson.

Faith is like a muscle. It must be exercised to grow strong. Repeated experiences of having to trust what we can’t see and repeated experiences of learning to trust that things will work out are what makes our faith muscles grow strong.

Today, I will trust that the events in my life are not random. My experiences are not a mistake. The Universe, my Higher Power, and life are not picking on me. I am going through what I need to go through to learn something valuable, something that will prepare me for the joy and love I am seeking.

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More Language Of Letting Go
October 26
Be aware of how you feel

What happened today? How did you feel about it?

Just like all those stuffed feelings from childhood that we could not deal with then, any feelings that we repress or deny today don’t go away. They linger in our energy field until we give them their due. Sometimes these repressed feelings block our view of the truth.

For many of us, resisting our feelings is an ardent pattern and a habitual way of life. Take your time to debrief from your day, but don’t just say what you did and what you liked. Say how you felt about each thing that occurred.

You might make a discovery that surprises even you. You don’t necessarily have to tell the other person how you feel, but you might. For certain, you at least need to tell yourself.

Today is just a simple reminder of something you already know. Be aware each day of what happens. And be aware of how you feel.

God, help me remember that it’s okay to be who I am and feel what I feel, no matter what those feelings are. Remind me when I believe my feelings are a nuisance, that they’re the key to my power.

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Touchstones Meditation For Men
October 26

A man has made at least a start on discovering the meaning of human life when he plants shade trees under which he knows full well he will never sit.
—D. Elton Trueblood

Our lives are enriched by the contributions of those who lived before us. Many men and women gave more than they ever took from society, and now we enjoy the rewards. Some people were fired with a spirit to beautify the world and planted trees that will live for 200 years. Others wrote music that speaks to us from another generation, and others established a government that guides our principles of justice. They gave so much because they knew they were a part of their community and the world.

Most of us cannot make the great contributions that will make us famous, but we enrich our lives when we contribute freely to improving our community and the world. We do that when we simply say hello to our neighbor, when we serve on a volunteer cleanup committee for a local park, and when we do Twelfth Step work in the program. We too have beautified and contributed to the world, and that gives us a feeling of peace and self-respect.

Today, I will appreciate all that comes freely to me from others, and I will give what I can to make the world a better place.

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Daily TAO
October 26
EXISTING

Fog makes the world a painting obscure.
Even close trees are half unseen.
But a lonesome crow won’t stop calling:
He objects to being in this dream.

Over and over, the sages tell us that this world is but a dream.

When one awakes on foggy mornings, with the mists obscuring hills and valleys and the trees and village buildings appearing as diaphanous apparitions, we might even agree with them. Didn’t we see this same uncertain mirage in the hills of Vermont? The hollow of the Yangtze River valley? The streets of Paris? Don’t the memories blend with the dream and turn reality into phantasmagoria?

The world is a dream from which there is no escaping.

In this still dream, there is a crow calling. He doesn’t stop. When everything else is frozen in the sepulchral dawn, the bird continues to scream. Maybe he realizes the same dream. He protests loudly.

The ancients hold the outer reality to be unreal. But there is the inner reality too. Some of us do not readily accept the conditions of this existence. We have eyes to see, but we also have voice to refute the existential delusion.

Daily Recovery Readings – October 25

Just For Today
October 25
Principles Before Personalities

“Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities.”
Twelfth Tradition

“Principles before personalities.” Many of us chant these words along with the reader whenever the Twelve Traditions are read. The fact that these words have become a cliche of sorts doesn’t make them any less important, either in service or in our lives. These words are an affirmation: “We listen to our conscience and do what’s right, no matter who’s involved.” And that principle serves as one of the cornerstones of recovery as well as our traditions.

What does “principles before personalities” really mean? It means we practice honesty, humility, compassion, tolerance, and patience with everyone, whether we like them or not. Putting principles before personalities teaches us to treat everyone equally. The Twelfth Step asks us to apply principles in all our affairs; the Twelfth Tradition suggests we apply them to our relations with everyone.

Practicing principles doesn’t stop with our friends or when we leave a meeting. It’s for every day, for everyone… in all areas of our lives.

Just for today: I will listen to my conscience and do what’s right. My focus will be on principles, not on people’s personalities.

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Daily Reflections
October 25
A.A.’s HEARTBEAT

Without unity, the heart of A.A. would cease to beat; . . . .
AS BILL SEES IT, p. 125

Without unity I would be unable to recover in A.A. on a daily basis. By practicing unity within my group, with other A.A. members and at all levels of this great Fellowship, I receive a pronounced feeling of knowing that I am a part of a miracle that was divinely inspired. The ability of Bill W. and Dr. Bob, working together and passing it on to other members, tells me that to give it away is to keep it. Unity is oneness and yet the whole Fellowship is for all of us.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day
October 25
A.A. Thought For The Day

Fifth, I have learned to live one day at a time. I have finally realized the great fact that all I have is now. This sweeps away all vain regret and it makes my thoughts of the future free of fear. Now is mine. I can do what I want with it. I own it, for better or worse. What I do now, in this present moment, is what makes up my life. My whole life is only a succession of nows. I will take this moment, which has been given to me by the grace of God, and I will do something with it. What I do with each now, will make me or break me.  Am I living in the now?

Meditation For The Day

We should work at overcoming ourselves, our selfish desires and our self-centeredness.  This can never be fully accomplished. We can never become entirely unselfish. But we can come to realize that we are not at the center of the universe and that everything does not revolve around us at the center. I am only one cell in a vast network of human cells. I can at least make the effort to conquer the self-life and seek daily to obtain more and more of this self-conquest. “He that overcomes himself is greater than he who conquers a city.”

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may strive to overcome my selfishness. I pray that I may achieve the right perspective of my position in the world.

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As Bill Sees It
October 25
Daily Inventory, p. 296

Often, as we review each day, only the closest scrutiny will reveal what our true motives were. There are cases where our ancient enemy rationalization has stepped in and has justified conduct which was really wrong. The temptation here is to imagine that we had good motives and reasons when we really hadn’t.

We “constructively criticized” someone who needed it, when our real motive was to win a useless argument. Or, the person concerned not being present, we thought we were helping others to understand him, when in actuality our true motive was to feel superior by pulling him down.

We hurt those we loved because they needed to be “taught a lesson,” but we really wanted to punish. We were depressed and complained we felt bad, when in fact we were mainly asking for sympathy and attention.

12 & 12, p. 94

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Walk In Dry Places
October 25
Different routes to alcoholism
Understanding powerlessness

While alcoholics have much in common, the personal stories heard at AA open meetings show that we took different routes to alcoholism. Some became out-of-control drinkers almost from the beginning. Others lost control slowly after years of seemingly moderate drinking.

These differences are underscored by the fact that we also differ in physical and emotional traits. Some alcoholics, for example, were so emotionally disturbed that they became problem drinkers from the very start. Some appeared to “have it all together,” yet became alcoholics after retirement or some other change in life patterns.

Whatever the route taken, we share in common our individual powerlessness at the time we knocked on AA’s door. And the solution for each of us was the same: sobriety in AA.

The risk in listening to such different personal accounts is that some of us twist these differences into “proof” that we are not alcoholics. The reward of such sharing , however, is learning that we do have a common problem and that there is a solution that fits everyone, in spite of our diffences.

I’ll remember today that I came to AA because I was powerless over alcohol. That has not changed.

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Keep It Simple
October 25

Love thy neighbor as thyself, but choose your neighbor.
—Louise Beal

In our program, we learn a lot about loving ourselves. Then we start to see how this helps us love our neighbors. We learn to love ourselves honestly, seeing our strengths and our weaknesses. We learn to see others honestly . We learn how much to trust ourselves and when to get extra help. We learn how much to trust others too. We learn to love ourselves with a love that’s honest and challenging. We learn to love others this way too. We learn to care about others without losing our common sense. We learn to protect our spirits from harm.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, help me see others clearly. Help me love them. But help me choose carefully who I trust.

Action for the Day: Today, I’ll list three people I trust the most, and I’ll write down why.

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Each Day a New Beginning
October 25

Love has the quality of informing almost everything–even one’s work.
–Sylvia Ashton-Warner

We are changed through loving and being loved. Our attitudes are profoundly and positively affected by the presence of love in our lives. Each time we offer a loving response to a friend, co-worker, even a stranger, we powerfully influence the dynamics of the interaction between us.

Every response we make to someone changes us while it informs him or her. When we treat others with disdain, we invite the same. When we express only criticism of others, our self-assessment is equally negative. The beauty of a loving posture is that it calls forth love in response. The more love we give away, the more we receive.

Any task before us is lessened when we carry love in our hearts. Love is more powerful than fear. Love helps to open the channel to God, assuring us of the strength, the understanding, and the patience needed to complete any assignment confronting us.

God loves me, unconditionally. And I will experience the reality of that love the more I give it away. Love wants to change me–and it can.

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Alcoholics Anonymous
October 25
THE PERPETUAL QUEST

– This lawyer tried psychiatrists. biofeedback, relaxation exercises, and a host of other techniques to control her drinking. She finally found a solution, uniquely tailored, in the Twelve Steps.

My last hangover was on a Friday before a long summer weekend. I had struggled through the day feeling small and hopeless, hiding the trembling of my hands when I had to sign documents, and desperately working to wrap my tongue around words during meetings. Later that Friday night, after an agonizingly long workday, I was dragging myself up the deserted street thinking that the whole world, except for me, had someplace to go on that long weekend, and what’s more, they all had someone to go with.

pp. 393-394

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions
October 25

Tradition Three – “The only requirement for A.A. membership is a desire to stop drinking.”

A newcomer appeared at one of these groups, knocked on the door and asked to be let in. He talked frankly with that group’s oldest member. He soon proved that his was a desperate case, and that above all he wanted to get well. “But,” he asked, “will you let me join your group? Since I am the victim of another addiction even worse stigmatized than alcoholism, you may not want me among you. Or will you?”
There was the dilemma. What should the group do? The oldest member summoned two others, and in confidence laid the explosive facts in their laps. Said he, “Well, what about it? If we turn this man away, he’ll soon die. If we allow him in, only god knows what trouble he’ll brew. What shall the answer be – yes or no?”

pp. 141-142

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Xtra Thoughts
October 25

“Be the change you want to see in the world.”
–Mohandas Ghandi

Who has never tasted what is bitter does not know what is sweet.
–German Proverb

It doesn’t take a lot of effort to know the needs of another person. By helping others you are helping yourself.
–unknown

Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.
–Abraham Lincoln

In just two days, tomorrow will be yesterday.
–unknown

Learn to enjoy little things; there are so many of them!
–unknown

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation
October 25
FLEXIBILITY

“Better bend than break.”
— Scottish Proverb

Dis-ease: to be controlling, stiff, uncomfortable and unbending.

Sobriety: being relaxed, comfortable and flexible in my personal life and my interaction with others.

Life: not a race but an experience; it is not an exercise but an adventure.

Before I accepted my alcoholism, I went through periods of “dryness” — when I was rigid, stiff and unbending. It was awful! Everything became a test, a job, a premeditated act behind a mask of cheerfulness. I was angry, resentful and in pain. My problem was that I stopped drinking to please other people, rather than accept the true nature of my disease. Dryness is controlled denial.

Today the sobriety I have gained from an acceptance of self has overflowed into an acceptance of life on life’s terms — and I am happy.

Let the wind of experience continue to bend me in the knowledge of Your love.

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Bible Scriptures
October 25

“From the rising of the sun to its going down the Lord’s name is to be praised.”
Psalms 113:3

So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. The man who plants and the man who waters have one purpose, and each will be rewarded according to his own labor. For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building.
1 Corinthians 3:7-9

“Trust in the LORD, and do good; Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness. Delight yourself also in the LORD, And He shall give you the desires of your heart.”
Psalm 37:3-4

The LORD opens the eyes of the blind. The LORD lifts the burdens of those bent beneath their loads. The LORD loves the righteous. The LORD protects the foreigners among us. He cares for the orphans and widows, but he frustrates the plans of the wicked. The LORD will reign forever.
Psalm 146:8-10

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Daily Inspiration
October 25

Treat your family as you would treat a best friend. Lord, help me to treasure my family with all of their imperfections as well as my own and cherish the time we have together.

There is no real happiness without God and no peace when we separate ourselves from Him. Lord, You said, “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you”. I give you my troubled heart.

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A Day At A Time
October 25

Reflection For The Day

My addictions were like thieves in more ways than I can count.  They robbed me not only of money, property and other material things, but of dignity and self-respect, while my family and friends suffered right along with me.  My addictions also robbed me of the ability to treat myself properly, as God would treat me.  Today, in total contrast, I’m capable of true love of self — to the extent that I’m able to provide myself with more love than even I need.  So I give that love away to other people in The Program, just as they have given their love to me.  Do I thank God for their love to me.  Do I thank God for bringing me to a Program in which sick people are loved back to health?

Today I Pray

Thanks be to God for a way of life which generates such love and caring that we in The Program can’t help but learn to love ourselves.  When I see that someone cares about me, I am more apt to be convinced that perhaps I am, after all, worth caring about.  May I be conscious always of the love I am now able to give — and give it.

Today I Will Remember

Someone caring about me makes me feel worth caring about.

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One More Day
October 25

The more things you love, the more you are interested in, the more you enjoy, the more you have left when anything happens.
–Ethel Barrymore

Now is a good time for us to pursue our interest and to nurture both new and old relationships.  We understands so well how easily and quickly our circumstances can change.  This understanding nudges us to expand our experience.

No one of us is immune from the troubles of life.  Whether the problem is loss of a job or loss of a home, good health, or a dear friend, we all suffer at one time or another.  Keeping our lives as full as possible with the love of good people and the challenge of activities provides support even when times get tough.

Tragedies and hard times will affect me, but I know I have the ability to move on.

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One Day At A Time
October 25
Courage

“If you’re going through hell, keep going.”
–Winston Churchill

Recovery work takes great courage. Everyone who tells you differently has not explored themselves in great depth.

It takes great courage for many of us to get up each morning to face a day of physical challenge. Others feel the pull of emotions, job, or family issues.

If but for today, reach inside and give yourself a big hug for being willing to hang on one minute longer. That minute will turn into moments, and before you know it, you will have lived out the Program message, “One day at a time.”

One day at a time…
I will honor and celebrate the courage shown in working this program.

~ January K.

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Elder’s Meditation of the Day October 25

“What does it matter how long I pray, so long as my prayers are answered?”
–Sitting Bull, HUNKPAPA LAKOTA

Too often we worry about the words we use in prayer.
We focus on the words.
What really counts is the spirit and intent behind our words.
It is the spirit and intent that the Creator responds to.
He reads and listens to our heart.
Prayer isn’t only when we fold our hands and pray.
Prayer is when we talk to the Creator even when we are walking down a path or sitting on a hill or walking in the mountains.

The Elders say, walk in prayer. We should be willing to talk with the Great One.

Great Spirit, today I will pray to You all day. Listen to my heart.

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Journey To The Heart
October 25
Replenish Yourself

Some of us don’t know how tired we are until we try to relax. Then we realize we’re exhausted.

We may have lived with exhaustion and stress so long it’s become habitual. That doesn’t mean we’re bad or wrong, or even off track. Many of us are deeply involved in activities, work, projects, and relationships we enjoy. We like our lives and the things we’re doing. But sometimes we’ve pushed too hard or too long. Sometimes we haven’t given our bodies adequate time to relax, to rest, to really let go.

It’s all right to take time out. Relax. Refresh. Regroup. It’s all right to rest even if we’re busy, rest often enough to keep ourselves replenished. Get in touch with your body, then stay in touch with yourself.

Find out how tired you are. Then let your body tell you what it needs to come back to life and love.

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Today’s Gift
October 25

I love him and I cannot seem to find him.
—Ovid

Where can we find the ones we love? Do they always live in our world, or do we have to go out of our way? They often are not at home; we can find them at their work. Their play is different from ours; we could try having their kind of fun.

Too often, we look only for friends who are much like ourselves, and we tend to avoid those who are not. This kind of narrow-mindedness isn’t fair to others or ourselves. We are each unique, like the pieces of a puzzle. We are each necessary to the whole picture.

When we go out of our way to know someone else better, we stretch our own boundaries; we give ourselves new space in which to grow.

What part of my life can I discover in someone new today?

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The Language Of Letting Go
October 25
Letting Go of the Past

… in thy book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me when as yet there was none of them.
–Ps. 139:16

Some people believe that each of our days were planned, Divinely Ordered, before we were born. God knew, they say, and planned exactly what was to transpire.

Others suggest we chose, we participated in planning our life – the events, the people, the circumstances that were to take place, in order to work through our issues and learn the lessons we needed to master.

Whatever our philosophy, our interpretation can be similar: Our past is neither an accident nor a mistake. We have been where we needed to be, with the necessary people. We can embrace our history, with its pain, its imperfections, and its mistakes, even its tragedies. It is uniquely ours; it was intended just for us.

Today, we are right where we need to be. Our present circumstances are exactly as they need to be – for now.

Today, I will let go of my guilt and fear about my past and present circumstances. I will trust that where I have been and where I am now are right for me.

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More Language Of Letting Go
October 25
Stop tricking yourself

Even the best of us get tricked from time to time. Someone comes along and impresses us with magic. Later we discover it wasn’t magic, just illusions.

Sometimes the issue isn’t that people were trying to trick us. We tricked ourselves. We saw what we wanted to see, regardless of what reality was. Then, when reality started to creep in, we told ourselves if we held our breath and didn’t feel our feelings and hoped long and hard enough, reality would change.

We don’t have to get mad at ourselves when we get tricked, even if we’ve fooled ourselves. We need to see and acknowledge the truth and become aware of what reality is.

Don’t let your embarrassment over finding yourself in a bad situation cloud your view of yourself. Sometimes all we need to do is acknowledge the truth, including the truth about how we feel. In a few days or a few months, the solution will become clear.

When all the illusions drop away, that’s when real magic begins. You’ll be guided along your path.

God, help me remember that when I admit and accept the truth, I’ll be given the power and guidance to change.

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Touchstones Meditation For Men
October 25

The wild geese do not intend to cast their reflection; the water has no mind to receive their image.
—Zenrin poem

There are moments which simply happen through no conscious intention or will on anyone’s part. The image of an old woman with a peaceful face, the smell of smoke rising from a chimney on a chilly night, the knowing look of recognition from a friend as we make a comment, the special feeling of a touch. These are spiritual moments because they reach a deeper part of our being. They are like a sliver in time set aside which nourishes our souls and adds serenity to our lives.

We grow when we learn to notice these kinds of moments. In our willfulness, we have often missed them before because we simply were not open to anything we weren’t already looking for. This world is so much larger than the human mind. In recovery, we can take time to admire the beauty reflected around us.

Today, I will let the rest of life intrude upon my mind. I will let myself be nourished by what comes along.

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Daily TAO
October 25
STAGES

Unless you are pious,
You cannot gain a foothold in Tao.
Unless you go beyond rules,
You haven’t gained the middle.
Unless you can be creative,
You aren’t traversing Tao.
Unless the road always stretches out before you,
You are not walking the true Tao.

When people start on a spiritual path, they are anxious to learn all the rules. This is understandable, even necessary. Often we need stern measures to set ourselves right.

But dogmatism is not spirituality. Sometimes, it is necessary to break rules. The task is to know how to go against doctrine in a way that actually fulfills the spirit of that doctrine. It is only at this point that one matures as a follower of Tao.

The next stage is complete creativity. You have so internalized doctrine that you need not think of it, yet everything you do will be spontaneously correct. There are many stages after that, stages not documented but there for you to explore on your own.

Those who follow Tao recognize that all people go through stages of development. Many people leave their spiritual communities when they outgrow them. The path of Tao has been conceived so that one never outgrows it. One can outgrow a particular stage, but when that happens, there is another one to be entered. In this way, following Tao is always vital.