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Daily Recovery Readings — November 28, 2013

Just For Today
November 28
Being Ourselves

“To be truly humble is to accept and honestly try to be ourselves.”
Basic Text pg. 35

Humility is a puzzling concept. We know a lot about humiliation, but humility is a new idea. It sounds suspiciously like groveling, bowing, and scraping. But that’s not what humility is at all. True humility is, simply, acceptance of who we are.

By the time we reach a step that uses the word “humbly;” we have already started to put this principle into practice. The Fourth Step gives us an opportunity to examine who we really are, and the Fifth Step helps us accept that knowledge.

The practice of humility involves accepting our true nature, honestly being ourselves. We don’t have to grovel or abase ourselves, nor must we try to appear smarter, wealthier, or happier than we really are. Humility simply means we drop all pretense and live as honestly as we can.

Just for today: I will allow knowledge of my true nature to guide my actions. Today, I will face the world as myself.

*************************************

Daily Reflections
November 28
ATTRACTION, NOT PROMOTION

Through many painful experiences, we think we have arrived at what that policy ought to be. It is the opposite in many ways of usual promotional practice. We found that we had to rely upon the principle of attraction rather than promotion.
TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, pp. 180-81

While I was drinking I reacted with anger, self-pity and defiance against anyone who wanted to change me. All I wanted then was to be accepted by another human simply as I was and, curiously, that is what I found in A.A. I became the custodian of this concept of attraction, which is the principle of our Fellowship’s public relations. It is by attraction that I can best reach the alcoholic who still suffers. I thank God for having given me the attraction of a well-planned and established program of Steps and Traditions. Through humility and the support of my fellow sober members, I have been able to practice the A.A. way of life through attraction, not promotion.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day
November 28
A.A. Thought For The Day

The A.A. way is the way of sobriety. A.A. is known everywhere as a method that has been successful with alcoholics. Doctors, psychiatrists and clergymen have had some success. Some men and women have got sober all by themselves. We believe that A.A. is the most successful and happiest way to sobriety. And yet A.A. is not wholly successful. Some are unable to achieve sobriety and some slip back into alcoholism after they have had some measure of sobriety. Am I deeply grateful to have found A.A.?

Meditation For The Day

Gratitude to God is the theme of Thanksgiving Day. The pilgrims gathered to give thanks to God for their harvest, which was pitifully small. When we look around us at all the things we have today, how can we help being grateful to God? Our families, our homes, our friends, our A.A. fellowship; all these things are free gifts of God to us. “But for the grace of God,” we would not have them.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may be very grateful today. I pray that I may not forget where I might be but for the grace of God.

*************************************

As Bill Sees It
November 28
To Grow Up, p. 330

Those adolescent urges that so many of us have for complete approval, utter security, and perfect romance–urges quite appropriate to age seventeen–prove to be an impossible way of life at forty-seven or fifty-seven.

Since A.A. began, I’ve taken huge wallops in all these areas because of my failure to grow up, emotionally and spiritually.

<< << << >> >> >>

As we grow spiritually, we find that our old attitudes toward instinctual drives need to undergo drastic revisions. Our demands for emotional security and wealth, for personal prestige and power all have to be tempered and redirected.

We learn that the full satisfaction of these demands cannot be the sole end and aim of our lives. We cannot place the cart before the horse, or we shall be pulled backward into disillusionment. But when we are willing to place spiritual growth first–then and only then do we have a real chance to grow in healthy awareness and mature love.

1. Grapevine, January 1958
2. 12 & 12, p. 114

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Walk In Dry Places
November 28
Spaces in Togetherness
Friendship

One of the beautiful aspects of AA is the bonding that develops among members. We truly do achieve a closeness with some people that is unlike anything we ever had before.

The danger in such friendships is that we may become too close in some ways. Without realizing it, we may be making too many demands on others’ time. This can become suffocating to them and eventually detrimental to the friendship.

In such situations, we need to remember the words of Kahlil Gibran; “Let there be spaces in your togetherness.” However, close we feel to others, we must allow them their space.

We should also remember to respect others’ privacy as well as their anonymity. AA should give us close friendships, but not to the point of suffocation.

I’ll remember today not to overstep my boundaries in any friendship. There must be spaces in our togetherness.

*************************************

Keep It Simple
November 28

The purpose of freedom is to create it for others.
—Bernard Malamud

Sobriety is freedom. With this freedom, we have a responsibility to help other addicts who still suffer. The program tells us this in Step Twelve. We do this by telling our stories and offering hope.

We must be ready to care, to give ourselves. This is what spirituality is about. When we help others, we prepare the road for those who enter the program after us.

Tradition Five of the Twelve Traditions says, “Each group has but one primary purpose—to carry its message to the alcoholic who still suffers.” It means we get better by helping others.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, help me create more freedom. Bring me to where I’m needed. Help me carry the message well.

Action for the Day: Today, I’ll think of ways I can help the addict who still suffers. Then I’ll chose one way I can be of help. I’ll talk with my sponsor about it, and I’ll follow through with my plan.

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Each Day a New Beginning
November 28

The idea of God is different in every person. The joy of my recovery was to find God within me.
–Angela L. Wozniak

The program promises peace. Day by day, step by step, we move closer to it. Each time we clearly are touched by someone else, and each time we touch another, carries us closer to a realization of God’s presence, in others, in ourselves, in all experiences. The search for God is over, just as soon as we realize the Spirit is as close as our thoughts, our breath.

Coming to believe in a greater power brings such relief to us in our daily struggles. And on occasion we still fight for control to be all-powerful ourselves, only to realize that the barriers we confront are of our own making. We are on easy street, just as soon as we choose to let God be our guide in all decisions, large and small.

The program’s greatest gift to us is relief from anxiety, the anxiety that so often turned us to booze, or pills, or candy. Relief is felt every time we let go of the problem that’s entrapped us and wait for the comfort and guidance God guarantees.

God’s help is mine just as quickly as I fully avail myself of it. I will let go of today’s problems.

*************************************

Alcoholics Anonymous
November 28
A DRUNK, LIKE YOU

– The more he listened at meetings, the more he came to know about his own drinking history.

One day we were talking about spiritual awakenings. Everyone talked a little about what happened to them and when and how and all that. Then it came my turn. I said hadn’t had one yet, but I was open to it.

pp. 405

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions
November 28

Tradition Six – “An A.A. group ought never endorse, finance, or lend the A.A. name to any related facility or outside enterprise, lest problems of money, property, and prestige divert us from our primary purpose.”

These adventures implanted a deep-rooted conviction that in no circumstances could we endorse any related enterprise, no matter how good. We of Alcoholics Anonymous could not be all things to all men, nor should we try.

p. 157

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Xtra Thoughts
November 28

Resentment is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die.
–Cindy Clabough

“It’s what you learn after you know it all that counts.”
–Jean Rostand

“The first step to knowledge is to know that we are ignorant.”
–Lord David Cecil

Correction does much, but encouragement does more.
–Goethe

He who knows the precepts by heart, but fails to practice them,  Is like unto one who lights a lamp and then shuts his eyes.
–Nagarjuna

The best remedy for a short temper is a long walk.
–Joseph Joubert

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation
November 28
CERTAINTY

“The certainties of one age are the problems of next.”
— R. H. Tawney

I was a religious bigot. I did not know that I was a bigot, but now I see how closed and narrow my thinking was. I craved for certainty because I felt it would give me security and happiness but it never did. I argued dogmas that I did not believe; the plight of the unhappy hypocrite!

Today I live only in the certainty of the day. Today I know that what worked for me yesterday will work for me today if I am open to love, truth, honesty and change.  Change is not necessarily “difference” if I see it as part of a process rather than an event. Yesterday is linked to today, and together they forge tomorrow. The one thing of which I can be certain is change. The God of Truth is revealed in the change; the acceptance of this fact is spirituality.

May I continue to grow in the spiritual life by my continued desire to change and be tolerant.

*************************************

Bible Scriptures
November 28

“But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions–it is by grace you have been saved.”
Ephesians 2:4-5

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Matthew 11:28-30

Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.
Psalm 51:1-2

Do not add to what I command you and do not subtract from it, but keep the commands of the Lord your God that I give you.
– Deuteronomy 4:2

“Therefore let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ–this Jesus whom you crucified.”
–Acts 2:36

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Daily Inspiration
November 28

Tranquility lies in self-improvement. Lord, help me to worry less about the faults of others and use my energy to enhance my own strengths and eliminate my weaknesses.

If you have more than you need, but still feel it isn’t enough, then you are poor. Lord, may I take time to recognize and enjoy my blessings.

*************************************

A Day At A Time
November 28

Reflection For The Day

Our faith in god’s power — at work in us and in our lives — doesn’t relieve us of responsibility.  Instead, our faith strengthens our efforts, makes us confident and assured, and enables us to act decisively and wisely.  We’re no longer afraid to make decisions; we’re not afraid to take the steps that seem called for in the proper handling of given situations.  Do I believe that God is at work beyond my human efforts, and that my faith and trust in Him will bring forth results for exceeding my expectations?

Today I Pray

May my trust in my Higher Power never falter.  May my my faith in that Power continue to shore up my optimism, my confidence, my belief in my own decision-making.  May I never shut my eyes to the wonder of God’s work or discount the wisdom  of His solutions.

Today I Will Remember

Our hope is ages past, our help for years to come.

*************************************

One More Day
November 28

Time deals gently only with those who take it gently.
–Anatole France

There have been times when we’ve taken our lives too seriously.   For whatever reasons — family problems, money problems, health problems, — we’ve let those concerns distort all the events of the day into sad or personally threatening experiences.  When we’ve been preoccupied with negative thoughts, it’s probably been difficult to see good possibilities.

Life magically becomes better, easier, when we take it gently in manageable segments.   Problems may seem insurmountable if we insist on seeing them stretch into the coming months or years.  But when we challenge ourselves to live in theis day, the time treats us more gently by giving us a clearer picture of what we must deal with in this smaller segment of time.

Today, I will concentrate only on the things that must be dealt with in these twenty-four hours.

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One Day At A Time
November 28
~ GOODNESS ~

Above all, let us never forget that an act of goodness is in itself an act of happiness.
–Count Maurice Maeterlinck

While in the disease, most of the goodness I tried to do was for ulterior motives. It was only in recovery that I learned to give unselfishly and without strings to help another. In doing so, I have found happiness beyond measure. I can create my own happiness in the service of my Higher Power and other compulsive overeaters. I can make the promise of a “new happiness and a new freedom” come true.

One Day at a Time . . .
I will do acts of goodness.

~ Judy N. ~

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Elder’s Meditation of the Day – November 28

“People say that crisis changes people and turns ordinary people into wiser or more responsible ones.”
–Wilma Mankiller, CHEROKEE

There is a saying, conflict precedes clarity.

The Medicine Wheel teachings say, in order for something to change it must first go through a struggle. When a crisis enters our lives, other powers are there to help us. We will learn some lessons. Will I honor and respect the next crisis?

Great Spirit, if a crisis occurs today, let me learn the lessons of wisdom.

*************************************

Journey to the Heart
November 28
Bask in Self-Love

The commitment to love ourselves may be a decision we only need to make once, but we may need to take frequent action to implement that choice. It’s so easy to fall into that place of not loving and accepting ourselves. But it can become just as easy to decide to return to the place. We may need to do it daily, weekly, or whenever we begin a new part of our journey, especially a part that frightens or challenges us.

What would feel good? What would bring healing? What would energize or comfort you? And what purpose is to be fulfilled by depriving yourself of that?

However often we need to do it, we can return to that place of self-love. Each time we do it, it becomes easier. Each time we do it, we see the rewards of self-love, enhanced creativity, clearer decisions, a stronger connection to the Divine, and a more fulfilling connection to the world around us.

When we love ourselves, it becomes easier to correct our mistakes, admit our wrongs, share our deepest feelings, and love others. Our spirit dances, thrives. Self-love energizes us. It attracts more love. The universe responds directly and immediately to our choice to love ourselves.

Accept yourself. Love yourself just as you are. Your finest work, your best moments, your joy, peace, and healing come when you love yourself. You give a great gift to the world when you do that. You give others permission to do the same to love themselves.

Revel in self-love. Roll in it. Bask in it, as you would the sunshine.

*************************************

Today’s Gift
November 28

for most this amazing day . . .
. . . for everything
which is natural which is infinite
which is yes.
—e. e. cummings

Let us be thankful today for all simple obvious things: for the sun’s rising this morning without our having to awaken it; for another good turn the earth makes today without expecting anything in return; for our ability to know right and wrong by heart. Let us give thanks for all small things that mean the world to us; for bread and cheese and clean running water; for our ability to call our enemies our friends, to forgive even ourselves; for our own bodies, however sagging and worn, which insist on continuing for at least another day.

How much ordinary daily good do I take for granted?

*************************************

The Language of Letting Go
November 28
Back to the Steps

Go back to the Steps. Go back to a Step

When we don’t know what to do next, when we feel confused, upset, distraught, at the end of our rope, overwhelmed, full of self will, rage, or despair, go back to the Steps.

No matter what situation we are facing, working a Step will help. Focus on one, trust your instincts, and work it.

What does it mean to work a Step? Think about it. Meditate on it. Instead of focusing on the confusion, the problems, or the situation causing our despair or rage, focus on the Step.

Think about how that Step might apply. Hold on to it. Hang on as tightly as we hang on to our confusion or the problem.

The Steps are a solution. They work. We can trust them to work.

We can trust where the Steps will lead us.

When we don’t know what step to take next, take one of the Twelve.

Today, I will concentrate on using the Twelve Steps to solve problems and keep me in balance and harmony. I will work a Step to the best of my ability. I will learn to trust the Steps, and rely on them instead of on my protective, codependent behaviors.

*************************************

More Language Of Letting Go
November 28
It’s an opportunity

In order to develop a strong sense of the preciousness of human life, it must connect to one’s belief system. The belief system doesn’t need to be the Buddhist karmic system, but it has to be one that is critically aware of the uniqueness and special nature of this life form.
–Robert Thurman, Circling the Sacred Mountain

Do you see it? Do you see what a special, precious opportunity each day of your life is.

Look more closely. See all the lessons you can learn. See how you can participate in your growth. See how carefully God holds your hand, guides you down the right path, offers just the right words and opportunities at the right moments, sends just the right people your way.

You can feel. You can touch. You can agoniize in despair and giggle with glee. You can make jokes. You can cry at movies. You can weep in bed at night. Then get up the next day refreshed.

You can taste an orange, a lemon, a mango– and describe in detail the difference in each of those tastes. You can smell a forest of pine tree. You can hold a friend’s hand and feel how he trembles because he’s afraid.

You can stumble and fall and feel abandoned, then get up and suddenly, in one moment, understand that lesson you’ve been trying to learn. You can jump out of airplanes, feel the smoothness of your lover’s back, and hold your child to your breast.

You can wait and thank God later.

But you might as well thank God now.

Maybe the best way to thank God is by living your life fully today.

God, help me to use this opportunity, this life that I have been given to the best of my ability every day.

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Touchstones Meditations For Men
November 28

Our job gives most of us a clear role…. Although we may feel relatively lost at home, we know who we are and what to do at work.
—Pierre Mornell

Most men have become well adapted to the workaday world. Even if our jobs seem like drudgery, they provide us with a place and a routine, which define us. Many of us have welcomed the end of a weekend or a vacation because we could go back to our jobs and definite roles. This situation has many drawbacks. For one thing, if we are out of work, we may feel adrift. Furthermore, if we have defined ourselves only as breadwinners, we have probably missed the benefits of closeness in our families. Some of us have even said, “I feel like I’m nothing but a meal ticket.”

A good job does have value, but we can also grow by giving more of ourselves in our less clear roles at home. It is healing to just “hang around” with our families and friends and to simply let relationships develop. The personal, familiar relationships that don’t depend on jobs and roles let us be comfortably human.

I am thankful for the humanizing effect of my relationships at home.

*************************************

Daily TAO
November 28
DOVETAIL

“Measure twice, cut once,” said the old craftsman.
Only careful planning and patient skill make a dovetail.

Early cabinetmakers were faced with the problem of joining two pieces of wood together at a right angle so that they would bear the stress not only of use but of the weather as well. Especially in places where the summers are hot and humid and the winters are dry and cold, a plank of wood might change its dimensions by a quarter- to a half-inch. Quite enough to make joints fall apart and drawers stick!

The dovetail joint holds because the two interlocked pieces of wood expand and contract at the same rate. The direction of the pull is against the locking of the joint. The byproduct of all this fine craft is a joint so precisely fitted that it is a thing of beauty in and of itself.

Cutting a dovetail joint is a demanding skill. The lines must be laid out with great care, and the cutting must be carefully done using a thin saw. The waste must be slowly trimmed away with a sharp chisel until both sides mate tightly. The making of a dovetail joint requires planning, skill, and patience.

Nowadays, cheap synthetic materials do not breathe with the seasons.  That might reduce inconvenience, but it has also reduced the chance for another relationship to Tao. For when the cabinetmakers sought to build furniture that was compatible with the wood, the seasons, and their own ingenuity, they were perfectly in tune with Tao.

Daily Recovery Quotes – November 28, 2013

November 28

AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

There is the type of man who is unwilling to admit that he cannot take a drink. He plans various ways of drinking. He changes his brand or his environment. There is the type who always believes that after being entirely free from alcohol for a period of time he can take a drink without danger. There is the manic-depressive type, who is, perhaps, the least understood by his friends, and about whom a whole chapter could be written.

Then there are types entirely normal in every respect except in the effect alcohol has upon them. They are often able, intelligent, friendly people. – Pg. xxx – 4th. Edition – The Doctor’s Opinion

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

We may be asked to make many difficult decisions about our new life, facing divorce, jail time, loss of our children. Not all of the results will be perfect. We gather the information that we can, ask for advice from professionals, practice principles as best we can and then trust in the process. We do our best; no one expects perfection.

Not all my decisions will turn out the way I expect and that doesn’t make them wrong. I do the best I can and trust in the process.

One Foot in Front of the Other

Today, all I have to do is live the next hour as well as I can. I will not get ahead of myself. I cannot be anywhere but right where I am. When I allow myself to be here now, to live in the present fully and freely, the rest of life takes care of itself. So few people live in the moment, that in itself will make me rare. That will make me someone I feel good about being and others can enjoy being around. When I am in the moment, the next right action reveals itself. When I align my will with the will of my Higher Power, I become one with diving purpose and I connect with the spirituality of life.

I surrender to the path.

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

According to the martial arts, Akido, the best way to win a fight is not to be there in the first place. Think of this the next time you are invited to a bar, to ride in vehicle with a pot smoker, or to celebrate at the office party.

My best path to cease fighting anybody or anything, is not to be in the ring in the first place.
– Tian Dayton PhD

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

A sure way to set yourself up for a ‘slip’ is to be convinced that others will slip if they don’t listen to you.

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

Today I know that I am nothing alone. I am willing to let go of any struggle that keeps me on a path of doing things my way. I know that all I have to do is ask for help and it is there for me.

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

The measure of my anxiety is the measure of my distance from God. – Unknown origin. Aust.