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Daily Recovery Readings – April 24

Just For Today
April 24
Twelve Steps Of Life

“Through abstinence and through working the Twelve Steps of Narcotics Anonymous, our lives have become useful.”
Basic Text, p. 8

Before coming to Narcotics Anonymous, our lives were centered around using. For the most part, we had very little energy left over for jobs, relationships, or other activities. We served only our addiction.

The Twelve Steps of Narcotics Anonymous provide a simple way to turn our lives around. We start by staying clean, a day at a time. When our energy is no longer channeled into our addiction, we find that we have the energy to pursue other interests. As we grow in recovery, we become able to sustain healthy relationships. We become trustworthy employees. Hobbies and recreation seem more inviting. Through participation in Narcotics Anonymous, we help others.

Narcotics Anonymous does not promise us that we will find good jobs, loving relationships, or a fulfilling life. But when we work the Twelve Steps to the best of our ability, we find that we can become the type of people who are capable of finding employment, sustaining loving relationships, and helping others. We stop serving our disease, and begin serving God and others. The Twelve Steps are the key to transforming our lives.

Just for today: I will have the wisdom to use the Twelve Steps in my life, and the courage to grow in my recovery I will practice my program to become a responsible, productive member of society.

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Daily Reflections
April 24
LEARNING TO LOVE OURSELVES

Alcoholism was a lonely business, even though we were surrounded by people who loved us… We were trying to find emotional security either by dominating or by being dependent upon others . . . We still vainly tried to be secure by some unhealthy sort of domination or dependence.
AS BILL SEES IT, p. 252

When I did my personal inventory I found that I had unhealthy relationships with most people in my life- my friends and family, for example. I always felt isolated and lonely. I drank to dull emotional pain.  It was through staying sober, having a good sponsor and working the Twelve Steps that I was able to build up my low self-esteem. First the Twelve Steps taught me to become my own best friend, and then, when I was able to love myself, I could reach out and love others.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day
April 24
A.A. Thought For The Day

It’s been proved that we alcoholics can’t get sober by our willpower. We’ve failed again and again. Therefore I believe there must be a Higher Power which helps me. I think of that power as the grace of God. And I pray to God every morning for the strength to stay sober today. I know that power is there because it never fails to help me. Do I believe that AA. works through the grace of God?

Meditation For The Day

Once I am “born of the spirit,” that is my life’s breath. Within me is the life of life, so that I can never perish.  The life that down the ages has kept God’s children through peril, adversity, and sorrow. I must try never to doubt or worry, but follow where the life of the spirit leads. How often, when little I know it, God goes before me to prepare the way, to soften a heart, or to overrule a resentment. As the life of the spirit grows, natural wants become less important.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that my life may become centered in God more than in self. I pray that my will may be directed toward doing His will.

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As Bill Sees It
April 24
Essence of Growth, p. 115

Let us never fear needed change. Certainly we have to discriminate between changes for better. But once a need becomes clearly apparent in an individual, in a group, or in A.A. as a whole, it has long since been found out that we cannot stand still and look the other way.

The essence of all growth is a willingness to change for the better and then an unremitting willingness to shoulder whatever responsibility this entails.

Grapevine, July 1965

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Walk in Dry Places
April 24
Do I trigger gossip?
Personal inventory.

There is a saying that “listening to gossip is gossip”. How true! If there were no listeners, there would never be any gossip.

Some of us who pride ourselves in refraining from gossip may still have a problem with it. It’s possible we still keep our ears open for any juicy gossip that could fall our way. We might also “shake the tree” if we believe another person has some gossip to share with us. This is done in seemingly innocent ways, sometimes just by mentioning the name of a person to another who may have strong opinions to express.

The harm of gossip lies in what we do to ourselves when we engage in it. There is no way we can continue to have spiritual growth if we practice gossip, even as passive listeners. Spiritual growth takes place within us, and it needs an environment completely free of an ill will.

Let’s beware of any tendency to say things that induce others to gossip. At the same time, let’s tune out gossip that seems to occur spontaneously. Gossip is the enemy of the growth we desire.

It is a real relief to know that today I have no desire to spread gossip or listen to it. This includes things I might read in magazines or newspapers.

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Keep It Simple
April 24

The hardest thing to learn in life is which bridge to cross and which bridge to burn.
–David Russell

Making big decisions is like crossing bridges. Sometimes, these decisions change our lives. We find that turning back will be very hard. This is why we have to be very careful when we decide to burn bridges. When we decide to make changes, we act carefully. We don’t want to make decisions out of anger or envy. Instead , we can think about what we want and how our program can help us make wise decisions.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, help me cross those bridges that are on my path.

Action for the Day: What do I really want in life? What decisions do I need to make to get there?

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Each Day a New Beginning
April 24

She knows omnipotence has heard her prayer and cries “it shall be done–sometime, somewhere.”
–Ophelia Guyon Browning

Patience is a quality that frequently eludes us. We want what we want when we want it. Fortunately, we don’t get it until the time is right, but the waiting convinces us our prayers aren’t heard. We must believe that the answer always comes in its own special time and place. The frustration is that our timetable is seldom like God’s.

When we look back over the past few weeks, months, or even years, we can recall past prayers. Had they all been answered at the time of request, how different our lives would be. We are each on a path unique to us, offering special lessons to be learned. Just as a child must crawl before walking, so must we move slowly, taking the steps in our growth in sequence.

Our prayers will be answered, sometime, somewhere. Of that we can be sure. They will be answered for our greater good. And they will be answered at the right time, the right place, in the right way.

I am participating in a much bigger picture than the one in my individual prayers. And the big picture is being carefully orchestrated. I will trust the part I have been chosen to play. And I can be patient.

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Alcoholics Anonymous
April 24
LISTENING TO THE WIND

 

– It took an “angel” to introduce this Native American woman to A.A. and recovery.

My dad and I decided to go to a Native American gathering. I hadn’t been to one of the pow wows since I was a child. When we heard the drums and watched the dancers, I felt some great passion well up inside of me. I felt like an outsider. I wanted a drink. I wore my hair down and wore a lot of turquoise jewelry I had collected over the years. I looked like the people, but I certainly didn’t feel like one of them. I felt as if they all knew something I didn’t.

p. 463

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions
April 24

Step Four – “Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.”

Now let’s ponder the need for a list of the more glaring personality defects all of us have in varying degrees. To those having religious training, such a list would set forth serious violations of moral principles. Some others will think of this list as defects of character. Still others will call it an index of maladjustments. Some will become quite annoyed if there is talk about immorality, let alone sin. But all who are in the least reasonable will agree upon one point: that there is plenty wrong with us alcoholics about which plenty will have to be done if we are to expect sobriety, progress, and any real ability to cope with life.

p. 48

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Xtra Thoughts
April 24

“With the gift of listening comes the gift of healing.”
–Catherine de Hueck Doherty

“Dwelling on the negative simply contributes to its power.”
–Shirley MacLaine

Encourage your friends, family and co-workers to think positive.  Their enthusiasm will boost you as well.
–Anonymous

Take a break. Move around. Learn to change your perspective.  Maybe you don’t need to change what you’re looking at. You just need to change where you stand.
–Melody Beattie

One step at a time. That’s how you will get where you are going. You are being led, each step of the way.
–Melody Beattie

Focus not on circumstances but on our loving and unchanging God.
–Robert Truesdale

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation
April 24
MAN

“Man is what he believes. ”
–Anton Chekhov

My miracle is that I now believe in me. Today I accept my disease of addiction and I do not resist or deny it. I believe that I am an alcoholic. I believe that I am an overeater. I am a co-dependent. I believe that I am an adult child of an alcoholic. And this belief enables me to be free.

For too long I played the game of control; blaming and bargaining – and I lost. Now I choose to surrender to the reality of who I am. I accept my disease on a daily basis and I make choices with the awareness of my disease. And it is getting better.

My belief about my addiction has also given me an insight into God and His gift of freedom. He loves me enough to give me choice and with this gift comes responsibility. I believe that I am responsible for how I live with my addictions. Today I accept that responsibility.

What I believe reflects the God I believe in; I believe in Freedom.

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Bible Scriptures
April 24

“And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ forgave you.”
–Ephesians 4:32

“For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.”
–Matthew 18:20

“Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler, And from the perilous pestilence. He shall cover you with His feathers, And under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler.”
–Psalm 91:3-4

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Daily Inspiration
April 24

To allow past problems into your present moments can make you feel depressed, worried and overwhelmed. Lord, help me to let go of that which I can do nothing about so that I can take care of that which I can.

If you would be ashamed to sign your name to your conversation, don’t say it. Lord, my words can have far reaching effects. May the effect always be good.

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A Day At A Time
April 24

Reflection For The Day

We come to know in The Program that there is no deeper satisfaction and no greater joy than in a Twelfth Step well done. To watch the eyes of men and women open with wonder as they move from darkness to light, to see their lives quickly fill with new purpose and meaning, and above all to watch them awaken to the presence of a loving God in their lives — these things are the substance of what we receive as we carry the message of The Program. Am I learning through Twelfth Step experiences that gratitude should go forward, rather than backward?

Today I Pray

May my Twelfth Steps be a wholehearted and as convincing and as constructive as others’ Twelfth-Stepping has been to me. May I realize that the might of The Program and its effectiveness for all of us come through “passing it on.” When I guide someone else to sobriety, my own sobriety is underlined and reinforced. I humbly ask God’s guidance before each Twelfth Step.

Today I Will Remember

To pass it on.

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One More Day
April 24

To struggle when hope is banished.
To live when life’s salt is gone!
To dwell in a dream that’s vanished –
To endure, and go calmly on!
–  Ben Jonson

At times we all dwell in the mansions created by our own dreams.  When dream rooms are the only ones we visit, however, reality will jar us back to the present.  We then have only two choices:  to move forward or to live continually in the past.

Just when it seems there is no future, that there is no chance to ever live a normal life again, a thread of hope surfaces, and we struggle onward.   Recognition that we can — and are — still enduring gives rise to hope and helps us go calmly on.

Dreams are sacred to me, but I must live in the present so I can survive day to day.

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One Day At A Time
April 24
~ Loneliness ~

Feeling our loneliness magnifies it.  Understanding our loneliness can open doors into our self-awareness, which we long for and need.
–Anthony Robbins

Before I found my Twelve Step program, I felt so lonely. I was stuck in total isolation and the feeling of loneliness felt one hundred times worse. The isolation and loneliness caused me to continually eat … and so I’d isolate more. What a vicious cycle!

When I found my recovery program, I still wanted to isolate. When going to meetings, I wanted the seat with nobody around it. I didn’t want to open my mouth to share or talk, even after the meeting. I kept coming back even though I felt alone, because I heard familiar things that really interested me. I eventually saw that most of the people in the room felt the same loneliness I did. I began to understand why I felt so lonely.

When I understood that my compulsive eating was causing me to isolate and be more lonely, a big burden was lifted off my shoulders. I finally felt some hope! Then I found that there were many other doors in the past that I should open and become more aware of. These past happenings were what started and fueled this disease of compulsive eating. I wanted to know but I was also afraid to find out.

The similarities, kindness and love I found in the rooms made it easier to look at my past. Understanding that I was not the total reason for my loneliness, I began making amends. I needed to forgive others who had harmed me and those I had harmed. I felt lighter and more self aware, and confidence began to emerge.

One Day at a Time . . .
I will remember that it’s okay and good to feel my feelings but they don’t have to rule my life. I don’t have to let loneliness magnify, causing me to eat uncontrollably to solve the problem. I’ve learned to turn things over to my Higher Power and to let them go. Looking back is the key to my self-awareness and my recovery.

~ Jeanette ~

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Elder’s Meditation of the Day – April 24

“Each person’s prayers can help everyone.”
–Thomas Yellowtail, CROW

Prayer is our entrance into the Unseen World. It is by prayer we can call upon the powers and laws of the Great Spirit. The Spirit World has powers and laws that are different from the Physical World. The spiritual laws allow healing to take place; they allow forgiveness to occur; they cause miracles to happen; they cause hate to disappear; they heal broken relationships; they guide every moment of our lives; they allow us to love even when it’s hard. Prayer allows us access to the Spirit World.

Creator, teach me to pray.

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Journey To The Heart
April 24
Change Your Perspective

Sometimes a slight difference in where we stand can dramatically change how we see things.

One morning, shortly after sunrise, I climbed to the top of a mesa in Sedona. I’d been there the day before, staring at the shapes and forms of the other mesas, and gazing down upon the city. Now this morning I sat in a different place to meditate and to look around. The spot where I sat this day was only a few feet from where I’d sat before, but the view looked entirely different. I saw different shapes and forms in the mesas. I saw a different view of the city, the world below.

We often need to change our position so we can see things differently. We don’t have to make a dramatic change, we just need to move around a little. Perhaps an unresolved issue is blocking our vision, blocking us from seeing the beauty that’s there. Maybe a bit of anger or self-contempt is interfering with our vision. Maybe the changes we need to make are minor, much less than we thought. Maybe we simply need to look at whatever we are viewing without fear, to change our mood and see it with the eyes of love.

Take a break. Move around. Learn to change your perspective. Maybe you don’t need to change what you’re looking at. You just need to change where you stand.

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Today’s Gift
April 24

My life has been a tapestry of rich and royal hue, An everlasting vision of the ever changing view, A wondrous woven magic in bits of blue and gold, A tapestry to feel and see, impossible to hold.
—Carole King

Our lives are patchwork quilts of mismatched fabrics, all stitched together by an invisible seamstress. The tattered, blood-red scraps of quarrels, the beige of pastry crust baked on Saturdays in a grandmother’s kitchen that always smelled sweet, the brilliant colors of our happy moments-picnics and sunsets and laughter-all these are necessary pieces of the tapestry of our lives, even our cold, white doubts and emptiness.

All the colors of life sewn together with the green thread of growth. We are a mixture of feelings and experiences. Often, we want to cut away a square of painful memory. But without it, our quilt would lose its beauty, for contrast would disappear. If a piece is removed, the rest is weakened and incomplete.

How well can I accept any pain I feel today as a part of my own beauty?

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The Language of Letting Go
April 24
Lessons on the Job

Often, the spiritual and recovery lessons we’re learning at work reflect the lessons we’re learning in other areas of our life.

Often, the systems we’re attracted to in our working life are similar to the systems in which we find ourselves living and loving. Those are the systems that reflect our issues and can help us learn our lessons.

Are we slowly learning to trust ourselves at work? How about at home? Are we slowly learning to take care of ourselves at work? How about at home? Are we slowly learning boundaries and self-esteem, overcoming fear, and dealing with feelings?

If we search back over our work history, we will probably see that it is a mirror of our issues, our growth. It most likely is now too.

For today, we can believe that we are right where we need to be – at home and at work.

Today, I will accept my present circumstances on the job. I will reflect on how what I am learning in my life applies to what I’m learning at work. If I don’t know, I will surrender to the experience until that becomes clear. God, help me accept the work I have been given to do today. Help me be open to and learn what I need to be learning. Help me trust that it can and will be good.

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More Language Of Letting Go
April 24
Put your intentions out there

Be clear on what you want. If you’re starting a business, taking a new job, learning a new skill, or beginning a relationship, state clearly to yourself what you’re looking for. What level of performance are you hoping to reach? Stay realistic, but not pessimistic. What do you want? Be clear with the universe about what your intentions are. Be as specific as you can be.

If you’re on the dating scene, what are you looking for? Some fun? A spouse? Be clear and specific about what you want.

After you’ve focused and clarified your intentions, then let your intentions go. Sometimes in life we can’t get what we want. Other times, we can. And sometimes the journey to getting there is full of twists and turns, much more of an adventure than anything we could have planned.

Besides, the clearer we can be about what we want, the easier it will be to recognize and enjoy it when it comes our way.

God, help me be clear with you and myself about what I really want. Then, help me let go of my intentions and surrender to your plan.

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Touchstones Meditations For Men
April 24

I shall tell you a great secret, my friend. Do not wait for the last judgment. It takes place every day.
—Albert Camus

We live our program in one-day portions – and our actions today have immediate consequences. For instance, if we listen to a brother or a sister in the program, we may be enriched and the other person strengthened for today’s challenge. We don’t have to confront every temptation of life on this day – only the portion we can handle. Our old insanity would have us predict the entire story of our future from today’s limited viewpoint. But our spiritual orientation
guides us to restrain ourselves. We simply live in this moment.

The rewards of recovery are granted every day. We begin with the gift of a new day and new possibilities. We now have relationships that sustain us through difficulty and give us reason to celebrate. We have a new feeling of self-respect and hope.

I am grateful for the rewards of each day in my spiritual awakening.

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Daily TAO
April 24
FAITH

In spite of knowing,
Yet still believing.
Though no god above,
Yet god within.

There is no god in the sense of a cosmic father or mother who will provide all things to their children. Nor is there some heavenly bureaucracy to petition. These models are not descriptions of a divine order, but are projections from archetypal templates. If we believe in the divine as cosmic family, we relegate ourselves to perpetual adolescence. If we regard the divine as supreme government; we are forever victims of unfathomable officialdom.

Yet it does not work for us to totally abandon faith. It does not follow that we can forego all belief in higher beings. We need faith, not because there are beings who will punish us or reward us, but because gods are wonderful ways of describing things that happen to us.  They embody the highest aspects of human aspiration. Gods on the altars are essential metaphors for the human spiritual experience.

Faith shouldn’t be shaken because bad things happen to us or because our loved ones are killed. Good and bad fortune are not in the hands of gods, so it is useless to blame them. Neither does faith need to be confirmed by some objective occurrence. Faith is self-affirming.  If we maintain faith, then we have its reward. If we become better people, then our faith has results. It is we who create faith, and it is through our efforts that faith is validated.

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DailyZen
April 24

The mountain stones were rough, the path narrow.
Bats flew in the twilight when I reached the temple.
I climbed to the hall and sat on the steps,
Where the fresh rain had washed
The great palm leaves and sleek gardenias.

The monk said there were fine Buddhas
Painted on the old walls:
He took a lamp to show me some of them.
He spread the bed, dusted the mats,
And set out rice for me:
It was coarse but satisfied my hunger.

Late at night it was quiet,
And not an insect murmured
As the clear moon came over the mountains,
And entered my door
I left at dawn, alone, and lost my way,
Up and down the twisting mountains in the mist
Where the red hills glittered in the jade green brooks.

I saw pines and oaks full ten spans around
And my bare feet in swift water stepped over rocks
Where the water boiled and the wind tore my clothes.
A man could make himself happy here.
Why should I bridle myself in crowded towns?
O my own few disciples:
What if I grew old here and never returned?

– Han Yu

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Food for Thought
April 24
Hungry or Bored?

When we ate compulsively, we often interpreted boredom to be hunger. When there seemed to be nothing else to do, we could always eat! Unstructured time may have made us anxious; we thought we could fill up with food and allay our anxieties.

To be egotistical and self-centered is to be bored. If we are always the center of our awareness, we will soon tire of ourselves, since none of us is all that fascinating. In order to escape boredom, we need to turn our attention outward and focus on something besides self.

When we give our lives to our Higher Power, we are making a commitment of service. We are asking that His will be done and that He use us as He sees fit. By relieving us of our obsession, God frees us from slavery to our appetites. If we are to remain free, we need to serve Him instead of ourselves. Day by day, He shows us our tasks and as we become absorbed in them, we lose our boredom along with our false hunger.

May I know the true nourishment of doing Your will.

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In God’s Care
April 24

God creates out of nothing. Therefore until a man is nothing, God can make nothing out of him.
~~Martin Luther

To bring our addictions under control, we had to surrrender them – and our willpower – to a higher authority. God relieves us of our compulsions as soon as we admit that we are powerless over them. But surrender doesn’t end there. If we wish to move beyond that point – to grow spiritually, to gain peace of mind – relinquishing our self-will must become habitual. We must give God a clean slate every hour, every day.

When we think we have everything under control, we are in trouble. A Course In Miracles tells us, “Whenever you think you know, peace will depart from you, because you have abandoned the Teacher of peace.” Moreover, it is when we admit we do not know how to run our life that peace returns. We invite God back by turning a deaf ear to our selfish ego.

I offer God a clean slate on which to write my life.

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Faith’s Check Book
April 24
Condition of Blessing

Bring ye all of the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.
(Malachi 3:10)

Many read and plead this promise without noticing the condition upon which the blessing is promised. We cannot expect heaven to be opened or blessing poured out unless we pay our dues unto the Lord our God and to His cause. There would be no lack of funds for holy purposes if all professing Christians paid their fair share.

Many are poor because they rob God. Many churches, also, miss the visitation of the Spirit because they starve their ministries. If there is no temporal meat for God’s servants, we need not wonder if their ministry has been little food in it for our souls. When missions pine for means and the work of the Lord is hindered by an empty treasury, how can we look for a large amount of soul-prosperity?

Come, come! What have I given of late? Have I been mean to my God? Have I stinted my Savior? This will never do. Let me give my Lord Jesus His tithe by helping the poor and aiding His work, and then I shall prove His power to bless me on a large scale.

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This Morning’s Meditation
April 24

“And because of all this we make a sure covenant.”
—Nehemiah 9:38.

THERE are many occasions in our experience when we may very rightly, and with benefit, renew our covenant with God. After recovery from sickness when, like Hezekiah, we have had a new term of years added to our life, we may fitly do it. After any deliverance from trouble, when our joys bud forth anew, let us again visit the foot of the cross, and renew our consecration. Especially, let us do this after any sin which has grieved the Holy Spirit, or brought dishonour upon the cause of God; let us then look to that blood which can make us whiter than snow, and again offer ourselves unto the Lord. We should not only let our troubles confirm our dedication to God, but our prosperity should do the same. If we ever meet with occasions which deserve to be called “crowning mercies” then, surely, if He hath crowned us, we ought also to crown our God; let us bring forth anew all the jewels of the divine regalia which have been stored in the jewel-closet of our heart, and let our God sit upon the throne of our love, arrayed in royal apparel. If we would learn to profit by our prosperity, we should not need so much adversity. If we would gather from a kiss all the good it might confer upon us, we should not so often smart under the rod. Have we lately received some blessing which we little expected? Has the Lord put our feet in a large room? Can we sing of mercies multiplied? Then this is the day to put our hand upon the horns of the altar, and say, “Bind me here, my God; bind me here with cords, even for ever.” Inasmuch as we need the fulfillment of new promises from God, let us offer renewed prayers that our old vows may not be dishonoured. Let us this morning make with Him a sure covenant, because of the pains of Jesus which for the last month we have been considering with gratitude.

Daily Recovery Quotes – April 24

April 24

AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

Now we try to put spiritual principles to work in every department of our lives. When we do that, we find it solves our problems too; the ensuing lack of fear, worry and hurt feelings is a wonderful thing. – Pgs. 116-117 – To Wives

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Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

Get a sponsor, get a program, get into service, get a Higher Power in your life, pray every day, go to 90 meetings in 90 days, work the steps or die. Get a life. Wake up and smell the recovery.

When I am tempted to think these clean and sober people at meetings are full of ****, let me remember that they’re full of clean and sober **** and I’d do well to listen.

Appreciating Life

I have the gift of life. I am here. I am alive, with all of my senses and able to experience the magic of this incredible world. Whatever this day has in store for me – I am open to receive. I will act on my day and allow my day to act on me. I am open. I will take steps that I know will make my day feel good, productive and pleasurable, and then I will let the rest happen. Each day presents me with gifts and surprises, if I know how to unwrap the present – if I remember how to be astonished or pleased.

Life itself is the gift.

– Tian Dayton PhD

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Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

Sobriety often brings us effects we never expected, like becoming the person we used to resent!

I used to resent people whose standards I could not live up to. Now, by the Grace of God, I am one!

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“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

Respect the anonymity of others.

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Time for Joy – Book – Quote

Positive energy attracts positive energy. Today my Higher Power continues to guide my growth so that I am more and more open. I am becoming free and unblocked and am attracting all that is good and right in my life.

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Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

I couldn’t handle the grog – and I was no longer my own boss. – Koori 1st Step. Australia.