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January 2015
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Archives

Daily Recovery Readings – January 26

Just For Today
January 26
Self-Centeredness

” The spiritual part of our disease is our total self-centeredness.”
Basic Text p. 20

What is self-centeredness? It is our belief that the world revolves around us. Our wishes, our demands are the only ones worth consideration. Our self-centered minds believe they are capable of getting everything they want if only they would be left to their own devices. SeIf-centeredness assumes total self-sufficiency.

We say that self-centeredness is the spiritual part of our disease because the self-centered mind cannot conceive of anything greater or more important than itself. But there is a spiritual solution to our spiritual malady: the Twelve Steps of Narcotics Anonymous. The steps lead us away from self-centeredness and toward Godcenteredness.

We strip away our delusion of self-sufficiency by admitting our own powerlessness and seeking the aid of a Power greater than ourselves. We acknowledge the bankruptcy of our self-righteousness by admitting we’ve been wrong, making amends, and seeking knowledge of what’s right from the God our understanding. And we deflate our overwhelming sense of self-importance by seeking to serve others, not only ourselves.

The self-centeredness afflicting our spirit can be treated with a spiritual solution: the Twelve Steps.

Just for today: My guidance and my strength comes from a Higher Power, not from my own self. I will practice the Twelve Steps to become more God-centered and less self-centered.

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Daily Reflections
January 26
RIGOROUS HONESTY

Who wishes to be rigorously honest and tolerant?  Who wants to confess his faults to another and make restitution for harm done? Who cares anything about a Higher Power, let alone meditation and prayer?  Who wants to sacrifice time and energy in trying to carry A.A.’s message to the next sufferer? No, the average alcoholic, self-centered in the extreme, doesn’t care for this prospect – unless he has todo these things in order to stay alive himself.
TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 24

I am an alcoholic. If I drink I will die. My, what power, energy, and emotion this simple statement generates in me! But it’s really all I need to know for today. Am I willing to stay alive today? Am I willing to stay sober today? Am I willing to ask for help and am I willing to be a help to another suffering alcoholic today? Have I discovered the fatal nature of my situation? What must I do, today, to stay sober?

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

As we became alcoholics, the bad effects of drinking came more and more to outweigh the good effects. But the strange part of it is that, no matter what drinking did to us, loss of our health, our jobs, our money and our homes, we still stuck to it and depended on it. Our dependence on drinking became an obsession. In A.A., we find a new outlook on life. We learn how to change from alcoholic thinking to sober thinking. And we find out that we can no longer depend on drinking for anything.  We depend on a Higher Power instead. Have I entirely given up that dependence on drinking?

Meditation For The Day

I will try to keep my life calm and unruffled. This is my great task, to find peace and acquire serenity. I must not harbor disturbing thoughts. No matter what fears, worries and resentments I may have, I must try to think of constructive things, until calmness comes. Only when I am calm can I act as a channel for God’s spirit.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may build up instead of tearing down.  I pray that I may be constructive and not destructive.

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As Bill Sees It
January 26
True Independence of the Spirit, p. 26

The more we become willing to depend upon a Higher Power, the more independent we actually are. Therefore, dependence as A.A. practices it is really a means of gaining true independence of the spirit.

At the level of everyday living, it is startling to discover how dependent we really are, and how unconscious of that dependence.  Every modern house has electric wiring carrying power and light to its interior. By accepting with delight our dependence upon this marvel of science, we find ourselves personally more independent, more comfortable and secure. Power flows just where it is needed. Silently and surely, electricity, that strange energy so few people understand, meets our simplest daily needs.

Though we readily accept this principle of healthy dependence in many of our temporal affairs, we often fiercely resist the identical principle when asked to apply it as a means of growth in the life of the spirit.  Clearly, we shall never know freedom under God until we try to seek His will for us. The choice is ours.

12 & 12, p. 36

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Walk In Dry Places
January 26
Pray For Potatoes
Faith and Works

One of the sayings heard at AA meetings is “Pray for potatoes but grab a hoe.” This says that both prayer and action are needed to get favorable results in our lives.

But recovering alcoholics do not really need to be told to “grab a hoe.” One of our problems is that we often worked too hard for certain ends, only to lose out in the long run. What we really need to know is that our prayers work with our actions to bring about good results. The saying should be “Pray for potatoes and grab a hoe.” Faith and actions are both needed.

In the strong belief that God is working through us, we can do our own work with confidence and gratitude. Our own efforts are strengthened when we know that we are not alone. We may even receive inspiration and new understanding as we continue on this path. Changes in our lives will turn out to be positive and beneficial if we remind ourselves that God is in charge of the process.

Under the right conditions, potatoes grow in a miraculous way. Other projects will also come to maturity in our lives under God’s direction.

I will be grateful for the opportunity to work today. Moreover, I will know that a Higher Power is living and working in my life.

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Each Day a New Beginning
January 26

You’ve got to get up every morning with a smile on your face, And show the world all the love in your heart, Then people gonna treat you better.  You’re gonna find, yes, you will, That you’re beautiful as you feel.
–Carole King

“Act as if.” There’s magic in behaving the way we want to be, even though we don’t yet feel it. The behavior seems to lead the way. The attitude, the mental state, follows.

Many days we may not get up with love in our hearts for our family, our friends, our co-workers. We may, in fact, want them to show their love for us first. But if we reach out, give love unconditionally; focus on another’s needs, love will return tenfold. And the act of loving them will lift our own spirits. We will know love; we will feel love for ourselves and the many other persons close to us.

The attitude we cultivate, whether one of love or selfishness, inferiority or superiority, will determine how the events of our lives affect us. The principle is so simple. If we meet life with love, with a smile, we’ll find love and something to smile about.

My attitude will make this day what it becomes. Meeting it head-on, with love, will assure me of a lovely day.

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Keep It Simple
January 26

The best way to find a helping hand is at the end of your arm.
—-Swedish proverb

During our illness, we hurt others. We hurt ourselves. We messed up a lot.

So, a lot of us come to recovery not trusting ourselves very much. The truth is, as addicts, we couldn’t be trusted.

But in recovery, we can be trusted again. We can again live and love ourselves. We do this by finding our spiritual center. This is the place inside of us where our Higher Power lives. We turn our will and our lives over to this spiritual center. We do as our spiritual center tells us. And from our spiritual center, we’ll find our values. We’ll live better lives. We’ll come to trust ourselves again.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, thank-you for helping me believe in myself again. I’ll treat myself with love and kindness. I know You want me to.

Action for the Day: Today, I’ll list four ways I couldn’t be trusted during my addiction. I’ll also list four ways I can now be trusted.

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Alcoholics Anonymous
January 26
WINDOW OF OPPORTUNITY

– This young alcoholic stepped out a second-story window and into A.A.

I was surprised by my first meeting. It was in a church and, whatever I had expected, it was not this. The room was filled with well-dressed, smiling, happy people. No rancid coats or three-day beards. No bloodshot eyes, wheezing coughs, or shaky hands, but laughter. Someone was talking about God. I was sure I was in the wrong place.
p. 426

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions
January 26

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

THE spiritual substance of anonymity is sacrifice. Because A.A.’s Twelve Traditions repeatedly ask us to give up personal desires for the common good, we realize that the sacrificial spirit–well symbolized by anonymity–is the foundation of them all. It is A.A.’s proved willingness to make these sacrifices that gives people their high confidence in our future.

p. 184

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Xtra Thoughts
January 26

A.A. is not something you join, it’s a way of life.

He who has fed a stranger may have fed an angel.
–The Talmud

There’s no elevator; you have to take the Steps.

Look for God’s image in the people you meet.
–Robert E. Lea

“It takes no more time to see the good side of life than it takes to see the bad.”
–Jimmy Buffet

“It is easy to dodge our responsibilities, but we cannot dodge the consequences of dodging our responsibilities.”
–Josiah Stamp

“One can easily understand a child’s fear of the dark, but what is the greatest tragedy in life is the grown man who is afraid of the light.”
–Plato

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation
January 26
FAITH

“The ablest men in all walks of modern life are men of faith.”
— Bruce Barton

It is important for those of us who have been crushed by the disease of addiction to have faith that life will get better. We stopped “using” or being co-dependent because the behavior was destroying us. Our lives were disintegrating in negative behavior and attitudes. Now we have chosen a different way to live.

Today I seek to find God in my freedom of choice, my ability to change. I have faith in the daily belief that my life will get better so long as I avoid those things that hurt me. My faith enables me to change.

O God, my faith in me reflects my belief in You.

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Bible Scriptures
January 26

“Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water, that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.”
Psalm 1:1-3

“It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.”
Galatians 5:1

Therefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.
2 Corinthians 5:17

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Daily Inspiration
January 26

We can show God that we truly love Him by the way we speak and live. May I be inspiring, Lord, and may everyone that I meet find You.

Avoid negative thinking because this leads to unnecessary worry. Lord, I rely on You to guide and sustain me and I know that with You I can move easily around life’s obstacles.

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A Day At A Time
January 26

Reflection For The Day

Personal freedom is mine for the taking. No matter how close are the ties of love and concern that bind me to my family and friends, I must always remember that I am an individual, free to be myself and live my own life in serenity and joy. The key word is this realization is personal. For I can free myself from many involvements that seem necessary. Through The Program, I am learning to develop my own personality. Am I reinforcing my personal freedom by leaving others free to control their actions and destinies?

today I Pray

May I find personal freedom, by reevaluating associations, establishing new priorities, gaining respect for my own person hood. May I give others equal room to find their own kinds of personal freedoms.

Today I Will Remember

Take the liberty; it’s yours.

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One More Day
January 26

In human relationships, closeness and warmth only occur when we ask about one another . . . when we seek to know how we can help one another. Until we ask, we will never know.
– Bernard S. Raskas

Who are our close friends? We should cherish friendships and protect them as vigorously as we would a newborn infant.

When a friend comes to us needing our help, we are forced into making a decision. One choice — abandonment — means we lose a friend. The other option means that the question, “What can I do to help you?” is no longer rhetorical, it is a commitment to helpfulness. We may even have to put ourselves at risk, especially emotionally, but we can bee a friend who stays around when a crisis occurs.

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One Day At A Time
January 26
~ HOPE ~

In the hour of adversity be not without hope, For crystal rain falls from black clouds.
–Persian poem

When I was a child, I lived in a fantasy world and dreamed of all the wonderful things that would happen to me when I grew up. I would have a wonderful husband, beautiful children, a fulfilling job and, of course, I would be thin. Unfortunately the fantasy never materialized, and even when I did lose weight my life wasn’t the perfect life that I had envisioned. I would lose weight and then promptly regain it. Life in general seemed so empty and futile. No matter how hard I tried, nothing seemed to work. I hated myself and my life; it often seemed pointless to go on.

When I walked into the doors of the first meeting I ever attended, there was something on the faces of the people I met there. I didn’t know what it was at the time, but I saw something that I wanted. It wasn’t that they were all thin, because many of them were not. So what was it that these people had that I didn’t? What they had was the hope of recovery. If they were willing to reach out to a Higher Power of their understanding, and if they would work the program one day at a time, then this would guarantee them recovery.

I didn’t know what recovery meant then. Because all I wanted was to lose weight, and because I wanted what they had, I was prepared to do what they were doing. I realized then that it wasn’t only about the weight, although that does play a part. These people were learning how to live their life sanely, and even when they struggled with life, as we do from time to time, there was always the hope that they could get through those difficult times by using the tools and reaching out to others in the fellowship.

One Day at a Time . . .
Even when I am going through difficult times and the future looks gloomy, I have hope that it will get better if I’m willing to work a simple program.

~ Sharon S. ~

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Elder’s Meditation of the Day – January 26

“All life is a circle.”
–Rolling Thunder, CHEROKEE

The atom is a circle, orbits are circles, the earth, moon, and sun are circles. The seasons are circles. The cycle of life is a circle: baby, youth, adult, elder. The sun gives life to the earth who feeds life to the trees whose seeds fall to the earth to grow new trees. We need to practice seeing the cycles that the Great Spirit gave us because this will help us more in our understanding of how things operate. We need to respect these cycles and live in harmony with them.

Great Spirit, let me grow in knowledge of the circle.

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Journey To The Heart
January 26
See Life Through the Eyes of Your Soul

Once many, many years ago, I woke up in the middle of the night. Only I wasn’t in bed sleeping. I was on the ceiling looking down at my body lying on the bed. I studied myself, a little surprised at how unusual I looked from the outside. The next thing I knew, I was back in bed. My soul reconnected with my body. That experience was the beginning of a journey that led me to understand I was more than a body. I had a soul. I was about to embark on a path that would consciously connect me to that soul– experiences on the path to freeing my soul.

Throughout my life, I have had many conscious desires and expectations about my life. I wanted this, I wanted that. I wanted my life to be arranged just so. What I’ve understood over time is that the journey I’m taking is not one based on arranging my life in a particular way, then keeping it just so. The journey I’ve been on and what I’ve been seeking has been the journey of my soul.

Much in life can cause us distress and discomfort when we look with our conscious mind. But if we look beyond what we can see on the surface, we’ll begin to see with the eyes of the soul. The lessons run deep. Often they take time to learn. We learn about power. We learn about love. Courage. Faith. Saying good-bye. Embracing deep love for ourselves.

Learn to see life with the eyes of your soul. Experience all the emotions that are there. Discover your truths. Seek conscious peace as much as you can, and seek peace in your soul as well. Let your soul lead you through meadows and take you down deep into the valleys, for all your experiences are just that– experiences– on this mysterious journey of the soul.

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Today’s Gift
January 26

Nothing is more difficult than competing with a myth.
— Francoise Giroud

Sometimes we think we need to try and be something we’re not. Maybe we feel pressure from friends to behave or dress like someone else. All we need to do is remember when we were younger and dressed in our parents’ clothes and shoes. We pretended to be grownups, and it was fun for a while. Then the huge shoes on our feet grew clumsy and uncomfortable and the mountain of rolled-up sleeves kept falling down and getting in the way. Soon we grew tired of the game and stopped pretending. Today when we start feeling the pressure to be someone else, let’s remember how hard it is to play a role that doesn’t fit us.

What can I do today that is most like me?

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The Language of Letting Go
January 26
Off The Hook

We can learn not to get hooked into unhealthy, self-defeating behaviors in relationships – behaviors such as caretaking, controlling, discounting ourselves, and believing lies.

We can learn to watch for and identify hooks, and choose not to allow ourselves to be hooked.

Often, people do things consciously or without thinking that pulls us into a series of our self-defeating behaviors we call codependency. More often than not, these hooks can be almost deliberate, and the results predictable.

Someone may stand before us and hint or sigh about a problem, knowing or hoping that hint or sigh will hook us into taking care of him or her. That is manipulation.

When people stand around us and hint and sigh about something, then coyly say, “Oh, never mind, that’s not for you to worry about,” that’s a game. We need to recognize it. We’re about to get sucked in, if we allow that to happen.

We can learn to insist that people ask us directly for what they want and need.

What are the words, the signs, the looks, the hints, and the cues that hook us into a predictable and often self-defeating behavior?

What makes you feel sympathy? Guilt? Responsible for another?

Our strong point is that we care so much. Our weak point is that we often underestimate the people with whom we’re dealing. They know what they’re doing. It is time we give up our naive assumption that people don’t follow agendas of their own in their best interest, and not necessarily in ours.

We also want to check ourselves out. Do we give out hooks, looks, hints, hoping to hook another? We need to insist that we behave in a direct and honest manner with others, instead of expecting them to rescue us.

If someone wants something from us, insist that the person ask us directly for it. Require the same from us. If someone baits the hook, we don’t have to bite it.

Today, I will be aware of the hooks that snag me into the caretaking acts that leave me feeling victimized. I will ignore the hints, looks, and words that hook me, and wait for the directness and honesty others, and I deserve.

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More Language Of Letting Go
January 26
Be a thermostat

There’s a thermometer on my back porch. It tells me when it’s hot enough to go for a swim.

Inside the house, there’s a thermostat. The thermostat not only tells us how hot or cold it is, but will actually do something about it as well. If the temperature gets too warm, the thermostat tells the air conditioner to cool off the house. If it gets too cool, the thermostat tells the heater to warm things up a bit.

Which are you? Are you a thermometer– only reflecting the attitudes of those around you? Or are you a thermostat– determining your own course of action and following through with it? Thermometer people often know where they are; they just don’t do anything about it. I’m stuck in this relationship. I’m really angry, resentful, and upset. Thermostat people are aware of where they are,too. They just choose to do something about it, as well. I’m in this relationship, and I will do everything that I can to improve it. But if necessary, I will walk away from it.

Being a thermostat means we take appropriate action to take care of ourselves.

God, help me learn to respond to whatever environment I’m in by taking appropriate actions to take care of myself.

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Touchstones – Daily Meditation For Men
January 26

Within every man there is the reflection of a woman, and within every woman there is the reflection of a man. Within every man and woman there is also the reflection of an old man and an old woman, a little boy and a little girl.
— Hyemeyohsts Storm

This Cheyenne teaching reminds us of our connections – inside ourselves and with other people. Reading this passage, we are seeing it partly with the eyes of that small child who first learned to read. And perhaps, looking in the mirror today, we can see the traces of the old men we are becoming. We have been close to our mothers or sisters or lovers and have found parts of ourselves in them. By gently welcoming the children we once were, the old men we will be, the part of us that has a woman’s outlook, we become wiser, stronger, and more spiritual.

We don’t need to be frightened or disrespectful of the parts of ourselves that don’t feel 100 percent virile. We can have virility and many other sides too. Such awareness creates peace with ourselves.

I will notice the reflection of small children in old faces, old people in children’s faces, and men and women in each other.

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Daily TAO
January 26
ADORATION

Images on the altar,
Or imagined within :
We pray to them,
But do they answer?

The wise tell us how important adoration is. So we kneel before altars, give offerings, and make sacrifices. In our meditations, we are taught to see gods within ourselves and to make supplications to receive power and knowledge. This we do with great sincerity, until the masters say that there are no gods. Then we are confused.

The statue on the altar is mere wood and gold leaf, but our need to be reverent is real. The god within may be nothing but visualization, but our need for concentration is real. The attributes of heaven are utopian conjectures, but the essence of these parables is real. The gods, then, represent certain philosophies and extraordinary facets of the human mind. When we devote ourselves to gods, we establish communion with these deeper aspects.

The thought that we are worshipping symbolism may make us uncomfortable. We are educated to accept only the tangible, the scientific, and the material. We doubt the efficacy of adoring the merely symbolic, and we are confused when such reverence brings about genuine personal transformation. But worship does affect our feelings and thoughts. When the wise say that there are no gods, they mean that the key to understanding all things is within ourselves. External worship is merely a means to point within to the true source of salvation.

Daily Recovery Quotes – January 26

January 26

AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

He will presently try the old game again, for he isn’t happy about his sobriety. He cannot picture life without alcohol. Some day he will be unable to imagine life either with alcohol or without it. Then he will know loneliness such as few do. He will be at the jumping-off place. He will wish for the end. – Pg. 152 – A Vision For You

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

Sometimes we are confused about what to do. But we tell people, ‘Do the next right thing.’ We do know what is right and what is wrong from the age of seven. Often our mind tries to muddy our thinking by making excuses or rationalizing. You really do know the right thing to do.

Higher Power, of my understanding, please let me respond to the right and wrong of my Higher Self–for the basic knowledge that was once so clear.

Shifting My Feeling States

When I shift my own thinking and feeling states, I shift my body states as well, because emotions travel through me as body chemicals. In a way, I am what I think about all day. I can shift what I am feeling by consciously changing my thoughts and I can shift what I’m thinking, by consciously evening out my emotional states. I will place my attention on my heart and imagine myself in a calm and serene state. As my heart calms, so does my body. When I can consciously breathe in and out of my heart zone, and imagine that part of me entering a state of ease and serenity, I actually contribute to my emotional, psychological and physical health.

I calm my heart.

– Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

Egoism isn’t necessarily thinking a lot of yourself–just thinking of yourself a lot.

I begin this day by thinking of another first. Who is distressed or frightened that I may offer words of comfort?

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

Alcoholism is an incurable disease; loneliness is not.

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

Nothing can stop me from growing today.

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

I’m hardest to love when I need love the most. – Anon.