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September 2015
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Daily Recovery Readings – September 28

Just For Today
September 28

“Gradually as we become more God-centered than self centered, our despair turns to hope.”
Basic Text, p.92

As using addicts, despair was our relentless companion. It colored our every waking moment. Despair was born of our experience in active addiction: No matter what measures we tried to make our lives better, we slid ever deeper into misery. Attempts we made to control our lives frequently met with failure. In a sense, our First Step admission of powerlessness was an acknowledgment of despair.

Steps Two and Three lead us gradually out of that despair and into new hope, the companion of the recovering addict. Having accepted that so many of our efforts to change have failed, we come to believe that there is a Power greater than ourselves. We believe this Power can – and will – help us. We practice the Second and Third Steps as an affirmation of our hope for a better life, turning to this Power for guidance. As we come to rely more and more on a Higher Power for the management of our day – to – day life, the despair arising from our long experiment with self-sufficiency disappears.

Just for today: I will reaffirm my Third Step decision. I know that, with a Higher Power in my life, there is hope.


Daily Reflections
September 28

Practical experience shows that nothing will so much insure immunity from drinking as intensive work with other alcoholics.

Sponsorship held two surprises for me. First, that my sponsees cared about me. What I had thought was gratitude was more like love. They wanted me to be happy, to grow and remain sober. Knowing how they felt kept me from drinking more than once. Second, I discovered that I was able to love someone else responsibly, with respectful and genuine concern for that person’s growth. Before that time, I had thought that my ability to care sincerely about another’s well-being had atrophied from lack of use. To learn that I can love, without greed or anxiety, has been one of the deepest gifts the program has given. Gratitude for that gift has kept me sober many times.


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

For the past two months we have been studying passages and steps from the Big Book. Now why not read the book itself again? It is essential that the A.A. program become part of us. We must have its essentials at our finger tips.  We cannot study the big book too much or too often. The more we read it and study it, the better equipped we are to think A.A., act A.A., and live A.A. We cannot know too much about the program. The chances are that we will never know enough. But we can make as much of it our own as possible. How much of the Big Book have I thoroughly mastered?

Meditation For The Day

We need to accept the difficulties and disciplines of life so as to fully share the common life of other people. Many things that we must accept in life are not to be taken so much as being necessary for us personally, as to be experienced in order that we may share in the sufferings and problems of humanity. We need sympathy and understanding. We must share many of the experiences of life, in order to understand and sympathize with others. Unless we have been through the same experiences, we cannot understand other people or their makeup well enough to be able to help them.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may accept everything that comes my way as part of life. I pray that I may make use of it in helping my fellow men.


As Bill Sees It
September 28
Honesty And Recovery, p.270

In taking an inventory, a member might consider questions such as these:

How did my selfish pursuit of the sex relation damage other people and me? What people were hurt, and how badly? Just how did I react at the time? Did I burn with guilt? Or did I insist that I was the pursued and not the pursuer, and thus absolve myself?

How have I reacted to frustration in sexual matters? When denied, did I become vengeful or depressed? Did I take it out on other people? If there was rejection, or coldness at home, did I use this as a reason for promiscuity?


Let no alcoholic say he cannot recover unless he has his family back. His recovery is not dependent upon people. It is dependent upon his relationship with God, however he may define Him.

1. 12 & 12 ,pp. 50-51
2. Alcoholics Anonymous, pp. 99-100


Walk In Dry Places
September 28
The Role of self-sufficiency

When AA was first launched, the ideal of the self made person was often exalted. Certain outstanding individuals seem to have achieved amazing success entirely by their own efforts. In the drive to be such a self made person, AA co-founder Bill W. was swept away in a torrent of alcoholic grandeur.

We know today that there’s no such thing as a self-made person. We all need each other, and at various times we would have been lost without assistance taht was generously and freely given. Everyone has had such assistance at one time or anotehr. WE are not entirely self-sufficient.

The true role of self-sufficiency is to use our talent and opportunities wisely and beneficially in cooperation with others. Our own success in whatever we do will be enhanced as we continue to acknowledge our need for others.

Throughout the day, there will be many times when I need the help of others, and many times when others will need my help. I will give and receive help gratefully.


Keep It Simple
September 28

Honesty is the backbone of our recovery program. Honesty opens us up. It breaks down the walls we had built around our secret world. Those walls made a prison for us. But all of that is now changed. We are free.

Honesty has made us wise. We aren’t sneaking drinks anymore. We don’t have a stash to protect.

People who didn’t trust us now depend on our honesty. People who worked hard to avoid us, now seek us out. Self-honesty is the greatest gift we can give ourselves.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, You are truth. I pray that I may not turn away from truth. I will not lie. My life depends on honesty.

Action For the Day: For twenty or thirty minutes, I will think about how learning to be honest has changed my life.


Each Day a New Beginning
September 28

I can honestly say that I was never affected by the question of the success of an undertaking. If I felt it was the right thing to do, I was for it regardless of the possible outcome.
—Golda Meir

Living a principled life is what the inner self desires. It’s what God desires. And it’s what the healthier ego desires. Living the program’s principles is giving each of us practice in living a principled life, one that is free of guilt for our shortcomings.

Having principles assures direction. We need not ponder long how to proceed in any situation, what decision to make regarding any matter, when we are guided by principles. They offer us completeness. They help us define who we are and who we will be, in any turn of events.

As women, particularly as recovering women, we have struggled with self-definition. Often we were as others defined us, or we merely imitated those close by. Sometimes we may slip into old behavior and lose sight of who we are and how we want to live. It’s then that the program’s principles come immediately to our aid.

There is no doubt about how today should be lived. I will do it with confidence and joy.


Alcoholics Anonymous
September 28
He Sold Himself Short

The next day I went back to Chicago and started a vigorous campaign among my so-called friends or drinking companions. Their answer was always the same: If they needed it at any time , they would surely get in touch with me. I went to a minister and a doctor whom I still knew, and they, in turn, asked me how long I had been sober. When I told them six weeks, they were polite and said that they would contact me in case they had anyone with an alcoholic problem.

p. 264


Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions
September 28

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

As group after group saw these possibilities, they finally abandoned all membership regulations. One dramatic experience after another clinched this determination until it became our universal tradition. Here are two examples:

On the A.A. calendar it was Year Two. In that time nothing could be seen but two struggling, nameless groups of alcoholics trying to hold their faces up to the light.

p. 141


Xtra Thoughts
September 28

The gift we can offer others is so simple a thing as hope.
–Daniel Berrigan

Until you value yourself, you won’t value your time.
Until you value your time, you will not do anything with it.
–M. Scott Peck

“This above all; to thine own self be true.”
–William Shakespeare

The most important things in life aren’t things.

H = Help others develop their potential. The possibilities and rewards are endless.
E = Enlist people to help you. Having a support system improves your ability to get the results you want.
A = Action keeps you moving forward. Do a little bit every day and eventually you’ll get to your goal.
R = Reach deep inside to find your strength. It’s there if you are willing to be courageous.
T = Trust the process. Rome wasn’t built in a day. It takes time to reap the benefits.
–Carol Gegner

Let there be more joy and laughter in your living.
–Eileen Caddy


Father Leo’s Daily Meditation
September 28

“Good people are good because they’ve come to wisdom through failure.”
– William Saroyan

Today I am able to learn from my mistakes because I can see that they really were mistakes! I was trying to play the game of life without a full deck. My big mistake in life was trying to drink alcohol like a non-alcoholic. I couldn’t do it.

Drugs do not think; they react. They always work, and for me they worked against me. Most of my failures in life stemmed from a fundamental misconception — alcoholics cannot drink like non-alcoholics! This I now accept. And in a strange way that is difficult to explain, I am a stronger person for having lived through my alcoholism. God has become more real, the world is more comprehensible, my life is more understandable because of the pain.

If a part of “goodness” is knowing that you are not perfect, then on a daily basis I am becoming a good person.

God, who has created a world in which there is pain and failure, help me to accept both as vehicles to wisdom.


Bible Scriptures
September 28

“Come to me all of you who are tired and have heavy loads, and I will give you rest. Accept my teachings and learn from me, because I am gentle and humble in spirit, and you will find rest for your lives. The teaching I ask you to accept is easy; the load I give you to carry is light.”
Matthew 11:28-30

And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.
Hebrews 11:6


Daily Inspiration
September 28

Allowing yourself to be less than perfect allows you to accomplish great things in small ways. Lord, may I remove the pressure I overwhelming place on myself and do what I can when I can.

When one door shuts, immediately begin looking for the others that are opening. Lord, thank You for Your unceasing care and generosity.


A Day At A Time
September 28

Reflection For The Day

Now that we’re free from our addictions, living life one day at a time, we can begin to stop making unreasonable demands upon those we love.  We can show kindness where we had shown none;  we can take the time and initiative to be thoughtful, considerate and compassionate.  Even with the people we dislike, we can at least try to be courteous, at times literally going out of our way to understand and help them.  Just For Today, will I try to understand rather than be understood, being courteous and respectful to all people with whom I’m in contact?

Today I Pray

May I never forget my old sponge-like self, who soaked up every drop of affection and attention my family or friends could give me, until they were sapped dry.  May I learn to be a giver, rather than a constant taker.  May I practice offering interest, kindness, consideration and compassion until sensitivity to others becomes second nature for me.

Today I Will Remember

Giving is part of being.


One More Day
September 28

A positive, responsible person does not forget the past harm which may have been done because of earlier ignorance, thoughtlessness, or emotional limitations.
–  Lewis F. Presnall

We’ve learned to or give those who we felt had done harm to us.  Our pain diminished over time, and we were able to let go of our bad feelings.

We are much less accepting of our own errors.  Years later we may continue to mercilessly judge ourselves for past mistakes.  We can forgive ourselves by offering ourselves the same understanding we have offered those we love.  As we move to a new, gentler way of looking at ourselves, we can accept the mistakes we’ve made in the past and even understand them in context of where we were at the time.

I can remember past mistakes I have made, but I will be gentle with myself when I see how far I have come.


One Day At A Time
September 28

“Those who have learned by experience what physical and emotional pain and anguish mean are a community all over the world…One and all, they know the longing to be free from pain.”
–Albert Schweitzer

Whether we isolate or are on the go constantly, whether we’re in the disease or out of it, whether we’ve found all the Promises or we haven’t, we are bonded for a lifetime by the disease of our addiction.

I was alone until I found other compulsive eaters. Yes, I had a family and friends and relatives and doctors and church and careers, but I was emotionally alone with this intricate, enigmatic, hellhole of a disease. The moment I met and connected with other compulsive eaters, my “real” life began.

One Day at a Time . . .
I share what I have learned with those who haven’t.  I give what I have to give, and I get so much more.

~ Mari


Elder’s Meditation of the Day – September 28

“Love is something that you can leave behind you when you die. It’s that powerful.”
–John (Fire) Lame Deer, ROSEBUD LAKOTA

The Old Ones say, love is all anyone needs. Love doesn’t go away nor can love be divided. Once you commit an act of love, you’ll find it continues. Love is like setting up dominos one behind the other. Once you hit the first domino, it will touch the second one which will touch the third one and so on. Every love act or love thought has an affect on each person as well as touching the whole world. If you live a life filled with love, the results will affect your friends, relatives and other people, even after you go to the other side. So… Love.

My Creator, let me love. Let me put into action the love dominos.


Journey to the Heart
September 28
Forgiveness Will Complete the Process

“Do visit Bryce canyon,” a man advised. “But do it later, after you’ve driven through the other parts of Utah. It’s like the icing on the cake.” So it is with forgiveness. It’s the icing on ths cake.

Forgiveness is a simple word, but a difficult, complicated process. Forgiveness is also essential if we want to find happiness and joy.

To forgive too soon, before we’ve felt all we needed to feel along the way, is incomplete. Forgiveness based on denial won’t work. And not to forgive, after we’ve felt our emotions– our anger, rage, pain, and betrayal– will harden our hearts and keep us closed. We’ll have loose ends to tie up, an unfinished connection to our past. We’ll have unfinished business with others, even though we may not see them, speak to them, or consciously think about them any longer. We won’t be free, and neither will they.

Sometimes we need to seek forgiveness because we’ve tried everything else and nothing works to bring us back to peace. Sometimes forgiveness finds us, unexpectedly transforming our hearts, softening us, opening us, and renewing our hearts and our relationships.

Sometimes forgiveness surprises us because it’s the last thing we thought we would need to feel whole again. Forgiveness is often the completion of the process. It’s the icing on the cake.


Today’s Gift
September 28

One is happy as a result of one’s own efforts, tastes, a certain degree of courage, self-denial to a point, love of work, and, above all, a clear conscience. Happiness is no vague dream, of that I now feel certain.
—George Sand

“We always go get a hot fudge sundae after the school choir concert,” the girl said. Her parents laughed because their daughter said always, and they had only gone to a school choir concert once. Then the parents realized that the girl really had a great idea.

“Yes,” the mother said, “we always get a sundae because we like to make up new traditions. We’ll have to be sure and do it tonight so we don’t let the tradition fall apart before it even gets started!”

They all laughed together and started debating which restaurant had the best hot fudge sundae.

We all need to have special traditions with our families. We need celebrations that have nothing to do with official holidays. Family holidays can mean so much more to us sometimes because they celebrate our shared experiences in life and become the source of happy memories for a lifetime.

What tradition can I start today?


The Language of Letting Go
September 28

Here are some of my favorite prayers:

Help. Please. Don’t.
Show me. Guide me. Change me.
Are you there?
Why’d you do that?
Thank you.

Today, I will tell God what I want to tell God, and listen for God’s answer. I will remember that I can trust God.


More Language Of Letting Go
September 28
You’re responsible for you

We can delegate tasks, but we can’t delegate responsibility, if the responsibility is really ours.

Sometimes, it’s normal to delegate tasks to other people. We may hire people to do certain things for us. We may engage in contracts with a therapist or a healer to help us work through a certain issue. But the responsibility for which pieces of advice we follow, and the decisions we make in our lives, ultimately belong to us.

It’s easy to get lazy. We can let a friend, an employee, or even a skilled therapist begin making our decisions for us. We can listen to what they say and blindly take their advice. Then we don’t have to take responsibility for our lives. If the decision doesn’t work out, we can say, “You were wrong. Look at the mess you’ve gotten me into. I’m a victim again.”

Yes you are. But you’re a victim of yourself.

We can listen to advice and let other people help us, but if they’re helping us do something that is our responsibility, the ultimate responsibility for the decision still belongs to us.

Get help when you need it. Delegate tasks. But don’t give away your power. Remember you can think, you can feel, you can take care of yourself, you can figure out your problems.

Don’t get lazy. Don’t give away responsibility for your life.

God, help me remember that I am responsible for me.


Touchstones Meditations For Men
September 28

Life itself is the proper binge.
—Julia Child

The Twelve Steps are a suggested program of recovery, not a cure. We can follow them and live a healed life, but we never develop immunity to our addictions and codependency. We remain vulnerable to slips, binges, and a return to old behaviors. If that has happened to us, our first need is to find a way back to the program. A slip may speak the blatant truth we avoided before. A man’s complete honesty following a slip has sometimes been the way to renewed knowledge of his powerlessness. There is no value in feeling more shame and self-hate in the aftermath of a slip. We need to accept we are incomplete and imperfect human beings. Recovery will come, not from shame, but from honestly accepting our powerlessness and the help we need.

The promise of recovery in this program, a healed life, is just as available after a slip as it ever was. It takes absolute commitment, a willingness to face the pain and hardship. Then we are freed again to engage fully in the joy and the awe of life.

I ask that my compulsions and my weaknesses be lifted from me. I’m not able to cure myself, but I pray for help.


Daily TAO
September 28

Maiden plucks folk tune on steel strings,
Crickets chant like monks.
I’ve walked into autumnal contentment,
Yet a young boy seeks guidance.

One my be quire far along on the path, but if one meets a beginner who sincerely seeks guidance, then one should help without reservation.  If such a beginner were to come to you, what would you say? This is what I said to someone today :

“The time of beginning is one of the most precious times of all. It can be very exciting and full of wonderful growth. The first thing to do is to make up your mind that you are going to go the distance.

“When I first began, I made a lifelong commitment. I determined that I would learn from my teacher for at least seven years. Now, it has been much longer than that, but the essential element is still the same : commitment.

“But commitment needs something else in order to be perpetuated. It needs discipline. This is the perseverance to keep on when things are tough. Adversity is life’s way of testing and perfecting a person.  Without that, we would never develop character.

“Rice suffers when it is milled. Jade must suffer when it is polished. But what emerges is something special. If you want to be special too, then you have to be able to stick to things even when they are difficult.”

Commitment and discipline — these are two of the most precious words for those who would seek Tao.


Daily Zen
September 28

Calming the Mind

Too much knowledge
Leads to overactivity;
Better to calm the mind.
The more you consider,
The greater the loss;
Better to unify the mind.

– Shih Wang Ming (6th c)


Food For Thought
September 28
My Own Body

My body is where I live. Its size and shape is a matter between my Higher Power and me. No one else is responsible for my body. In the past, I may have permitted other people to influence what I ate and how much I weighed, but I now take full responsibility.

Other people may think that I am too fat or too thin, but that is their problem, not mine. I am learning what my body needs in order to operate at peak efficiency. I am learning to avoid the foods, which I do not handle well. What and how much I eat depends on my own preference and the requirements of my metabolism.

My body is a gift to me from my Higher Power. Maintaining it in the best possible condition is my response to God’s gift. No one else can tell me how best to maintain my body, since no one else is living in it or receives its inner signals. If I honestly interpret the signals, which come from my body, I will stay abstinent and healthy.

Thank You for my body.


Faiths Checkbook
September 28
Work is Done; Rest in Him

There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God.
(Hebrews 4:9)

God has provided a Sabbath, and some must enter into it. Those to whom it was first preached entered not in because of unbelief; therefore, that Sabbath remains for the people of God. David sang of it; but he had to touch the minor key, for Israel refused the rest of God. Joshua could not give it, nor Canaan yield it: it remains for believers.

Come, then, let us labor to enter into this rest. Let us quit the weary toil of sin and self. Let us cease from all confidence, even in those works of which it might be said, “They are very good.” Have we any such? Still, let us cease from our own works, as God did from His. Now let us find solace in the finished work of our Lord Jesus. Everything is fully done: justice demands no more. Great peace is our portion in Christ Jesus.

As to providential matters, the work of grace in the soul and the work of the Lord in the souls of others, let us cast these burdens upon the Lord and rest in Him. When the Lord gives us a yoke to bear, He does so that by taking it up we may find rest. By faith we labor to enter into the rest of God, and we renounce all rest in self-satisfaction or indolence. Jesus Himself is perfect rest, and we are filled to the brim in Him.


This Mornings Reading
September 28

“The Lord looketh from heaven; He beholdeth all the sons of men.”
—Psalm 33:13.

PERHAPS no figure of speech represents God in a more gracious light than when He is spoken of as stooping from His throne, and coming down from heaven to attend to the wants and to behold the woes of mankind. We love Him, who, when Sodom and Gomorrah were full of iniquity, would not destroy those cities until He had made a personal visitation of them. We cannot help pouring out our heart in affection for our Lord who inclines His ear from the highest glory, and puts it to the lip of the dying sinner, whose failing heart longs after reconciliation. How can we but love Him when we know that He numbers the very hairs of our heads, marks our path, and orders our ways? Specially is this great truth brought near to our heart, when we recollect how attentive He is, not merely to the temporal interests of His creatures, but to their spiritual concerns. Though leagues of distance lie between the finite creature and the infinite Creator, yet there are links uniting both. When a tear is wept by thee, think not that God doth not behold; for, “Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear Him.” Thy sigh is able to move the heart of Jehovah; thy whisper can incline His ear unto thee; thy prayer can stay His hand; thy faith can move His arm. Think not that God sits on high taking no account of thee. Remember that however poor and needy thou art, yet the Lord thinketh upon thee. For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect towards Him.

Oh! then repeat the truth that never tires; No God is like the God my soul desires; He at whose voice heaven trembles, even He, Great as He is, knows how to stoop to me.


This Evenings Reading
September 28

“Go again seven times.”
—1 Kings 18:43.

SUCCESS is certain when the Lord has promised it. Although you may have pleaded month after month without evidence of answer, it is not possible that the Lord should be deaf when His people are earnest in a matter which concerns His glory. The prophet on the top of Carmel continued to wrestle with God, and never for a moment gave way to a fear that he should be non-suited in Jehovah’s courts. Six times the servant returned, but on each occasion no word was spoken but “Go again.” We must not dream of unbelief, but hold to our faith even to seventy times seven. Faith sends expectant hope to look from Carmel’s brow, and if nothing is beheld, she sends again and again. So far from being crushed by repeated disappointment, faith is animated to plead more fervently with her God. She is humbled, but not abashed: her groans are deeper, and her sighings more vehement, but she never relaxes her hold or stays her hand. It would be more agreeable to flesh and blood to have a speedy answer, but believing souls have learned to be submissive, and to find it good to wait for as well as upon the Lord. Delayed answers often set the heart searching itself, and so lead to contrition and spiritual reformation: deadly blows are thus struck at our corruption, and the chambers of imagery are cleansed. The great danger is lest men should faint, and miss the blessing. Reader, do not fall into that sin, but continue in prayer and watching. At last the little cloud was seen, the sure forerunner of torrents of rain, and even so with you, the token for good shall surely be given, and you shall rise as a prevailing prince to enjoy the mercy you have sought. Elijah was a man of like passions with us: his power with God did not lie in his own merits. If his believing prayer availed so much, why not yours? Plead the precious blood with unceasing importunity, and it shall be with you according to your desire.

Daily Recovery Quotes – September 28

September 28

AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

There is, however, a vast amount of fun about it all. I suppose some would be shocked at our seeming worldliness and levity. But just underneath there is deadly earnestness. Faith has to work twenty-four hours a day in and through us, or we perish. – Pg. 16 – Bill’s Story


Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

This hour may be rough. No one promised us a rose garden and if they did they were wrong. Recovery is not a thing like a rose garden; it is a process like the act of gardening. Right now we are tilling the soil; soon you will be planting seeds; later new growth will reach for the sun.

Let me know Higher Power, God as I understand You, that I can’t reach for the sun until I’ve left the muck of addiction.

Distorted Reasoning

This disease distorted the reasoning of all around me. Because we were trying so hard to hide the pain of watching those we love become mired in the disease and losing our grip on our own happiness, we used our thinking to twist and bend the truth into a more palatable shape. We rationalized, denied what was right in front of us, made excuses and sometimes lied because it made us feel better than to admit the truth. The alcoholic lied to hide their uses and abuses, the family members lied to hide their fear, pain and confusion. We chose stinking thinking over the truth, lying to the world and to ourselves. Pretty soon, our thinking became so filled with denial and rationalization that we started to live by it. Eventually our sense of reality became distorted. Today, I am willing to live life on life’s terms, not mine. I am able to tolerate the truth because I know that I have a program, I have accepted the things I cannot change and changed the things I can.

– Tian Dayton PhD


Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

They say the easiest way to stay clean and sober is to breathe in and breathe out and don’t drink or drug in between. That leads to abstinence. Working the Steps leads to recovery.

Nothing is so bad that a drink or drug won’t make it worse and nothing is so good that working my steps won’t make it better.


“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

Rather than giving others a piece of your mind, don’t—and have peace of mind.


Time for Joy – Book – Quote

I love myself and all that I am today.

My fears are just one part of all that I am. I am a human being on a progressive path to recovery and every part of me is important in the making up of who I am.


Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

Denial – Don’t Even Notice I Am Lying. – Mickey B.