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Daily Recovery Readings - October 21

NA Just For Today
October 21
God’s Will Today

“This decision demands continued acceptance, ever – increasing faith, and a daily commitment to recovery.”
IP No.14, “One Addict’s Experience…”

Sometimes, we really live the Third Step – and it’s great! We don’t regret the past, we aren’t afraid of the future, and we’re generally pleased with the present. Sometimes, though, we lose our vision of God’s will in our life.

Many of us dream of erasing the mistakes of our past, but the past cannot be erased. Many of us are grateful this is so, for our past experiences have brought us to the recovery we enjoy today. By working the program, we can learn to accept the past and reconcile ourselves with it by amending our wrongs. Those same Twelve Steps can help eliminate our worries over the future. When we practice NA principles on a daily basis in all our affairs, we can leave the results up to our Higher Power.

It seems as though our members with the strongest faith are the ones who are best able to live in the present moment. Enjoyment, appreciation, and gratitude for the quality of our lives – these are the results of faith in life itself. When we practice the principles of our program, today is the only day we need.

Just for today: I will make the most of today, and trust that yesterday and tomorrow are in God’s care.

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

Daily Reflections
October 21
NOTHING GROWS IN THE DARK

We will want the good that is in us all, even in the worst of us, to flower and to grow.
AS BILL SEES IT, p. 10

With the self-discipline and insight gained from practicing Step Ten, I begin to know the gratifications of sobriety — not as mere abstinence from alcohol, but as recovery in every department of my life.

I renew hope, regenerate faith, and regain the dignity of self-respect. I discover the word “and” in the phrase “and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it.”Reassured that I am no longer always wrong, I learn to accept myself as I am, with a new sense of the miracles of sobriety and serenity.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day
October 21
A.A. Thought For The Day

Now that we have considered the obligations of real, working members of A.A., let us examine what the rewards are that have come to us as a result of our new way of living.  First, I understand myself more than I ever did before. I have learned what was the matter with me and I know now a lot of what makes me tick. I will never be alone again. I am just one of many who have the illness of alcoholism and one of many who have learned what to do about it. I am not an odd fish or a square peg in a round hole. I seem to have found my right place in the world. Am I beginning to understand myself?

Meditation For The Day

“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If any man hear my voice and open the door, I will come in to him and will remain with him and him with me.” The knocking of God’s spirit, asking to come into your life, is due to no merit of yours, though it is in response to the longing of your heart. Keep a listening ear, an ear bent to catch the sound of the gentle knocking at the door of your heart by the spirit of God. Then open the door of your heart and let God’s spirit come in.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may let God’s spirit come into my heart. I pray that it may fill me with an abiding peace.

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As Bill Sees It
October 21
Toward Partnership, p. 292

When the distortion of family life through alcohol has been great, a long period of patient striving may be necessary. After the husband joins A.A., the wife may become discontented, even highly resentful that A.A. has done the very thing that all her years of devotion had failed to do. Her husband may become so wrapped up in A.A. and his new friends that he is inconsiderately away from home more than when he drank. Each then blames the other.

But eventually the alcoholic, now fully understanding how much he did to hurt his wife and children, nearly always takes up his marriage responsibilities with a willingness to repair what he can and accept what he can’t. He persistently tries all of A.A.’s Twelve Steps in his home, often with fine results. He firmly but lovingly commences to behave like a partner instead of like a bad boy.

12 & 12, pp. 118-119

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Keep It Simple
October 21

Even a stopped clock is right twice a day.
—Anonymous

Nobody’s always wrong. Nobody’s all bad. And that includes us.

Sometimes, we really get down on ourselves. When we do Step Four, we sometimes see only our faults. When we make our Step Ten checkup, we see only our mistakes. We can’t afford to do this. We need to see our strengths too. But even our faults have a good side. Are you stubborn? Good—be stubborn, you know how to hang on to feelings. So, hang on to the good feelings instead of the bad ones.

Each of us is good and wise. What’s good about us got twisted by our disease. But now we can get the kinks out. We are sober, and we have a program to help us.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, help me to see the good in myself and others.

Action for the Day: I’ll take another look at my faults today. How can I use them in good ways?

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

Each Day a New Beginning
October 21

The strength of the drive determines the force required to suppress it.
–Mary Jane Sherfey

We are all struggling to succeed. And each day of our lives we’ll be confronted with major or minor adversities that might well interfere with our success. Adversities don’t have to hinder us, however. They can strengthen us, if we incorporate them as opportunities for growth.

For many of us, the ability to handle adversity is a fairly recent phenomenon. And not always can we do it securely and with ease. But we are coming to believe that a power greater than ourselves is at hand and will guarantee us all the strength we’ll ever need. Knowing that action is always possible, that passive acceptance of any condition need never be necessary are unconditional gifts of living the Twelve Step program.

Our path forward is as certain as our commitment to it, our belief in the strength of the program, and our faith that all is well even when times are troubled. No one ever promised that our new way of life would be always easy. But we have been promised that we’ll arrive at our proper destination if we do the footwork and let God do the navigating.

Success is at hand. I will apply what I’m learning, and I’ll meet it.

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

Alcoholics Anonymous
October 21
THE PERPETUAL QUEST

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

Came the day when I realized that I couldn’t keep dragging myself off to work in the morning and spending half the energy of every day concealing the fact that I was barely a functioning drunk. I would go home to drink until I passed out, come to in the middle of the night terrified, listen to the radio, and get worldwide telephonitis, finally dozing off at dawn, just in time to be awakened by the alarm and start the process all over again. I gave up on relationships of any significance, saw my friends less, and stopped committing myself to most social occasions because I could never count on being sober. More and more, I just worked and went home to drink–and the drinking was starting to outstrip the working.

p. 392

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions
October 21

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

“We were resolved to admit nobody to A.A. but that hypothetical class of people we termed `pure alcoholics.’ Except for their guzzling, and the unfortunate results thereof, they could have no other complications. So beggars, tramps, asylum inmates, prisoners, queers, plain crackpots, and fallen women were definitely out. Yes sir, we’d cater only to pure and respectable alcoholics! Any others would surely destroy us. Besides, if we took in those odd ones, what would decent people say about us? We built a fine-mesh fence right around A.A.
“Maybe this sounds comical now. Maybe you think we oldtimers were pretty intolerant. But I can tell you there was nothing funny about the situation then. We were grim because we felt our lives and homes were threatened, and that was no laughing matter. Intolerant, you say? Well, we were frightened. Naturally, we began to act like most everybody does when afraid. After all, isn’t fear the true basis of intolerance? Yes, we were intolerant.”

p. 140

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Xtra Thoughts
October 21

S T E P S = Solutions To Every Problem in Sobriety.

C H A N G E = Choosing Honesty Allows New Growth Every day.

Love begins at home, and it is not how much we do… but how much love we put in that action.
–Mother Teresa

Joy increases as you give it, and diminishes as you try to keep it for yourself. In giving it, you will accumulate a deposit of joy greater than you ever believed possible.
–Norman Vincent Peale, Positive Thinking Every Day

God is singing and Creation is the melody.
–David Palmer

Today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday.
–unknown

I didn’t learn humility with my head. I learned humility with my heart.
–unknown

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation
October 21
CONSCIENCE

“In matters of conscience, the law of the majority has no place.”
— Mohandas Gandhi

How I used to hate myself. So many times I caught myself pleasing the crowd, agreeing with people I did not understand or respect, laughing at jokes and opinions I loathed. How I used to hate myself!

Today I have a healthy respect for what the majority may feel but I also trust and follow my conscience. I know that to be in the minority is not necessarily to be in the wrong. My recovery insists that I listen to my conscience, that inner self that is based on a program of honesty, that spiritual cornerstone of my life that I have come to trust.

Now I can say to people, “I do not agree.” Today I give myself permission to disagree with family, friends and colleagues.

May I never follow the crowd because of the numbers: God is one.

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Bible Scriptures
October 21

The LORD himself watches over you! The LORD stands beside you as your protective shade. The sun will not hurt you by day, nor the moon at night. The LORD keeps you from all evil and preserves your life. The LORD keeps watch over you as you come and go, both now and forever.
Psalm 121:5-8

Let me hear of your unfailing love to me in the morning, for I am trusting you. Show me where to walk, for I have come to you in prayer. Save me from my enemies, LORD; I run to you to hide me. Teach me to do your will, for you are my God. May your gracious Spirit lead me forward on a firm footing.
Psalm 143:8-10

“Without wood a fire goes out; without gossip a quarrel dies down.”
Proverbs 26:20

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Daily Inspiration
October 21

There are far more solutions than problems and knowing this is very empowering. Lord, in the encounters of my daily life, may I choose to be part of the solution rather than part of the problem.

No gift is so precious as love. Gratefully trust God and give Him your love. Lord, I give You my heart.

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A Day At A Time
October 21

Reflection For The Day

There’s a world of difference between the idea of self-love and love of self.  Self-love is a reflection of an inflated ego, around which — in our distorted view of our own self-importance– everything must revolve, Self-love is the breeding around for hostility, arrogance, and a host of other character defects which blind us to any points of view but our own.  Love of self, in contrast, is an appreciation of our dignity and value as human beings.  Love of self is an expression of self-realization, from which springs humility.  Do I believe that I can love others best when I have gained love of self?

Today I Pray

May God, who loves me, teach me to love myself.  May I notice that the most arrogant of officious humans are not so completely sure of themselves, after all.  Instead, they are apt to have a painfully low self-image, and insecurity which they clock in pomp and princely trappings.  May God show me that when I can like myself, I am duly crediting Him, since every living thing is a work of God.

Today I Will Remember

I will try to like myself.

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One More Day
October 21

Business runs after nobody; people cling to it pof their own free will and think that to be busy is a proof of happiness.
—   Lucius Annaeus Seneca

Sometimes we need to keep busy just to fill time.  After a loss or health change, we may have great amounts of time to fill.  We may turn to busy work — working having no significance but marking time as we move toward yet another adjustment.  Tool-shop organizing, closet cleaning, and other tasks might be ploys we need, emotionally, to perform in rote fashion.

When we are adjusting, we may need to be busy — to think, to decide on new plans of action, and to move forward.  We won’t need busy work, and we’ll be able to make gains again.  As we make our adjustments, very very slowly, the purpose of our lives will return.

I will put effort into my days to find meaning.  It may be difficult to stay busy, but I can do it.

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

One Day At A Time
October 21
Ready

“If we wait for the moment when everything, absolutely everything is ready, we shall never begin.”
–Ivan Turgenev

This was one of my biggest obstacles in recovery: I wanted everything to be perfect. This type of thinking kept me stuck for many years in the disease. Instead of my program being One Day At A Time, it was always “one day later and I will do your will God.”

Now I know that today is all I have. I have no guarantees for tomorrow. So I let go and let God, and do the best I can. I have discovered that I do not have to work a perfect program. Not everything has to be just “right.”

One day at a time…
One day at a time I do the footwork that is required of me and leave the results to God.

~ Terri

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Elder’s Meditation of the Day – October 21

“There is one God looking down on us all. We are children of the one God. God is listening to me. The sun, the darkness, the winds are all listening to what we now say.”
–Geronimo, APACHE

The Old Ones before us knew things. Many of them were so spiritual that the Creator told them things through visions, ceremonies, and prayer. The Creator taught them about interconnectedness, balance and respect. The Old Ones experienced these things and told us we are all children of the same God. We all live under the same natural laws. Every human being, every animal, every plant, every insect, every bird, we are all the same in the eyes of God.

Great Mystery, teach me to respect all the things You have created.

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

Journey To The Heart
October 21
Learn to Nurture and Be Nurtured

It was a quiet morning. I was holed up in a hotel room at the mouth of Bryce Canyon, working on this book. Working on my life. I stayed in bed for a while– thinking, pondering, wondering. Finally I got up, went to the restaurant for coffee and a roll, then went for a drive. Soak up nature, I told myself. This journey is a living meditation.

I drove into Bryce Canyon Park, letting the massive stones, the colors and spirals, the eternity of the canyon touch me, heal me, soothe my soul. An hour later, when I felt calmer and more energized, I got back in the car and headed for the park exit. Several cars were jammed up. I wondered if there had been an accident. Then I saw why the others had stopped. A mother deer was standing on the side of the road, gently nuzzling her fawn. She stood by her off-spring’s side, protecting and nurturing.

Many of us barely remember a mother’s nurturing love, some of us do, with fondness and joy. many of us have experienced the great gift of nurturing and loving our children, a joy that opens the heart in a way little else can. Some of us have learned to give and receive nurturing in other ways, in people outside our immediate families. But most of us, along the way, have learned the gift, the wonder, the awe, and the healing blessings of nurturing. Giving and receiving is a continuous cycle, a necessary part of the road to the heart.

Learn to nurture others. Nurture and love yourself. The whole universe will rally aroud and help. Others will applaud your efforts and learn from them, the way passersby stopped to gaze on the deer and her fawn.

Celebrate the power of nurturing. Release its gentle love.. It rests inside each of us, waiting to be seen, appreciated, and brought to life.

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

Today’s Gift
October 21

Great events make me quiet and calm; it is only trifles that irritate my nerves.
—Queen Victoria

Isn’t that always the way? We cope with major events, like births and weddings, fairly well. It is the little things – so inconsequential in the long run – that upset us. If the kids don’t pick up their rooms, or dinner is late, or we can’t go to the movies because we haven’t done our homework, we become irritated and annoyed. Minor things like these upset us much more than they should.

Are they really so important? A messy room is not a terminal illness. A late dinner won’t affect our health unless we get so upset about it we make ourselves sick. We’ll survive.

If we think back to the last time we were angry or upset, does it seem important now? We probably can’t even remember why we reacted that way. How much better life is when we let go of the little irritations.

What irritation can I let go of today?

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 The Language of Letting Go
October 21
Financial Responsibility

“When I began recovery from chemical dependency, I had to face my money mess stone cold sober, and I really had a mess,” said one woman.

“I wasn’t able to earn much at first, and it was important to me to make amends. I had past due bills from years before. I needed to try to stay current with my new bills. I had a lot more money before I sobered up. But in time, slowly, gradually, my financial situation cleared up. I restored my credit. I had a checking account. I had a little money in the bank.

“Then I married an alcoholic and began to learn about my codependency – the hard way. I lost myself, my feelings, my sanity, and all the progress I had made with my financial affairs. My husband and I opened a checking account together, and he over drafted checks until I lost the right to have a checking account. I let him charge and charge on my credit card, and he drove that into the ground.

“We borrowed and borrowed to keep our sinking ship afloat – and we borrowed a lot from my parents,” she said. “By the time I began my recovery from codependency, I was again facing a real financial mess. I was furious, but it didn’t matter who did what. I had some serious financial matters to face if that part of my life was ever going to become manageable again.

“Slowly – very slowly – I began to work out of my mess. It seemed impossible! I didn’t even want to face it, it felt so overwhelming and hopeless. But I did. And each day I did the best I could to be responsible for myself.

“One decision I made was to separate and protect myself financially from my husband, the best I could, before and after we divorced. The other decision I made was to face and begin reconstructing the financial affairs in my life.

“It was difficult. We owed over fifty thousand dollars, and my ability to produce income had dramatically decreased. I was grieving; my self-esteem was at an all time low; my energy was low. I did not know how I would ever untangle this nightmare. But it did happen. Slowly, gradually, with the help of a Higher Power, manageability crept in and replaces chaos.

“I began by not spending more than I earned. I paid back some creditors, a little at a time. I let go of what I couldn’t do, and focused on what I could do.

“Now, eight years have passed. I am debt free, which I never imagined possible. I am living comfortably, with money in the bank. My credit has been restored, again. And I intend to keep it that way.

“I am not willing to lose my financial sanity and security again, ever, for love or for alcoholism. With the help of God and the Twelve Steps, I won’t have to.”

One day at a time, we can be restored in recovery – mentally, emotionally, spiritually, physically, and financially. It may get worse before it gets better – because we are finally facing reality instead of dodging it. But once we make the decision to take financial responsibility for ourselves, we are on our way.

God, help me remember that what seems hopeless today can often be solved tomorrow, even if I can’t see the solution. If I have allowed the problems of others to hurt me financially, help me repair and restore my boundaries around money – and what I am willing to lose. Help me understand that I do not have to allow anyone else’s financial irresponsibility, addiction, disease, or problem to hurt me financially. Help me go on with my life in spite of my present financial circumstances, trusting that if I am willing to make amends and be responsible, things will work out.

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More Language Of Letting Go
October 21
Cultivate awareness

Often the words “consciousness” and “awareness” are used interchangeably. … Consciousness is the pulsing vibration that is the essence of all things. Awareness is the individuating “I AM” in each of us. Wherever I am, my awareness is also. When I move, my awareness goes with me. When I focus my awareness on something, I perceive that thing. Through my physical sensory organs, I am aware of sights, sounds, tastes, smells and touch. Through higher sensory perception I am aware of much more.
–Enid Hoffman

Use all your senses, whether you are visualizing the future or sinking into a joyful awareness of where you are right now. Don’t just look at the flower– touch it. Smell it. Feel it.

Don’t just gaze at the people in your life. Hear them. Feel their power and presence.

Slow down. Don’t move so fast. You’ll miss important things. Cultivate awareness. Bring your senses, all of them, into the heart of your life.

Awareness isn’t about looking. It’s about seeing with more than our eyes. Often when we look for a thing, whether it’s a home or a girlfriend, all we can see is our projections– our hopes, fears, past, and desires.

Relax. Stop projecting yourself onto the world. Let go of judgements. Let things and people be what and who they are.

Cultivate awareness by using all your senses.

Learn to see what is.

God, help me slow down and become aware.

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

Touchstones Meditation For Men
October 21

No man can produce great things who is not thoroughly sincere in dealing with himself.
—James Russell Lowell

We are in the business of producing miracles. The renewal of life in us and others in this program is a great event and happens only after we establish an honest relationship with ourselves. No longer can we excuse our minimizing and little white lies that push aside the truth. No longer can we deny our private fears and self doubts. In our growing sincerity with ourselves, we can admit our weaknesses. Some of us feel inadequate at our work, many of us have feelings that we aren’t masculine enough, and many of us feel tempted to return to old destructive behaviors.

In this program we have a renewal based on truth. We build upon solid reality rather than upon fiction. Denying the truth to ourselves always made us weaker and sicker than the facts themselves ever could. Viewing the facts from a new position of acceptance shows they aren’t nearly as bad as we thought. Our sincerity with ourselves becomes a solid footing for growth.

My strength today is based upon a sincere relationship with myself.

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

Daily TAO
October 21
SITTING

Cat sits in the sun.
Dog sits in the grass.
Turtle sits on the rock.
Frog sits on the lily pad.
Why aren’t people so smart?

Those who follow Tao are fond of pointing out the wisdom of animals.  When they see a cat sitting motionless in the sun or a turtle who stretches her head upward in a still pose, they say that these animals are meditating. They know how to be still and conserve their internal energy. They do not dissipate themselves in useless activity but instead withdraw into themselves to recharge.

It is only people who label meditation as some sort of odd religious activity. This is not the actual case. Something like meditation happens when we sleep, or when we are absorbed in reading a book, or when we “daydream” and become so lost in a thought or an image that we do not notice what is going on around us.

There is no reason to think of meditation as something out of the ordinary. Quite the opposite. Meditation is the purest and most natural expression we can have. When you next look at a cat or a dog sitting still, and admire the naturalness of their actions, think then of your own life. Don’t meditate because it is a part of your schedule or is demanded by your particular philosophy. Meditate because this is natural.

 

Daily Recovery Readings – October 20

Just For Today
October 20
Freedom To Choose

“Enforced morality lacks the power that comes to us when we choose to live a spiritual life.”
Basic Text, p.44

In our active addiction, many of us lived our lives by default. We were unwilling or unable to make choices about how we wanted to act, what we preferred to do, or even where we would live. We allowed the drugs or other people to make our most basic decisions for us. Freedom from active addiction means, among other things, the freedom to make those choices for ourselves.

Freedom of choice is a wonderful gift, but it’s also a great responsibility. Choice allows us to find out who we are and what we believe in. However, in exercising it, we’re called on to weigh our own choices and accept the consequences. This leads some of us to seek out someone who will make our choices for us-our sponsor, our home group, our NA friends-just as our disease made our choices for us when we were using. That’s not recovery.

Seeking others’ experience is one thing; abdicating personal responsibility is something else. If we don’t use the gift of freedom we’ve been given, if we refuse to accept the responsibilities that go along with it, we’ll lose that gift and our lives will be diminished. We are responsible for our own recovery and our own choices. Difficult as it may seem; we must make those choices for ourselves and become willing to accept the consequences.

Just for today: I am grateful for the freedom to live as I choose. Today, I will accept responsibility for my recovery, make my own choices, and accept the consequences.

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

Daily Reflections
October 20
SOLACE FOR CONFUSION

Obviously, the dilemma of the wanderer from faith is that of profound confusion. He thinks himself lost to the comfort of any conviction at all. He cannot attain in even a small degree the assurance of the believer, the agnostic, or the atheist. He is the bewildered one.
TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 28

The concept of God was one that I struggled with during my early years of sobriety. The images that came to me, conjured from my past, were heavy with fear, rejection and condemnation. Then I heard my friend Ed’s image of a Higher Power: As a boy he had been allowed a litter of puppies, provided that he assume responsibility for their care.  Each morning he would find the unavoidable “byproducts” of the puppies on the kitchen floor. Despite frustration, Ed said he couldn’t get angry because “that’s the nature of puppies.” Ed felt that God viewed our defects and shortcomings with a similar understanding and warmth. I’ve often found solace from my personal confusion in Ed’s calming concept of God.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day
October 20
A.A. Thought For The Day

For the past few weeks we have been asking ourselves some searching questions. We have not been able to answer them all as we would like. But on the right answers to these questions will depend the usefulness and effectiveness of our lives and to some extent the usefulness and effectiveness of the whole A.A. movement. It all boils down to this: I owe a deep debt to A.A. and to the grace of God. Am I going to do all I can to repay this debt? Let us search our souls, make our own decisions, and act accordingly. Any real success we have in life will depend on that. Now is the time to put our conclusions into effect. What am I going to do about it?

Meditation For The Day

“Our Lord and our God, be it done unto us according to Thy will.” Simple acceptance of God’s will in whatever happens is the key to abundant living. We must continue to pray:  Not my will but Thy will be done. It may not turn out the way you want it to, but it will be the best way in the long run, because it is God’s way. If you decide to accept whatever happens as God’s will for yourself, whatever it may be, your burdens will be lighter. Try to see in all things some fulfillment of the Divine Intent.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may see the working out of God’s will in my life. I pray that I may be content with whatever He will for me.

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

As Bill Sees It
October 20
Pain-Killer—-or Pain-Healer, p. 291

“I believe that when we were active alcoholics we drank mostly to kill pain of one kind or another–physical or emotional or psychic. Of course, everybody has a cracking point, and I suppose you reached yours–hence, the resort once more to the bottle.

“If I were you, I wouldn’t heap devastating blame on myself for this; on the other hand, the experience should redouble your conviction that alcohol has no permanent value as a pain-killer.”

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

In every A.A. story, pain has been the price of admission into a new life. But this admission price purchased more than we expected. It led us to a measure of humility, which we soon discovered to be a healer of pain. We began to fear pain less, and desire humility more than ever.

1. LETTER, 1959
2. TWELVE AND TWELVE, p. 75

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Walk In Dry Places
October 20
This too shall pass
Acceptance

When personal problems are brought up in group discussions, someone usually remembers the saying, “This too shall pass.” We use it in reference to unpleasant matters, but it also applies to happier experiences. It is a certainty that nothing will ever stay the same.

Our responsibility to ourselves is to see all situations constructively, whether they are seen as good or bad at the time. WHat seems a disappoint today might be seen as a blessing tomorrow. And we can’t always be sure that today’s wonderful opportunity doesn’t have a few hidden nettles in it.

The one certainty is that everything will pass. We should extract the good from everything, and let what is unpleasant fade into the past.

Whatever I’m facing today will certainly change as I do my best in the 24 hours ahead. None of us is permanently bound to any problem.

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

Keep It Simple
October 20

We lie loudest when we lie to ourselves.
—Eric Hoffer

When we’re not honest with others, we’re not being honest with ourselves. In recovery, we’re taught how to heal our hearts. We admit we’re wrong, and we do it quickly. We let our spirit have the loudest voice. This way, lies lose power over us. We find a way to be true to our spirit.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, You have a soft, quiet voice inside me. Help me, through meditation, to hear You better. Yours is the voice to follow.

Action for the Day: I’ll listen to my Higher Power. I’ll list any lies I’ve been telling myself and others lately. Then I’ll find someone I trust and tell that person what I’ve lied about.

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

Each Day a New Beginning
October 20

…You don’t get to choose how you’re going to die. Or when. You can only decide how you’re going to live. Now.
–Joan Baez

How thrilling to contemplate that we can choose every attitude we have and every action we take. We have been gifted with full responsibility for our development. What will we try today? It’s our personal choice. How will we decide on a particular issue? Our options are only limited by our vision.

Every situation in life offers us a significant opportunity for making a decision that will, of necessity, influence the remaining situations we encounter. Just as we are interdependent, needing and influencing one another in all instances that bring us together, likewise our decisions are never inviolate. Each is singly important; however, its impact is multiplied by the variety of other decisions triggered.

The choice is ours for livings fully today, for taking advantage of all the opportunities that present themselves. Our personal growths, our emotional and spiritual development, are in our hands. God will provide us with the guidance, and the program offers us the tools. The decision to act is ours, alone.

I will exercise my personal power. My choices determine my development.

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

Alcoholics Anonymous
October 20
THE PERPETUAL QUEST

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

Many drunks later, I tried everything else I could find: more therapy, different psychiatrists (it was always to be the next one would solve my problem), biofeedback, relaxation exercises, Antabuse, lots of self-help books from Freud to Jung, to every current fad that was published or taught. All to no avail, of course, because I’d always end up drunk.

pp. 391-392

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions
October 20

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

A member gives us a vivid glimpse of those days. “At one time,” he says, “every A.A. group had many membership rules. Everybody was scared witless that something or somebody would capsize the boat and dump us all back into the drink. Our Foundation office* asked each group to send in its list of `protective’ regulations. The total list was a mile long. If all those rules had been in effect everywhere, nobody could have possibly joined A.A. at all, so great was the sum of our anxiety and fear.

pp. 139-140

*In 1954, the name of the Alcoholic Foundation, Inc., was changed to the General Service Board of Alcoholics Anonymous, Inc., and the Foundation office is now the General Service Office.

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Xtra Thoughts
October 20

Faith that the thing can be done is essential to any great achievement.
–Thomas N. Carter

Knowing Gods gift of inner strength and courage, I move forward with the things that once terrified me.
–Shelly

You could have everything in life and still have nothing or you could seek the Truth.
–unknown

The surface holds only illusions. Search deeper for the truth.
–unknown

Communication is the key to unlocking many doors in life.
–unknown

Change is hard, explaining why it is easier to stay in a negative frame of mind rather than a positive one.
–unknown

God is there when we need him the most. When we are afflicted, when trials are facing us, he is there for us. But what we need to understand is that God is there for us even when there are no trials, or when we are not afflicted. In knowing this truth, we can appeal to God at any time. We need not look to God only in testing times, but in fertile times. We should look to cultivate a relationship with Him in good times, and not just bad.
–unknown

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation
October 20
OBSERVANCE

“The older I grow, the more I listen to people who don’t say much.”
— German G. Gladden

I’ve noticed that an important part of my recovery is people watching. I have fun watching people — at a party, on a train or in a park. I find the daily “theater” of life fascinating and stimulating. I also learn so much about me by observing others. I can identify with their mannerisms, actions and facial antics and intuitively sense what they are feeling. I see their fear, hesitancy and shame and connect it with mine. People are a mirror to my life.

Part of my recovery is developing that instinctive spirituality that grows through observation. The human being is forever communicating, sending energy and messages not only with words but by his existence — and especially by his silence. Sometimes a person’s silence can be deafening! God is most alive to me in the lives and behavior of His people, and part of my worship and prayer is observing the splendor and richness of my fellow human beings.

You, who have created the universe in such magnificent silence, touch me with Your stillness.

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Bible Scriptures
October 20

“Do not be afraid, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.”
Luke 12:32

“We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed.”
2 Corinthians 4:8-9

“No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.”
Matthew 24:36

“But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.”
1 Peter 3:15

“This, then, is how you should pray: “‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.’ For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.
Matthew 6:9-15

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Daily Inspiration
October 20

When we are in a bad mood we are often reactive and irrational. A few moments of gratitude for all that we have will quickly change our feelings. Lord, help me gratefully remember that there is always more good in my life than bad.

Through the power of God within me, I am stronger than any of my circumstances. Lord, I seek, I knock and I ask and You are always there and ready to give me the miracles that I need.

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A Day At A Time
October 20

Reflection For The Day

Before I admitted my powerlessness over alcohol and other chemicals, I had as much self-worth as a “peeled zero.”  I came into The Program as a nobody who desperately wanted to be a somebody.  In  retrospect, my self-esteem was shredded, seemingly beyond repair.  Gradually, The Program has enabled me to achieve an even-stronger sense of self-worth.  I’ve come to accept myself, realizing that I’m not so bad as I had always supposed myself to be.  Am I learning that my self-worth is not dependent on the approval of others, but instead is truly an “inside job”?

Today I Pray

When I am feeling down and worthless, may my Higher Power and my friends in the group help me see that, although I was “fallen,” I was not “cast down.”  However sick I might have been in my worst days, with all the self-esteem of an earth worm, may I know that I still had the power of choice.  And I chose to do something about myself.  May that good choice be the basis for my reactivated self-worth.

Today I Will Remember

I will not kick myself when I’m down.

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One More Day
October 20

By a tranquil mind I mean nothing else than a mind well ordered.
—  Marcus Aurelius Antoninus

When we are diagnosed as having a permanent medical condition, we may think we’ll never know tranquility again.  Before too long, though, we realize that whether we are entirely healthy or not, we bring to our new challenge the same value system we always had.  We can still find peace and serenity in our lives, for we continue to live our lives as well as we are able.

We owe it to ourselves to search out tranquility — a state in which we feel extremely peaceful, at eas3e with our inner strength, with nature, and with our sense of higher purpose.  Walking hand in hand with tranquility creates harmony, a time when our thoughts are orderly and we feel little distress.

I will work on keeping a peaceful mind in order to smooth out my rougher days.

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One Day At A Time
October 20
Limitations

“You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves.”
–Abraham Lincoln

I love the idea of helping people. Seeing the other person shine after my input gives me a great feeling. The flip side of this peak experience is the sadness and bleakness I feel when the person I am helping does not succeed. When it is all about me, I have to accept responsibility for everything: the good and the bad.

Thank You, God, that it is not really me who is the source of all help, it is You. I can point the way and make suggestions, but I cannot make someone change for the better. What causes people to change is something for which no person can take credit. It is simply divine!

The real question is whether or not the person I want to help will turn to his or her Higher Power and use the help that is offered. I cannot actually take these steps for others. I can pretend to do that, and perhaps offer some temporary relief, but lasting recovery will come only to those who make a quality decision to take the necessary steps on their own.

One day at a time…
I will realize the limitations of my help. I will not try to do for others what only they can and should do for themselves.

~ Q

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Elder’s Meditation of the Day October 20

“As Elders, it is our place to show respect to our young people in order to gain respect.”
–Grace Azak, NISGA’A

The attitude of our leaders will be the attitude of the people.
The attitude of the parents will be the attitude of the children.

If respect is shown from above, respect will be developed below.
If the Elders show respect, the younger people will be respectful.
As above, so below.

This happens because of interconnectedness. The heart of the Elders is connected to the heart of the youth.

Great Spirit, in the fall season let me respect both the Elders and the youth.

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Journey To The Heart
October 20
Fall into the Arms of Universal Love

Often in our lives we stand on a precipice. Something happens, a situation occurs, and in one moment our life changes dramatically in a way we hoped and prayed it wouldn’t. We topple off. In that moment, we may feel as if we’ve been pushed off a cliff.

Other times when we stand poised and our life changes radically in one moment, it’s a welcome change. We feel delightfully spontaneous, guided, powerful, centered. Ready to take risks. Ready to leap into the adventure.

Sometimes we’re pushed, sometimes we decide to make the leap on our own. Either way, we’re safe, we’re protected. Either way we can trust that we’ll land in the arms of universal love.

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Today’s Gift
October 20

The bough, which has been downward thrust by force of strength to bend its top to earth, so soon as the pressing hand is gone, looks up again straight to the sky above.
—Boethius

When we are down, low, depressed, why can’t we ignore the desire to rise up again? Because we’re like plants that need pure air, water, and sun. Because no matter how bent and old, we just keep wanting to grow up. Because there is a natural spring in us like that which makes flowers leap from the earth in May. Because we have hidden wings. And if we listen, we can feel the difference between wrong and right: we know the difference even with our eyes closed. Therefore we should not try putting ourselves down, for we will spring up again, sure as spring.

What is the main way I try to put myself down?

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The Language Of Letting Go
October 20
Detaching with Love

Sometimes people we love do things we don’t like or approve of. We react. They react. Before long, we’re all reacting to each other, and the problem escalates.

When do we detach? When we’re hooked into a reaction of anger, fear, guilt, or shame. When we get hooked into a power play – an attempt to control or force others to do something they don’t want to do. When the way we’re reacting isn’t helping the other person or solving the problem. When the way we’re reacting is hurting us.

Often, it’s time to detach when detachment appears to be the least likely, or possible, thing to do.

The first step toward detachment is understanding that reacting and controlling don’t help. The next step is getting peaceful – getting centered and restoring our balance.

Take a walk. Leave the room. Go to a meeting. Take a long, hot bath. Call a friend. Call on God. Breathe deeply. Find peace. From that place of peace and centering will emerge an answer, a solution.

Today, I will surrender and trust that the answer is near.

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More Language Of Letting Go
October 20
Be present now

Take time, but not too much, to see where you want to go. Learn the lessons from your past. Then let go of yesterday. Let tomorrow take care of itself. Even our best prediction about what may come in the future is only an educated guess, no matter how diligently we try to see ahead. If all you look at is where you’re going, you’ll miss all the wonder and beauty along the way. And once you get there– your future– you may not even remember where you’ve been. Rushing may be such a habit that you won’t enjoy your future once it arrives.

Be where you are right now. See what’s in front of you, not what you wish were there. Take time to see, enjoy, and appreciate what’s present. Take action if you need to. Or just enjoy the view. You’ve worked hard to get there. Enjoy it.

The past is important. It’s where we’ve been. The future is important,too. But there’s no time– and no time as real– as the present.

Learn to be here,now.

God, heighten my awareness and appreciation of each moment in my life.

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Touchstones Meditation For Men
October 20

Life is not a spectacle or a feast; it is a predicament.
—George Santayana

We could probably feel more tranquil if the world were a simpler place and always gave us simple answers. But we are faced with many ambiguous and uncertain situations. The changing roles of men and women can often leave us bewildered. We are engaged in the development of relationships that have lives of their own, and it’s not always clear where they are headed. Even within ourselves we have contradictory feelings, and it’s difficult to come up with clear answers.

Since we cannot force simplicity upon the world, we must turn to ourselves for a new response. We can become more tolerant of our unsettled predicaments. We can learn to have faith that good comes from change. Things have a way of settling out and clarifying with time. As we develop patience with the questions and the unclear issues in our lives, we gain a deeper serenity.

Today, I will recall the predicaments in my past life that, in time, became clearer, and I will have patience with what seems unsettled.

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Daily TAO
October 20
INTERVAL

Seven geese pierce straight line over frigid bay,
Intervals between them constantly equal,
Pointed wings slash as if joined to an axle:
Today is the ideal moment between yesterday and tomorrow.

Every morning means a fresh start on things. If yesterday was trying and exhausting, today is a given opportunity to do something different.  If yesterday was full of triumph and satisfaction, today is a free chance to go further. All too often, we wake up, think of our schedules, and assume that we must act according to the same dull script. We need not. If we find what is unique to each day, we will have freshness and the greatest fulfillment possible.

Although we have talked about our relationship to Tao in terms of positioning and timing, the clear discerning of intervals is just as important. Geese keep a perfect distance between them to establish a dynamic equilibrium; so too must we fit in with the intervals of a day’s events. If we, like the geese, act in unison with these moments, with each other, and with the season, then we will be in total concert with Tao.

Today is poised between yesterday and tomorrow. What you may have started yesterday can be continued or interrupted today. What you want for tomorrow may be planted or destroyed today. Every morning is a new day. That observation is so simple as to seem trite. If we could observe the simple, there would be no need to study Tao.