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Archives

Daily Recovery Readings – July 2

Just For Today
July 2
Comparing

“Our personal stories may vary in individual pattern, but in the end we all have the same thing in common.”
Basic Text, p.84

We addicts are a varied bunch, coming from different backgrounds, having used different drugs, and recalling different experiences. Our differences don’t disappear in recovery; for some, those differences become even more pronounced. Freedom from active addiction gives us the freedom to be ourselves, as we truly are. The fact that we are all recovering doesn?t mean that we all necessarily have the same needs or goals. Each of us has our own lessons to learn in recovery.

With so many differences from one addict to the next, how do we help one another in recovery and how do we use each other’s experience? We come together to share our lives in light of the principles of recovery. Though our lives are different, the spiritual principles we apply are the same. It is by the light of these principles, shining through our differences, that we illuminate one another’s way on our individual paths.

We all have two things in common: addiction and recovery. When we listen carefully, we hear others tell of suffering from the same disease we have suffered from, regardless of their specific backgrounds. When we open our ears, we hear other addicts talk of applying spiritual principles that promise hope to us as well, regardless of our personal goals.

Just for today: I have my own path to follow, yet I’m grateful for the fellowship of others who’ve suffered from addiction and who are learning to apply the principles of recovery, just like me.

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Daily Reflections
July 2
THE HEART OF TRUE SOBRIETY

We find that no one need have difficulty with the spirituality of the program. Willingness, honesty and open-mindedness are the essentials of recovery. But these are indispensable.
ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 570

Am I honest enough to accept myself as I am and let this be the “me” that I let others see? Do I have the willingness to go to any length, to do whatever is necessary to stay sober? Do I have the open-mindedness to hear what I have to hear, to think what I have to think, and to feel what I have to feel?

If my answer to these questions is “Yes,” I know enough about the spirituality of the program to stay sober. As I continue to work the Twelve Steps, I move on to the heart of true sobriety: serenity with myself, with others, and with God as I understand Him.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day
July 2
A.A. Thought For The Day

In the association with members of the A.A. group to which we belong, we have the advantage of sincere friendship and understanding of the other members who, through social and personal contact, take us away from our old haunts and environments and help to remove in large measure the occasions of alcoholic suggestion. We find in this association a sympathy and a willingness on the part of most members to do everything in their power to help us. Do I appreciate the wonderful fellowship of A.A.?

Meditation For The Day

“Except ye become as little children, ye cannot enter the kingdom of heaven.” In this saying it is urged that all who seek heaven on earth or in the hereafter’ should become like little children. In seeking things of the spirit and in our faith, we should try to become childlike. Even as we grow older, the years of seeking can give us the attitude of the trusting child. Not only for its simple trust should we have the childlike spirit, but also for its joy in life, its ready laughter, its lack of criticism, and its desire to share. In Charles Dickens’s story, A Christmas Carol, even old Scrooge changed when he got the child-spirit.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may become like a child in faith and hope. I pray that I may, like a child, be friendly and trusting.

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As Bill Sees It
July 2
A Viewer-with-Alarm, p. 183

“I went through several fruitless years in a state called ‘viewing with alarm for the good of the movement.’ I thought it was up to me to be always ‘correcting conditions.’ Seldom had anybody been able to tell me what I ought to do, and nobody had ever succeeded in effectively telling me what I must do. I had to learn the hard way out of my own experience.

“When setting out to ‘check’ others, I found myself often motivated by fear of what they were doing, self-righteousness, and even downright intolerance. Consequently, I seldom succeeded in correcting anything. I just raised barriers of resentment that cut off any suggestion, example, understanding, or love.”

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“A.A.’s often say, ‘Our leaders do not drive by mandate; they lead by example.’ If we would favorably affect others, we ourselves need to practice what we preach–and forget the ‘preaching,’ too. The quiet good example speaks for itself.”

1. Letter, 1945
2. Letter, 1966

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Keep It Simple
July 2

I never think of the future. It comes soon enough.
— Albert Einstein

None of us know anything for sure about the future. We don’t know if we’ll be sober tomorrow.

But we can be sure of this moment. We get sober by moments. Our sober moments then stretch into hours, day, and years

Our program tell us to live in the present moment. This is because we can control this moment

We can’t control the past or the future. We need to have a sense of control in our life. In our illness, we were out of control. This was because we wouldn’t live from moment to moment.

Each moment is filled with as much life as we can handle. Each moment is filled with enough to keep us alive, interested, and growing.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, help me find You in each moment.

Action for the Day: Today, I’ll stop and focus on the present moment. I will work to see how much control I can have if I stay with the moment at hand.

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Alcoholics Anonymous
July 2
The Vicious Cycle

How it finally broke a Southerner’s obstinacy and destined this salesman to start A.A. at Philadelphia.

The mental state of the sick alcoholic is beyond description. I had no resentments against individuals–the whole world was all wrong. My thoughts went round and round with, What’s it all about anyhow? People have wars and kill each other; they struggle and cut each other’s throats for success, and what does anyone get out of it? Haven’t I been successful, haven’t I accomplished extraordinary things in business? What do I get out of it? Everything’s all wrong and the hell with it. For the last two years of my drinking, I prayed during every drunk that I wouldn’t wake up again. Three months before I met Jackie, I had made my second feeble try at suicide.

pp. 225-226

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions
July 2

Step Eleven – “Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.”

To certain newcomers and to those one-time agnostics who still cling to the A.A. group as their higher power, claims for the power of prayer may, despite all the logic and experience in proof of it, still be unconvincing or quite objectionable. Those of us who once felt this way can certainly understand and sympathize. We well remember how something deep inside us kept rebelling against the idea of bowing before any God. Many of us had strong logic, too, which “proved” there was no God whatever. What about all the accidents, sickness, cruelty, and injustice in the world? What about all those unhappy lives which were the direct result of unfortunate birth and uncontrollable circumstances? Surely there could be no justice in this scheme of things, and therefore no God at all.

pp. 96-97

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Xtra Thoughts
July 2

“In forgiving ourselves, we make the journey from guilt for what we have done (or not done) to celebration of what we have become.”
–Joan Borysenko

Pitying yourself will get you nowhere. Things aren’t always going to go the way you want them to, but still you must set the rules regarding how you respond to them.

There is incredible beauty, in the gentle and quiet spirit, precious in God’s direction.
–SweetyZee

“He who cannot rest, cannot work; He who cannot let go, cannot hold on; He who cannot find footing, cannot go forward.”
–Harry Emerson Fosdick

“Remember not only to say the right thing in the right place, but far more difficult still, to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.”
–Benjamin Franklin

If there is anything we wish to change in the child, we should first examine it and see whether it is not something that could be better changed in ourselves.
–Carl Jung

Voices we prefer to ignore may speak words we need to hear.
–Don Deal

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation
July 2
BEAUTY

“Beauty is not caused. It is.”
–Emily Dickinson

So many people think that beauty is what you do to yourself; what you wear, makeup, clothes, hairstyles or expensive jewelry. Again it is so easy to get caught up in “things”. Reality is not about what we wear but who we are.

The beauty that God has created comes from within. The twinkle in the eyes that says “hello”. The hug that says “I love you”. The gentle embrace and smile that says “I forgive you”. The tear that cries “I understand”.

When God said to the world, “It is good”, Beauty was born. Drugs and crazy relationships only get in the way of us being what we were intended to be: beautiful for God.

Today I seek to put God’s beauty in my actions, words and attitudes.

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Bible Scriptures
July 2

“Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the Lord.”
Psalm 31:24

For the Lord will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being snared.
Proverbs 3:26

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Daily Inspiration
July 2

Avoid the tendency to presuppose that things will turn out for the worse. Lord, help me keep an open mind so that I am able to see other solutions to my situations and then give me the determination to make a difference when I can.

We take for granted so much of what God has planned for us. Lord, may I have sufficient preparation to meet the challenges of today and rejoice in the person that I am.

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A Day At A Time
July 2

Reflection For The Day

During our days of active addiction, many of us displayed almost dazzlingly fertile powers of imagination.  In no time at all, we could dream up more reasons — or, rather excuses — for pursuing our addictions than most people use for all other purposes in their entire lives.  When we first come to The Program, our once-imaginative minds seem to become lethargic and even numb.  “Now what do I do?” many of us wonder.  Gradually, however, the lethargy disappears.  We begin learning to live and become turned on to life in ways that we never dreamed possible.  Am I finding that I can now enjoy activities that I wouldn’t even consider in the old days?

Today I Pray

May God give me a new surge of energy directed toward “turning on to life” rather than making excuses for not handling my responsibilities.  May He allow my out-of-order imagination to be restored — not to the buzzing over activity of my compulsive days, but to a healthy openness to life’s boundless possibilities.

Today I Will Remember

Turn on to life.

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One More Day
July 2

If I’d known I was going to live so long, I’d have taken better care of myself.
–  Leon Eldred

We had few concerns when we were young other than eating, sleeping, and playing with friends.  As we grew into young adulthood, we worked hard and played hard, often ignoring any signals our bodies gave us.  We expected to be stiff after exercise, for example, and accepted it as part of our lifestyle.

By the time our chronic medical conditions became evident, our health habits were fairly well-established.  We certainly can’t undo the early care — or neglect — of our bodies.  But we can learn new habits that will serve us well all the days of our lives.

Ultimately, my physical and emotional health depends upon my willingness to take care of myself.

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One Day At A Time
July 2
COMMITMENT

“One small step for a man ~ One giant leap for mankind.”
Neil Armstrong

When I came into program, I was very overwhelmed by the idea of commitment. The thought of committing to a food plan or exercise regime was more than I could comprehend; in fact, I would feel panic rising in me at the thought of it. I would have dreams of being a mouse caught in a corner with nowhere to run. I would throw in the proverbial monkey wrench after a short time, and soon be on my own turf … the desperation and depression which were my “old friends” would reappear, and I would be back into my “safe” and always-waiting disease.

This recovery program taught me “one day at a time;” it taught me to put one foot in front of the other; that for one day I could do what I couldn’t do, or even fathom doing, for a lifetime. This is how I found abstinence. Breaking up my days, weeks, months and years into 24-hour periods allows me to live in the now, and not feel swallowed up in thinking that I have to do this for the rest of my life.

One Day at a Time . . .
The steps may seem small, it may even look as though I’m not moving at all, but with God’s help I make giant leaps toward wellness and peace of mind.

~ Shana

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Elder’s Meditation of the Day – July 2

“If I destroy you, I destroy myself. If I honor you, I honor myself.”
–Hunbatz Men, MAYAN

It is said, when we need love the most is when we deserve it the least. Whenever I have secret thoughts about someone else, it will put bad feelings inside myself. I will hurt myself.

If I secretly hold a grudge or resentment against my brother or sister, I will be a slave to that person until I let them go. Let me remember to look at my brother in a sacred manner.

Today, let me think like a Warrior. Let my thoughts toward my brothers and sisters be good thoughts. Let me remember that You are in charge.

If I get upset at another person today, let me remember that the most important thing I can do is to first talk to You because, when I am right with You, it is impossible to be out of harmony with my brothers and sisters.

My Creator, take my hand and guide me through today.

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Journey To The Heart
July 2
What Would Make You Happy?

Why don’t you make yourself happy? Did someone tell you you couldn’t be happy, couldn’t let life help you out? It doesn’t matter who told you you couldn’t have what you wanted. What matters is if you’re still telling yourself that now.

Yes, there are many situations in life in which we need to go without, do what needs to be done, get the job done. There are times when a particular purpose is served by depriving ourselves. But there are also situations– many more than we think– in which we can have what we want. There are moments when what we want matters.

Look into your heart. Ask yourself what you want. What would feel good? What would bring joy? Is anything to be gained by depriving yourself a while longer? Get creative. Look around. What are some ways you could give yourself what you want? What could you do to create your life more to your liking?

Giving yourself what you want isn’t selfish. It teaches others they can have more of what they want from life,too.

Use your imagination. Set yourself free. Let yourself see the pictures and feel the emotions of what would make you happy. Then take a moment, pause, and smile. You’re beginning to get a glimpse of all you can have from God.

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Today’s Gift
July 2

Now my soul hath elbowroom.
—William Shakespeare

If we spend too much time together we are bound to grow weary of one another. This would happen regardless of who the other person was. In a family, we need some time apart to pursue other interests and friendships. We may be able to meet many needs for each other, but there will be some we cannot meet. If we press too hard upon one another we will cramp our life together.

Our needs for space aren’t just physical. Freedom to think and feel what seems appropriate for us, to be alone if we want, is a large part of our lives together. Only with this kind of freedom is love possible. Love requires freedom. We need to value each other, and at the same time realize that no one person or family can fill us with all life has to offer.

What are my own freedoms at home?

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The Language of Letting Go
July 2
Who Knows Best?

Others do not know what’s best for us.

We do not know what’s best for others.

It is our job to determine what’s best for ourselves.

“I know what you need.” . . . “I know what you should do.” . . . “Now listen, this is what I think you should be working on right now.”

These are audacious statements, beliefs that take us away from how we operate on a spiritual plane of life. Each of us is given the ability to be able to discern and detect our own path, on a daily basis. This is not always easy. We may have to struggle to reach that quiet, still place.

Giving advice, making decisions for others, mapping out their strategy, is not our job. Nor is it their job to direct us. Even if we have a clean contract with someone to help us – such as in a sponsorship relationship – we cannot trust that others always know what is best for us. We are responsible for listening to the information that comes to us. We are responsible for asking for guidance and direction. But it is our responsibility to sift and sort through information, and then listen to ourselves about what is best for us. Nobody can know that but ourselves.

A great gift we can give to others is to be able to trust in them – that they have their own source of guidance and wisdom, that they have the ability to discern what is best for them and the right to find that path by making mistakes and learning.

To trust ourselves to be able to discover – through that same imperfect process of struggle, trial, and error – is a great gift we can give ourselves.

Today, I will remember that we are each given the gift of being able to discover what is best for ourselves. God, help me trust that gift.

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More Language Of Letting Go
July 2
It’s good for your heart

“I know I’ve got some emotions up, just brewing right beneath the surface,” Jake said one day. “I’m edgy, irritable, and definitely not centered. But I don’t want to look. I don’t want to go into the emotions. I don’t like feelings. Whenever I give into them. I end up feeling like a piece of cooked spagetti– for days.”

Emotions can take a lot out of us. Feeling them, whether it’s anger, fear, or sadness, can leave us exhausted and drained.

Not feeling our emotions, however, can keep us edgy, irritable, and off-balance. Not feeling our feelings for an extended time can drive us to acting out, whether that means overeating, obsessing, staying in bed and hiding from the world, or staring at the television every night until we pass out.

Be gentle with yourself. Don’t force it. But don’t run away from your feelings, either. You might feel like cooked spagetti for a while, but what’s really softening up is your heart.

God, help me face and feel any feelings.

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Touchstones Meditations For Men
July 2

Fair play is primarily not blaming others for anything that is wrong with us.
—Eric Hoffer

As adults, we accept responsibility for our feelings and our circumstances. We haven’t chosen our own troubles, but we have the job of dealing with them. If a man falls and breaks a leg, he might say to someone, “It’s your fault, and I’ll make you pay for this!” But that won’t fix his leg. The healing still has to come from within.

Our impulse to blame others is an attempt to escape our responsibilities. We become overcritical. We want someone else to take the rap for our pain and our misdeeds, but this only delays our wholeness as men. There is no point in blaming ourselves either. When we first confront our discomfort directly and accept responsibility for dealing with it, we feel an inner urge to escape again. If we stay with the discomfort a while, a new stage begins – the healing and acceptance stage. A feeling of wholeness comes, a feeling of being a real person, of having reached our full size.

May I not indulge in blame today – toward myself or anyone else. Instead, may I be a strong, responsible man.

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Daily TAO
July 2
Middle

Those who attain the middle
Dominate the whole.

Today is the 183rd day. It is exactly the middle day out of 365. Once you reach the center of anything, you can dominate the whole in any way you please. In chess, those who gain the middle board are usually in the superior position. In a storm, those who reach the eye are safe. In making decisions, those who cleave to the center are wise.

There are 182 days on either side of today to make a year. Theres is no center day in an even-numbered period. It is the odd-numbered set that has a center. It is the odd-numbered set that is dynamic.

In all areas of life, it is good to establish goals and parameters. Define the scope of anything that you do. That way, you will know when you have reached the center and perseverance will be easier.

Daily Recovery Quotes – July 2

July 2

AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

An alcoholic in his cups is an unlovely creature. Our struggles with them are variously strenuous, comic, and tragic. – Pg. 16 – Bill’s Story

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Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

Another part of learning good hourly habits is to take time for physical exercise. This is part of the balance of our new lives. We need activity for the well-being of the body and for self-discipline. We can walk, swim, jog, take up sports, aerobics, dance, or even yoga–just as long as we are consistent and somehow active.

Give me the self-discipline to maintain some type of physical activity in my clean and sober life-style.

The Creative Power of My Thoughts

Today, I recognize that I tend to produce in my life what I feel is true for myself. Thoughts have a creative power of their own. If I look closely, I can see my thoughts come to life. I create the possibility of what I would like by first experiencing it in my mind. I will visualize what I would like to have in my life in my mind’s eye. I will accept what I see in my inner eye as being there for me, and I will fully participate in my vision as if it were mine. I will be specific about what I see, smell, feel, and I will accept my inner vision as fully as possible. I will enjoy my vision, then let it go and move on in my day, releasing it with no thought of controlling it further. I will let it happen, if it is right for me, in God’s time.

All good things are possible for me.

– Tian Dayton PhD

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Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

When you start the day with quiet meditation, you create a consciousness of serenity and peace. At anytime during the day you can bring your mind back to this moment.

When things get hectic or stressful, I bring my awareness back to the peace that I create now.

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Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

Sometimes before you can have a spiritual awakening, you have to have some rude awakenings.

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Time for Joy – Book – Quote

Say I can search my own heart and discover whether my intentions are for positive or constructive reasons. Today I can trust that when I come from good and love, I am making the right choices.

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Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

Daily meditation for about twenty minutes is recommended for all in recovery – unless you’re very busy, then you should do half an hour. – Anon.