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Daily Recovery Readings – March 27

Just For Today
March 27
Looking For The Assets

“In accordance with the principles of recovery we try not to judge, stereotype, or moralize with each other”
Basic Text p. 11

How many times in our recovery have we misunderstood the behavior of another, immediately formed a judgment, applied a label, and neatly tucked the individual into a pigeonhole? Perhaps they had developed a different understanding of a Power greater than themselves than we had, so we concluded their beliefs were unspiritual. Or maybe we saw a couple having an argument; we assumed their relationship was sick, only to find out later that their marriage had prospered for many years.

Thoughtlessly tossing our fellows into categories saves us the effort of finding out anything about them. Every time we judge the behavior of another, we cease to see them as potential friends and fellow travelers on the road to recovery. If we happened to ask those we are judging if they appreciate being stereotyped, we would receive a resounding “no” in response. Would we feel slighted if this were done to us? Yes, indeed. Our best qualities are what we want others to notice. In the same way, our fellow recovering addicts want to be well thought of. Our program of recovery asks us to look positively at life. The more we concentrate on the positive qualities in others, the more we’ll notice them in ourselves.

Just for today: I will set aside my negative judgments of others, and concentrate instead on appreciating the favorable qualities in all.

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Daily Reflections
March 27
A.A.’s FREEDOMS

We trust that we already know what our several freedoms truly are; that no future generation of AAs will ever feel compelled to limit them. Our AA freedoms create the soil in which genuine love can grow. . . .
–LANGUAGE OF THE HEART, p. 303

I craved freedom. First, freedom to drink; later, freedom from drink. The A.A. program of recovery rests on a foundation of free choice. There are no mandates, laws or commandments. A.A.’s spiritual program, as outlined in the Twelve Steps, and by which I am offered even greater freedoms, is only suggested. I can take it or leave it. Sponsorship is offered, not forced, and I come and go as I will. It is these and other freedoms that allow me to recapture the dignity that was crushed by the burden of drink, and which is so dearly needed to support an enduring sobriety.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day
March 27
A.A. Thought For The Day

You get the power to overcome drinking through the fellowship of other alcoholics who have found the way out. You get power by honestly sharing your past experience by a personal witness. You get power by coming to believe in a Higher Power, the Divine Principle in the universe which can help you. You get power by working with other alcoholics. In these four ways, thousands of alcoholics have found all the power they needed to overcome drinking. Am I ready and willing to accept this power and work for it?

Meditation For The Day

The power of God’s spirit is the greatest power in the universe. Our conquest of each other, the great kings and conquerors, the conquest of wealth, the leaders of the money society, all amount to very little in the end.  But one that conquers oneself is greater than one who conquers a city. Material things have no permanence. But God’s spirit is eternal. Everything really worth while in the world is the result of the power of God’s spirit.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may open myself to the power of God’s spirit.  I pray that my relationships with others may be improved by this spirit.

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As Bill Sees It
March 27
Room For Improvement, p. 86

We have come to believe that A.A.’s recovery Steps and Traditions represent the approximate truths which we need for our particular purpose. The more we practice them, the more we like them. So there is little doubt that A.A. principles will continue to be advocated in the form they stand now.

If our basics are so firmly fixed as all this, then what is there left to change or to improve?

The answer will immediately occur to us. While we need not alter our truths, we can surely improve their applications to ourselves, to A.A. as a whole, and to our relation with the world around us. We can constantly step up the practice of “these principles in all our affairs.”

Grapevine, February 1961

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Walk in Dry Places
March 27
If it works, don’t fix it.
Accepting life.

A lot of things in life are all right just as they are. This is hard to understand in a world that puts high value on improvement and progress, but since there are so many things that do need fixing, it’s best not to tamper with things that are working.

Sometimes we think something should be changed in another person’s life. Two AA members decided, for example, that a mutual AA friend deserved higher status employment than what he was doing. They seized upon an unusual profession that seemed to fit his talents and interests, and were disappointed and even a bit offended when he decided he wasn’t interested. He continued to follow his regular trade until his retirement thirty years later.

In truth, there had really been nothing that needed “fixing” in his choice of a vocation. He had been earning a living doing very honest but difficult work. It was somewhat presumptuous of his friends to outline a new career for him, and it could have led to considerable harm.

Let’s leave people and things alone unless our help is requested and something really does need fixing.

I’ll look around today and notice the things in my life that are working well and really don’t need changing. Then I’ll focus my attention on the things that really should be fixed.

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Keep It Simple
March 27

The secret success is constancy of purpose.
— Benjamin Disraeli

In Twelve Step meetings, we don’t talk about counseling, treatment centers, or non-program reading. Many of us have been helped in these ways, but we shouldn’t confuse them with Twelve Step programs. We must keep our Twelve Step programs pure, no matter what is in style among counselors or at treatment centers, or what the latest books say. Certainly, we should use these sources if they help us, but not in our program meetings. There, we must stick to the basics that have helped addicts recover all over the world for many years. Steps, traditions, meetings, sponsorship—these things work, no matter what is in style.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, let me be there to help an addict in need, by sharing my Twelve Step program.

Action for the Day: I will help out today be being a sponsor or by calling a new member, just to say hello.

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Each Day a New Beginning
March 27

It takes time, love, and support to find peace with the restless one.
–Deidra Sarault

Restlessness is born of frustration. Perhaps we want to move ahead with our lives more quickly. Does a job have us trapped? Do past troubles haunt us still? Maybe perfectionism tarnishes every attempt to achieve. We can learn from our restlessness, if we let it guide us to our inner reservoir of peace and spiritual support.

The search for serenity often takes us farther from it. We mistakenly think a different job or home or relationship will answer all our needs. But we find that our restlessness has accompanied us to our new surroundings. Peace has its home within. And prayer opens the door to it. In the stillness of our patience, we are privy to its blessing.

Restlessness indicates our distance from our higher power. It may be time for a change in our lives. Change is good; however, our relationship with God will vouchsafe any needed changes. Restlessness is self-centered and will only hamper the steps we may need to take.

Restlessness is a barometer that reveals my spiritual health. Perhaps prayer is called for today.

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Alcoholics Anonymous
March 27
SAFE HAVEN

– This A.A. found that the process of discovering who he really was began with knowing who he didn’t want to be.

I had experienced run-ins with the law several times–for not paying fines, public intoxication, fighting, and driving while intoxicated. But nothing could compare with the time the police asked me to come downtown for questioning concerning a murder. I had been drinking the night before and had gotten involved in a dangerous incident. I knew I hadn’t committed a murder, but here I was being considered a prime suspect. An hour or two into questioning it was determined that I had not committed the crime, and I was released. This was quite enough to get my full attention.

pp. 454-455

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions
March 27

Step Three – “Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.”

Let’s examine for a moment this idea of dependence at the level of everyday living. In this area it is startling to discover how dependent we really are, and how unconscious of that dependence. Every modern house has electric wiring carrying power and light to its interior. We are delighted with this dependence; our main hope is that nothing will ever cut off the supply of current. By so accepting our dependence upon this marvel of science, we find ourselves more independent personally. Not only are we more independent, we are even more comfortable and secure. Power flows just where it is needed. Silently and surely, electricity, that strange energy so few people understand, meets our simplest daily needs, and our most desperate ones, too. Ask the polio sufferer confined to an iron lung who depends with complete trust upon a motor to keep the breath of life in him.

p. 36

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Xtra Thoughts
March 27

God, help me let go of my need to create drama to have a life.
–Melody Beattie

Be quicker with a compliment than words that criticize. Kindness builds you up. Meanness cuts you down in size.
–Terri

He will take it all, if you just learn to give… Put it in God’s Hands…and you will start to live!
–Lori W.

You dwell always in the heart of God.
–John-Roger

“We don’t ask God for too much; in fact, we ask for too little. Turn to Him for everything. Give everything to God.”
–Marianne Williamson

Today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday.
–Unknown

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation
March 27
GUILT

“It is all one to me if a man comes from Sing Sing or Harvard. We hire a man not his history.”
— Henry Ford

So often we can get so locked into our history — what we did, what we said, the events of which we were ashamed — that we miss the gift of the new day.

Those of us who suffer from the disease of addiction need to deal with past problems but not live in them. Our attitude towards today need not be based on what happened yesterday. Today is the beginning of the rest of our lives. Today I know that I create most of the pain and tragedy in my life, but I also know that I create the joys and successes. I am confident that my sobriety makes me a winner.

Lord, I forgive myself for yesterday and look forward to the healing that comes with today.

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Bible Scriptures
March 27

“Agree with God, and be at peace; in this way good will come to you.”
Job 22:21

“I am he who comforts you.”
Isaiah 51:12

“God is able to provide you with every blessing in abundance, so that by always having enough of everything, you may share abundantly in every good work.”
2 Corinthians 9:8

“The joy of the Lord is your strength.”
Nehemiah 8:10

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Daily Inspiration
March 27

Be wise enough to thank God for not giving you some of the things you’ve asked for and gracious enough to gratefully enjoy what He gave you in its place. Lord, You know better than I what is right and best for me.

If you are not happy with what you have, how will you be happy with what you want to have? Lord, may I appreciate the good things in my life and refuse to feel sorry for myself or compare myself to others.

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A Day At A Time
March 27

Reflection For The Day

Storing up grievances is not only a waste of time, but a waste of life that could be lived to greater satisfaction.  If I keep a ledger of “oppressions and indignities,” I’m only restoring them to painful reality.

“The horror of that moment” the King said, “*I shall never, never forget.”
“You will though,” said the Queen, “if you don’t make a memorandum of it.”
(Lewis Carroll.  Through The Looking Glass)

Am I keeping a secret storehouse for the wreckage of my past?

Today I Pray

God keep me from harboring the sludge from the past — grievances, annoyances, grudges, oppressions, wrongs, injustices, putdown,s slights, hurts.  They will nag at me and consume my time in rehashing what I “might have said” or done until I face each one, name the emotion it produced in me, settle it a best I can — and forget it.  May I empty my storehouse of old grievances.

Today I Will Remember

Don’t rattle old bones.

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One More Day
March 27

Patience is the best remedy for every trouble.
–  Plautus

We are used to the quick fix.  Candy bars hold back our hunger.  Credit cards allow us to spend freely when we are financially strapped.  We drive through the fast-food lanes and eat on the way to our next stop.

And when we were told about our illness, our reaction may have been, “Okay, Now how can it be fixed?”  We were told that part of the treatment was time, a remedy requiring patience and one difficult to accept.  We are learning to accept that the nature of our illness requires us to be patient.  We can use this patience to slow the value of each passing minute.  Our time becomes more and more precious as we understand that patience is a very good remedy.

Today I can begin to practice patience.

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One Day At A Time
March 27
Forgiveness

“To err is human, to forgive is divine.”
Alexander Pope

When most of us first came into Program, we carried around a great deal of shame, guilt, and resentment. This made it very difficult for us to forgive ourselves, or others, for various past transgressions. We usually must rely on the forgiveness and support of other Program members before we come to a point of being able to truly forgive ourselves.

Coming to the point of self-forgiveness is a crucial step because once we have achieved it for ourselves, we can finally come to the stage of maturity to begin to forgive others. By offering true forgiveness we can begin to release the plethora of harbored resentments that have poisoned our souls and hindered our recovery for so many years.

One Day at a Time . . .
I will work towards learning to forgive myself so that I might eventually learn to forgive others.
~ Rob R.

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Elder’s Meditation of the Day March 27

“…you have to believe it first. Not wait until you see it first, then touch it, then believe it…You have to say it from the heart.”
–Wallace Black Elk, LAKOTA

We are designed to function from faith. First we pray. Then we use our imagination to create a vision or picture in our mind. We surround this mental picture with our emotions or feelings. These feelings are available when we ask or say it from the heart. The combination of the mental picture and asking from the heart to create the emotions will cause us to believe it. Then we just need to wait. We need to believe as though it is already done.

Great Spirit, remove from me any doubt that comes up today.

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Journey to the Heart
March 27
Resentments Hurt Everybody

Resentments only hurt ourselves. Not true. Resentments can hurt others,too.

When we brood and allow resentments to brew and fester, we send negative, mean, hurtful, spiteful energy to others. The more consciously and vividly we do this, the more pain we can cause everyone. The more bonded we are with others, whether they’re business associates, friends, lovers, or family members, the more powerfully our resentments can impact them as well as us.

So if you’re busy thinking resentful thoughts about someone close to you on the job or at home, consider the harm you are doing to him or her. The more powerful the emotions connected to these thoughts and the closer you are to the person, the more damage you can do. You can sabotage the other person, help keep him or her down. Even if you don’t speak your resentments aloud, even if you try to hide the way you feel, the energy is there in the air hurting both of you, just as we focus on clearing the air we breathe of toxins, we need to cleanse the air around us at work and at home from the toxic fumes of resentment.

Remember, when we harbor hate, jealousy, or rage, we connect to others in ways that hurt us all. Let’s set others free. Let’s release our resentments. Along the way, we’ll set ourselves and our hearts free,too.

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Today’s Gift
March 27

We like someone because, we love someone although.
—Henri de Montherlant

Families are like scissors. They are joined in the middle but often spread wide apart, moving away from each other. When we’re not feeling close to other family members – when it’s hard even to like them – it seems as though we’ll never come together again.

But pity the scrap of paper that comes between our scissor blades! The scissors works together again and slices the trouble clean. When trouble threatens our family, we can slice it through if we move together in love and acceptance.

No matter our small differences, we are part of the same living organism, in a way. The family we live in has been together for many generations, and we are just the most recent members. When we look at one another, we see the products of centuries of love.

When I feel distant from my family, can I locate where we are still joined together?

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The Language of Letting Go
March 27
After-Burn

How could I do it? How could I say it? Even though I meant it, I still feel ashamed, guilty, and afraid.

This is common reaction to new, exciting recovery behaviors. Anything to do with owning our power and taking care of ourselves can trigger feelings of shame, guilt, and fear.

We do not have to allow these feelings to control us. They’re a backlash. They’re after-burn. Let them burn out.

When we start confronting and attacking feelings and messages, we will experience some after-burn. The after-burn is what we allowed to control us all our life — shame and guilt.

Many of us grew up with shame-based messages that it wasn’t okay to take care of ourselves, be honest, be direct, and own our power with people. Many of us grew up with messages that it wasn’t okay to be who we were and resolve problems in relationships. Many of us grew up with the message that what we want and need isn’t okay.

Let it all burn off. We don’t have to take after-burn so seriously. We don’t let the after-burn convince us that we are wrong and don’t have a right to take care of ourselves and set boundaries.

Do we really have the right to take care of ourselves? Do we really have the right to set boundaries? Do we really have the right to be direct and say what we need to say?

You bet we do.

Today, I will let any after-burn which sets in after I practice a new recovery behavior, burn off. I will not take it so seriously. God, help me let go of my shame and needless fears about what will happen to me if I really start caring for and loving myself.

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More Language Of Letting Go
March 27
Set yourself free

I’ll let go tomorrow; I’m having too much fun torturing myself today. No, that’s not really it. I’ll let go tomorrow; the things I’m holding on to need me to hold them today. Yes, that’s closer to what it is. I’m not enjoying myself at all today, but I have to keep holding on to my desires, my guilt, my limitations, and my worries. I am defined by them. And you want me to let go of them today? Sorry, maybe tomorrow. And so we hold on. And the ulcer grows. And the pain in our hearts from unfulfilled expectations keeps gnawing away at us. What we’re really putting off is the freedom we get from letting go.

Yes, I know that what you’re holding on to is important. Everything that I have ever had to let go of was important to me, too. If it wasn’t important, letting go wouldn’t be a struggle. We’d just put it down and walk away.

You’ve been given today. Will you use it or will you miss out on today’s wonder because you’re to preoccupied with holding on to things that are beyond your control?

God, help me let go,today.

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Touchstones Meditation For Men
March 27

Man is in love
And loves what vanishes;
What more is there to say?
—W. B. Yeats

Throughout our lives we repeatedly make attachments and lose them. We are taken with the rich color of leaves in the fall, but we know that this beauty will soon be replaced with stark, empty branches. We give ourselves to caring for a baby, knowing someday this person will say good bye to make his or her own life. We lie close to our lover in a special moment, yet we know that this, too, will be limited by the years of our lives.

We want to defiantly say, “No! If I can’t have permanence I’ll take nothing at all!” Most of us have wished we could outmaneuver life with such a power play. The loss feels so painful we might think holding back our love will save us pain. But holding back brings a greater unhappiness. When we submit to it, life is generous in its kaleidoscope of forms. Each attachment, each loss, is followed by more rewards and attachments. Loss and death itself are part of life. There is peace in accepting and living fully in the cycle of seasons.

God, help me to engage with life fully and to accept change.

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DailyTAO
March 27
IMAGES

Sound, smell, taste, image, touch, sleep.
Can you think without clinging to these forms?
A thought without shape is rare,
Knowledge of Tao rarer still.

Our mind needs to cling to some object in order to function in its usual modes. If you look at your memories, you will find that most are tied to some sensory image. The thought of being in the country brings up a certain fragrance. You “see” relationships in a certain way. We may do math problems, or compose something to say to our companions, but we will still think in numbers and words.

Some people make the mistake of rejecting this type of thinking, but we need to use these modes in order to function in the everyday world. When it comes to knowing Tao, thought tied to sensory images is not enough to bring complete realization. Dualistic thinking cannot be used to know Tao. But don’t discard it as long as ordinary functioning in the world is necessary.

When one meditates, one must use an aspect of consciousness that does not cling to external forms. This type of consciousness is beyond the senses. Some call these states of mind superconsciousness, samadhi, nirvana, or enlightenment. These are mere names. All that matters is getting to these states. Then all labels fall away.

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DailyZen
March 27

In the mountains,
A monk’s robe hangs
In the meditation hall.
Outside the window,
No one’s to be seen,
Only birds skimming over the creek.
As I descend,
Dusk meets me halfway
Down the mountain road.
Still hearing the creek fall,
I hesitate, reluctant
To leave these blue heights.

– Meng Hao-jan (689-740)

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Food for Thought
March 27
Finding Our Place

I did not create this world, nor did I create myself. I do not know what the outcome of my life will be, or even what will happen to me next week. If I try to manipulate reality and arrange circumstances to suit myself, I become frustrated and unhappy I cannot control reality, but I can change myself to be more in harmony with it.

When I accept a food plan and follow it, I am slowly adjusting my body and my appetite to what is best for my health and well-being. I have tried the other way–adjusting my intake of food to the demands of my appetite–and the result is disaster and chaos in my life.

In OA, we follow a program which is sound and which has worked for thousands of compulsive overeaters like ourselves. We stop trying to make everything go according to our desires, and we start learning how to live in the real world. With the guidance of our Higher Power, we find our place.

I trust Your guidance.

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In God’s Care
March 27

I do not believe one can settle how much we ought to give. I am afraid the only safe rule is to give more than we can spare.
~~C.C. Lewis

In this hectic life, demands are constantly made on us–demands on our time, our attention, our skills. There are demands on all our resources, both spiritual and material. How can we meet all the demands? When we try, aren’t we in danger of spreading ourselves too thin and not being able to satisfy anybody, including ourselves?

We learn, though, both from God and from experience, that the secret of happiness is in giving. It is the heart and soul of our spiritual life. We are always happiest when we are giving–of ourselves, our possessions, our money, our time, our attention, our tolerance, our patience, our appreciation, and our love.

It is hard to give too much. The more we give of ourselves, the more we give to ourselves.

I will give as much as I can, and a little bit more.

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Faith’s Check Book
March 27
Drawing Near to God

Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you.
–(James 4:8)

The nearer we come to God, the more graciously will He reveal Himself to us. When the prodigal comes to his father, his father runs to meet him. When the wandering dove returns to the ark, Noah puts out his hand to pull her in unto him, When the tender wife seeks her husband’s society, he comes to her on wings of love. Come then, dear friend, let us draw nigh to God who so graciously awaits us, yea, comes to meet us.

Did you ever notice that passage in Isaiah 58:9? There the Lord seems to put Himself at the disposal of His people, saying to them, “Here I am.” As much as to say—”What have you to say to me? What can I do for you? I am waiting to bless you.” How can we hesitate to draw near? God is nigh to forgive, to bless, to comfort, to help, to quicken, to deliver. Let it be the main point with us to get near to God. This done, all is done. If we draw near to others, they may before long grow weary of us and leave us; but if we seek the Lord alone, no change will come over His mind, but He will continue to come nearer and yet nearer to us by fuller and more joyful fellowship.

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This Morning’s Meditation
March 27

“Then all the disciples forsook Him and fled.”
-—Matthew 26:56.

HE never deserted them, but they in cowardly fear of their lives, fled from Him in the very beginning of His sufferings. This is but one instructive instance of the frailty of all believers if left to themselves; they are but sheep at the best, and they flee when the wolf cometh. They had all been warned of the danger, and had promised to die rather than leave their Master; and yet they were seized with sudden panic, and took to their heels. It may be, that I, at the opening of this day, have braced up my mind to bear a trial for the Lord’s sake, and I imagine myself to be certain to exhibit perfect fidelity; but let me be very jealous of myself, lest having the same evil heart of unbelief, I should depart from my Lord as the apostles did. It is one thing to promise, and quite another to perform. It would have been to their eternal honour to have stood at Jesus’ side right manfully; they fled from honour; may I be kept from imitating them! Where else could they have been so safe as near their Master, who could presently call for twelve legions of angels? They fled from their true safety. O God, let me not play the fool also. Divine grace can make the coward brave. The smoking flax can flame forth like fire on the altar when the Lord wills it. These very apostles who were timid as hares, grew to be bold as lions after the Spirit had descended upon them, and even so the Holy Spirit can make my recreant spirit brave to confess my Lord and witness for His truth.

What anguish must have filled the Saviour as He saw His friends so faithless! This was one bitter ingredient in His cup; but that cup is drained dry; let me not put another drop in it. If I forsake my Lord, I shall crucify Him afresh, and put Him to an open shame. Keep me, O blessed Spirit, from an end so shameful.

Daily Recovery Quotes – March 27

March 27

AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

Practical experience shows that nothing will so much insure immunity from drinking as intensive work with other alcoholics. It works when other activities fail. This is our TWELFTH SUGGESTION: Carry this message to other alcoholics! You can help when no one else can. You can secure their confidence when others fail. Remember they are very ill. – Pg. 89 – Working With Others

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Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

Keeping life simple right now is imperative. You need to learn how not to use mind-affecting chemicals. You do this by following instructions. That’s all. Your family problems, job instability, or other concerns must take a back seat until you stabilize yourself.

Let me realize that my thinking is not balanced enough now to solve past problems. May I stow away my concerns for the first 30 days.

Appreciating Life

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

Life itself is the gift

– Tian Dayton PhD

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Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

Do not be quick to call all therapy ‘psyco-babble’ and think that mental health experts do not understand. Therapy can be the guide that leads you to the discovery of your anchor amidst the surrounding storms of life.

In the words of Bill Wilson, I should ‘never belittle a good doctor or psychiatrist’.

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“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

If you aren’t happy today, what are you waiting for?

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Time for Joy – Book – Quote

I am at choice today. I can watch my negative thoughts go by and replace them with positive thoughts and compassion.

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Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

I began to see that my insanity is not the crazy, stupid things I do when I’m drinking. It’s the insane idea that this time it’s going to be different, the idea that: ‘Only two drinks, that’s all I’m going to take.’ or: ‘One drink won’t hurt me.’ – Charlie P.