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Daily Recovery Readings – March 29

Just For Today
March 29
Our Own True Will

“God’s will for us consists of the very things we most value. God’s will… becomes our own true will for ourselves.”
Basic Text p. 46

It’s human nature to want something for nothing. We may be ecstatic when a store cashier gives us back change for a twenty though we only paid with a ten. We tend to think that, if no one knows, one small deception won’t make any difference. But someone does know—we do. And it does make a difference.

What worked for us when we used, frequently doesn’t work long in recovery. As we progress spiritually by working the Twelve Steps, we begin to develop new values and standards. We begin to feel uncomfortable when we take advantage of situations that, when we used, would have left us gloating about what we had gotten away with.

In the past, we may have victimized others. However, as we draw closer to our Higher Power, our values change. God’s will becomes more important than getting away with something.

When our values change, our lives change, too. Guided by an inner knowledge given us by our Higher Power, we want to live out our newfound values. We have internalized our Higher Power’s will for us—in fact, God’s will has become our own true will for ourselves.

Just for today: By improving my conscious contact with God, my values have changed. Today, I will practice God’s will, my own true will.

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Daily Reflections
March 29
TRUSTED SERVANTS

They are servants. Theirs is the sometimes thankless privilege of doing the group’s chores.
–TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 134

In Zorba the Greek, Nikos Kazantzakis describes an encounter between his principle character and an old man busily at work planting a tree. “What is it that you are doing?” Zorba asks. The old man replies: “You can see very well what I am doing, my son, I’m planting a tree.” “But why plant a tree,” Zorba asks, “if you won’t be able to see it bear fruit?” And the old man answers: “I, my son, live as though I were never going to die.” The response brings a faint smile to Zorba’s lips and, as he walks away, he exclaims with a note of irony: “How strange — I live as though I were going to die tomorrow!”

As a member of Alcoholics Anonymous, I have found that the Third Legacy is a fertile soil in which to plant the tree of my sobriety. The fruits I harvest are wonderful: peace, security, understanding and twenty-four hours of eternal fulfillment; and with the soundness of mind to listen to the voice of my conscience when, in silence, it gently speaks to me, saying: You must let go in service. There are others who must plant the harvest.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day
March 29
A.A. Thought For The Day

Before I met A.A. I was very dishonest. I lied to my wife constantly about where I had been and what I’d been doing.  I took time off from the office and pretended I’d been sick or gave some other dishonest excuse. I was dishonest with myself, as well as with other people. I would never face myself as I really was or admit when I was wrong. I pretended to myself that I was as good as the next fellow, although I suspected I wasn’t. Am I now really honest?

Meditation For The Day

I must live in the world and yet live apart with God. I can go forth from my secret times of communion with God to the work of the world. To get the spiritual strength I need, my inner life must be lived apart from the world. I must wear the world as a loose garment. Nothing in the world should seriously upset me, as long as my inner life is lived with God. All successful living arises from this inner life.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may live my inner life with God. I pray that nothing shall invade or destroy that secret place of peace.

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As Bill Sees It
March 29
Will Power And Choice, p. 88

“We A.A.’s know the futility of trying to break the drinking obsession by will power alone. However, we do know that it takes great willingness to adopt A.A.’s Twelve Steps as a way of life that can restore us to sanity.

“No matter how grievous the alcohol obsession, we happily find that other vital choices can still be made. For example, we can choose to admit that we are personally powerless over alcohol; that dependence upon a ‘Higher Power’ is a necessity, even if this be simply dependence upon an A.A. group. Then we can choose to try for a life of honesty and humility, of selfless service to our fellows and to ‘God as we understand Him.’

“As we continue to make these choices and so move toward these high aspirations, our sanity returns and the compulsion to drink vanishes,”

Letter, 1966

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Walk in Dry Places
March 29
Stick with the winners
Making the Right Choices

In the world of drinking, people lead each other down paths of further destruction. In the world of AA, that same destructive process can still go on through wrong thinking. It’s possible for AA members to encourage resentments, criticism, gossip, and other dead-end practices.

That’s why people are urged to “stick with the winners” in order to find and maintain sobriety. Seek out people who are doing well in the program, people whose progress is noticeable and admirable. The can be of real help as sponsors, as friends, or simply as role models.

It’s important to remember that the winners can be from all walks of life. The first AA member in Detroit earned only a modest living, while the second Detroit member became a wealthy manufacturer after finding sobriety. In AA terms, both men were winners. They stayed sober, they stayed active in the fellowship, and they helped others.

“Sticking with the winners” does not mean we should shun people who are having difficulty with the program. It does mean we should avoid accepting ideas and ways of living that do not lead to sobriety.

I’ll spend time in the company of people who have a good record of following the program.

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Keep It Simple
March 29

Whatever is in the heart will come up to the tongue.
–Persian proverb

During our illness, we wouldn’t let people get close to us. We spoke of what was in our heart. And much of what filled our heart was sadness, anger, and hopelessness. Those who want to be close to us heard what was in our heart. In short, we had become our illness. Recovery is about changing what’s in our heart. We open our hearts up to our Higher Power. The first three Steps are about honesty and needing others. They’re about turning our will and our lives over to a Higher Power.

If you’re wondering where you are with these Steps, listen to the words you speak.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, keep my heart open to the first three Steps.

Action for the Day: Today, I’ll work at really listening to what I have to say.

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Each Day a New Beginning
March 29

Love is an expression and assertion of self-esteem, a response to one’s own values in the person of another.
–Ayn Rand

The struggle to love one another may be a daily one for us, and it is made more difficult because we are still stumbling in our attempts at self-love. Many of us have lived our whole adult lives feeling inadequate, dull, unattractive, fearing the worst regarding our relationships with others.

But this phase, this struggle, is passing. We see a woman we like in the mirror each morning. We did a task or a favor yesterday that we felt good about. And when we feel good about our accomplishments, we look with a loving eye on the persons around us. Self-love does encourage other love.

Self-love takes practice. It’s new behavior. We can begin to measure what we are doing, rather than what we haven’t yet managed to do, and praise ourselves. Nurturing our inner selves invites further expression of the values that are developing, values that will carry us to new situations and new opportunities for accomplishments, and finally to loving the woman who looks back at us every morning.

Self-love makes me vulnerable and compassionate towards others. It’s the balm for all wounds; it multiplies as it’s expressed. It can begin with my smile.

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Alcoholics Anonymous
March 29
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.

In Alcoholics Anonymous, I knew I had found a protective haven. But during the ensuing
4 1/2 years I fell into the category known, in A.A. parlance, as a “chronic slipper.” I might get a good six months of sobriety under my belt, but then I would get a bottle to celebrate.

p. 455

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions
March 29

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

Should his own image in the mirror be too awful to contemplate (and it usually is), he might first take a look at the results normal people are getting from self-sufficiency. Everywhere he sees people filled with anger and fear, society breaking up into warring fragments. Each fragment says to the others, “We are right and you are wrong.” Every such pressure group, if it is strong enough, self-righteously imposes its will upon the rest. And everywhere the same thing is being done on an individual basis. The sum of all this mighty effort is less peace and less brotherhood than before. The philosophy of self-sufficiency is not paying off. Plainly enough, it is a bone-crushing juggernaut whose final achievement is ruin.

p. 37

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Xtra Thoughts
March 29

People always ask, “How did you succeed?” Simply put, I chose not to fail.
–Xernona Clayton

“Real friendship is shown in times of trouble; prosperity is full of friends.”
–Euripides

Honesty gets us sober, tolerance keeps us sober.
–Bill W.

“To be trusted is a greater compliment than to be loved.”
–George MacDonald

“The principles you live by create the world you live in; if you change the principles you live by, you will change your world.”
–Blaine Lee

“Many a man curses the rain that falls upon his head, and knows not that it brings abundance to drive away hunger.”
–St. Basil

“If the only prayer you say in your life is ‘thank you,’ that would suffice.”
–Meister Eckhart

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation
March 29
OPINIONS

“Opinions cannot survive if one has no chance to fight for them.”
— Thomas Mann

An opinion is worth fighting for, and I have opinions on a great number of subjects — as a result of sobriety.

Drugs have a tendency to make insane remarks appear brilliant; the drunk is always the unsung poet or victimized genius when he is “in alcohol”. I did not have opinions when I was drinking but rather a series of chaotic and incoherent reactions.

But today I have considered opinions. I am able to think and make decisions. I am able to make a contribution to life and the world in which I live. I am involved.

More than this, today I have the spiritual confidence to fight for what I believe and “speak out” my concerns in love. Today I am alive and I love it — also I love me.

Let me always hear the opinions of others but not fail to express my own.

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Bible Scriptures
March 29

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.
Romans 12:2

‘Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be saved; for thou art my praise.”
–Jeremiah 17:14

“No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.”
–I Corinthians 10:13

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Daily Inspiration
March 29

Few things are worthy of worry and fewer are worthy of anger. Lord, bless me with patience for my circumstances and wisdom to overcome the obstacles.

We only have so much time and so much energy in a day. To use it grumbling leaves less time for enjoyment and accomplishment. Lord, may I focus on looking for Your blessings in every part of my life.

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A Day At A Time
March 29

Reflection For The Day

What is the definition of humility?  “Absolute humility,” said AA co-founder Bill W., “would consist of a state of complete freedom from myself, freedom from all the claims that my defects of character no lay so heavily upon me.  Perfect humility would be a full willingness, in all times and places, to find and to do the will of God”  Am I  striving for humility?

Today I Pray

May God expand my interpretation of humility beyond abject subservience or awe at the greatness of others  May humility also mean freedom from myself, a freedom which can come only through turning my being over to God’s will.  May I sense the omnipotence of God, which is simultaneously humbling and  exhilarating.  May I be willing to carry out His will.

Today I Will Remember

Humility is freedom.

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One More Day
March 29

Happiness should not depend on physical wellness.
– K. o’Brien

Without even recognizing that we have done so, we sometimes structure our entire lives on the foundation of good health. We assume good health for our future. And we refuse to even acknowledge that nature’s somewhat random selection process can change the way we live. We may never even give a moment’s thought to changing our habits because of illness. We feel exempt, confident it will never happen to us.

And when it does and our lifestyle changes — sometimes gradually, sometimes abruptly — we feel we’ve lost the right to happiness. Then we begin to adjust. Family and friends stick with us, and an awareness comes forth that they, not physical activity, are the reasons for true happiness.

I accept and will adjust to chronic illness. Poor health has changed my life not ended it.

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One Day At A Time
March 29
ISOLATION

“Isolation is the sum total of wretchedness to a man.”
–Thomas Carlyle

This past summer I was forced to play “catch-up” at work in order to compensate for time lost while recovering from a serious ankle injury. As a result of my increased responsibilities, I stopped touching base with my friends and family — Program family included — except via the occasional email or phone call.

Fortunately, my friends and my sponsor are not the “shrinking violet” types. They took me to task about my whereabouts and well being. Because COE is a disease of isolation, it’s extremely important to make sure we’re making contact with others. We do this by using the tools of the Program: sharing with our support group, meetings, and sponsor.

When we don’t allow ourselves to have regular, daily social outflow and personal accountability – even with a good excuse – we are more likely to relapse.

One day at a time…
I will make a determined effort to connect and share with others.

~ Rob R.

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Elder’s Meditation of the Day March 29

“Tell the people not to cry. Tell them to be happy.”
–John Fire Lame Deer, LAKOTA (told to his son, Archie, as he died)

Our Elders know about the two Worlds, the Physical World and the Spiritual World. Many times, before we pass to the Spirit World, our relatives, who have gone there before us, will come for us and they will help us. The Spirit World, the Elders say, is a good, happy, and harmonious place. When we die, it means we have only entered another world. We will all see one another again.

Great Spirit, allow me to understand both the Spirit World and the Physical World. Today, let me be happy.

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Journey to the Heart
March 29
Move Gently into Forgiveness

“I never knew how much I blamed and hated myself. I never knew how much shame and self-contempt I picked up from situations I’d been through until I really forgave myself and felt how that feels,” one woman said to me.

Loving yourself, forgiving yourself, accepting yourself– all of these feel different from judging yourself. Many of us have lived with so much judgement of ourselves that we take these feelings for granted. We just think that’s how we’re doomed to feel. Until we do forgive ourselves, we don’t realize how much we need to, and how good, how great, how absolutely terrific that feels.

I was leery of forgiveness for many years. I thought forgiving implied judging. And because judging was wrong and I shouldn’t do it, I didn’t need to forgive. The problem was, whether right or wrong, I had judged myself. And now I needed forgiveness.

Self-judgements set us apart, separate us from the rest of the world in an undesirable way. Forgiving ourselves reconnects us to the world, to God, to ourselves.

We can forgive ourselves for what we’ve done wrong, what we’ve done badly, and what we think we could have done better. We can transcend our judgements of ourselves.

Move gently into forgiveness. Love, forgive, and accept yourself. See how connected you feel. See how free you really are and always have been. See how much better you feel!

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Today’s Gift
March 29

Drag your thoughts away from your troubles . . . by the ears, by the heels or any other way you can manage it. It’s the healthiest thing a body can do.
—Mark Twain

It requires very little effort – and no imagination – to start feeling sorry for ourselves. Often, it is easy to feel sorry for ourselves in our families. Instead of being inspired by the sports talents of an older brother, the popularity of a lovely sister, or the fame of a parent or relative, we often take the easier attitude: “I’m denied all that he or she has.”

If we work hard at developing our own abilities so that we can excel, we will find ourselves proud of, and applauding, what others do. If a personal problem brings us self-pity, we must remind ourselves that all people have problems. We can cope as well as the best of people if we learn from them and think positively.

Who among those close to me can I be proud of today?

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The Language of Letting Go
March 29
Getting Needs Met

Picture yourself walking through a meadow. There is a path opening before you. As you walk, you feel hungry. Look to your left. There’s a fruit tree in full ripe. Pick what you need.

Steps later, you notice you’re thirsty. On your right, there’s a fresh water spring.

When you are tired, a resting place emerges. When you are lonely, a friend appears to walk with you. When you get lost, a teacher with a map appears.

Before long, you notice the flow: need and supply, desire and fulfillment. Maybe, you wonder, someone gave me the need because someone planned to fulfill it. Maybe I had to feel the need, so I would notice and accept the gift. Maybe closing my eyes to the desire closes my arms to its fulfillment.

Demand and supply, desire and fulfillment — a continuous cycle, unless we break it. All the necessary supplies have already been planned and provided for this journey.

Today, everything I need shall be supplied to me.

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More Language Of Letting Go
March 29
Thy will be done

You can clear the land, plow the field, spread the fertilizer, and plant the corn. but you cannot make it rain. You cannot prevent an early frost. You cannot determine exactly what will happen in your life. The rain may or may not fall, but one thing is certain: you will get a harvest only if you planted something in the field.

It’s important to do everything in our power to ensure our success, but we also need to let the universe take its course. Getting mad won’t help. Dwelling on a situation only takes energy away from us, while yielding few positive results.

The Serenity Prayer comes to mind. It begins:”Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change.”

Clear the land, plow the field, plant the crop, and then let go. Things will work out, sometimes the way we want them to, sometimes not. But they will work out.

Sometimes all you can do is shrug your shoulders, smile, and say whatever.

Thy will, not mine, be done.

God, help me take guided action, then surrender to your will. Help me remember that true power comes from aligning my will, intentions, and desires with you.

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Touchstones Meditation For Men
March 29

Restless man’s mind is,So strongly shaken
In the grip of the senses…
Truly I think
The wind is no wilder.
—Bhagavad Gita

What passions have swept away our reasoning powers? What lust have we pursued at the cost of our values and better judgment? As men in this program, we know the ferocious winds of addiction and codependency. Now we are in a program of recovery, learning to combine our sensual side with our mind and our morals.

Every day we feel the winds of our senses, and they are part of what gives us life. We can let them blow and not be carried away by them. In this way we take pleasure in being human beings and men. We have our minds, our thoughts, and our knowledge to turn to for guidance. And we have our inner voice – our Higher Power – on which we can rely through even the wildest hurricane.

I am learning to make room in life for my senses, my mind, and my Higher Power.

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DailyTAO
March 29
INTERPRETATION

The sage whose words are ambiguous you call great.
Those who advocate discipline you shun.
With one, you treat words the way you want.
With the other, you resent having no quarter.

It is unfortunate that we need the words of the wise. Though they are essential to our beginnings on a spiritual path, they can cause problems because they must be interpreted to be understood. Because words are imperfect, every generation rewrites itself.

People love ambiguity, especially when it comes to religion. They can interpret things any way they want. If they are unhappy with the cast given to a particular teaching, they invent ways to circumvent it, which is why we have so many authorities, schools, and sects.

It is no accident that the most revered sages are dead. They aren’t around to correct our misguided notions, to change their teachings, or even to make mistakes that might mitigate our reverence. Christ, Mohammed, Buddha, Lao Tzu — how many of us are actually devoted to the wisdom that they embodied? Or have we made them mere screens upon which we project our own ideas?

It is important to spend time with a living teacher, one who can correct mistakes and discipline you. But the object of such study should not be the creation of a new orthodoxy. Rather, your goal should be to bring yourself to a state of independence. All teachings are mere references. The true experience is living your own life. Then, even the holiest of words are only words.

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DailyZen
March 29

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Food for Thought
March 29
Slow Success

We say that there are no failures in OA, only slow successes. Some of us take longer than others to catch on to the program. It is important to keep trying, to continue to attend as many meetings as possible, and to refuse to become discouraged.

There are some of us who spent months and years experimenting before we were finally able to accept abstinence and stay with it. Sometimes we left the program for a time, until we realized how much we needed OA and came back to try again.

When we have accepted the program and maintained abstinence, yet found weight loss to be extremely slow, it is easy to become discouraged. It helps to remember that we are not only losing weight–however slowly–we are also learning a new way of life. Our spiritual and emotional growth in this program is even more rewarding than the eventual weight loss. By living each day as it comes and working the Twelve Steps, we achieve the serenity and confidence that make us satisfied with slow success.

May I be granted patience and persistence.

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In God’s Care
March 29

We are born helpless. As soon as we are fully conscious we discover loneliness. We need others physically, emotionally, intellectually; we need them if we are to know anything, even ourselves.

People today are taught at an early age to be self-sufficient. Independence is considered a strength, and dependence a weakness. As a result, we come to believe that we can make it on our own. And we can, but at what cost? Many of us fill our loneliness with chemical substances, Humans are social creatures; we need each other for physical and emotional support, and for a healthy exchange of ideas.

Even more, we need each other for spiritual development. God loves us equally and often speaks to us through one another. We truly learn about our spiritual nature in the loving acts we exchange

I am never lonely when showing someone that I care.

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Faith’s Check Book
March 29
Dauntless Faith

I am with thee, and no man shall set on thee to hurt thee.
–(Acts 18:10)

So long as the Lord had work for Paul to do in Corinth, the fury of the mob was restrained. The Jews opposed themselves and blasphemed; but they could neither stop the preaching of the gospel nor the conversion of the hearers. God has power over the most violent minds. He makes the wrath of man to praise Him when it breaks forth, but He still more displays His goodness when He restrains it; and He can restrain it. “By the greatness of thine arm they shall be as still as a stone, till thy people pass over, O Lord.”

Do not, therefore, feel any fear of man when you know that you are doing your duty. Go straight on, as Jesus would have done, and those who oppose shall be as a bruised reed and as smoking flax. Many a time men have had cause to fear because they were themselves afraid; but a dauntless faith in God brushes fear aside like the cobwebs in a giant’s path. No man can harm us unless the Lord permits. He who makes the devil himself to flee at a word can certainly control the devil’s agents. Maybe they are already more afraid of you than you are of them. Therefore, go forward, and where you looked to meet with foes you will find friends.

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This Morning’s Meditation
March 29

“Though He were a Son, yet learned He obedience by the things which He suffered.”
-—Hebrews 5:8.

WE are told that the Captain of our salvation was made perfect through suffering, therefore we who are sinful, and who are far from being perfect, must not wonder if we are called to pass through suffering too. Shall the head be crowned with thorns, and shall the other members of the body be rocked upon the dainty lap of ease? Must Christ pass through seas of His own blood to win the crown, and are we to walk to heaven dryshod in silver slippers? No, our Master’s experience teaches us that suffering is necessary, and the true-born child of God must not, would not, escape it if he might. But there is one very comforting thought in the fact of Christ’s “being made perfect through suffering”—it is, that He can have complete sympathy with us. “He is not an high priest that cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities.” In this sympathy of Christ we find a sustaining power. One of the early martyrs said, “I can bear it all, for Jesus suffered, and He suffers in me now; He sympathizes with me, and this makes me strong.” Believer, lay hold of this thought in all times of agony. Let the thought of Jesus strengthen you as you follow in His steps. Find a sweet support in His sympathy; and remember that, to suffer is an honourable thing—to suffer for Christ is glory. The apostles rejoiced that they were counted worthy to do this. Just so far as the Lord shall give us grace to suffer for Christ, to suffer with Christ, just so far does He honour us. The jewels of a Christian are his afflictions. The regalia of the kings whom God hath anointed are their troubles, their sorrows, and their griefs. Let us not, therefore, shun being honoured. Let us not turn aside from being exalted. Griefs exalt us, and troubles lift us up. “If we suffer, we shall also reign with Him.”

Daily Recovery Quotes – March 29

March 29

AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

Of necessity there will have to be discussion of matters medical, psychiatric, social, and religious. We are aware that these matters are, from their very nature, controversial. Nothing would please us so much as to write a book which would contain no basis for contention or argument. We shall do our utmost to achieve that ideal. – Pg. 19 – There Is A Solution

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Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

Any of us who feel insecure, inferior, or unattractive may think we drink and take other drugs to counteract this. We do drugs compulsively because we are addicted and not for other reasons; other reasons are only rationales.

May I understand that fixing the ‘rationales’ in my life will not stop my disease. Not picking up will stop alcoholism and other addictions.

Endless Opportunities

I can start over each day. I can start over each hour of each day. The universe is impersonal in that sense. It’s always waiting for me to tell it what I want. Like attracts like. I tell the world what I want more of, by what I am thinking and feeling right now, right this minute. Today, every hour on the hour, I will allow myself to see something positive about my day. I’ll let myself send out an order by my pleasant thoughts and feelings for more of the same. When I catch myself heading down a negative path I’ll stop and consciously observe what is going through my mind. Life is full of chances and so is my day. I can start it over any time I want to.

I shift my life a thought at a time

– Tian Dayton PhD

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Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

We came here for our drugging and stay in part for hugging.

Hugs are one way the fellowship demonstrates to me that it isn’t ‘me’ and ‘you’ anymore, it’s ‘we’ and ‘us.’

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“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

Don’t worry about tomorrow, your Higher Power is already there.

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Time for Joy – Book – Quote

My Higher Power is guiding me with my positive attitude today. Negatives are something I no longer choose to live with. I feel positive strength pour through me as I release all negative thoughts.

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Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

I drank to three points: Until I passed out, blacked out, or got knocked out. – JoJo S.