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Daily Recovery Readings – October 25

Just For Today
October 25
Principles Before Personalities

“Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities.”
Twelfth Tradition

“Principles before personalities.” Many of us chant these words along with the reader whenever the Twelve Traditions are read. The fact that these words have become a cliche of sorts doesn’t make them any less important, either in service or in our lives. These words are an affirmation: “We listen to our conscience and do what’s right, no matter who’s involved.” And that principle serves as one of the cornerstones of recovery as well as our traditions.

What does “principles before personalities” really mean? It means we practice honesty, humility, compassion, tolerance, and patience with everyone, whether we like them or not. Putting principles before personalities teaches us to treat everyone equally. The Twelfth Step asks us to apply principles in all our affairs; the Twelfth Tradition suggests we apply them to our relations with everyone.

Practicing principles doesn’t stop with our friends or when we leave a meeting. It’s for every day, for everyone… in all areas of our lives.

Just for today: I will listen to my conscience and do what’s right. My focus will be on principles, not on people’s personalities.

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Daily Reflections
October 25
A.A.’s HEARTBEAT

Without unity, the heart of A.A. would cease to beat; . . . .
AS BILL SEES IT, p. 125

Without unity I would be unable to recover in A.A. on a daily basis. By practicing unity within my group, with other A.A. members and at all levels of this great Fellowship, I receive a pronounced feeling of knowing that I am a part of a miracle that was divinely inspired. The ability of Bill W. and Dr. Bob, working together and passing it on to other members, tells me that to give it away is to keep it. Unity is oneness and yet the whole Fellowship is for all of us.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day
October 25
A.A. Thought For The Day

Fifth, I have learned to live one day at a time. I have finally realized the great fact that all I have is now. This sweeps away all vain regret and it makes my thoughts of the future free of fear. Now is mine. I can do what I want with it. I own it, for better or worse. What I do now, in this present moment, is what makes up my life. My whole life is only a succession of nows. I will take this moment, which has been given to me by the grace of God, and I will do something with it. What I do with each now, will make me or break me.  Am I living in the now?

Meditation For The Day

We should work at overcoming ourselves, our selfish desires and our self-centeredness.  This can never be fully accomplished. We can never become entirely unselfish. But we can come to realize that we are not at the center of the universe and that everything does not revolve around us at the center. I am only one cell in a vast network of human cells. I can at least make the effort to conquer the self-life and seek daily to obtain more and more of this self-conquest. “He that overcomes himself is greater than he who conquers a city.”

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may strive to overcome my selfishness. I pray that I may achieve the right perspective of my position in the world.

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As Bill Sees It
October 25
Daily Inventory, p. 296

Often, as we review each day, only the closest scrutiny will reveal what our true motives were. There are cases where our ancient enemy rationalization has stepped in and has justified conduct which was really wrong. The temptation here is to imagine that we had good motives and reasons when we really hadn’t.

We “constructively criticized” someone who needed it, when our real motive was to win a useless argument. Or, the person concerned not being present, we thought we were helping others to understand him, when in actuality our true motive was to feel superior by pulling him down.

We hurt those we loved because they needed to be “taught a lesson,” but we really wanted to punish. We were depressed and complained we felt bad, when in fact we were mainly asking for sympathy and attention.

12 & 12, p. 94

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Walk In Dry Places
October 25
Different routes to alcoholism
Understanding powerlessness

While alcoholics have much in common, the personal stories heard at AA open meetings show that we took different routes to alcoholism. Some became out-of-control drinkers almost from the beginning. Others lost control slowly after years of seemingly moderate drinking.

These differences are underscored by the fact that we also differ in physical and emotional traits. Some alcoholics, for example, were so emotionally disturbed that they became problem drinkers from the very start. Some appeared to “have it all together,” yet became alcoholics after retirement or some other change in life patterns.

Whatever the route taken, we share in common our individual powerlessness at the time we knocked on AA’s door. And the solution for each of us was the same: sobriety in AA.

The risk in listening to such different personal accounts is that some of us twist these differences into “proof” that we are not alcoholics. The reward of such sharing , however, is learning that we do have a common problem and that there is a solution that fits everyone, in spite of our diffences.

I’ll remember today that I came to AA because I was powerless over alcohol. That has not changed.

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Keep It Simple
October 25

Love thy neighbor as thyself, but choose your neighbor.
—Louise Beal

In our program, we learn a lot about loving ourselves. Then we start to see how this helps us love our neighbors. We learn to love ourselves honestly, seeing our strengths and our weaknesses. We learn to see others honestly . We learn how much to trust ourselves and when to get extra help. We learn how much to trust others too. We learn to love ourselves with a love that’s honest and challenging. We learn to love others this way too. We learn to care about others without losing our common sense. We learn to protect our spirits from harm.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, help me see others clearly. Help me love them. But help me choose carefully who I trust.

Action for the Day: Today, I’ll list three people I trust the most, and I’ll write down why.

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Each Day a New Beginning
October 25

Love has the quality of informing almost everything–even one’s work.
–Sylvia Ashton-Warner

We are changed through loving and being loved. Our attitudes are profoundly and positively affected by the presence of love in our lives. Each time we offer a loving response to a friend, co-worker, even a stranger, we powerfully influence the dynamics of the interaction between us.

Every response we make to someone changes us while it informs him or her. When we treat others with disdain, we invite the same. When we express only criticism of others, our self-assessment is equally negative. The beauty of a loving posture is that it calls forth love in response. The more love we give away, the more we receive.

Any task before us is lessened when we carry love in our hearts. Love is more powerful than fear. Love helps to open the channel to God, assuring us of the strength, the understanding, and the patience needed to complete any assignment confronting us.

God loves me, unconditionally. And I will experience the reality of that love the more I give it away. Love wants to change me–and it can.

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Alcoholics Anonymous
October 25
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.

My last hangover was on a Friday before a long summer weekend. I had struggled through the day feeling small and hopeless, hiding the trembling of my hands when I had to sign documents, and desperately working to wrap my tongue around words during meetings. Later that Friday night, after an agonizingly long workday, I was dragging myself up the deserted street thinking that the whole world, except for me, had someplace to go on that long weekend, and what’s more, they all had someone to go with.

pp. 393-394

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions
October 25

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

A newcomer appeared at one of these groups, knocked on the door and asked to be let in. He talked frankly with that group’s oldest member. He soon proved that his was a desperate case, and that above all he wanted to get well. “But,” he asked, “will you let me join your group? Since I am the victim of another addiction even worse stigmatized than alcoholism, you may not want me among you. Or will you?”
There was the dilemma. What should the group do? The oldest member summoned two others, and in confidence laid the explosive facts in their laps. Said he, “Well, what about it? If we turn this man away, he’ll soon die. If we allow him in, only god knows what trouble he’ll brew. What shall the answer be – yes or no?”

pp. 141-142

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Xtra Thoughts
October 25

“Be the change you want to see in the world.”
–Mohandas Ghandi

Who has never tasted what is bitter does not know what is sweet.
–German Proverb

It doesn’t take a lot of effort to know the needs of another person. By helping others you are helping yourself.
–unknown

Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.
–Abraham Lincoln

In just two days, tomorrow will be yesterday.
–unknown

Learn to enjoy little things; there are so many of them!
–unknown

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation
October 25
FLEXIBILITY

“Better bend than break.”
— Scottish Proverb

Dis-ease: to be controlling, stiff, uncomfortable and unbending.

Sobriety: being relaxed, comfortable and flexible in my personal life and my interaction with others.

Life: not a race but an experience; it is not an exercise but an adventure.

Before I accepted my alcoholism, I went through periods of “dryness” — when I was rigid, stiff and unbending. It was awful! Everything became a test, a job, a premeditated act behind a mask of cheerfulness. I was angry, resentful and in pain. My problem was that I stopped drinking to please other people, rather than accept the true nature of my disease. Dryness is controlled denial.

Today the sobriety I have gained from an acceptance of self has overflowed into an acceptance of life on life’s terms — and I am happy.

Let the wind of experience continue to bend me in the knowledge of Your love.

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Bible Scriptures
October 25

“From the rising of the sun to its going down the Lord’s name is to be praised.”
Psalms 113:3

So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. The man who plants and the man who waters have one purpose, and each will be rewarded according to his own labor. For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building.
1 Corinthians 3:7-9

“Trust in the LORD, and do good; Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness. Delight yourself also in the LORD, And He shall give you the desires of your heart.”
Psalm 37:3-4

The LORD opens the eyes of the blind. The LORD lifts the burdens of those bent beneath their loads. The LORD loves the righteous. The LORD protects the foreigners among us. He cares for the orphans and widows, but he frustrates the plans of the wicked. The LORD will reign forever.
Psalm 146:8-10

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Daily Inspiration
October 25

Treat your family as you would treat a best friend. Lord, help me to treasure my family with all of their imperfections as well as my own and cherish the time we have together.

There is no real happiness without God and no peace when we separate ourselves from Him. Lord, You said, “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you”. I give you my troubled heart.

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A Day At A Time
October 25

Reflection For The Day

My addictions were like thieves in more ways than I can count.  They robbed me not only of money, property and other material things, but of dignity and self-respect, while my family and friends suffered right along with me.  My addictions also robbed me of the ability to treat myself properly, as God would treat me.  Today, in total contrast, I’m capable of true love of self — to the extent that I’m able to provide myself with more love than even I need.  So I give that love away to other people in The Program, just as they have given their love to me.  Do I thank God for their love to me.  Do I thank God for bringing me to a Program in which sick people are loved back to health?

Today I Pray

Thanks be to God for a way of life which generates such love and caring that we in The Program can’t help but learn to love ourselves.  When I see that someone cares about me, I am more apt to be convinced that perhaps I am, after all, worth caring about.  May I be conscious always of the love I am now able to give — and give it.

Today I Will Remember

Someone caring about me makes me feel worth caring about.

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One More Day
October 25

The more things you love, the more you are interested in, the more you enjoy, the more you have left when anything happens.
–Ethel Barrymore

Now is a good time for us to pursue our interest and to nurture both new and old relationships.  We understands so well how easily and quickly our circumstances can change.  This understanding nudges us to expand our experience.

No one of us is immune from the troubles of life.  Whether the problem is loss of a job or loss of a home, good health, or a dear friend, we all suffer at one time or another.  Keeping our lives as full as possible with the love of good people and the challenge of activities provides support even when times get tough.

Tragedies and hard times will affect me, but I know I have the ability to move on.

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One Day At A Time
October 25
Courage

“If you’re going through hell, keep going.”
–Winston Churchill

Recovery work takes great courage. Everyone who tells you differently has not explored themselves in great depth.

It takes great courage for many of us to get up each morning to face a day of physical challenge. Others feel the pull of emotions, job, or family issues.

If but for today, reach inside and give yourself a big hug for being willing to hang on one minute longer. That minute will turn into moments, and before you know it, you will have lived out the Program message, “One day at a time.”

One day at a time…
I will honor and celebrate the courage shown in working this program.

~ January K.

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Elder’s Meditation of the Day October 25

“What does it matter how long I pray, so long as my prayers are answered?”
–Sitting Bull, HUNKPAPA LAKOTA

Too often we worry about the words we use in prayer.
We focus on the words.
What really counts is the spirit and intent behind our words.
It is the spirit and intent that the Creator responds to.
He reads and listens to our heart.
Prayer isn’t only when we fold our hands and pray.
Prayer is when we talk to the Creator even when we are walking down a path or sitting on a hill or walking in the mountains.

The Elders say, walk in prayer. We should be willing to talk with the Great One.

Great Spirit, today I will pray to You all day. Listen to my heart.

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Journey To The Heart
October 25
Replenish Yourself

Some of us don’t know how tired we are until we try to relax. Then we realize we’re exhausted.

We may have lived with exhaustion and stress so long it’s become habitual. That doesn’t mean we’re bad or wrong, or even off track. Many of us are deeply involved in activities, work, projects, and relationships we enjoy. We like our lives and the things we’re doing. But sometimes we’ve pushed too hard or too long. Sometimes we haven’t given our bodies adequate time to relax, to rest, to really let go.

It’s all right to take time out. Relax. Refresh. Regroup. It’s all right to rest even if we’re busy, rest often enough to keep ourselves replenished. Get in touch with your body, then stay in touch with yourself.

Find out how tired you are. Then let your body tell you what it needs to come back to life and love.

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Today’s Gift
October 25

I love him and I cannot seem to find him.
—Ovid

Where can we find the ones we love? Do they always live in our world, or do we have to go out of our way? They often are not at home; we can find them at their work. Their play is different from ours; we could try having their kind of fun.

Too often, we look only for friends who are much like ourselves, and we tend to avoid those who are not. This kind of narrow-mindedness isn’t fair to others or ourselves. We are each unique, like the pieces of a puzzle. We are each necessary to the whole picture.

When we go out of our way to know someone else better, we stretch our own boundaries; we give ourselves new space in which to grow.

What part of my life can I discover in someone new today?

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The Language Of Letting Go
October 25
Letting Go of the Past

… in thy book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me when as yet there was none of them.
–Ps. 139:16

Some people believe that each of our days were planned, Divinely Ordered, before we were born. God knew, they say, and planned exactly what was to transpire.

Others suggest we chose, we participated in planning our life – the events, the people, the circumstances that were to take place, in order to work through our issues and learn the lessons we needed to master.

Whatever our philosophy, our interpretation can be similar: Our past is neither an accident nor a mistake. We have been where we needed to be, with the necessary people. We can embrace our history, with its pain, its imperfections, and its mistakes, even its tragedies. It is uniquely ours; it was intended just for us.

Today, we are right where we need to be. Our present circumstances are exactly as they need to be – for now.

Today, I will let go of my guilt and fear about my past and present circumstances. I will trust that where I have been and where I am now are right for me.

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More Language Of Letting Go
October 25
Stop tricking yourself

Even the best of us get tricked from time to time. Someone comes along and impresses us with magic. Later we discover it wasn’t magic, just illusions.

Sometimes the issue isn’t that people were trying to trick us. We tricked ourselves. We saw what we wanted to see, regardless of what reality was. Then, when reality started to creep in, we told ourselves if we held our breath and didn’t feel our feelings and hoped long and hard enough, reality would change.

We don’t have to get mad at ourselves when we get tricked, even if we’ve fooled ourselves. We need to see and acknowledge the truth and become aware of what reality is.

Don’t let your embarrassment over finding yourself in a bad situation cloud your view of yourself. Sometimes all we need to do is acknowledge the truth, including the truth about how we feel. In a few days or a few months, the solution will become clear.

When all the illusions drop away, that’s when real magic begins. You’ll be guided along your path.

God, help me remember that when I admit and accept the truth, I’ll be given the power and guidance to change.

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Touchstones Meditation For Men
October 25

The wild geese do not intend to cast their reflection; the water has no mind to receive their image.
—Zenrin poem

There are moments which simply happen through no conscious intention or will on anyone’s part. The image of an old woman with a peaceful face, the smell of smoke rising from a chimney on a chilly night, the knowing look of recognition from a friend as we make a comment, the special feeling of a touch. These are spiritual moments because they reach a deeper part of our being. They are like a sliver in time set aside which nourishes our souls and adds serenity to our lives.

We grow when we learn to notice these kinds of moments. In our willfulness, we have often missed them before because we simply were not open to anything we weren’t already looking for. This world is so much larger than the human mind. In recovery, we can take time to admire the beauty reflected around us.

Today, I will let the rest of life intrude upon my mind. I will let myself be nourished by what comes along.

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Daily TAO
October 25
STAGES

Unless you are pious,
You cannot gain a foothold in Tao.
Unless you go beyond rules,
You haven’t gained the middle.
Unless you can be creative,
You aren’t traversing Tao.
Unless the road always stretches out before you,
You are not walking the true Tao.

When people start on a spiritual path, they are anxious to learn all the rules. This is understandable, even necessary. Often we need stern measures to set ourselves right.

But dogmatism is not spirituality. Sometimes, it is necessary to break rules. The task is to know how to go against doctrine in a way that actually fulfills the spirit of that doctrine. It is only at this point that one matures as a follower of Tao.

The next stage is complete creativity. You have so internalized doctrine that you need not think of it, yet everything you do will be spontaneously correct. There are many stages after that, stages not documented but there for you to explore on your own.

Those who follow Tao recognize that all people go through stages of development. Many people leave their spiritual communities when they outgrow them. The path of Tao has been conceived so that one never outgrows it. One can outgrow a particular stage, but when that happens, there is another one to be entered. In this way, following Tao is always vital.

Daily Recovery Readings – October 24

NA Just For Today
October 24
Responsibility

“We are not responsible for our disease, only for our recovery. As we begin to apply what we have learned, our lives begin to change for the better.”
Basic Text, p.88

The further we go in recovery, the less we avoid responsibility for ourselves and our actions. By applying the principles of the Narcotics Anonymous program, we are able to change our lives. Our existence takes on new meaning as we accept responsibility and the freedom of choice responsibility implies. We do not take recovery for granted.

We take responsibility for our recovery by working the Twelve Steps with a sponsor. We go to meetings regularly and share with the newcomer what was freely given to us: the gift of recovery. We become involved with our home group and accept responsibility for our part in sharing recovery with the still-suffering addict. As we learn how to effectively practice spiritual principles in all areas of our lives, the quality of our lives improves.

Just for today: Using the spiritual tools I’ve gained in recovery, I am willing and able to make responsible choices.

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Daily Reflections
October 24
“BY FAITH AND BY WORKS”

On anvils of experience, the structure of our Society was hammered out. . . . Thus has it been with A.A. By faith and by works we have been able to build upon the lessons of an incredible experience. They live today in the Twelve Traditions of Alcoholics Anonymous, which – God willing – shall sustain us in unity for so long as He may need us.
TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 131

God has allowed me the right to be wrong in order for our Fellowship to exist as it does today. If I place God’s will first in my life, it is very likely that A.A. as I know it today will remain as it is.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day
October 24
A.A. Thought For The Day

I have turned to a Power greater than myself. Thank God, I am no longer at the center of the universe. All the world does not revolve around me any longer. I am only one among many. I have a Father in Heaven and I am only one of His children and a small one at that. But I can depend on Him to show me what to do and to give me the strength to do it. I am on the Way and the whole power of the universe is behind me when I do the right thing. I do not have to depend entirely on myself any longer. With God, I can face anything. Is my life in the hands of God?

Meditation For The Day

The grace of God is an assurance against all evil. It holds out security to the believing soul. The grace of God means safety in the midst of evil. You can be kept unspotted by the world through the power of His grace. You can have a new life of power. But only in close contact with the grace of God is its power realized. In order to realize it and benefit from it, you must have daily quiet communion with God, so that the power of His grace will come unhindered into your soul.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may be kept from evil by the grace of God. I pray that henceforth I will try to keep myself more unspotted by the world.

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As Bill Sees It
October 24
Praying Rightly, p.295

We thought we had been deeply serious about religious practices.  However, upon honest appraisal we found that we had been most superficial. Or sometimes, going to extremes, we had wallowed in emotionalism and had also mistaken this for true religious feeling.  In both cases, we had been asking something for nothing.

We had not prayed rightly. We had always said, “Grant me my wishes,” instead of “Thy will be done.” The love of God and man we understood not at all. Therefore, we remained self-deceived, and so incapable of receiving enough grace to restore us to sanity.

12 & 12, p. 32

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Walk In Dry Places
October 24
Light for Dark corners
Honesty

Newspaper writers know that there’s usually a future story in the “dark side” of any person who is being lavishly praised in the media. That’s because almost every person has a “dark side” or secrets that are carefully guarded.

We should look for such dark corners in our own lives. Most of us are not public figures fearing exposure, but recovering people seeking to stay sober and healthy.

We can begin to illuminate our dark corners by discussing our secrets with others. This does not necessarily eliminate whatever shortcoming is involved, but our honesty is a step in the right direction.

False pride may also play a part in keeping dark secrets from others, causing fear that others might see us as we really are. Thus, learning to confront and confess our dark sides can lead to victory over both fear and pride.

I’ll strive today to be honest about any weaknesses or wrongs that I’ve been concealing. Under the light of such honesty, my dark secrets can be transformed

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Keep It Simple
October 24

Sin has many tools, but a lie is the handle that fits them all.
—Oliver Wendell Homes

Lying, above anything else, brings us close to getting crazy again. Lying is what addicts do.  In our addiction, our whole life was a lie.

Lying creates danger because it creates secrets. Secrets keep us from others. To stay sober, we need to stay close to people. We can’t make it on our own.

Lying creates danger because it creates shame. A lie, like a drink, may make us feel good for the moment. But in the long run, it creates shame.

Do we still lie to deal with the world? Lies are like drinks—one leads to another.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, help me to live today free of lies.

Action for the Day: For the next twenty-four hours, I will tell no lies. If I do I’ll go back and do Step Ten. I will remember that lies can lead to relapse.

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Each Day a New Beginning
October 24

The universal human yearning [is] for something permanent, enduring, without shadow of change.
–Willa Cather

The specter of change builds dread in most of us. We fear the effects on our personal lives. We lack faith that the impending change will benefit us. Only time can assure us of that. And it will, just as every change we’ve survived up to now has done.

Changes are gifts, really. They come as hallmarks to our present attainments. They signify successful growth. How we struggle to understand this, and how quickly we forget it once we have adapted to the change. The struggle is then repeated the next time change visits us.

We long for permanence, believing it guarantees security, not realizing the only real security available to us comes with our trust in God, from whom all change comes as a blessing on the growth we’ve attained. If we were to experience total lack of change, we’d find death. Life is challenge, continued change, always endurable and growth-enhancing. We can reflect on what’s gone before, and trust that which faces us now.

Change means I am progressing, on course.

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Alcoholics Anonymous
October 24
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.

My first meeting back at A.A. was on an unseasonably hot June night, but there was not a cool drink in sight in that church basement. The smoke could have choked a horse (today, it is much improved), and a fanatical woman with smiling bright eyes eagerly explained to me that they had this important book I should buy. Thinking that they were doing the book promotion because they needed money, I said firmly, “I’ll give you the money, but I don’t want your book!” Which about sums up my attitude and explains why, for the next few months, I continued to get drunk in spite of dragging my body to meetings every few days. I would stare at the large vodka bottle in my kitchen cupboard and say, “You won’t get me!” but it did; I always lost the battle and ended up drunk.

p. 393

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions
October 24

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

As group after group saw these possibilities, they finally abandoned all membership regulations. One dramatic experience after another clinched this determination until it became our universal tradition. Here are two examples:
On the A.A. calendar it was Year Two. In that time nothing could be seen but two struggling, nameless groups of alcoholics trying to hold their faces up to the light.

p. 141

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Xtra Thoughts
October 24

“Every moment is an opportunity for those who are ready to seize it.”
–unknown

Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.
–Leo Buscaglia

Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds you plant.
–Robert Louis Stevenson

It is easy to sit up and take notice. What is difficult is getting up and taking action.
–Al Batt

Nature gave men two ends – one to sit on and one to think with. Ever since then man’s success or failure has been dependent on the one he used most.
–George R. Kirkpatrick

“Worry drives us to prayer and prayer drives away the worry.”
–Eliz McJunkin

A truly happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery on a detour.  Contentment comes from making the most of what you have and going with it.
–unknown

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation
October 24
CYNICS

“A cynic is a man who, when he smells flowers, looks around for a coffin.”
— H. L. Mencken

There was a time when I always felt that life was out to get me. I always looked on the “black” side of life. I was forever being negative and pessimistic I would always be surrounded by sick and destructive human beings. Whenever people offered hope or tried to help me, I turned away and rejected them. For years I created the pain and misery in my life.

Then a close friend forced himself into my life and gave me a dose of “tough love”. He made me see that I was wallowing in self-pity. He cared enough to intervene and tell me what I did not want to hear.

Today I have some years of recovery from alcoholism and I carry the message.

I pray that I may always love myself and others enough to take a risk.

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Bible Scriptures
October 24

“For we walk by faith, not by sight.”
2 Corinthians 5:7

The LORD is righteous in everything he does; he is filled with kindness.
The LORD is close to all who call on him, yes, to all who call on him sincerely. He fulfills
the desires of those who fear him; he hears their cries for help and rescues them. The
LORD protects all those who love him, but he destroys the wicked. I will praise the
LORD, and everyone on earth will bless his holy name forever and forever.
Psalm 145:17-21

My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.
1 John 3:18

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Daily Inspiration
October 24

Do not be discouraged if it seems that there is no response to your prayers at this time. God always responds. Lord, Your wisdom always responds to my needs with unceasing peace and love and when I listen and give thanks I am blessed with results that bring goodness to me in better ways than I expect.

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.d

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A Day At A Time
October 24

Reflection For The Day

So many of us in The Program went through childhood — as well as part of our adult lives — emotionally shackled with the terrible burden called shyness. We found it difficult to walk into crowded rooms, to converse with even our friends, to make eye contact with anyone. The agonies we suffered! We learn in The Program that shyness is just another manifestation of self-centered fear, which is the root of all our character defects. Shyness, specifically, is fear of what others think or might think about us. To our enormous relief, our shyness gradually leaves us as we work The Program and interact with others. Am I aware that I’m okay as long as I don’t concentrate on me?

Today I Pray

God, may I be grateful that I am getting over my shyness, after years of pulling back from people, squirming, blushing, blurting out all the “wrong things” or blurting out all the sayings nothing at all — then reliving the agonies and imagining what I should have said and done. May I know that it has taken a full-blown addiction and a lot of caring people to convince me that I’m Okay — and you’re Okay, he’s Okay, and so is she.

Today I Will Remember

A cure for shyness is caring about someone else.

 

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One More Day
October 24

We conceal it from oursleves in vain — we must always hav esomething.
–Blaise Pascal

Not knowing how to love may imperil our very existence. Although love doesn’t literally nourish our bodies, not being able to love strips us of our humanness.

Romantic love is only one part of our capacity to love, for there is also the ability to love our friends, family, and our fellow human beings. The ripple effect of our well-being will spread, both within us and from us, and we will begin to nourish our souls as well.

We also learn to love ourselves — all that we are. Self-love enhances our self-image. A strong sense of esteem enhances our entire lives.

I need to love and be loved. It is essential to my psychic well-being that I understand the importance of loving.

 

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Elder’s Meditation of the Day October 24

“We create that bad among ourselves.
We create it; then we try to call it devil, satan, or evil.
But man creates it.
There is no devil.
Man creates the devil.”
–Wallace Black Elk, LAKOTA

Inside every human being are the laws and codes by which we should live. These laws and codes are communicated to us through a little voice. When we are still, this voice guides us.

If we choose to live out of harmony, our lives become filled with anger, hate, selfishness, dishonesty, etc… When these things appear in our lives, we give up accountability and blame it on something or someone else.

If we want to live in harmony, we need to pray our way back to living the principles the Creator gave us.

Grandfather, today let me walk with the principles.

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Journey To The Heart
October 24
Share Your Heart with the World

Share your heart with the world. Share willingly, openly, joyfully what you have seen, what you have learned.

Don’t tell people how you think you should have handled things. That’s shame. It teaches others to feel ashamed,too. Don’t tell people how you wish you had handled things. That’s needless regret that we pass on to others.

Share honestly and openly about yourself, the way you felt, the things you thought. Share how going through your experience changed you. Talk about your resistance, your pain, the imperfect way you did things, the way you handle things now.

Sharing honestly and openly teaches people aroud us the most helpful truth– that the imperfect way we live our lives is right for us at the time. When we love and accept ourselves enough to honestly share who we are, it helps those we touch to believe that they’re good anough,too.

Share your heart with the world and you will bring healing to those you touch.

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Today’s Gift
October 24

Before he closed his eyes, he let them wander round his old room . . . familiar and friendly things . . . which were so glad to see him again and could always be counted on for the same simple welcome.
—Kenneth Grahame

When they moved into the house, the room at the top of the stairs was just a junk room. As the years passed, they slowly transformed the room into a guest room.

When they decided they needed another voice in the house, they transformed the room again: out went the fold-out couch, in came a crib and rocking chair; off went the art gallery prints from the walls, up went Winnie-the-Pooh. It was no longer a guest room, but a place for the baby, a new – and permanent – member of the family.

We always have room for more in our lives. When we are ready for it, what we need for growth will emerge.

What do the rooms inside our homes and ourselves have to tell us about the way we live our lives?

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The Language Of Letting Go
October 24
Opening Ourselves to Love

Open ourselves to the love that is available to us.

We do not have to limit our sources of love. God and the Universe have an unlimited supply of what we need, including love.

When we are open to receiving love, we will begin to receive it. It may come from the most surprising places, including from within us.

We will be open to and aware of the love that is and has been there for us all along. We will feel and appreciate the love from friends. We will notice and enjoy the love that comes to us from family.

We will be ready to receive love in our special love relationships too. We do not have to accept love from unsafe people – people who will exploit us or with whom we don’t want to have relationships.

But there is plenty of good love available – love that heals our heart, meets our needs, and makes our spirit sing.

We have denied ourselves too long. We have been martyrs too long. We have given so much and allowed ourselves to receive too little. We have paid our dues. It is time to continue the chain of giving and receiving by allowing ourselves to receive.

Today, I will open myself to the love that is coming to me from the Universe. I will accept it and enjoy it when it comes.

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More Language Of Letting Go
October 24
What you see isn’t always what you get

I was walking through the mall when I saw a photo booth at one of the kiosks. A large green screen hung as a backdrop and the photographer had her subjects stand in front of it in various poses. After taking the photo, she used a computer to paste it into a scene. You might then look like an aligator wrestler, a snowboarder, a hapless adventurer getting run over by his own jeep.

What you see is not always what you get. People are not always what they seem. It’s easy for others to paint an inaccurate picture either to impress and manipulate us into doing what they want us to do. Understand that while many, even most, of the people in your life will be honest, there will be those who will paint a false picture. They will claim to have experience that you don’t have, they will claim to know the secret of how to live your life, they will claim to be something they’re not. They will try to use their self-exalted position to control and manipulate you.

Be aware of people who would manipulate you by pasting themselves into a false background or scene. Don’t just take things at face value. Take your time, as much time as you need, to see what the real background is.

Most of us get misled from time to time. Sometimes people con us. Other times we trick ourselves. Let go of naivete.

God, if I start getting conned or manipulated, please show me and help me see the truth.

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Touchstones Meditation For Men
October 24

Become nothing before God, learn to keep silent; in this silence is the beginning, which is first to seek God’s kingdom.
—Soren Kierkegaard

So many devastating things can bring us to our knees. With experience we learn that pain and trouble are part of life. Most of us have fought against everyday realities as if they were our personal enemies. We accepted every challenge, thinking we had to be winners every time. Today we may feel broken by the loss of a love, by a disappointing job experience, or by our powerlessness over a loved one.

In our brokenness we find our true humanity. It is the beginning of our spiritual awakening. As men we thought surrender was a word for losers and weaklings. Living this program teaches us that accepting our brokenness opens us to a new kind of wholeness. After we acknowledge we are not in control of every event in our lives, and after admitting our addiction and codependency have controlled us, we come alive inside with the rich new experience of being a person.

God, help me today to learn the spiritual lesson contained in my frustrations and grief.

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Daily TAO
October 24
CORE

What is the difference between a monk and a husband?
What is the difference between a priest and layperson?
I accept that this world is terrible and full of suffering.
And I also enjoy happiness when it comes to me.
As long as I am with Tao, distinctions are superfluous.

A spiritual initiate should not feel smug. They have no greater chance of enlightenment than ordinary people. An ordinary person shouldn’t look down on the holy aspirant; everyday life is so full of distractions that finding spirituality is not easy. Frankly, neither being a religious initiate nor being a layperson is the deciding factor in whether a person finds Tao or not. Identities only get in the way.

I do not need to pretend that I am anyone other than myself. I do not need to feel insecure about my perceptions. The self-cultivation that I undertake is to perfect who I am, not to become someone other than who I am.

I pursue the spiritual because it gives me tremendous satisfaction. I do not pursue it because of threats of hell, ignorance, or suffering.

Life has its sad and happy moments. I accept them all. Life has its times of dispassion and utter serenity. Those are the moments that I seek. They give me my path through the myriad phenomena of this existence. I do not compare myself to ascetics and priests. Let them have their lives. I enjoy mine.