In Loving Memory of Vic

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Daily Recovery Readings – April 21

Just For Today
April 21

“We have found that we had no choice except to completely change our old ways of thinking or go back to using.”
Basic Text, p. 21

Many of us find that our old ways of thinking were dominated by fear. We were afraid that we wouldn’t be able to get our drugs or that there wouldn’t be enough. We feared discovery, arrest, and incarceration. Further down the list were fears of financial problems, homelessness, overdose, and illness. And our fear controlled our actions.

The early days of recovery weren’t a great deal different for many of us; then, too, fear dominated our thinking. “What if staying clean hurts too much?” we asked ourselves. “What if I can’t make it? What if the people in NA don’t like me? What if NA doesn’t work?” The fear behind these thoughts can still control our behavior, keeping us from taking the risks necessary to stay clean and grow. It may seem easier to resign ourselves to certain failure, giving up before we start, than to risk everything on a slim hope. But that kind of thinking leads only to relapse.

To stay clean, we must find the willingness to change our old ways of thinking. What has worked for other addicts can work for us—but we must be willing to try it. We must trade in our old cynical doubts for new affirmations of hope. When we do, we’ll find it’s worth the risk.

Just for today: I pray for the willingness to change my old ways of thinking, and for the ability to overcome my fears.


Daily Reflections
April 21

“I don’t think we can do anything very well in this world unless we practice it. And I don’t believe we do A.A. too well unless we practice it. . . . We should practice . . . acquiring the spirit of service. We should attempt to acquire some faith, which isn’t easily done, especially for the person who has always been very materialistic, following the standards of society today. But I think faith can be acquired; it can be acquired slowly; it has to be cultivated. That was not easy for me, and I assume that it is difficult for everyone else . . . . ”

Fear is often the force that prevents me from acquiring and cultivating the power of faith. Fear blocks my appreciation of beauty, tolerance, forgiveness, service, and serenity.


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

After we’ve been in A.A. for a while, we find out that if we’re going to stay sober, we have to be humble people. The men and women in A.A. who have achieved sobriety are all humble people. When I stop to think that but for the grace of God I might be drunk right now, I can’t help feeling humble. Gratitude to God for His grace makes me humble. When I think of the kind of person I was not so long ago, when I think of the person I left behind me, I have nothing to be proud of. Am I grateful and humble?

Meditation For The Day

I must arise from the death of sin and selfishness and put on a new life of integrity. All the old sins and temptations must be laid in the grave and a new existence rise from the ashes. Yesterday is gone. All my sins are forgiven if I am honestly trying to do God’s will today. Today is here, the time of resurrection and renewal. I must start now, today, to build a new life of complete faith and trust in God and a determination to do His will in all things.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may share in making the world a better place to live in. I pray that I may do what I can to bring goodness a little nearer to the earth.


As Bill Sees It
April 21
Complete Security?, p. 112

Upon entering A.A., the spectacle of years of waste threw us into panic. Financial importance was no longer our principal aim; we now clamored for material security.

Even when we were re-established in our business, terrible fears often continued to haunt us. This made us misers and penny-pinchers all over again. Complete financial security we must have–or else.

We forgot that most alcoholics in A.A. have an earning power considerably above average; we forgot the immense good will of our brother A.A.’s who were only too eager to help us to better jobs when we deserved them; we forgot the actual or potential financial insecurity of every human being in the world. And, worst of all, we forgot God. In money matters we had faith only in ourselves, and not too much of that.

12 & 12, pp. 120-121


Walk in Dry Places
April 21
The Good that I do

Why do we hold back when we’re offered the opportunity to help others or to do something unusually kind? Why is it that many people are reluctant to give of themselves unless rewarded with recognition or praise?

We may hold back because we do not understand that any good action always brings its own reward. Despite Shakespeare’s timeless saying, the good we do is not “interred with our bones”… it does survive, now and in the future.

We’ve learned in Twelve Step programs that it’s not really satisfying to work only for recognition and praise. There also has to be a confident feeling that our efforts are contributing to a large good with a worthwhile purpose. That’s what makes AA so special to people who are completely devoted to it… we know that anything done for AA makes the world a better place.

We should also know that those who can help others are fortunate, well-favored people. Others may want to help, but lack the tools. We have the tools to give the help that changes lives—- and the world.

The good that I do today is a treasure I’ll always possess. I need not fear the act of letting my higher self take over and guide me.


Keep It Simple
April 21

One of the most important parts of the AA program is to give our drinking problem to God honestly and fully…
–Twenty-Four Hour a Day, March 1

We don’t handle our drinking or other drug problem. We don’t take care of this problem by ourselves. We turn our problem over to God as we understand Him. We need to be very clear about this. We can’t handle our drinking or other drug problem! Our Higher Power keeps us sober through the Steps and the fellowship of the program.

Our job is to hand over our problem to our Higher Power. We do this daily by acting like sober people.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, I know I can’t handle drinking and using other drugs. I turn my problem over to you. Please take from me the urge to drink or use.

Action for the Day: Today, I’ll remember why I can’t handle or take care of my problem with alcohol or other drugs. And I’ll remember why my Higher Power can.


Each Day a New Beginning
April 21

To look backward for a while is to refresh the eye, to restore it, and to render it the more fit for its prime function of looking forward.
–Margaret Fairless Barber

When we contemplate last month, last year, the period of time just before we came into this Twelve Step program, we can see many changes, good changes, have come our way. But we take the changes for granted sometimes. Or maybe we fail to reflect on them at all. We get caught up in the turmoil of the present, believing it will last forever, forgetting that yesterday’s turmoil taught us much that we needed to know.

The past, for most of us, was rife with pain. But now we have hope. We have gained on life. We may be back in the good graces of our family. Perhaps we have patched up some failed relationships. A career has beckoned to us. Good experiences have come to pass. But we aren’t free of difficulties. They need not get us down again. Hindsight assures us that this, too, will pass. It also guarantees that we will move forward, just as we have again and again, if we have but faith.

I will take this moment to look back at last year or the last binge. I can rest assured that I am moving forward. I will continue to do so.


Alcoholics Anonymous
April 21

– It took an “angel” to introduce this Native American woman to A.A. and recovery.

One day I got up as usual. The last thing I remember was feeling so shaky I could hardly stand up. I ate a tablespoon of honey, hoping it would give me the necessary sugar rush. The next conscious memory was the emergency room. They said I was suffering from malnutrition. I was nearly thirty pounds underweight. They had the audacity to ask me how much I drank! What could that possibly have to do with anything? I promised I would never do it again.

pp. 462-463


Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions
April 21

Step Four – “Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.”

But in A.A. we slowly learned that something had to be done about our vengeful resentments, self-pity, and unwarranted pride. We had to see that every time we played the big shot, we turned people against us. We had to see that when we harbored grudges and planned revenge for such defeats, we were really beating ourselves with the club of anger we had intended to use on others. We learned that if we were seriously disturbed, our first need was to quiet that disturbance, regardless of who or what we thought caused it.

p. 47


Xtra Thoughts
April 21

The only thing you get from sitting on the pity pot is a ring around your butt and nobody to show it to!

“It’s what you learn after you know it all that counts.”
–John Wooden

“Simmering resentment saps energy.”
–Nido Qubein

“Pain is an experience. Suffering is a choice.”
–Jeff Alexander

Open to a larger, more abundant source. That source is God. And God’s supply is the universe. When we look to God and the universe, we open ourselves to a never-ending supply of what we need–love, energy, teaching, support, information, guidance, and nurturing. Certain people and places may help us along the way, but God is our source for love.
–Melody Beattie


Father Leo’s Daily Meditation
April 21

“A man who dares to waste one hour of time has not discovered the value of life.”
–Charles Darwin

Life is not to be wasted. Time is not to be wasted. Friends, relationships, opportunities are not to be wasted. Why? Because as vulnerable human beings we do not have the ultimate control of our lives and none of us know when our lives will end, when we shall die, when time and opportunity will be no more! Life is too precious to waste.

During my years as an addict I did not value my life. I did not value time. I did not value friends and relationships. Nothing was valued except the alcohol! Life was meaningless. God was absent and I felt nothing – just a “dullness” at the center of my being. Today this is not the case. Through my pain I have found the value of life and I have discovered a God as I understand Him.

God, let me value what I have while I have it.


Bible Scriptures
April 21

“Without faith it is impossible to please God because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists, and that he rewards those who earnestly seek Him.”
–Hebrews 11:6

Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
–1 Peter 5:6-7


Daily Inspiration
April 21

Don’t allow the difficult people around you to get you down. Lord, may I not make other people’s problems my own and take on things that I can’t do anything about anyway.

There is light behind every shadow. Lord, You are the light of the world. May I never forget to turn to You when my life fills with shadows.


A Day At A Time
April 21

Reflection For The Day

Can I be wholeheartedly grateful for today?  If so, I’m opening doors to more and more abundant good.  What if I can’t be thankful for the “rain” that has fallen in my life — for the so-called bad times?  What then?  I can begin by giving thanks for all the sunshine I can remember, and for every blessing that ha come my way.  Perhaps then I’ll be able to look back over the rainy periods of my life with new vision, seeing them as necessary;  perhaps then, hidden blessings I’ve overlooked will come to my attention.  Am  I Grateful for all of life — both the sunshine and the rain?

Today I Pray

May I be grateful for all that has happened to me, good an bad.  Bad helps to define good.  Sorrow intensifies joy.  Humility brings spirituality.  Disease turns health into a a paradise.  Loneliness makes love both human and Divine, the greatest gift of all.  I thank God for the contrasts which have made me know Him better.

Today I Will Remember

I am grateful for the whole of life.


One More Day
April 21

To know
That which lies before us in daily life,
Is the prime wisdom.
–  John Milton

It isn’t easy becoming an adult.  We have to pay the dues as we go along the path of life.  As long as we have had joy and suffering, we may as well learn to use our well-earned adult perspective.  After all, look how hard we worked to get here!

Enjoyment is still there, free for the taking.  All the intangibles we enjoyed before are still there –  love, honor, trust.  We alone can decide, as we sift through the happenings of our days, whether to call our lives wreckage or success, whether to create delight or sorrow.  A Change in circumstances or health doesn’t mean the end of joyful living.  Such changes will wisely, with greater appreciation and understanding.

I will find and accept the gift of joyful living today.


One Day At A Time
April 21

Religion is for people who don’t want to go to hell.  Program is for people who have already been there.

I was religious when I came into program and I was ready and willing to tell everyone what the “true” faith was. I went to church every Sunday. I was a religion teacher. I knew it all.

The truth is I didn’t know ANYTHING. It didn’t take long for me to begin to question my own religiosity. In fact, it began at Steps two and three. Before long, I wondered if there was a God at all. If there was, is God a He, a She or an It? Then I decided, yes there was a God, but did He/She/It care about me?

The real truth is God is who God needs to be to work through me. There’s no right or wrong answer to my questions. What I DO know is that God loves me just the way I am.

The greatest gift my Higher Power gave me came on the day I looked up to “heaven” and told God, “I don’t believe in You!” And that still, quiet voice inside of me asked, “Then to Whom are you speaking?”

One Day at a Time . . .
I don’t have to have theological “proof” that there is a Power greater than myself. I just need to believe.

~ Debbie ~


Elder’s Meditation of the Day – April 21

“Conciliation is the key to survival. Peace is the goal.”
–Haida Gwaii, Traditional Circle of Elders

When we make decisions or experience conflict we need to look at the greater whole. The end result we want to accomplish is peace of mind.

If we keep this goal in mind, we will, overall, live a happy and fulfilling life. Everything in the world is constantly changing so we should not resist this change.

A good question to ask ourselves is, “would I rather be right or happy?” If we would rather be happy, then it is easier to let the little things go. If we would rather be right, we tend to look for the WIN/LOSE.

Great Spirit, today, give me the tools to seek peace of mind.


Journey To The Heart
April 21
Trust What You Know

As you grow, as you evolve, as you continue on this journey, you’ll discover many special abilities, gifts, and powers. One is an increased sense of knowingness. We will begin to understand events and people on a level much deeper than we experienced before.

We will begin to know the feeling of a person, place, or thing. We will begin to feel its energy, not just its matter or physical form. We’ll talk to a person for a while and know if that person feels trapped, feels like a victim, or feels free. We’ll know if a place holds energy that’s good for us. Or we’ll know that the energy isn’t right for us, doesn’t currently complement our needs. We won’t judge. We’ll just know. And we’ll know what to do.

Powers appear when we open the heart. We find the powers of love, comfort, faith, joy. There are other powers,too, that come along the way. One of these is the quiet power of trusting what we know.

Open your heart. Let it show you what it knows. Learn to trust what you know. You’re wiser than you think.


Today’s Gift
April 21

In grief, healing helps us make peace with the meaning of death, which cannot be understood except as an unknown part of life.
—Alla Bozarth-Campbell

It is a sad occasion when we must say goodbye to a loved one or pet who has died. But grief is the only way we can come to understand our losses, and sharing grief helps us experience it more fully.

Perhaps we wish to grieve for something else we’ve lost, like fading youth, a job, a possession, or a habit we had come to enjoy. It’s natural to feel grief over things like this, too.

We can share stories and good memories with other grievers, and give free reign to our tears. Sometimes it seems the more we talk, the sadder we feel about our losses, but when we share these feelings with others, we turn our losses into gain. We heal ourselves, pay tribute to those we grieve for, and share an intimate sense of loss with someone else.

Do I have grief to share?


The Language of Letting Go
April 21

Wait. If the time is not right, the way is not clear, the answer or decision not consistent, wait.

We may feel a sense of urgency. We may want to resolve the issue by doing something – anything now, but that action is not in our best interest.

Living with confusion or unsolved problems is difficult. It is easier to resolve things. But making a decision too soon, doing something before it’s time, means we may have to go back and redo it.

If the time is not right, wait. If the way is not clear, do not plunge forward. If the answer or decision feels muddy, wait.

In this new way of life, there is a Guiding Force. We do not ever have to move too soon or move out of harmony. Waiting is an action – a positive, forceful action.

Often, waiting is a God-guided action, one with as much power as a decision, and more power than an urgent, ill-timed decision.

We do not have to pressure ourselves by insisting that we do or know something before it’s time. When it is time, we will know. We will move into that time naturally and harmoniously. We will have peace and consistency. We will feel empowered in a way we do not feel today.

Deal with the panic, the urgency, and the fear; do not let them control or dictate decisions.

Waiting isn’t easy. It isn’t fun. But waiting is often necessary to get what we want. It is not dead time; it is not downtime. The answer will come. The power will come. The time will come. And it will be right.

Today, I will wait, if waiting is the action I need in order to take care of myself. I will know that I am taking a positive, forceful action by waiting until the time is right. God, help me let go of my fear, urgency, and panic. Help me learn the art of waiting until the time is right. Help me learn timing.


More Language Of Letting Go
April 21
Discern what’s important

Above all, I had learned to distinguish what was important in life and what was not. The important was often a handful of water, sometimes a protected bivouac site, a book, a conversation.
— Reinhold Messner, Free Spirit

A friend of mine, desiring to pursue a life of adventure by joining the skydiving community, quit a good job, sold all of his belongings, and moved on to an airport with a couple of duffle bags and a parachute. Today, he has realized his dream. He’s a professional sky diver, married, and living in a decent home close to his dream job– jumping out of airplanes. “I’ll never get rich doing this,” he explains. “But I get to wake up every day knowing that I get to do exactly what I want to do. And even more importantly, my years as a drop-zone bum taught me about whay was truly important, and what’s not.”

We get attached to our things. We fuss when someone spills soda on the couch, get angry over the slightest ding on our leased Honda, and make up for lost time with loved ones by bringing them more things.

Look closely at your life. Decide what’s really important to you. What would you genuinely miss, if you didn’t have it? What would you perhaps not even notice, if it was missing from your life? What might you be better off without?

Learn to distinguish between the essential and that which you don’t really need. You might find, like my friend, that you’d be happier with two duffel bags and a dream than you would be with a garage full of clutter that never gets used.

God, grant me the strength to pursue my dreams. Help me cut through the clutter and discover what’s truly important for me and my family.


Touchstones Meditations For Men
April 21

The first skill needed for the Inner Game is called “letting it happen.” This means gradually building a trust in the innate ability of your body to learn and to perform.
—W. Timothy Gallwey

A strange and intriguing mystery confronts us in the Twelve Steps. We are mending our ways; we are becoming accountable; we are striving to do what is right, yet we are learning to let go. This seems like a contradiction of logic, but it leads us to a spiritual awakening.

We are becoming like the accomplished tennis player who has practiced diligently to develop every detail of his skill. Yet when he is playing the game, he cannot focus on control. He must get his ego out of the way and let himself go. It is in letting go that he rises to his highest level of fulfillment. Today we will do what we must. We can make the choices we are faced with. Then we allow ourselves to be carried along by our Higher Power to complete and fulfill the process.

I will look for opportunities to let it happen today.


Daily TAO
April 21

Tradition was once function.
But today there is no tradition.
Where is there a true path?

In the past, people didn’t question the teachings of Tao. There was a living tradition, and if one followed it, one could reasonably expect to walk a good path. But today the traditional teachings of Tao have been dimmed by civil wars, political persecution, and the death of masters. Wealth and technology hold the attention of most people, and few have time for Tao. Adopting arcane methods will not lead to success.

We must discover Tao for ourselves. Seeking it in the here and now means fulfilling the spirit of tradition instead of merely copying it.  How can we ape the past? The old ways are gone.

Tao means different things to different people in different times.  Indeed, we might say that the Tao of today leads in unprecedented directions. We have to adapt, but being contemporary should not be an excuse for adulteration and shortcuts. Once we find the true path of today, we must walk it with the same determination as the ancients.


April 21

At the summit:
One rude hut, the snow,
This lonely body, and the wind,
I lean on the rail, heart suddenly struck:
The moon rises from within Great River: there.

– Yuan Mei (1716-1798)


Food for Thought
April 21
New Skills

When we stop eating compulsively, we get out of ruts that we may have been in for years. Our schedules change, since we spend less time eating. The confidence we gain encourages us to try new activities, and we discover skills we never knew we had.

Because we are no longer disgusted with ourselves, we get along better with those around us. As we learn to give up fear and self-centeredness, we find ourselves turning out better work and performing well in areas where before we had been weak.

Spiritual growth is the key to the new developments in all parts of our lives. We have become more closely connected to the source of creativity, so we are more alive. Others respond positively to our new sincerity and enthusiasm.

That we may continue to grow and learn gives us quiet satisfaction. For this, we are grateful to OA and our Higher Power.

Thank You, Lord, for newness of life.


In God’s Care
April 21

Hindsight is an exact science.
~~Guy Bellamy

Sometimes we may think life would be much easier if we new just what to expect when we’re trying something new or making important plans. It’s true we wouldn’t have to deal with the uncertainty of life, but neither would we have the thrill of anticipation that comes with change.

How or life evolves over time, we entrust to God. God is here today, meeting our needs in ways we can’t predict. Our role is simply to trust and listen to our Higher Power and choose our actions accordingly. We no longer have to choose the thoughts and behaviors that foster anxiety.

When we quiet our inner dialogue, we’re open to what God wills for us and are available for the experiences that provide for our growth. We’ll find ourselves relying less on hindsight and more on our intuitive grasp of the moment. We’ll know the best way to proceed in every circumstance if we look to God for direction.

Today I will depend less on hindsight and trying to predict the future, and more on pausing to listen to my Higher Power.


Faith’s Check Book
April 21
God Repays

He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the Lord; and that which he hath given will he pay him again.
(Proverbs 19:17)

We are to give to the poor out of pity. Not to be seen and applauded, much less to get influence over them; but out of pure sympathy and compassion we must give them help.

We must not expect to get anything back from the poor, not even gratitude; but we should regard what we have done as a loan to the Lord. He undertakes the obligation, and, if we look to Him in the matter, we must not look to the second party. What an honor the Lord bestows upon us when He condescends to borrow of us! That merchant is greatly favored who has the Lord on his books. It would seem a pity to have such a name down for a paltry pittance; let us make it a heavy amount. The next needy man that comes this way, let us help him.

As for repayment, we can hardly think of it, and yet here is the Lord’s note of hand. Blessed be His name, His promise to pay is better than gold and silver. Are we running a little short through the depression of the times? We may venture humbly to present this bill at the bank of faith, Has any one of our readers [oppressed] the poor? Poor soul. May the Lord forgive him.


This Morning’s Meditation
April 21

“I know that my Redeemer liveth.”
-—Job 19:25.

THE marrow of Job’s comfort lies in that little word “My”—”My Redeemer,” and in the fact that the Redeemer lives. Oh! to get hold of a living Christ. We must get a property in Him before we can enjoy Him. What is gold in the mine to me? Men are beggars in Peru, and beg their bread in California. It is gold in my purse which will satisfy my necessities, by purchasing the bread I need. So a Redeemer who does not redeem me, an avenger who will never stand up for my blood, of what avail were such? Rest not content until by faith you can say “Yes, I cast myself upon my living Lord; and He is mine.” It may be you hold Him with a feeble hand; you half think it presumption to say, “He lives as my Redeemer;” yet, remember if you have but faith as a grain of mustard seed, that little faith entitles you to say it. But there is also another word here, expressive of Job’s strong confidence, “I know.” To say, “I hope so, I trust so” is comfortable; and there are thousands in the fold of Jesus who hardly ever get much further. But to reach the essence of consolation you must say, “I know.” Ifs, buts, and perhapses, are sure murderers of peace and comfort. Doubts are dreary things in times of sorrow. Like wasps they sting the soul! If I have any suspicion that Christ is not mine, then there is vinegar mingled with the gall of death; but if I know that Jesus lives for me, then darkness is not dark: even the night is light about me. Surely if Job, in those ages before the coming and advent of Christ, could say, “I know,” we should not speak less positively. God forbid that our positiveness should be presumption. Let us see that our evidences are right, lest we build upon an ungrounded hope; and then let us not be satisfied with the mere foundation, for it is from the upper rooms that we get the widest prospect. A living Redeemer, truly mine, is joy unspeakable.

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