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In Loving Memory of Vic

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Daily Recovery Readings – August 10

Just For Today August 10

Regular Prayer And Meditation

“Most of us pray when we are hurting. We learn that if we pray regularly, we won’t be hurting as often or as intensely.” Basic Text, p.44

Regular prayer and meditation are two more key elements in our new pattern of living. Our active addiction was more than just a bad habit waiting to be broken by force of will. Our addiction was a negative, draining dependence that stole all our positive energy. That dependence was so total, it prevented us from developing any kind of reliance on a Higher Power.

From the very beginning of our recovery, our Higher Power has been the force that’s brought us freedom. First, it relieved us of our compulsion to keep taking drugs, even when we knew they were killing us. Then, it gave us freedom from the more deeply ingrained aspects of our disease. Our Higher Power gave us the direction, the strength, and the courage to inventory ourselves; to admit out loud to another person what our lives had been like, perhaps for the first time; to begin seeking release from the chronic defects of character underlying our troubles; and, at last, to make amends for the wrongs we’d done.

That first contact with a Higher Power, and that first freedom, has grown into a life full of freedom. We maintain that freedom by maintaining and improving our conscious contact with our Higher Power through regular prayer and meditation.

Just for today: I will make a commitment to include regular prayer and meditation in my new pattern of living.

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Daily Reflections August 10

REDOUBLING OUR EFFORTS

To a degree, he has already done this when taking moral inventory, but now the time has come when he ought to redouble his efforts to see how many people he had hurt, and in what ways. TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS , p. 77

As I continue to grow in sobriety, I become more aware of myself as a person of worth. In the process, I am better able to see others as persons, and with this comes the realization that these were people whom I had hurt in my drinking days. I didn’t just lie, I lied about Tom. I didn’t just cheat, I cheated Joe. What were seemingly impersonal acts, were really personal affronts, because it was people – people of worth – whom I had harmed. I need to do something about the people I have hurt so that I may enjoy a peaceful sobriety.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day August 10

A.A. Thought For The Day

“The tremendous fact for every one of us is that we have discovered a common solution. We who have found this solution to our alcoholic problem, we who are properly armed with the facts about ourselves, can generally win the entire confidence of another alcoholic. We who are making the approach to new prospects have had the same difficulty they have had. We obviously know what we are talking about.  Our whole deportment shouts at new prospects that we are people with a real answer.” Am I a person with the real answer to the alcoholic problems of others?

Meditation For The Day

For straying from the right way there is no cure except to keep so close to the thought of God that nothing, no other interest, can seriously come between you and God. Sure of that, you can stay on God’s side. Knowing the way, nothing can prevent your staying in the way and nothing can cause you to seriously stray from it. God has promised peace if you stay close to Him, but not leisure. You still have to carry on in the world. He has promised heart-rest and comfort, but not pleasure in the ordinary sense. Peace and comfort bring real inward happiness.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may keep my feet on the way. I pray that I may stay on God’s side.

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As Bill Sees It August 10

Who Is To Blame?, p. 222

At Step Four we resolutely looked for our own mistakes. Where had we been selfish, dishonest, self-seeking, and frightened?  Though a given situation had not been entirely our fault, we often tried to cast the whole blame on the other person involved.

We finally saw that the inventory should be ours, not the other man’s. So we admitted our wrongs honestly and became willing to set these matters straight.

Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 67

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Walk In Dry Places August 10

Can’t or Won’t?

Willingness

“I can’t do it,” a person declared as the meeting opened. “I simply can’t stop drinking.” That launched the evening’s discussion as thirteen people offered their ideas and suggestions.

One idea that emerged was that CAN ‘T was really WON’T. The individual was still holding back on re3commeded actions, such as attending more meetings and making excuses for not doing so. It became clear that thequest for sobriety was still only half-hearted.

In dealing with a powerful addiction, we learned long ago that half-hearted approaches don’t work. That’s why willingness is called the KEY to recovery. If the “Won’t” factor isn’t eliminated, our chances for recovery are very poor.

Some people recognize their “won’t” attitude but still desire sobriety. For them, the answer is to continue attending meetings and doing the other things that bring sobriety. This can result in a breakthrough when they least expect it.

I’ll remember today that can’t is often won’t. If I’m not taking the right steps to help myself, I’ll check myself for willingness.

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Keep It Simple August 10

There are time we must grab God’s and walk forward. — Anonymous

Sometimes we struggle with being part of the problem, instead of being part of the solution.

Inside we know this, but somehow we can’t Let Go and Let God.

To let go takes faith that the outcome will be okay. When we have faith, we know our Higher Power believes in us and will guide us. When we have faith, we believe in ourselves.

When we let go, we let go of our need to always be right. Letting go first takes place on the inside. Letting go allows us to change how we view what’s happening. Often, all we really need is this change of attitude. This is the beauty of faith: it allows us to see the same thing in different Ways.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, permit me to let go. Let me see that believing in You must also mean believing in myself.

Action for the Day: I will review my life since entering the Twelve Step program. I will work at seeing what good partners my Higher Power and I make.

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Each Day a New Beginning

Tuesday, August 10
…the growth of understanding follows an ascending spiral rather than a straight line. —Joanna Field
We each are traveling our own, very special path in this life. At times our paths run parallel to each other. On occasion they may intersect. But we do all have a common destination: knowledge of life’s meaning. And we’ll arrive at knowledge when we’ve arrived at the mountain’s summit, separately and yet together.
We do not go straight up the side of the mountain on this trip. We circle it, slowly, carefully, sometimes losing our footing, sometimes back-tracking because we’ve reached an impasse. Many times we have stumbled, but as we grow in understanding, as we rely more and more on our inner strength, available for the taking, we become more sure-footed.
We have never needed to take any step alone on this trip. Our troubles in the past were complicated because we did not know this; but now we do. Our lifeline is to our higher power. If we hang onto it, every step of the way will feel secure. The ground will be stable under us.
I am on a path to full understanding. I am learning to trust the lifeline offered by the program and God and my friends. As I learn, my footing is less tentative, and it supports me more securely.

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition August 10

The Man Who Mastered Fear

He spent eighteen years in running away, and then found he didn’t have to run. So he started A.A. in Detroit.

For eighteen years, from the time I was twenty-one, fear governed my life. By the time I was thirty, I had found that alcohol dissolved fear—for a little while. In the end I had tow problems instead of one: fear and alcohol.

p. 246

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions August 10

Step Twelve – “Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.”

As we made spiritual progress, we saw through these fallacies. It became clear that if we ever were to feel emotionally secure among grown-up people, we would have to put our lives on a give-and-take basis; we would have to develop the sense of being in partnership or brotherhood with all those around us. We saw that we would need to give constantly of ourselves without demands for repayment. When we persistently did this we gradually found that people were attracted to us as never before. And even if they failed us, we could be understanding and not too seriously affected.

pp. 115-116

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Xtra Thoughts August 10

Joy is the echo of God’s life in us. –Abbot Columba Mormion

“It is only possible to live happily ever after on a day to day basis.” –Margaret Bonnano

Your vision will become clear only when you look into your heart … Who looks outside, dreams. Who looks inside, awakens. –Carl Jung

“We generally change ourselves for one of two reasons: inspiration or desperation.” –Jim Rohn

“The time is always right to do what is right.” –Martin Luther King, Jr.

“What the caterpillar calls the end, the rest of the world calls a butterfly.” –Lao Tsu

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation August 10

FAITH

“Faith must trample underfoot all reason, sense and understanding.” — Martin Luther

 

An obstacle to my understanding the spiritual life was my intellectualization; my head was forever getting in the way of my heart. It was much easier to me to think rather than to feel; my faith was smothered by logic. My manipulating and controlling mind was stopping me experiencing the adventure of faith.

The poet in me grew as I began to trust others. God became alive in my confusion. The answer was in not having to have the answers.  Today spirituality involves all the varied confusions and paradoxes of life that I have discovered in me and in others — and it’s okay.

Today the love I give and receive is beyond my wildest dreams, and I smile at the joy of my confusion.

May my head unite with my heart in the daily maze of life.

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Bible Scriptures August 10

“Seek the Lord and His strength; seek His face evermore!” 1 Chronicles 16:11

“For all of God’s promises have been fulfilled in him. That is why we say “Amen” when we give glory to God through Christ.” 2 Corinthians 1:20

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Daily Inspiration August 10

Whatever the problem, stressing over it will not solve it. Lord, I turn to You for solutions because I believe that You care for all of my needs. Bless me with the ability to remain level headed and calm as we work our way through my day.

Never forget that home is Heaven and life on earth is only temporary. Lord, may I live with deep awareness of my spiritual nature and live a life of truth.

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Elder’s Meditation of the Day – August 10 

“Nature is the storehouse of potential life of future generations and is sacred.” –Audrey Shenandoah, ONONDAGA

We need to honor and respect our Mother Earth.  She is the source of all life.  The sun shines life to the earth, then the earth produces life in all forms and in a balanced way.  Everything is here to serve everything else.

If we interrupt the flow in any way, we leave nothing for the future generations. Before every decision is made, we should ask, and answer, a final question; “If we do this, what will be the effects on the seventh generation? What will we cause our children to live with?” We need to have respect and love for all things and for all people. We need to do this for ourselves and for all the children still unborn.

My Creator, let me look at nature today and let me have the highest respect for all the things I see. All the two legged, the four legged, the winged ones, the plants, the water, the air, the Mother Earth. Let me have respect for myself.

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Journey To The Heart August 10

Find Places of Healing

Find places of healing. Discover people, things, and places that nourish your soul, bring you back to center, help you heal.

Life is not an endurance contest. Not anymore. We are not in a race to see how long we can go without, how much we can go without, how much pain we can stay in. Although sometimes we go through dry spells and droughts, we are not cactuses.

There is a place in each of us that wants to heal, that can heal, that will heal. It’s a peaceful place, one of nourishment, replenishment, peace, safety, comfort, and joy. It’s a place of love and acceptance. It’s a place of forgiveness, honesty, openness, nurturing, and kindness. You can find it quickly, if that’s what you’re seeking. You will recognize it instantly because of how it feels. It will bring you back to center. It will bring you back to calm. It will bring you back to joy.

Find places of healing. Then go there often. They are yours for the asking, your for the seeking. Healing places are an important part of the journey.

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One Day At A Time August 10

LOSS

“The act of giving something up is painful.  But as we negotiate the curves and corners of our lives, we must continually give up parts of ourselves.  The only alternative is not to travel at all on the journey of life.” –M. Scott Peck

As I look back over my life, I can remember many losses. Some came about by death, some by the circumstances of life, and others by choices I made. All of my losses were painful, but only three were traumatic. Whenever I gave something up there was a period afterwards when my life wasn’t the same as it had been before. The amount of pain I experienced and the length of its duration were not contingent upon the seeming “severity” of the loss. Death was final, but not the most traumatic for me. Letting go of something takes many forms.

Though my most traumatic losses were those I experienced at the end of a relationship, there were other losses, too. I lost my youth and I mourned that. I lost a part of my life when a decades-long career gave way to retirement. I lost my role as mother when my children grew up and I found myself with an empty nest. I lost my identity when the disease I have had for a lifetime caused me to reach bottom and, in the process, took the “me who was” along with it. And I lost another part of myself when I accepted the reality of my marriage and let go of the storybook dreams I once had.

My Twelve Step program has enabled me to go through a mourning process for each loss I experienced. I have allowed myself to grieve and feel the feelings. And when all this was done, God’s grace allowed me to heal.

One day at a time … I will learn from those things I had to give up … and I will continue my journey in serenity and peace.

~ Mari

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One More Day August 10

Few men are so miserable as not to like to talk of their misfortunes…. –  Maria Edgeworth

“Don’t get stuck in a conversation with Harry.  He’ll bore you to death telling you his problems.”  We have all had the experience of being warned away from a certain person.  There have probably even been times when we were the “Harry” others tried to avoid.  It’s normal to dwell on our troubles, and we all like to talk about them.  There is an added responsibility on our shoulders now that there is a medical problem present.

We can minimize that problem by becoming aware of what we are doing and by saving our long medical conversations for the people who really care and need to know.  Otherwise, we will find that our friends will slip away, uncertain of how to bear the burden of our changed health.

Caution will become my watchword as I learn to live with my altered health problems.

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A Day At A Time

August 10, 2014

Reflection For The Day

We’ve been our own worst enemies most of our lives, and we’ve often injured ourselves seriously as a result of a “justified”  resentment over a slight wrong.  Doubtless there are many causes for resentment in the world, all of them providing “justification.”  But we can never begin to settle all the world’s grievances or even arrange things so as to please everybody.  If we’ve been treated unjustly by others or simply by life itself, we can avoid compounding the difficulty by completely forgiving the persons involved and abandoning the destructive habit of reviewing our hurts and humiliations.  Can i believe that yesterday’s hurt is today’s understanding, rewoven into tomorrow’s love?

Today I Pray

Whether I am unjustly treated or just think I am, may I try not to be a resentful person, stewing over past injuries.  Once I have identified the root emotion behind my resentment, may I be big enough to forgive the person involved and wise enough to forget the whole thing.

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Language of Letting Go
August 10, 2014

Healing

Let healing energy flow through your body.
The healing energy of God, the Universe, life, and recovery surrounds us. It is available, waiting for us to draw on it, waiting for us to draw it in. It’s waiting at our meetings or groups, on the words of a whispered prayer, in a gentle touch, a positive word, a positive thought. Healing energy is in the sun, the wind, and the rain, in all that is good.
Let healing energy come. Attract it. Accept it. Let it soak in. Breathe in the golden light. Exhale. Let go of fear, anger, hurt, and doubt. Let healing energy flow to you, through you.
It is yours for the asking, for the believing.
 
Today, I will ask for, and accept, the healing energy from God and the Universe. I will let it flow to me, through me, and back out to others. I am part of, and at one with, the continuous cycle of healing.
 
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MORE LANGUAGE OF LETTING GO
August 10, 2014
It’s all a gift

Men are not angered by mere misfortune but by misfortune conceived as injury. And the sense of injury depends on the feeling that alegitimate claim has been denied.— C. S. Lewis,

The Screwtape LettersOh, the grousing about we do, especially when we feel denied of one thing or another—some reward, or achievement, or position that we feltbelonged to us.How enraged we may become when a wish, a hope, a dream, or a want is blatantly denied.How easy it is to be jealous of the success or happiness of another, even convincing ourselves that the person has laid claim to something thatrightfully belonged, instead, to us.The lesson here is simple.Remember to be grateful. God doesn’t
owe us anything. All of it is a gift.
God, thanks for everything, just as it is.
 
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Today’s Gift
August 10, 2014
 
It may be those who do most dream most.
—Stephen Leacock
 
Where would we be without the dreamers of the world – the ones who took the time to balance on the edge of wonder? Amazing connections, powerful images, and creative ideas come to us in daydreams. They creep in when we least expect them, like sleek cats, and then make their presence known to us with a gentle pounce. 

When we give ourselves permission to daydream – to sit for a while and do nothing but be quiet with our thoughts, we give ourselves a precious gift. And who knows, we just might be giving the world a priceless gift, too! Out of the seeds of some of our dreams, great ideas will blossom.

What first step can I take today to make a dream come true?

 
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In God’s Care
August 10, 2014
 
God has an exasperating habit of laying his hands on the wrong man.
~~Joseph D. Blinco
 
At times it seems grossly unfair that we are in the position we find ourselves. Either we aren’t ready to deal with the circumstances we encounter, or the people we find ourselves with don’t understand our problems. We feel we’re with the wrong people in the wrong place at the wrong time. But is this true?

How many times have we heard a nugget of wisdom from an unlikely source? Each of us can remember the comfort of a smile, a kind word, or a piece of sound advice from someone whom we least expected it from. Perhaps this was God’s way of reminding us that we all have value to each other and to God. We are never in the wrong place or in the wrong hands.

    I will try to remember that there is a purpose for everything in my life.

 
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Daily TAO
August 10, 2014
Be
 
Tao is within us; Tao surrounds us.
Part of it may be sensed,
And is called manifestation.
Part of it is unseen,
And is called void.To be with Tao is harmony.
To separate from Tao is disaster.
To act with Tao, observe and follow.
To know Tao, be still and look within.

Tao is within us; we are Tao. It is also outside us; it is all the known universe. All we can know of ourselves and our universe cannot account for all that is Tao. What we know is merely the outer manifestations of Tao.

The ultimate Tao is called absolute. We cannot know it directly because it has no definitions, references, or names. Our normal minds are incapable of perceiving where there is no contrast. Yet is is precisely this colorless infinity that is the underlying reality to this life.

The only way to fathom it is to remove our sense of division from it. In essence, we must plunge into the mystery itself. Only then will we know peace.

 
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Day By Day
August 10, 2014
Adapting to the world

“Live only in today; don’t worry about tomorrow.” That’s a fine ambition, we may think, but what does it mean? “Living in today” means dealing only with what is at hand now and the available courses of action.If we are worrying about matters in the past or future, or out of our realm, we can disengage ourselves from them. We cannot bend the world to our will. 

Am I learning to fit myself to the world?

    Higher Power, help me remember to conquer myself, not the world.

    Today I will practice adapting myself to whatever happens by

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Food For Thought
August 10, 2014
No Compromises

Where abstinence is concerned, there can be no compromising. In order to control our illness, we are willing to go to any lengths to maintain abstinence. Nothing else is as important to us.

If we are eating in a restaurant where the right kind of vegetable is not available, we can order two salads or do without a vegetable for one meal, rather than substitute a starch which will activate our disease. We learn what we can handle and what is not for us, and then we act on that knowledge in every situation. To compromise “just this once” is an invitation to trouble.

Just as we have a certain way of eating for the maintenance of our recovery, so we have a way of living based on the principle of rigorous honesty. Honesty in all of our activities is what makes us strong and effective. Where the core principles of our program are concerned, we do not compromise.

By Your grace, may I maintain my integrity in all situations.

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Daily Zen
August 10, 2014

If you put down one thought,
That will be one instance of Buddha mind.
If you put down all thoughts,
Then you will have continuous Buddha mind.

– Contemplation on the Buddha of Unlimited Lives

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Faith’s Check Book
August 10, 2014
He Lowers to Raise

“Thy LORD maketh poor, and maketh rich: He bringeth low, and lifteth up”
(1 Samuel 2:7).

All my changes come from Him who never changes. If I had grown rich, I should have seen His hand in it, and I should have praised Him; let me equally see His hand if I am made poor, and let me as heartily praise Him. When we go down in the world, it is of the LORD, and so we may take it patiently: when we rise in the world, it is of the LORD, and we may accept it thankfully. In any case, the LORD hath done it, and it is well. It seems that Jehovah’s way is to lower those whom He means to raise and to strip those whom He intends to clothe. If it is His way, it is the wisest and best way. If I am now enduring the bringing low, I may well rejoice, because I see in it the preface to the lifting up. The more we are humbled by grace, the more we shall be exalted in glory. That impoverishment which will be overruled for our enrichment is to be welcomed. O LORD, Thou has taken me down of late and made me feel my insignificance and sin. It is not a pleasant experience, but I pray Thee make it a profitable one to me. Oh, that Thou wouldst thus fit me to bear a greater weight of delight and of usefulness; and when I am ready for it, then grant it to me, for Christ’s sake! Amen.

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