In Loving Memory of Vic

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Daily Recovery Readings — December 27

NA Just For Today
December 27
God Could Restore Us To Sanity

“The process of coming to believe restores us to sanity. The strength to move into action comes from this belief.”
Basic Text pg. 24

Now that we’ve finally admitted our insanity and seen examples of it in all its manifestations, we might be tempted to believe that we are doomed to repeat this behavior for the rest of our lives. Just as we thought that our active addiction was hopeless and we’d never get clean, we might now believe that our particular brand of insanity is hopeless.

Not so! We know that we owe our freedom from active addiction to the grace of a loving God. If our Higher Power can perform such a miracle as relieving our obsession to use drugs, surely this Power can also relieve our insanity in all its forms.

If we doubt this, all we have to do is think about the sanity that has already been restored to our lives. Maybe we’ve gotten carried away with our credit cards, but sanity returns when we admit defeat and cut them all up. Perhaps we’ve been feeling lonely and want to go visit our old using buddies. Going to visit our sponsor instead is a sane act.

The insanity of our addiction recedes into the past as we begin experiencing moments of sanity in our recovery. Our belief in a Power greater than ourselves grows as we begin to understand that even our brand of insanity is nothing in the face of this Power.

Just for today: I thank the God of my understanding for each sane act in my life, for I know they are indications of my restoration to sanity.


Daily Reflections
December 27

“Quite as important was the discovery that spiritual principles would solve all my problems.”

Through the recovery process described in the Big Book, I have come to realize that the same instructions that work on my alcoholism, work on much more. Whenever I am angry or frustrated, I consider the matter a manifestation of the main problem within me, alcoholism. As I “walk” through the Steps, my difficulty is usually dealt with long before I reach the Twelfth “suggestion,” and those difficulties that persist are remedied when I make an effort to carry the message to someone else. These principles do solve my problems! I have not encountered an exception, and I have been brought to a way of living which is satisfying and useful.


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

I need the A.A. principles for the development of the buried life within me, that good life, which I had misplaced, but which I found again in this fellowship.  This life within me is developing slowly but surely, with many set-backs, many mistakes, many failures, but still developing. As long as I stick close to A.A., my life will go on developing, and I cannot yet know what it will be, but I know that it will be good. That’s all I want to know. It will be good. Am I thanking God for A.A.?

Meditation For The Day

Build your life on the firm foundation of true gratitude to God for all His blessings and true humility because of your unworthiness of these blessings. Build the frame of your life out of self-discipline, never let yourself get selfish or lazy or contented with yourself. Build the walls of your life out of service to others, helping others find the way to live. Build the roof of your life out of prayer and quiet times, waiting for God’s guidance from above. Build a garden around your life out of peace of mind and serenity and a sure faith.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may build my life on A.A. principles. I pray that it may be a good building when my work is finished.


As Bill Sees It
December 27
Servant, Not Master, p.259

In A.A., we found that it did not matter too much what our material condition was, but it mattered greatly what our spiritual condition was. As we improved our spiritual outlook, money gradually became our servant and not our master. It became a means of exchanging love and services with those about us.


One of A.A.’s Loners is an Australian sheepman who lives two thousand miles from the nearest town, where yearly he sells his wool. In order to be paid the best prices he has to get to town during a certain month. But when he heard that a big regional A.A. meeting was to be held at a later date when wool prices would have fallen, he gladly took heavy financial loss in order to make his journey then. That’s how much an A.A. meeting means to him.

1. 12 & 12, p.122
2. A.A. Comes Of Age, p.31


Walk In Dry Places
December 27
Limiting Gossip
No harm to others.

“When you’ve told me their names, do not tell me their faults,” a person said at an AA meeting. She was explaining how careful we must be to keep gossip within tight limits. However, it is possible to identify people in gossip without actually speaking their names. We can give so many facts that the listener can identify whom we’re discussing. This is no less malicious and thoughtless than actually naming the person.

We can avoid these dangers by giving up both the desire to gossip and the wish to listen to gossip. We will always have matters to gossip about; we can always find weaknesses in those we envy, faults in people we want to see taken down a notch or two. But if we persist in the program, we should find ourselves moving out of this limited way of thinking. We’ll put severe limits on gossip at the same time.

I’ll sidestep gossip if it starts to find a way into my life today. Under God’s guidance, I have better things to do.


Keep It Simple
December 27

Reading is to the Mind, what exercise is to the body.

Good ideas are the seeds that start our growth. We hear things at meetings. We listen to our sponsor.

Maybe we listen to program tapes. And we read. Reading is special because we do it when we’re alone.

We read in quiet times, when we can think. We can read as fast or as slow as we want. We can mark special words and come back to them again and again. We’ll figure things out in our way, but we need help to get started. That’s why we read. It gives us good ideas to think about.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, speak to me through helpful readings and help me learn at my best pace.

Action for the Day: Reading is easier the more I do it. Today I’ll feel proud that I’ve read program ideas to get my mind thinking in a healthy way.


Each Day a New Beginning
December 27

One needs something to believe in, something for which one can have wholehearted enthusiasm.
–Hannah Senesh

Life offers little, if we sit passively in the midst of activity. Involvement is a prerequisite if we are to grow. For our lives’ purposes we need enthusiasm; we need enthusiasm in order to greet the day expectantly. When we look toward the day with anticipation, we are open to all the possibilities for action.

We must respond to our possibilities if we are to mature emotionally and recover spiritually. Idly observing life from the sidelines guarantees no development beyond our present level. We begin to change once we start living up to our commitment to the program, its possibilities and our purpose, and it’s that change, many days over, that moves us beyond the negative, passive outlook of days gone by.

The program has offered us something to believe in. We are no longer the women we were. So much more have we become! Each day’s worth of recovery carries us closer to fulfilling our purpose in life.

I believe in recovery, my own; when I believe in success, I’ll find it. There is magic in believing.


Alcoholics Anonymous
December 27

– The physician wasn’t hooked, he thought–he just prescribed drugs medically indicated for his many ailments. Acceptance was his key to liberation.

It helped me a great deal to become convinced that alcoholism was a disease, not a moral issue; that I had been drinking as a result of a compulsion, even though I had not been aware of the compulsion at the time; and that sobriety was not a matter of willpower. The people of A.A. had something new; there was a certain sense of security in the familiar.

p. 416


Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions
December 27

Tradition Eight – “Alcoholics Anonymous should remain forever nonprofessional, but our service centers may employ special workers.”

We think the answer is “No. Members who select such full-time careers do not professionalize A.A.’s Twelfth Step.” The road to this conclusion was long and rocky. At first, we couldn’t see the real issue involved. In former days, the moment an A.A. hired out to such enterprises, he was immediately tempted to use the name Alcoholics Anonymous for publicity or money-raising purposes. Drunk farms, educational ventures, state legislatures, and commissions advertised the fact that A.A. members served them. Unthinkingly, A.A.’s so employed recklessly broke anonymity to thump the tub for their pet enterprise. For this reason, some very good causes and all connected with them suffered unjust criticism from A.A. groups. More often than not, these onslaughts were spearheaded by the cry “Professionalism! That guy is making money out of A.A.’s Twelfth Step work. The violation in these instances was not professionalism at all; it was breaking anonymity. A.A.’s sole purpose was being compromised, and the name of Alcoholics Anonymous was being misused.

p. 170


Xtra Thoughts
December 27

A person who possesses true peace is not one whose life is without problems and turmoil but is rather a person who has peace in spite of it.

“You can complain because roses have thorns, or you can rejoice because thorns have roses.”
–Tom Wilson

Everyone has a gift for something, even if it is the gift of being a good friend.
–Marian Anderson

Everyone wants to be appreciated, so if you appreciate someone, don’t keep it a secret.
–Mary Kay Ash

The thing that is really hard, and really amazing, is giving up on being perfect and beginning the work of becoming yourself.
–Anna Quindlen

It’s never too late — in fiction or in life — to revise.
–Nancy Thayer


Father Leo’s Daily Meditation
December 27

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

To lie is to rob life of meaning. In my addiction I was a liar, not just by what I said but by what I did, what I left unsaid and by my manipulation with half-truths. All lies shut out truth making us prisoners of fantasy and illusion. The world becomes what we want it to be rather than what it is and reality is lost. The liar is forced into the prison of loneliness, despair and isolation because nobody can know him, nobody can understand him. His language and communication are ego-centered. The liar is not living in the real world. He is living in his own world, with his own rules and definitions. The lies are the killing wounds, and they are self-inflicted.

Today I prefer the pain of truth to the passing satisfaction of the lie and the habit of telling the truth is growing in me!

God of Truth, may You ever be reflected in the life I seek to live.


Bible Scriptures
December 27

Every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it, that it may bear more fruit.
John 15:2

“I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”
Philippians 3:14

But when the Holy Spirit controls our lives, he will produce this kind of fruit in us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Here there is no conflict with the law.
Galatians 5:22-23


Daily Inspiration
December 27

When we become aware that we possess all the spiritual treasures necessary for a productive and happy life, we will never want for anything. Lord, You are a limitless source of abundance and love.

There is not one moment that we are separated from God’s care unless we choose to be. Lord, You provide for my daily needs and deliver me from evil. You are my refuge.


A Day At A Time
December 27

Reflection For The Day

“The central characteristics of the spiritual experience,” wrote AA co-founder Bill W., ‘is that it gives the recipient a new and better motivation out of all proportion to any process of discipline, belief, or faith. These experiences cannot make us whole at once; they are a rebirth to a fresh and certain opportunity.” Do I see my assets as God’s gifts, which have been in part matched by an increasing willingness on my part to find and do His will for me?

Today I Pray

I pray for the wholeness of purpose that can only come through spiritual experience. No amount of intellectual theory, pep-talking to myself, disciplined deprivation, “doing it for” somebody else can accomplish the same results. May I pray for spiritual enlightenment, not only in order to recover, but for itself.

Today I Will Remember

Total motivation through spiritual wholeness.


One More Day
December 27

For age is opportunity no less
Than youth itself, though in another dress,
And as evening twilight fades away the sky is filled with starts, invisible day.
– Henry Waddsworth Longfellow

As young children we probably had favorite elderly people who made us feel special. We never gave much thought to their age. During young adulthood, however, we may have begun to dread getting elder. For some reason we saw the outward signs of aging as the beginning of the end.

As we become wiser and more mature, we come to realize that we once again venerate elderly people — for their wisdom, for their love, for their skills, and especially, for their joy of living. Many of us seem to choose one or two special people whom we wish to be like. And then we try our hardest to measure up.

I look forward to the wisdom and joy of living that often come with age. I am no longer afraid.


One Day At A Time
December 27
~ JOY~

Life is no brief candle to me. It is a sort of splendid torch which I have got hold of for the moment, and want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations.
–George Bernard Shaw

For many years my life was filled with pain and I felt totally empty inside. I did what I had to do for my children and for the people around me, but with a heavy heart, and life seemed to be one endless day after the other. What had happened to all the dreams and hopes I had for a life filled with joy and happiness? Sometimes the pain got to be so great that life just didn’t seem to be worthwhile any more. At times I even contemplated ending my life. I have often heard it said that the opposite of pain is joy but in those dark days, I certainly couldn’t see that.

It is only in recovery that I see that the pain had a meaning, and it has brought me to a great appreciation of all the miracles in my life. I can appreciate the beauty in nature, and for the first time in a very long time my soul is filled with joy. When I listen to Beethoven’s glorious Ninth Symphony with its last movement, the choral piece set to the poet Schiller’s “Ode to Joy”, I begin to realize that one can create something truly wondrous out of one’s pain and suffering. Beethoven wrote this magnificent work shortly before his death, when he was in tremendous emotional pain and totally deaf. Yet he created this truly amazing piece of music that lives on nearly 200 years after his death, and will probably do so for many years to come.

I now realize that there was a reason for my suffering and if, out of that, I can bring some joy or happiness to others, then my life will have had some purpose. It is only through this fellowship that I have been able to see that.

One Day at a Time . . .
I will always remember that my pain has been a growing experience that enables me to share what I have learned with other fellow sufferers. I can now appreciate all the miracles that my Higher Power performs in my life, and I am now truly able to experience joy.

Sharon S.


Elder’s Meditation of the Day – December 27

“When temptation comes, I don’t say, `Yes,” and I don’t say, `No.’ I say, `Later,’ I just keep walking the Red Road-down the middle. When you’re in the middle, you don’t go to either extreme. You allow both sides to exist.”
–Dr. A. C. Ross (Ehanamani), LAKOTA

We need to practice controlling our focus. Whatever we focus on we become. We also become whatever we practice. We need to focus on balance. Whenever something comes along to tilt us off balance, we need to be grateful, because it allows the opportunity to practice our focus. Sometimes this is called temptation. Temptation in itself is not bad. What really counts is what we do with it when it happens. We need to practice controlling our focus and keeping our thinking focused on the Red Road.

Great Spirit, today, guide me through my temptations and allow me to focus on the Red Road.


Journey To The Heart
December 27
Embrace Your Destiny

Her words were simple but profound. “Fall in love with your destiny.”

How often we search outside of ourselves for some elusive moment, for an experience like someone else is having, for an emotion we’d like to feel but aren’t, at least not right now. How often we long to be somewhere other than where we are, or someone other than who we are. How easy it can be to complain about and regret our past, thinking it’s somehow wrong.

The answer is to fall in love– fall in love with our own life. Our destiny isn’t some far-off moment or something that happens to someone else. Our destiny is taking place right now. It’s been happening all along.

Destiny is that mysterious force or energy that magically intertwines with choice, free will, and fate. Let all those elements weave together and create your life. But know you can help to create it too, by falling in love with your own life. Love all the places you have gone and all the places you will go. Love the lessons you have learned and the way you have learned them.

Most of all, love where you are right now. Because that’s where your destiny lies.


The Language of Letting Go
December 27
Near the Top

I know you’re tired. I know you feel overwhelmed. You may feel as though this crisis, this problem, this hard time will last forever.

It won’t. You are almost through.

You don’t just think it has been hard; it has been hard. You have been tested, tried, and retested on what you have learned.

Your beliefs and your faith have been tried in fire. You have believed, then doubted, then worked at believing some more. You have had to have faith even when you could not see or imagine what you were asked to believe. Others around you may have tried to convince you not to believe in what you were hoping you could believe.

You have had opposition. You have not gotten to this place with total support and joy. You have had to work hard, in spite of what was happening around you. Sometimes, what motivated you was anger; sometimes fear.

Things went wrong – more problems occurred than you anticipated. There were obstacles, frustrations, and annoyances en route. You did not plan on this being the way it would evolve. Much of this has been a surprise; some of it has not been at all what you desired.

Yet, it has been good. Part of you, the deepest part that knows truth, has sensed this all along, even when your head told you that things were out of whack and crazy; that there was no plan or purpose, that God had forgotten you.

So much has happened, and each incident – the most painful, the most troubling, and the most surprising – has a connection. You are beginning to see and sense that.

You never dreamt things would happen this way, did you? But they did. Now you are learning the secret – they were meant to happen this way, and this way is good, better than what you expected.

You didn’t believe it would take this long, either – did you? But it did. You have learned patience.

You never thought you could have it, but now you know you do.

You have been led. Many were the moments when you thought you were forgotten, when you were convinced you had been abandoned. Now you know you have been guided.

Now things are coming into place. You are almost at the end of this phase, this difficult portion of the journey. The lesson is almost complete. You know – the lesson you fought, resisted, and insisted you could not learn. Yes, that one. You have almost mastered it.

You have been changed from the inside out. You have been moved to a different level, a higher level, a better level.

You have been climbing a mountain. It has not been easy, but mountain climbing is never easy. Now, you are near the top. A moment longer, and the victory shall be yours.

Steady your shoulders. Breathe deeply. Move forward in confidence and peace. The time is coming to relish and enjoy all, which you have fought for. That time is drawing near, finally.

I know you have thought before that the time was drawing near, only to learn that it wasn’t. But now, the reward is coming. You know that too. You can feel it.

Your struggle has not been in vain. For every struggle on this journey, there is a climax, a resolution.

Peace, joy, abundant blessings, and reward are yours here on earth. Enjoy.

There will be more mountains, but now you know how to climb them. And you have learned the secret of what is at the top.

Today, I will accept where I am and continue pushing forward. If I am in the midst of a learning experience, I will allow myself to continue on with the faith that the day of mastery and reward will come. Help me, God; understand that despite my best efforts to live in peaceful serenity, there are times of mountain climbing. Help me stop creating chaos and crisis, and help me meet the challenges that will move me upward and forward.


More Language Of Letting Go
December 27
Cherish the glimmers of light

I know people who have been enmeshed in extremely hard times. One woman lost her husband and both children in a fire. Another found her teenage child hung to death– suicide– on her back porch one Sunday in the spring. I’ve known people struggling with chronic depression. I’ve known people who lost their fortunes in one swoop. I’ve known people who were active, healthy people one day, and the next day an accident paralyzed them for life.

I had my years of grief,too, after the death of my son. Year after year the pain pounded incessantly, threatening never to abate.

Listen carefully. I pray you will never have such a time. But even if you’re going through something like that, make every moment count. And pay special attention to the moments when the pain and the suffering subside, even if it’s only for a few seconds or hours. Count those moments as a gift, a glimmer of light. Hold them in your heart.

Write in your journal about how much it hurts. Feel all your pain. But take the time to document those brief moments each week when just a glimmer of pleasure sets in.

Remember, two plus two equals four. Four plus four equals eight.

Those moments will add up.

You might not be going through a time in your life that you relish, but try to find a few moments where you can catch your breath, look around, and say how sweet it is.

God, help me find at least one thing in my life that makes me feel good and gives me pleasure, even if it’s for only one moment of my day.


Today’s Gift
December 27

In this sad world of ours, sorrow comes to all, and it often comes with bitter agony. Perfect relief is not possible except with time.
—Abraham Lincoln

Time may or may not heal all wounds. It depends on how we use the time. If we deny our sorrow, or runaway from it, or hope it will just go away by itself, we will be miserable. But if we turn and face it, and express our sadness in healthy ways, somehow we are transformed by the sorrow itself. While the loss is still there, it begins not to hurt so much.

We can express our sadness in many ways. Crying is probably the healthiest means of expressing grief. It’s good to cry, even for men, because it releases tension and stress, and we find a little peace afterwards. It is true that tears are healing.

Getting angry and expressing our anger in appropriate, healthy ways also helps to heal wounds of loss, strange as it may seem. Yes, in time and with the courage to express our feelings, our wounds are indeed healed.

What is a healthy way to express my anger at a loss?


Touchstones Meditations For Men
December 27

Try not to become a man of success. Rather become a man of value.
—Albert Einstein

The marketplace and fashion entice us in countless ways to indulge our individual pleasures. Some say that success will be with the man who follows those seductive beckonings. Even sacrificing long hours by working two jobs to become a financial success or to achieve high career goals can be self-centered activity. It may be time and energy spent seeking power and glory at the cost of time with our family and friends – time for enjoying each other and growing. Sadly, external success leads to superficial pleasure but never to peace within ourselves.

However, when we pursue the values of honesty, humility, and service, we will find enduring self-respect and close friendships. This path provides a genuine experience of life’s greatest rewards rather than the glitter of passing excitement.

Today, I will strive toward the greater values rather than superficial successes.


Daily TAO
December 27

Purity is light.

We forget purity too much. We make compromises with our hygiene in the name of expediency. We allow our mountains and seashores to be polluted for the sake of the marketplace. We allow our minds to be sullied with frivolous entertainment. War is thought to be a viable option, principle is considered a negotiable quality, our children are victimized by strangers, and obscenity is considered a valid subject for art.

Where is the purity in our lives?

We marry. We divorce. We don’t care whom we hurt in life. We think loyalty is a charming but meaningless virtue. We sacrifice the values of our youth to purchase the glory of our later years.

Where is the purity in our lives?

We think that if we can triumph in one golden moment, that will dissolve all the other filth we preoccupy ourselves with. We uphold the greatness of athletes who want to have that one moment of triumph. We laud the battlefield hero as the redeemer of our guilt over the horror of war. We have fostered madmen who think that shooting a gun, hunting down animals, committing suicide, or slashing prostitutes in the street is their means of purity.

Where is the purity in our lives?

Seek purity. It may not be easy. It may not be common. But it is the one state that we can attain that is without compromise.

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