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In Loving Memory of Vic

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Daily Recovery Readings – February 12

NA Just For Today
February 12
Living In The Moment

“We regretted the past, dreaded the future, and weren’t too thrilled about the present.”
Basic Text, p. 7

Until we experience the healing that happens when we work the Twelve Steps, it is doubtful that we can find a statement more true than the quote above. Most of us come to NA hanging our heads in shame, thinking about the past and wishing we could go back and change it. Our fantasies and expectations about the future may be so extreme that, on our first date with someone, we find ourselves wondering which lawyer we’ll use for the divorce. Almost every experience causes us to remember something from the past or begin projecting into the future.

At first, it’s difficult to stay in the moment. It seems as though our minds won’t stop. We have a hard time just enjoying ourselves. Each time we realize that our thoughts are not focused on what’s happening right now, we can pray and ask a loving God to help us get out of ourselves. If we regret the past, we make amends by living differently today; if we dread the future, we work on living responsibly today.

When we work the steps and pray each time we discover we’re not living in the present, we’ll notice that those times aren’t occurring as often as they used to. Our faith will help us live just for today. We’ll have hours, even days, when our full attention is focused on the current moment in time, not the regrettable past or fearful future.

Just for today: When I live fully in each moment, I open myself to joys that might otherwise escape me. If I am having trouble, I will ask a loving God for help.

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Daily Reflections
February 12
“THE ROOT OF OUR TROUBLES”

Selfishness–self-centeredness! That, we think, is the root of all our troubles.
ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 62

How amazing the revelation that the world, and everyone in it, can get along just fine with or without me. What a relief to know that people, places and things will be perfectly okay without my control and direction. And how wordlessly wonderful to come to believe that a power greater than me exists separate and apart from myself.  I believe that the feeling of separation I experience between me and God will one day vanish. In the meantime, faith must serve as the pathway to the center of my life.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day
February 12
A.A. Thought For The Day

As we look back on all those troubles we used to have when we were drinking, the hospitals, the jails, we wonder how we could have wanted that kind of life. As we look back on it now, we see our drinking life as it really was and we’re glad we’re out of it. So after a few months in A.A., we find that we can honestly say that we want something else more than drinking. We’ve learned by experience that a sober life is really enjoyable and we wouldn’t go back to the old drunken way of living for anything in the world. Do I want to keep sober a lot more than I want to get drunk?

Meditation For The Day

My spiritual life depends on an inner consciousness of God. I must be led in all things by my consciousness of God and I must trust Him in all things. My consciousness of God will always bring peace to me. I will have no fear, because a good future lies before me as long as I keep my consciousness of God. If in every single happening, event and plan I am conscious of God, then no matter what happens, I will be safe in God’s hands.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may have this ever-consciousness of God.  I pray for a new and better life through this God consciousness.

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As Bill Sees It
February 12
How Much Anonymity?, p. 43

As a rule, the average newcomer wanted his family to know immediately what he was trying to do. He also wanted to tell others who had tried to help him–his doctor, his minister, and close friends.  As he gained confidence, he felt it right to explain his new way of life to his employer and business associates. When opportunities to be helpful came along, he found he could talk easily about A.A. to almost anyone.

These quiet disclosures helped him to lose his fear of the alcoholic stigma, and spread the news of A.A.’s existence in his community.  Many a man and woman came to A.A. because of such conversations.  Since it is only at the top public level that anonymity is expected, such communications were well within its spirit.

12 & 12, pp. 185-186

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Walk In Dry Places
February 12
Do it sober
Practicing Principles

There may be a hidden meaning in that bumper sticker that reminds us to “Do it Sober,” but we can also read it to mean that real sobriety should guide everything we do today.

Real sobriety is emotional sobriety. We have it when our principles protect us from overpowering feelings growing out of greed, fear, and resentment. Even without the bottle, an attack of fear or resentment can distort personal judgment and lead to foolish mistakes. Whatever we do, whether it’s sweeping a factory floor or leading a corporate board meeting, we should do with confidence and calm self-control.

When we work in this way, we help others. We only harm them if we bring bitterness and resentment into their space. True emotional sobriety helps us set a better example and assures others that AA really works in people’s lives. One AA member was pleasantly surprised when he was complimented for remaining calm in confrontations with angry people. HE realized that his AA principles had been at work in his workplace, helping him to maintain a calm dignity that made him assertive and effective. Whatever we do sober, we always do better.

Today I’ll remind myself to stay emotionally as well as physically sober. So-called Dry Drunks are not slips, but they destroy my effectiveness and should have no place in my life.

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Keep It Simple
February 12

We are always the same age inside.
—Gertrude Stein

Deep inside, we each have a child’s spirit. We still have many of the feelings we had when we were young. Some of us have a hurting child inside. There’s sadness, fear, or anger that hasn’t gone away. We’re still lonely, no matter how many people care about us. Our inner child needs special help to heal. We can be good parents to our inner child. We do this by being gentle and caring with ourselves. In time, this child can be a happy center in our hearts.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, please heal the child inside of me a little more each day. Help my inner child be alive, free, and full of joy.

Action for the Day: Right now, I’ll close my eyes for a minute. I’ll think kind thoughts about myself. Than I’ll say out loud, “Inner child, I love you. I’ll take good care of you.” I’ll do this two more times today.

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Each Day a New Beginning
February 12

There are no new truths, but only truths that have not been recognized by those who have perceived them without noticing.
–Mary McCarthy

We understand today ideas we couldn’t grasp yesterday. We are conscious this year of details of our past that we may have glossed over at the time. Our blinders are slowly giving way, readying us for the truths we couldn’t absorb before.

“When the student is ready, the teacher appears.” And the teacher comes bearing truths that we need to assimilate into our growing bank of knowledge. The truths we may be given today, or any day, won’t always make us happy immediately. We may learn that a job is no longer right for us. Or that a relationship has reached an end. And the impending changes create unrest. But in the grand scheme of our lives, the changes wrought by these truths are good and will contribute in time to our happiness.

Let’s celebrate the truths as they come and trust the outcome to God. We are traveling a very special road. The way is rocky. The bends limit our vision, but we will be given all the direction we need.

The truths I receive today will guide my steps. I shall move in peace.

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Alcoholics Anonymous
February 12
MY BOTTLE, MY RESENTMENTS, AND ME

– From childhood trauma to skid row drunk, this hobo finally found a Higher Power, bringing sobriety and a long-lost family.

When I rode into a small mountain town in an empty freight car, my matted beard and filthy hair would have reached nearly to my belt, if I’d had a belt. I wore a lice-infested, grimy poncho over a reeking pajama top, and a ragged pair of jeans stuffed into cowboy boots with no heels. I carried a knife in one boot and a .38 revolver in the other. For six years I’d been fighting for survival on skid rows and riding across the country in freights. I hadn’t eaten in a long time, so was half starved and down to 130 pounds. I was mean and I was drunk.

p. 435

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions
February 12
Foreword

Alcoholics Anonymous began in 1935 at Akron, Ohio, as the outcome of a meeting between a well-known surgeon and a New York broker. Both were severe cases of alcoholism and were destined to become co-founders of the A.A. Fellowship.

p. 16

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Xtra Thoughts
February 12

When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.

May I be an example to those whose lives touch mine. –Shelley

The man who removes a mountain begins by carrying away small stones. –Chinese Proverb

Perseverance is not a long race; it is many short races one after another. –Walter Elliott

There is no pillow so soft as a clear conscience. –French Proverb

You cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late. –Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation
February 12
FREEDOM

“Freedom comes from human beings, rather than from laws and institutions.”
— Clarence Darrow

The disease of alcoholism does not live in bottles or books. It lives in people. Drug problems are people problems. Sobriety exists in the man, not the theory.

In this sense recovery must be experienced, rather than simply talked about. The Program is essentially not written in books or taught in lecture rooms but is lived in the lives of people; the program stems from the heart of man.

I believe the program is that spark of divinity that God has bestowed upon all of us — and we must discover it within.

Teach me to remember that to think a smile without revealing a smile is to be grumpy.

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Bible Scriptures
February 12

May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer. Psalms 19:14

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. Ephesians 6:10

But you, O Lord, are a shield around me, my glory, and the one who lifts up my head. Psalm 3:3

Praise the LORD. Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens. Praise him for his acts of power; praise him for his surpassing greatness. Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet, praise him with the harp and lyre, praise him with tambourine and dancing, praise him with the strings and flute, praise him with the clash of cymbals, praise him with resounding cymbals. Let everything that has breath praise the LORD. Praise the LORD. Psalm 150

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Daily Inspiration
February 12

Closeness with family makes us one in heart and mind. Lord, help me to fill our home with love and make it our safe haven from the troubles of the world.

Forget what you have done for others and remember what they have done for you. Lord, a gift is given freely with no expectation. May I become a truly giving person.

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A Day At A Time
February 12

Reflection For The Day

I am grateful for my friends in The Program.  Right now I am aware of the blessings of friendship — the blessings of meeting, of sharing, of smiling, of listening, and of being available when needed.  right now I know that if I want a friend, I must be a friend.  Will i vow, this day, to be a better friend  to more people?  Will I strive, this day — in my thoughts, words and actions — to disclose the kind of friend I am?

Today I Pray

May I restore in kind to the fellowship of The Program the friendship I have so hungrily taken from it.  After years of glossing my lonely existence with superficial acquaintanceship, may I learn again the reciprocal joys of caring and sharing.

Today I Will Remember

Be A Friend.

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One More Day
February 12

I am where I am because I believe in life’s possibilities.
–  Oprah Winfrey

During the years of our youth we were continually reminded, “You can do it.  Just set a goal and then reach a little beyond it.”  Many of us were better at this as youngsters than we are as adults.  We each have fought our own battles — to become educated or perhaps to achieve a promotion or new job.  We tend to get a little short-sighted when a new variable enters the picture — a changing health pattern.

Too many of us back away, fearful the we’ll have all we can do to just orchestrate our own health care.  It’s imperative that we continue to believe in ourselves as human beings with great potential — it matters less that we reach each goal.  It matters most that we try.

I am setting new goals that offer challenge and the chance for success.

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One Day At A Time
February 12
~ POSITIVE THINKING ~

“We could accomplish many more things if we did not think of them as impossible”
–Jean-Jacques Rousseau from his “Lettres à M. de Malesherbes

I have spent a lifetime dieting. My life can be easily separated into two sections: the dieting periods and the non-dieting, or bingeing, periods. When I first start losing weight, I am positive about it, to the point where, if I go clothes shopping, I even buy things in smaller sizes because soon I won’t be as big as I am. This works fine while I’m losing weight, but when I reach a plateau and remain at the same weight level for a while, or even worse, gain a bit, I start to think that I’ll never lose the weight I need to lose, that my sticking to a “diet” for the rest of my life is nigh to impossible.

Well, with stinking thinking like this, I’m defeated before I’ve even started. Through this program, I’ve learned that anything is possible. First of all, it’s true that sticking to a diet for the rest of my life would be an impossible feat, but in program we don’t “go on diets.” We follow a sensible eating plan, and this plan should be flexible enough that it IS something we can follow indefinitely. Secondly, I have to correct my time spans. Instead of thinking of it as “the rest of my life,” I have the option to think of it as “One Day at a Time,” and we can do anything for just one day, can’t we?

One day at a time …
I remember that’s all it takes…one day at a time.

Marjee

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Elder’s Meditation of the Day
February 12

“.the spirit still has something for us to discover – an herb, a sprig, a flower – a very small flower, maybe you can spend a long time in its contemplation, thinking about it.”
–Lame Deer, LAKOTA

The world today is about hurry up! Get there faster! Work harder, produce more, hurry up, eat quickly, be on time, don’t get stressed- headaches, conflict, drink to calm down, go to training on stress management, time management – STOP! STOP! STOP! STOP! STOP! STOP! STOP! Go spend 5 minutes with a flower or a plant. Look at it – think about it – look at its beauty, smell it, close your eyes and smell it again. Touch it; touch with your eyes closed. Listen to it; listen to it with your eyed closed. Slow your mind down. Think about the little things. Now close your eyes and pray.

Great Spirit, this feeling of calmness that I have, let me have it all day long.

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Journey To The Heart
February 12
Fill Your World with Color and Beauty

Fill your life and your world with the colors, textures, scents, and objects that are beautiful to you, that have meaning to you. Remember that we are connected to our environment. The objects and the colors in our world have energy and meaning. They have an impact on us.

The more we see how connected we are, the more carefully and thoughtfully we may want to choose the items we place in our home, or our space at work, if we have a special area, because these objects and colors can reflect how we feel about ourselves and what is important to us.

Objects have energy. They have energy already in them when we obtain them, and they have the energy and meaning we attribute to them. Choose carefully the possessions you want around you, for they tell a story all day long.

Fill your world, your life, with objects that are beautiful and have special meaning to you. What articles and hues have you surrounded yourself with at home, at work? Is there a special article you want close to you, on your desk, in your locker, in your pocket? What story do these things tell about you, about what you’re going through, about your place in your journey?

Choose objects and colors that make your heart smile.

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Today’s Gift
February 12

 

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The Language of Letting Go
February 12
Letting Go of Those Not in Recovery

We can go forward with our life and recoveries, even though someone we love is not yet recovering.

Picture a bridge. On one side of the bridge it is cold and dark. We stood there with others in the cold and darkness, doubled over in pain. Some of us developed an eating disorder to cope with the pain. Some drank; some used other drugs. Some of us lost control of our sexual behavior. Some of us obsessively focused on addicted people’s pain to distract us from our own pain. Many of us did both: we developed an addictive behavior, and distracted ourselves by focusing on other addicted people. We did not know there was a bridge. We thought we were trapped on a cliff.

Then, some of us got lucky. Our eyes opened, by the Grace of God, because it was time. We saw the bridge. People told us what was on the other side: warmth, light, and healing from our pain. We could barely glimpse or imagine this, but we decided to start the trek across the bridge anyway.

We tried to convince the people around us on the cliff that there was a bridge to a better place, but they wouldn’t listen. They couldn’t see it; they couldn’t believe. They were not ready for the journey. We decided to go alone, because we believed, and because people on the other side were cheering us onward. The closer we got to the other side, the more we could see, and feel, that what we had been promised was real. There was light, warmth, healing, and love. The other side was a better place.

But now, there is a bridge between those on the other side and us. Sometimes, we may be tempted to go back and drag them over with us, but it cannot be done. No one can be dragged or forced across this bridge. Each person must go at his or her own choice, when the time is right. Some will come; some will stay on the other side. The choice is not ours.

We can love them. We can wave to them. We can holler back and forth. We can cheer them on, as others have cheered and encouraged us. But we cannot make them come over with us.

If our time has come to cross the bridge, or if we have already crossed and are standing in the light and warmth, we do not have to feel guilty. It is where we are meant to be. We do not have to go back to the dark cliff because another’s time has not yet come.

The best thing we can do is stay in the light, because it reassures others that there is a better place. And if others ever do decide to cross the bridge, we will be there to cheer them on.

Today, I will move forward with my life, despite what others are doing or not doing. I will know it is my right to cross the bridge to a better life, even if I must leave others behind to do that. I will not feel guilty. I will not feel ashamed. I know that where I am now is a better place and where I’m meant to be.

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More Language Of Letting Go
February 12
Starting over

How many times do we have to start over?

Many changes in our lives signal a major ending or beginning: death, birth, graduation, marriage, divorce, moving to a new home, getting sober, losing a job, or beginning a new career. We look around and think, Here we go. I’m starting over again.

Sometimes we don’t catch on at first. Sometimes it just feels like day after day of the same old thing as the old fades away and the new begins. Sometimes it feels like our lives have just stopped. Whether we believe it or not, when one cycle ends, a new one begins.

If life as you have known it is disappearing, it may be time to let go. Even if you can’t see it now– and you probably can’t– a new life will begin fading in to take its place. You and your life are being transformed.

How many times do we have to start over? As many times as life as we know it ends.

Say woohoo. You’re being born again.

God, help me trust that a new life awaits me if life as I’ve known it is fading away. Give me the patience and trust to sink joyfully into the void.
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Touchstones Meditations For Men
February 12

I am not bound to win, but I am bound to be true. I am not bound to succeed, but I am bound to live up to the light I have.
—Abraham Lincoln

With too much focus on control, we men have been preoccupied by our overemphasis on outcomes. We say winning is everything, and the way we play the game doesn’t matter. We give honor to a man who has accumulated great wealth, regardless of how he has lived. We develop sexual problems because we focus on performance and achieving orgasm rather than on the joy of loving.

As our integrity grows, our emphasis changes. It is not crucial that we always be right, only that we be honest. We do not have to be winners or high achievers so much as we have to be real human beings. Conquest is not as important as connection. We do not always have to compare ourselves and be better than the next guy. We can exchange and appreciate the communication.

Today, I will grow in my relationships with others by being more true to myself and less driven toward a particular outcome.

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Daily TAO
February 12
PERSEVERANCE

Invisible lines.
The fisherman repairs his net
And the fish are nearly caught.

If a fisherman does not have a properly repaired net, then his trip is useless. Preparation is the major part of his endeavor. Only when the fisherman keeps his nets intact, keeps his boat repaired, and studies the conditions of fish and water does going out to fish become a mere formality. Then fish fall into his hands as if guided by invisible lines.

When it seems as if nothing encouraging is happening to us, it is important to remember such perseverance. Work may be drudgery, maintaining a home may be routine, and we may find our goals quite distant. But we must persevere and prepare nevertheless. That will bring a steady pace toward our goals, and buoy our faith in rough and threatening times.

To taste the fruit of perseverance requires maturity and experience. We need to cultivate patience, planning and timing. We build our resources even when circumstances seem to be against us. We don’t neglect anything we have set in motion. If we nurse our plans through good times and bad, our plans will eventually succeed with the inevitability of fish caught in a net.

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Daily Zen
February 12

Awakening is where there is
No birth, no extinction;
It is seeing into the
State of Suchness,
Absolutely transcending
All categories constructed by mind.

– Lankavatara Sutra

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Food for Thought
February 12
Acceptance

When we have given our lives back to our Higher Power, we gradually learn to accept what happens to us as part of His plan. Most of us made a mess of trying to run our own lives. We are amazed at how much better things go when we acknowledge that the Power greater than ourselves is in control.

Every experience, the bad one as well as the good one, becomes an opportunity to learn and to serve. We may not like what it is that we are given to do or to feel on a particular day, but we learn to accept it as necessary for our growth. We can look back and see that we have learned even more from our failures than from our successes.

When we accept our lives and ourselves as part of God’s creation, we are open to the work of His spirit and His love. Then positive change and growth become possible.

Teach me to accept Your will.

 

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