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In Loving Memory of Vic

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Daily Recovery Readings – January 2

Just For Today
January 2
Take a deep breath and talk to God

“Sometimes when we pray, a remarkable thing happens: We find the means, ways, and energies to perform tasks far beyond our capacities.”
Basic Text p. 44

Coping successfully with life’s minor annoyances and frustrations is sometimes the most difficult skill we have to learn in recovery. We are faced with small inconveniences daily. From untangling the knots in our children’s shoelaces to standing in line at the market, our days are filled with minor difficulties that we must somehow deal with.

If we’re not careful, we may find ourselves dealing with these difficulties by bullying our way through each problem or grinding our teeth while giving ourselves a stern lecture about how we should handle them. These are extreme examples of poor coping skills, but even if we’re not this bad there’s probably room for improvement.

Each time life presents us with another little setback to our daily plans, we can simply take a deep breath and talk to the God of our understanding. Knowing we can draw patience, tolerance, or whatever we need from that Power, we find ourselves coping better and smiling more often.

Just for today: I will take a deep breath and talk to my God whenever I feel frustrated.

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Daily Reflections
January 2
FIRST, THE FOUNDATION

Is sobriety all that we can expect of a spiritual awakening? No, sobriety is only a bare beginning.
As Bill Sees It, p. 8

Practicing the A.A. program is like building a house. First I had to pour a big, thick concrete slab on which to erect the house; that, to me, was the equivalent of stopping drinking. But it’s pretty uncomfortable living on a concrete slab, unprotected and exposed to the heat, cold, wind and rain. So I built a room on the slab by starting to practice the program. The first room was rickety because I wasn’t used to the work. But as time passed, as I practiced the program,  learned to build better rooms. The more I practiced, and the more I built, the more comfortable, and happy, was the home I now have to live in.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day
January 2
A.A. Thought For The Day

What makes A.A. work? The first thing is to have a revulsion against myself and my way of living. Then I must admit I was helpless, that alcohol had me licked and I couldn’t do anything about it. The next thing is to honestly want to quit the old life. Then I must surrender my life to a Higher Power, put my drinking problem in His hands and leave it there. After these things are done, I should attend meetings regularly for fellowship and sharing. I should also try to help other alcoholics. Am I doing these things?

Meditation For The Day

You are so made that you can only carry the weight of twenty-four hours, no more. If you weigh yourself down with the years behind and the days ahead, your back breaks. God has promised to help with the burdens of the day only. If you are foolish enough to gather again that burden of the past and carry it, then indeed you cannot expect God to help you bear it. So forget that which lies behind you and breathe in the blessing of each new day.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may realize that, for good or bad, past days have ended.  I pray that I may face each new day, the coming twenty-four hours, with hope and courage.

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As Bill Sees It
January 2
In God’s Hands, p. 2

When we look back, we realize that the things which came to us when we put ourselves in God’s hands were better than anything we could have planned.

<< << << >> >> >>

My depression deepened unbearably, and finally it seemed to me as though I were at the very bottom of the pit. For the moment, the last vestige of my proud obstinacy was crushed. All at once I found myself crying out, “If there is a God, let Him show Himself! I am ready to do anything, anything!”

Suddenly the room lit up with a great white light. It seemed to me, in the mind’s eye, that I was on a mountain and that a wind not of air but of spirit was blowing. And then it burst upon me that I was a free man.  Slowly the ecstasy subsided. I lay on the bed, but now for a time I was in another world, a new world of consciousness. All about me and through me there was a wonderful feeling of Presence, and I thought to myself, “So this is the God of the preachers!”

1. Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 100
2. A.A. Comes Of Age, p. 63

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Walk In Dry Places
January 2
The Delusion of “Just one more”
Other Excesses

A binge is a chain reaction that starts with one drink. After a grim period of enforced abstinence, that first drink may have brought us intense emotional release and a peak feeling of euphoria. For the rest of the binge, there was a continuing delusion that the next drink would help us recapture that peak experience.

Delusion leads us to other excesses. Some alcoholics also binge on smoking, food, sex, and power and recognition. In this frantic seeking, our basic delusion is that substances and things can satisfy what is really a spiritual need. Instead of realizing that there is a law of diminishing returns in the enjoyment of such things, we cling to the delusion that “just one more” will bring the relief and satisfaction we want.

Delusions brought disillusionment, and only the truth set us free from alcohol. Other excesses might not hurt us to the extent alcohol did, but the excesses of our drinking years carry lessons that are equally applicable to other human problems.

I will carry out the day’s activities knowing that I already have enough of everything I need for this day alone.

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Keep It Simple
January 2

..our lives had become unmanageable.
Second half of Step One.

The First Step tells us a lot about our addiction. We were out of control. Our addiction was in control. Addiction managed everything. It managed our relationships. It managed how we behaved with our families. As Step One says, “…our lives had become unmanageable.” But we pretended we managed our lives. What a lie! Addiction ran our lives–not us. We weren’t honest with ourselves. Our program heals us through self-honesty. We feel better just speaking the truth. We are becoming good people with spiritual values. Our spiritual journey has begun.

Prayer: Higher Power, I give YOU my life to manage. When I’m faced with a choice, I’ll ask myself, “What would my Higher Power choose for me?”

Action: Today, I’ll be honest with a friend about how unmanageable my life had become.

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Each Day a New Beginning
January 2

I believe that true identify is found . . . in creative activity springing from within. It is found, paradoxically, when one loses oneself. Woman can best re-find herself by losing herself in some kind of creative activity of her own.
–Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Creative activity might mean bird watching, tennis, quilting, cooking, painting, writing. Creative activity immerses us fully in the here and now, and at the same time it frees us. We become one with the activity and are nourished by it. We grow as the activity grows. We learn who we are in the very process of not thinking about who we are.

Spirituality and creativity are akin. There is an exhilaration rooted deep within us that is a lifeline to God. Creative activity releases the exhilaration, and the energy goes through us and out to others. We find ourselves and our higher power through the loss of our self-conscious selves while creating–a picture, a sentence, a special meal.

Creativity is a given. It is another dimension of the spiritual presence guiding us all. I’ll get out of its way today.

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Alcoholics Anonymous
January 2
ACCEPTANCE WAS THE ANSWER

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

But then as I drank more and more, the alcohol seemed to affect my vision: Instead of continuing to see what was good about my wife, I began to see her defects. And the more I focused my mind on her defects, the more they grew and multiplied. Every defect I pointed out to her became greater and greater. Each time I told her she was nothing, she receded a little more into nowhere. The more I drank, the more she wilted.

pp. 418-419

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions
January 2

Tradition Nine – “A.A., as such, ought never be organized; but we may create service boards or committees directly responsible to those they serve.”

You might think A.A.’s headquarters in New York would be an exception. Surely, the people there would have to have some authority. But long ago, trustees and staff members alike found they could do no more than make suggestions, and very mild ones at that. They even had to coin a couple of sentences which still go into half the letters they write: “Of course, you are at perfect liberty to handle this matter any way you please. But the majority experience in A.A. does seem to suggest . . . ” Now, that attitude is far removed from central government, isn’t it? We recognize that alcoholics can’t be dictated to–individually or collectively.

pp. 173-174

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Xtra Thoughts
January 2

“Making prompt amends is the fresh air of each new day.”
–Sandra Little

“We have to do the best we can. This is our sacred human responsibility.” –
-Albert Einstein

“Never settle for anything less than your best.”
–Brian Tracy

“The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, not to worry about the future, not to anticipate troubles, but to live the present moment wisely and earnestly.”
–Siddhartha Gautama

“Sorrow looks back, worry looks around, and faith looks up.”
–unknown

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation
January 2
MARTYRS

“A thing is not necessarily true because a man dies for it.”
—Oscar Wilde

I came to the conclusion in my battle with alcoholism that my involvement with God’s will for me was crucial; my choice is the result of God’s bestowed gift of freedom. And freedom is awfully real! The price of freedom is Auschwitz; the price of freedom is the world’s starving millions; the price of freedom is the dead drunk in a derelict building. Men do insane and destructive things, usually because they think they know best. Men die to protect their ego. The sin of Adam, wanting to be like God, haunts us all.

Today I am learning to detach spiritually in order to discover a pure and selfless love. I stand back and consider before I act; often after a time of reflection I see the event differently — and it is okay to change my mind.

Lord, I understand choice to be the key to my humanity.

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Bible Scriptures
January 2

See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.”
–Isaiah 43:19

“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.”
–Psalm 119:105

“By the tender mercy of our God, the dawn from on high will break upon us, to give light to those who sit in darkness.”
–Luke 1:78-79

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Daily Inspiration
January 2

Peace is one of our greatest needs because it provides for the strength we need in times of turmoil. Lord, I turn to You because You are my source of peace.

Laughter is a great way to reduce stress and prevent taking ourselves too seriously. Lord, bless me with a healthy sense of humor.

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A Day At A Time
January 2
Reflection For The Day

Before I came to The Program, I hadn’t the faintest idea of what it was to “Live In The Now.” I often became obsessed with the things that happened yesterday, last week, or even five years ago. Worse yet, many of my waking hours were spent cleaning away the “wreckage of the future.” “To me,” Walt Whitman once wrote, “every hour of the day and night is an unspeakably perfect miracle.” Can I truly believe that in my heart?

Today I Pray

Let me carry only the weight of 24 hours at one time, without the extra bulk of yesterday’s regrets or tomorrow’s anxieties. Let me breathe the blessings of each new day for itself, by itself, and keep my human burdens contained in daily perspective. May I learn the balance of soul that comes through keeping close to God.

Today I Will Remember

Don’t borrow from tomorrow.

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One More Day
January 2

Our share of night to bear,
Our share of morning …
— Emily Dickinson

We pray for one more day. One more week. Just until the next marker of time or the next major event occurs. “Just let me live until spring,” we pray, “until my newest grandchild is born … until my next birthday.” We pray and may not even recognize these silent, secret pleas as being prayers. It’s human nature to ask for a little more time. Most of us feel as though we have not completed our role on earth.

Time, however, is gradually becoming more of a friend than an enemy. We have today, which is all that anyone — healthy or chronically ill — really ever has. No one has an iron-clad promise of weeks, months, or years. Our acceptance of life’s unpredictability frees us of our preoccupation with more time and allows us to use this time — today.

Life is now — today — and I value it by living fully.

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One Day At A Time
January 2
LETTING GO

“He who cannot rest, cannot work;
He who cannot let go, cannot hold on;
He who cannot find footing, cannot go forward.”
==Harry Emerson Fosdick

Prior to walking through the doors of this program, my goal in life was to set up barricades against possible attacks. My mind was cluttered with battle strategies and defense tactics. I tried to predict every conceivable plot to topple me from my self-appointed throne. I sought to control situations in order to dominate the outcomes. To that end, I would bend over backwards to do for others what I didn’t want them to do for themselves. I maneuvered myself into positions of power so that I wasn’t presented with any surprises. Every situation was weighed for the probability of failure. I never took chances.

This process took time and vast amounts of energy. My mind was in a constant cacophony. Consequently, there was no room for growth, no space for acquiring new skills and no time to develop old ones. Every day was a constant juggling act between an ever-decreasing energy supply and an escalating demand to feel secure. The more I sought to control, the less I controlled.

Working through Step One brought my whole crusade to an end. I learned to let go of what I had laughingly called control. I learned to relinquish the helm and acknowledge that I wasn’t such a good driver. Almost instantly I became aware of a path beneath my feet. I was, for the first time in the longest time, moving forward. The scenery was changing and the outlook was brighter.

One Day at a Time . . .
I will accept what I cannot do alone, and let go and let God.

~ Sue G

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Elder’s Meditation of the Day – January 2

“People have to be responsible for their thoughts, so they have to learn to control them. It may not be easy, but it can be done.”
–Rolling Thunder, CHEROKEE

WE control our thoughts by controlling our self talk. At any moment we choose we can talk to ourselves differently. The fight comes with the emotions that are attached to our thoughts. If our emotion is high and seems to be out of control, we can say to ourselves STOP IT!, take a few deep breaths, then ask the Creator for the right thought or the right decision or the right action. If we practice this for a while, our thought life will be different. It helps if in the morning we ask God to direct our thinking. God loves to help us.

Great Spirit, today, direct my thinking so my choices are chosen by You.

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Journey To The Heart
January 2
Map Your Own Journey

Go on your own journey. Don’t let others hold you back; don’t hold them back. Don’t judge their journey, and don’t let them judge yours.

All persons are free to have the experiences their souls lead them to. Many of us started our journey by having the experiences others thought we should. Some of us tried to dictate the lessons and adventures of others,too. This caused pain and confusion for all. Learning those lessons, the lessons of setting each other free, became an important part of our journey. But now we’re on to a new part.

Pack your bags. Get out your map. Don’t worry about where you’ll go and what you’ll see. Go where your heart leads. Your soul knows the way. It will speak quietly through the voice of your heart, your wisdom, your intuition. Listen to the voice, the quiet voice within, that assures you you’re safe. You will meet and learn from everyone you need to along the way. Don’t limit your own experiences. Don’t limit the experiences of those you love, or those you meet along the way.

Start today to follow your heart. Map out your own journey. Have the adventure of a lifetime.

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The Language of Letting Go
January 2
Healthy Limits

Boundaries are vital to recovery. Having and setting healthy limits’ is connected to all phases of recovery: growing in self esteem, dealing with feelings, and learning to really love and value ourselves.

Boundaries emerge from deep within. They are connected to letting go of guilt and shame, and to changing our beliefs about what we deserve. As our thinking about this becomes dearer, so will our boundaries.

Boundaries are also connected to a Higher Timing than our own. We’ll set a limit when we’re ready, and not a moment before. So will others.

There’s something magical about reaching that point of becoming ready to set a limit. We know we mean what we say; others take us seriously too. Things change, not because we’re controlling others, but because we’ve changed.

Today, I will trust that I will learn, grow, and set the limits I need in my life at my own pace. This timing need only be right for me.

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More Language Of Letting Go
January 2
Doing my part

The surest way to become Tense, Awkward, and Confused is to develop a mind that tries too hard– one that thinks too much.
–Benjamin Hoff, The Tao of Pooh

The universe will help us, but we need to do our part as well. Here’s an acronym, My part, to help you remember what it means to do that.

Manifest
Your

Power
Accept
Relax
Trust

Too often, we tell ourselves the only way to get from point A to point B– or Z is to tense up, obsess a little (or a lot), and live in fear and anxiety until what we want takes place.

That isn’t the path to success. It’s the path to fear and anxiety.

Accept. Relax. Breathe. Let go. Trust yourself, God, and the universe to manifest the best possible destiny when the time is right for you.

God, help me make the journey from fear and control to letting go and stepping into my true power.

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Touchstones Meditation For Men
January 2

 

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Daily TAO
January 2, 2012
ABLUTION

Washing at dawn:
Rinse away dreams.
Protect the gods within,
And clarify the inner spirit.

Purification starts all practice. First comes cleansing of the body — not to deny the body, but so that it is refined. Once cleansed, it can help us sense the divine.

Rinsing away dreams is a way of saying that we must not only dispel the illusions and anxieties of our sleeping moments but those of our waking ones as well. All life is a dream, not because it isn’t there, but because we all project different meanings upon it. We must cleanse away this habit.

While cleansing, we naturally look within. It is believed that there are 36,000 gods and goddesses in the body. If we continually eat bad foods, intoxicate ourselves, allow filth to accumulate anywhere outside or inside of ourselves, then these gods abandon us in disgust.

Yet our concerns must ultimately go beyond these deities in the temples of our bodies to the universal One. After we clear away the obscuring layers of dirt, bodily problems, and delusions, we must be prepared even to clear away the gods themselves so that we can reach the inner One.

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