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In Loving Memory of Vic

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Daily Recovery Readings – January 24

Just For Today
January 24
From Isolation To Connection

“Our disease isolated us … Hostile, resentful, self-centered, and self-seeking, we cut ourselves off from the outside world.”
Basic Text p. 3-4

Addiction is an isolating disease, closing us off from society, family, and self. We hid. We lied. We scorned the lives we saw others living, surely beyond our grasp. Worst of all, we told ourselves there was nothing wrong with us, even though we knew we were desperately ill. Our connection with the world, and with reality itself, was severed. Our lives lost meaning, and we withdrew further and further from reality.

The NA program is designed especially for people like us. It helps reconnect us to the life we were meant to live, drawing us out of our isolation. We stop lying to ourselves about our condition; we admit our powerlessness and the unmanageability of our lives. We develop faith that our lives can improve, that recovery is possible, and that happiness is not permanently beyond our grasp. We get honest; we stop hiding; we “show up and tell the truth&quto; no matter what. And as we do, we establish the ties that connect our individual lives to the larger life around us.

We addicts need not live lives of isolation. The Twelve Steps can restore our connection to life and living-if we work them.

Just for today: I am a part of the life around me. I will practice my program to strengthen my connection to my world.

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Daily Reflections
January 24
GETTING INVOLVED

There is action and more action. “Faith without works is dead.” . . . To be helpful is our only aim.
ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS , pp. 88-89

I understand that service is a vital part of recovery but I often wonder, “What can I do?” Simply start with what I have today! I look around to see where there is a need. Are the ashtrays full? Do I have hands and feet to empty them? Suddenly I’m involved! The best speaker may make the worst coffee; the member who’s best with newcomers may be unable to read; the one willing to clean up may make a mess of the bank account – yet every one of these people and jobs is essential to an active group. The miracle of service is this: when I use what I have, I find there is more available to me than I realized before.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day
January 24
A.A. Thought For The Day

Alcoholics who are living in a blind alley refuse to be really honest with themselves or with other people. They’re running away from life and won’t face things as they are. They won’t give up their resentments. They’re too sensitive and too easily hurt. They refuse to try to be unselfish. They still want everything for themselves. And no matter how many disastrous experiences they have had with drinking, they still do it over and over again. There’s only one way to get out of that blind alley way of living and that’s to change your thinking. Have I changed my thinking?

Meditation For The Day

I know that the vision and power that I receive from God are limitless, as far as spiritual things are concerned. But in temporal and material things, I must submit to limitations. I know that I cannot see the road ahead. I must go just one step at a time, because God does not grant me a longer view. I am in uncharted waters, limited by my temporal and spatial life, but unlimited in my spiritual life.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that, in spite of my material limitations, I may follow God’s way. I pray that I may learn that trying to do His will is perfect freedom.

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As Bill Sees It
January 24
Alike When The Chips Are Down, p. 24

In the beginning, it was four whole years before A.A. brought permanent sobriety to even one alcoholic woman. Like the “high bottoms,” the women said they were different; A.A. couldn’t be for them. But as the communication was perfected, mostly by the women themselves, the picture changed.

This process of identification and transmission has gone on and on. The Skid-Rower said he was different. Even more loudly, the socialite (or Park Avenue stumblebum) said the same–so did the artists and the professional people, the rich, the poor, the religious, the agnostic, the Indians and the Eskimos, the veterans, and the prisoners.

But nowadays all of these, and legions more, soberly talk about how very much alike all of us alcoholics are when we admit that the chips are finally down.

Grapevine, October 1959

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Walk In Dry Places
January 24
No Hidden Though
Moral Inventory

It is fortunate that we can think in secret, because our thoughts would quickly get us in trouble if others could read them. In our thoughts, we can choose what we wish to reveal to others before we speak or act.

In the long run, however, we do not really conceal our true thoughts and feelings. The nature of our thoughts shapes our character and becomes part of us. It even affects our appearance. It is not difficult at all to identify people who are fearful, angry, or jealous.

This process has its good side, because kind thoughts and feelings also affect our appearance, and in positive ways. Norman V. Peale wrote that “God runs a beauty parlor,” meaning that plain people with gracious thoughts tend to become more attractive as years wear on.

We need not fear our own thoughts and feelings if we are continuing to work the program. As the sober years stretch out, we will be improving our thoughts and feelings, and this will tell others what the program is doing for us and through us.

I’ll remember today that I don’t really keep my thoughts and feelings secret. I will think well of myself and all others. I know that there are no hidden thoughts in the long run.

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Keep It Simple
January 24

Few people can be happy unless they hate some other person, nation, or creed.
–Bertand Russell

In recovery learn to give up hate. We must stand for justice, not for hate. We must learn to respect people. They, in turn, will respect us in most cases. We begin to see how important it is to give up hate–if we want others to care for us. Hate is often our secret. Hate is found deep in our hearts and minds. It eats at our souls. It hurts our spiritual growth. Sometimes people are public about their hate. There are even dangerous groups based on hate. But, the most dangerous hate is the private and unspoken. Do I have public hates? Do I have secret hates?

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, search my hearts and show me any hates I have. Help me rid myself of them.

Action for the Day: I’ll list any people, nations, to creeds I hate. I’ll pray to have this hate removed. I’ll pray for these people, nations, or creeds.

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Each Day a New Beginning
January 24

I look in the mirror through the eyes of the child that was me.
–Judy Collins

The child within each of us is fragile, but very much alive, and she interprets our experiences before we are even conscious of them. It is our child who may fear new places, unfamiliar people, strange situations. Our child needs nurturing, the kind she may not have received in the past. We can take her hand, coax her along, let her know she won’t be abandoned. No new place, unfamiliar person, or strange situation need overwhelm her.

It’s quite amazing the strength that comes to us when we nurture ourselves, when we acknowledge the scared child within and hold her, making her secure. We face nothing alone. Together, we can face anything.

I will take care of my child today and won’t abandon her to face, alone, any of the experiences the day may bring.

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Alcoholics Anonymous
January 24
WINDOW OF OPPORTUNITY

– This young alcoholic stepped out a second-story window and into A.A.

Looking back, that may have been the first healthy decision I ever made with respect to alcohol. One definition of a bottom is the point when the last thing you lost or the next thing you are about to lose is more important to you than booze. That point is different for everyone, and some of us die before we get there. For me, though, it was clear. I was willing to do anything to get back into school.

pp. 425-426

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions
January 24

Tradition Eleven – “Our public relations policy is based on attraction rather than promotion; we need always maintain personal anonymity at the level of press, radio, and films.”

The Foundation* wrote letters to practically every news outlet in North America, setting forth our public relations policy of attraction rather than promotion, and emphasizing personal anonymity as A.A.’s greatest protection. Since that time, editors and rewrite men have repeatedly deleted names and pictures of members from A.A. copy; frequently, they have reminded ambitious individuals of A.A.’s anonymity policy. They have even sacrificed good stories to this end. The force of their cooperation has certainly helped. Only a few A.A. members are left who deliberately break anonymity at the public level.

*In 1954, the name of the Alcoholic Foundation, Inc., was changed to the General Service Board of Alcoholics Anonymous, Inc., and the Foundation office is now the General Service Office.

pp. 182-183

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Xtra Thoughts
January 24

Allowing an unimportant mistake to pass without comment is a wonderful social grace.
–Judith Martin

“One never knows what each day is going to bring. The important thing is to be open and ready for it.”
–Henry Moore

“You cannot plan the future by the past.”
–Edmund Burke

Slow down to relish the wonder of God’s creation.
–Glen Childress

God makes possible what we cannot accomplish alone.
–Gary Shank

Faith in God changes our manner of living.
–Chester L Schneider

God’s reassuring, caring love is with us moment by moment.
–Walter N. Maris

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation
January 24
OPPORTUNITY

“Too many people are thinking of security instead of opportunity; they seem more afraid of life than death.”
— James Byrnes

Today I am aware of the opportunities that I did not recognize when I was drinking. Drinking stopped me from seeing the life that was before me. I drank myself away from the daily miracle. I missed the sunsets, the fun of relationships, the joy of the theater and the satisfaction of being “aware”.

In the business world I did not see the opportunity for profit and expansion; I did not create or have faith in my ideas, and I was not able to understand or absorb the new information to be successful in my life. Alcoholism kept me on the outside of my life.

Today I am alive in my life, creating, expanding and enjoying my leisure. With sobriety I have the opportunity to experience God in the many aspects of life.

Teach me to find You in the risks of life.

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Bible Scriptures
January 24

“Then they were glad because they had quiet, and he brought them to their desired haven.”
Psalm 107:30

We are to grow up in all aspects into Him.
Ephesians 4:15

His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.
2 Peter 1:3

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Daily Inspiration
January 24

If you can’t see more blessings than you can count, you aren’t looking hard enough. Thank you, Lord, for all of my blessings and especially those that I don’t recognize or take for granted.

Be joyful in whatever you do today because you have been blessed, are being blessed and have many more blessings waiting for you. Lord, I am so grateful for Your love.

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A Day At A Time
January 24

Reflection For The Day

Among the many gifts that we are offered in The Program is the gift of freedom. Paradoxically, however, the gift of freedom is not without a price-tag; freedom can only be achieved by paying the price called acceptance. Similarly, if we can surrender to God’s guidance, it will cost us our self-will, that “commodity” so precious to those of us who have always thought we could and should run the show. Is my freedom today worth the price-tag of acceptance?

Today I Pray

May God teach me acceptance — the ability to accept the things I cannot change. god also grant me courage to change those things I can. god help me to accept the illness of my addiction and give me the courage to change my addictive behavior.

Today I Will Remember

Accept the addiction.
Change the behavior.

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One More Day
January 24

The type of hugging I recommend is the bear hug. Use both arms, face your partner and perform a full embrace.
– David Bresler

We all need physical contact. And this contact does more than put us in touch with other people; it reminds us of our human need to love as well as to be loved.

Some of us may have a sense of aloneness, regardless of how many or few people surround us. If we live alone, it can be most difficult to get our daily ration of hugging and touching. Perhaps we need to consider buying a pet. A bird, a cat, a dog will offer affection all the time. All they require is a good, loving home. Or perhaps we need to think about the contact we have with others. Our expressions of love bring us the unexpected bonus of physical well-being.

I need to love and be loved. I will share my caring nature more freely with other living creatures.

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One Day At A Time
January 24
~ POSITIVE ATTITUDE ~

Attitude is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than what people do or say.  It is more important than appearance, giftedness, or skill.
–Charles Swindoll

I can’t remember ever having a consistently good attitude. When I was younger, I usually wore a mask of a good attitude, so many people were attracted to the mask but not to the real me, and I knew it. It didn’t help my attitude grow more positive.

Coming into the Twelve Step program, my attitude was all negative. My theory was that if I expected the worst from everyone and everything, if by chance I got something better, I could be pleasantly surprised. This makes me laugh now. With that attitude, would ANYTHING ever be considered good enough to “pleasantly surprise” me? No, and it didn’t. I ignored the many good things that happened–or I created a dark side to them.

In a meeting, I once heard that positives attract positives, and negatives attract negatives. This has stuck with me for years. It might be a scientific thing, but for me it refers to attitude. When I make the choice to be in a bad mood, I struggle through the day. Nothing seems to go right, and if it does, I don’t notice it or appreciate it. When I make the simple choice to be in a good mood despite whatever problems I’m facing, good things happen to me. People smile back, elevating my mood. I can find humor in things around me. The sun is shining even on a rainy day. It’s all up to me.

One Day at a Time . . .
I will make the choice to be happy for just today. I will look for the good in myself, in others and in the situations around me. I will keep my attitude positive.
~ Rhonda ~

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Elder’s Meditation of the Day – January 24

“Always listen to what the Elders say.”
–Dona Josefa Medrano, HUICHOL, SIERRA MADRE, MEXICO

In school we have been taught to go to the encyclopedia when we need information about certain subjects. From the time we are little, we have a natural tendency to seek out role models. When we need information about living we tend to seek out books about living. These maybe self help books. The world is full of information. For the Native people, we have our Elders. All races have Elders. Our lives will run much smoother when we listen to the Elders. They don’t always tell us what we want to hear but they always tell us what we need to hear. The Elders have the ability to make the truth sweet.

Creator, thank You for the Elders. Help me this day to listen to them.

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Journey To The Heart
January 24
Stay in the present Moment

Stay in the present moment. That’s where you find life’s magic.

How overwhelmed we feel when we anitcipate the future, all that needs doing, all the tasks, the work, the potential problems, the responsibilities. How tired we become when we dwell on what we’ve done already, the energy we’ve expended, and the imperfect results.

Yes, sometimes to stay in the present we need to visit the past, to clear out an old feeling, to heal an old, limiting belief. But that visit can be brief. And sometimes we need to think about the future– to make commitments, to plan, to envision where we want to go. But to linger there can cause unrest. It can spoil the moment we’re in now. Stay in the present moment, and the past and the future will fall naturally and easily into place.

Stay in the present moment, and the magic will return.

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Today’s Gift
January 24

Only with winter patience can we bring The deep desired, long-awaited spring.
—Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Family life requires patience. We probably realized that a long time ago. The Greek origin of the word patience is pathos, which means “suffering.” In our lives together, we often suffer. Life is full of bumps and scrapes, both physical and emotional. In our search for greater family unity and harmony we need to realize that we will not be able to escape all suffering. This is why we need patience. It is a form of love. When we suffer the bumps and scrapes and still have faith something good will come of it, we are living out our love. From this winter- patience we will surely find a reward.

How have I practiced my patience already today?

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The Language of Letting Go
January 24
Clearing the Slate

One of the greatest gifts we can give is an open, loving heart. And holding on to negative feelings from past relationships is our greatest barrier to that gift.

Most of us have had relationships that have ended. When we examine these relationships, we need to clear the emotional slate. Are we holding on to anger or resentments? Are we still feeling victimized? Are we living with the self-defeating beliefs that may be attached to these relationships – Women can’t be trusted…. Bosses use people…. There is no such thing as a good relationship….

Let go of all that may be blocking your relationships today. With great certainty, we can know that old feelings and self-defeating beliefs will block us today from giving and getting the love we desire. We can clear the slate of the past. It begins with awareness, honesty, and openness. The process is complete when we reach a state of acceptance and peace toward all from our past.

Today, I will begin the process of letting go of all self-defeating feelings and beliefs connected to past relationships. I will clear my slate so I am free to love and be loved.

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More Language Of Letting Go
January 24
Learn to let

Someone said, “Let go and let God,” and this is a wonderful recipe for overcoming fear or getting out of a tight place. In any case, the rule for creation is always to let.
–Emmet Fox

Darren, a friend of mine, keeps Light Show in his computer. It’s a program of his own making. In this file, he records all incidences of Divine Guidance, Divine Intervention, answered prayers, and serendipitous events in his life. Whenever he begins to doubt the presence of a Benevolent Force, whenever he stops trusting life, whenever he feels abandoned or wonders exactly how wise it is to trust God, he turns to his own light show to remind himself how powerful and wise it really is to let go.

People can tell others how miraculous it is to let go, how beneficial it is to practice a hands-off policy when it comes to manipulating or controlling the affairs of others, how stunning it is to let go of goals and let nature take its course. I could tell you how beneficial letting go is in creating healthy relationships.

But that’s my light show. Why not create your own?

Don’t try, don’t force, don’t make it happen. Let. Let it happen.

Let go and let God.

God, show me how letting go can benefit my life.

Activity: Start a file in your computer or dedicate part of your journal to a light show. Document how you try to controll a problem, or a person, or the outcome of a particular situation. Enter that incident into your light show. Then, practice letting go. Make notes about what helped you, any tools you used such as meditation or prayer. When the problem gets solved, or the goal gets accomplished, or you simply get the peace and grace to live effortlessly with an unsolved problem, enter that into your logbook. Whenever you need reassurance, refer to your lightshow.

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Touchstones – Daily Meditation For Men
January 24

You have got to know what it is you want, or someone is going to sell you a bill of goods somewhere along the line that can do irreparable damage to your self esteem, your sense of worth, and your stewardship of the talents that God gave you.
—Richard Nelson Bolles

In recovery, getting to know ourselves sometimes means developing a new form of toughness. As we deepen our relationships with ourselves, we have a clearer sense of what we care about, what is truly important, and what is not. Certainly we have learned there is evil in the world. Harm does come to good people and the good side does not always win. So we must be men who know ourselves and are not pushovers when our basic values and needs are challenged. We leave room for being wrong, and we continue to grow and learn. But we stand up for what we believe as we see it today.

We must not join the forces that would put us down or destroy us. Those negative forces are within us more often than they are outside. Wherever they come from, knowing clearly what we want and care about is our strongest defense.

I will seek the wisdom to know my values and the strength to defend my beliefs.

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Daily TAO
January 24
LAUGHTER

Hilly village lanes,
Whitewashed sunlit walls.
Cerulean sea.
The laughter of children.

No matter where in the world you go, no matter how many languages are spoken, and no matter how many times cultures and governments clash, the laughter of children is universally uplifting. The mirth of adults can be variously jealous, insecure, sadistic, cruel, or absurd, but thesound of playing children evokes the ideal of a simple and pure act.There are no concepts, no ideologies — only the innocent pleasure oflife.

We as adults dwell upon our grizzled complexities, our existential anxieties, and our preoccupations with responsibilities. We hear the merriment of children and may sigh over our lost childhoods. Although we can no longer fit into our old clothes and become young again, we can take comfort in the optimism of children. Their rejoicing can gladden us all.

We are too often in a rush for our children to grow up. It is far better for them to fully live each year of their lives. Let them learn what is appropriate to their time, let them play. And when their childhood is spent at adolescence, help them in a gentle transition.  Then their laughter will continue to resonate with cheer and hope for us all.

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