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In Loving Memory of Vic

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Daily Recovery Readings – January 27

Just For Today
January 27
Learning how to live again

” We learn new ways to live. We are no longer limited to our old ideas.”
Basic Text p. 54

We may or may not have been taught right from wrong and other basics of life as children. No matter, by the time we found recovery, most of us had only the vaguest idea of how to live. Our isolation from the rest of society had caused us to ignore basic human responsibilities and develop bizarre survival skills to cope with the world we lived in.

Some of us didn’t know how to tell the truth; others were so frank we wounded everyone we talked to. Some of us couldn’t cope with the simplest of personal problems, while others attempted solving the problems of the whole world. Some of us never got angry, even when receiving unfair treatment; others busily lodged complaints against everyone and everything.

Whatever our problems, no matter how extreme, we all have a chance in Narcotics Anonymous to learn how to live anew. Perhaps we need to learn kindness and how to care about others. Perhaps we need to accept personal responsibilities. Or maybe we need to overcome fear and take some risks. We can be certain of one thing: Each day, simply by living life, we’ll learn something new.

Just for today: I know more about how to live than I did yesterday, but not as much as I’ll know tomorrow. Today, I’ll learn something new.

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Daily Reflections
January 27
FREEDOM FROM GUILT

Where other people were concerned, we had to drop the word “blame” from our speech and thought.
TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 47

When I become willing to accept my own powerlessness, I begin to realize that blaming myself for all the trouble in my life can be an ego trip back into hopelessness. Asking for help and listening deeply to the messages inherent in the Steps and Traditions of the program make it possible to change those attitudes which delay my recovery. Before joining A.A., I had such a desire for approval from people in powerful positions that I was willing to sacrifice myself, and others, to gain a foothold in the world. I invariably came to grief. In the program I find true friends who love, understand, and care to help me learn the truth about myself. With the help of the Twelve Steps, I am able to build a better life, free of guilt and the need for self-justification.

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

An alcoholic carries an awful load around with them. What a load lying puts on your shoulders! Drinking makes liars out of all of us alcoholics. In order to get all the liquor we want, we have to lie all the time. We have to lie about where we’ve been and what we’ve been doing. When you are lying you are only half alive, because of the fear of being found out. When you come into A.A., and get honest with yourself and with other people, that terrible load of lying falls off your shoulders. Have I got rid of that load of lying?

Meditation For The Day

I believe that in the spiritual world, as in the material world, there is no empty space. As fears and worries and resentments depart out of my life, the things of the spirit come in to take their places. Calm comes after a storm. As soon as I am rid of fears and hates and selfishness, God’s love and peace and calm can come in.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may rid myself of all fears and resentments, so that peace and serenity may take their place. I pray that I may sweep my life clean of evil, so that good may come in.

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As Bill Sees It
January 27
Daily Reprieve, p. 27

We are not cured of alcoholism. What we really have is a daily reprieve contingent on the maintenance of our spiritual condition.

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

We of A.A. obey spiritual principles, at first because we must, then because we ought to, and ultimately because we love the kind of life such obedience brings. Great suffering and great love are A.A.’s disciplinarians; we need no others.

1. Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 85
2. 12 & 12, p. 174

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Walk In Dry Places
January 27
Live and let live
Tolerance

For countless reasons, people with drinking problems blunder into conflicts with others. It’s not unusual to hear that a person has not spoken to a relative for y ears as a result of some foolish misunderstanding. Some of us, sad to say, cling to old grievances even after we come into AA.

The key to peace in our lives is the slogan “Live and Let Live.” If we reflect on this slogan a bit, we want to live freely, and we ought to let others choose their lifestyles without interference from us. After all, if there was anything we alcoholics resented, it was the busybody who tried to shape our lives for us.

Nobody has the competence or understanding to tell us how we should live, nor should we try to control other people. We have a big job to do in overcoming our own problems. We have neither the time nor the wisdom to run other people’s lives.

“Live and Let Live,” if followed by every person and nation, would bring universal peace. We can use the slogan wisely to end conflicts in our lives and to terminate new ones before they develop into serious problems.

I’ll remember today that nobody appointed me guardian of my neighbors’ manners and morals. I have a full-time job keeping myself straight.

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Keep It Simple
January 27

They is no they, only us .
–Bumper sticker

For most of us, addiction was full of doubt. We stopped believing in ourselves. Our thoughts had turned to “stinking thinking.” We didn’t believe in much of anything. We didn’t take risk. We always looked for the easier, softer way. In recovery, we start to believe again. We believe in the program. We believe in a Higher Power. We believe in people. And, over time, we believe in ourselves again. We become better at taking risk. We are able to stay sober because we believe, because we take risk. As we stay sober, we can face almost anything—with the help of others.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, I have learned to believe in You. Help me believe in myself. I have something to give to this world. Help me give it freely.

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Each Day a New Beginning
January 27

Surviving meant being born over and over.
–Erica Jong

We have decided to live. And each day we make the decision anew. Each time we call a friend, work a Step, or go to a meeting, we are renewing our contract with life. We are being reborn. Before coming to this program we died, emotionally and spiritually, many times. Some of us nearly died physically. But here we are, starting a new day, looking for guidance from one another. We are the survivors. And survival is there for the taking.

We will have days when we struggle with our decision to live. We will want to throw in the towel. We will want to give in or give up. But we’ve learned from one another about choices. And the choice to survive, knowing we never have to do it alone, gets easier with time.

I am one of the survivors. Today is my day for celebration.

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Alcoholics Anonymous
January 27
WINDOW OF OPPORTUNITY

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

Then a woman introduced herself and said that she was an alcholic. I knew then I was in A.A. She spoke about feelings, of insecurity replaced by confidence, fear relaced by faith, resentment replaced by love, and despair replaced by joy. I knew those feelings. I had insecurity, fear, resentment, and despair. I could not believe it. Here was a person who was happy. It seemed like a long time since I had seen one of those.

p. 426

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions
January 27

Tradition Twelve – “Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities.”

But in the beginning, anonymity was not born of confidence; it was the child of our early fears. Our first nameless groups of alcoholics were secret societies. New prospects could find us only through a few trusted friends. The bare hint of publicity, even for our work, shocked us. Though ex-drinkers, we still thought we had to hide from public distrust and contempt.

p. 184

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Xtra Thoughts
January 27

Take rest; a field that has rested gives a bountiful crop.
–Ovid

It’s not what you were, it’s what you are today.
–David Marion

Very little is needed to make a happy life.
–Marcus Aurelius Antoninus

A good listener is not only popular everywhere, but after a while he gets to know something.
–Wilson Mizne

Times of fellowship with God are the foundation for serving others.
–Doris M. Orr

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation
January 27
SEX

“Sexual pleasure, wisely used and not abused, may prove the stimulus and liberator of our finest and most exalted activities.”
— Havelock Ellis

Sex is most beautiful because it enables the human being to experience and give love at an intimate and personal level. It also combines all the spiritual senses of body, mind and feeling in one expression, balancing tenderness with strength, patience with desire, need with selflessness.

Also the awareness and experience of a beautiful sexuality should be taken into all other manifestations of life — work, leisure, friendship, sports and prayer.

The gift of sex is one of our finest and most creative attributes and leads to all that is noble in man, therefore, it should not be used irresponsibly. Today I understand that I have a responsibility to the gifts that God has shared with me.

May I find in my sexuality an awareness of You.

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Bible Scriptures
January 27

“Take good care to observe the commandment, and the law which Moses the servant of the Lord commanded you, to love the Lord your God, and to walk in all his ways, and to keep his commandments, and to cleave to him, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul.”
Joshua 22:5

Show me your ways, O LORD, teach me your paths.
Psalm 25:4

“Seek the Lord and his strength, seek his presence continually.”
1 Chronicles 16:11

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Daily Inspiration
January 27

There is no hurt that God cannot heal. Be with me, Lord, when I am in trouble and don’t know where to go.

It is far wiser to ask God for what He thinks is good for us, than for what we think is good for us. Lord, Your Will not mine be done.

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A Day At A Time
January 27

Reflection For The Day

I can attain real dignity, importance and individuality only by a dependence on a Power which is great and good, beyond anything I can imagine or understand. I will try my utmost to use this Power in making all my decisions. Even though my human mind cannot forecast what the outcome will be, I will try to be confident that whatever comes will be for my ultimate good. Just For Today, will I try to live this day only, and not tackle my whole life problem at once?

Today I Pray

May I make no decision, engineer no change in the course of my life stream, without calling upon my Higher Power May I have faith that God’s plan for me is better than any scheme I could devise for myself.

Today I Will Remember

God is the architect. I am the builder.

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One More Day
January 27

The ancient sage, who concocted the maxim, “Know Thyself” might have added, “Don’t tell anyone.!”
– H. F. Heinriches

All too often people hide from their own feelings and from the reality of chronic illness. We may reason that if we ignore it long enough it will go away. Of course, this does not happen, and slowly we gain the knowledge of what our illness is and how we can best live with the changes it creates.

Perhaps we cannot change the course of a chronic illness or medical condition, but we can , and certainly should, change how we react. Bitterness only encourages the company of those who are also bitter. Acceptance, openness, and serenity will attract others who share our willingness to change and grow.

Today, I will be open and honest with myself as I move back into the path of life with an illness at my side.

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One Day At A Time
January 27
~ DECISIONS ~

We can try to avoid making choices by doing nothing …but even that is a decision.
–Gary Collins, PhD.

Clinical psychologist and well-known author in the field of counseling

I can’t recall if I ever learned that I had choices. I think it’s something a person learns as they grow up, but in my home, it was pretty much Mom’s way or the highway, and she had us all so scared of the highway that even THAT wasn’t much of a choice!

Imagine my utter shock when I came into the Twelve Step rooms and heard I had choices! I was a married woman by that time, one who had gone along with what everyone else said about anything and everything, and the only choice I seemed to make was how much I’d binge that day, if I’d purge, or if I’d be anorexic. Even that choice wasn’t in my hands, but in the hands of my disease.

In these recovery rooms I slowly learned about making choices and the responsibility that went with them. It’s been a freedom. It’s also allowed me to feel like an adult. As a young child I was put in the position of doing things only adults should be doing. So on one hand, I knew I had done things way before “my time.” Yet I still felt immature and naive. Learning to make my own choices and decisions has helped me to feel more mature and confident.

One Day at a Time . . .
I will not fear making difficult decisions. I will remember I can use the principles of the program to help me make the proper choice.

~ Rhonda ~

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Elder’s Meditation of the Day – January 27

“The journey to the Spirit World is a long one, my friend. But when you die, that doesn’t mean that this is the end.”
–—Buddy Red Bow, LAKOTA

The Elders tell us of the other dimension, the Spirit World. Our spirit in our bodies does not die, it only looks that way to our eyes and our brains. Some of our ceremonies allow us to see into the Spirit World. Death is only part of a process of life. It shows the transition into the Spirit World. The Elders tell us this is a joyful life journey.

My Creator, help me to understand both the seen world and the unseen world. Let me not be afraid of the world You live in.

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Journey To The Heart
January 27
Open Your Heart As Often As You Need

Opening our hearts is not something we do once or twice. It is a way of life. How quickly life does things that make us want to close off, wall off, shut down, go away. But our commitment to staying open has little to do with what life does to us. It has to do with how we decide we want to live. Open. Loving. Safe. We’re safe because we know our ability and our willingness to love comes from within us. It is the ultimate form of learning to embrace our power.

A long time ago when we were young, you may have told yourself it was risky to love, to trust, to feel. You told yourself that everyone you trusted would in the end betray your trust. Your belief has many times been proven true. But it’s time now to believe something else. It’s time to believe that the opposite is true. It’s time to believe that the opposite is true. It is risky to not love, not trust, not feel.

Your security doesn’t come from trusting others. Your security comes from trusting and cherishing your own heart. Don’t let life shut you down. Open your heart as often as you need.

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Today’s Gift
January 27

When men are rightfully occupied, then their amusement grows out of their work as the color petals out of a fruitful garden.
—John Ruskin

What do we need most in order to be happy? Certainly we all need to be loved. Yet we need even more than that. The spirit also wishes to be needed. When we are needed, no matter what age we are, we serve a purpose for others. When we are needed, we will be loved, as well as respected, imitated, and rewarded with gratitude. Our needs are not great empty pits to be filled any way we can. They are the couplings by which we connect to those we love. Our needs also tell us what others want, and how to enrich their lives–which also enriches ours. How do we become needed? We have only to look at our own needs and give what we need to others–love, respect, kindness, and generosity. When we realize we are needed, we realize we also need others.

What do I need that I can give to another person today?

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The Language of Letting Go
January 27
Needing People

We can find the balance between needing people too much and not letting ourselves need anyone at all.

Many of us have unmet dependency needs lingering from the past. While we want others to fulfill our desire to be loved unconditionally, we may have chosen people who cannot, or will not, be there for us. Some of us are so needy from not being loved that we drive people away by needing them too much.

Some of us go to the other extreme. We may have become used to people not being there for us, so we push them away. We fight off our feelings of neediness by becoming overly independent, not allowing ourselves to need anyone. Some of us won’t let people be there for us.

Either way, we are living out unfinished business. We deserve better. When we change, our circumstances will change.

If we are too needy, we respond to that by accepting the needy part of us. We let ourselves heal from the pain of past needs going unmet. We stop telling ourselves we’re unlovable because we haven’t been loved the way we wanted and needed.

If we have shut off the part of us that needs people, we become willing to open up, be vulnerable, and let ourselves be loved. We let ourselves have needs.

We will get the love we need and desire when we begin to believe we’re lovable, and when we allow that to happen.

Today, I will strive for the balance between being too needy and not allowing myself to need people. I will let myself receive the law that is there for me.

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More Language Of Letting Go
January 27
Find the adventure in your life

He had quit his job eight weeks earlier, a prodigal son off to find his story in the world. He arrived back in town dirty, unshaven, tired, and smiling. He had $4.38 in his pocket, he said. Enough for a burger and fries, if someone would give him a ride– there wasn’t enough gas in his car to get him to the restaurant and back. We were just getting ready to go to dinner and one of the others asked if he wanted to come along. “My treat,” a friend said, “as long as you tell us some stories.”

He did.

And oh, what stories he told from his trip through the west– high mountains, deep canyons, altitude sickness, frigid nights. Story after story poured out as we listened over plates of tacos.

“But what will you do now?” I asked later. “You only have four dollars to your name.”

“It’s okay,” came the reply. “I’ll just go back to work for a while.”

“And then?”

“Take another trip. Next year I’m going to Europe to see what’s over there.”

Take a chance. We don’t have to settle in and live in the first safe, comfortable box that we find. We can live in the moment, pull all that we can from it, then stretch our wings and fly someplace else. I’m not saying to quit your job and go off on a backpacking adventure, unless that’s what you want to do. I’m just saying you might want to follow your heart. Learn to cook. Learn to paint, share what you know by teaching a class. Find the adventure in your life, calculate the risk, then take it.

God, put the adventure back in my life. If I’ve gotten too safe in my little world, help me take a risk. Help me learn to live big.

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Touchstones – Daily Meditation For Men
January 27

When nobody around you seems to measure up, it’s time to check your yardstick.
—Bill Lemley

Being overcritical and irritable has been common to most of us. Some of us go around with controlled smiles while underneath we are grumbling. Others blast everyone around them. Some of us save our most critical reactions for those we love while staying sweet and friendly with the outside world. In any case, we are caught in a blinding trap. We may know we feel trapped but do not see that our problem is mainly with ourselves.

We need to look at our relationships. Have we been falling into a pattern where no one seems to measure up? Are we also being too critical or demanding of ourselves? Perhaps we don’t need to lower our standards so much as to hold them less tightly. If we can be friends to ourselves and give ourselves a little more leeway, we can be more easygoing with others.

I cannot force myself to be less critical, but I can let go of my willfulness so my more easygoing side comes forward. I can be less judgmental of others and myself.

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Daily TAO
January 27
FEASTING

Feasting is the flame in mid-winter
That kindles the fire of friendship
And strengthens the community.

In the past, feasting was a way to bind the community closer together. The same is true today. Whether they are cultural gatherings, times of group worship, or even special dinners with friends, we all need moments where we come together and reaffirm the importance of our group.

The cheer that we feel is essential both to the collective and the individuals involved. The affirmation of the group should not be a sublimation of the individual but rather a framework for involvement. A good gathering requires participation — the efforts of organization, work, and attendance — and in turn gives back sustenance for body and soul, a sense of belonging, and the accomplishment of something that could not be done by the individuals alone.

Like any other human endeavor, the feast is vulnerable to manipulation and politics, the selfish maneuvering of cynical individuals. This is difficult to avoid completely, for it is impossible for any group to truly be united. The only way to mitigate this is for the collective to keep its intentions strictly on its purpose, to select its leaders wisely, and for those leaders to be as enlightened as possible..

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