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In Loving Memory of Vic

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Daily Recovery Readings – January 28

Just For Today
January 28
An Every-Day Addict

” We can never fully recover, no matter how long we stay clean.”
Basic Text p. 80

After getting a little time in the program, some of us begin to think we have been cured. We’ve learned everything NA has to teach us; we’ve grown bored with the meetings; and our sponsor keeps droning the same old refrain: ” The steps-the steps-the steps!” We decide it is time to get on with our lives, cut way back on meetings, and try to make up for the years we have lost to active addiction. We do this, however, at the peril of our recovery.

Those of us who have relapsed after such an episode often try to go to as many meetings as we can-some of us go to a meeting every day for several years. It may take that long for us to understand that we will always be addicts. We may feel well some days and sick on other days, but we are addicts every day. At any time, we are subject to delusion, denial, rationalization, justification, insanity-all the hallmarks of the typical addict’s way of thinking. If we want to continue living and enjoying life without the use of drugs, we must practice an active program of recovery each day.

Just for today: I am an addict every day, but today I have the choice to be a recovering addict. I will make that choice by practicing my program.
pg. 28

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Daily Reflections
January 28
THE TREASURE OF THE PAST

Showing others who suffer how we were given help is the very thing which makes life seem so worth while to us now. Cling to the thought that, in God’s hands, the dark past is the greatest possession you have — the key to life and happiness for others. With it you can avert death and misery for them.
ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 124

What a gift it is for me to realize that all those seemingly useless years were not wasted. The most degrading and humiliating experiences turn out to be the most powerful tools in helping others to recover. In knowing the depths of shame and despair, I can reach out with a loving and compassionate hand, and know that the grace of God is available to me.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day
January 28
A.A. Thought For The Day

What a load hangovers put on your shoulders! What terrible physical punishment we’ve all been through. The pounding headaches and jumpy nerves, the shakes and the jitters, the hot and cold sweats! When you come into A.A. and stop drinking, that terrible load of hangovers falls off your shoulders. What a load remorse puts on your shoulders!  That terrible mental punishment we’ve all been through. Ashamed of the things you’ve said and done. Afraid to face people because of what they might think of you.  Afraid of the consequences of what you did when you were drunk. What an awful beating the mind takes! When you come into A.A., that terrible load of remorse falls off your shoulders. Have I gotten rid of these loads of hangovers and remorse?

Meditation For The Day

When you seek to follow the way of the spirit, it frequently means a complete reversal of the way of the world that you had previously followed. But it is a reversal that leads to happiness and peace. Do the aims and ambitions that a person usually strives for bring peace? Do the world’s awards bring heart rest and happiness? Or do they turn to ashes in the mouth?

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may not be weary, disillusioned, or disappointed. I pray that I may not put my trust in the ways of the world, but in the way of the spirit.

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As Bill Sees It
January 28
Troublemakers Can Be Teachers, p. 28

Few of us are any longer afraid of what any newcomer can do to our A.A. reputation or effectiveness. Those who slip, those who panhandle. those who scandalize, those with mental twists, those who rebel at the program, those who trade on the A.A. reputation–all such persons seldom harm an A.A. group for long.

Some of these have become our most respected and best loved. Some have remained to try our patience, sober nevertheless. Others have drifted away. We have begun to regard the troublesome ones not as menaces, but rather as our teachers. They oblige us to cultivate patience, tolerance, and humility. We finally see that they are only people sicker than the rest of us, that we who condemn them are Pharisees whose false righteousness does our group the deeper spiritual damage.

Grapevine, August 1946

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Walk In Dry Places
January 28
Easy does it
Avoiding tension

As people of excess, alcoholics tend to swing between periods of great activity and times of complete lassitude. There is a tendency to waste time at one point, and then overcompensate for it by working feverishly and frantically to catch up. Both ways are out of balance.

We need to approach life in a relaxed manner, letting the natural rhythm of events take over and do some of the work for us. Too much effort defeats itself. The overanxious person strives too hard and makes things worse, like the salesman who talks too long and kills the sale.

In the AA way of life, we expect and accept responsibilities. But we are not slavishly committed to success at any price. We make a full commitment to any project we undertake, and we do our best at all times. Then we let things unfold rather than trying to force them.

It is also common to hear people say, “EASY DOES IT, BUT DO IT!” This is a reminder that t he slogan is not a prescription for laziness and indifference. It is also a reminder to avoid high-pressure tactics and excessive pushing.

I’ll let things work out today. I’ll do whatever has to be done.

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Keep It Simple
January 28

We’re part of the fellowship we call “the program.” Let’s also remember that we’re part of a larger fellowship called ” the human race.” We all hurt the same. We all love the same. We all need understanding and care. Yet, in other ways, we are not all the same. Let’s remember to understand differences among people. If not, we’ll be afraid of anyone who’s not like us. And this isn’t God’s way.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, help me to love all people. Help me be open to others who are different from me. Help me love my neighbor.

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Each Day a New Beginning
January 28

I think self-awareness is probably the most important thing towards being a champion.
–Billie Jean King

Champions are made. How lucky we are to have the Steps to guide us to become champions. The program promises us self-awareness, but we have to put forth the effort. And the process isn’t always easy. We have liabilities, all of us, and it’s generally easier to see them than our assets. Self-awareness is recognizing both. To become a champion, whether as an athlete, a homemaker, a teacher, a secretary, or an attorney, is to maximize the assets and minimize the liabilities, but to accept the existence of both. The program that we share offers us daily opportunities to know ourselves, to help other women know themselves, and to strengthen our assets along the way. We can feel our assets growing, and it feels good. We can see our liabilities diminish, and it feels good. The program offers us a championship.

I can strengthen my assets, first by knowing them, and then by emphasizing them repeatedly. I’ll focus on one today.

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Alcoholics Anonymous
January 28
WINDOW OF OPPORTUNITY

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

After the meeting, people welcomed me with open arms and gave me their telephone numbers. The discussion meeting was followed by a speaker meeting, where I had my first awakening in A.A. The speaker said, “If you’re an apple, you can be the best apple you can be, but you can never be an orange.” I was an apple all right, and for the first time I understood that I had spent my life trying to be an orange. I looked around at a room filled with apples and, if I was understanding the speaker, most of them were no longer trying to be an orange.

pp. 426-427

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions
January 28
Tradition Twelve

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

When the Big Book appeared in 1939, we called it “Alcoholics Anonymous.” Its foreword mad this revealing statement: “It is important that we remain anonymous because are too few, at present, to handle the overwhelming number of personal appeals which may result from this publication. Being mostly business or professional folk, we could not well carry on our occupations in such an event.” Between these lines, it is easy to read our fear that large numbers of incoming people might break our anonymity wide open.

pp. 184-185

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Xtra Thoughts
January 28

Listening feeds the spirit.

The two most dangerous words in a recovering alcoholic’s vocabulary are, “I’m different.”
–unknown

Honesty gets us sober, tolerance keeps us sober.
–unknown

Newcomers are the lifeblood of the program. But our old-timers are the arteries.
–unknown

The spiritual life is not a theory. We have to live it.
–unknown

Trust God. Clean house. Help others.
–unknown

The peaks and valleys of my life have become gentle rolling hills.
–unknown

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation
January 28
WISDOM

“Education today, more than ever before, must see clearly the dual objectives: education for living and education for making a living.”
— James Mason Wood

The spiritual life is a productive life. Not only does it make for a prosperous life in every sense of the word but it makes for a creative lifestyle. Nothing is wasted on the spiritual man; he learns from his mistakes and doubts.

For too long I was stunted in my spiritual growth by negative and destructive thinking. I became dependent upon a sick self and attracted equally sick people. I used my education and knowledge to keep people out and remained isolated. I needed to change. I wanted to change. But how? As with everything else in life I needed to imitate those who were successful. I needed to be shown how to live a different way. I needed to discover the power of my spirituality. I found successful people. They helped me. Today I am able to help myself.

I pray for the knowledge to imitate those who are successful in life.

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Bible Scriptures
January 28

No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him.
1 Corinthians 2:9

Walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.
Galatians 5:16

Without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.
Hebrews 11:6

Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness.”
Genesis 1:26

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Daily Inspiration
January 28

How precious are the little joys throughout the day. Lord, You have such love for me. I find You everywhere I look.

Trials are part of life. How you respond to them determines the quality of your life. Lord, in Your justice, rescue and deliver me.

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A Day At A Time
January 28

Reflection For The Day

Now that I am in The Program, I am no longer enslaved by alcohol and other drugs. Free, free at last from the other drugs. Free, free at last from the morning-after tremors, the dry heaves, the three-day beard, the misplaced eyelashes. Free, free at last from working out the alibis and hopng they won’t unravel; free from blackouts; free from watching the clock so that I can somehow get that desperately-needed “first one.” Do I treasure my freedom from chemical enslavement?

Today I Pray

Praise God that I am free of chemicals. This is my first freedom, from which other freedoms will develop — freedom to appraise my behavior sanely and constructively, freedom to grow as a person, freedom to maintain relationships with others on a sound basis. I will never cease to thank my Higher Power for leading me away from my enslavement.

Today I Will Remember

Praise God for my freedom.

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One More Day
January 28

Love received and love given comprise the best form of therapy.
– Gordon W. Allport

Many of us with health problems are — by choice or by necessity — alone, and we may sometimes feel uneasy in a world geared for couples and families. Everywhere there seems to be yet another couple — on a park bench, strolling on the sidewalk, and on television. This is especially painful if we had, at one time in our lives, a happy, long-term relationship.

Now we are finding a more complete and less restrictive sense of companionship and still maintaining our independence. Romantic love is not the only basis for trust and friendship. A Friend we can trust may also become a confidante, a strong emotional supporter, and an all-around booster. We may be alone, but we realize that we need not be lonely.

I am lucky to have one close friend. I am blessed when I have several. I am no longer alone.

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One Day At A Time
January 28
~ SUCCESS ~

Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm.
–Winston Churchill
(1874 – 1965) a highly decorated British politician who served as Prime Minister of the U.K.

My life before program consisted of one failure after the next. I could never master success with my eating, much less with my life in general.

Once I came into these rooms and started working the Twelve Steps, with a God of my understanding and the knowledge that God is in control of all in my life, I began to realize that life is NOT a series of failures, only slow successes.

One Day at a Time . . .
I am a success if I keep on trying regardless of the outcome, because it is truly God’s will for me.

~ Linda K. ~

 

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Elder’s Meditation of the Day – January 28

“We call it the `sacred’ red road because it is the road that will lead us to living the good life, an honest and healthy life.”
–Larry P. Aitken, CHIPPEWA

The Red Road is the path we walk on when we want a direct relationship with the Great Spirit. This requires sacrifice. This requires us to have our beliefs tested. To walk this path is really an honor. The returns for doing so are exciting, not only for ourselves but for the effect that will be felt for three generations. This means your children will see the benefits as well as your grandchildren. Do I want to walk this sacred road?

Great Spirit, guide myself and my family on the Red Road.

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Journey To The Heart
January 28
What Interests You?

It’s easy to talk ourselves out of trying something new, then sit at home whining that we’re bored. It’s just as easy, and a lot more fun, to find something interesting to do.

Learn to make a basket out of pine needles. Try spelunking, or take a tap dancing class. Learn to fly an airplane or carve a walking stick. Take lessons on that musical instrument you’ve always wanted to play. You can learn to braid your hair, write a poem, or even act in a play.

Have you talked yourself out of doing activities you used to like to do? Is there something new you’d like to learn or explore, something you’ve always thought you might like to do?

Begin a journey of discovery. Find out what interests you. Don’t limit your interests to activities connected just to work or spiritual growth. Opening up to the world and all it has to offer expands your creativity. Discovering what your interests are, then letting yourself pursue them will become part of your spiritual path.

There are many magical things in the world, and people happy to teach you how to do them. See all there is to do. Get out of your house and out of your rut and discover what interests you.

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Today’s Gift
January 28

It is such a secret place, the land of tears.
—Antoine de St. Exupery

Where do tears come from? Perhaps each of us has a private well where the tears rise from. Each of us has our own landscape of events that have hurt us or given us joy. And so we have our own private responses to the world around us. Something may hurt one of us that would not hurt another. Like the oceans and rivers, sometimes our well of tears is flowing. We do not always understand all the forces affecting the oceans, or our well of tears. The kind of bucket that draws water from a well is solid and durable, and it lowers itself deep enough to find water. Good friends and family members are like that. It is comforting to share our private well with such people.

Who will I invite to drink from my well today?

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The Language of Letting Go
January 28
Staying in the Present Moment

Often, one of our biggest questions is “What’s going to happen?” We may ask this about our relationships, our career, our recovery, and our life. It is easy to tangle us up in worrisome thoughts.

Worrying about what’s going to happen blocks us from functioning effectively today. It keeps us from doing our best now. It blocks us from learning and mastering today’s lessons. Staying in the now, doing our best, and participating fully today are all we need to do to assure ourselves that what’s going to happen tomorrow will be for the best.

Worrying about what’s going to happen is a negative contribution to our future. Living in the here and now is ultimately the best thing we can do, not only for today, but also for tomorrow. It helps our relationships, our career, our recovery, and our life.

Things will work out, if we let them. If we must focus on the future other than to plan, all we need to do is affirm that it will be good.

I pray for faith that my future will be good if I live today well, and in peace. I will remember that staying in the present is the best thing I can do for my future. I will focus on what’s happening now instead of what’s going to happen tomorrow.

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More Language Of Letting Go
January 28
There’s magic in our beliefs

There’s a church in the town of Chimayo, New Mexico. Rumor has it that the soil surrounding the church has special healing properties. Long before the church existed, there was a spring gushing up from the ground nearby. The Tewa Indians of the area believed that this spring held special magical properites and thought that by drinking the water, their infirnities could be healed. The water eventually stopped bubbling up, leaving only a muddy pool, and still the pilgrims came seeking healing. Finally, even the mud dried and turned to dust, and still the Tewa came. They ate the dust or mixed it with water and drank it. And many times it healed them.

Then the Spanish built a church in the area. When the stories of the magical healing dust persisted, the church decided to blend with the local beliefs instead of trying to eradicate superstition.

Today, people still come to the Santuario de Chimayo to be blessed or to take a little dirt from El Pocito, the little well in a back room. They still believe that the dust will heal them. And many times it does.

Is the dust magical? I don’t know. But there’s magic in what we believe.

Our beliefs tell our future better than any crystal ball or or psychic can. As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he, one holy book says. Be mindful of your thoughts and beliefs. What you think and believe today, whether it’s I can’t or I can, is what you will manifest tomorrow.

Do you have any beliefs right now that are holding you down or back? What are your I can’s and what are your I cant’s? Take a moment. Look into your heart. Examine what you believe to be true. Is there an area of your life that could be benefited by thinking and believing something else?

If you’re going to use the power of your mind, use it to form a positive belief. Sometimes, the littlest bit of magic is all we need to change our lives.

God, help me come to believe what is right and true about myself, life, and others. Show me, and help me understand, the power and magic of what I believe.

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Touchstones – Daily Meditation For Men
January 28

To perceive is to suffer.
—Aristotle

As men in this program, we have given up our compulsive escapes from life. Our escapes may have been through dependent relationships with others, or with money, sex, food, drugs, work, or emotional binges. But now we are learning to live without them, and this has brought us in touch with our feelings. We feel more joy and more pain in recovery. Often the first feelings in recovery are painful or frightening.

We learn we can deal with life – all of it, a little at a time. We accept pain as part of life. Because of our escapes, our growing up was delayed. We didn’t learn how to deal with our pain because we escaped into an anesthetic, a high, and a relief.

Our spiritual recovery program brings us together with other men and women who have pledged to set aside these escapes. Among the many rewards is a reawakening to all of life. No longer will we filter out the suffering because that, too, is part of being aware.

Today, I am thankful for all the life that I perceive and pray for the strength to meet the pain.

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Daily TAO
January 28
ACCOUNTABILITY

A father without a father
Has difficulty balancing.
A master without a master
Is dangerous.

We look up to our parents, our teachers, and our leaders with trust and expectation. Their responsibility is to guide us, educate us, and even make judgments on our behalf when circumstances are uncertain.  Ultimately, they are to bring us to the point where we can make our own decisions, based on the wisdom that they have helped us develop.

But the potential for abuse and mistakes is very great. What person can be right all the time? A simple lapse at the wrong time can cause confusion, psychological scars, and even great disaster. Harsh words during a child’s impressionable moments can engender years of problems.  That is why we need a parent for the parent, a master for the master, and leaders for the leaders. This prevents errors of power. In the past, even kings had wise advisers. Every person who would be a leader should have such assistance.

Eventually, someone has to be at the top. And who will that person turn to? Let us invoke not deities but pragmatism. It is experience that is the ultimate teacher. That is why wise people travel constantly and test themselves against the flux of circumstance. It is only in this way that they can truly confirm their thoughts and compensate for their shortcomings.

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