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In Loving Memory of Vic

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Daily Recovery Readings – June 10

Just For Today
June 10
Changing Motives

“When we finally get our own selfish motives out of the way, we begin to find a peace that we never imagined possible.”
Basic Text, p. 44

As we examine our beliefs, our actions, and our motives in recovery, we’ll find that sometimes we do things for the wrong reasons. In our early recovery, we may have spent a great deal of money and time on people, wanting only for them to like us. Later on, we may find that we still spend money on people, but our motives have changed. We do it because we like them. Or perhaps we used to get romantically involved because we felt hollow inside and were seeking fulfillment through another person. Now our reasons for romantic involvement are based in a desire to share our already rewarding lives with an equal partner. Maybe we used to work the steps because we were afraid we’d relapse if we didn’t. Today we work the steps because we want to grow spiritually.

We have a new purpose in life today, and our changing motives reflect that. We have so much more to offer than our neediness and insecurities. We have developed a wholesomeness of spirit and a peace of mind that moves our recovery into a new realm. We extend our love and share our recovery with complete generosity, and the difference we make is the legacy we leave to those who have yet to join us.

Just for today: In recovery, my motives have changed. I want to do things for the right reason, not just for my personal benefit. Today, I will examine my motives.

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Daily Reflections
June 10
IMPATIENT? TRY LEVITATING

We reacted more strongly to frustrations than normal people.
AS BILL SEES IT, p. 111

Impatience with other people is one of my principal failings.  Following a slow car in a no-passing lane, or waiting in a restaurant for the check, drives me to distraction. Before I give God a chance to slow me down, I explode, and that’s what I call being quicker than God. That repeated experience gave me an idea. I thought if I could look down on these events from God’s point of view, I might better control my feelings and behavior. I tried it and when I encountered the next slow driver, I levitated and looked down on the other car and upon myself. I saw an elderly couple driving along, happily chatting about their grandchildren. They were followed by me–bug eyed and red of face–who had no time schedule to meet anyway. I looked so silly that I dropped back into reality and slowed down.  Seeing things from God’s angle of vision can be very relaxing.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day
June 10
A.A. Thought For The Day

If we have had some moral, religious, or spiritual training, we’re better prospects for A.A. When we reach the bottom, at this crucial moment when we’re thoroughly licked, we turn instinctively to whatever decency is left in us. We call upon whatever reserves of morality and faith are left down deep in our heart. Have I had this spiritual experience?

Meditation For The Day

The world wonders when it sees a person who can unexpectedly draw large and unsuspected sums from the bank for some emergency.  But what the world has not seen are the countless small sums paid into that bank, earned by faithful work over a long time. And so is the bank of the spirit. The world sees the person of faith make a demand on God’s stores of power and the demand is met.  The world does not see what that person has been putting in, in thanks and praise, in prayer and communion, in small good deeds done faithfully, steadily over the years.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may keep making deposits in God’s bank. I pray that in my hour of need, I may call upon these.

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As Bill Sees It
June 10
Whose Inventory?, p. 161

We do not relate intimate experiences of another member unless we are sure he would approve. We find it better, when possible, to stick to our own stories. A man may criticize or laugh at himself and it will affect others favorably, but criticism or ridicule aimed at someone else often produces the contrary effect.

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

A continuous look at our assets and liabilities, and a real desire to learn and grow by this means are necessities for us. We alcoholics have learned this the hard way.  More experienced people, of course, in all times and places have practiced unsparing self-survey and criticism.

1. Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 125
2. 12 & 12, p. 88

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Walk in Dry Places
June 10
Expecting quick results
Acceptance

Most human progress comes slowly, though we see exciting breakthroughs at various times. The same is true in the lives of individuals. Though a few people do make exciting leaps forward, most of us must be content with gradual, steady improvements.

Our problem as compulsive people is in wanting quick results all the time. In fact, one of the things that reinforced our addition was the continuous need for a quick fix. We saw life as something that should be taken in frantic gulps. When a sudden break or advantage appeared, it never really satisfied us. There was always the hunger for more.

We can find real satisfaction, however, in accepting progress in small stages. If we are having small gains here and there, we are on the road to improvement. A surprising amount can be accomplished when we are moving continuously ahead, one small step at a time.

The old fable of the tortoise and the hare still applies in human affairs. If we continue to move ahead, even at a slow speed, we will reach our goals.

I’ll be content today with whatever progress I can make. If I’m expecting too many quick results, I might be setting myself up for disappointment.

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Keep It Simple
June 10

Never grow a wishbone, daughter, where your backbone ought to be.
—Clementine Pappleford

At meetings, we meet people who have what we want. Our old way is to think these people are better or luckier than us. Our old way is to wish we were like them. But our program tells us how to work to change, not just wish for it. There is a big difference!

There are many ways to work for recovery. We practice the Steps. We attend meetings, and we help out at meetings. We welcome new members. We call our sponsor often. And we sponsor others when we’re ready. It takes more than a wishbone. It takes courage and hard work, with the help of our Higher Power.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, help me know that wishing is lost energy. I must work at recovery. As I do today’s work, guide me.

Action for the Day: Today, I’ll do an extra bit of work on my recovery. I’ll call a group member. I’ll read. I’ll spend extra time in prayer and meditation.

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Each Day a New Beginning
June 10

Many of us achieve only the semblance of communication with others; what we say is often not contingent on what the other has just said, and neither of us is aware that we are not communicating.
—Desy Safan-Gerard

When we don’t listen fully to each other, when we don’t revere the Spirit within others that’s trying to talk to us, we destroy the connection that wants to be made between our Spirits. Our inner selves have messages to give and messages to receive for the good of all. Our ego selves often keep us from hearing the very words that would unravel a problem in our lives.

How hard it is, how often, to be still and to fully listen to the words, rather than the person. How much more familiar it is to filter the message with our own ongoing inner dialogue-our own ongoing continual assessment of another’s personhood at the very time our higher power is trying to reach us through them.

There really are no wasted words. Messages are everywhere. We can learn to listen.

I will hear just what I need to hear today. I will open myself fully to the words.

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Alcoholics Anonymous
June 10
Our Southern Friend

Pioneer A.A., minister’s son, and southern farmer, he asked, “Who am I to say there is no God?”

Then he asks me if I believe in a power greater than myself, whether I call that power God, Allah, Confucius, Prime Cause, Divine Mind, or any other name. I told him that I believe in electricity and other forces of nature, but as for a God, if there is one, He has never done anything for me. Then he asks me if I am willing to right all the wrongs I have ever done to anyone, no matter how wrong I thought they were. Am I willing to be honest with myself about myself and tell someone about myself, and am I willing to think of other people. and of their needs instead of myself; to get rid of the drink problem?

“I’ll do anything,” I reply.

“Then all of your troubles are over” says the man and leaves the room. The man is in bad mental shape certainly. I pick up a book and try to read, but cannot concentrate. I get in bed and turn out the light. But I cannot sleep. Suddenly a thought comes. Can all the worthwhile people I have known be wrong about God? Then I find myself thinking about myself, and a few things that I had wanted to forget. I begin to see I am not the person I had thought myself, that I had judged myself by comparing myself to others, and always to my own advantage. It is a shock.

pp. 214-215

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions
June 10

Step Nine – “Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.”

Above all, we should try to be absolutely sure that we are not delaying because we are afraid. For the readiness to take the full consequences of our past acts, and to take responsibility for the well-being of others at the same time, is the very spirit of Step Nine.

p. 87

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Xtra Thoughts
June 10

The quieter we become, the more we hear.
–Unknown

There are glimpses of heaven in every act, or thought, or word that raises us above ourselves.
–Arthur Stanley

When everything seems to go wrong, just P.U.S.H.!
When the job gets you down, just P.U.S.H.!
When people don’t react the way you think they should, just P.U.S.H.!
When your money looks funny and the bills are due, just P.U.S.H.!
When you want to give up because it looks hopeless, just P.U.S.H.!
P.U.S.H – Pray Until Something Happens!!!!!
–Randy Walker

“Joy is what happens to us when we allow ourselves to recognize how good things really are.”
–Marianne Williamson

“I have held many things in my hands, and I have lost them all; but whatever I have placed in Gods hands, that I still possess.”
–Martin Luther

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation
June 10
LAUGHTER

“God cannot be solemn, or he would not have blessed man with the incalculable gift of laughter.”
–Sydney Harris

I think the way to understand God is to begin to understand man!  Sometimes we forget that we bear the “image” of God – and this is not so much physical as emotional, our inner selves, the soul. So much of what I feel, what hurts me, what causes me distress and pain I believe also affects God. Also the gifts, the creative intelligence and spiritual sacrifice that has characterized so many people in history reflects something of God. Involved in this is “laughter”. I believe that laughter is derived from God and is part of the spiritual gift He has bequeathed to every one of us: we need only discover it.

“Let go – and let God.” Sometimes we need to get out of our own way so that we can begin to laugh.

You gave the gift of laughter to be used. May it be used in the precious art of healing.

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Bible Scriptures
June 10

“A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”
Proverbs 15:1

The joy of the LORD is your strength.
Nehemiah 8:10

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Daily Inspiration
June 10

It is not as significant to have a good life, but rather to do good things with your life. Lord, I am grateful for the talents with which You have blessed me and I pray that they will not go unused.

Gossip betrays trust. The harm done is often irreparable. Lord, may I never be responsible for hurting anyone through my conversations.

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A Day At A Time
June 10

Reflection For The Day

When I least expect it, my keen addictive mind will try to divert me back toward my old ideas and old ways.  My mind is expert, in fact, at planting and nourishing negative feelings within me — feeling such as envy, fear, anxiety, or guilt.  The minute I spot any of these poisonous feelings rising up, I have to deal with them.  If not, the more I think about them, the stronger they’ll get;  the stronger they get, the more I’ll think about them — to the point of obsession.  When negative feelings arise, do I “name the, claim them, an dump them…”?

Today I Pray

I should know — and may I please never forget — that a sure way to let my feelings get the best of me is to pretend they aren’t there.  Like spoiled offspring, they act up when they are ignored.  But also like when they are ignored.  But also like offspring’s, they are here, they are mine and I am responsible for them.  May I learn to pay attention to my feelings, even if sometimes I would rather make-believe they didn’t belong to me.

Today I Will Remember

Name them, claim them, dump them.

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One More Day
June 10

Pain is hard to bear….
But with patience, day by day,
Even this shall pass away.
–  Theodore Tilton

When emotional or physical pain becomes unbearable, the duration of each day seems longer than twenty-four hours.  Any movement is intolerable;  any attempt to begin the day is met with the shrilling objections of the voice of pain.

It is at this exact moment, each time it occurs, that we are tempted to give up the fight and become invalids.  Then something prods us to try just one more time — just one more day.  And so we struggle, and we are amazed to discover that we have successfully met and conquered another sunrise and another sunset.  The strength to go on was there all the time, deep within us.

When my pain becomes greater than i can ever remember, I must draw on my inner resources to keep going.

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One Day At A Time
June 10
GROWTH

“You will either step forward into growth, or you will step back into safety.”
–Abraham Maslow

In my early years in program, one of my sponsors told me, “You’re in a very well-decorated rut. You even have wall-to-wall carpeting and curtains in it.” As I continued trudging my road to happy destiny, her words would crop up in my head any time I got “stuck.” I could see how far I had come each time, so I persevered and kept turning my fear into faith. As I continued to work the steps, I was led to new levels of recovery.

One day at a time…
I put one foot in front of the other, keep taking the next right action and continue working the steps. I live the promises of the program. Safety or growth? My choice is clear.

~ Rory

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Elder’s Meditation of the Day – June 10

“Each day, whatever I am doing, I am always praying and thinking of God.”
–Thomas Yellowtail, CROW

Have you ever tried going through your day and carrying on a conversation with the Creator? Many of our Elders live in prayer. They talk to the Creator like the Creator is their best friend. It is easiest to do this if we pray in the morning and ask the Great Spirit to direct our thinking. When the Creator is involved in guiding our lives, we will have less stress, anxiety, and tension. Maybe this is something we would like to try today. “Oh, Creator, look at the Sun, how beautiful you have made it. Oh, look at this child, isn’t she just beautiful! Well, Creator, I’m not sure how I should do this task, what do you think? This person is starting to irritate me; I need your help to redirect my thinking. Thanks for returning me to a peaceful mind.” Remember, the Creator also has a sense of humor.

Grandfather, Grandmother, let me walk in prayer.

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Journey To The Heart
June 10
Enjoy Summer

Learn to enjoy summer, that wonderful warm time when everything is in full bloom.

Summer isn’t forever, but don’t ruin it by fussing. Forget about the winter just past, the autumn that lies ahead. Immerse yourself in the good times, the fullness of summertime.

We may have gotten so used to the other times, the colder times, that we’ve forgotten how to enjoy the sun, the warmth, the play times. The good times. Each moment of our lives is important. Each moment of our lives is a spiritual experience. To live fully in joy, we need to learn to enjoy the good times as well as weather the storms. Most of us are proficient at hunkering down and getting through the winters of our lives. Now it’s time to learn something different.

Take off your heavy wrap. Grab your straw hat and go bask in the sun. Tomorrow’s lessons will take care of themselves.

Today the lesson is learning to enjoy summer.

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Today’s Gift
June 10

Whoever I am or whatever I am doing, some kind of excellence is within my reach.
—John W.Gardner

It’s easy to forget how important we each are – to our parents, to other family members, to our friends. We are in this world, even in our particular family, because we are important and necessary in the lives of others. It’s easy to feel not so important though, especially when we think we’re not good enough at anything we try. School or work comes easy for some. Maybe not us. Athletics come easy to others. Maybe it’s helping around the house that’s easiest. Each of us is very good at some things. And it’s okay to not be good at everything.

How can I show my talent today?

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The Language of Letting Go
June 10
Responsibility

Self care means taking responsibility for ourselves. Taking responsibility for ourselves includes assuming our true responsibilities to others.

Sometimes, when we begin recovery, we’re worn down from feeling responsible for so many other people. Learning that we need only take responsibility for ourselves may be such a great relief that, for a time, we disown our responsibilities to others.

The goal in recovery is to find the balance: we take responsibility for ourselves, and we identify our true responsibilities to others.

This may take some sorting through, especially if we have functioned for years on distorted notions about our responsibilities to others. We may be responsible to one person as a friend or as an employee; to another person, we’re responsible as an employer or as a spouse. With each person, we have certain responsibilities. When we tend to those true responsibilities, we’ll find balance in our life.

We are also learning that while others aren’t responsible for us, they are accountable to us in certain ways.

We can learn to discern our true responsibilities for ourselves, and to others. We can allow others to be responsible for themselves and expect them to be appropriately responsible to us.

We’ll need to be gentle with ourselves while we learn.

Today, I will strive for clear thinking about my actual responsibilities to others. I will assume these responsibilities as part of taking care of myself.

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More Language Of Letting Go
June 10
Let go of guilt

Guilt is a rock. It lies in the pit of our stomachs and keeps us awake at night. All of our muscles work overtime just to carry it around, and yet we still hold on to it.

Yesterday, you stumbled. That was yesterday. But you also righted your wrong and vowed to do better today. So why are you still carrying that guilt around with you?

If you’re in recovery, you probably did some terrible things before you got sober. How can you ever move on? But you got sober. You made amends. What happened yesterday belongs to yesterday. Today, you can let go of your guilt and relax in the peace that comes from walking a path with heart.

Have you made a list of people you have harmed and made amends to them, as suggested in the Eighth and Ninth Steps of the Twelve Step programs? That’s an excellent way to begin clearing and releasing guilt. If you’re not in a Twelve Step program, there are other options. Most religions offer rituals to clear guilt. Sometimes, we’ve taken all these steps and we still feel guilty. What’s wrong? We’re hanging on to our guilt, and we’re being hard on ourselves.

You will find it easier to relax and flow through the experiences of your life if you let go of the weight of yesterday’s guilt.

God, today I give you all of the guilt from my past. Take it from me, and allow me to begin fresh right now. Help me make the amends I need to make, then let my guilt go.

Activity: If you’ve taken steps to make amends and clear away your legitimate guilt, and your guilt is still haunting your every move, try this: First thing in the morning and last thing in the evening, look in your mirror. Look yourself in the eye. Then say out loud seven times, “I now release all my guilt, earned and unearned.” Try this for a week. See if your guilt doesn’t disappear.

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Touchstones Meditations For Men
June 10

We learn more by seeing someone play good tennis than by reading a book about how to play good tennis.
—W. Timothy Gallwey

In our program we learn from each other. Most of us would rather have thought our problems through on our own or read about them without having to ask for help. Recovery requires us to break this old habit. We can no longer say at a meeting, “I had some problems this week, but I’ve worked them out now” or “I know what I have to do.” The change for us is to ask for help from other men in this program. We need to say, “What do you think about my problem?” or “Would you be willing to talk to me for a while?”

Having a sponsor is an important way of getting to know how another man applies his program to his life. We need to select a sponsor we admire, who has learned the Steps well and who truly lives them. Then we need to spend time with our sponsor outside of meetings, perhaps while drinking a cup of coffee or going for a walk. By associating with others who are diligent about recovery, we will learn more than we could any other way.

Today, I will make personal contact with others in this program.

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Daily TAO
June 10
Truth

There are three levels of truth:
Experience, reasoning, and knowing.
All other assertions should be rejected.

The first type of truth is experience. Once you have experienced something, you know it. No person can persuade you otherwise.

The second type of truth gained by reasoning. In this case, the truth cannot be immediately verified because the subject is too small (like atomic particles) or too large (like the movement of planets through time) or too abstract (like ideas). something may be true, but its truth is borne out by analysis rather than physical testing.

Either of these two types of truths has a range of validity. They are relative. Therefore, though truths are superior to falsehood, opinions, beliefs, and superstition, they each have limits. There is a third type of truth that is different from these two.

This is a way of direct spiritual knowing. Wholly internal, this mode is the direct experiencing of truth through the opening of higher faculties. Meditation gives one perceptions of absolute certainty. There is no doubt or need of other investigations; this knowledge is beyond words, descriptions, and rationalization. In fact, one must be careful not to let the fruits of one’s meditation pass into the realm of rationalization. This will subject you to the relativity of external truths and ruin your confidence. to avoid doubts and conflicting opinions, followers of Tao keep their revelations secret. Then what is known directly is absolutely yours.

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