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In Loving Memory of Vic

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Daily Recovery Readings – June 12

Just For Today
June 12
A Vision Of Hope

“Yes, we are a vision of hope…”
Basic Text, p. 51

By the time we reached the end of our road, many of us had lost all hope for a life without the use of drugs. We believed we were destined to die from our disease. What an inspiration it was, then, coming to our first meeting and seeing a room full of addicts who were staying clean! A clean addict is, indeed, a vision of hope.

Today, we give that same hope to others. The newcomers see the joyful light in our eyes, notice how we carry ourselves, listen to us speak in meetings, and often want what we have found. They believe in us until they learn to believe in themselves.

Newcomers hear us carry a message of hope to them. They tend to see us through “rose-colored glasses,” They don’t always recognize our struggle with a particular character defect or our difficulties with improving our conscious contact with our Higher Power. It takes them time to realize that we, the “old-timers” with three or six or ten years clean, often place personalities before principles or suffer from some other unsightly character defects. Yes, the newcomer sometimes places us on a pedestal. It is good, though, to openly admit the nature of our struggles in recovery for, in time, the newcomer will be walking through those same trials. And that newcomer will remember that others walked through that difficulty and stayed clean.

Just for today: I will remember that I am a beacon to all who follow in my path, a vision of hope.

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Daily Reflections
June 12
FORMING TRUE PARTNERSHIPS

But it is from our twisted relations with family, friends, and society at large that many of us have suffered the most.  We have been especially stupid and stubborn about them. The primary fact that we fail to recognize is our total inability to form a true partnership with another human being.
TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 53

Can these words apply to me, am I still unable to form a true partnership with another human being? What a terrible handicap that would be for me to carry into my sober life! In my sobriety I will meditate and pray to discover how I may be a trusted friend and companion.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day
June 12
A.A. Thought For The Day

When we came into A.A., we made a tremendous discovery. We found that we were sick persons rather than moral lepers. We were not such odd ducks as we thought we were. We found other people who had the same illness that we had, who had been through the same experiences that we had been through. They had recovered. if they could do it, we could do it. Was hope born in me the day I walked into A.A.?

Meditation For The Day

“He that heareth these sayings and doeth them is like unto a man who built his house upon a rock and the rain descended and the floods came and the wind blew and beat upon that house and it fell not for it was founded upon a rock.” When your life is built upon obedience to God and upon doing His will as you understand it, you will be steadfast and unmovable even in the midst of storms. The serene, steadfast, unmovable life – the rock home – is laid stone by stone – foundation, walls, and roof – by acts of obedience to the heavenly vision. The daily following of God’s guidance and the daily doing of His will shall build your house upon a rock.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that my life may be founded upon the rock of faith.  I pray that I may be obedient to the heavenly vision.

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As Bill Sees It
June 12
Release and Joy, p. 163

Who can render an account of all the miseries that once were ours, and who can estimate the release and joy that later years have brought to us? Who can possibly tell the vast consequences of what God’s work through A.A. has already set in motion?

And who can penetrate the deeper mystery of our wholesale deliverance from slavery, a bondage to a most hopeless and fatal obsession which for centuries possessed the minds and bodies of men and women like ourselves?

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

We think cheerfulness and laughter make for usefulness. Outsiders are sometimes shocked when we burst into merriment over a seemingly tragic experience out of the past. But why shouldn’t we laugh? We have recovered, and have helped others to recover. What greater cause could there be for rejoicing than this?

1. A.A. Comes Of Age, pp. 44-45
2. Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 132

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Walk in Dry Places
June 12
Being right or wrong
Honesty

Step Ten advises us to promptly admit it when we’re wrong. Perhaps there should be another Step warning us not to be too confident when we’re sure we’re right.

It’s true that there are many times when we are right. It’s also possible, however, that we might be only 99 percent right, and that tiny fractions of error could mean our downfall.

Something is also wrong when we find ourselves vigorously asserting that we’re right. We don’t have to “admit it” when we’re right because being right speaks for itself. In the long run, truth and right action don’t really have to be defended. Part of being right is the willingness to believe that we may be wrong, however hard that is to accept.

If I’m wrong today, I’ll admit it. If I’m right, I’ll refrain from announcing it with too much assurance.

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Keep It Simple
June 12

The lust for power is not rooted in strength, but to weakness.

We believed Alcohol or other drugs could help us control our happiness. But now we’re learning to rely on faith for our happiness. Faith is about leaving things to our Higher Power’s control. Instead of wanting the control ourselves, we trust our Higher Power will help us handle things that come along.

In recovery, we work at having more faith. Faith in a Higher Power. Faith in the Steps. Faith in our groups. Faith that our lives will get better, if we don’t use chemicals and we work an honest recovery program. Faith makes life a lot easier.

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Each Day a New Beginning
June 12

If people only knew the healing power of laughter and joy, many of our fine doctors would be out of business. Joy is one of nature’s greatest medicines. Joy is always healthy. A pleasant state of mind tends to bring abnormal conditions back to normal.
—Catherine Ponder

Feeling joyful may not come naturally to us most of the time. We may, in fact, have to “act as if” with great effort. We may not even recognize genuine joy in the beginning. A technique for finding it is living fully in the present and with gratitude for all we can see, touch, and feel.

The open and honest expression of gratitude for the presence of the ones closest to us now creates a rush within our breasts, a rush that will be shared by our friends, too. Joy is contagious. Joy is freeing. Joy brings into focus our distorted perceptions. Greeting life with joy alters every experience for us and for those we share it with.

I will bring joy wherever I go today. I will give the gift of joy to everyone I meet.

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation
June 12
POTENTIAL

“There is no meaning to life except the meaning man gives his life by the unfolding of his powers.”
–Eric Fromm

My life was powerless when I was drinking. The drug alcohol stopped me from reaching my full potential – I was depressed, tired, angry, lonely and confused. Incredible as it may sound, I was the enemy to my life. By drinking alcohol, I fed the disease and made my life unmanageable.

Then I had a “moment” when I saw what I was doing to my life. The pain caused by drinking outweighed any advantages. I had hit my bottom. I began to change my life by refusing the first drink, and I began to experience a new vitality and potential. A new and creative life dawned. Friendships and relationships were possible again. God became understandable in His world. My power as a human being was unleashed in my sobriety.

Master, may I discover my potential in the loving decisions I undertake.

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Alcoholics Anonymous
June 12
Our Southern Friend

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

Some men and women come to visit my friend of the night before. He invites me to meet them. They are a joyous crowd. I have never seen people that joyous before. We talk. I tell them of the Peace, and that I believe in God. I think of my wife. I must write her. One girl suggests that I phone her. What a wonderful idea!

pp. 215-216

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions
June 12

Step Ten – “Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.”

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. For the wise have always known that no one can make much of his life until self-searching becomes a regular habit, until he is able to admit and accept what he finds, and until he patiently and persistently tries to correct what is wrong.

p. 88

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Xtra Thoughts
June 12

It is not enough to love those who are near and dear to us. We must show them that we do so.
–Lord Eric Avebury

Never say more than is necessary.
–Richard Brinsley Sheridan

“The power behind me is greater than the problem in front of me.”
–unknown

The surest sign of wisdom is constant cheerfulness.
–Montaigne

Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow, but only saps today of its strength.
–A. J. Cronin

“… when we choose not to focus on what is missing from our lives but are grateful for the abundance that’s present–love, health, family, friends, work, the joys of nature, and personal pursuits that bring us pleasure–the wasteland of illusion falls away and we experience heaven on earth.”
–Sarah Ban Brethnach

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Bible Scriptures
June 12

“For it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”
Luke 18:25

Don’t repay evil for evil. Don’t retaliate when people say unkind things about you. Instead, pay them back with a blessing. That is what God wants you to do, and he will bless you for it.
1 Peter 3:9

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature; old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
2 Corinthians 5:17

The LORD will continually guide you.
Isaiah 58:11

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Daily Inspiration
June 12

The more generous and kind we are, the more thoughtful and forgiving, the closer we come to awareness of God’s powerful love. Lord, let Your love take over in me and lead and guide me to goodness.

You cannot ask too much if you use your blessings ceaselessly. Lord, help me to reflect on and live in Your spirit.

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A Day At A Time
June 12

Many of us have had difficulty ridding ourselves of the ravages of guilt.  In my own case, during the early days in The Program, I either misunderstood certain of the Steps, or tried to apply them too quickly and too eagerly.  The result was that I increased my feelings of guilt and worthlessness, rather than freeing myself as The Steps intend.   Soon, though, I became at least willing to forgive myself, and I made a new beginning.  I undertook all the soul-searching and cleansing Steps in our Program as they were intended to be taken, and not from a below-ground position of crippling hate and guilt.  Have I made amends to myself?

Today I Pray

May I forgive myself, as God has forgiven me.  May I know that if I am hanging onto an old satchel full of guilt, then I am to following the example He has shown me.  If God can forgive me — and He has demonstrated His forgiveness by leading me to this healing place — then so can I.  May I not begrudge myself what He has so generously offered.

Today I Will Remember

God forgives;  so must I.

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One More Day
June 12

Develop an expanding sense of wonder at the world at yourself, at God.  The world will never starve for wonders — only for the want of wonder.
–  Bernard S. Raskas

A crisis in our lives can make us cruel and bitter but can also cause us to do some soul-searching.  Those of us who take inventory, who soul-search, may have a personal awakening to our capacity for joy and giving.  Being aware of the beauty and symmetry that constantly surround us allows the horizons of our minds to expand.

As our sense of spirituality becomes whole again, we are aware of our impact upon others and upon nature.

A spiritual sense of self is important in my quest to find out who I am and what kind of person I want to be.

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One Day At A Time
June 12
EXPECTATIONS

“It’s astonishing in this world how things don’t turn out at all the way you expect them to.”
–Agatha Christie

My life has been strangled by expectations ~ expectations I’ve held for myself; expectations others had of me; expectations I had of others; expectations I had for my life; and expectations I had of the God of my understanding. Again and again, my expectations were not met ~ and I was angry. I felt grossly let down and I was filled with resentment and shame. Eventually I became consumed by a toxic sense of angry and depressing apathy. If nothing turned out as I expected, why bother? I’d held so tightly to my expectations that they choked the life out of my soul. They condemned me to an existence of futility, frustration, selfishness, and despair. I thought that my expectations were realistic and “right”; therefore each variance from my expectations seemed a violation of the natural order of things.

Since beginning my Recovery work, I’ve come to recognize that I virtually believed that I was God. I thought I knew what was “best”, what was “right”, and what was “supposed” to happen. Though I am sometimes resistant, I am learning to let go of my expectations. I am learning to change my focus from my finite understanding to the mysterious and omniscient plan held safely and sanely in the hands of God. As I work my steps and learn from others, I find that I am relieved that my earlier expectations did not come to fruition.

One day at a time…
I surrender my former expectations and now expect only one thing: that as I work my steps, God will bring me increasing depths of sanity.

~ Sharon

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Elder’s Meditation of the Day June 12

“The faces of our future generations are looking up to us from the earth and we step with great care not to disturb our grandchildren.”
–Traditional Circle of Elders

The leaves, when they are finished with their life on the trees, will return to the Earth. The leaves that return to the Earth are the future trees. So inside the Mother Earth are the future forests. The human, when finished with its life on the Earth, will return to the Earth. So in the Earth are our future grandchildren. Knowing this, we should be respectful of the place where our future generations live. Only take from the Earth what you need. Every time you pick a plant or Medicine, leave an offering and leave a prayer. Be respectful and walk in a sacred way.

Great Spirit, teach me to respect the place of future generations.

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Journey to the Heart
June 12
Recharge Your Battery

Rest when you’re tired. Take a break when life stales. Take time to recharge your battery.

Energy isn’t something you have– it’s something you are. To give and give, to put out without taking in, depletes your battery. It drains you, runs you down. Running on a low battery is no longer necessary, because now we know how to live differently.

Taking time to rest, renew, and refresh yourself isn’t wasted time. Recharge. Choose what energizes you. Nature. A song. The voice of a friend. A nap. A hot bath. A cup of tea. A favorite program. A movie that makes you laugh or cry. A walk. A run. A prayer. A poem. A book that speaks to your soul.

Actions that emerge from an energized source are easier, go further, accomplish more. Let your work and love come from a vital spirit.

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Today’s Gift
June 12

The more a diamond is cut, the more it sparkles.
—Anonymous

There is something of value to be found even in the worst of things. Consider the oyster. When a grain of sand penetrates an oyster’s shell, it irritates the oyster, making it uncomfortable. The oyster relieves the pain by coating the sand with a soothing liquid. When this liquid hardens, a pearl is formed. The very process that healed the oyster creates a precious jewel for others to cherish and admire.

The way in which we deal with our own frustrations – painful though they may be – can make a difference. Pearls can be formed from our experiences, making us wiser and stronger, or grains of sand – anger, bitterness, resentment–can remain imbedded inside us. The choice is ours.

How can I turn my irritations into pearls today?

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The Language of Letting Go
June 12
Spontaneity and Fun

Practice being spontaneous. Practice having fun.

The joy of recovery is that we finally get to experiment. We get to learn new behaviors, and we don’t have to do them perfectly. We only need to find a way that works for us. We even have fun experimenting, learning what we like, and how to do what we like.

Many of us have gotten into a rut with rigidity, martyrdom, and deprivation. One of the “normal” experiences many of us have been deprived of is having fun. Another one is being spontaneous. We may not have the foggiest notion what we would like to do for fun. And we may hold ourselves in check so tightly that we wouldn’t allow ourselves to try something fun anyway.

We can let ourselves go a little now and then. We can loosen up a bit. We don’t have to be so stiff and rigid, so frightened about being who we are. Take some risks. Try some new activities. What would we like to do? What might we enjoy doing? Then, take another risk. Pick out a movie we’d like to see; call a friend, and invite him or her to go along. If that person says no, try someone else, or try again another time.

Decide to try something, and then go through with it. Go once. Go twice. Practice having fun until fun becomes fun.

Today, I will do something just for fun. I will practice having fun until I actually enjoy it.

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More Language Of Letting Go
June 12
Relaxing will help you work

Joe is a professional chef. He started working in kitchens before he was in his teens. Gradually, he worked his way up from washing dishes until he found himself running a successful catering operation. The only problem was, the more successful the business became, the less time Joe had for the rest of his life. Joe reveled in the knowledge that he was the hardest-working guy he knew. In his mind, the company existed solely because he was there.

Joe was surprised when his wife left him for someone less successful.

“How could she do that to me?” he moaned to friends. “I worked my tail off so she could have nice things and this is how she repays me?” Then one day while catering a wedding, he realized what happened. He hadn’t been present for his marriage. He had fallen victim to his own success, imprisoned by the company he had created. He took a day off. Then a weekend. Then he trained an assistant to help run the company. It cost him money at the outset, but he discovered life in the process. “I was so busy being a success,” he says, “that I didn’t realize how miserable I was.” When he took a vacation to the Southwest, his culinary instincts got the best of him and he spent half of the vacation learning new recipes, but he had fun.”For the first time in years, I was playing in the kitchen again rather than just working,” Joe says.

Today Joe has discovered the joy of balance. He no longer feels that he alone must bear the weight of the world, and is stronger for it. His business is growing and he has gotten a reputation as an innovator, largely due to things he has learned while not in the kitchen. When we’re successful, it’s difficult to take time away from our work; it feels like the success that we worked so hard for will slip away if we’re not there tending to it every moment. The truth is, we get so busy earning a living that we forget to have a life.

Take some time to see if you could spend a little less time at the office and a little more time with yourself and the ones you love. You might be pleasantly surprised at the effect a break can have on your motivation and the joy you have for what you do.

God, teach me– and help me learn– to have fun in my life, my work, and my relationships with the people I love.

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Touchstones Meditations For Men
June 12

Originality is unexplored territory. You get there by carrying a canoe – you can’t take a taxi.
—Alan Alda

We are on an adventure trip in this program. Each of us is a wilderness that is only partly explored and mapped. We can’t know exactly what we will find along the way, but we can expect to find some great and moving beauty, some spectacular experiences, as well as awesome and frightening ones, and some soft, pleasant rest spots. Any day will have a mixture of various feelings.

This program is not a map of the uncharted territory. It is a guide for survival in the wilderness. It tells us how to orient ourselves when there are no familiar landmarks and how to learn and grow from the experience. The more time we spend in this wilderness, exploring the mystery of living, the more comfortable we become with it and the greater appreciation we have for its unique beauty.

Today, I pray for the courage to explore the original person I was created to be.

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Daily TAO
June 12
Navigation

Do you know
Where you are
On your journey?

Tao’s movement has been compared to the flow of rivers. Its vastness has been compared to that of oceans. Some people are content to float here and there with the tide, but for others such passivity is impossible. We have to navigate.

Like early explorers on the high seas, we know where we want to go. That’s when studying precedence is important. The wisdom of those who went before us is like a map. The truths regarding Tao are like the stars. We determine our goals, and we set out according to what we know what we learn. The future is always uncertain; that is why it is important to objectively evaluate where we are on our spiritual path.

If you are confronted with a pivotal decision and cannot think of any other way to act, write down all the good things and all the bad things about a given situation. Also include how much more you want to do. See if staying your course will give you what you want. If not, change, no matter how deeply that will disrupt your routine. Some people never know where they are in life. and that is one of the biggest reasons they are unhappy.

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In God’s Care
June 12

When a person is concerned only with giving, there is no anxiety.
~~Gerald Jampolsky

Whatever we give away returns to us, many-fold. When we show love or understanding, when we are gentle or express genuine concern, usually the same will come right back to us. Perhaps not in kind, maybe not in ways we expected, nevertheless our gifts bear fruit.

Many of us have longed for love and security to come from others with a promise of forever; inevitably, we became anxious that, in time, that love or security would disappear. When we view life from such a narrow perspective, no amount of love can bolster our sense of worth.

How different the world looks when we unselfishly give out love rather than longingly await the love, attention, or understanding of others. We guarantee receiving the good feelings we crave every time we share those feelings with a fellow traveler.

    I am in charge of what I receive from others today. I will get back what I willingly give.

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Day By Day
June 12
    Letting go of our defects

We’re not like everyone else. We demand attention. We would die if we found out we’re not the center of a few lives. We want reassurances that we’re coming across as the generous, honorable people we are striving to become, but we soon realize that character defects and self-centeredness still plague us.

When we get a glimpse from time to time of how others see us, it can be a dreadful, painful experience. If it weren’t for the loving attitude of our fellow addicts, many of us could not endure it. But the growth process is worth the pain as we find out that we’re gradually becoming the generous, honorable people that we want to be.

Am I letting go of my defects?

    Higher Power, help me to see myself as I truly am to begin to let go of my character defects.

    Today I will work on self-centeredness by…

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