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In Loving Memory of Vic

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Daily Recovery Readings – June 19

Just For Today
June 19
A Sense Of Humor

“We find that when we lose self-obsession, we are able to understand what it means to be happy, joyous, and free.”
Basic Text, p.103

The laughter in our meetings often surprises the newcomer. As a group, we appreciate the healing that healthy laughter brings. Even if we are deeply troubled, the joy that often fills the meeting rooms allows us, for a time, to have some fun with our recovery. Through humor, we can be temporarily relieved of our obsession with self.

Life on life’s terms is often anything but funny. But if we can keep a sense of humor about us, things that might overwhelm us can be made bearable. How often have we allowed ourselves to be upset by incidents that, taken with a bit of humor, are not all that intolerable? When we become annoyed with people and events, a search for the humor in the situation can put things in a brighter perspective. An ability to find humor in a difficult situation is a gift to develop.

Just for today: I will look to find the humor in adversity. When I make mistakes, I will find a way to laugh at the humor of my imperfections.

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Daily Reflections
June 19
“A.A. REGENERATION”

Such is the paradox of A.A. regeneration: strength arising out of complete defeat and weakness, the loss of one’s old life as a condition for finding a new one.
A.A. COMES OF AGE, p. 46

A thousand beatings by Barleycorn did not encourage me to admit defeat. I believed it was my moral obligation to conquer my “enemy-friend.” At my first A.A. meeting I was blessed with a feeling that it was all right to admit defeat to a disease which had nothing to do with my “moral fiber.” I knew instinctively that I was in the presence of a great love when I entered the doors of A.A. With no effort on my part, I became aware that to love myself was good and right, as God had intended. My feeling set me free, where my thoughts had held me in bondage. I am grateful.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day
June 19
A.A. Thought For The Day

We have this choice every day of our lives. We can take the path that leads to insanity and death. And remember, our next drunk could be our last one. Or we can take the path that leads to a reasonably happy and useful life. The choice is ours each day of our lives. God grant that we take the right path. Have I made my choice today?

Meditation For The Day

Your real work in life is to grow spiritually. To do this you must follow the path of diligently seeking good. The hidden spiritual wonders are revealed to those who diligently seek this treasure. From one point to the next, you have to follow the way of obedience to God’s will until finally you reach greater and greater spiritual heights. Work on the material plane should be secondary to your real life’s work. The material things that you need most are those that help you to attain the spiritual.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may keep growing spiritually. I pray that I may make this my real life’s work.

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As Bill Sees It
June 19
Whose Will? p. 170

We have seen A.A.’s ask with much earnestness and faith for God’s explicit guidance on matters ranging all the way from a shattering domestic or financial crisis to a minor personal fault, like tardiness. A man who tries to run his life rigidly by this kind of prayer, by this self-serving demand of God for replies, is a particularly disconcerting individual. To any questioning or criticism of his actions, he instantly proffers his reliance upon prayer for guidance in all matters great or small.

He may have forgotten the possibility that his own wishful thinking and the human tendency to rationalize have distorted his so-called guidance. With the best of intentions, he tends to force his will into all sorts of situations and problems with the comfortable assurance that he is acting under God’s specific direction.

12 & 12, pp. 103-104

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Walk In Dry Places
June 19
Open minded but concerned.
Responsibility

Open-mindedness is a quality that helps us attract new ideas for our self-improvement. Oddly, many of us though we were open-minded long before we ever considered a 12 Step program.

We learned that what we considered open-mindedness was really indifference based on self-justification. It follow that people who are deep into selfish, compulsive behavior will appear to be open-minded and even very tolerant. This attitude is really the result of a desire to be accepted in spite of questionable behavior. It reflects no concern for others.

In living the program, we seek to cultivate true open-mindedness. This means being open to new ideas and opportunities, but also being concerned about others and taking care not to harm them.

Today I’ll be open to what people are thinking and saying. I will be careful not to let my own prejudices keep me from viewpoints that will help me and others.

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Keep It Simple
June 19

If you tell the truth, you don’t need to remember anything.
—Mark Twain

One thing is a lot easier in life now is this—we can keep our story straight! We are learning that there’s one really good way to get along with people. Keep It Simple. Just tell the truth.

It’s hard to do at first. We might think, “If people see the real me, what will happen?” We might be afraid of what will happen if we don’t lie or make excuses.

But telling the truth works! We find out we never did fool anyone anyway!

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, make me honest.

Action for the Day: I’ll list all the ways honesty will help me in recovery. I’ll sign-up to give a meeting on honesty.

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Each Day a New Beginning
June 19

One receives only that which is given. The game of life is a game of boomerangs. Our thoughts, deeds and words, return to us sooner or later, with astounding accuracy.
—Florence Scovel Shin

Each of us can attest to the truth of this passage. During the difficult times, however, it is not uppermost in our minds that “what goes around, comes around.” It feels all too easy to be justifiably resentful or to gossip, or to ignore another’s presence. And the repercussions are seldom immediate. They will come, though.

Goodness is likewise repaid. Giving love, attention, and respect to the individuals who share our lives and to the people who cross our paths by chance, will smooth our own passage day by day. The effects of our goodness will often be felt quickly. A smile elicits a smile. Kind thoughts bless us as well as the receiver. Life events do come full circle.

With a bit of effort, I can smile at someone today, even though I’m frowning inside. Both will be better for it.

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition
June 19
The Vicious Cycle

How it finally broke a Southerner’s obstinacy and destined this salesman to start A.A. at Philadelphia.

Here I was, thirty-nine years old and a complete washout. Nothing had worked. Mother would take me in only if I would stay locked in a small storeroom and give her my clothes and shoes. We had played this game before. That is the way Jackie found me, lying on a cot in my skivvies, with hot and cold sweats, pounding heart and that awful itchy scratchiness all over. Somehow I had always managed to avoid D.T.’s.

p. 219

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions
June 19

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

In all these situations we need self-restraint, honest analysis of what is involved, a willingness to admit when the fault is ours, and an equal willingness to forgive when the fault is elsewhere. We need not be discouraged when we fall into the error of our old ways, for these disciplines are not easy. We shall look for progress, not for perfection.

p. 91

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Xtra Thoughts
June 19

“Praying is asking God for help, meditating is listening for God’s answer.” “Keep trying” is the rule that must be followed to become successful in anything.”

It isn’t “me” and “you” anymore; it’s “we” and “us.” I get drunk. We stay sober! It’s a we program…..

“The way to develop the best that is in a man is by appreciation and encouragement.”
–Charles Schwab

As thou valuest thyself, others will esteem thee.
–Gaelic Proverb

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation
June 19
PREJUDICE

“A great many people think they are thinking when they are only rearranging their prejudices.”
–William James

An aspect of prejudice in my life is my refusal to listen. I tend to stay with my own thinking and I “shut off” people or ideas I do not want to hear. The problem with this attitude is that it does not lead to discussion, growth or change.

Spirituality is having the capacity to hear what others are saying, even people you may not like or respect, and also being prepared to live with and alongside confusion and “difference”. Truth is a many-sided diamond, and it cannot be comprehended from one viewpoint. I need to remove my prejudices if I am ever to move towards an understanding of God’s truth.

I need to learn in my heart that there is that “image” of God in every person I meet.

Teach me to listen so that I may hear, so that I may grow.

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Bible Scriptures
June 19

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.
Ephesians 2:8-9

“So don’t be afraid, little flock. For it gives your Father great happiness to give you the Kingdom.”
Luke 12:32

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Daily Inspiration
June 19

Trust yourself more than you trust the pressures of society and the ways other people try to influence you. Lord, strengthen me and continue to bless me with wisdom so that I can stand firm on my beliefs and know that how I feel is very important to me.

It is not making a mistake, but repeating it that is cause for concern. Lord, may I use my mistakes to guide me to better choices.

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A Day At A Time
June 19

Refection For The Day

The Program teaches us that only one consideration should qualify our desire to completely disclose the damage we’ve done.  And that’s where a full revelation would seriously harm the one to whom we’re making amends.  Or, just as important, other people.  We can hardly unload a detailed account of extramarital misadventures, for example, on the shoulders of an unsuspecting wife or husband.  When we recklessly make the burdens of others wavier, such actions surely can’t lighten our own burden.  Sometimes, in that sense, “telling all” may be almost a self indulgence for us.  So in making amends, we should be tactful, sensible, considerate, and humble — without being servile.  As a child of God, do I stand on my feet and not crawl before anyone?

Today I Pray

May God show me that self-hatred has no role in making amends to others.  Neither has the play-acting of self-indulgence.  I ask most humbly for His guidance as I strive to maintain a mature balance in interpersonal relations, even in the most casual or fragile ones.

Today I Will Remember

Making amends is mending.

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One More Day
June 19

We can either change the complexities of life… or develop ways to enable us to cope more effectively.
–  Herbert Benson

Our illnesses have brought many new complexities into our lives, and our reactions may become much more intense as time goes on — especially if we feel helpless or pity ourselves.

All people have crises in their lives.  Our medical conditions don’t give us immunity from the normal problems, pains, and disappointments that all of us must face.  If anything, we may have an advantage over people who have never had health problems;  we have learned some coping skills in dealing with our medical conditions.  Also, we have become more open to advice and support from others.  We can be proud of how far we’ve come;  we can be optimistic of how far we can go.

I will gladly exchange help and support with my friends.

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One Day At A Time
June 19
KIND WORDS

“Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.”
–Mother Teresa

How many times are we gifted with newcomers to our meetings? They are so easy to see as they huddle in the back of the room — usually as close to the exit as possible. Their oversized coat is a good giveaway, especially in July. Their eyes show the fear and anxiety that we all felt. Sure, we made it, and so can they.

I remember the elder who first said those magical words to me — those two simple words — “Welcome Home.” The warmth and safety those words held were immense. I felt that my body was huge, and I was embarrassed in a room full of people who looked very similar to me…but my eyes could not see that. They were filled with tears because of those two words. Welcome home. Whoever that person was, I have two words for you, “Thank you.”

What can you do to make a newcomer feel welcome to your meeting? Let us not forget that all-important first hug. I remember mine; do you remember yours? It felt good, I’ll bet. So welcome the newcomer and let them know they are home.

One day at a time…
I will do my part to welcome the newcomer into our fellowship.

~ Danny

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Elder’s Meditation of the Day – June 19

“Respect should be given those indigenous nations who still carry on their ceremonies; still following the ancient laws of nature with songs and ceremonies.”
–Oren R. Lyons, Spokesman, Traditional Circle of Elders

Many of our Tribes still have the ceremonies, songs and traditions. Today, the ceremonies and songs are coming back even stronger. The Elders have a lot of this knowledge. The young people need to learn these songs and traditions from the Elders. This is the strength of the people. The ancient Wisdom and Knowledge of ancient Laws are hidden in the ceremonies and songs. We should seek out these songs and ceremonies.

Great Spirit, teach me the songs and ceremonies. Make my eyes open to see.

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Journey To The Heart
June 19
Your Heart Will Guide You Through

If you feel confused, alone, unsure of what to do next, go back to a place you can trust– your heart. In matters of work, money, love, play, go back to your heart.

The issues that arise in your life can be dealt with from the heart. You will be guided through gently, safely, with love and truth, along the path that’s best for you. Are you feeling upset? Do you wonder why things aren’t working out? Are you unsure of the map, uncertain of the next step, wondering how to untangle the mess of the past?

The answer isn’t in your head, it’s in your heart. It’s not outside of you, although sometimes we receive guidance from others. The answer you’re seeking, the guidance you’re looking for needs to feel right to you. It needs to resonate with your heart. Your heart is the center, the balance point for your emotions, your intellect, and your soul. Your heart is safe.

Go back to your heart. It will always lead you home.

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Today’s Gift
June 19

Jealousy is cruel as the grave.
—Song of Solomon

Most bushes and small trees need trimming every year. They have branches that hang out over the sidewalk and get in people’s way. Sometimes the branches grow so long and low to the ground that the tree looks weighted down.

Jealousy is like an overgrown branch -it weighs us down. It is one of those feelings all of us deal with. We may be jealous of someone’s looks or talent, or maybe even their good luck. Like the overgrown branches, jealousy sticks out all over and gets in other people’s way as well as our own. It is a part of us we need to keep cutting back.

If we are good gardeners, we will get out the clippers. Seeing and talking about our jealousy is the best way to start using those clippers. If we do this, our own leaves will be healthier, and our blossoms will grow.

Is there someone I am jealous of? Can I use my clippers today?

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The Language of Letting Go
June 19
Making Life Easier

Life doesn’t have to be hard.

Yes, there are times we need to endure, struggle through, and rely on our survival skills. But we don’t have to make life, growth, recovery, change, or our day-to-day affairs that hard all the time.

Having life be that hard is a remnant of our martyrdom, a leftover from old ways of thinking, feeling, and believing. We are worthy, even when life isn’t that hard. Our value and worth are not determined by how hard we struggle.

If we’re making it that hard, we may be making it harder than it needs to be, said one woman. Learn to let things happen easily and naturally. Learn to let events, and our participation in them, fall into place. It can be easy now. Easier than it has been. We can go with the flow, take the world off our shoulders, and let our Higher Power ease us into where we need to be.

Today, I will stop struggling so hard. I will let go of my belief that life and recovery have to be hard. I will replace it with a belief that I can walk this journey in ease and peace. And sometimes, it can actually be fun.

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More Language Of Letting Go
June 19
Relax enough to face reality when life twists and turns

Sometimes in life, no matter how deeply we intend to make the best decisions possible for ourselves, things happen. Marriages end, jobs turn sour, friends wane. For reasons outside our control or understanding, the situation twists and turns into something other than what we bargained for.

Have you been waiting for a situation to revert to what it originally was–or what you hoped it would be when you got in? Are you telling yourself that there’s something wrong with you, when the reality is, the situation has changed into something other than what you thought it was? Things often don’t go as smoothly as we planned. Sometimes, we need to endure amd get through the rough spots. But I’m talking about those grindingly difficult moments when life suddenly twists on us.

These are the times we need to quit torturing ourselves. Let go of what you thought would happen. If life has twisted on you, don’t turn on yourself. Don’t try to make things be the way they were. Come up to speed. Return to now. Let yourself accept the new situation at hand.

The road isn’t always a straight course. Sometimes, even a path with heart unexpectedly twists and turns.

God, help me relax and trust myself enough to deal with reality, not my fantasy of what I hoped it would be.

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Touchstones Meditation For Men
June 19

Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it.
—Helen Keller

When a man looks at his life and at the lives of others, it is clear that pain is part of life. We cannot escape this tragic truth; our growth and our wholeness must include it because our recovery stresses honesty. In our old way of living, we may have been bitter. Many of us felt sorry for ourselves. Some of us cursed God and wasted time in our self-centeredness thinking life was especially unfair to us. Life is not fair; it just is. It is left to us to choose how we will respond.

People’s responses to life inspire us. We not only acknowledge the pain, but we see the heroic lives of others around us. They met their limitations and went forward with a willing spirit and faith. Today we can be grateful for the progress we have made in overcoming our suffering. We have friends who give us the joy of human contact. We have choices and possibilities where we never saw them before. We have a growing self-respect as men.

I accept the reality of life, and I will respond with faith in the choices I make today.

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Daily TAO
June 19
Shrine

      Wade the warm stream to
      The shrine across the river of golden sound.
Where a drunken bee drones the holy syllable
      Over a crimson lotus.
      Rich mango magenta and spice offerings
      Are piled high by the devout.
      Entering into hut of blue stone – 
      Cool black interior smeared with incense and 
      Pierced with tiny triangles of candle flame –
      Ordinary cares fall to the crystalline floor.
      Fiery letters appear in the air
      And reappear in your heart.

It is good to have holy places in the world, and it is good for us to go on pilgrimages. Ultimately, it is not the place that is important; it is what you feel that is lasting. To visit a place is minor; to change within yourself is greater.

When people visit a holy place, some say the spirits of that place speak to them. Others remember the exotic pageantry. When it comes to sacred sites, it’s better to be a pilgrim than a tourist. Go with a humble attitude, and let your heart be moved by what you experience. Then you will receive the true treasure of the shrine.

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Food for Thought
June 19
Taking Inventory

Blaming circumstances and other people for our difficulties, including compulsive overeating, is counterproductive. We cannot control external circumstances or other people, but we can work on changing ourselves. In order to change, we first need to be aware of the attitudes and characteristics, which get us into trouble. If we overeat or have a tantrum when we do not get our own way, then we need to learn how to function without demanding that everything should go according to our personal schedule and preference.

We take inventory in Step Four and we continue to take it in Step Ten. It is a valuable tool for our growth. The amazing result is that as we recognize and begin to correct personal defects, our relationships with others improve tremendously. With a positive change in our attitude and behavior, there is a corresponding change in the way other people respond to us.

Taking inventory involves recognizing our good qualities as well as our weaknesses. In OA, we measure our wealth not by what we have but by what we have given.

Teach me to give.

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Daily Zen
June 19

Monks these days study hard in order to turn
A fine phrase and win fame as talented poets.
At Crazy Cloud’s hut there is no such talent,
But he serves up the taste of truth
As he boils rice in a wobbly old cauldron.

– Ikkyu (1394-1481)

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Faith’s Check Book
June 19
A Sound Heart

Let my heart be sound in thy statutes: that I be not ashamed.
(Psalm 119:80)

We may regard this inspired prayer as containing within itself the assurance that those who keep close to the Word of God shall never have cause to be ashamed of doing so.

See, the prayer is for soundness of heart. A sound creed is good, a sound judgment concerning it is better, but a sound heart toward the truth is best of all. We must love the truth, feel the truth, and obey the truth, otherwise we are not truly sound in God’s statutes. Are there many in these evil days who are sound? Oh, that the writer and the reader may be two of this sort!

Many will be ashamed in the last great day, when all disputes will be decided. Then they will see the folly of their inventions and be filled with remorse because of their proud infidelity and willful defiance of the Lord; but he who believed what the Lord taught and did what the Lord commanded will stand forth justified in what he did. Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun. Men much slandered and abused shall find their shame turned into glory in that day.

Let us pray the prayer of our text, and we may be sure that its promise will be fulfilled to us. If the Lord makes us sound, He will keep us safe.

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This Morning’s Meditation
June 19

“And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost.”
—Acts 2:4.

RICH were the blessings of this day if all of us were filled with the Holy Ghost. The consequences of this sacred filling of the soul it would be impossible to overestimate. Life, comfort, light, purity, power, peace; and many other precious blessings are inseparable from the Spirit’s benign presence. As sacred oil, He anoints the head of the believer, sets him apart to the priesthood of saints, and gives him grace to execute his office aright. As the only truly purifying water He cleanses us from the power of sin and sanctifies us unto holiness, working in us to will and to do of the Lord’s good pleasure. As the light, He manifested to us at first our lost estate, and now He reveals the Lord Jesus to us and in us, and guides us in the way of righteousness. Enlightened by His pure celestial ray, we are no more darkness but light in the Lord. As fire, He both purges us from dross, and sets our consecrated nature on a blaze. He is the sacrificial flame by which we are enabled to offer our whole souls as a living sacrifice unto God. As heavenly dew, He removes our barrenness and fertilizes our lives. O that He would drop from above upon us at this early hour! Such morning dew would be a sweet commencement for the day. As the dove, with wings of peaceful love He broods over His Church and over the souls of believers, and as a Comforter He dispels the cares and doubts which mar the peace of His beloved. He descends upon the chosen as upon the Lord in Jordan, and bears witness to their sonship by working in them a filial spirit by which they cry Abba, Father. As the wind, He brings the breath of life to men; blowing where He listeth He performs the quickening operations by which the spiritual creation is animated and sustained. Would to God, that we might feel His presence this day and every day.

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In God’s Care
June 19

Our immediate temptation will be to ask for specific solutions to specific problems, and for the ability to help other people as we have already thought they shoud be helped. In that case, we are asking God to do it our way.
~~Bill W.

As much as we say we want God’s will to be done, we often find ourselves asking God to do what we think is best. Always, of course, with the best intentions. Who would not want a sick friend to get well, a spouse to earn a raise in pay? And what about our own needs? What’s the harm in a specific request? Surely we all do this. But isn’t it a bit presumptuous of us to decide what is best for ourselves or anyone else?

Love and compassion may motivate our prayers, but only God knows what each or us needs to experience and learn. If we insist on seeing things happen our way we’re not trusting God’s plan for us. A loving God will see that our needs are supplied without instructions from us.

Instead of asking for what I want, I will pray to be open to God’s will.

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Day By Day
June 19
Doing the footwork

We often ask our Higher Power for spiritual assets without recognizing the work we need to do to get them. To grow strong, we must learn to carry burdens; to gain patience, we must learn to handle stress; to follow God’s will, we must become willing to let go. To be courageous, we must practice faith in the face of fear; to be right, we must learn to admit wrongs; to be loved, we must learn to be loving.

Our Higher Power gives us opportunities to grow. The footwork is up to us.

Am I doing my part?

Higher Power, help me to recognize, and do, my part in recovery.

Today I will do the footwork necessary to…

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