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In Loving Memory of Vic

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Daily Recovery Readings – June 2

Just For Today
June 2
Sick And Tired

“We wanted an easy way out…. When we did seek help we were only looking for the absence of pain.”
Basic Text, p. 5

Something’s not working. In fact, something’s been wrong for a long time, causing us pain and complicating our lives. The problem is that, at any given moment, it always appears easier to continue bearing the pain of our defects than to submit to the total upheaval involved in changing the way we live. We may long to be free of pain, but only rarely are we willing to do what’s truly necessary to remove the source of pain from our lives.

Most of us didn’t begin seeking recovery from addiction until we were “sick and tired of being tired and sick.” The same is true of the lingering character defects we’ve carried through our lives. Only when we can’t bear our shortcomings one moment longer, only when we know that the pain of change can’t be as bad as the pain we’re in today, are most of us willing to try something different.

Thankfully, the steps are always there, no matter what we’re sick and tired of. The irony is that, as soon as we make the decision to begin the Twelve Step process, we realize our fears of change were groundless. The steps offer a gentle program of change, one step at a time. No single step is so frightening that we can’t work it, by itself. As we apply the steps to our lives, we experience a change that frees us.

Just for today: No matter what prevents me from living a full, happy life, I know the program can help me change, a step at a time. I need not be afraid of the Twelve Steps.

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Daily Reflections
June 2
THE UPWARD PATH

Here are the steps we took. . . . .
ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 59

These are the words that lead into the Twelve Steps. In their direct simplicity they sweep aside all psychological and philosophical considerations about the rightness of the Steps.  They describe what I did: I took the Steps and sobriety was the result. These words do not imply that I should walk the well-trodden path of those who went before, but rather that there is a way for me to become sober and that it is a way I shall have to find. It is a new path, one that leads to infinite light at the top of the mountain. The Steps advise me about the footholds that are safe and about chasms to avoid. They provide me with the tools I need during the many parts of the solitary journey of my soul. When I speak of this journey, I share my experience, strength and hope with others.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day
June 2
A.A. Thought For The Day

Some more things I do not miss since becoming dry: wondering if the car is in the garage and how I got home; struggling to remember where I was and what I did since my last conscious moment; trying to delay getting off to work, and wondering how I will look when I get there; dreading the day ahead of me. I’m quite sure that I don’t miss these things, am I not?

Meditation For The Day

You cannot believe in God and keep your selfish ways. The old self shrivels up and dies, and upon the reborn soul God’s image becomes stamped. The gradual elimination of selfishness in the growth of love for God and your fellow human beings is the goal of life. At first, you have only a faint likeness to the Divine, but the picture grows and takes on more and more of the likeness of God until those who see you can see in you some of the power of God’s grace at work in a human life.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may develop that faint likeness I have to the Divine. I pray that others may see in me some of the power of God’s grace at work.

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As Bill Sees It
June 2
Without Anger, p. 153

Suppose A.A. falls under sharp public attack or heavy ridicule, having little or no justification in fact. Our best defense in these situations would be no defense whatever–namely, complete silence at the public level. If in good humor we let unreasonable critics alone, they are apt to subside more quickly. If their attacks persist and it is plain that they are misinformed, it may be wise to communicate with them privately in a temperate and informative way.

If, however, a given criticism of A.A. is partly or wholly justified, it may well be to acknowledge this privately to the critics, together with our thanks.

But under no conditions should we exhibit anger or any punitive intent.

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

What we must recognize is that we exult in some of our defects.  Self-righteousness anger can be very enjoyable. In a perverse way we can actually take satisfaction from the fact that many people annoy us; it brings a comfortable feeling of superiority.

1. Twelve Concepts, p. 69
2. 12 & 12, pp. 66-67

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Walk in Dry Places
June 2
Why admitting we’re wrong is right
Right action

Sometimes it’s painful or almost impossible to admit that we’ve been wrong. This means we’ll probably go on making the same mistakes until we’re forced to face the truth. Why does this happen?

The problem lies with what we call the EGO in our Twelve step program discussions. We commit ourselves in defending this ego at al times, especially around people who seem to put us down. Far from being a minor correction, any admissions of wrong feels like total defeat, at least in our warped way of looking at things.

We can release ourselves from this bondage simply by coming to see that admitting and facing our wrongs is essential to growth. A store manager who overstocks a certain item “admits” the mistake by putting the goods on a clearance sale and getting rid of them. We can cut any loss in the same way by admitting a mistake and going on to a better course of action.

I’ll not plan to make any mistakes today, but I’ll hold myself in readiness to admit them if they occur. This is no threat to my ego. I am much more than my mistakes.

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Keep It Simple
June 2

Happiness is not a goal; it is a by-product.
—Eleanor Roosevelt

Most of us want to be happy. We just don’t know how. We aren’t sure what happiness is. We’ve learned the hard way that some things we wanted didn’t make us happy. We’re learning that happiness comes when we live the way our Higher Power wants us to live. That’s when we’re honest. When we do our best work. When we are a true friend. We make happiness; we don’t find it. Sometimes we don’t even know we’re happy. We’re too busy with our work, our recovery program, our friends and family. We need to slow down and know that when we do what we need to, happiness comes.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, help me know that I’m most happy when I listen to You and do Your will. You know better than I do what makes me happy.

Action for the Day: What parts of my program am I most happy about? Today I’ll think of these and enjoy myself.

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Each Day a New Beginning
June 2

I have come to realize that all my trouble with living has come from fear and smallness within me.
—Angela L. Wozniak

We create problems for ourselves because we think we need to be more than we are. We fear that we are inadequate to the task before us, fear that another woman is more attractive, fear that the friends around us are bored by our presence.

Fear hinders us; it prevents full involvement with the experiences we are given to grow on. When we withdraw from a situation in order to save ourselves from failure, we have chosen instead another kind of failure: failure to take all we can from life; failure to be all that we can be. Every experience can move us forward in the understanding of ourselves. When we withdraw, we stay stuck in a world we need to leave behind.

I will not fear whatever looks like trouble today. Nothing I can’t handle, in fact, nothing I can’t grow from will come my way today. My inner strength can see me through.

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Alcoholics Anonymous
June 2
Our Southern Friend

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

The doctors bills are heavy and the bank account is low. My wife’s parents come to our assistance. I am filled with hurt pride and self-pity. I seem to get no sympathy for my illness and have no appreciation of the love behind the gift.

p. 212

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions
June 2

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

After we have made the list of people we have harmed, have reflected carefully upon each instance, and have tried to possess ourselves of the right attitude in which to proceed, we will see that the making of direct amends divides those we should approach into several classes. There will be those who ought to be dealt with just as soon as we become reasonably confident that we can maintain our sobriety. There will be those to whom we can make only partial restitution, lest complete disclosures do them or others more harm than good. There will be other cases where action ought to be deferred, and still others in which by the very nature of the situation we shall never be able to make direct personal contact at all.

p. 83

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Xtra Thoughts
June 2

Everything has its wonders, even darkness and silence, and I learn whatever state I may be in, therein to be content.
–Helen Keller

I came to this program to save my butt and found out it was attached to my soul.
–Anonymous

“How things look on the outside of us depends on how things are on the inside of us.”
–Park Cousins

“I don’t know what your destiny will be, but one thing I do know: the only ones among you who will be really happy are those who have sought and found how to serve.”
–Albert Schweitzer (1875-1965)

“What we do in these rooms is we share our experience, strength, and hope. The worse it gets, the more we laugh and the better it gets, the more we cry. We call it Alcoholics Anonymous.”
–thanks to Norm A. for this wonderful quote

In this world, nothing is permanent except change.
–American Proverb

All things change, and we with them.
–American Proverb

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation
June 2
TIME

“Everything one does enough of eventually generates its own interest and one then begins to believe in it. ”
–Alan Dunn

I never thought that I could stay sober. For years I tried to abstain with no success. It was not the act of stopping that was different ( I could stop three times in one week!). It was staying stopped.

Then a man said, “Try stopping for twenty-four hours. If that proves too long, try stopping until the morning or for one hour or even for one minute . . . If the cravings gets too severe, call me but don’t take that first drink!” My abstinence began in periods of twenty-four hours.  Life is made up of days and we live in periods of twenty-four hours, so I live a day at a time. I was successful. I am successful. Today I have a number of years that are based on the simplicity of “don’t drink today “. I believe in it. I believe in me. And it gets better.

Lord of time, thank you for giving me the simplicity of days, hours and minutes.

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Bible Scriptures
June 2

You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You.
Isaiah 26:3

He saved us, not because of the good things we did, but because of his mercy. He washed away our sins and gave us a new life through the Holy Spirit. He generously poured out the Spirit upon us because of what Jesus Christ our Savior did.
Titus 3:5-6

You aren’t alone in your trials and struggles. God is your help and strength in time of need.
Hebrews 4:16

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Daily Inspiration
June 2

Sometimes it is better to remove things from your “to do” list rather than adding to it. Lord, give me the courage to say no to the things that cause me to feel overwhelmed.

Imagine that you were paid for every kindness and charged for every unkindness. Would you be rich or poor? Lord, I often pray for material wealth. Let me not neglect my soul by now praying for the ability to build my spiritual wealth also.

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One More Day
June 2

All our reasoning ends in surrender to feeling.
— Blaise Pascal

In all our endeavors it is apparent that success is possible only with persistent effort. We must all pay the price to achieve any worthwhile goal. We shouldn’t be surprised when negative thoughts enter our minds. These thoughts do not go away easily. We have human frailties, so our thoughts are often disorganized and feelings are to subdued or excessive. Perfection is not possible no matter how hard we try. But we can search for answers.

We can’t have things both ways, so we have to make choices. We can think through the trade-off before we make a choice. Whatever our choice, we should make it and accept it. Squandered chances to solve problems may be lost forever.

    I struggle with the same problems over and over again. Today, I resolve to start my search to find some answers.

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One Day At A Time
June 2
STEP ONE

“Well begun is half done.”
–Aristotle

The first time I took step one I knew that I was beat. Because I knew that I was beat, I knew I had to have help to survive. I sought and accepted that help in OA. I put the program into action. I completed the twelve steps and tasted recovery.

Over the years I have had to renew my step one, and each time I was convinced that I was not going to make it without the help in program. That spurred me on to complete the 12 steps many times. Step one is essentially what made me complete all twelve steps and go on to a fuller and fuller life in recovery. Without step one, there really was no need or motivation for steps two through twelve.

Recently I realized that step one is particularly necessary to do step twelve. I cannot help anyone without my Higher Power. I cannot control another’s program. I cannot carry the message on my own, nor can I practice the principles in all my affairs by myself. Step one — my powerlessness and my inability to manage — is a great blessing. It is what spurs me on to turn to my Higher Power in all tasks great and small; it is what helps me to gain more and more ground in recovery.

          One day at a time…
I will admit my powerlessness and my inability to manage, then I will turn to God Who will take me through my program and my life – with His power and His ability to manage.

~ Q

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Elder’s Meditation of the Day June 2

“The Natural Law is the final and absolute authority governing E Te No Ha, the earth we call our Mother.”
–Traditional Circle of Elders

There is no power greater than the Natural Laws. These powers were set up by the Great Spirit in such a way that the human being has no access to it, except by obeying. If we choose not to follow the Natural Laws, our live will be filled with confusion, tension, anxiety and stress. If we poison the Earth, we poison ourselves. If we poison the Water of the Earth, we poison ourselves. As we do to the Earth, we do to ourselves and our children, even the children unborn. May we think about this today and ask ourselves, “Are we holding and acting toward the Mother Earth in a good way?”

Great Spirit, teach me the Natural Laws that govern the Earth.

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Journey To The Heart
June 2
Why Hurry Through?

Why hurry through a day, an hour, a life?

Hurry never catches up with itself. It misses out. It strains. It stresses. It doesn’t trust the natural rhythm, the natural order, of the universe. Slow down. Tap into the rhythm of the world. Tap into your rhythm as you dance through life, as you dance through eternity.

When you hurry, it is as if we are dancing out of step to the music. We become out of sync. Our body strains and stresses. We stop enjoying life. We are too busy hurrying, racing blindly to somewhere, anywhere. We hurry so fast that when we get there, we don’t take the time to enjoy it. We simply hurry on to the next moment.

Step in time to the music– the rhythm of our soul. The rhythm will lead you where you want to go. It will take you through all the tasks that need doing. It will take you down the road to spiritual growth, healing fulfillment, and joy.

And you’ll have more fun going there because you weren’t in a hurry.

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Today’s Gift
June 2

Thoughts, rest your wings. Here is a hollow of silence, a nest of stillness, in which to hatch your dreams.
—Joan Walsh Anglund

There is silence in the nest before an egg is hatched. The mother robin must sit quietly and warm them enough to be hatched. During this time, the mother concentrates only on her eggs. She does not let herself be distracted.

There is a time of silence before anything creative is born. And there is silence in the mind before an idea is discovered. A nest is a safe place birds can always return to and be at home. We all need such a nest of silence – a place where we can be quiet and safe, where we can let ourselves be held, and rest.

Often, our best ideas come out of these quiet moments. Times of silence are good for our souls. Just like the robin eggs hatching, so will dreams and solutions grow out of our own nest of stillness.

How well will I use my quiet time today?

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The Language of Letting Go
June 2, 2011
Owning Our Power

We don’t have to give others so much power and ourselves so little. We don’t have to give others so much credit and ourselves so little. In recovery from codependency, we learn there’s a big difference between humility and discounting ourselves.

When others act irresponsibly and attempt to blame their problems on us, we no longer feel guilty. We let them face their own consequences.

When others talk nonsense, we don’t question our own thinking.

When others try to manipulate or exploit us, we know it’s okay to feel anger and distrust and to say no to the plan.

When others tell us that we want something that we really don’t want, or someone tells us that we don’t want something that we really do want, we trust ourselves. When others tell us things we don’t believe, we know it’s okay to trust our instincts.

We can even change our mind later.

We don’t have to give up our personal power to anyone: strangers, friends, spouses, children, authority figures, or those over whom we’re in authority. People may have things to teach us. They may have more information than we have, and may appear more confident or forceful than we feel. But we are equals. Our magic is not in them. Our magic, our light, is in us. And it is as bright a light as theirs.

We are not second-class citizens. By owning our power, we don’t have to become aggressive or controlling. We don’t have to discount others. But we don’t discount ourselves either.

Today, I will own my power with people. I will let myself know what I know, feel what I feel, believe what I believe, and see what I see. I will be open to changing and learning from others and experience, but I will trust and validate myself too. I will stand in my own truth.

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More Language Of Letting Go
June 2
Practice peace

I think that change often slips in when we’re relaxed inside of ourselves.
–Sark

Relax. Calm yourself down. Breathe consciously.

You don’t have to take a nap to relax, but sometimes it helps. So does taking a hot shower, walking through a forest, wading in a stream, drinking a cup of tea, going for a swim, watching a movie, listening to music, saying a prayer, meditating, getting a back rub, looking at the moon, or hearing a good joke.

Become conscious of how your body feels when you’re rrelaxed inside. How do you stand, walk, sit, breathe?

Become conscious of how you feel and what you think when you’re relaxed, It’s almost like nothingness, only you’re awake and aware. There are no angry thoughts and feelings. No frightened thoughts and feelings.

Practice relaxing until you can take that relaxed feeling with you no matter where you go or what you’re doing.

When’s a good time to relax? When you can’t do anything about whatever’s bothering you. When you’re afraid. When you’re certain that you have to do something, but you don’t know what that something is. When you’re meeting someone for the first time, obsessing, feeling guilty, grieving, feeling lonely, telling someone how you feel, balancing your checkbook, falling in love, getting a divorce, climbing a mountain, or learning to do something new.

When you practice relaxing inside, you’re practicing peace.

Practice peace until you can do it perfectly.

God, help me learn to consciously relax inside of myself.

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Touchstones Meditations For Men
June 2

Remember! You’re two different animals. Men and women cannot totally unite.
—Pierre Mornell

As we relate to women, we are often driven by needs, which no person could meet, and hampered by ignorance of what the opposite sex is really like. Perhaps we want to lose ourselves in a romantic closeness as we once lost ourselves in addiction and codependency. Then we get hurt and angry when the impossible doesn’t happen. Or we fail to understand that one woman’s reactions are different from our own.

The dialogue between the sexes is as old as the generations. It will always be a mixture of fascination, mystery, frustration, and new understandings. When we realize we cannot merge with a woman, take her over, or be taken over by her, we will meet her as a separate person, and our relationships will become vastly more peaceful.

Thanks to God for the differences. Let me learn more about them and accept them.

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Daily TAO
June 2
BLAME

Though others have faults,
Concentrate on your own.

Some people have the habit of blaming others. Perhaps all of us have this weakness. The list of scapegoats for our miseries is clever and endless.  Parents, community, teachers, government, and even demons and gods are all invoked when we have problems. If difficulties truly come from the outside, the problem is not blame. For those cases, the course of action is very clear : Neutralize that influence. If the problem comes from within, the solution must come from within as well. Before you blame friends, relatives, or teachers for bad habits and shortsightedness, you should remember that no one is to blame but yourself.

It is an equal mistake to lose self-esteem simply because you have some flaws. Looking at your shortcomings and taking steps to eliminate them should be viewed as a dispassionate project. You are not worthless because you undertake to rise above your faults. That description is only for those who never attempt to perfect themselves. We all have a perfect core, a special self inside. That purity is perfect and holy; therefore, no one is worse than another.

We are all on this planet simply to reach back into that pure self. When we reach that spirit, there are no flaws and there is no blame

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