In Loving Memory of Vic

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Daily Recovery Readings – June 30

Just For Today
June 30
Maintaining The Foundation

“Our newly found faith serves as a firm foundation for courage in the future.”
Basic Text p. 93

The foundation of our lives is what the rest of our lives is built upon. When we were using, that foundation affected everything we did. When we decided that recovery was important, that’s where we began to put our energy. As a result, our whole lives changed. In order to maintain those new lives, we must maintain the foundation of those lives: our recovery program.

As we stay clean and our lifestyles change, our priorities will also change. Work and school may become important because they improve the quality of our lives. And new relationships may bring excitement and mutual support. But we need to remember that our recovery program is the foundation upon which our new lives are built. Each day, we must renew our commitment to recovery, maintaining that as our top priority.

Just for today: I want to continue enjoying the life I’ve found in recovery. Today, I will take steps to maintain my foundation.


Daily Reflections
June 30

The unity, the effectiveness, and even the survival of A. A. will always depend upon our continued willingness to give up some of our personal ambitions and desires for the common safety and welfare. Just as sacrifice means survival for the individual alcoholic, so does sacrifice means unity and survival for the group and for A. A.’s entire Fellowship.

I have learned that I must sacrifice some of my personality traits for the good of A. A. and, as a result, I have been rewarded with many gifts. False pride can be inflated through prestige but, by living Tradition Six, I receive the gift of humility instead. Cooperation without affiliation is often deceiving. If I remain unrelated to outside interest, I am free to keep A. A. autonomous. Then the Fellowship will be here, healthy and strong for generations to come.


Twenty-Four Hours A Day
June 30
A.A. Thought For The Day

Alcoholics are unable or unwilling, during their addiction to alcohol, to live in the present. The result is that they live in a constant state of remorse and fear because of their unholy past and its morbid attraction, or the uncertain future and its vague foreboding. So the only real hope for the alcoholic is to face the present. Now is the time. Now is ours. The past is beyond recall. The future is as uncertain as life itself. Only the now belongs to us. Am I living in the now?

Meditation For The Day

I must forget the past as much as possible. The past is over and gone forever. Nothing can be done about the past, except to make what restitution I can. I must not carry the burden of my past failures. I must go on in faith. The clouds will clear and the way will lighten. The path will become less stony with every forward step I take. God has no reproach for anything that He has healed. I can be made whole and free, even though I have wrecked my life in the past. Remember the saying:  “Neither do I condemn thee; go and sin no more.”

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may not carry the burden of the past. I pray that I may cast it off and press on in faith.


As Bill Sees It
June 30
Imaginary Perfection, p. 181

When we early A.A.’s got our first glimmer of how spiritually prideful we could be, we coined this expression: “Don’t try to be a saint by Thursday!”

That oldtime admonition may look like another of those handy alibis that can excuse us from trying for our best. Yet a closer view reveals just the contrary. This is our A.A. way of warning against pride-blindness, and the imaginary perfections that we do not possess.


Only Step One, where we made the 100 per cent admission that we were powerless over alcohol, can be practiced with absolute perfection. The remaining eleven Steps state perfect ideals. They are goals toward which we look, and the measuring sticks by which we estimate our progress.

1. Grapevine, June 1961
2. 12 & 12, p. 68


Walk In Dry Places
June 30
Making all things new
Releasing the Past

A 12 Step program should give us a new way of life, our friends often say. We should have new attitudes, new experiences, new opportunities.

If we’re to grasp this new way of life, we must let go of the old habits of the past. No alcoholic can recover, for example, by choosing to remain in the old drinking environment. We must also “recover” from other relationships and patterns that were destructive or kept us from our highest good.

“Behold, I make all things new,” is the ancient promise. As our thoughts and beliefs change, the old patterns drop away and the new life reveals itself to us.

Today I’ll drop the negative or outworn relics from the past and press on to find the things that are for my greatest good.


Keep It Simple
June 30

If you don’t know where you are going, You’ll probably end up somewhere else.—
Lawrence J. Peter

The Twelve Steps are our plan of living. We must have a plan. Without one, we waste our energy.

We react instead of think. This is what we did as an addict. We lived our lives as out-of-control people. This caused a lot of pain for us and those around us.

Recovery brings us the Twelve Steps, and each Step gives us direction and wisdom. Each Step builds on the progress we made from the Step before it. Sometimes we follow the plan well. Sometimes we think we can do better on our own. Do I believe the Twelve Steps are a good plan of living?

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, You have shown me a new way of life, a plan for living. Thank you for leading me to the Twelve Steps. Help me follow them.

Action for the Day: Today, I’ll take time out to read the Twelve Steps. Then I’ll list three reasons why the Steps are a good plan for living.


Each Day a New Beginning
June 30

. . . in silence might be the privilege of the strong, but it was certainly a danger to the weak. For the things I was prompted to keep silent about were nearly always the things I was ashamed of, which would have been far better aired . . .
—Joanna Field

It has been said, “We are only as sick as the secrets we keep.” Our emotional health as recovering women is hindered, perhaps even jeopardized, each time we hold something within that we need to talk over with others.

Sharing our fears, our hurts, our anger, keeps open our channel to God. Secrets clutter our mind, preventing the stillness within where our prayers find answers. Secrets keep us stuck. Our health, emotional and spiritual, depends on our commitment to shared experiences.

Every secret we have and tell someone, frees that person also to be herself and to grow. Sharing experiences relieves us of our shame and invites the forgiveness we must allow ourselves.

Steps Four and Five facilitate the process of sharing those secrets that block our path to God and to one another. Never can we be fully at peace with secrets left untold. Self-revelation cleanses the soul and offers us life.

I will be alert to the opportunities to share myself and cherish the freedom offered.


Alcoholics Anonymous 
June 30

The Vicious Cycle

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

As long as things were tough and the job a challenge, I could always manage to hold on pretty well, but as soon as I learned the combination, got the puzzle under control, and the boss to pat me on the back, I was gone again. Routine jobs bored me, but I would take on the toughest one I could find and work day and night until I had it under control; then it would become tedious, and I’d lose all interest in it. I could never be bothered with the follow-through and would invariably reward myself for my efforts with that “first” drink.

pp. 224-225


Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions
June 30

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

Having so considered our day, not omitting to take due note of things well done, and having searched our hearts with neither fear nor favor, we can truly thank God for the blessings we have received and sleep in good conscience.

p. 95


Xtra Thoughts
June 30

God, help me to lower my defenses today, to be open to the good in the people around me and to the good that I have to offer them.
–Melody Beattie

If you desire to align yourself with God’s love, take an honest assessment of where love is lacking in your life. Do you embrace the difficult people in your family, work or neighborhood? Do you hold grudges or do you forgive those who betray you? The only way to keep in alignment is to practice choosing love, again and again, even when it’s difficult.
–Mary Manin Morrissey

“Don’t let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.”
–John Wooden

Forget your old ideas. Forget the lies they told you.  Forget them all, and you will begin to remember.
–Marianne Williamson

Speak when you are angry and you will make the best speech you will ever regret.
–Ambrose Bierce

Our outward behavior is just a reflection of our inner balance or our out of balance.


Father Leo’s Daily Meditation
June 30

“The one serious conviction that a man should have is that nothing is to be taken seriously.”
–Nicholas Murray Butler

For years I used to take myself too seriously. I thought that everything depended upon my thoughts, actions and decisions. Life was a series of agendas that had to be met; life was too serious to be joked about. I knew that I was not God, but I took responsibility for the whole universe. I had opinions on everything and everybody and I was, of course, always right.

As the years passed it grew painful being so responsible — my control produced stress, tension and loneliness. Then a friend said to me, “Let go and let God.” I began to detach and laugh at my insane behavior. I laughed more as I began to accept my humanness. I discovered spirituality in the joke. God must have a sense of humor — after all, He made me.

Help me to laugh at myself in my search for the Kingdom.


Bible Scriptures
June 30

Though you probe my heart and examine me at night, though you test me, you will find nothing; I have resolved that my mouth will not sin. Psalms 17:3

May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.
Psalms 19:14

The mouth of the righteous man utters wisdom, and his tongue speaks what is just.
Psalms 37:30


Daily Inspiration
June 30

Avoid distraction by concentrating on the task in which you are presently involved. Lord, much that bothers me is useless to my well-being. Help me identify when this happens and replace these thoughts with thoughts that treat me kindly.

God will give you strength because He will give of Himself. Lord, thank You for the many gifts of which You always bless me.


A Day At A Time
June 30

Reflection For The Day

I’ve learned in The Program that the trick, for me, is not stopping drinking, but staying stopped and learning how not to start again.  It was always relatively easy to stop, if only by sheer incapacity alone;  God knows, I stopped literally thousands of times.  To stay stopped, I’ve had to develop a positive program of action.  I’ve had to learn to live sober, cultivating new habit patterns, new interests and new attitudes.  Am I remaining flexible in my new life?  Am I exercising my freedom to abandon limited objectives?

Today I Pray

I pray that my new life will be filled with new patterns, new friends, new activities, new ways of looking at things.  I need God’s help to overhaul my lifestyle to include all the newness it must hold.  I also need a few ideas of my own.  May my independence from chemicals or compulsive behavior help me make my choices with an open mind and a clear; appraising eye.

Today I Will Remember

Stopping is starting.


One More Day
June 30

The lame man who keeps the right road outstrips the runner who takes a wrong one.  Nay, it is obvious that the more active and swift the latter is the further he will go astray.
–  Francis Bacon

As we travel through life, distractions keep us from reaching our destination.  Sometimes a wonderful, happy circumstance changes our direction, or a goal may be changed by the intrusion of a serious medical condition.

Regardless of altered courses, we want to keep our goals in sight.  We must set goals which, whatever our circumstances, we know are attainable.  To feel successful and proud of ourselves, we must be able to attain our new goals.  And we can if we aim forward ideals that provide dreams, challenges, and the possibility of success.

I know the path that is best for me and follow my own road map.


One Day At A Time
June 30

“How does a project get to be a year behind schedule?  One day at a time.”
–Fred Brooks

I have been given many talents, and I count them as gifts from my Maker. Throughout life I have discovered that there was virtually nothing that I could not make, bake, say or do with the help of my Higher Power. At the age of three years I learned to crochet and read. I learned to draw, paint, write poetry and quilt. The fact that I was not afraid of failing had a great influence on my ability to tackle any task.

Surprisingly, when I felt that I was “grown” and needed to leave home and start a life of my own, I found that finishing anything was almost impossible. I could start anything — but I seemed to complete nothing. Much to my dismay I had developed the art of procrastination. Just waiting to finish anything tomorrow puts me one day behind. Day by day, the project gets put on the back burner and forgotten. One day at a time I eventually find that I am years into finishing some things.

Thanks to this program and its wonderful steps and tools, I have found that by working “one day at a time” I can be — and am — a person who starts and finishes things. This is who God created me to be…not the person who continually puts things off. It took a lot of reading and prayer and meditating on God’s Word for me to get where I am today…a person who takes action on the tasks before me. I am far from perfect, but I am making progress.

One day at a time…
Just for today I will take action and not put off until tomorrow what I can do today.

~ Annie K.


Elder’s Meditation of the Day June 30

“Words hypnotize and deceive everyone at one time or another, but these hypnotic words cannot last long in the hearts of true warriors.”
–Barney Bush, SHAWNEE

We are a part of an interconnected system. Words in themselves have no meaning. It is the spirit and intent behind the words that really show the meaning.

We are connected to each other at the center of the atom which makes up the air and our body. The center of the air’s atom system is connected to the center of our body’s system.

I am connected to you and you are connected to me in the center of our being. If my words have no meaning, you can feel this through the center of your being.

Great Spirit, help me make my word good. Let me do the things I say I will, and let me say the things I will do – and do it.


Journey To The Heart
June 30
Cherish Your Connection to the Universe

My relationship with the universe used to be different. I felt separate, apart, disconnected from the rest of the world. My vision of God used to be different,too. I used to see God as sitting on a throne, separate and apart from this world. I still see God as the supreme creative force, but the separateness is melting, changing, transforming into something new. Now I see God, the energy of God, and Divine love as a part of all that is, the breath of life in every living thing.

I used to see the world as made up of individual and separate components. I used to see people as disconnected and essentially powerless in a world separated from God. Each thing, person, and action a distinctly different operation or event from any other, from the whole. Now I see a planet full of people connected to the Divine. Now I see a universe connected by a Divine thread that weaves throughout all that is, was, and will be. A living universe that is alive, magical, connected by universal love. Connected by Divine love.

Enter into a relationship with the universe, a relationship as alive, as active, as vital as any other relationship. Then know that you are connected to the world and everything in it. Know that universal love, Divine love, is real and you are an important part of it.


Today’s Gift
June 30

Cultivate your garden. Let it take root in you until your thousand eyes open like violets to morning light.
—Nancy Paddock

In our imaginations we can mix images and ideas from all over the world-imagine the thousand eyes of a peacock growing among the purple violets, or babies that grow on trees! In our imaginations we can also nurture feelings of love, affection, self-esteem.

All of us-not just writers-can learn to see the images in our own minds. We can do this by breathing slowly, relaxing, and looking at the movie in our minds. We may see a field of wildflowers, or find ourselves wading across a stream in the mountains. We might see happiness as wildflowers and grass coming up through the sidewalk, breaking the concrete into chunks and sand, growing so slowly yet with such great power. It may help us appreciate our growth today to look at it this way.

Can I visualize my happiness right now? What does it look like?


The Language of Letting Go
June 30
Accepting Change

One day, my mother and I were working together in the garden. We were transplanting some plant for the third time. Grown from seed in a small container, the plants had been transferred to a larger container; then transplanted into the garden. Now, because I was moving, we were transplanting them again.

Inexperienced as a gardener, I turned to my green-thumbed mother. “Isn’t this bad for them?” I asked, as we dug them up and shook the dirt from their roots. “Won’t it hurt these plants, being uprooted and transplanted so many times?”

“Oh, no,” my mother replied. “Transplanting doesn’t hurt them. In fact, it’s good for the ones that survive. That’s how their roots grow strong. Their roots will grow deep, and they’ll make strong plants.”

Often, I’ve felt like those small plants – uprooted and turned upside down. Sometimes, I’ve endured the change willingly, sometimes reluctantly, but usually my reaction has been a combination.

Won’t this be hard on me? I ask. Wouldn’t it be better if things remained the same? That’s when I remember my mother’s words: That’s how the roots grow deep and strong.

Today, God, help me remember that during times of transition, my faith and my self are being strengthened.


Touchstones Meditation For Men
June 30

There is nothing as easy as denouncing. It don’t take much to see that something is wrong, but it takes some eyesight to see what will put it right again.
—Will Rogers

We come to this day with a choice of whether to be for something or against it. Shall we put energy into what we seek and admire or shall we give our energy to opposition and resistance of what we dislike? If someone asks a favor, we have a choice to resent and resist the intrusion or to engage with the person and see where it might lead. If a project we are working on is frustrating, we can wallow in criticizing it or try to get a clearer picture of what will work and what we want.

Criticizing may be a helpful first stage in learning, but it is seductive because it holds little risk and we feel safe doing it. In that comfort we forget to go forward to create what we really want. Our negative energy, when we are seduced by it, creates negative results. When we look back upon today, we will admire those choices that risked creating something positive.

Today, I will not give my energy to denouncing but to creating what I believe is worthwhile.


Daily TAO
June 30

The mind is in spinning wheels at the
Navel, heart, throat, head.
The connecting shaft is emptiness.
Without an unobstructed route,
Energy cannot flow.

People search for the sacred and are told it is within themselves. It is sometimes difficult to see how literally the sages mean that. They see the mind as existing in other areas of the body in addition to the brain. These centers, nominally functional in the average person, are called chakras or wheels by those who follow Tao. Through meditation, one becomes acquainted with each of them and learns how to release power so profound that one is literally divine.

The concept of void is central to many philosophies including that of Tao. However, it seems so abstract at times. Here void has a functional role. The pathway connecting the energy centers of the mind is like a long shaft beginning from the perineum and ending at the top of the head. If not for emptiness, or hollowness of this shaft, the sacred energy of the body could not be conducted.

All the diversity of our lives is merely a manifestation of our minds, expressed through the turning of the various wheels within ourselves. The more they turn, the more complex circumstances and thinking become. However, if we want simplicity and tranquility, we need only go the the center of the spinning mind where it is empty and still. Thus it is said that diversity comes from the revolving of the wheels and origins come from the central void.


Food for Thought
June 30
Praise God!

We did not create this program on our own, and we did not achieve abstinence by ourselves. Our recovery is a gift, just as life is a gift. Light, the natural world, our nourishment, talents, love, and fellowship – all come from our Higher Power. Our role is to receive, use wisely, share, and enjoy the blessings God has showered upon us.

When we get over the idea that we can do everything by ourselves, we become receptive to the moving force that creates and sustains us. As we stop looking at life from our own egotistical point of view, we begin to see God’s glory. No longer a slave to our appetites and desires for material things, we are able to rejoice in our Higher Power and to share our joy with those around us.

Our recovery from compulsive overeating makes us examples of God’s power to heal and renew. For all of His miracles, we praise Him.

In You, there is great joy.


June 30

Careful! Even moonlit dewdrops,
If you’re lured to watch,
Are a wall before the truth.

– Sogyo (18th century)


Faith’s Checkboook
June 30
Back, Then Forward

Nevertheless I will remember my covenant with thee in the days of thy youth, and I will establish unto thee an everlasting covenant.
(Ezekiel 16:60)

Notwithstanding our sins, the Lord is still faithful in His love to us. He looks back. See how He remembers those early days of ours when He took us into covenant with Himself, and we gave ourselves over to Him. Happy days those! The Lord does not twit us with them and charge us with being insincere. No, He looks rather to His covenant with us than to our covenant with Him. There was no hypocrisy in that sacred compact, on His part, at any rate. How gracious is the Lord thus to look back in love!

He looks forward also. He is resolved that the covenant shall not fail. If me do not stand to it, He does. He solemnly declares, “I will establish unto thee an everlasting covenant.” He has no mind to draw back from His promises. Blessed be His name, He sees the sacred seal, “the blood of the everlasting covenant,” and He remembers our Surety, in whom He ratified that covenant, even His own dear Son; and therefore He rests in His covenant engagements. “He abideth faithful; he cannot deny himself.”

O Lord, lay this precious word upon my heart and help me to feed upon it all this day!


This Morning’s Meditations
June 30

“And the glory which Thou gavest me I have given them.”
—John 17:22.

BEHOLD the superlative liberality of the Lord Jesus, for He hath given us His all. Although a tithe of His possessions would have made a universe of angels rich beyond all thought, yet was He not content until He had given us all that He had. It would have been surprising grace if He had allowed us to eat the crumbs of His bounty beneath the table of His mercy; but He will do nothing by halves, He makes us sit with Him and share the feast. Had He given us some small pension from His royal coffers, we should have had cause to love Him eternally; but no, He will have His bride as rich as Himself, and He will not have a glory or a grace in which she shall not share. He has not been content with less than making us joint-heirs with Himself, so that we might have equal possessions. He has emptied all His estate into the coffers of the Church, and hath all things common with His redeemed. There is not one room in His house the key of which He will withhold from His people. He gives them full liberty to take all that He hath to be their own; He loves them to make free with His treasure, and appropriate as much as they can possibly carry. The boundless fulness of His all-sufficiency is as free to the believer as the air he breathes. Christ hath put the flagon of His love and grace to the believer’s lip, and bidden him drink on for ever; for could he drain it, he is welcome to do so, and as he cannot exhaust it, he is bidden to drink abundantly, for it is all his own. What truer proof of fellowship can heaven or earth afford?

“When I stand before the throne
Dressed in beauty not my own;
When I see Thee as Thou art,
Love Thee with unsinning heart;
Then, Lord, shall I fully know—
Not till then—how much I owe.”

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