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In Loving Memory of Vic

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Daily Recovery Readings – June 5

Just For Today
June 5
Honest Prayer

“Although honesty is difficult to practice, it is most rewarding.”
Basic Text, p. 92

How difficult we find it to be honest! Many of us come to NA so confused about what really happened in our lives that it sometimes takes months and years to sort it all out. The truth of our history is not always as we have told it. How can we begin to be more truthful?

Many of us find it the easiest to be honest in prayer. With our fellow addicts, we sometimes find that we have a hard time telling the whole truth. We feel certain that we won’t be accepted if we let others know us as we really are. It’s hard to live up to the “terminally hip and fatally cool” image so many of us portrayed! In prayer, we find an acceptance from our Higher Power that allows us to open our hearts with honesty.

As we practice this honesty with the God of our understanding, we often find that it has a ripple effect in our communications with others. We get in the habit of being honest. We begin to practice honesty when we share at meetings and work with others. In return, we find our lives enriched by deepening friendships. We even find that we can be more honest with ourselves, the most important person to be truthful with!

Honesty is a quality that is developed through practice. It isn’t always easy to be totally truthful, but when we begin with our Higher Power, we find it easier to extend our honesty to others.

Just for today: I will be honest with God, myself, and others.

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Daily Reflections
June 5
ENTIRELY READY?

“This is the Step that separates the men from the boys.”. . . the difference between “the boys and the men” is the difference between striving for a self determined objective and for the perfect objective which is of God. . . . It is suggested that we ought to become entirely willing to aim toward perfection. . . . The moment we say, “No, never!” our minds close against the grace of God. . . . This is the exact point at which we abandon limited objectives, and move toward God’s will for us.
TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, pp. 63, 68, 69

Am I entirely ready to have God remove these defects of character?  Do I know at long last that I cannot save myself? I have come to believe that I cannot. If I am unable, if my best intentions go wrong, if my desires are selfishly motivated and if my knowledge and will are limited — then I am ready to embrace God’s will for my life.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day
June 5
A.A. Thought For The Day

We alcoholics are fortunate to be living in a day and age when there is such a thing as Alcoholics Anonymous. Before A.A. came into being, there was very little hope for the alcoholic. A.A. is a great rebuilder of human wreckage. It takes men and women whose personality problem expresses itself in alcoholism and offers them a program that, if they are willing to accept it, allows them not only to get sober, but also to find a much better way of living. Have I found a better way of living?

Meditation For The Day

Very quietly God speaks through your thoughts and feelings. Heed the Divine voice of your conscience. Listen for this and you will never be disappointed in the results in your life. Listen for this small, still voice and your tired nerves will become rested. The Divine voice comes to you as strength as well as tenderness, as power as well as restfulness.  Your moral strength derives its effectiveness from the power that comes when you listen patiently for the still, small voice.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may listen for the still, small voice of God. I pray that I may obey the leading of my conscience.

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As Bill Sees It
June 5
Perception of Humility, p. 156

An improved perception of humility starts a revolutionary change in our outlook. Our eyes begin to open to the immense values which have come straight out of painful ego-puncturing. Until now, our lives have been largely devoted to running from pain and problems.  Escape via the bottle was always our solution.

Then, in A.A., we looked and listened. Everywhere we saw failure and misery transformed by humility into priceless assets.

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

To those who have made progress in A.A., humility amounts to a clear recognition of what and who we really are, followed by a sincere attempt to become what we could be.

12 & 12
1. pp. 74-75
2. p. 58

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Walk in Dry Places
June 5
Looking at the long term.
Living Today.

Though we’re encouraged to live one day at a time, we must also be aware of the future. We should not knowingly do anything today that creates unneeded risks and penalties further down the road.

We should not, for example, take on unreasonable debt simply to live well today. We should not put off things that will get worse with time. We should not avoid unpleasant decisions that will have to be made sooner or later.

Living one day at a time really means planning to do our best each day. While we cannot predict or control the future, we do have a responsibility to act so that our tomorrows will also be good days for living.

I’ll face today with the confidence that all my actions will be good for the long term as well as for today.

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Keep It Simple
June 5

Life is only this place, this time, and these people right here and now.—Vincent Collins

Staying in the present can be hard. This busy world pulls our focus from the present. We often wonder if the future will bring good times or bad times.

Life is right before us. Look around. Life is happening—now! The more we live in the moment, the better we feel. Why? Because we can do something about the present. We can’t do anything about the future. We have choices in the present, and we can do something with our lives. Addiction ran our lives before. Now with the help of others and our Higher Power, we run our lives again. This give us peace of mind.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, thank-you for giving back my life. Teach me how to run my life. Have me seek others when I need help. It’s okay to ask for it.

Action for the Day: Today, I’ll list five things I do well. Then I’ll list three things I don’t do well. I’ll think of people who can help me, and I’ll call them.

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Each Day a New Beginning
June 5

The level of anxiety I feel when an attractive woman enters the room is the cue informing me of my closeness to God at that moment.
—Anonymous

Our security lies now and always in our relationship with God. When we are spiritually connected, we don’t lack confidence, self-assurance. We don’t doubt our value to those around us. Having an active friendship with our God keeps us ever aware that whatever is right for each of us at this time will be given us, that each other person in our life is also on a divinely ordained path going somewhere special to her growth.

It’s unfortunate, but true, that many of us had painful experiences with other women earlier in our lives. Maybe we lost a lover or a husband to someone we knew. And it’s difficult to believe that what is right for us will come to us, that we need never fear another woman.

The program offers us daily opportunities to take stock of our assets in order to know that we count. And more importantly, it promises security and serenity if each day we invite our higher power to be our companion. We need never fear someone else’s presence. Nor need we fear any new situation. With God at our side, all is well. And we’ll know it!

I will make God my friend today and enjoy the ease of living.

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Alcoholics Anonymous
June 5
Our Southern Friend

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

Mother has been dying of cancer for a long time. She is near the end and now in a hospital. I have been drinking a lot, but never get drunk. Mother must never know. I see her about to go.
I return to the hotel where I am staying and get gin from the bell-boy. I drink and go to bed; I take a few the next morning and go see my mother once more. I cannot stand it. I go back to the hotel and get more gin. I drink steadily. I come to at three in the morning. The indescribable torture has me again. I turn on the light. I must get out of the room or I shall jump out of the window. I walk miles. No use. I go to the hospital, where I have made friends with the night superintendent. She puts me to bed and gives me a hypodermic.

p. 212

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions
June 5

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

This atmosphere of approval and praise is apt to be so exhilarating as to put us off balance by creating an insatiable appetite for more of the same. Or we may be tipped over in the other direction when, in rare cases, we get a cool and skeptical reception. This will tempt us to argue, or to press our point insistently. Or maybe it will tempt us to discouragement and pessimism. But if we have prepared ourselves well in advance, such reactions will not deflect us from our steady and even purpose.

p. 85

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Xtra Thoughts
June 5

People are often unreasonable, illogical, and self-centered; Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives; Be kind anyway.
If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies; Succeed anyway.
If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you; Be honest and frank anyway.
What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight; Build anyway.
If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous; Be happy anyway.
The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow; Do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough; Give the world the best you’ve got anyway.
You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and God; It was never between you and them anyway.
–Mother Teresa

“The real art of conversation is not only to say the right thing at the right place but to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.”
–Dorothy Nevill

God didn’t promise days without pain, laughter without sorrow, sun without rain, but He did promise strength for the day, comfort for the tears, and light for the way.
–unknown

When you feel down because you didn’t get what you want, just sit tight and be happy, because God is thinking of something better to give you.
–unknown

Five rules to be happy.
1. Free your heart from hatred.
2. Free your mind from worries.
3. Live simply.
4. Give more.
5. Expect less.
–unknown

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation
June 5
REASON

“I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason and intellect has intended us to forego their use.”
–Galileo Galilei

An essential part of being human is the ability to think, reflect and reason. Spirituality is involved in our ideas and perceptions because that is historically how man has grown and been able to change. As Descarte said, “Cogito ergo sum – I think therefore I am.”

The tragedy is that few people experience the freedom to think and create because of the stifling addictions that are epidemic in our society: food, alcohol, drugs, religion, work, money and sex. We are so afraid of what others might think or say that we never fully experience our spiritual selves and everybody suffers. It is the “risks” in life that make man great.

Help me to challenge what I do not believe in order to discover what I do believe.

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Bible Scriptures
June 5

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
Philippians 4:13

Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, I will never leave you nor forsake you. So we may boldly say: The LORD is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?
Hebrews 13:5-6

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Daily Inspiration
June 5

Much stress comes from focusing on things over which you have no control. Lord, may I let go of useless worry and enjoy today.

Regret nothing, not even your failures. Take in the richness of only today because to carry any more will only weigh you down. Lord, You have promised to help me with the burdens of today. I will not look backwards.

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One Day At A Time
June 5
HONESTY

“Our lives improve only when we take chances ~ and the first and most difficult risk we can take is to be honest with ourselves.”
–Walter Anderson

After the initial shock and realization that I am a compulsive overeater, it transpired that in order to recover, I had to get honest. This was — and still is — a painful process for me, yet it is an essential step towards my recovery.

First I had to admit that I wasn’t in control of my life and that recovery couldn’t be achieved unaided. As with most revelations, this was an uncomfortable truth to behold. I was also prompted through honesty to stop blaming everyone else for my unwillingness to help myself. I had to find conviction in my actions and not just emptiness in my words.

I conceded that I am not as perfect as I would like to think. I make mistakes and sometimes slip from the path of recovery, but with honesty comes acceptance that I am only human. This disease would deceive me into thinking that I am a failure when in fact it’s my actions that have failed me. Like a magician who performs illusions for the crowd, this disease would have me think I have committed unforgivable sins. Honesty is the key to my recovery; it unlocks the chains that have imprisoned me for so long. It allows me to recognize my weaknesses and turn them into strengths. It turns simple existence into life ~ and inner-conflicts into outward serenity.

One day at a time…
I will be honest with myself.

~ Sue G.

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Elder’s Meditation of the Day June 5

“It is not through the great skill of the hunter himself that success is achieved, but through the hunter’s awareness of his place in Creation and his relationship to all things.”
–Thomas Yellowtail, CROW

If only the human being could understand the power of proper relationships, the need for power and control could be abandoned. It’s not what is going on that matters, but how we look at what is going on. It’s our relationship to it that counts. Nothing in the world has any meaning except the meaning we give to it. To be more effective at this, we need to consider our relationship with the Creator. Our relationship to the Great Spirit determines how we will perceive the meanings we put to places, people, institutions, and things. We need to let the Creator tell us and guide our thoughts about these relationships. Any relationship that we have that is causing problems means we need to pray for a new point of view.

Creator, let me see the world and the people through your eyes.

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Journey To The Heart
June 5
What Are You Trying to Prove?

You don’t have to prove anything to anyone. Not even to yourself.

A subconscious desire to prove ourselves may be hiding at the root of our fears, the root of our tension, the root of our need to do and be more. Accompanying it can be a burning belief that we aren’t good enough, that we need to compensate for some deficiency in ourselves in order to take our place on this planet.

We may feel like we have to earn our place, earn our right to be here. Like we’re being watched and judged, graded.

You don’t have to prove anything to anyone. You’re fine just the way you are. You have energy, vitality. You have particular gifts and talents. You have been learning your lessons just right in your life.

Let go of the need to prove yourself to others– to parents, people from the past, people in your life today. Could it be the one you’ve really been trying to prove something to is yourself. The answer is simple: learn to approve of yourself. Love and accept yourself the way you are today. Then step right up and take your place in the universe.

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Today’s Gift
June 5

To render ourselves insensible to pain we must forfeit also the possibilities of happiness.
—Sir John Lubbock

A caterpillar knows instinctively that it must spin a cocoon. When finished it will use the protection it has made to turn itself into a beautiful butterfly. When the time is right, the butterfly will break through the cocoon and stretch its wings to meet the world.

We sometimes protect ourselves by withdrawing into a cocoon of our own. We stop talking to others and find ourselves growing lonely and longing for our friends. Perhaps it was some pain that made us retreat, but the pain of loneliness is greater. When we have the courage to break out of our cocoon, knowing and accepting the fact that we will experience both pain and happiness, we will change. We will become, for that moment, something new and beautiful like the butterfly.

What fearful thing do I have the courage to face today?

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The Language of Letting Go
June 5
Combating Shame

Shame can hold us back, hold us down, and keep us staring at our feet.
—Beyond Codependency

Watch out for shame.

Many systems and people reek of shame. They are controlled by shame and may want us to play their game with them. They may be hoping to hook us and control us through shame.

We don’t have to fall into their shame. Instead, we’ll take the good feelings – self-acceptance, love, and nurturing.

Compulsive behaviors, sexually addictive behaviors, overeating, chemical abuse, and addictive gambling are shame-based behaviors. If we participate in them, we will feel ashamed. It’s inevitable. We need to watch out for addictive and other compulsive behaviors because those will immerse us in shame.

Our past, and the brainwashing we may have had that imposed “original shame” upon us, may try to put shame on us. This can happen when we’re all alone, walking through the grocery store or just quietly going about living our life. Don’t think . . . Don’t feel . . . Don’t grow or change . . .Don’t be alive . . . Don’t live life . . . Be ashamed!

Be done with shame. Attack shame. Go to war with it. Learn to recognize it and avoid it like the plague.

Today, I will deliberately refuse to get caught up in the shame floating around in the world. If I cannot resist it, I will feel it, accept it, and then be done with it as quickly as possible. God, help me know that it’s okay to love myself and help me to refuse to submit to shame. If I get off course, help me learn to change shame into guilt, correct the behavior, and move forward with my life in immediate self-love.

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More Language Of Letting Go
June 5
You don’t have to exert that much control

“Hey killer, how about relaxing the old death grip there.”

Why did he always say that? Probably because I always got nervous and held the yoke too tightly. Rob, my flight instructor, was teaching me basic maneuvers in the little Cessna 172 trainer again. He wanted me to put the plane into a steep turn. The only problem was that every time I tried, I felt as though the little plane would fall out of the sky. I know. It’s crazy. But knowing didn’t help my feeling very much.

“Here, watch this. I have the controls,” Rob said. And taking the controls, my instructor put the plane into a sharply banked turn. Then he let go of the yoke.” “Aaaah!” I yelled. Nothing happened. The little airplane kept turning with no further input from anyone. “You see,” Rob explained, “when you have the trim setting adjusted right, the airplane will do what you tell it to do. There’s no need to force it. Now relax and try again.”

I did, and the turn was better this time. Maybe the plane wouldn’t fall out of the sky after all. And another small piece of the puzzle got filled in.

There are many things that we can do to keep our lives on course. We can talk to our mentors and sponsors, read positive books, attend support groups, listen to positive music, pray, meditate, work a recovery program if we’re in one, and grow. We don’t want to become complacent. Safety consciousness is important. But once we have set ourselves on course, it isn’t necessary to constantly be worried about falling out of the sky.

Set your plan in motion. Get on the right track. But remember that if saving your life is important, it is also important to have a life worth saving. Relax a little. The plane will keep on flying as long as you give it the right input.

God, grant me the grace to relax, to let go of worry and self-doubt, and to let myself enjoy life and the experiences that it has to offer.

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Touchstones Meditations For Men
June 5

Where there is no strife there is decay: “The mixture which is not shaken decomposes.”
—Heraclitus

Transitions and changes are often painful, sometimes frightening. Often the most troubled lives are those most unyielding to change. When we become so committed to stability that we cannot flow with the never- ending river of life, we wither and die spiritually. Every one of us has changes moving within our lives. Some changes are beneath the surface and we only vaguely sense them. Others are obvious and we are dealing with their effects. When we see change only as a problem or as pain, we have a harder time getting on with our lives.

Looking back, we can see other changes we would never have chosen or planned for ourselves. We can see now that we grew with them. Change forced us into new realms, and we found sides of ourselves we hadn’t known before. Through whatever strife and difficulty of change we face today, we have a stable program to fall back on. And we have our relationship with our Higher Power, which is with us through all times.

I will try to have a lighter grip upon life today so that as the river of change flows, I can flow with it

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Daily TAO
June 5
INSEPARABLE

The trunk is hollow,
But the branches live.
The void is fundamental,
But the ten thousand things are diverse.
Therefore, wanderers free themselves of cares
And follow Tao in great delight.

The base of a tree may occasionally be hollow, yet the trunk can rise a hundred feet to support a lushly growing crown. Tao may be void, but the world has great profusion. This is because there is no separation between void and phenomena. Therefore, Tao cannot be gained from denying the world.

Void is a part of all reality and thus has tangibility. The great Tao permeates the world and so it can be studied in the world. All that needs to be known about Tao’s manifestation can be known by traveling through life. All experiences are valid, for all experiences are of Tao.

In all of life, the only thing that separates from Tao is the human ego, because one places oneself before all other things. By contrast, those who follow Tao divest themselves of self-importance and desire for success.  They prefer to follow Tao as it flows through the land. They move from place to place as they intuitively sense its direction. Feeling the divine energy, they live in its vital flow. These wanderers have glimpsed the void that is in them and in all things. They delight in life but never see more than void.

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