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In Loving Memory of Vic

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Daily Recovery Readings – June 6

Just For Today
June 6
Recovery Doesn’t Happen Overnight

“The Twelve Steps of Narcotics Anonymous are a progressive recovery process established in our daily living.”
Basic Text, p. 96

After some time in recovery, we may find we are faced with what seem like overwhelming personal problems, angry feelings, and despair. When we realize what’s going on, we may wail, “But I’ve been working so hard. I thought I was…” Recovered, maybe? Not hardly. Over and over, we hear that recovery is an ongoing process and that we are never cured. Yet we sometimes believe that if we just work our steps enough, pray enough, or go to enough meetings, we’ll eventually… Well, maybe not be cured, but be something!

And we are “something.” We’re recovering-recovering from active addiction. No matter what we’ve dealt with through the process of the steps, there will always be more. What we didn’t remember or didn’t think was important in our first inventory will surely present itself later on. Again and again, we’ll turn to the process of the steps to deal with what’s bothering us. The more we use this process the more we’ll trust it, for we can see the results. We go from anger and resentment to forgiveness, from denial to honesty and acceptance, and from pain to serenity.

Recovery doesn’t happen overnight, and ours will never be complete. But each day brings new healing and the hope for more tomorrow.

Just for today: I will do what I can for my recovery today and maintain hope in the ongoing process of recovery.

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Daily Reflections
June 6
ALL WE DO IS TRY

Can He now take them all—every one?
ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 76

In doing Step Six it helped me a lot to remember that I am striving for “spiritual progress.” Some of my character defects may be with me for the rest of my life, but most have been toned down or eliminated. All that Step Six asks of me is to become willing to name my defects, claim them as my own, and be willing to discard the ones I can, just for today. As I grow in the program, many of my defects become more objectionable to me than previously and, therefore, I need to repeat Step Six so that I can become happier with myself and maintain my serenity.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day
June 6
A.A. Thought For The Day

Drinking is the way we alcoholics express our maladjustment’s to life. I believe that I was a potential alcoholic from the start. I had an inferiority complex. I didn’t make friends easily. There was a wall between me and other people. And I was lonely. I was not well adjusted to life. Did I drink to escape from myself?

Meditation For The Day

According to the varying needs of each person, so does each person think of God. It is not necessary that you think of God as others think of Him, but it is necessary that you think of Him as supplying what you personally need. The weak need God’s strength. The strong need God’s tenderness. The tempted and fallen need God’s saving grace. The righteous needs God’s pity for sinners. The lonely need God as a friend.  The fighters for righteousness need a leader in God. You may think of God in any way you wish. We usually do not turn to God until we need Him.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may think of God as supplying my needs. I pray that I will bring all my problems to Him for help in meeting them.

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As Bill Sees It
June 6
Imagination Can Be Constructive, p. 157

We recall, a little ruefully, how much store we used to set by imagination as it tried to create reality out of bottles. Yes, we reveled in that sort of thinking, didn’t we? And, though sober nowadays, don’t we often try to do much the same thing?

Perhaps our trouble was not that we used our imagination. Perhaps the real trouble was our almost total inability to point imagination toward the right objectives. There’s nothing the matter with truly constructive imagination; all sound achievement rests upon it. After all, no man can build a house until he first visions a plan for it.

12 & 12, p. 100

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Walk in Dry Places
June 6
My opportunities are in change
Personal Growth.

It’s common to hear a recovering person voice apprehensions about an impending change. This apprehension only results from our fear that change will mean loss.

There can never be any permanent loss if we are solidly anchored in our spiritual program. Our Higher Power is the guiding force in all change and will make all things right as events unfold.

We should also remember that change brought us to our present situation. Any good we now enjoy came to us by a certain process. Even painful experiences have been valuable lessons.

There is no way we can avoid change; it is a built-in condition of life. We can accept it more gracefully if we view it as God’s way of bringing us opportunity.

Any change that I sense today is just a signal for the arrival of new opportunities. Even if changes seem uncomfortable, I’ll welcome all such change.

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Keep It Simple
June 6

Fortunate are the people whose roots are deep.
—Agnes Meyer

A tree’s roots seek water and minerals. Though the roots can’t be seen easily seen, they are there.

The life of the tree depends on them. The stronger a tree’s roots, the higher a tree can grow.

We need to set deep roots into the soil of recovery. The soil of recovery is made up of the Twelve Steps, fellowship, and service to others. We’ll have to get through storms and high winds in our return to health. In so doing, we’ll become beautiful, strong, and spiritual. We’ll be able to live with both the gentle breezes and the heavy winds of life.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, help me believe in what I can’t see. Just as I believe that the roots of a tree are there because I can see the leaves. I believe in a Higher Power because I can see the results.

Action for the Day: I will ask myself, “Which Step do I need to work on the most right now?” I will volunteer to give a meeting on that Step.

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Each Day a New Beginning
June 6

From early infancy onward we all incorporate into our lives the message we receive concerning our self-worth, or lack of self-worth, and this sense of value is to be found beneath our actions and feelings as a tangled network of self-perception.
—Christina Baldwin

Lifting our self-esteem is not a particularly easy task for most of us. It’s probable that again and again our confidence wavered before we sought help from the program. It’s also probable that our confidence still wanes on occasion. The old fears don’t disappear without effort.

But each day we can do some one thing that will help us to feel better about ourselves. All it takes is one small act or decision, each day. The program can give us the strength we need each day to move forward one step.

Today, I will do one thing I’ve been putting off. A whole collection of “one days” will lay the groundwork for the person I’m building within.

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Alcoholics Anonymous
June 6
Our Southern Friend

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

I am at the hospital to see my wife. We have another child. But she is not glad to see me. I have been drinking while the baby was arriving. Her father stays with her.

It is a cold, bleak day in November. I have fought hard to stop drinking. Each battle has ended in defeat. I tell my wife I cannot stop drinking. She begs me to go to a hospital for alcoholics which has been recommended. I say I will go. She makes the arrangements, but I will not go. I’ll do it all myself. This time I’m off of it for good. I’ll just take a few beers now and then.

pp. 212-213

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions
June 6

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

After taking this preliminary trial at making amends, we may enjoy such a sense of relief that we conclude our task is finished. We will want to rest on our laurels. The temptation to skip the more humiliating and dreaded meetings that still remain may be great. We will often manufacture plausible excuses for dodging these issues entirely. Or we may just procrastinate, telling ourselves the time is not yet, when in reality we have already passed up many a fine chance to right a serious wrong. Let’s not talk prudence while practicing evasion.

p. 85

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Xtra Thoughts
June 6

Live to learn and you will learn to live.
–Portuguese Proverb

It is easy to dodge our responsibilities, but we cannot dodge the consequences of dodging our responsibilities.
–Sir Josiah Stamp

You cannot raise a man up by calling him down.
–William Boetcker

“Expecting the world to treat you fairly because you are a good person is like expecting a bull not to attack you because you are a vegetarian.”
–Dennis Wholey

Don’t let yesterday use up too much of today.
–Will Rogers

Realize the acts of others are not for or against you. They are experiences in his or her life.
–unknown

We do not have to be perfect, self assured, and untarnished, to be accepted and loved.
–SweetyZee

Anxiety separates us from experiencing a great life. So caught up are we in our worry, we may even cut ourselves off from giving and receiving love. God invites us into a fuller life in which we recognize that there is no anxiety that our Creator cannot handle, if we only remember to ask.
–Mary Manin Morrissey

Nothing can separate us from God’s love.
–Luis Aramayo

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation
June 6
SCIENCE

“As long as men are free to ask what they must – free to say what they think – free to think what they will – freedom can never be lost and science can never regress.”
–J. Robert Oppenheimer

We need to press on in this wonderful journey of life because new discoveries await us in our tomorrows. Spirituality always brings joy in the journey. In the traveling is the fun for we will never reach our destination in this life.

The freedom to question is the discipline of science, and science is involved in the treatment and recovery of addiction. We must always be looking for better ways of treatment, more vivid ways of teaching and creative aids to recovery.

Science, and every other creative discipline, should be used in the treatment of addictions: God is to be found in the many.

Lord, let us remember that You gave mankind a scalpel and a prayer book.

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Bible Scriptures
June 6

“No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.”
1 Corinthians 10:13

Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. This then is how we know that we belong to the truth, and how we set our hearts at rest in His presence whenever our hearts condemn us. For God is greater than our hearts, and He knows everything.
1 John 3:18-20

For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.
Isaiah 55:9

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Daily Inspiration
June 6

Even the most difficult of trials is God’s way of preparing us for something else. Lord, may I view my challenges as an opportunity to grow rather than as an opportunity to fail.

Jesus said, “Whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”. Lord, I pray, I believe, and I thank you even before it is fulfilled.

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A Day At A Time
June 6

Reflection For The Day

Adjusting myself to things as they are, and being able to love without trying to interfere with or control anyone else, however close to me — that’s one of the important things I search for and can find in The Program.  The learning is sometimes painful;  however, the reward is life itself — full and serene.  Is The Program helping restore me to a sane and reasonable way of thinking, so I can handle my interpersonal relationships with love and understanding?

Today I Pray

May I respect those that I love enough to set them free — to stop controlling, manipulating, scheming, balling them out of trouble.  May I love them enough to let them make their own mistakes and take responsibility for them.  May I learn to let go.

Today I Will Remember

Love is letting Go.

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One More Day
June 6

Prayer is not asking.  It is a longing of the soul.
—  Mohandas Gandhi

Some people have suggested that we shouldn’t ask for something in prayer.  Yes our need to pray is often fueled by emotional or physical pain or by confusion or doubt.  Certainly we can’t — certainly we shouldn’t — wait for distressing situations to pass before we pray or meditate.

Our soul long for balance and serenity, and we find this when we turn our pain, doubts, and fears over to the comforting presence of our Higher Power.  Often what we seek is not an answer to a question as much as a sense of being loved and understood.  When we can’t find these in our physical world, we reach out with our spiritual selves to a balancing presence that understands our deepest pains and fears and our greatest joys.

No matter what I express in prayer, I am comforted in knowing I’m understood.

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One Day At A Time
June 6
HUMAN EMOTION

“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet.  Only through experiences of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired and success achieved.”
–Helen Keller

While traveling through life, I have made choices that have injured myself and others. Others have made choices that have hurt me. Remembering and writing about my past has proved to bring up a plethora of negative emotions. At this moment I feel pain, remorse, anger, frustration, and am overwhelmed.

Every human on earth experiences these same feelings at one time or another. This is part of what I am here for. How could I ever comprehend bliss without experiencing misery? How could I enjoy inspiration without suffering depression? How could I appreciate peace without encountering turmoil? I am grateful for the problems life gives me — partnered with the emotions they bring — because without the bad I could not understand the good. Everything has its opposite. Things will always change. Things will always get better, just like the sun shines after each storm. The good news is that even though I may be experiencing negative feelings, I am learning empathy and I am gaining wisdom. And how much more will I value the rays of sunshine that break through the gray clouds?

One day at a time…
I will allow myself the honor of feeling human emotion. I will ask my Higher Power to give me comfort in my hardships and to help me remember why I am here. I will ask my Higher Power to open my heart to the lessons I am learning. For today, with hope and faith, I will look for the sunbeams shining through the haze.

~ Susanne

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Elder’s Meditation of the Day June 6

“We need to save those Elders who cannot speak for themselves — the trees.”
–Haida Gwaii, Traditional Circle of Elders

The trees are the Elders of the Earth. Go to the forest or to the mountains and find a young tree. Then find an old tree. Spend time with each. Sit by the young tree and listen to your thoughts. Then move to an old tree and listen to your thoughts again. Just being in the presence of an old tree, you will feel more calm. Your thoughts will contain wisdom and your answers will be deeper. Why is this so? These old trees know more, have heard more, and are the Elders of the Earth. We must ensure these trees live so we can learn from them.

My Creator, help me to protect the trees and listen to them.

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Journey To The Heart
June 6
Learn to Change Your Energy

The simple act of moving around can change your energy. When your mind starts to flag, move your body around. Go for a walk, take a bath, get a drink of water, work out at the gym. You’re doing more than moving your body, you’re changing and rearranging your energy field.

Listen to your body. It will say what it needs, what it would like, what would be helpful. If you let it, it will even move quite naturally to what would do it good. Stretch your legs. Stretch your arms. Go outside. Do some deep breathing. Call a friend. Meditate. Tell a joke to a co-worker. You don’t have to stay stuck in the energy you’re in. You don’t have to be a victim to the way you feel right now.

One of the powers we learn we have is the ability to shift, refocus, and rearrange our energy. When we get stuck in a particular emotion or reaction or mind-set, when we get bogged down or too fired up, we can save ourselves a lot of time by changing our energy, instead of hammering away at a change in the situation. Learn to tell when it is time to do that. Then discover what works for you– the little acts as well as the big ones.

Be gentle with yourself when you get stuck, when you need a fresh viewpoint. Learn to change and rearrange your energy as needed.

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Today’s Gift
June 6

A good anger acted upon is beautiful as lightning and swift with power. A good anger swallowed clots the blood like slime.
—Marge Piercy

How does it feel when someone tells us we should play basketball when we don’t want to? Often, it angers us that someone else is telling us what to do. After we have been told we should do something many times, we begin to believe it and forget how we really feel. Even though we have forgotten what we wanted to do, we feel angry, often without realizing it. Such hidden anger can leave us feeling bad without knowing why.

It is important to know when we are angry, and to say so. There are healthy ways of expressing anger without blaming others. Saying we are angry, and thereby claiming it as our own feeling and not something others force on us, is a way to express it, which also affirms our right to be angry.

If there is anger in me today, can I express it correctly?

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The Language of Letting Go
June 6
The Gift of Readiness

Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
—Step Six of Al-Anon

We progress to the Sixth Step by working diligently, to the best of our ability, on the first Five Steps. This work readies us for a change of heart, openness to becoming changed by a Power greater than ourselves – God.

The path to this willingness can be long and hard. Many of us have to struggle with a behavior or feeling before we become ready to let it go. We need to see, over and over again, that the coping device that once protected us is no longer useful.

The defects of character referred to in Step Six are old survival behaviors that once helped us cope with people, life, and ourselves. But now they are getting in our way, and it is time to be willing to have them removed.

Trust in this time. Trust that you are being readied to let go of that which is no longer useful. Trust that a change of heart is being worked out in you.

God, help me become ready to let go of my defects of character. Help me know, in my mind and soul, that I am ready to let go of my self defeating behaviors, the blocks and barriers to my life.

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More Language Of Letting Go
June 6
Let go of tension

In Find and Use Your Inner Power, author Emmet Fox used the metaphor of trying to force a key into the lock to unlock the door. When we’re tense and afraid, Fox explained, we fumble. Sometimes the very key that is the right key doesn’t work because we’re trying to force it, because we’re so tense and uptight.

Relax. See! The less control and force you use, the better.

Maybe the key you’ve been trying to use all along is the right one. Maybe it was your fear and panic that was keeping you from unlocking the door. Maybe you were trying to force it, after all.

See how easily and naturally things work out when you just simply relax and let go. You will tap into your true power and the power of the universe when you move, love, work, and play from a place of relaxed and calm inner peace.

Move from your center. Let things work out.

God, help me stay serene, confident, and joyful as I go through my day.

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Touchstones Meditations For Men
June 6

Words and magic were, in the beginning, one and the same thing, and even today words retain much of their magical power.
—Sigmund Freud

We shape our experiences with the words we use to describe them. Word images create expectations and we naturally move toward them. When a man says, “I can’t!” he is commanding his unconscious self to be helpless. When he has a picture in his mind of moving toward his goal, he may say, “It’s hard, but I’m going to give it my best effort.” If, every time he makes a mistake, he mutters berating statements to himself like, “You idiot! You can’t do anything right,” he is teaching himself to be inadequate.

It’s our responsibility in recovery to use respectful, honest, health-giving words. We can no longer use defeating, shaming, or derogatory words. Our language has a hypnotic effect on us and the people around us. So let’s look at our resources today and name them. Let’s meet our difficulties with our strength, our patience, and the backing of our Higher Power.

Today, I will call forth images and use words to show I respect myself and others.

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Daily TAO
June 6
Optimal

If you are best in the morning,
Cultivate Tao in the morning.
If you are best in the evening,
Cultivate Tao in the evening.

Whatever the optimal time of day is for you, you should devote it to the cultivation of Tao. For example, dawn, when it is quiet, the world is fresh, and the mind is untainted by the day’s events, is an ideal time to devote to study. Morning,the time of birth, should not be wasted on a quick breakfast, a hastily read newspaper, and a manic rush to work. It is far better to awake from peaceful sleep, wash yourself, drink clear water, and immerse yourself in the rising energy of the day.

If your optimal time is evening, there are two propitious intervals: twilight, when day and night come into balance, and midnight, when the first breath of the coming day arises. In the night, worldly cares are put aside, rest and relaxation are paramount, and the entire world withdraws into nocturne. night is the time of regeneration, and it should not be wasted on wanton entertainment, indulgent sexuality, and too much sleep. It is far better to retire from the cares of the day, bathe, and immerse yourself in the gestating power of the dark.

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