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In Loving Memory of Vic

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Daily Recovery Readings – March 24

Just For Today
March 24
Letting Go Of The Past

“It is not where we were that counts, but where we are going.”
Basic Text, pg.22

When we first find recovery, some of us feel shame or despair at calling ourselves “addicts.” In the early days, we may be filled with both fear and hope as we struggle to find new meaning in our lives. The past may seem inescapable and overpowering. It may be hard to think of ourselves in any way other than the way we always have.

While memories of the past can serve as reminders of what’s waiting for us if we use again, they can also keep us stuck in a nightmare of shame and fear. Though it may be difficult to let go of those memories, each day in recovery can bring us that much farther away from our active addiction. Each day, we can find more to look forward to and less to punish ourselves for.

In recovery, all doors are open to us. We have many choices. Our new life is rich and full of promise. While we cannot forget the past, we don’t have to live in it. We can move on.

Just for today: I will pack my bags and move out of my past into a present filled with hope.

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Daily Reflections
March 24
ACTIVE, NOT PASSIVE, p. 92

Man is supposed to think, and act. He wasn’t made to God’s image to be an automation.
–As Bill Sees It, p. 55

Before I joined A.A., I often did not think, and reacted to people and situations. When not reacting I acted in a mechanical fashion. After joining A.A., I started seeking daily guidance from a Power greater than myself, and learning to listen for that guidance. Then I began to make decisions and act on them, rather than react to them. The results have been constructive; I no longer allow others to make decisions for me and then criticize me for it.

Today–and every day–with a heart full of gratitude, and a desire for God’s will to be done through me, my life is worth sharing, especially with my fellow alcoholics! Above all, if I do not make a religion out ofanything, even A.A., then I can be an open channel for God’s expression.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day
March 24
A.A. Thought For The Day

Strength comes from honestly telling your own experiences with drinking. In religion, they call it confession. We call it witnessing or sharing. You give a personal witness, you share your past experiences, the troubles you got into, the hospitals, the jails, the break-up of your home, the money wasted, the debts, and all the foolish things you did when you were drinking. This personal witness lets out the things you had kept hidden, brings them out into the open, and you find release and strength. Am I receiving strength from my personal witnessing?

Meditation For The Day

We cannot fully understand the universe. The simple fact is that we cannot even define space or time, which we have manufactured by our own minds and on that depends all our so-called knowledge of the universe. The simple fact is that we can never know all things, nor are we made to know them. Much of our lives must be taken on faith.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that my faith may be based on my own experience of the power of God in my life. I pray that I may know this one thing above all else in the universe.

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As Bill Sees It
March 24
We Cannot Live Alone, p. 83

All of A.A.’s Twelve Steps ask us to go contrary to our natural desires; they all deflate our egos. When it comes to ego deflation, few Steps are harder to take than the Fifth. Scarcely any Step is more necessary to long-time sobriety and peace of mind.

A.A. experience has taught us we cannot live alone with our pressing problems and the character defects which cause or aggravate them. If Step Four has revealed in stark relief those experiences we’d rather not remember, then the need to quit living by ourselves with those tormenting ghosts of yesterday gets more urgent than ever. We have to talk to somebody about them.

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

We cannot wholly rely on friends to solve all our difficulties. A good adviser will never do all our thinking for us. He knows that each final choice must be ours. He will therefore help to eliminate fear, expediency, and self-deception, so enabling us to make choices which are loving, wise, and honest.

1. 12 & 12, p. 55

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Walk in Dry Places
March 24
This Too Shall Pass
Fortitude

Growing older in sobriety, w soon become aware of the fact that both good and bad experiences eventually pass on. No matter how beautiful or ugly a situation becomes, it must change in time. In discussions, we catch this idea by reminding ourselves that “This too shall pass.”

We are very fortunate that this is true. Were it otherwise, intolerable conditions would last forever. Our business is to make sure that our own thoughts and actions lead to betterment, for ourselves and others. While we should be willing to accept unpleasantness if the re is no way of avoiding it, we should always hope … And work for improvement.

When unpleasant experiences do pass on. We must also be careful not to resurrect them by brooding about how badly we were treated or trying to get even with others. This only prolongs the trouble. The good news in AA is that we can survive any experience and put it behind us.

Whatever I’m facing today, I’ll know that it is temporary and has no power to keep me from the deeper happiness and gratitude I have in the 12 step program.

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Keep It Simple
March 24

Love your enemy it will drive him nuts.
–Eleanor Doan

Love you enemy. It’s a lot easier on you! Hating someone takes so much time and energy.

Loving your enemy means, instead of trying to get even, you let your Higher Power handle that person. Of course, loving your enemy is also hard. It means giving up control. It means giving up self-will. We addicts naturally want to control things and people.

This is where we turn to our program for help. We learn to love our enemies, not for some grand reason. We simply do it because hate can cause us to use alcohol or other drugs again.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, watch over my family, friends, and my enemies. Take from me my desire to control. Take from me all reasons to get high.

Action for the Day: Today, I’ll list all my enemies. I’ll say each of their names, and then I’ll read the Third Step out loud.

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Each Day a New Beginning
March 24

Love has a hundred gentle ends.
–Leonora Speyer

Letting go is a process that is seldom easy. For many, its meaning is elusive. How do we “let go”? Letting go means removing our attention from a particular experience or person and putting our focus on the here and now. We hang on to the past, to past hurts, but also to past joys. We have to let the past pass. The struggle to hang on to it, any part of it, clouds the present. You can’t see the possibilities today is offering if your mind is still drawn to what was.

Letting go can be a gentle process. Our trust in our higher power and our faith that good will prevail, in spite of appearances, eases the process. And we must let each experience end, as its moment passes, whether it is good or bad, love or sorrow. It helps to remember that all experiences contribute to our growth and wholeness. No experience will be ignored by the inner self who is charting our course. All are parts of the journey. And every moment has a gentle end, but no moment is forgotten.

My journey today is akin to yesterday’s journey and tomorrow’s too. I will savor each moment and be ready for the next.

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Alcoholics Anonymous
March 24
SAFE HAVEN

– This A.A. found that the process of discovering who he really was began with knowing who he didn’t want to be.

During my years in the broadcast industry, I worked from time to time as a radio storm chaser. It was my job to use radar information to follow the storm and spot tornados, hail, flooding, and storm-related hazards or damage. I would then use a cellular phone in my vehicle to give live reports over the radio while chasing the storm. One night the storm was extremely turbulent. Our listening audience was larger than ever as I gave my live report, sounding as if I were on the front lines of a war zone.

pp. 453-454

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions
March 24

Step Three – “Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.”

To every worldly and practical-minded beginner, this Step looks hard, even impossible. No matter how much one wishes to try, exactly how can he turn his own will and his own life over to the care of whatever God he thinks there is? Fortunately, we who have tried it, and with equal misgivings, can testify that anyone, anyone at all, can begin to
do it. We can further add that a beginning, even the smallest, is all that is needed. Once we have placed the key of willingness in the lock and have the door ever so slightly open, we find that we can always open it some more. Though self-will may slam it shut again, as it frequently does, it will always respond the moment we again pick up the key of willingness.

p. 35

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Xtra Thoughts
March 24

I keep my sobriety by giving it away.
–Unknown

Humility does not mean you think less of yourself.  It means you think of yourself less.
–Ken Blanchard

“Recovery is a path, not a sudden landing.”
–Sandra B

“The two major sources of value today are time and knowledge. Find new ways every day to use them better.”
–Brian Tracy

Action is the antidote to despair.
–Joan Baez

Even though our love may waiver, God’s love for us never fails.
–Howard Coop

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation
March 24
LANGUAGE

“Language is the light of the mind.”
–John Stuart Mill

When I was drinking, I never really thought about how I behaved, how I dressed or the language I used. Today I believe I should be responsible for the whole of me.

Language is important because it is my bridge to others; it is also the vehicle for understanding the ideas of others. Spirituality involves the concept of language because it is the means of growth, communication and relationship. My words help me to be known. My ability to understand the ideas and aspirations of others helps me to feel that I belong.

God is perceived in this world and the gift of language is one of the ways God is revealed. My words are spiritual.

May the light of God’s eternal truth be manifested in the way I talk and relate to others.

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Bible Scriptures
March 24

Have you not known?
Have you not heard?
The everlasting God, the LORD,
The Creator of the ends of the earth,
Neither faints nor is weary.
His understanding is unsearchable.
He gives power to the weak,
And to those who have no might He increases strength.
Even the youths shall faint and be weary,
And the young men shall utterly fall,
But those who wait on the LORD
Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint.
Isaiah 40:28-31

“Don’t let the world around you squeeze you into its own mold, but let God remold your minds from within, so that you may prove in practice that the plan of God for you is good, meets all His demands, and moves toward the goal of true maturity.”
–Romans 12:2

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Daily Inspiration
March 24

A house becomes a home when it is filled with love and friendship. Lord, bless my life with laughter and many shared moments that I may in turn be a source of sunshine to others.

Live as a responsible adult, but approach God as a child, full of faith and trust. You cannot help but perfect one by the other. Lord, You are my Father. Who else will so lovingly listen to me and care for my desires.

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A Day At A Time
March 24

Reflection For The Day

All of us are faced with the troubles and problems of daily living, whether we’ve been in The Program two days or 20 years.  We’d sometimes like to beieve we could ake care of all our problems right now, but it rarely works that way  If we remember the slogan “Easy Does It” when we are ready to panic, we mayb come to know that the very best way to handle all things is “Easy.”  We put one foot in front of the other, doing the best we are capapble of doing.  We say “Easy Does It.” and we do it.  Are The Pogram’s slognas gtwoing with me as I grow with The Program?

Today I Pray

May even the words “Easy Des It’ serve to slow me down in my hadlong rush to accomplis too much too fast.  May just that world “Easy” be enough to make me ease up on he ships that drive my ambitions, ease up on the accelerator which plunges me into new situations without enough forethought, ese off on the number of hours spent in material pursuits.   May I hark to the adage that Rome wasn’t built in a single day.  Niether can I builde solutions to my problems all at once.

Today I Will Remember

Easy Does It.

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One More Day
March 24

Our safety is not in blindness, but in facing our danger.
–  Johann Cristoph Schiller

Sometimes our difficulties are compounded when we take more drugs than needed to treat our illnesses.  This can be due to our getting prescriptions from than one doctor or from using over-the-counter drugs in addition to our prescribed medications.

Certainly, we need to use the drugs that will keep us as healthy and functional as possible, but over medication can be an accidental side-effect of chronic medical problems.  Also, psychological or physical dependence can also occur.

Besides necessary medications, the joy of living and the love of ourselves and others can help us deal with our illnesses.  By learning to live with our limitations we can gain back some of the personal power that chronic illness has taken from us.

I am strengthened by facing my problems.

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One Day At A Time
March 24
Positive Thinking

“It takes but one positive when given a chance to survive and thrive to overpower and entire army of negative thoughts.”
–Robert H. Schuller

A positive attitude is crucial for a successful recovery. This summer, I wasn laid up with two torn tendons in my left ankle. This happened right at the start of my summer vacation. When it first happened, I was VERY dejected. This had to happen NOW!!! Just when my holidays are starting? (not that ANY time is a good time to receive an injury!). However, upon reflection it WAS good timing. I didn’t have get myself to and from work. My daughter was finished school for the summer and was able to be home to assist me with day to day stuff. Plus I had just taken on some new OA service responsibilities and being home allowed me the time to really focus and internalize my new roles. Instead of looking at this as a negative – I think HP gave me an opportunity here to rest up and do some service at the same time. My daughter and I did some wonderful bonding as well. It would have been very easy just to turn negative and feel sorry for myself . But I simply would have made myself (and everyone around me) miserable during the my six weeks of recovery. Instead, it’s turned out to be a wonderful learning experience (not to mention it provided a good idea for this meditation topic!). Life’s too short for cheap wHine, n’est past?

One Day at a Time . . .
I will look at life from a positive point of view.

~ Rob R.

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Elder’s Meditation of the Day
March 24

Our religion is the traditions of our ancestors; the dreams of our old men, given them in the solemn hours of night by the Great Spirit; and the visions of our sachems, and is written in the hearts of our people.
–Chief Seattle, SUQUAMISH

Our Spiritual ways have carefully been given to chosen people. Slowly, through our past generations, through past conflicts, our Elders prayed for guidance, which the Creator provided. Then it was passed down to the next generation through culture, ceremony and oral traditions. Our Indian religion has been tested and is about how we should behave and treat other people, animals and the earth. This knowledge is written in the heart of every person. We can find this knowledge by looking inside ourselves.

My Creator, today, when conflict occurs, I will look inside myself for the answers.

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Journey to the Heart
March 24
Tap into Life’s Energy

Life is not something separate or apart from you, as you once believed. There is a power, a life force, that moves, guides, directs, and inspires you. You are one with life, with life’s energy.

Do things that energize you, charge your soul. Soak up the sun. Soak up color. Soak up beautiful sounds. Immerse yourself in nature, in a world the refreshes, restores, and renews. Don’t worry about the task or the day that looms ahead, the work, and love and play, the problems and choices that are on the way. If you energize yourself, restore yourself, the power to take action will come naturally like water from a spring.

Look around. What do you see that feels right to do? Which direction do you see as the right way to go? Trust the smallest glimmer. Give in to the urge, to the guidance that’s there. Do it once. Do it again. Soon you will find yourself in harmony.

You will have all the guidance, energy, ideas, creativity, power, and ability you need to do all you’re meant to do. And you will be given the power to enjoy it.

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Today’s Gift
March 24

The things we hate about ourselves aren’t more real than things we like about ourselves.
—Ellen Goodman

It is so easy, and tempting, to get down on ourselves, to focus on an imperfect face, a dismal batting average, our fear of math, or our big feet. The trouble is, the more we feel sorry for ourselves, and the more we have to feel sorry about. And though it probably doesn’t hurt to indulge in a little self-pity once in a while, how unfortunate–and limiting–it can be to let those attitudes define us.

The things we hate about ourselves are no more real than the things we like about ourselves. The trick is to dwell on the things we like instead of those we don’t. Even on days when we are sure we are the least loveable creatures in the world, we can “act as if” we like ourselves. What a surprise at the end of the day, to find out that we actually do!

What can I like about myself today?

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The Language of Letting Go
March 24
Appreciating Ourselves

We are the greatest things that will ever happen to us. Believe it. It makes life much easier.
–Codependent No More

It is time to stop this nonsense of running around picking on ourselves.

We may have walked through much of our life apologizing for ourselves either directly or indirectly – feeling less valuable than others, believing that they know better than we do, and believing that somehow others are meant to be here and we are not.

We have a right to be here.

We have a right to be ourselves. We are here. There is a purpose, a reason, and an intention for our life. We do not have to apologize for being here or being who we are.

We are good enough, and deserving.

Others do not have our magic. We have our magic. It is in us.

It doesn’t matter what we’ve done in our past. We all have a past, woven with mistakes, successes, and learning experiences. We have a right to our past. It is ours. It has worked to shape and form us. As we progress on this journey, we shall see how each of our experiences will be turned around and used for good.

We have already spent too much time being ashamed, being apologetic, and doubting the beauty of ourselves. Be done with it. Let it go. It is an unnecessary burden. Others have rights, but so do we. We are neither less than nor more than. We are equal. We are who we are. That is whom we were created and intended to be.

That, my friend, is a wonderful gift.

God, help me own my power to love and appreciate myself. Help me give myself validity instead of looking to others to do that.

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More Language Of Letting Go
March 24
Cultivate inner peace

According to my experience, the principle characteristic of genuine happiness is peace, inner peace.
–His Holiness the Dalai Lama

Cultivate a sense of peace, an abiding inner peace that doesn’t depend on outward circumstance.

So much chaos, so much drama, so many emotions surge through us. It is so easy, so tempting to believe that once we get through this circumstance, once we achieve this goal, once we solve this problem, then we will be peaceful.

That’s an illusion.

“I’m happy when I get what I want,” said Kent. “For a few minutes.”

Getting what we want may cause us to feel happy for a moment, but it will bring a limited, transient happiness. The next problem or emotion will present itself. Or we will begin resenting that person or job, because he, she, or it did not bring the happiness we believed it would. Like a carrot on a stick, happiness will always be the next problem, acquisition, or emotion away.

Be peaceful now.

Be happy now.

Take the limits off your joy.

God, help me remember to be peaceful first, no matter what situation I face.

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Touchstones Meditation For Men
March 24

I don’t like a man to be too efficient. He’s likely to be not human enough
—Felix Frankfurter

On our path we seek balance. Pursuing any single value and ignoring another, whether it is efficiency, hard work, or leisure, will make one-sided men of us. Psychology tells us our right brain is the creative, intuitive side and our left-brain is the concrete, fact gathering side. Spending our energies developing only one part of ourselves will leave us incomplete. We males have been taught we should be decisive, practical, and have our feet on the ground.

As men we are also creative and sensitive. We think in stories, pictures, and metaphors and we love music. At our best, we are willing to place people and relationships ahead of things and goals. When we are wisest and most human, we draw on the many sides of ourselves.

Today, I will use both the creative, intuitive part of me and the practical, decisive part that can get a job done.

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DailyTAO
March 24
PARTING

You and I assumed forever
When we became companions.
But now, unhappy, you are leaving.
The sky turns to bitter candescence
Unslaked by resignation.

There are times when we have been lucky enough to have companions on our spiritual path, but the time of parting often comes without welcome. When our friends decide to leave, we are often left with doubt, confusion, and sometimes guilt. Anyone may leave the path. They won’t suffer damnation; they will only walk a different path.

The rule for those who follow Tao is this: Walk the path together as long as you can, and when you must part, never hold your companion back.

Should one seek to have no feelings at all regarding friends? After all, the sages constantly warn against attachment. Yet emotion is part of what makes us human. We may understand philosophically why a companion must leave, but we need not deny our feelings as we walk on alone.

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DailyZen
March 24

I view the colored peaks
Incised upon the autumn sky;
Listen to the pine grove
In the calm night.
Someone not seen
For a long time
Is practicing the Way
In snowy clouds.

– Chiao-jan (730-799)

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Food for Thought
March 24
Action

Ours is a program of Action. It does no good to develop new awareness if we do not take appropriate new actions. When we become aware of the damage done by compulsive overeating and realize that OA has the answer to our problem, we take action by going to meetings, making phone calls, and working the steps. We follow a food plan and abstain from eating compulsively.

Taking inventory, admitting our mistakes, and making amends involves action. Our Higher Power gives us courage to change the things we can. He gives us the confidence to get involved in new activities, to be more assertive, to make new friends, to go back to school, to change jobs.

By abstaining from the type of eating that paralyzed us, we have strength and energy to do new things. One step at a time, we are led into action. Not to move according to the direction of God as we understand Him is to fall backwards and stagnate. Each positive action we take strengthens our recovery.

Direct my actions, Lord.

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Faith’s Check Book
March 24
Established and Kept

But the Lord is faithful, who shall stablish you, and keep you from evil.
–(2 Thessalonians 3:3)

Men are often as devoid of reason as of faith. There are with us still “unreasonable and wicked men.” There is no use in arguing with them or trying to be at peace with them: they are false at heart and deceitful in speech. Well, what of this? Shall we worry ourselves with them? No; let us turn to the Lord, for He is faithful. No promise from His Word will ever be broken. He is neither unreasonable in His demands upon us nor unfaithful to our claims upon Him. We have a faithful God. Be this our joy.

He will stablish us so that wicked men shall not cause our downfall, and He will keep us so that none of the evils which now assail us shall really do us damage. What a blessing for us that we need not contend with men but are allowed to shelter ourselves in the Lord Jesus, who is in truest sympathy with us. There is one true heart, one faithful mind, one never changing love; there let us repose. The Lord will fulfill the purpose of His grace to us, His servants, and we need not allow a shadow of a fear to fatal upon our spirits. Not all that men or devils can do can hinder us of the divine protection and provision. This day let us pray the Lord to stablish and keep us.

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This Morning’s Meditation
March 24

“He was heard in that he feared.”
–Hebrews 5:7

DID this fear arise from the infernal suggestion that He was utterly forsaken. There may be sterner trials than this, but surely it is one of the worst to be utterly forsaken? “See,” said Satan, “thou hast a friend nowhere! Thy Father hath shut up the bowels of His compassion against thee. Not an angel in His courts will stretch out his hand to help thee. All heaven is alienated from Thee; Thou art left alone. See the companions with whom Thou hast taken sweet counsel, what are they worth? Son of Mary, see there Thy brother James, see there Thy loved disciple John, and Thy bold apostle Peter, how the cowards sleep when Thou art in Thy sufferings! Lo! Thou hast no friend left in heaven or earth. All hell is against Thee. I have stirred up mine infernal den. I have sent my missives throughout all regions summoning every prince of darkness to set upon Thee this night, and we will spare no arrows, we will use all our infernal might to overwhelm Thee: and what wilt Thou do, Thou solitary one?” It may be, this was the temptation; we think it was, because the appearance of an angel unto Him strengthening Him removed that fear. He was heard in that He feared; He was no more alone, but heaven was with Him. It may be that this is the reason of His coming three times to His disciples—as Hart puts it—

“Backwards and forwards thrice He ran,
As if He sought some help from man.”

He would see for Himself whether it were really true that all men had forsaken Him; He found them all asleep; but perhaps He gained some faint comfort from the thought that they were sleeping, not from treachery, but from sorrow, the spirit indeed was willing, but the flesh was weak. At any rate, He was heard in that He feared. Jesus was heard in His deepest woe; my soul, thou shalt be heard also.

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