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In Loving Memory of Vic

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Daily Recovery Readings – May 10

Just For Today
May 10
Becoming Entirely Ready

“We… get a good look at what these defects are doing to our lives. We begin to long for freedom from these defects.”
Basic Text, p. 33

Becoming entirely ready to have our defects of character removed can be a long process, often taking place over the course of a lifetime. Our state of readiness grows in direct proportion to our awareness of these defects and the destruction they cause.

We may have trouble seeing the devastation our defects are inflicting on our lives and the lives of those around us. If this is the case, we would do well to ask our Higher Power to reveal those flaws which stand in the way of our progress.

As we let go of our shortcomings and find their influence waning, we’ll notice that a loving God replaces those defects with quality attributes. Where we were fearful, we find courage. Where we were selfish, we find generosity. Our delusions about ourselves will disappear to be replaced by self-honesty and self-acceptance.

Yes, becoming entirely ready means we will change. Each new level of readiness brings new gifts. Our basic nature changes, and we soon find our readiness is no longer sparked only by pain but by a desire to grow spiritually.

Just for today: I will increase my state of readiness by becoming more aware of my shortcomings.

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Daily Reflections
May 10
FREE AT LAST

Another great dividend we may expect from confiding our defects to another human being is humility – a word often misunderstood. . . . it amounts to a clear recognition of what and who we really are, followed by a sincere attempt to become what we could be.
TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 58

I knew deep inside that if I were ever to be joyous, happy and free, I had to share my past life with some other individual.  The joy and relief I experienced after doing so were beyond description. Almost immediately after taking the Fifth Step,  I felt free from the bondage of self and the bondage of alcohol. That freedom remains after 36 years, a day at a time. I found that God could do for me what I couldn’t do for myself.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day
May 10
A.A. Thought For The Day

One thing that keeps me sober is a feeling of loyalty to the other members of the group. I know I’d be letting them down if I ever took a drink. When I was drinking, I wasn’t loyal to anybody. I should have been loyal to my family, but I wasn’t. I let them down by my drinking. When I came into A.A., I found a group of people who were not only helping each other to stay sober, but who were loyal to each other by staying sober themselves. Am I loyal to my group?

Meditation For The Day

Calmness is constructive of good. Agitation is destructive of good. I should not rush into action. I should first “be still and know that He is God.” Then I should act only as God directs me through my conscience. Only trust, perfect trust in God, can keep me calm when all around me are agitated. Calmness is trust in action. I should seek all things that can help me to cultivate calmness. To attain material things, the world learns to attain speed. To attain spiritual things, I have to learn to attain a state of calm.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may learn how to have inner peace. I pray that I may be calm, so that God can work through me.

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As Bill Sees It
May 10
Guide to a Better Way, p. 149

Almost none of us liked the self-searching, the leveling of our pride, the confession of shortcomings which the Steps require. But we saw that the program really worked in others, and we had come to believe in the hopelessness of life as we had been living it.

When, therefore, we were approached by those in whom the problem had been solved, there was nothing left for us but to pick up the simple kit of spiritual tools laid at our feet.

Implicit throughout A.A.’s Traditions is the confession that our Fellowship has its sins. We admit that we have character defects as a society and that these defects threaten us continually. Our Traditions are a guide to better ways of working and living, and they are to group survival and harmony what A.A.’s Twelve Steps are to each member’s sobriety and peace of mind.

1. Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 25
2. A.A. Comes Of Age, p. 96

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Walk In Dry Places
May 10
Doing the impossible things
Achievements.

One of our friends became critical of our AA group, suggesting that we were limiting ourselves by focusing solely on recovery when so many other accomplishments waited on the horizon. After all, isn’t it written that “with God, all things are possible?”

It is indeed true that we should place no limits at all on our Higher Power. Even nonbelievers will admit that nature and the universe show power and intelligence that are far beyond our understanding.

What limits us is our own ability to receive and use our Higher Power in proper ways. Even if our journey in the program gives us boundless self-confidence, we must always deal with our own selfish tendencies and the temptation to seek personal gain rather than personal improvement. Certain kinds of success can be fully as toxic as any drug. Some of us, in fact, can deal with disappointments more effectively than we can with too much success.

The Idea of “doing impossible things” is fully covered in the Steps. We seek knowledge of “God’s will for us and the Power to carry that out.” This means that we’ll find the where-withdrawal to do anything that belongs in our lives. Anything else is needless and perhaps even dangerous.

I’ll not feel that I lack faith simply because I haven’t been able to reach certain goals. My Higher Power will show me how to balance my life so I can accept what is rightfully mine. There is no need to do the seemingly “impossible” unless it is in the order of things.

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Keep It Simple
May 10

As I grow older, I pay less attention to what men say. I just watch what they do.
—Andrew Carnegie

Doing something with our lives, not just talking about it, is important. When we were sick with our addiction, what we did was drink or use other drugs. We only talked about what we wanted to do. Now that we are sober, we can really live our lives.

We’ve already done a lot. we’ve gotten help for our chemical dependency. We’ve facing the harm we did to our families. We’ve let other people into our lives.

Before recovery, we didn’t have to tell people we were alcoholics and addicts. Our actions showed it, if people knew what to look for. Now we don’t have to tell people we were recovering, because our actions will show it.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, let my actions show that I am getting better every day.

Action for the Day: Today, I’ll let my actions speak louder than words. I’ll do one thing that I have been saying I want to do.

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Each Day a New Beginning
May 10

To wait for someone else, or to expect someone else to make my life richer, or fuller, or more satisfying, puts me in a constant state of suspension; and I miss all those moments that pass. They never come back to be experienced again.
—Kathleen Tierney Crilly

The steps we are taking today will never again be taken in exactly the same way. The thoughts we are thinking are fresh, never to be repeated. All that these moments offer will never pass our way again.

We each have to grab our own happiness, create our own richness through experiences. We may share what we capture with loved ones, but like us, they too must search their own avenues for the satisfaction that lasts. We can neither give happiness to another, like a gift, nor expect it in return.

The fullness of life we all long for is the natural byproduct of living every moment as fully as possible. Our higher power will never direct us into waters too deep. When we have willingly turned our lives and our wills over, we’ll find an abundance of the rich, the full, the satisfying. Faith in God answers all questions, solves all problems.

I will cherish every moment today. Each one is special and will not visit me again.

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Alcoholics Anonymous
May 10
A LATE START

– “It’s been ten years since I retired, seven years since I joined A.A. Now I can truly say that I am a grateful alcoholic.”

My mentor had to remind me that A.A. is not just a project. A.A. offers me an opportunity to improve the quality of my life. I came to recognize that there is always a deeper and wider experience awaiting me. Early in my growth I remember thanking my sponsor for the hours and hours she had given me. She said, “Don’t you think that you will do the same for someone else some day?” I replied, “I will never be responsible to or for anyone else ever again.” That refusal to make any kind of repayment to the program delayed my offering to be of service in any capacity and consequently delayed my maturing process. Not until two years had passed was i willing to act as group secretary. It was four years before I was willing to sponsor anyone. Today it is with real gratitude that I am allowed into the lives of a few women. My own understanding is broadened and deepened by their influence in my life. As the newcomer and I examine each step, both she and I receive new insight and find an additional facet to this jewel of sobriety. I’m proud now to be a part of the Fellowship that showed me the path up and out of hell. Now I am eager to share my experience as others have shared theirs with me.

pp. 541-542

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions
May 10

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

A spot-check inventory taken in the midst of such disturbances can be of very great help in quieting stormy emotions. Today’s spot check finds its chief application to situations which arise in each day’s march. The consideration of long-standing difficulties had better be postponed, when possible, to times deliberately set aside for that purpose. The quick inventory is aimed at our daily ups and downs, especially those where people or new events throw us off balance and tempt us to make mistakes.

pp. 90-91

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Xtra Thoughts
May 10

The bonds of matrimony aren’t worth much unless the interest is kept up.
–Cited in Even More of…The Best of BITS & PIECES

No one can make you feel inferior without your permission.
–Eleanor Roosevelt

If I had my life to live over, I’d try to make more mistakes next time. I would relax, I would limber up, I would be crazier than I’ve been on this trip. I know very few things I’d take seriously any more. I’d certainly be less hygienic… I would take more chances, I would take more trips, I would scale more mountains, I would swim more rivers, and I would watch more sunsets. I would eat more ice cream and fewer beans. I would have more actual troubles and fewer imaginary ones. Oh, I’ve had my moments, and if I had to do it all over again, I’d have many more of them, in fact I’d try not to have anything else, just moments, one after another, instead of living so many years ahead of my day. If I had it to do all over again, I’d travel lighter, much lighter than I have. I would start barefoot earlier in the spring, and I’d stay that way later in the fall. and I would ride more merry-go-rounds, and catch more gold rings, and greet more people and pick more flowers and dance more often…
–Jose Luis Borges

“Cease to inquire what the future has in store, and take as a gift whatever the day brings forth.”
–Horace

Today, I will have some fun with life, with recovery, with people, and with my day.
–The Language Of Letting Go

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation
May 10
CREATIVITY

“When one is painting, one does not think.”
–Raphael Sanzio

An artist is predominantly a person who feels rather than thinks; he is molding his most inner experiences into the finished product.

I am doing the same in my sobriety. Today I am molding something good and wholesome from a life that was negative and destructive. I am rediscovering God, not just in thoughts and ideas, but in the daily happenings of my life. God is not only an idea but He is alive in my relationships, behavior and daily acts of kindness.

God is a process in which I am involved. He is at the center of my life, regardless of the ordinariness of the event. Art is part of my life because I am a creative human being.

Teach me to look beyond the painting into myself.

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Bible Scriptures
May 10

Do everything without complaining or arguing. . .
Phillipians 2:14

Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.
Colossians 4:2

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not rely on your own insight. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.
Proverbs 3:5-6

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Daily Inspiration
May 10

If you find only defects when you look into a mirror, you are definitely missing something. Lord, may I take comfort in my good points and use them as a foundation to grow.

God did not talk about how much He loves us. He showed us by sending us His Son. Lord, may I learn to love selflessly and speak through my actions.

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A Day At A Time
May 10

Reflection For The Day

As the doubter tries to process of prayer, he would do well to add up the results.  If he persists, he’ll almost surely find more serenity, more tolerance, less fear, and less anger.  He’ll acquire a quiet courage — the kind that isn’t tension-ridden.  He’ll be able to look at “failure” and “success” for what they really are.  Problems and calamity will begin to mean his instruction, instead of his destruction.  He’ll feel freer and saner.  Have wonderful and unaccountable things begun to happen to me in my new life?

Today I Pray

Through prayer, communion with a Higher Power, may I begin to see my lfie sort itself out.  May I become less tense, more sane, more open, more courageous, more loving, less tangled in problems, less afraid of losing, less afraid of living.  May I know that God, too, wants these things for me.  May His will be done.

Today I Will Remember

Be still and know that He is God.

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One More Day
May 10

Life would be infinitely happier if we could only be born at the age of eighty and gradually approach eighteen.
— Mark Twain

It isn’t until we add many years to our lives that we realized just how good most of us had it at eighteen. We were, by and large, only responsible for ourselves. Hindsight is always twenty-twenty.

How nice for us that the hindsight we have developed over the years can be used to our own benefit now. We understand that it’s natural for older people to lead and to teach the younger ones. Paying for life’s experiences — joys and sorrows — hasn’t all been easy. We have earned the wisdom we have now.

Since I could not be wise when I was young, the wisdom I have gained with maturity will serve me well as I get older.

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One Day At A Time
May 10
GOOD DAYS
BAD DAYS

Most of the shadows of this life are caused by standing in one’s own sunshine.
–Ralph Waldo Emerson

Thank You, God, for always loving and accepting me right where I am, and working with me, even when I am not willing to give You much to work with. It is so comforting to know that wherever I am, whether I am willing and open, or have once again shut myself off from the Light of Your Spirit, You will meet me there and provide whatever is necessary for me to keep on.

Thank You for forgiving me those times when I am not willing enough to put forth any effort–some days I just want to skate, God–some days I just want to wallow in it. Why else would I resist changing into what You would have me be? Some days I am lazy and comfortable just where I am.

One Day at a Time . . .
God, Help me to be willing to reach out to You, good day or bad. Keep me mindful that my conscious contact with You makes even the best day better, and the worst day tolerable.

~ Jeanine ~

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Elder’s Meditation of the Day May 10

“When you go inside that power, there’s no fear. It’s so beautiful!! There’s no fear there. There’s no pain.”
—- Wallace Black Elk, LAKOTA

Imagine you are standing on the edge of a stage. In the center of the stage is a spotlight shining from above. If you stand anyplace outside the spotlight, in the darkness, you will experience fear. But as soon as you step into the light in the center of the stage, all fear and pain go away. When we stand in the power, fear cannot exist. How do we find this place of power? We pray our way into it. We ask the Creator to take our hand and help us. When we get to that place, we will feel the fear go away.

Great Spirit, hold my hand and guide me today.

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Journey to the Heart
May 10
Go for the Ride

Not all sections of the road we travel are smooth, paved, easy riding. We may prefer the smooth sections of highway, but sometimes the road gets rough. And the rough section can go on for miles and miles.

That’s okay. It doesn’t mean you’ve lost your way. It doesn’t mean the rough section and bumpy spots will lasr forever. You’re still on your path.

Relax. Wiggle your shoulders a bit. Get ready, for you just may be in for the ride of your life. Don’t try to ignore the bumps or pretend they’re not there. Not all roads are paved and smooth. Not all roads are meant to be. Slow down a bit if you need to, but don’t stop.

Accept each part of the journey as it comes. Let each stretch of your path be what it needs to be.

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Today’s Gift
May 10

To apologize: to lay the foundation for a future offense.
—Ambrose Bierce

“I’m sorry,” said the blind man as he whipped the mare. “I’m sorry,” said the mare, as she kicked the blind man in return.

“We’re sorry,” they assured themselves, as they pushed each other around again and again. Often, we push our troubles with other people around, creeping along in the old rough way, refusing to change because we’re too involved to see another choice.

There’s little sorrow in being sorry all the time. A true apology doesn’t try to explain. Sometimes a true apology just breaks down and cries. Then maybe we’re ready to go on – take someone by the hand, tell the whole sad truth, and work to find a better way.

Are my apologies excuses, or requests to be forgiven?

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The Language of Letting Go
May 10
Enjoying the Good Days

Good feelings can become a habitual part of our life.

There is absolutely no virtue in the unnecessary suffering, which many of us have felt for much of our life. We don’t have to allow others to make us miserable, and we don’t have to make ourselves miserable.

A good day does not have to be the calm before the storm. That’s an old way of thinking we learned in dysfunctional systems.

In recovery, a good day or a good feeling doesn’t mean we’re in denial. We don’t have to wreck our good times by obsessively searching for or creating a problem.

Enjoying our good days doesn’t mean we’re being disloyal to loved ones who are having problems. We don’t have to make ourselves feel guilty because other people aren’t having a good day. We don’t have to make ourselves miserable to be like them. They can have their day and their feelings; we can have ours.

A good feeling is to be enjoyed. More than we can imagine, good days are ours for the asking.

Today, I will let myself enjoy what is good. I don’t have to wreck my good day or good feeling; I don’t have to let others spoil it either.

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More language of letting go
May 10
Say when it’s time to stop sabotaging yourself

Jenny sat down in the comfortable armchair in the small, pleasantly lit office. The man sitting across from her looked like a normal, friendly man– not at all like she imagined a psychic would look. She relaxed and began to tell him why she was there.

“I don’t usually visit psychics, but I’d like some information and guidance about the relationship I’m in now,” she said. “The guy I’m seeing is a great guy. I’m really in love with him.”

The psychic didn’t have to be psychic to know that a “but” was coming next. He had heard the story many times before.

“But,” Jenny said, “he’s a drug dealer. But it’s only marijuana. And he doesn’t use himself. And he’s just doing it long enough to make enough money to start his own business. Go legitimate, you know.”

After rambling for a while, she stopped. “So,” she asked the psychic,” what do you think?”

“You don’t need a psychic to tell you to get out as fast as you can,” he said, giving her money back. “It’s obvious. The relationship is doomed.”

As in Jenny’s situation, it’s easy to see the ridiculously obvious faulty thinking in our friends and people we’re close to. Sometimes it’s harder to see our own faulty thinking and blind spots.

“I love her, but she’s married.” “I love him, but he’s a cocaine addict.” “I love him, but I know he sleeps around a lot.”

While many people enjoy the benefits of seeking intuitive spiritual guidance at some time in their lives, there are many times we can easily tell our own future. Stop sabotaging yourself. Listen to what you’re saying. Listen to the but’s, to the words that come out of your own mouth. Yes, some drug dealers do reform. Yes, people recover from cocaine addiction every day. Yes, people with long histories of infidelity do stop sleeping around. And some married people do get divorced and marry those with whom they had affairs.

Some people win the lottery– every day. But more people never win the lottery.

Sometimes we’re blindsided by events that couldn’t possibly be foreseen. Sometimes it’s easy to predict trouble. Whenever possible, save yourself the pain and heartache inevitably coming around the bend.

Stop sabotaging yourself. Be your own psychic. Listen to what you’re saying, and give yourself the same basic advice you’d give a friend. You may be the exception to the rule, but probably not.

God, help me let go of my blind spots, the ones that cause me to sabotage my own happiness and well-being.

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Touchstones Meditation For Men
May 10

“You are accepted!” … accepted by that which is greater than you and the name of which you do not know. Do not ask the name now, perhaps you will know it later. Do not try to do anything; perhaps later you will do much. Do not seek for anything, do not perform anything, and do not intend anything. Simply accept the fact you are accepted.
—Paul Tillich

New possibilities opened up when we accepted our powerlessness. These possibilities came to us from beyond ourselves. We can open ourselves to acceptance by being responsible for ourselves and practicing the Twelve Steps. We can’t improve upon the message that we are accepted, nor can we nail it down. In fact, the very moment we try to impose our control over it, it begins to evaporate.

We can receive this message of acceptance only when we are humble and open to it. After learning to surrender in the First Step of this program, we are ready to yield to messages of acceptance.

I am grateful for the acceptance which has come my way.

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DailyTAO
May 10
STRUGGLE

Life acquires meaning
When we face the conflict
Between our desires
And reality.

We all have differing personalities vying for predominance in our lives. Some come out at just the right moment. At other times, our aspirations and our fondest hopes find little support in our environment. Only a few can truly say that they are living their lives exactly according to their desires. For the majority of us, life is a series of conflicts between our inner ideas and outer constrictions. How will we test ourselves against the flexing of external circumstances?

Goals are important. Forbearance is also important. But the very process of struggle is equally essential. Rice must undergo the hardship of pounding in order to become white. Steel must endure the forge in order to become strong. Adversity is the tempering of one’s mettle. Without it, we cannot know any true meaning in our accomplishments. Of course, when things happen without struggle, it does not mean that we did not deserve it.

A musician may compose a brilliant piece in an afternoon. An artist will dash off a masterpiece in a single sitting. A writer will write significant passages as if they were dictated. Each might say, “It happened so fast!” But in reality, it took all of them years of dedication and struggle to come to that moment of climax. Thus even the virtuoso performance is the tip of a lifetime of struggle, and the gem of meaning is set in the metal of long perseverance.

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