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In Loving Memory of Vic

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Daily Recovery Readings – May 12

Just For Today
May 12
Living With Spiritual Experiences

“For meditation to be of value, the results must show in our daily lives.”
Basic Text, pp. 45-46

In working our program, we are given many indirect indications of a Higher Power’s presence in our lives: the clean feeling that comes to so many of us in taking our Fifth Step; the sense that we are finally on the right track when we make amends; the satisfaction we get from helping another addict. Meditation, however, occasionally brings us extraordinary indications of God’s presence in our lives. These experiences do not mean we have become perfect or that we are “cured.” They are tastes given us of the source of our recovery itself, reminding us of the true nature of the thing we are pursuing in Narcotics Anonymous and encouraging us to continue walking our spiritual path.

Such experiences demonstrate, in no uncertain terms, that we have tapped a Power far greater than our own. But how do we incorporate that extraordinary Power into our ordinary lives? Our NA friends, our sponsor, and others in our communities may be more seasoned in spiritual matters than we are. If we ask, they can help us fit our spiritual experiences into the natural pattern of recovery and spiritual growth.

Just for today: I will seek whatever answers I may need to understand my spiritual experiences and incorporate them into my daily life.

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Daily Reflections
May 12
THE PAST IS OVER

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.
TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 55

Whatever is done is over. It cannot be changed. But my attitude about it can be changed through talking with those who have gone before and with sponsors. I can wish the past never was, but if I change my actions in regard to what I have done, my attitude will change. I won’t have to wish the past away. I can change my feelings and attitudes, but only through my actions and the help of my fellow alcoholics.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day
May 12
A.A. Thought For The Day

When we come into A.A., looking for a way out of drinking, we really need a lot more than that. We need fellowship. We need to get the things that are troubling us out into the open. We need a new outlet for our energies and we need a new strength beyond ourselves that will help us face life instead of running away from it. In A.A. we find these things that we need. Have I found the things that I need?

Meditation For The Day

Turn out all thoughts of doubt and fear and resentment. Never tolerate them if you can help it. Bar the windows and doors of your mind against them, as you would bar your home against a thief who would steal in to take away your treasures. What greater treasures can you have than faith and courage and love? All these are stolen from you by doubt and fear and resentment. Face each day with peace and hope. They are results of true faith in God. Faith gives you a feeling of protection and safety that you can get in no other way.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may feel protected and safe, but not only when I am in the harbor. I pray that I may have protection and safety even in the midst of the storms of life.

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As Bill Sees It
May 12
A.A.–the Lodestar, p. 147

We can be grateful for every agency or method that tries to solve the problem of alcoholism–whether of medicine, religion, education, or research. We can be open-minded toward all such efforts and we can be sympathetic when the ill-advised ones fail. We can remember that A.A. itself ran for years on “trial and error.”

As individuals, we can and should work with those that promise success–even a little success.

Every one of the pioneers in the total field of alcoholism will generously say that had it not been for the living proof of recovery in A.A., they could not have gone on. A.A. was the lodestar of hope and help that kept them at it.

Grapevine, March 1958

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Walk in Dry Places
May 12
Repeating the old hurts
Serenity

It’s been pointed out that the real meaning of resentment is to "re-feel" an old injury. This means that we let ourselves feel again the pain we had when we were previously wronged.

Common sense tells us that this is a foolish practice. But with emotions like resentment, common sense can be crowded out. It is a rare person who can avoid resentment about matters that caused deep injury. Resentment is so much a part of everyday life. In fact, that it’s considered abnormal not to resent a real wrong.

We’ve also been conditioned to believe that we’re being spineless and wimpy if we don’t become outraged by certain injustices and wrongs. There’s a difference, however, between feeling strongly that something is wrong and being sullen and resentful about it. The first kind of feeling helps us remedy the problem; the second feeling simply intensifies our hurt. Under no circumstances can we afford resentment.

I’ll make this day resentment-free, despite the currents of feeling and bitterness around me. “Re-feeling” old injuries is not the way to the happier life I seek.

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Keep It Simple
May 12

You can observe a lot just by watching.
Yogi Berra

When we watch others, we learn how to “act as if.” We watch a patient person, and then we “act as if we’re a patient person. The result? Over time, we’ll become a patient person. We watch how good listeners listen, and we “act as if” we know how to listen. Then one day, we realize we’re really listening! We watch people who have faith, and we “act as if” we have it. Then over time, we become spiritual people!

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, help me find You in the people and events of my day.

Action for the Day: I will “act as if” my Higher Power is standing next to me all through the Day.

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Each Day a New Beginning
May 12

Every human being has, like Socrates, an attendant spirit; and wise are they who obey its signals. If it does not always tell us what to do, it always cautions us what not to do.
—Lydia M. Child

Our Spirit is our inner guide. And our Spirit never, never, gives us wrong directions. Because we’re human, it’s all too easy to deny the voice from within. Some call it conscience. And our behavior, maybe frequently, maybe occasionally, belies what our conscience knows is right. We suffer for it.

We are trying to be healthy, emotionally, spiritually, and physically. Each day we can make progress. With each action we take, we have a choice. Our Spirit, our conscience, should be consulted. Right choices make for right actions that will emotionally and spiritually benefit us and the other persons close to us.

It’s comforting to rely on the inner voice. It assures us we’re never alone. No decision has to be made alone. No wrong action need ever be taken. A sense of security accompanies the partnership between each of us and our Spirit.

I will let the partnership work for me today.

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Alcoholics Anonymous
May 12
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.”

During my fifth year, as a part of my annual personal inventory, I realized that I had not succeeded in developing a spiritual depth in my program. I had accepted what I was taught but had not gone in search of the private growth that I saw in others. I watched for and found people who take the program with them as they live, work, and play in the real world. Through their leadership, by precept and example, I am finding the daily excitement essential to my development as a person and to my contact with my Higher Power.

p. 542

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions
May 12

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

Our first objective will be the development of self restraint. This carries a top priority rating. When we speak or act hastily or rashly, the ability to be fair-minded and tolerant evaporates on the spot. One unkind tirade or one willful snap judgment can ruin our relation with another person for a whole day, or maybe a whole year. Nothing pays off like restraint of tongue and pen. We must avoid quick-tempered criticism and furious, power-driven argument. The same goes for sulking or silent scorn. These are emotional booby traps baited with pride and vengefulness. Our first job is to sidestep the traps. When we are tempted by the bait, we should train ourselves to step back and think. For we can neither think nor act to good purpose until the habit of self-restraint has become automatic.

p. 91

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Xtra Thoughts
May 12

Life is like a taxi. The meter just keeps a-ticking whether you are getting somewhere or just standing still.
–Lou Erickson

“Stop worrying. The bridges you cross before you come to them are almost always over rivers that aren’t there.”

A person desperately searching for God is like a fish desperately searching for water.

Principles of the Twelve Concepts
1. Responsibility
2. Reliance
3. Trust
4. Participation
5. Democracy
6. Accountability
7. Balance
8. Consistency
9. Vision
10. Clarity
11. Respect
12. Spirituality

“The way to develop the best that is in a man is by appreciation and encouragement.”
–Charles Schwab

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation
May 12
RESPONSIBILITY

“Man must cease attributing his problems to his environment and learn again to exercise his will, his personal responsibility in the realm of faith and morals.”
–Albert Schweitzer

God has created me to be a responsible human being and that means that I must seriously consider the choices and decisions that could affect my life and the lives of others. Today I understand that true freedom can only be experienced within the restraints of a responsible life.

For years I blamed other people for my drunken behavior – family, bishops, job, world situations – even God! But the truth was that I lived an irresponsible life around alcohol. I ignored the facts that surrounded my drinking.

Today I make a responsible decision not to drink, and I also take responsibility for my life. I cannot blame other people for the mistakes that I made. My real freedom is experienced in my responsibility.

Give me the freedom to impose my own constraints.

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Bible Scriptures May 12
“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.”
Ephesians 6:10

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures; He leadeth me beside still waters. He restoreth my soul: He guideth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
Psalm 23:2-3

Truly I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you shall say to this mountain, “Move from here to there,” and it shall move; and nothing shall be impossible to you.
Matthew 17:20

Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you.
James 4:10

“Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings.”
Psalm 17:8

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Daily Inspiration
May 12

Today do what you can and expect no more of yourself. Lord, I will feel joy in my accomplishments today and gratitude for the things I have to do tomorrow.

Praise accomplishes great things. Lord, let me be your instrument in touching lives and changing hearts.

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A Day At A Time 
May 12

Reflection For The Day

My courage must come each day, as does my desire to avoid a single drink, a single tranquilizer, a single addictive act.  It must be a continuing courage, without deviations and procrastination, without rashness, and without fear of obstacles.  This would seem like a large order indeed, were it not for the fact that it is confined to this one day, and that within this day much power is given to me.  Do I extend the Serenity Prayer to my entire life.

Today I Pray

May each new morning offer me a supply of courage to last me during the day.  If my courage is renewed each day and I know that I need just a day’s worth, that courage will always be fresh and the supply will not run out.  May I realize, as days pass, that what I feared during the earliest days of my recovery I no longer fear, that my daily courage is now helping me cope with bigger problems.

Today I Will Remember

God Give Me Courage – Just For Today.

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 One More Day
 May 12

Every day cannot be a feast of lanterns.
— Chinese Proverb

Many of us sometimes feel as though our lives are boring, as though each day is too predictable and routine. I’m missing something, we may think to ourselves, or there has to be more to life than this.

It’s those times that we can remind ourselves to think of life as a journey. As with any lengthy trip, this one, too, has days in which the scenery is monotonous and uninspiring. But we’re moving; we’re making progress in our personal growth, an dour attitudes are improving. Routine is not a bad thing, and it can be a good element of our lives when it gives form and balance to our days. Routine is often what gives us the time and energy to tackle new projects or to make changes.

Today, I will enjoy the calmness of my life. Within this calmness, I will dream and make plans for making my life even fuller.

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One Day At A Time
May 12
WORRY

Don’t worry about the world coming to an end today. It’s already tomorrow in Australia.
–Charles Schultz

Worry…that’s a topic I’m really good at! Since working the Twelve Steps, however, I am beginning to see some things about worry that, hopefully, will soon make it a thing of the past in my life. After all, why should I worry? What has worry ever done for me, except mess up my life?

I am seeing that when I am worrying about something, I have not turned it over to my Higher Power, and I am continuing to act from my own self-will. Or, I did turn it over to my Higher Power, but didn’t really trust Him to take care of it, and so I took it back!

I had a breakthrough, just a couple of days ago, concerning worry. I was concerned about a decision my husband and I had to make and it was so far beyond my ability to see into the future that I gave up and prayed for help. Somehow I let go and let God. Suddenly a beautiful stillness and peace came over me. I felt calmer than I had in years … very calm and still and at peace. I felt completely reassured that God was handling my “decision” and that God was completely competent to do so.

One Day at a Time . . .
I abandon worry. I let go and let God, and enjoy the serenity and peace of trust in God.

~ Lynne T.

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Elder’s Meditation of the Day May 12

“All the stones that are around here, each one has a language of its own. Even the earth has a song.”
—- Wallace Black Elk, LAKOTA

To believe that every tree, plant, and insect can talk takes an open mind. Go by yourself into nature and sit quietly. Then pick up a rock and listen to your thoughts. After a while, put that rock down and pick up another rock. Your thoughts will change. These are the voices and wisdom of the Stone People. Each one has different wisdom and they are willing to share their wisdom with you. Many of the Stone People are very old and very wise.

Great Spirit, let every rock and leaf be my teacher.

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Journey to the Heart
May 12
Discover Inspiration Points

Sometimes, we become so caught up in the daily grind that we forget how much beauty and inspiration our world offers. We forget about the power of inspiration.

My favorite inspiration point in Colorado is a small stand next to the Royal Gorge Bridge, the highest suspension bridge in the world. The stand overlooks the gorge, offering a magnificent overview of canyons, mountains, peaks, and plains. In Bryce Canyon, the place called Inspiration Point overlooks massive canyons. From that vantage point, you can see delicately shaped spirals, in the orange iron color so prominent in the canyon, surrounded by the lighter sandstone and sulfur peaks.

What inspires you? Discover inspiration points– those high places of the spirit from which you can see more, see more clearly, see more beautifully. Spend time taking in a grander view of life. See how calming and inspiring it is. See how you return to life with vigor, enthusiasm, and passion.

Visit places that invigorate your soul, help you see the larger picture. Find places in your home, your community, your state. Look for that place in yourself, that sacred inspiration point within you, where your soul and heart see the larger picture, where you and your ideas come to life, where you make the connection between your soul and the world around you. Seek the power of inspiration.

Inspiration points abound. Open up. Look around. When you seek inspiration, it will come to you.

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Today’s Gift
May 12

I would be honest, for there are those who trust me.
—Howard Arnold Walter

Some of those around us seem to see only the good in us. They trust and respect us, even when we ourselves may not feel we deserve it.

A young girl once talked about her grandfather. She said, “He was the only person in my life who saw the good in me.” She mentioned that she sought to please her grandfather and not disappoint the trust, which he placed in her. He brought out the best in her because of the way that he looked at her. Each of us can be like this grandfather by focusing on the good in other people. We can use our spiritual eyes to see love, honesty, trustworthiness, and unselfishness in the heart of another. As we look for the good, we are doing our part to help create it.

Do I see the good in those around me right now?

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The Language of Letting Go
May 12
Intimacy

We can let ourselves be close to people.

Many of us have deeply ingrained patterns for sabotaging relationships. Some of us may instinctively terminate a relationship once it moves to a certain level of closeness and intimacy.

When we start to feel close to someone, we may zero in on one of the person’s character defects, and then make it so big it’s all we can see. We may withdraw, or push the person away to create distance. We may start criticizing the other person, a behavior sure to create distance.

We may start trying to control the person, a behavior that prevents intimacy.

We may tell ourselves we don’t want or need another person, or smother the person with our needs.

Sometimes, we defeat ourselves by trying to be close to people who aren’t available for intimacy – people with active addictions, or people who don’t choose to be close to us. Sometimes, we choose people with particular faults so that when it comes time to be close, we have an escape hatch.

We’re afraid, and we fear losing ourselves. We’re afraid that closeness means we won’t be able to own our power to take care of ourselves.

In recovery, we’re learning that it’s okay to let ourselves be close to people. We’re choosing to relate to safe, healthy people, so closeness is a possibility. Closeness doesn’t mean we have to lose ourselves, or our life. As one man said, “We’re learning that we can own our power with people, even when we’re close, even when the other person has something we need.”

Today, I will be available for closeness and intimacy with people, when that’s appropriate. Whenever possible, I will let myself be who I am, let others be who they are, and enjoy the bond and good feelings between us.

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More language of letting go
May 12
Say when it’s time to save your own life

I jumped out of the plane, and my jump master followed close behind. This was going to be a fun jump. We were going to play Simon Says in the air.

He did a 360-degree turn to the right. I turned,too. He turned to the left, and I did the same. Then he did a back loop. Okay, I thought. Here I go. I jerked my knees up, but instead of back looping, I rolled onto my side and went into a spin. With each spin, I whirled faster and faster.

I tried to arch, the body position that would get me falling belly down and stable, and make it safe to pull my parachute, but my body movements weren’t working the way they were supposed to work. Maybe if I push my right arm out further, or maybe it’s my left leg, I thought.

My jump master watched me whirling like a fan blade. He tried to catch me each time I whirled around, but he couldn’t get ahold. I kept focusing on trying to stop my spin. Finally, he yanked my hand, pointing to my altimeter.

My God, I was getting low. In less then thirty seconds, I’d hit the ground and my life would be done. I’d be dead.

The moral of this story is simple. I learned it when I joined my jump master back on the ground. “What are you going to do,” he asked, “spend the rest of your life trying to gain control?”

Sometimes, it’s easy to get caught up in a situation. We get so focused on the details of figuring out how to solve a problem that we can’t fix, that we lose sight of the time. Our lives are whizzing by, and the ground is coming close.

Have you gotten caught up in trying to control something you can’t? If you have, maybe it’s time to stop trying to fix it and instead save your own life.

God, grant me awareness of what I meed to do to take care of myself.

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Touchstones Meditation For Men
May 12

In my friend, I find a second self.
—Isabel Norton

Our mates and close friends present us with another view on what it is to be a human being. In being close we lower our barriers and get a feeling for what life is like from that person’s perspective. We develop a feeling of empathy for him or her, and we multiply our life experiences by participating with others.

Through our closeness to someone, we might be confronted by a new awareness of ourselves. We may see something about ourselves we don’t like and could never have seen on our own. We may see how similar we are to our friends, or how different, or how common and human our problems are. While each man lives his own life, through empathy we are given another window on the experience of living. Having a friend is a rich experience, which increases our wisdom about life.

I am thankful for relationships. I feel grateful that I am not alone.

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DailyTAO
May 12
RECOGNITION

Spokes on the heavenly wheel
Keep rotation constant.

Those who follow Tao believe that Tao progresses through phases. They apply this principle to all levels of their outlook, from cosmology to the stages of growth in a person’s life. On the macrocosmic level, they point to the rotation of the stars as evidence of smooth progression. In a person’s life, they recognize the stages of aging beginning with childhood and ending with death.

Each one of us must go from phase to phase in our development. If we stay too long in one stage, we will be warped or stunted in our growth. If we rush through a stage, then we will gain none of the rewards or learning experiences of that phase. Subsequent growth will be thrown off-balance; we will either have to go back and make it up, or, in the cases of experiences that can never be repeated, lose out on them forever. The proper discerning of these transitions is essential.

As we go through our various stages in life, it is important to mark the shift from one stage to another. Recognition is very important. We must understand that we are leaving behind one part of life and entering another. Sometimes, we mark this with a rite of passage such as graduation or marriage. At other times, it may be a personal declaration made privately. Whatever the reason, it is important to know exactly when to close one phase and when to open the next. That is why it is said that one counts the spokes on the heavenly wheel as it turns : It is the measure of our lives

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