In Loving Memory of Vic

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Daily Recovery Readings – May 23

Just For Today
May 23
Amends And Sponsors

“We want to be free of our guilt, but we don’t wish to do so at the expense of anyone else.”
Basic Text, p. 39

Let’s face it: Most of us left trails of destruction in our wakes and harmed anyone who got in our way. Some of the people we hurt most in our addiction were the people we loved most. In an effort to purge ourselves of the guilt we feel for what we’ve done, we may be tempted to share with our loved ones, in gruesome detail, things that are better left unsaid. Such disclosures could do much harm and may do little good.

The Ninth Step is not about easing our guilty consciences; it’s about taking responsibility for the wrongs we’ve done. In working our Eighth and Ninth Steps, we should seek the guidance of our sponsor and amend our wrongs in a manner that won’t cause us to owe more amends. We are not just seeking freedom from remorse—we are seeking freedom from our defects. We never again want to inflict harm on our loved ones. One way to insure that we do not is by working the Ninth Step responsibly, checking our motives, and discussing with our sponsor the particular amends we plan to make before we make them.

Just for today: I wish to accept responsibility for my actions. Before making any amends, I will talk with my sponsor.


Daily Reflections
May 23

Quote:When the spiritual malady is overcome, we straighten out mentally and physically.

It is very difficult for me to come to terms with my spiritual illness because of my great pride, disguised by my material successes and my intellectual power. Intelligence is not incompatible with humility, provided I place humility first. To seek prestige and wealth is the ultimate goal for many in the modern world. To be fashionable and to seem better than I really am is a spiritual illness.

To recognize and to admit my weakness is the beginning of good spiritual health. It is a sign of spiritual health to be able to ask God every day to enlighten me, to recognize His will, and to have the strength to execute it. My spiritual health is excellent when I realize that the better I get, the more I discover how much help I need from others.


Twenty-Four Hours A Day
May 23
A.A. Thought For The Day

The Twelfth Step of A.A., working with others, can be subdivided into five parts, five words beginning with the letter C; confidence, confession, conviction, conversion, and continuance. The first thing in trying to help other alcoholics is to get their confidence. We do this by telling them our own experiences with drinking, so that they see that we know what we’re talking about. If we share our experiences frankly, they will know that we are sincerely trying to help them. They will realize that they’re not alone and that others have had experiences as bad or worse than theirs. This gives them confidence that they can be helped. Do I care enough about other alcoholics to get their confidence?

Meditation For The Day

I fail not so much when tragedy happens as I did before the happening, by all the little things I might have done, but did not do. I must prepare for the future by doing the right thing at the right time now. If a thing should be done, I should deal with that thing today and get it righted with God before I allow myself to undertake any new duty. I should look upon myself as performing God’s errands and then coming back to Him to tell Him in quiet communion that the message has been delivered or the task done.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may seek no credit for the results of what I do. I pray that I may leave the outcome of my actions to God.


As Bill Sees It
May 23
A.A.’s School of Life, p. 143

Within A.A., I suppose, we shall always quarrel a good bit. Mostly, I think, about how to do the greatest good for the greatest number of drunks. We shall have our childish spats and snits over small questions of money management and who is going to run our groups for the next six months. Any bunch of growing children (and that is what we are) would hardly be in character if they did less.

These are the growing pains of infancy, and we actually thrive on them. Surmounting such problems, in A.A.’s rather rugged school of life, is a healthy exercise.

A.A. Comes Of Age, p. 233


Walk in Dry Places
May 23
Avoid the paralysis of analysis
Practical Spirituality

The good news of the Twelve step program is that we have a Higher Power whose presence serves as a source of guidance and understanding as we go through each day. Letting this power work through us is only a matter of will….. God drawsas near to us as we wish to draw near to God.

As we let our Higher Power work, we remember that no scientific explanation for this process is necessary. We could paralyse our spiritual activity by trying to analyze it, thus bringing about an undesirable “paralysis or analysis.” It’s also not necessary to win another’s endorsement of what we’re trying to do. We must not be influenced by any scorn or ridicule of our efforts.

All that’s necessary is that we know God in our own lives and stay faithful to our program. We let the presence of God work freely and smoothly as we go about our business.

I’ll work today with the comfortable knowledge that God is really doing work through me.


Keep It Simple
May 23

The present will not long endure.

At certain moments, our best friend is time. Time is a gift given us. Time helps us heal. We need to know that when things are tough, these times will pass, and peace will return. Our Higher Power can be like a parent who comforts a child when there’s a storm outside. The parent gently reminds the child the sun will shine again.

Tough times come and go. There will be times when life is ugly and very painful. We can’t be happy all the time. Remember, our Higher Power is always there. We must have faith in this. A saying often heard in the program is, “This too shall pass.”

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, remind me that things will get better. Even if they get worst for a while, they will get better. Let this be my prayer in hard times.

Action for the Day: Today, I’ll list times in my life when I thought I couldn’t go on. I’ll remember the pain, but I’ll also remember how time was my friend.


Each Day a New Beginning
May 23

Give as much of yourself as you can to as much of your higher power, as you can understand.

The more we are in concert with God, the greater will be our pleasures in life. Recognizing our partnership with our higher power makes every decision easier, facilitates the completion of every task, and removes all uncertainty about our value to this world, particularly to those persons around us.

Knowledge that we are never alone, that in every circumstance our best interests are being cared for, softens whatever blow we encounter. The blows teach us; they are the lessons the inner self has requested, and let us never forget we have a ready tutor to see us through every assignment.

The more we rely on God to see us through the mundane activities as well as the troubling experiences, the greater will be our certainty that all is well, our lives are on course, and a plan is unfolding little by little that has our best interests at its center.

My understanding of God and the power of that presence is proportionate to my reliance on that power. Not unlike the power of electricity, I can plug into the source of the “light” of understanding and for the strength to see my way through any experience today.


Alcoholics Anonymous
May 23
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 in another fellow’s room at college. “Freshman,” said he to me, “do you ever take a drink?” I hesitated. Father had never directly spoken to me about drinking and he never drank any, so far as I knew. Mother hated liquor and feared a drunken man. Her brother had been a drinker and had died in a state hospital for the insane. But his life was unmentionable, so far as I was concerned. I had never had a drink but I had seen enough merriment in the boys who were drinking to be interested. I would never be like the village drunkard at home. How a lot of people despised him! Just a weakling!
“Well,” said the older boy, “Do you?”
“Once in a while,” I lied. I could not let him think I was a sissy.

pp. 208-209

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions
May 23

Step Eight – “Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.”

When listing the people we have harmed, most of us hit another solid obstacle. We got a pretty severe shock when we realized that we were preparing to make a face-to-face admission of our wretched conduct to those we had hurt. It had been embarrassing enough when in confidence we had admitted these things to God, to ourselves, and to another human being. But the prospect of actually visiting or even writing the people concerned now overwhelmed us, especially when we remembered in what poor favor we stood with most of them. There were cases, too, where we had damaged others who were still happily unaware of being hurt. Why, we cried, shouldn’t bygones be bygones? Why do we have to think of these people at all? These were some of the ways in which fear conspired with pride to hinder our making a list of all the people we had harmed.

pp. 78-79

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Xtra Thoughts
May 23

Upon receiving the Nobel Peace Prize, Mother Teresa said:  “What can you do to promote world peace?  Go home and love your family.”
–Cited in BITS & PIECES

Learn to get in touch with silence within yourself, and know that everything in this life has purpose. There are no mistakes, no coincidences, all events are blessings given to us to learn from.
–Dr. Elizabeth Kubler-Ross

“There’s no elevator, you have to take the steps.”

“Yard by yard it’s very hard. But inch by inch, it’s a cinch.”

“What saves a man is to take a step. Then another step.”
–Antoine de Saint-Exupery

“If we take care of the inches, we will not have to worry about the miles.”
–Hartley Coleridge

This is the miracle that happens every time to those who really love; the more they give, the more they possess.
–Rainer Maria Rilke

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation
May 23

“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.”
–Theodore Roosevelt

Because we are not perfect, we need only do our best. Because our recovery from addiction is an on-going process, we will discover that our best is improving on a daily basis. It is so easy to beat ourselves up emotionally by thinking that our best is not good enough. Even after years of recovery we still hear the old tapes: “People do not want to listen to you.” “Is that all that you can do?”

We need to remember that the disease of addiction still lives in our recovery. However, our honest attempts at dealing with a problem or helping another with a problem – provided they are honest attempts – will usually be more than sufficient.

Today I accept my best attempts with gratitude and I am not too proud to seek the advice of another.

God, accept the best that I can offer as an instrument of Your peace.

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Bible Scriptures
May 23

He who guards his mouth and his tongue, guards his soul from troubles.
Proverbs 21:23

All things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they shall be granted.
Mark 11:24

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Daily Inspiration
May 23

Instead of overreacting, try under-reacting because this response shows wisdom, patience and peace. Lord, help me respond to situations in a manner that allows me to solve problems rather than create more.

Be sensitive to the feelings of others and show the same forgiveness and compassion that the Lord gives to you. Lord, give me the wisdom to know when to speak and when to listen.


A Day At A Time
May 23

Reflection For The Day

When newcomers to The Program experience the first startling feeling that they’re truly among friends, they also wonder — with almost a sense of terror — if the feeling is real.  Will it last?  Those of us who’ve been in The Program a few years can assure any newcomer at a meeting that it is very real indeed, and that it does last.  It’s not just another false start, not just a temporary burst of gladness to be followed, inevitably, by shattering disappointment.  Am I convinced that I can have a genuine and enduring recovery from the loneliness of my addiction?

Today I Pray

Please, God, let me not be held back by my fear of recurring loneliness.  May I know that the openness which warms me in this group will not suddenly close up and leave me out.  May I be patient with my fear, which is swollen with past disappointments and losses.  may I know that the fellowship of the group will, in time, convince me that loneliness is never incurable.

Today I Will Remember

Loneliness is curable.


One More Day
May 23

Prayer, crystallized in words, assigns a permanent wave-length on which the dialogue has to be continued.
– Dag Hammarskjold

Many of us have all but forgotten how to pray. We don’t mean to avoid prayer — it just happens. Instead of prayer, we look to ourselves for answers or to others for our well-being. Our spiritual lives have become stagnant.

The reality of illness has, for many of us, underscored the limited power we have over some areas of our lives. We have no power over diagnoses, prognoses, remissions, or side-effects of medications. Whether out of anger, pain, depression, or hopelessness, a need arises to find balance in a world suddenly gone crazy. We may then trun to a Power greater than ourselves to provide the comfort we so desperately need. We pray; we meditate. We find peace.

    I don’t have to carry my burdens alone.


One Day At A Time
May 23

“In the middle of difficulty, lies opportunity.”
–Albert Einstein

Pain, struggle, and difficulty can be catalysts for changes in me. If I am having so much difficulty living the way I do, then surely my current means of coping and survival are not working. The insanity of it all was that in spite of all the proof I saw that those methods did not work, I continued to live the same way — and suffer the same difficulties and struggles — for many years. Then opportunity for change knocked on my door. I found TRG online.

The Recovery Group program has shown me that there are much better ways to deal with life than to stuff myself with food, fear, resentments, and anger. The methods and tools I have been given here work. My defects still rear their ugly heads, but I no longer live focused on — or living in — those defects. Now I direct my thinking to program material, prayer and program works. What a gift that has been! Joy is mine for today ~ for the taking!

When I find that what I am doing today is not working, what do I need to do? As a COE with no recovery I would have kept doing what wasn’t working. That made no sense, but that’s what I did. Now when I struggle with the food, I look at my thinking, ’cause thinking affects how I feel and feelings impact my compulsions. When the thinking starts to spiral downward I know I need to act. I need to read program material, contact a program person, pray and meditate, and/or do program service. I need to use the tools to get me focused back on recovery.

One day at a time…
I will be mindful of my thinking, and when negative or self-pitying thoughts arise, I will remember that I have the opportunity now to redirect and refocus anew on recovery.

~ Karen A.


Elder’s Meditation of the Day May 23

“To me, if you’re Indian, you’re Indian. You don’t have to put on your buckskin, beads, and feathers, and stuff like that.”
–Cecilia Mitchell, MOHAWK

The most important thing that determines who we are is on our insides, not our outsides. If we are Indian inside, that’s all that matters. Being Indian means to think right, to be spiritual, and to pray. Feathers and beads don’t make us Indian. Being Indian means to have a good heart and a good mind.

Great Spirit, today, let me think Indian.


Journey to the Heart
May 23
Trust That Guidance Will Come

Trust and act on the guidance you have now.

Some parts of our lives appear like a long, paved highway. We can see exactly where to go; we have a panoramic view. Other times, it may feel like we’re driving in the dark with only one headlight on a winding road through the fog. We can only see a few feet in front of the car.

Don’t worry if you can’t see that far ahead, if you only have a glimmer of light to guide your path. Slow down. Listen to your heart. Guidance will come. Trust what you hear. Do the small thing. Take the one step. Go as far as you can see.

Then go back to your heart, and you’ll hear the next step. It may be a step of immediate action, or deliberate inaction. Sometimes you may have to quiet down, wait, and prepare yourself to hear what you’re to do next.

Trust and act on the guidance you have now, and more will come.


Today’s Gift
May 23

The prayer of the chicken hawk does not get him the chicken.
—Swahili Proverb

Imagine flying high over the grassy plains searching with piercing eyes for dinner down below. The sun is warm on our backs as we catch the heated updrafts and rest, always watching, always praying, that dinner will be provided for the little ones back in the nest.

Dinner will be provided, of that the hawk is sure. It has faith. But the faith and the prayer will not put the chicken in its talons. It is going to have to keep looking, and, when it spots the prey, its wings will fold back, and its sleek body will plummet out of the sky. It will brake quickly with broad wings and clasp the unsuspecting supper on the fly.

Like the hawk, once we have prayed, we must get to work. Our goal isn’t going to be done for us. We can pray for the strength and wisdom we will need to get it done, and that prayer will be answered. But, as the hawk knows, it’s up to us to do the work.

What is my goal today, and my first step toward it?


The Language of Letting Go
May 23, 2011

Life is not to be endured; life is to be enjoyed and embraced.

The belief that we must square our shoulders and get through a meager, deprived existence for far off rewards in Heaven is a codependent belief.

Yes, most of us still have times when life will be stressful and challenge our endurance skills. But in recovery, we’re learning to live, to enjoy our life, and handle situations as they come.

Our survival skills have served us well. They have gotten us through difficult times – as children and adults. Our ability to freeze feelings, deny problems, deprive ourselves, and cope with stress has helped us get where we are today. But we’re safe now. We’re learning to do more than survive. We can let go of unhealthy survival behaviors. We’re learning new, better ways to protect and care for ourselves. We’re free to feel our feelings, identify and solve problems, and give ourselves the best. We’re free to open up and come alive.

Today, I will let go of my unhealthy endurance and survival skills. I will choose a new mode of living, one that allows me to be alive and enjoy the adventure.


More language of letting go
May 23
Say when the time is right

If you wait for the perfect moment when all is safe and assured, it may never arrive. Mountains will not be climbed, races won, or lasting happiness achieved.
— Maurice Chevalier

“I’m just waiting for the time to be right!” is a common excuse we use. We can sit on the sidelines, waiting for the perfect moment, but never get in the game. Sometimes, the time doesn’t feel right. I was too old when I started to sky dive, too poor when I started writing, too enmeshed with an alcoholic husband when I began recovering from codependency, and too involved with my addictions when I began recovery. The time may never be right. You can choose to wait until someday arrives, or you can begin now.

Is there a dream hidden away in your life, something you wanted to do but put off for so long that you’ve almost forgotten what it is? Maybe the time is right to pull it out again. Get the college course guide and sign up. Go to a local gym and start working out. Take a chance.

The right time for the journey is when you begin it. Why not today?

God, motivate me to live a fuller, richer life.

Activity: Pull out your wish list. Choose one thing on your list that has been quietly waiting for the time to be right. Decide that the right time is now. Then begin.


Touchstones Meditation For Men
May 23

You see, I just can’t stop! Or tie myself to any one. I have affairs that last as long as a year, a year and a half, months and months of love, both tender and voluptuous, but in the end – it is as inevitable as death – time marches on and lust peters out.
—Philip Roth

Fears of intimacy, of learning about ourselves in a committed relationship, have kept many of us lonely. Focusing on the need for a sexual high helps us avoid the intimacy we fear. Whether we are in a long-term relationship or not, thinking that sex is love limits our chances for a comfortable intimacy. Sex is an expression of an intimacy that already exists, rather than a way to become intimate.

Many of us fear closeness beyond the romantic stage. Others of us have pursued closeness, but when we met our own emptiness we said that wasn’t the right person for us and ran in search of another excitement. The problem for us isn’t the choice between singleness and marriage, but between letting someone truly know us or not.

I will set aside my fears and learn the pleasure of intimacy.


May 23

Hawk doesn’t think during the hunt.
It does not care for theory or ethics.
All that it does is natural.

Animals live simple lives close to Tao. They do not need to think or reason : They never doubt themselves. When they are hungry, they eat. When they are tired, they sleep. They respond to the cycles of the day according to their intuition. They mate at the proper season, and they nurture their young according to their own understanding. When they die, they fall under the teeth of predators or the dispassionate turning of the seasons.

By contrast, we as human beings depart from the natural norm, and worry about ethical action. Extremes of behavior have become more varied running the gamut from the sadistic to the moralistic. Tao considers all this artificial and unnatural. Why divorce ourselves from nature?

The follower of Tao prefers to live completely in concert with Tao, avoiding the interference of theory and excessive thought. Though one must first learn skill and ethics thoroughly, one must come to embody them so completely that they become subconscious. Reacting to a situation by asking what is right and wrong is already too slow. One must intuitively do what is correct. There should be no foreshadowing of an act, nor doubt about oneself.

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