In Loving Memory of Vic

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Daily Recovery Readings – May 26

Just For Today
May 26
The Power In The Group

“Our understanding of a Higher Power is up to us…. We can call it the group, the program, or we can call it God.”
Basic Text, p. 24

Many of us have a hard time with the idea of a Higher Power until we fully accept the depth of our own powerlessness over addiction. Once we do, most of us are at least willing to consider seeking the help of some Power greater than our disease. The first practical exposure many of us have to that kind of Power is in the NA group. Perhaps that’s where we should start in developing our own understanding of God.

One evidence of the Power in the group is the unconditional love shown when NA members help one another without expectation of reward. The group’s collective experience in recovery is itself a Power greater than our own, for the group has practical knowledge of what works and what doesn’t. And the fact that addicts keep coming to NA meetings, day after day, is a demonstration of the presence of a Higher Power, some attractive, caring force at work that helps addicts stay clean and grow.

All these things are evidence of a Power that can be found in NA groups. When we look around with an open mind, each of us will be able to identify other signs of that Power. It doesn’t matter if we call it God, a Higher Power, or anything else — just as long as we find a way to incorporate that Power into our daily lives.

Just for today: I will open my eyes and my mind to signs of a Power that exists in my NA group. I will call upon that Power to help me stay clean.


Daily Reflections
May 26

Our spiritual and emotional growth in A.A. does not depend so deeply upon success as it does upon our failures and setbacks. If you will bear this in mind. I think that your slip will have the effect of kicking you upstairs, instead of down.
AS BILL SEES IT , p. 184

In keeping with the pain and adversity which our founders encountered and overcame in establishing A.A., Bill W. sent us a clear message: a relapse can provide a positive experience toward abstinence and a lifetime of recovery.  A relapse brings truth to what we hear repeatedly in meetings – “Don’t take that first drink!” It reinforces the belief in the progressive nature of the disease, and it drives home the need for, and beauty of, humility in our spiritual program. Simple truths come in complicated ways to me when I become ego driven.


Twenty-Four Hours A Day
May 26
A.A. Thought For The Day

In twelfth-step work, the fourth thing is conversion.  Conversion means change. Prospects must learn to change their way of thinking. Until now, everything they’ve done has been connected with drinking. Now they must face a new kind of life, without liquor. They must see and admit that they cannot overcome drinking by their own willpower, so they must turn to a Higher Power for help. They must start each day by asking this Higher Power for the strength to stay sober. This conversion to belief in a Higher Power comes gradually, as they try it and find that it works. Do I care enough about other alcoholics to help them to make this conversion?

Meditation For The Day

Discipline of yourself is absolutely necessary before the power of God is given to you. When you see others manifesting the power of God, you probably have not seen the discipline that went before. They made themselves ready. All your life is a preparation for more good to be accomplished when God knows that you are ready for it. So keep disciplining yourself in the spiritual life every day. Learn so much of the spiritual laws that your life cannot again be a failure. Others will see the outward manifestation of the inward discipline in your daily living.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may manifest God’s power in my daily living.  I pray that I may discipline myself so as to be ready to meet every opportunity.


As Bill Sees It
May 26
“Privileged People”, p. 133

I saw that I had been living too much alone, too much aloof from my fellows, and too deaf to that voice within. Instead of seeing myself as a simple agent bearing the message of experience, I had thought of myself as a founder of A.A.

How much better it would have been had I felt gratitude rather than self-satisfaction–gratitude that I had once suffered the pains of alcoholism, gratitude that a miracle of recovery had been worked upon me from above, gratitude for the privilege of serving my fellow alcoholics, and gratitude for those fraternal ties which bound me ever closer to them in a comradeship such as few societies of men have ever known.

Truly did a clergyman say to me, “Your misfortune has become your good fortune. You A.A.’s are privileged people.”

Grapevine, July 1946


Walk in Dry Places
May 26
Today’s problem
Orderly living

Facing a vexing or even threatening problem, we sometimes feel a sense of hopefulness or futility. “How will I ever get through this situation?” we think.

The truth is we have probably worked our way through many situations much like today’s problem. It is a wonder, for example, that most of us survived the crises brought on by our compulsion. We will certainly be able to work through or around today’s problem.

The Twelve step program is a plan for mastering the problems of life. As we apply its principles in all of our affairs, we find improvements beginning to appear. We also can find the confidence and fortitude that we’ve always needed.

Knowing that my Higher power is in the midst of the situation, I’ll face today’s problem with the assurance of an outcome that will be for my highest good.


Keep It Simple
May 26

When I look at the future, it’s so bright, it burns my eyes.
—Oprah Winfrey

During our illness, it was as if our spirit lived in a deep, dark cave. Our spirit became gloomy, cold, and lonely. Our spirit didn’t know how to get out of the cave. We were dying.

Recovery brings us into the sunlight. At first, we can’t see a thing—it’s too bright! The world stretches around us—it’s so big! There are so many way to go! We don’t know what to do.

But our eyes get used to the light, and we feel the warm rays of the sun. We see we aren’t alone anymore. We relax. We know our spirit is in a better place—a place where we can live!

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, help me feel at home in the sunlight of my new life.

Action for the Day: Addiction made my world so small. It made my future so dark. Today, I’ll list three new choices I want to make to better my life.


Each Day a New Beginning
May 26

Out of every crisis comes the chance to be reborn, to reconceive ourselves as individuals, to choose the kind of change that will help us to grow and to fulfill ourselves more completely.
—Nena O’Neill

Before choosing to recover, most of us lived through crisis after crisis. Many days we sought the oblivion of alcohol and drugs rather than face fears that ate away at us. It probably wasn’t possible for most of us to realize that a crisis was a tool for growth.

Even today, even in our recovery program, even though the clouds are clearing and we are feeling better about ourselves, a crisis may overwhelm us for a time. We do find help for it, though. We can breathe deeply, look to our higher power; listen for the messages that are coming through from our friends. And we can choose among the many options for the right action to take at this time.

Life is a series of lessons. Crises can be seen as the homework. They aren’t there to defeat us but to help us grow – to graduate us into the next stage of life.

Today, I will look for my lessons and feel exhilarated by the growth that is guaranteed.


Alcoholics Anonymous
May 26

– Young when she joined, this A.A. believes her serious drinking was the result of even deeper defects. She here tells how she was free.

My husband eventually returned, but it was not long until we realized we could not continue our marriage. By this time I was such a past master at kidding myself that I had convinced myself I had sat out a war and waited for this man to come home, and as my resentment and self-pity grew, so did my alcoholic problem.

p. 547


Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions
May 26

Those of us who have come to make regular use of prayer would no more do without it than we would refuse air, food, or sunshine. And for the same reason. When we refuse air, light, or food, the body suffers. And when we turn away from meditation and prayer, we likewise deprive our minds, our emotions, and our intuitions of vitally needed support. As the body can fail its purpose for lack of nourishment, so can the soul. We all need the light of God’s reality, the nourishment of His strength, and the atmosphere of His grace. To an amazing extent the facts of A.A. life confirm this ageless truth.

pp. 97-98


Xtra Thoughts
May 26

Choose to make a life, rather than a living… There is no need to recriminate yourself. Simply notice what you’ve been choosing and choose again!

As long as a man stands in his own way, everything seems to be in his way.
–Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Knowledge of ‘the answers’ never made anyone relapse. It was failing to practice ‘the answers’ known.”

Today is the most important day I have lived.

God, help me be clear with you and myself about what I really want.  Then, help me let go of my intentions and surrender to your plan.
–Melody Beattie


Father Leo’s Daily Meditation
May 26

“That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”
–Neil A. Armstrong

Man is able to do such wonderful things in this world. There is no end to what man can achieve when he behaves responsibly and honestly, working together with others to discover more about himself and the universe. God has truly made man in His own image with all the power and creativity that that implies.

The danger that forever surrounds man is greed, pride and the misuse of “power”.

As a recovering alcoholic I understand this only too well. I wanted to be out in front, and ego made me arrogant and selfish. If this is true for me and other human beings, it is also true for governments, countries and alliances. Countries don’t make wars, people do; countries don’t have achievements, people do – and this universe must be seen as belonging to everyone or it will belong to no one!

Let us learn to enjoy and share Your garden and not destroy it.


Bible Scriptures
May 26

Come near to God and he will come near to you.
James 4:8a

Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD, the LORD, is the Rock eternal.
Isaiah 26:4

We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in him. God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them. And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect.  So we will not be afraid on the day of judgment, but we can face him with confidence because we are like Christ here in this world. Such love has no fear because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of judgment, and this shows that his love has not been perfected in us. We love each other as a result of his loving us first.
1 John 4: 16-19

“Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from Him.”
Psalm 62:5


Daily Inspiration
May 26

Avoid becoming defensive and possibly causing conflict by taking a moment to think before you respond. Lord, help me to believe in myself strongly so that I am able to turn down invitations that make me feel bad.

God’s plans for you are beyond your imagination. Lord, may I not limit myself to my past experiences, but be willing to accept new opportunities and challenges into my life.


A Day At A Time 
May 26

Reflection For The Day

I know today that I no longer have to proceed on my own.  I’ve learned that it’s safer, more sensible and surer to move forward with friends who are going in the same direction as I.  None of us need feel shame at using help, since we all help each other.  It’s no more a sign of weakness to use help in recovering form my addiction than it is to use a crutch if I have a broken leg.  To those who need it, and to those who see its usefulness, a crutch is a beautiful thing.  Do I sometimes still refuse to accept easily-obtained assistance?

Today I Pray

God make me see that it is not a sign of weakness to ask for  help, that the camaraderie of the group is what makes it work for each of us.  Like a vaccine for diphtheria or polio, The Program and the strength of the group have proved themselves as preventives for slips and backsliding.  Praise God for the tools of recovery.

Today I Will Remember

Help is as near as my telephone.


One More Day
 May 26

Know the true value of time; snatch, seize, and enjoy every moment of it. No idleness, no laziness, no procrastination, never put off till tomorrow what you can do today.
— Lord Chesterfield

Whether the memories were good or bad, we can never call back those moments that are already gone. Each special time should be savored as unique, never to be repeated again.

We may be uncertain of what our future holds, especially since we are not as well as before. By understanding the preciousness of each day, we can enhance the way we live our lives.

Each day is valuable and offers us one time opportunities to seize that moment — to make the very most of each chance to live.

    Every moment is precious. I will make the most of each day.


One Day At A Time
May 26

“It is one of the most beautiful compensations of life, that no man can sincerely try to help another without helping himself. ”
–Ralph Waldo Emerson

I’m not sure when I learned about giving service to others … it seems like a long time ago. There’s a feeling one gets deep inside when we do something to help others that makes us know we want to keep that feeling coming forever.

I believe our Higher Powers give us certain gifts. Maybe they’re all put in a large bag and when we’re born, HP distributes them … sort of like one reaches in a grab bag at parties. I do know that everyone I have ever met has some soft of gift … something that they do that comes easily and becomes something they get very good at doing. When they start giving others this gift, they get even better at doing what they do … and that “feeling” inside begins to grow.

I was given three gifts: music, listening to others and writing. Music was the first gift I was aware of and I spent my life sharing it. In adulthood I learned I had another gift ~ the gift of being able to listen. I realized that a lot of people don’t feel “heard.” When I spent my time listening to others, I realized I was giving them a gift. Now I get that same special feeling I had when I performed in front of many people as I quietly sit and listen to someone pour out their heart to me. Finally, there came a time when I began to write … and that same feeling emerged when someone would tell me that what I wrote made a difference to them.

I belong to an organization where hundreds of people give their gifts to others each day and I finally learned that there were reasons why so many people devote so much of their lives to service. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure that out … we serve because we experience that feeling. We serve because it makes us feel good. We serve others because in doing so we serve ourselves.

One day at a time…
Let me continue to serve.

~ Mari


Elder’s Meditation of the Day May 26

“The man who sat on the ground in his tipi meditating on life and its meaning, accepting the kinship of all creatures, and acknowledging unity with the universe of things, was infusing into his being the true essence of civilization.”
–Luther Standing Bear, OGLALA SIOUX

There is a concept that says you move toward and become that which you think about. If we think about everything as interconnected and interrelated, we will begin to accept the greater whole and that there is a power who is in charge. If we see the cycles of life, if we see the inner powers, if we see the interdependence of the universe, then we will participate in a harmonious way. We all need to pray and meditate on this. We need to understand the property of unity.

My Creator, let me have the insights of nature and give me the power of acceptance.


Journey to the Heart
May 26
Awaken to Your Heart’s Contentment

One day, you’ll awaken to discover your life is all you wanted and hoped it would be.

Oh, you’ll not find everything just the way your head said you wanted it. It might not be the way you planned. But you’ll awaken to your dreams– your dreams of joy, love, and peace. Your dream of freedom.

You’ll see beyond the illusions. You’ll transcend your old limiting beliefs. You’ll wake up and notice that your past is just as it needed to be. You’ll see where you are today is good. You’ll notice that you laugh a lot, cry a lot, smile a lot.

You’ll look at tomorrow with peace, faith, and hope– knowing that while you cannot control some of what life does, you have possibilities and powers in any circumstance life might bring. The sturggle you have lived with for so many years, the struggle in your heart, has disappeared. You’re secure, at peace with yourself and your place in this world.

One day, you’ll awaken to your heart’s contentment. Let that day be today.


Today’s Gift
May 26

An oak and a reed were arguing about their strength. When a strong wind came up, the reed avoided being uprooted by bending and leaning with the gusts of wind. But the oak stood firm and was torn up by the roots.

Within each of us, as in the reed and the oak, is a single characteristic, which is both our strongest and weakest trait. The bending which keeps the reed alive makes it weak, we might think. Some of us see both sides of every argument and are good team players, fair judges, and compassionate friends. But like the reed – always bending to the needs of others – we may never know what we want or who we are.

Some of us believe we are like the oak: strong and tough and successful in the face of most difficulty. But we may never learn to accept flaws in ourselves.

We are wise to remember that no trait is strong or weak, but we make it so by how we use it. We can use our strength to stand straight in the face of hardship, and we can use our strength to bend.

What is my strongest and weakest trait?


The Language of Letting Go
May 26, 2011

Intimacy is that warm gift of feeling connected to others and enjoying our connection to them.

As we grow in recovery, we find that gift in many, sometimes surprising, places. We may discover we’ve developed intimate relationships with people at work, with friends, with people in our support groups – sometimes with family members. Many of us are discovering intimacy in a special love relationship.

Intimacy is not sex, although sex can be intimate. Intimacy means mutually honest, warm, caring, safe relationships – relationships where the other person can be who he or she is and we can be who we are – and both people are valued.

Sometimes there are conflicts. Conflict is inevitable. Sometimes there are troublesome feelings to work through. Sometimes the boundaries or parameters of relationships change. But there is a bond – one of love and trust.

There are many blocks to intimacy and intimate relationships. Addictions and abuse block intimacy. Unresolved family of origin issues prevents intimacy. Controlling blocks intimacy. Off balance relationships, where there is too great a discrepancy in power, prevent intimacy. Caretaking can block intimacy. Nagging, withdrawing, and shutting down can hurt intimacy. So can a simple behavior like gossip — for example, gossiping about another for motives of diminishing him or her in order to build up ourselves or to judge the person. To discuss another person’s issues, shortcomings, or failures with someone else will have a predictable negative impact on the relationship.

We deserve to enjoy intimacy in as many of our relationships as possible. We deserve relationships that have not been sabotaged. That does not mean we walk around with our heads in the clouds; it means we strive to keep our motives clean when it comes to discussing other people.

If we have a serious issue with someone, the best way to resolve it is to bring the issue to that person.

Direct, clean conversation clears the air and paves the way for intimacy, for good feelings about ourselves and our relationships with others.

Today, God, help me let go of my fear of intimacy. Help me strive to keep my communications with others clean and free from malicious gossip. Help me work toward intimacy in my relationships. Help me deal as directly as possible with my feelings.


More language of letting go
May 26
Go through the door that’s open

Sometimes, doors close in our lives. No matter how badly we want something, no matter how hard we’ve tried, no matter how much we want to pursue a particular course in our lives, the universe says no.

Many years ago, I wanted passionately and desperately to write a book on codependency. All twenty publishers I queried said the same thing. No. Some said it politely. Some said it by refusing to respond at all. That door just wouldn’t open up, no matter how hard I pushed.

One publisher came back with a counteroffer. “We don’t want the book on codependency,” the editor said. “But how about writing something for us on denial– why people do it, what part it plays in their lives, and how they become more aware and accepting of reality.”

I accepted the offer. I needed the work. But I wasn’t thrilled. I diligently did my research and wrote the manuscript. About a year later, that same publisher came back to me and asked me to write the book on codependency. I pulled out all my notes and research, including a large notebook in which I had jotted down all my ideas and questions on the subject. As I went through this notebool, I noticed a question written in such large letters it took up the entire page. “What about denial– what part does this play in codependency?” I had written on the next page: “Why do people do it, how can they stop? Help me understand,” I had written almost as a prayer.

I reused the denial concepts in my codependency book. I had long forgotten about my question to the universe. But God hadn’t.

Sometimes when doors shut, it’s because we’re not ready to walk through the one we want. Maybe the door that’s open in your life is the one you need to walk through. Go ahead, step in. Look around. It might not appear to be as exciting as the one you’d hoped would open, but maybe it’s exactly where you need to be.

Are you trying hard to push through a door that’s closed in your life? Make life easier on yourself. If you’ve diligently tried to open a door and it’s not budging, look around. Push on a few other doors. See which one opens. Then walk through that one.

God, help me trust your timing in my life. Help me understand that sometimes you know more about saying when than I do.


Touchstones Meditation For Men
May 26

A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.
—Antoine de Saint Exupery

Images cost nothing and can be so enriching. Every man has some form of rock pile in his life. One has a problem within a relationship, another is burdened with the daily routine of living, someone else has a perplexing job, and another has too much time on his hands.

We can open ourselves to images of what might be. Let us dream of other possibilities. We know it takes many years to build a cathedral, but each cathedral began as an image in someone’s mind. What would we like to grow toward in our relationships? What can we do within ourselves today to carry us in that direction? Do we envision ourselves as successful in our work? What small steps will carry us toward the visions we cherish?

Today, I am grateful for my imagination. I will be open to having faith in possibilities.


May 26

Spasms of molten rock
Piled a cone three miles high.
Rain and wind split a hundred towering fingers.
In time, trees strove for leverage in the fissures.
After a million years, condors and snakes took up residence.
Mighty rock, carved walls adorned with
Chartreuse and vermilion lichen —
Man yet more puny on those stones.
How long will it take to see Tao?
Until you no longer hold self-importance.

Compared to the massive movements of heaven and earth, compared to the immensity of geologic time, the greatest acts of humanity and their monuments are beneath significance. We climb the highest mountains, we dive to the depths of the sea, we fling ourselves as close to the sun as we dare, and we are not even on the scale of nature’s measure. In our egotism and our view of ourselves as the center of the universe, we imagine that our lives have some meaning and importance when placed beside the stars and mountains and rivers. They do not. We cannot hope to have any true meaning in the history of the universe. But we can know it better, we can be a better part of it.

If you want to know the force that keeps the sky blue, the stars burning, the mountains high and still, the rivers running, and the oceans flowing, then remove the veil that stands between you and Tao.

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