In Loving Memory of Vic

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Daily Recovery Readings – November 1

Just For Today
November 1

“God helps us as we help each other.”
Basic Text p.51

Our addiction caused us to think almost exclusively of ourselves. Even our prayers – if we prayed at all – were self-centered. We asked God to fix things for us or get us out of trouble. Why? Because we didn’t want to live with the problems we’d created for ourselves. We were insecure. We thought life was about getting, and we always wanted more.

And in recovery we get more – more than just not using. The spiritual awakening we experience in working the Twelve Steps reveals to us a life we never dreamed possible. We no longer need to worry about whether there will be “enough,” for we come to rely on a loving Higher Power who meets all our daily needs. Relieved of our incessant insecurity, we no longer see the world as a place in which to compete with others for the fulfillment of our desires. Instead, we see the world as a place in which to live out the love our Higher Power has shown us. Our prayers are not for instant gratification; they are for help in helping each other.

Recovery awakens us from the nightmare of self-centeredness, strife, and insecurity that lies at the core of our disease. We wake up to a new reality. All that is worth having can be kept only by giving it away.

Just for today: My God helps me as I help others. Today, I will seek help in giving away the love my Higher Power has given me, knowing that is the way to keep it.


Daily Reflections
November 1

“It is easy to let up on the spiritual program of action and rest on our laurels. We are headed for trouble if we do, for alcohol is a subtle foe.”

My first sponsor told me there were two things to say about prayer and meditation: first, I had to start and second, I had to continue. When I came to A.A. my spiritual life was bankrupt; if I considered God at all, He was to be called upon only when my self-will was incapable of a task or when overwhelming fears had eroded my ego.

Today I am grateful for a new life, one in which my prayers are those of thanksgiving.  My prayer time is more for listening than for talking. I know today that if I cannot change the wind, I can adjust my sail. I know the difference between superstition and spirituality. I know there is a graceful way of being right, and many ways to be wrong.


Twenty-Four Hours A Day
November 1
A.A. Thought For The Day

I have hope. That magic thing that I had lost or misplaced. The future looks dark no more. I do not even look at it, except when necessary to make plans. I try to let the future take care of itself. The future will be made up of todays and todays, stretching out as short as now and as long as eternity. Hope is justified by many right nows, by the rightness of the present. Nothing can happen to me that God does not will for me. I can hope for the best, as long as I have what I have and it is good. Have I hope?

Meditation For The Day

Faith is the messenger that bears your prayers to God. Prayer can be like incense, rising ever higher and higher. The prayer of faith is the prayer of trust that feels the presence of God which it rises to meet. It can be sure of some response from God. We can say a prayer of thanks to God every day for His grace, which has kept us on the right way and allowed us to start living the good life. So we should pray to God with faith and trust and gratitude.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may feel sure of some response to my prayers. I pray that I may be content with whatever form that response takes.


As Bill Sees It
November 1
Loving Advisers, p. 303

Had I not been blessed with wise and loving advisers, I might have cracked up long ago. A doctor once saved me from death by alcoholism because he obliged me to face up to the deadlines of that malady. Another doctor, a psychiatrist, later on helped me save my sanity because he led me to ferret out some of my deep-lying defects.  From a clergyman I acquired the truthful principles by which we A.A.’s now try to live.

But these precious friends did far more than supply me with their professional skills. I learned that I could go to them with any problem whatever. Their wisdom and their integrity were mine for the asking.

Many of my dearest A.A. friends have stood with me in exactly this same relation. Oftentimes they could help where others could not, simply because they were A.A.’s.

Grapevine, August 1961


Walk In Dry Places
November 1
Do we have the free will?

The question of a human being’s free will has been argued for centuries by learned individuals. We can answer it for ourselves as a result of our experience in AA.

Our freedom was lost while we were in the grip of alcohol. Once free of drink, we still realized that many things in life are controlled by other people and things, such as political and economic forces.

If our employer closes the business, for example, we may have to choose less satisfactory employment. If a person threatens physical violence, we may have to go along with his or her wishes against our will.

In all circumstances, our free will lies in the way we choose to think about what’s happening. We always have the choice of turning to our Higher Power in thought, rather than reacting with fear and resentment. This is the only free will we can possibly have in the world, but it may be all we really need.

If a difficult situation or problem arises, I’ll remember that no human power could have relieved my alcoholism. This will remind me that the true source of power is always at hand.


Keep It Simple
November 1

“Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him …”
First half of Step Eleven

Through Step Eleven, we develop a lasting, loving relationship with our Higher Power. Conscious contact means knowing and sensing God in our lives throughout the day.

God is not just an idea. We talk with our Higher Power through prayer. As we meditate, we sense God’s love for us, and we get answers to our questions. When we pray and meditate, we become aware that God is always with us. Our Higher Power becomes our best friend. Our Higher Power is there for advice, support, celebration, comfort.

Prayer for the Day: Dear Higher Power, I pray that our relationship grows stronger every day. I accept the friendship You offer me.

Action for the Day: Today, I’ll seek out God through prayer and meditation.


Each Day a New Beginning
November 1

“For to be a woman is to have interests and duties, raying out in all directions from the central mother-core, like spokes from the hub of a wheel.”
-Anne Morrow Lindbergh

It is sometimes easy to get overwhelmed by our duties, forgetting that our interests fit the scheme of our lives. They are inspired by our lives and flow from them. Our interests round us out; they beckon us to become our better selves.

Our duties have their places as well. In our careers, with our families and friends, we have responsibilities. People need to be able to count on us for our part in completing their particular scheme for life.

Finding the right balance between our duties and our interests takes daily attention. It is perhaps our greatest struggle. Feeling duty-bound is common among women; putting a low value on our interests is a familiar trick we play on ourselves.

We need reminding that our interests will cull out our better, inner selves. We must stretch to become all we are meant to be. Our interests entice us to live up to God’s expectations.

Each day I need to pay heed to interests as well as duties. I will let no day go by without heeding an interest.


Alcoholics Anonymous
November 1

This lawyer tried psychiatrists, biofeedback, relaxation exercises, and a host of other techniques to control her drinking. She finally found a solution, uniquely tailored, in the Twelve Steps.

I became as compulsive about A.A. as I had been about drinking, which was necessary because I had been told to spend as much time at meetings as I had spent drinking. I went to every A.A. get-together possible and was saturated with A.A. I listened to tapes of A.A. talks. I read and reread the literature and books, laughing into the night over Dr. Bob and the Good Oldtimers. I signed up for the Loners-Internationalist Meeting in print (LIM) and shared the meetings I attended in letters to people who could not get to meetings. This helped me to remember what I had heard, and my sharing helped someone else. I once wrote to a man who received my letter the same day he had killed someone in a car accident, which would no doubt make one very, very thirsty.

p. 396


Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions
November 1

Tradition Three – “The only requirement for A.A. membership is a desire to stop drinking.”

Quite a while later, Ed got a sales job which took him out of town. At the end of a few days, the news came in. He’d sent a telegram for money, and everybody knew what that meant! Then he got on the phone. In those days, we’d go anywhere on a Twelfth Step job, no matter how unpromising. But this time nobody stirred. “Leave him alone! Let him try it by himself for once; maybe he’ll learn a lesson!”

p. 144


Xtra Thoughts
November 1

“Love and kindness are never wasted. They always make a difference. They bless the one who receives them, and they bless you, the giver.”
-Barbara De Angelis

“However long the night, the dawn will break.”
-African Proverb

“Let your anger set with the sun and not rise again.”
-Irish Proverb

“Gratitude is to thank God for all His infinite goodness with all our heart.”
-Ottokar Prohaszka

“God’s love can heal all things.”


Father Leo’s Daily Meditation
November 1

“Appeasers believe that if you keep on throwing steaks to tigers, the tiger will become a vegetarian.”
-Heywood Broun

Spirituality involves taking risks. But the risk has to be sensible, having the possibility of success. The risks I take today have a chance, usually a good chance, of succeeding and I always discuss “the risk” with a sponsor or recovering friend with some years of sobriety.

Today I take risks on things and situations that have the possibility of working for me, rather than against me. God has given me freedom and He has taken a risk on how I exercise that freedom. God’s love is revealed in the risk. But risk should have the possibility of success!

I pray that I will continue to take sensible risks.


Bible Scriptures
November 1

“I have come as a light into the world, that whoever believes in Me should not abide in darkness.”
John 12:46

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.”
Matthew 22:37


Daily Inspiration
November 1

The ordinary things we do each day are often taken for granted and make us feel unimportant. Lord, help me change my thinking so that I can happily see that the little things I do are very important and that I do make a very big difference.

When you are troubled, comfort someone more troubled, when lonely, reach out to one that is lonelier, and when unsure, give encouragement to the weary. To care for another makes us forget our own sorrows. Lord, You comfort me. Help me now to be a comforter.


A Day At A Time
November 1

Reflection For The Day

Those whom I most respect in The Program – and, in turn, those from whom I’ve learned the most – seem convinced that pride is, as one person put it, the “root-sin.”  In moral theology, pride is the first of the seven deadly sins.  It is also considered the most serious, standing apart from the rest by virtue of its unique quality, Pride gets right into our spiritual victories.  It insinuates itself into all our successes and accomplishments, even when we attribute them to God.  Do I struggle against pride by working the Tenth Step regularly, facing myself freshly and making things right where they’ve gone wrong?

Today I Pray

May I be on guard constantly against the sneakiness of pride, which can creep into every achievement, every triumph, every reciprocated affection.  May I know that whenever things are going well for me, my pride will be on the spot, ready to take credit.  May I watch for it.

Today I Will Remember

Put pride in its place.


One More Day
November 1

“Old age, to the unlearned, is winter; to the learned, it is harvest time.”
-Judah Leib Lazerov

Too many of us fear old age, for it is seen all too often as merely the bridge between retirement and senility or death.  This, of course, is only a myth.  Advancing years do not automatically mean poor health or dependency.

We should always be aware of the pride and integrity that come with old age.  Some older people stand as role models to youth.  Decades of work have honed skills which can and should continue to be used in various ways.  There is always more to learn and more to do.  We can use our time to pursue interests and to develop any skills that give us joy.

I will not be frightened of growing older, for I intend to do so with the pride and integrity developed with age and experience.


One Day At A Time
November 1

“Acceptance is not submission; it is acknowledgement of the facts of the situation. Then deciding what to do with it.”
-Kathleen Casey Theisen

Before program I kept wishing that I had a perfect body, spouse, mother, child, or whatever. My dissatisfaction with the things in my life kept me from really accepting that things were exactly the way they were meant to be for that time. I always used the excuse, “If you had a spouse, ex-husband, mother, or whatever like I did, you’d also have to eat.” I never took responsibility for my compulsive eating and I lived in blame and guilt.

When I came into program and heard the Serenity Prayer at my first meeting, I didn’t fully understand its meaning. What I have finally come to understand is that I cannot begin to change the things within my control until I accept my powerlessness over food and over the people and circumstances in my life. I have now come to accept the fact that there are some things I cannot change, but I can change my attitude towards others. As I do so, I am learning to take responsibility for my part in the things that happen to me. What a difference that is from the past.

One day at a time …
Only when I acknowledge and accept the reality of what is in my life, can I begin to change the things that are within my control.


Elder’s Meditation of the Day – November 1

“Times change but principles do not. Times change but lands do not. Times change but our culture and our language remain the same. And that’s what you have to keep intact. It’s not what you wear – it’s what’s in your heart.”

-Oren Lyons, ONONDAGA


Going back to the old ways doesn’t mean giving up electricity, homes, and cars. It means living by the same principles, laws, and values that our ancestors lived by. This will allow us to live successfully in today’s world. The spirituality our ancestors lived is the same spirituality we need in these modern times. There are too many influences from TV, radio, newspapers, magazines, and negative role models that are guiding our lives in a bad way. Our stability is in the laws, principles, and values that our ancestors were given and that our Elders teach us.

Great Spirit, let me live my life in a spiritual way.


Journey To The Heart
November 1
Open Up to Your Connection

Many religions teach about interconnectedness, the subtle effect each person and each movement in the universe has on all the others. I was profoundly reminded of this teaching at Chaco Canyon in New Mexico. In the remnants of the Anasazi culture can be found symbols for the connections the people believed in, taught, and lived. One dwelling was a structure in which over eight hundred rooms were built in a connected circle. Each room touched the next, and the structure contained all the areas the people needed to work, to live, to play, and to worship.

An exhibit in the visitor’s center describes the spiritual philosophy of the descendants of the Anasazi. The Pueblo people live at the center of their universe, all things are interconnected and form a part of the whole. Where the sky and the earth touch are the boundaries for all things to live. All things share in the essence of life through cycles of birth and death.” Although the walls of the circular structure have crumbled and the Anasazi themselves have disappeared, the Pueblo philosophy still symbolizes the way we’re connected to each other today.

Take time to remember how connected you are. You are connected not just to the people you’ve met and know, but to all who live, past and present, in this world. You are part of a dance, the magical dance of the universe taking place each moment in time.

Even if you live alone, you’re part of a large family. Even if you work alone, you’re really part of a team. Take time to honor your connections, and the impact of each person you’ve met. See how people have helped shape you; see how you’ve touched and shaped them. Each interaction creates a ripple affect; each encounter helps shape destiny.

You no longer have to be isolated or suffer from separateness. Take time to see and honor your connections and value your place in the whole.


Today’s Gift
November 1

“Oh, this is the creature that doesn’t exist … In fact, it never was. But since they loved it, a pure beast came to be.”
—Rainer Maria Rilke

The unicorn, serene and white, is a strong and graceful animal with the body of a horse. A single white horn grows from its brow, making it unique among all animals. It is gentle, shy, and good, and though stories have been told about it for centuries, many people say it never existed. We call it a myth, yet in telling its story, we make it real.

Friendship is like the unicorn: created from faith. Before we speak, reach out, believe in the possibility of relations with another, friendship does not exist. But when we share a meal, a joke, or a walk – a piece of ourselves – we open up to two friends . . . one in the other person, the other within ourselves.

How does sharing myself with another create a friend within me?


The Language of Letting Go
November 1
Transformation through Grief

We’re striving for acceptance in recovery – acceptance of our past, other people, our present circumstances, and ourselves. Acceptance brings peace, healing, and freedom – the freedom to take care of ourselves.

Acceptance is not a one step process. Before we achieve acceptance, we go toward it in stages of denial, anger, negotiating, and sadness. We call these stages the grief process. Grief can be frustrating. It can be confusing. We may vacillate between sadness and denial. Our behaviors may vacillate. Others may not understand us. We may neither understand our own behavior nor ourselves while we’re grieving our losses. Then one day, things become clear. The fog lifts, and we see that we have been struggling to face and accept a particular reality.

Don’t worry. If we are taking steps to take care of ourselves, we will move through this process at exactly the right pace. Be understanding with yourself and others for the very human way we go through transition.

Today, I will accept the way I go through change. I will accept the grief process, and its stages, as the way people accept loss and change.


More Language Of Letting Go
November 1
Learn to say I can

“This is for you,” my friend said on my birthday.

I opened the tiny box with that feeling most women get when they know they’re about to receive jewelry. I was right. I lifted out the necklace and held it in my hand.

“Read the brochure that comes with it,” my friend encouraged.

I picked up the tiny leaflet. The necklace was more than a piece of jewelry. It was an ancient symbol that represented self-confidence– that intangible thing that can so easily enhance, or distract from, our ability to joyfully and peacefully live our lives.

It was exactly the reminder I needed.

The next day I drove to the airport for my flying lesson. I wasn’t exhilarated to be flying that day, but I wasn’t dreading it, either. I was simply living each moment. It was time for me to get into the pilot’s seat and fly the plane.

I taxied down the runway, then pushed in the throttle, wearing the self-confidence medallion around my neck. The plane lifted happily into the air. I gently took us up to five thousand five hundred feet. Following Rob’s instructions, I turned left, steeply. Then I did a steep turn to the right. I did a power-on stall, something that had horrified me in the past, then a power-off stall. The airplane and my flying worked.

It was a breakthrough day in flying. Until then, I had been acting as if, going through the motions, making myself fly. Today, I genuinely enjoyed my time in the air.

The necklace didn’t have any power. The power came from remembering to believe in myself.

It’s easy to give up confidence in ourselves. We can give it to people from the past who encouraged us to not believe in ourselves. We can give it to mistakes we’ve made, building a solid case against ourselves based on some lessons we went through, past errors in judgement, and learning experiences. We can forfeit our confidence to a traumatic event– like a divorce, a death, or a loss.

Don’t panic.


Stop saying, I can’t.

Part of the language of letting go is learning to say, I can.

Give the gift of confidence to yourself.

God, I believe in you. Now help me learn to believe in myself,too.


Touchstones Meditations For Men
November 1

“Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.
—Berthold Auerbach

We may have spiritual experiences in our daily lives that we don’t think of as spiritual. For many of us, music lifts us from the practical and mundane circumstances of our lives into communion with the universe. One man may like to listen to country music on the radio, another one might play the piano, and another may go to rock concerts. For each of us, music is a different world from the reasonable, hard data, task-oriented world we usually live in. Music touches our feelings and speaks to us in a special language. It brings us back to special times in the past, perhaps recalls a night of fun and excitement or a person we shared a song with. Music lifts our spirits and opens us to deeper feelings we weren’t in touch with. Many of us meet our Higher Power through the music we love.

Today, I will make room for the restorative powers of music in my life.


Daily TAO
November 1

Meditation is a total state of being.

Many people do not understand meditation, and so they reject it.  Even those who accept it sometimes understand it in only a fragmentary way. Some think of it as a relaxation exercise; others think of it as a mere spiritual cultism. Even the fact that meditation is an uncommon word in everyday language is unfortunate, for it reinforces the view that it is something strange.

Meditation is a state of being. It is a mode of existence. What is difficult to communicate is that meditation is an act that occurs simultaneously on all levels of a person’s life. For example, let’s take the proverbial “contemplating your navel.” If this is done correctly, here are some of the things that can happen : increased digestion, better elimination of the bowels, increased sexual vigor along with enhanced control, greater vitality, improved circulation, increased appetite, stabilized emotions, calmer mind, understanding of deep spiritual truths, and total absorption in a blissful state of being.

It is difficult for people to accept that a single activity could span a continuum from better bowel movements to spiritual bliss. But unless meditation was so extraordinary, how else could it be expected to occupy such an honored place in people’s lives?

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