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In Loving Memory of Vic

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Daily Recovery Readings – November 10

Just For Today
November 10
Fear Or Faith?

“No matter how far we ran, we always carried fear with us.”
Basic Text p. 14

For many of us, fear was a constant factor in our lives before we came to Narcotics Anonymous. We used because we were afraid to feel emotional or physical pain. Our fear of people and situations gave us a convenient excuse to use drugs. A few of us were so afraid of everything that we were unable even to leave our homes without using first.

As we stay clean, we replace our fear with a belief in the fellowship, the steps, and a Higher Power. As this belief grows, our faith in the miracle of recovery begins to color all aspects of our lives. We start to see ourselves differently. We realize we are spiritual beings, and we strive to live by spiritual principles.

The application of spiritual principles helps eliminate fear from our lives. By refraining from treating other people in harmful or unlawful ways, we find we needn’t fear how we will be treated in return. As we practice love, compassion, understanding, and patience in our relationships with others, we are treated in turn with respect and consideration. We realize these positive changes result from allowing our Higher Power to work through us. We come to believe—not to think, but to believe—that our Higher Power wants only the best for us. No matter what the circumstances, we find we can walk in faith instead of fear.

Just for today: I no longer need to run in fear, but can walk in faith that my Higher Power has only the best in store for me.

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Daily Reflections
November 10
A SENSE OF BELONGING

“Perhaps one of the greatest rewards of meditation and prayer is the sense of belonging that comes to us.”
TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 105

That’s what it is—belonging! After a session of meditation I knew that the feeling I was experiencing was a sense of belonging because I was so relaxed. I felt quieter inside, more willing to discard little irritations. I appreciated my sense of humor. What I also experience in my daily practice is the sheer pleasure of belonging to the creative flow of God’s world. How propitious for us that prayer and meditation are written right into our A.A. way of life.

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

I am less self centered. The world used to revolve around me at the center. I cared more about myself, my own needs and desires, my own pleasure, my own way, than I did about the whole rest of the world. What happened to me was more important than anything else I could think of. I was selfishly trying to be happy and therefore I was unhappy most of the time. I have found that selfishly seeking pleasure does not bring true happiness.  Thinking of myself all the time cut me off from the best in life. A.A. taught me to care less about myself and more about the other fellow. Am I less self-centered?

Meditation For The Day

When something happens to upset you and you are discouraged, try to feel that life’s difficulties and troubles are not intended to arrest your progress in the spiritual life, but to test your strength and increase your determination to keep going. Whatever it is that must be met, you are to either overcome it or use it. Nothing should daunt you for long, nor should any difficulty overcome or conquer you. God’s strength will always be there, waiting for you to use it. Nothing can be too great to be overcome, or if not overcome, then used.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may know that there can be no failure with God.  I pray that with His help I may live a more victorious life.

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As Bill Sees It
November 10
Tolerance Keeps Us Sober, p. 312

“Honesty with ourselves and others gets us sober, but it is tolerance that keeps us that way.

“Experience shows that few alcoholics will long stay away from a group just because they don’t like the way it is run. Most return and adjust themselves to whatever conditions they must. Some go to a different group, or form a new one.

“In other words, once an alcoholic fully realizes that he cannot get well alone, he will somehow find a way to get well and stay well in the company of others. It has been that way from the beginning of A.A. and probably always will be so.”

Letter, 1943

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Walk In Dry Places
November 10
Honesty with another person
Admitting wrongs.

A good fifth Step in the program means being entirely hones with at least one person about the nature of our shortcomings. “A burden shared is a burden cut in half” is the principle behind this action.

We can feel relieved that the 12 Step program specifically limits this sharing to “another person”___ though we can obviously add to that if we choose. However, we must be sure to share honestly with that one person, being careful not to gloss over this important Step.

What is the result of this honest sharing? At the very least, it helps us lose the fear that people might know us as we really are. It helps us face the world with confidence and perhaps new humility. Morever, it can strengthen our ability to stay sober. All these gains are certainly reward enough.

If I haven’t been honest with at least one other person, I’ll reread the Fifth Step today. This is something that should be done for my own future safety and well-being.

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Keep It Simple
November 10

Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.
—Will Rogers

The greatest adventure ever is recovery, and action is what’s important in recovery. That’s because the Twelve Steps are full of action. The whole world has now opened up to us. At times, this will scare us. But we aren’t alone. Our Higher Power is there to help us. All we have to ask ourselves is, “Would this action keep me in touch with my Higher Power?” If the answer is yes, then we take action. If the answer is no, then we don’t.

In recovery, we’ll be busy. We admit our wrongs. We take inventories. We seek answers. We ask for help. We are to get as much as we can out of life. We can’t sit and watch; we have to get out and live life.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, You gave me a second chance at life. Help me use it and not let my fear stop.

Action for the Day: Today, I’ll five things I want to do but I’m afraid to try. I’ll talk to someone I trust about how I can do these things.

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Each Day a New Beginning
November 10

Because society would rather we always wore a pretty face, women have been trained to cut off anger.
–Nancy Friday

Anger is an emotion. Not a bad one, nor a good one; it simply exists when particular conditions in our lives are not met as we’d hoped.

We can get free of our anger if we choose to take action appropriate to it. Anger can be a healthy prompter of action. But when no action is taken, anger turns inward, negatively influencing our perceptions of all experiences, all human interaction.

We need to befriend all of our emotions. We need to trust that they all can serve us when we befriend them, learn from them, act in healthy concert with them. Our emotions reveal the many faces of our soul. And all are valid, deserving respect and acceptance. They are all representative of the inner self.

Because we are less at home with anger, it becomes more powerful. When we deny it, it doesn’t disappear. It surfaces in unrelated circumstances, complicating our lives in unnecessary ways. We can learn to enjoy our anger by celebrating the positive action it prompts. We can cherish the growth that accompanies it, when we take the steps we need to.

It’s okay for me to be angry today. It’s growthful, if I use it for good.

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Alcoholics Anonymous
November 10
A DRUNK, LIKE YOU

– The more he listened at meetings, the more he came to know about his own drinking history.

And the most serious thing to me was that I was contemplating suicide. I had an actual plan–a plan for an accident that would raise no question in the minds of the insurance company. So in a moment of sanity, I decided it would be a good idea to seek help. If I hadn’t lost my marbles, they were at the least very loose.

p. 399

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions
November 10

Tradition Four – “Each group should be autonomous except in matters affecting other groups or A.A. as a whole.”

Of course, there was a promoter in the deal – a super-promoter. By his eloquence he allayed all fears, despite advice from the Foundation that it could issue no charter, and that ventures which mixed an A.A. group with medication and education had come to sticky ends elsewhere. To make things safer, the promoter organized three corporations and became president of them all. Freshly painted, the new center shone. The warmth of it all spread through the town. Soon things began to hum. to insure foolproof, continuous operation, sixty-one rules and regulations were adopted.

p. 148

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Xtra Thoughts
November 10

God is the source of all I need, and all others need.
–Shelley

“Call on God, but row away from the rocks.”
–Indian proverb

“If you don’t like something change it; if you can’t change it, change the way you think about it.”
–Mary Engelbreit

“Responsible persons are mature people who have taken charge of themselves and their conduct, who own their actions and own up to them–who answer for them.”
–William J. Bennett

“Silence fertilizes the deep place where personality grows. A life with a peaceful center can weather all storms.”
–Norman Vincent Peale

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation
November 10
FAITH

“Faith is never identical with piety.”
— Karl Barth

Drugs make us artificial and unreal. They create a world of fantasy, rather than reality and teach us how to escape rather than live. Everything is exaggerated and dehumanized especially the practice of our religion. Often for the addict, religion becomes part of the escape, a ritual that becomes exaggerated and theatrical, expecting magic rather than miracle.

Madonnas are kissed, promises are made, confessions become routine, prayers are mouthed and God is manipulated with the disease. Piety, the religious art of showmanship, keeps us a prisoner of the small “god”.

Faith takes seriously our pain and isolation and promises recovery only with change and accepted responsibility. We must walk our prayers and live our rosary!

O God, build Your temple in my heart and Your altar in my daily sacrifice of love to self and others.

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Bible Scriptures
November 10

“I say this because I know what I am planning for you, not plans to hurt you. I will give you hope and a good future. Then you will call my name. You will come to me and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will search for me. And when you search for me with all your heart, you will find me.”
Jeremiah 29:11-13

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. ..”
Proverbs 3:5

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Daily Inspiration
November 10

Study who you are and follow your heart because it will often lead you to miracles. Lord, in knowing who I am, I will become better able to know and serve You.

There is light behind every shadow. Lord, You are the light of the world. May I never forget to turn to You when my life fills with shadows.

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A Day At A Time
November 10

Reflection For The Day

When I first came to The Program, I thought that humility was just another word for weakness.  But I gradually learned that there’s nothing incompatible between humility and intellect, just as long as I place humility first.  As soon as I began to do that, I was told, I would receive the gift of faith — a faith which would work for me as it has worked and continues to work for countless others who have been freed of their addictions and have found a new way of life in The Program.  Have I come to believe, in the words of Heine, that “The actions of men are like the index of a book;  they point out what is most remarkable in them…”?

Today I Pray

May I never let my intelligence be an excuse for lack of humility.  It is so easy, if I consider myself reasonably bright and capable of making decisions and handling my own affairs, to look down upon humility as a property of those less intelligent.  May I remember that intelligence and humility are both God-given.

Today I Will Remember

If I have no humility, I have no intelligence.

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One More Day
November 10

It is easier to confess a defect than to claim a quality.
— Max Beerbohm

It is easy to simply admit our character defects — and then do nothing about them. The difficult part is asking God — however we picture God — to remove our defects and then live with the choices we have made.

We may have apologized to friends, and then added, “but I’ve always been that way.” Or, “I just can’t seem to help it.” We might have used such excuses to avoid looking honestly at ourselves. When we sincerely examine our character defects and have the desire to change, our confessions to others no longer are made with excuses. Instead, we admit our flaws, ask our Higher Power to remove them, and then take responsibility for working toward qualities we admire.

My defects can be changed once I admit them and begin to work on eliminating them.

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One Day At A Time
November 10
SELF-WILL

Our whole trouble has been the misuse of willpower.  We had tried to bombard our problems with it instead of attempting to bring it into agreement with God’s intention for us.
–The AA Twelve and Twelve

I want the answers to all my questions and the solutions to all of my problems RIGHT NOW. Furthermore, I want to tell my Higher Power what I want those answers and solutions to be. I think I know what’s best for me and what will bring long-lasting peace and serenity to my life.

My self-will has gotten me hurt and possibly caused me to hurt others. It has convinced me I could do things my way and everything would be just fine. My self-will has helped me lie to myself about my disease of compulsive overeating, anorexia, or bulimia; it has convinced me that darkness was light and that I should have what I want exactly when I want it.

How grateful I am that my Higher Power loves me enough to not take my advice! How grateful I am that, after I’ve plunged head-first into the same wall at least one hundred times as I tried to force my own answers and solutions, my Higher Power is waiting patiently to bless me by leading me where He would have me go. How grateful I am that I don’t have to run into the wall of my self-will as often or as hard as I once did. One day, maybe I won’t run into it at all.

One Day at a Time . . .
I can let go of self-will and remember that the Third Step says we “made a decision to turn our will and our lives over the the care of God as we understood Him.” The care of God … God can take better care of me than I can of myself.

~ Sandee ~

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Elder’s Meditation of the Day November 10

“The battle for Indian children will be won in the classroom, not on the streets or on horses. The students of today are our warriors of tomorrow.”
–Wilma P. Mankiller, CHEROKEE

The world is constantly changing. One of the strengths of Indian people has been our adaptability. In today’s world, education is what we need to survive. We need doctors, lawyers, teachers, scientists. We can become these things and still live in a cultural way. We need to live in two worlds; the educated world and the Indian cultural world. Education will help protect our land, our people’s health, and provide knowledge for our people. We must teach reading, writing, and arithmetic. Also, we must teach the language, the culture, the ceremony, and the tradition of our people.

Creator, let me remember You are my teacher.

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Journey to the Heart
November 10
Release Guilt

Do whatever you need to do to release guilt. Do it often. Make that technique a regular part of your life.

Guilt has gotten a bad name. Many of us insist that we won’t feel guilt ever again, because we felt so much before, because it serves no purpose. Maybe we need to rethink guilt.

Guilt is a feeling. If it’s there and you don’t feel it, honor it, release it, it will block and stop you. It will control your energy and possibly control your life like anything else that’s denied and repressed. Acknowledging guilt won’t make it more real. Acknowledging guilt won’t lead to condemnation. Acknowledging guilt will help you release it. Write it out. Talk it out. Use a ritual from your church. Let yourself know your secrets, even the ones you’ve kept hidden from yourself until now.

Choose a way to express your guilt. Then watch it loosen and leave. That’s how we cleanse our souls.

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Today’s Gift
November 10

He who has courage and faith will never perish in misery!
—Anne Frank

Someone once said happiness is like a butterfly: if we chase it, we’ll never find it. But if we sit quietly, it will come and land on us. Faith and courage are the same. All we have to do is sit quietly and ask for these gifts from God. In time, and with patience, they will be ours, and so will the happiness we can then pass on to others.

Anne Frank wrote the above words facing a concentration camp and certain death. If she could find happiness and faith and courage within herself under those circumstances, then certainly we can too. These gifts are ours, already within us, if we but look for them.

What can I ask for today?

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The Language of Letting Go
November 10
Self-approval

Most of us want to be liked. We want other people to think of us as nice, friendly, kind, and loving. Most of us want the approval of others.

Since childhood, some of us have been trying to get approval, trying to get people to like us and think highly of us. We may be afraid people will leave us if they disapprove of our actions. We may look for approval from people who have none to give. We may not know that we’re lovable now and can learn to approve of ourselves.

In order to live happily, to live consistently with the way our Higher Power wants us to live, and to tap into a way of life that is in harmony with the universe, we need to let go of our extreme need for approval. These unmet needs for approval and love from our past give others control over us today. These needs can prevent us from acting in our best interest and being true to ourselves.

We can approve of ourselves. In the end, that’s the only approval that counts.

Today, I will let go of my need for approval and my need to be liked. I will replace them with a need to like and approve of myself. I will enjoy the surprise I find when I do this. The people who count, including myself, will respect me when I am true to myself.

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More Language Of Letting Go
November 10
Find a way to say I can

Slowly I began to see that many of the boxes I found myself in were of my own making. I tended to construct them, crawl in, then wonder who I could blame for putting me there. Who did this to me? I would wonder and sometimes ask aloud. That’s when I’d hear the answer. You did, Melody. You put yourself in this box. Now it’s up to you to get out.
–Melody Beattie, Stop Being Mean to Yourself

Each of us has our own degree of freedom. We have certain things we can do and certain things we can’t. Sometimes this freedom fluctuates at different times in our lives. Sometimes we are bound by our responsibilities to other people. Sometimes we have financial limitations. Sometimes we’re limited by what our body can or cannot do at any given point in time.

Alcoholics who know they cannot drink because they lose control when they do are people who are in touch with their power. They can’t drink, but they get to have a manageable life instead.

Healthy happy people know and recognize what they can do and what they truly can’t– at least not without unwanted repercussions. But sometimes we put too many limitations on ourselves. We look around. Because we’re so used to accepting our limitations, we automatically tell ourselves, I can’t do that, so I can’t do anything else.

I’ve been to the house, touched the rock collection, of the author George Sands who lived in southern France years and years ago during a time when women had few rights. It turned out that George was really a woman who took on a man’s name so she could write and sell her books. Her legend and her books still live on.

Identify what you legitimately can’t do or what you’d be better off and more powerful if you didn’t. Learn to live within those limitations. That’s how you’ll own your power.

But don’t stop there. Look around and see what you can do, too. Be creative. Knowing what we truly can’t do is often a stepping stone to discovering what we can do.

God, help me own my power by surrendering to what I can’t do. Then help me own my power some more by discovering what I can.

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Touchstones Meditations For Men
November 10

Humility is just as much the opposite of self-abasement as it is of self-exaltation.
—Dag Hammarskjold

In our struggles with self-hate and guilt, we may have thought we were humble – or perhaps even too humble. But self-abasement, which often alternates with feelings of superiority, is not the spiritual quality of humility that we strive for in our program.

With humility, we respect ourselves and our place in the universe. Humility is having ourselves in perspective, knowing we are connected to the whole world, accepting how small and powerless we are, and accepting the power and responsibility we have. With this spiritual feeling comes a sense of awe for the world we live in and a feeling of gratitude for the life we’ve been given.

The humility I feel today goes hand in hand with my self-respect and gratefulness for being part of life.

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Daily TAO
November 10
SOARING

For years, I’ve practiced ritual.
It’s dead now.
For years, I’ve practiced meditation.
It’s dull now.
Finally, there is only soaring
Like an ectoplasmic ribbon
Floating over the sea.

When one is mature spiritually, one no longer needs the structure of ritual or formal meditations. This is not to say that structure was unnecessary, for without it one could not stand at this vantage point.  But once one attains a level where one has completely internalized the lessons of structure, one can freely improvise in fresh and valid forms.

In spirituality, one can soar, free of ordinary restrictions.  Imagine yourself on a high cliff overlooking the ocean. Slowly your body elongates like a ribbon. Longer and longer, undulating up into the sky.  Before you is the limitless vastness of the ocean and sky. You feel drawn forward, and you can glide and soar over that expanse like a ribbon. That is spiritual freedom.

Autumn is about to pass into winter. Spring is on the other side, just as spiritual soaring is on the other side of stiff ritual.  Devotions have their own seasons. When you first learn them, they are magical. Then they yield their harvest and wither. On the other side of the withering is a new spring and a new spiritual vista. Wherever you are in your spiritual years, cooperate with the cycle of the seasons, until you emerge like a dragon, soaring in the sky.

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