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In Loving Memory of Vic

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Daily Recovery Readings – November 15

Just For Today
November 15
Letting Go

“Take my will and my life. Guide me in my recovery. Show me how to live.”
Basic Text p. 25

How do we begin the process of letting our Higher Power guide our lives? When we seek advice about situations that trouble us, we often find that our Higher Power works through others. When we accept that we don’t have all the answers, we open ourselves to new and different options. A willingness to let go of our preconceived ideas and opinions opens the channel for spiritual guidance to light our way.

At times, we must be driven to the point of distraction before we are ready to turn difficult situations over to our Higher Power. Anxiously plotting, struggling, planning, worrying – none of these suffice. We can be sure that if we turn our problems over to our Higher Power, through listening to others share their experience or in the quiet of meditation, the answers will come.

There is no point in living a frantic existence. Charging through life like the house is on fire exhausts us and gets us nowhere. In the long run, no amount of manipulation on our part will change a situation. When we let go and allow ourselves access to a Higher Power, we will discover the best way to proceed. Rest assured, answers derived from a sound spiritual basis will be far superior to any answers we could concoct on our own.

Just for today: I will let go and let my Higher Power guide my life.

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Daily Reflections
November 15
VITAL SUSTENANCE

Those of us who have come to make regular use of prayer would no more do without it than we would refuse air, food, 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.
TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 97

Step Eleven doesn’t have to overwhelm me. Conscious contact with God can be as simple, and as profound, as conscious contact with another human being. I can smile.  I can listen. I can forgive. Every encounter with another is an opportunity for prayer, for acknowledging God’s presence within me. Today I can bring myself a little closer to my Higher Power. The more I choose to seek the beauty of God’s work in other people, the more certain of His presence I will become.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day
November 15
A.A. Thought For The Day

I am less sensitive and my feelings are less easily hurt. I no longer take myself so seriously. It didn’t use to take much to insult me, to feel that I had been slighted or left on the outside. What happens to me now is not so important. One cause of our drinking was because we couldn’t take it, so we escaped the unpleasant situation. We have learned to take it on the chin if necessary and smile. When I am all wrapped up in A.A., I do not notice the personal slights so much. They do not seem to matter so much. I have learned to laugh at self-pity, because it’s so childish. Am I less sensitive?

Meditation For The Day

God’s miracle-working power is as manifest today as it was in the past. It still works miracles of change in lives and miracles of healing in twisted minds. When a person trusts wholly in God and leaves to Him the choosing of the day and hour, there is God’s miracle-working power becoming manifest in that person’s life. So we can trust in God and have boundless faith in His power to make us whole again, whenever He chooses.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may be sure that there is nothing that God cannot accomplish in changing my life. I pray that I may have faith in His miracle-working power.

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As Bill Sees It
November 15
Vision Beyond Today, p. 317

Vision is, I think the ability to make good estimates, both for the immediate and for the more distant future. Some might feel this sort of striving to be heresy against “One day at a time.” But that valuable principle really refers to our mental and emotional lives and means chiefly that we are not foolishly to repine over the past nor wishfully to daydream about the future.

As individuals and as a fellowship, we shall surely suffer if we cast the whole job of planning for tomorrow onto a fatuous idea of providence.  God’s real providence has endowed us human beings with a considerable capability for foresight, and He evidently expects us to use it. Of course, we shall often miscalculate the future in whole or in part, but that is better than to refuse to think at all.

Twelve Concepts, p. 40

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Walk In Dry Places
November 15
The loss of choice
Freedom

Many alcoholics are vigorous defenders of free choice. We have to concede, however, that our choices are not always limited by the tyranny of others. Our own actions can take away from freedom of choice.

Recovering people in AA have learned that taking even one drink will result in the loss of choice, and it is not just a temporary loss of sobriety that one faces. It’s always possible that the person who drinks again may never recovery sobriety.

In the same way, other actions represent loss of choice in our lives. other actions represent loss of choice in our lives. A person who cheats, for example, may learn that he or she has no choice over the unpleasant outcomes that follow.

We can protect our freedom of choice by deciding only to take actions that will strengthen such freedom in the future. At no time should we make any choices that rob us of our precious right to choose.

Every action I take today must help me keep favorable options open in the future. My right to choose was restored by AA, and I must help protect it.

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Keep It Simple
November 15

The best way to know God is to love many things.
—Vincent Van Gogh

Now that we’re in recovery, we’re learning to love people. We’re learning to love nature.

We’re learning to love new ideas about life. The result? We love the way we feel now that we’re taking care of ourselves.

Is our Higher Power really so close? Can we really find our Higher Power just by loving many things? Yes! When we love, we wake up that part of us that is part of all creation—our spirit. We really come to life when we love!

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, remind me that You are near when I love someone or something. The energy of love come from You.

Action for the Day: I will list three things I love that help me know my Higher Power is near me.

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Each Day a New Beginning
November 15

Zeal is the faculty igniting the other mind powers into the full flame of activity.
–Sylvia Stitt Edwards

When enthusiasm is absent in our lives, no activity appears inviting. In fact, most situations foster fear. With fear, we’re ever so familiar. The program we’re committed to relieves us of all fear, when we work it. And it offers us the enthusiasm that will guarantee positive outcomes for our efforts, when we look to our higher power for the right attitude.

An open, trusting, sincere relationship with our higher power equals enthusiasm about life. But that relationship takes work on our part. When we’ve done our homework we discover that no lesson will baffle us. Prayer and meditation make all things understandable and guarantee that we will “pass the course” on life.

I will begin this day, and every day, looking to God for the gift of zeal to live fully every moment, to give fully what I have to give, and to glory fully in all that I receive. My attitude of gratitude will increase my happiness manyfold. I will look to this day with zeal.

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Alcoholics Anonymous
November 15
A DRUNK, LIKE YOU

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

I used to watch a lot of late-night movies–it was my time to relax by having a few drinks, a habit that started in night school when I had a full-time job and was studying chemistry at night. I had seen movie versions of what happened to people who had drinking problems The Lost Weekend, Days of Wine and Roses, and others. And so I was nervous about raging, losing control, and maybe being violent as my wife has said I was. So we picked up the kids and the booze (all of it) and took all to my wife’s parents.

p. 400

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions
November 15

Tradition Five – “Each group has but one primary purpose – to carry it’s message to the alcoholic who still suffers.”

Alcoholics Anonymous can be likened to a group of physicians who might find a cure for cancer, and upon whose concerted work would depend the answer for sufferers of this disease. True, each physician in such a group might have his own specialty. Every doctor concerned would at times wish he could devote himself to his chosen field rather than work only with the group. But once these men had hit upon c cure, once it became apparent that only by their united effort could this be accomplished, then all of them would feel bound to devote themselves solely to the relief of cancer. In the radiance of such a miraculous discovery, any doctor would set his other ambitions aside, at whatever personal cost.

p. 150

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Xtra Thoughts
November 15

“Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.”
–Buddha

The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.
–Marcel Proust

Today I am learning to think and act in a positive way that is healthy for my mind, body and spirit.
–Ruth Fishel

“The wisest person is not the one who has the fewest failures but the one who turns failures to best account.”
–Richard R. Grant

“I don’t stay clean on yesterday’s recovery.”
–unknown

“We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same.”
–Carlos Castenada

“It may be that one reason a dog is a good friend is his tail wags and not his tongue.”
–unknown

Remember that God values you for who you are, not what you do.
–unknown

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation
November 15
COMFORT

“No man knows of what stuff he is made until prosperity and ease try him.”
— A. P. Gouthey

I must be careful that I do not get too comfortable and self-confident. I must be careful that I do not plateau at this stage of my journey into sobriety and relax in past achievements. Sometimes I hear the disease of addiction saying to me, “You’ve done all you need now relax; take it easy.”

Sometimes the sick voice says, “Listen to the stupidity of these newly recovering people: avoid them!” “You don’t need meeting now just sit and talk with your friends.” Historically I know that when things are going well for me, that is when I need to be careful. A complacent and indulgent sobriety is dangerous. It leads to the disarming slip of arrogance and false pride.

I need to remember the pain of my yesterdays; I need to hear the newly recovering; I need to hear the pain if I am to continue to gain. My disease will forever speak, but will I listen?

Teach me to embrace a humility that enables me to enjoy a realistic sobriety.

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Bible Scriptures
November 15

“You hold my right hand. You guide me with your counsel.”
Psalm 73:23-24

“As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
Isaiah 55:9

“Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man, who looks at his face in a mirror and after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.
James 1:22-24

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Daily Inspiration
November 15

If you give up and let things just happen to you, you will open the door to a helpless, passive existence and bring on needless sorrow. Lord, open my eyes to see that You and I can determine the outcome of my day and the direction of my life and that the result of refusing to let my environment control me is a tremendous inner strength , a joyful spirit and a constant reason to smile.

Often times that which we find difficult is that which teaches. Lord, may I always be able to see the good that comes from even my trials.

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A Day At A Time
November 15

Reflection For The Day

As a newcomer, I was told that my admission of my powerlessness over alcohol was my first step toward freedom from its deadly grip.  I soon came to realize the truth of that fact.  In that regard, surrender was a dire necessity.  But for me that was only a small beginning toward acquiring humility.  I’ve learned in The Program that to be willing to work for humility — as something to be desired for itself — takes most of us a long, long time.  Do I realize that a whole lifetime geared to self-centeredness can’t be shifted into reverse in a split second?

Today I Pray

May I search for my own humility as a quality that I must cultivate to survive, not just an admission that I am powerless over my compulsive behavior.  Step One is just that — step one — in the direction of acquiring an attitude of humility.  May I be realistic enough to know that this may take half a lifetime.

Today I Will Remember

Pride blew it;  let humility have a chance.

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One More Day
November 15

There is always room for improvement, you know — it’s the biggest room in the house.
– Louise Heath Leber

Acceptance of criticism is very hard, even when it’s given constructively. As small children we have bristled at suggestions about our drawings or toy houses we made. We liked things to be the way we wanted them to be.

Not everyone is so talented or sensitive that they can offer criticism without it hurting. We do ourselves justice when we learn to listen to most criticism. Of course, we remain the right to disagree.

We understand that criticism is often tempered with love and understanding. A Receptiveness to criticism helps us become less rigid and more willing to change.

I can accept criticism and try to change when it will benefit me.

Author of this is Written by Sefra Kobrin Pitzele

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One Day At A Time
November 15
STEP TWO

“The definition insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.”
–Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

While in the grip of my disease I tried many things to deal with my compulsive overeating. I tried many, many diets, fasting, exercise programs, treatment, therapy, church and even resorted to weight loss surgery. I did the same thing over and over again – I tried outward solutions to fix an inward problem. And the sad thing was I somehow thought that I would get different results: a permanent change of my compulsive overeating. But it did not work that way. It was acting with insanity. I was frustrated and very, very sad. All along, I knew there was something wrong with me, that I was not “normal”, but I didn’t know what to do about it.

Then the blessing of the program came to me. I learned about Step Two: “Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.” I came to believe that was true. I finally was doing something different. Never before had I approached my compulsive overeating on three levels all at the same time. I had never seen my disease as a physical, emotional and spiritual disease that needed addressing at the same time, one day at a time. I began to slowly learn how to do this through the steps and the tools, with the help of sponsors and friends in the program. I found myself doing something different and getting different results. I found my sanity returning, piece by piece.

One Day at a Time . . .
I will do something different, knowing I will get different results.

~ Carolyn

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Elder’s Meditation of the Day November 15
November 15, 2011

“Our Spiritual belief is that we were created as part of the land – so our identity, our names, and our songs are all tied to the land.”
–Chief Roderick Robinson, NISGA’A

In the traditional way, the names of native people had great meaning. We even had naming ceremonies.  The naming of someone was very important and had great significance because it was tied to the Earth.  The identity of each member and the teachings of the songs were all tied to Mother Earth.  We need to know these teachings from our culture.  This knowledge will help us heal the people.

My Maker, today help me find my identity.

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Journey to the Heart
November 15
The Light Will Illuminate Your Path

It was almost eleven o’clock at night. I was driving down a highway in Colorado on the west side of the mountains. I was exhausted, driving and driving, hoping I was going somewhere, hoping the road led to someplace where I could rest and replenish myself. Whenever I would become fearful, wondering if I had taken complete leave of my senses, i’d look up in the sky. A crescent moon was snuggled between two mountians. It seemed to urge me on, beckoning me to drive toward it.

Finally, I reached the place marked by the moon. It was a lodge not listed in any directory, in a town not even on any map. It had a mineral bath on the grounds and, yes, an available room.

Sometimes when I’m driving late at night on a strange road and I’m not sure which turn to take, I look for a light. The moon might be setting above a particular place, lighting it with its glow. The lights of a city might brighten one direction more than another. A certain road appears lighter, feels better, feels right.

Often that’s what happens in our lives. When we get to a fork in the road and we’re not certain which direction to go, there’s usually one path that appears lighter than another. Sometimes the light is dim. Sometimes it can only be seen with the eyes of our soul, the eyes of our heart. But it’s also a light that can be clouded and blocked by fear, tenseness, and lack of faith.

Relax. Tune into your body. Trust your heart. Look around. When you don’t know which way to go next, wait. Soon a path will open up. It will appear lighter. It will feel right.

When in doubt, go toward the light. When you get to a fork in the road, choose the way that feels lightest. The light will take you to the next place. The light will lead you home.

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Today’s Gift
November 15

Growing is like running a twenty-six mile marathon. If we give up on the twenty-fourth mile, we will never know what it feels like to finish the race.
—Anonymous

There will be times in our growth when we will want to give up. Our pain seems to have no end to it. In a sense, we are like the runner of a marathon on her twenty-fourth mile. She may think she cannot finish the race; she may lose her ability to see things as they are.

If she can remember previous successes, she will no doubt make the decision to go on, to at least give the race her best shot. It does not matter how may people come in before or after her. It matters only that she has not given up. When she crosses the finish line, the pain turns quickly into joy.

When we refuse to give up, we give ourselves an accomplishment we can rejoice in, the reward of knowing we have done our best.

What can I finish that I gave up on earlier?

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The Language of Letting Go
November 15
Benefits of Recovery

There are two benefits from recovery: we have short-term gains and long-term gains.

The short-term gains are the things we can do today that help us feel better immediately.

We can wake up in the morning, read for a few minutes in our meditation book, and feel lifted. We can work a Step and often notice an immediate difference in the way we feel and function. We can go to a meeting and feel refreshed, talk to a friend and feel comforted, or practice a new recovery behavior, such as dealing with our feelings or doing something good for ourselves, and feel relieved.

There are other benefits from recovery, though, that we don’t see immediately on a daily or even a monthly basis. These are the long-term gains, the larger progress we make in our life.

Over the years, we can see tremendous rewards. We can watch ourselves grow strong in faith, until we have a daily personal relationship with a Higher Power that is as real to us as a relationship with a best friend.

We can watch ourselves grow beautiful as we shed shame, guilt, resentments, self-hatred, and other negative buildups from our past.

We can watch the quality of our relationships improve with family, friends, and spouses. We find ourselves growing steadily and gradually in our capacity to be intimate and close, to give and receive.

We can watch ourselves grow in our careers, in our ability to be creative, powerful, productive people, using our gifts and talents in a way that feels good and benefits others.

We discover the joy and beauty in ourselves, others, and life.

The long-term progress is steady, but sometimes slow, happening in increments and often with much forward and backward movement. Enough days at a time of practicing recovery behaviors and piling up short term gains leads to long-term rewards.

Today, I will be grateful for the immediate and long-term rewards of recovery. If I am new to recovery, I will have faith that I can achieve the long-term benefits. If I’ve been recovering for a while, I will pause to reflect, and be grateful for my overall progress.

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More Language Of Letting Go
November 15
Teach others they can,too

One good way to help ourselves believe we can is by helping others learn they can,too.

Some of us call this “being of service.”

In Twelve Step programs, they call this “carrying the message.” No matter how much recovery time we have, we can share our experience, strength, and hope with others. We can tell them how we were set free, how it felt in the beginning, and how it feels now, so they’ll believe they can do it,too.

I’ve found even in skydiving that it helps me to share my experience, strength, and hope with skydivers newer to the sport than I am. When I am telling them that it’s okay, that they can do it, I’m really telling myself I can do it,too.

Often in my everyday life, the things I’m telling others they need to do, or can learn, are the very things I need to be telling myself. Repetition forms belief. If we tell others, we’re telling ourselves. The belief in them grows stronger. The belief in us is strengthened,too.

Some people say, “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.” That may be true. But sometimes when the student appears, it’s because the teacher is ready to learn the lesson,too.

Sometimes helping others is how we help ourselves. And giving it away is often how we get to have some ourselves.

God, help me be of service. Help me remember the value of serving others– that it strengthens and uplifts them and blesses and helps me,too.

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Touchstones Meditations For Men
November 15

To wait for moments or places where no pain exists, no separation is felt and where all human restlessness has turned into inner peace is waiting for a dream world.
—Henri J. M. Nouwen

Anytime we do a spot check on our anxiety or personal restlessness we will probably find some. As long as we are aware and alive we can expect to have some discomfort, some fear of loss, some doubt. Our program does not totally rid us of these pains. Perhaps our old ways sought absolute peace or escape through abuse of chemicals or food or gambling or sex, but the serenity we seek in our recovery comes through honesty with ourselves and acceptance of the incompleteness of our lives.

When we make room for the pain in our lives, we allow the river of our emotions to flow. It will carry us along to other feelings like happiness and peace. Conflicting feelings can exist side by side in our lives, and when we try to control true feelings of restlessness or pain, we dam the flow of emotions and block the pleasant ones as well as the difficult ones.

I am moving to a real world where I know and accept my feelings.

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Daily TAO
November 15
SUSTAINING

Orange and gold carp,
Living beneath ice.
Uncaring of the world above,
Sustained by the water below.

In the rapidly chilling autumn, ponds begin to ice over. The waters become deep, dark, and mysterious, but in those depths the fish can survive the coming winter.

Tao may be known as directly as water is knowable to a fish. My Tao will not be the same as your Tao. We are both individuals, with different backgrounds and thoughts. As soon as Tao enters into us, it takes on the colors of our inner personalities. When it passes out of us, it returns again to its universal nature. This is an ongoing and constant process, like water flowing through a fish’s gills. Just as the water nurtures the fish, so too does Tao nurture and sustain us. As long as we continue our immersion in Tao, we will be as safe as a carp in water. When we separate from Tao, we are as helpless as a fish out of water.

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