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In Loving Memory of Vic

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Daily Recovery Readings - November 25

Just For Today
November 25
Meditation

“Quieting the mind through meditation brings and inner peace that brings us into contact with the God within us.”
Basic Text pg.45

As our recovery progresses, we often reflect on what brought us to Narcotics Anonymous in the first place and are able to appreciate how much the quality of our lives has improved. We no longer have to fear our own thoughts. And the more we pray and meditate, the more we experience a calm sense of well-being. The peace and tranquillity we experience during our quiet times confirms that our most important needs – our spiritual needs – are being met.

We are able to empathize with other addicts and strengthen our conscience in the process. We learn to avoid judging others and experience the freedom to be ourselves. In our spiritual reflection, we intuitively find “the God within us” and see that we are in harmony with a Power greater than ourselves.

Just for today: I will reflect upon the gift of recovery and listen quietly for my Higher Power’s guidance.

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Daily Reflections
November 25
A POWERFUL TRADITION

In the years before the publication of the book “Alcoholics Anonymous,” we had no name. . .by a narrow majority the verdict was for naming our book “The Way Out.” . . .One of our early lone members. . . found exactly twelve books already titled “The Way Out.”. . . So “Alcoholics Anonymous” became first choice. That’s how we got a name for our book of experience, a name for our movement and, as we are now beginning to see, a tradition of the greatest spiritual import.
“A.A. TRADITION: HOW IT DEVELOPED.” pp. 35-36

Beginning with Bill’s momentous decision in Akron to make a telephone call rather than a visit to the hotel bar, how often has a Higher Power made itself felt at crucial moments in our history! The eventual importance that the principle of anonymity would acquire was but dimly perceived, if at all, in those early days. There seems to have been an element of chance even in the choice of a name for our Fellowship.

God is no stranger to anonymity and often appears in human affairs in the guises of “luck”, “chance,” or “coincidence.” If anonymity, somewhat fortuitously, became the spiritual basis for all of our Traditions, perhaps God was acting anonymously on our behalf.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day
November 25
A.A. Thought For The Day

I am not so envious of other people, nor am I so jealous of other people’s possessions and talents. When I was drinking, I was secretly full of jealousy and envy of those people who could drink normally, who had the love and respect of their families, who lived a normal life and were accepted as equals by their friends. I pretended tomyself that I was as good as they were, but I knew it wasn’t so. Now I don’t have to be envious any more. I try not to want what I don’t deserve. I’m content to live with what I have earned by my efforts to live the right way. More power to those who have what I have not. At least, I’m trying. Have I got rid of the poison of envy?

Meditation For The Day

“My soul is restless till it finds its rest in Thee.” A river flows on, until it loses itself in the sea. Our spirits long for rest in the Spirit of God. We yearn to realize a peace, a rest, a satisfaction that we have never found in the world or its pursuits. Some are not conscious of their need, and shut down the doors of their spirits against the spirit of God. They are unable to have true peace.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may feel the divine unrest. I pray that my soul may find its rest in God.

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As Bill Sees It
November 25
Three Choices, p. 327

The immediate object of our quest is sobriety–freedom from alcohol and from all its baleful consequences. Without this freedom, we have nothing at all.

Paradoxically, though, we can achieve no liberation from the alcohol obsession until we become willing to deal with those character defects which have landed us in that helpless condition. In this freedom quest, we are always given three choices.

A rebellious refusal to work upon our glaring defects can be an almost certain ticket to destruction. Or, perhaps for a time, we can stay sober with a minimum of self-improvement and settle ourselves into a comfortable but often dangerous mediocrity. Or, finally, we can continuously try hard for those sterling qualities that can add up to fineness of spirit and action–true and lasting freedom under God.

Grapevine, November 1960

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Walk In Dry Places
November 25
What ought to work– but doesn’t
Understanding Alcoholism

One of the old theories about alcoholism was that we drink because we had deep psychological problems. It followed that if we could clear up these problems, we would no longer need to drink excessively.

Another theory was that staying dry for a long period of time would dislodge one’s alcoholic tendencies. After a certain length of sobriety, we would be able to return to normal drinking. (NOT)

Both theories sound plausible, but in practice neither has worked. Many of us came to grief trying to make these ideas work.

What we eventually learn about psychological problems is that they may intensify our troubles, but they are not the real cause of our alcoholism. The cause may be rooted in some physical problem that enables us to achieve unusual highs from drinking. We also know that one drink acts as a trigger for more drinking— at least for us.

Our answer has been, first and foremost, to eliminate the first drink. Even if it doesn’t square with theories, it works.

No matter how long I’ve been sober, one drink would be deadly to me. Accepting that fact enabled me to get sober after finding that theories about my problem weren’t working.

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Keep It Simple
November 25

Love is the reward of love.
—Johann von Schiller

When we used alcohol and other drugs, we shared little as possible. There was little love in our hearts. We had become selfish. This caused us to be lonely.

Then something happened to change all of that. Remember the first time you walked into a meeting? You were met by people who shared. Maybe they shared a smile, their story, or just a cup of coffee with you. The sharing that goes on in a Twelve Step program is great. We learn that the more we give, the more we get. We get well by giving to others. Helping others is a great way to hold on to sobriety. Love is the reward of love.

Prayer for the Day: I pray that I will be there when others need me. I pray that service will become a big part of my program.

Action for the Day: Today, I’ll think of friends who could use my help. I’ll talk to them and offer to be there for them.

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Each Day a New Beginning
November 25

Change occurs when one becomes what she is, not when she tries to become what she is not.
–Ruth P. Freedman

Learning self-acceptance, and then loving the selves we are, present perhaps our two biggest hurdles to the attainment of emotional and spiritual health. Fortunately, they are not insurmountable hurdles. The program offers ready assistance.

Women everywhere are making great strides in self-love and self-acceptance. We are learning self-love. And we are changing. The support we can give our sisters, and the support we receive, multiplies many times the healthy energy created–healthy energy that touches us all.

Emotional and spiritual health are gifts promised by the program, when we work it. We must move beyond our perfectionism and relish our humanness. And the Steps are the way. We must learn humility and develop faith, and the Steps are the way. Learning to love all our parts, the qualities we like and the traits that discouragingly hang on, offers a new freedom. A freedom that invites change. A freedom that safeguards the emotional and spiritual well-being that we strive for.

Confidence will come with my healthy self-acceptance.

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Alcoholics Anonymous
November 25
A DRUNK, LIKE YOU

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

We were able to stay on site in special offices set aside for us to conduct our job search. As part of this job search, I was allowed to go to a professional convention being held in the Southwest.

p. 404

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions
November 25

Tradition Six – “An A.A. group ought never endorse, finance, or lend the A.A. name to any related facility or outside enterprise, lest problems of money, property, and prestige divert us from our primary purpose.”

It occurred to us that we could take what we had into the factories and cause laborers and capitalists to love each other. Our uncompromising honesty might soon clean up politics. With one arm around the shoulder of medicine, we’d resolve their differences. Having learned to live so happily, we’d show everybody else how. Why, we thought, our Society of Alcoholics Anonymous might prove to be the spearhead of a new spiritual advance! We might transform the world.

p. 156

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Xtra Thoughts
November 25

A recovering alcoholic without a sponsor is much like a ship without a rudder.
–unknown

“A positive attitude is like a fire: Unless you continue to add fuel, it goes out.”
–Alexander Lockhart

We’re all going to have winds and waves in our lives but nothing that happens can destroy your life unless you allow it to destroy what’s in you. Work on building conscious contact with God that is stronger than anything in the world, so you don’t look to the world as your guidance.  Look within and you will find the power and love of God.
–Mary Manin Morrissey

“The sweetest of all sounds is praise.”
–Xenophon

Start living now.
Stop saving the good china for that special occasion.
Stop withholding your love until that special person materializes.
Every day you are alive is a special occasion.
Every minute, every breath, is a gift from God.
–Mary Manin Morrissey

“If you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans for the day.”
–unknown

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation
November 25
IDEALISM

“I am an idealist. I don’t know where I am going but I’m on my way.”
— Carl Sandburg

Today I am on the move. I feel an energy in my life that gets excited each day. New people, new places, new ideas all give me “a spiritual charge” that help me enjoy my life.

I don’t have all the answers and sometimes I am confused but today I can live with this and enjoy it. God seems to reveal Himself more in the questions rather than the answers; it is the problems that produce the growth.

The journey of my life is an adventure that is free and unchartered, even the pain and problems produce a benefit that can be used for my recovery. Nothing need be wasted.

I am the Way. I am the Truth. I am the Light.

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Bible Scriptures
November 25

“Your heart will be where your treasure is.”
Luke 12:34

A gentle answer turns away wrath, but harsh words stir up anger.  The wise person makes learning a joy; fools spout only foolishness. The LORD is watching everywhere, keeping his eye on both the evil and the good. Gentle words bring life and health; a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit. Only a fool despises a parent’s discipline; whoever learns from correction is wise.
–Proverbs 15:1-5

Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of highest privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory.
Romans 5:1-2

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Daily Inspiration
November 25

If you worry a little each day, it eventually will add up to years. Lord, without Your strength it is so easy to let circumstances rob me of my joy.

God is calling us to experience peace, satisfaction and joy as we have never experienced. Lord, I will follow You as You lift me to new levels of living.

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A Day At A Time
November 25

Reflection For The Day

“What you have may seem small; you desire so much more.  See children thrusting heir hands into a narrow necked jar, striving to pull out the sweets.   If they fell the hand, they cannot pull it out and then they fall to tears.  When they let go a few, they can draw out the rest.  You, too, let your desire go;  cover not too much..”
—  Epictetus

Let me expect not too much of anyone, particularly myself,.  Let me learn to settle for less than I wish were  possible, and be willing to accept it and appreciate it.  Do  I accept gratefully and graciously  the good that has already come to me in The Program?

Today I Pray

May I search my soul for those little hankerings of what which may keep me from delighting in all that I have.   If I can just teach  myself not to want too much, not to expect too much, then when those expectations are not satisfied, I will not be let down.  May I accept with grace what the grace of God has provided.

Today I Will Remember

I , alone, can grant myself the “freedom from want.”

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One More Day
November 25

Be a football to Time and Chance, the more kicks the better, so that you inspect the whole game and know it’s utmost law.
—  Ralph Wldo Emerson

There’s something attractive about having a controlled life, a life in which we’re never embarrassed or disappointed or fooled.  Perhaps it’s safety we seek when we try to control everyone and everything around us.  As is so often true, we can’t get one thing without forfeiting another.  In this case, if we choose safety, wee lose spontaneity and excitement.

Although we don’t want to take dangerous risks or make foolish choices when clearly better ones present themselves, we may want to loosen our tight, controlling grasp on our lives.  To live fully and joyously, we do want and need to examine the range of experiences life offers.  Yes we may get a few bumps and bruises, but we’ll always find joy and contentment

Today, I will welcome the unexpected in my life.

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One Day At A Time
November 25
~ CHOICE ~

The strongest principle of growth lies in human choice.
–George Eliot

I spent most of my life blaming others for my woes and the fact that I was a compulsive overeater. I thought, “If you had had a mother like I did, an ex-husband or a tough life like mine, you would also have turned to food for comfort or to block all the painful feelings.” I was sure that had I had an easier life like I perceived others to have, I wouldn’t have had to do the things around food that I did. I never took responsibility for my part in all this because, in truth, I was the one who chose to react to my life in that way. Nobody forced me to behave the way I did and nobody held me down and forced food into my mouth.

I never used to realize that I do have choices in life. I can choose not to eat foods that are harmful to me; I can choose not to surround myself with unhealthy relationships; I can choose not to let other people’s problems become my own; in fact, I have choices in most things that I do. I can choose to have a more positive attitude today, instead of focusing on all the negatives. I do not have to react to life’s adversities with destructive behaviors. I can choose to be active in my life rather than being reactive, like a sailing ship in a stormy sea that is totally at the mercy of the weather. I can choose to seize life with both hands and live it the best I know how.

One day at a time… 
Today I choose to work this program of recovery knowing that, even with life’s difficulties, the promises of the program will come true in my life, and I will know serenity and peace.

Sharon S.

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Elder’s Meditation of the Day – November 25

“People and nations who understand the Natural Law are self-governing, following the principles of love and respect that insure freedom and peace.”
–Traditional Circle of Elders, NAVAJO-HOPI

The Natural Laws work hand-in-hand with the circle.
Each part of a circle will look to the center and will see something different.

For example, if you put an irregular shaped object in the center of a circle and you have people standing in a circle around the object, each one will describe it differently. Everyone in the circle will be right. Only by honoring and respecting everyone’s input, can the truth about the object be revealed. We need to learn to honor differences.

My Creator, let me honor all differences.

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Journey to the Heart
November 25
Make Today a Healing Day

Take time for healing. Take time for what soothes your body, your mind, your soul.

Take a bath. Light a candle. Read a book. Take a walk. Get a massage. See your favorite healer if you desire. See a movie. Buy some flowers. Drink a cup of tea.

Sometimes we talk ourselves out of doing something healing for ourselves. We’re too busy, too tired. But that is when we most need to take care of ourselves. Listen to your heart. What does it want? Listen to your body. What does it need? Trust what you hear.

Make today a healing day. Then take some time and make every day a healing day.

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Today’s Gift
November 25

All music is what awakes from you when you are reminded by the instruments.
—Walt Whitman

A small group of friends sat in a room around a record player. It was a heavy old thing, with parts that had to be operated by hand and only one speaker – nothing like a modern stereo at all, but more like an antique phonograph. The record – a recording of their favorite music – was old, too, and scratched, its grooves worn smooth as a stone in some places. The tone arm skipped and scratched, and the sound was tinny, hard on the ears.

Most of the friends squirmed in their seats as they listened, and several grumbled that it was impossible to hear the music with such inferior equipment.

But one of the group sat listening, her eyes closed, swaying to the music and humming softly to herself.

“How can you enjoy this?” the others asked.

“Ah,” she said with a mysterious smile. “I am listening beyond the recording to the music I know is there!”

Can I find the music that’s playing for me today?

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The Language of Letting Go
November 25
Awareness

When we first become aware of a problem, a situation, or a feeling, we may react with anxiety or fear. There is no need to fear awareness. No need.

Awareness is the first step toward positive change and growth. It’s the first step toward solving the problem, or getting the need met, the first step toward the future. It’s how we focus on the next lesson.

Awareness is how life, the Universe, and our Higher Power get our attention and prepare us for change. The process of becoming changed begins with awareness. Awareness, acceptance, and change – that’s the cycle. We can accept the temporary discomfort from awareness because that’s how we’re moved to a better place. We can accept the temporary discomfort because we can trust God, and ourselves.

Today, I will be grateful for any awareness I encounter. I will display gratitude, peace, and dignity when life gets my attention. I will remember that it’s okay to accept the temporary discomfort from awareness because I can trust that it’s my Higher Power moving me forward.

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More Language Of Letting Go
November 25
Express your power gently

Express your power naturally and as gently as you can.

When I started learning what it meant to take care of myself and to own my power, I talked loudly, spoke up, and yelled in order to set boundaries, limits, and to express myself. That was the way to get my point across. That’s how I’d showed people I meant what I said.

I had to say it loudly.

About five years after I started this process of learning what it meant to own my power, I met a bear called Winnie the Pooh. The book that introduced me was The Tao of Pooh. Lights started coming on. The seeds of new lessons began to sprout.

To own my power, I could quietly say what I meant. The clearer I was about what I had to say and who I was, the less I had to shout. Owning my power wasn’t something I had to plan out, premeditate, and obsess about.

The more I took care of myself and connected to myself, and the clearer I became, the more natural and easier it became to own my power. My power–including setting limits, saying no, refusing to be manipulated, and saying I’d changed my mind– often became a natural, graceful, timely expression of me.

There are still times in our lives when we have to be firm, sometimes forceful, and repeat what we’ve said, sometimes loudly. The quieter and more relaxed we can be when we say what we mean is usually in direct proportion to how much we believe in ourselves.

Let your power, boundaries, and expressions of who you are arise naturally.

Learn and respect the value of responding as gently, but as firmly, as you can.

God, help your power flow through me. Teach me to take care of myself gently, in a way that reflects harmony with myself and as much as possible, the people in my life.

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Touchstones Meditations For Men
November 25

It’s the awareness, the full experience… of how you are stuck, that makes you recover.
—Frederick S. Perls

When we become aware of how far off our path we have strayed, when we see how cold and hard we were to someone we love, when we are no longer blind to our blindness – then we are touched by painful feelings. We feel guilty about the harm we caused. We grieve the lost moments and lost opportunities. We may feel angry with ourselves for our stubbornness. But even with our pain, we are worlds away from that blindness.

This new awareness is a spiritual place. It brings us back into contact with our Higher Power and makes us available to the words of wisdom and concern of others. It reminds us that no man can walk this path on his own power. We all must remain open and in contact with the healing relationships around us.

I pray for awareness today as my doorway to spiritual healing.

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Daily TAO
November 25
UMBILICUS

People consider the navel a vestigial nub
And think nourishment only comes through the mouth.
Not so. Tao is the great mother,
And vitality untold lies in the region of the umbilicus.

The old books call Tao the great mother. Tao provides for us as a mother would. It shelters us, nourishes us, makes our life possible. We are literally tied to the vitality of Tao.

Lying dormant inside us are point of concentration. Most people are unaware that concentration on these points will yield specific forcescure ailments, alter consciousness, and still the mind. Like a treasure buried in the ruins of a sacred place, these spots only await discovery before they give their owner wondrous powers.

One such spot is in the area of the navel. When you concentrate there, you will find that great vitality comes your way. It will be as if you are still connected to your mother through the umbilicus, and power and tremendous physical well-being will come your way.

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