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Daily Recovery Readings – November 28

November 28
Daily Reflections

ATTRACTION, NOT PROMOTION

Through many painful experiences, we think we have arrived
at what that policy ought to be. It is the opposite in many
ways of usual promotional practice. We found that we had to
rely upon the principle of attraction rather than promotion.
TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, pp. 180-81

While I was drinking I reacted with anger, self-pity and
defiance against anyone who wanted to change me. All I wanted
then was to be accepted by another human simply as I was and,
curiously, that is what I found in A.A. I became the custodian
of this concept of attraction, which is the principle of our
Fellowship’s public relations. It is by attraction that I can
best reach the alcoholic who still suffers. I thank God for
having given me the attraction of a well-planned and
established program of Steps and Traditions. Through humility
and the support of my fellow sober members, I have been able
to practice the A.A. way of life through attraction, not
promotion.

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

The A.A. way is the way of sobriety. A.A. is known everywhere
as a method that has been successful with alcoholics. Doctors,
psychiatrists and clergymen have had some success. Some men
and women have got sober all by themselves. We believe that A.A.
is the most successful and happiest way to sobriety. And yet
A.A. is not wholly successful. Some are unable to achieve
sobriety and some slip back into alcoholism after they have had
some measure of sobriety. Am I deeply grateful to have found A.A.?

Meditation For The Day

Gratitude to God is the theme of Thanksgiving Day. The pilgrims
gathered to give thanks to God for their harvest, which was
pitifully small. When we look around us at all the things we
have today, how can we help being grateful to God? Our families,
our homes, our friends, our A.A. fellowship; all these things
are free gifts of God to us. “But for the grace of God,” we would
not have them.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may be very grateful today. I pray that I may
not forget where I might be but for the grace of God.

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As Bill Sees It
To Grow Up, p. 330

Those adolescent urges that so many of us have for complete approval,
utter security, and perfect romance–urges quite appropriate to age
seventeen–prove to be an impossible way of life at forty-seven or
fifty-seven.

Since A.A. began, I’ve taken huge wallops in all these areas because of
my failure to grow up, emotionally and spiritually.

<< << << >> >> >>

As we grow spiritually, we find that our old attitudes toward instinctual
drives need to undergo drastic revisions. Our demands for emotional
security and wealth, for personal prestige and power all have to be
tempered and redirected.

We learn that the full satisfaction of these demands cannot be the sole
end and aim of our lives. We cannot place the cart before the horse, or
we shall be pulled backward into disillusionment. But when we are
willing to place spiritual growth first–then and only then do we have a
real chance to grow in healthy awareness and mature love.

1. Grapevine, January 1958
2. 12 & 12, p. 114

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Walk In Dry Places

Spaces in Togetherness
Friendship
One of the beautiful aspects of AA is the bonding that develops among members. We truly do achieve a closeness with some people that is unlike anything we ever had before.
The danger in such friendships is that we may become too close in some ways. Without realizing it, we may be making too many demands on others’ time. This can become suffocating to them and eventually detrimental to the friendship.
In such situations, we need to remember the words of Kahlil Gibran; “Let there be spaces in your togetherness.” However, close we feel to others, we must allow them their space.
We should also remember to respect others’ privacy as well as their anonymity. AA should give us close friendships, but not to the point of suffocation.
I’ll remember today not to overstep my boundaries in any friendship. There must be spaces in our togetherness.

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Keep It Simple

The purpose of freedom is to create it for others.—Bernard Malamud

Sobriety is freedom. With this freedom, we have a responsibility to help other addicts who still suffer. The program tells us this in Step Twelve. We do this by telling our stories and offering hope.
We must be ready to care, to give ourselves. This is what spirituality is about. When we help others, we prepare the road for those who enter the program after us.
Tradition Five of the Twelve Traditions says, “Each group has but one primary purpose—to carry its message to the alcoholic who still suffers.” It means we get better by helping others.
Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, help me create more freedom. Bring me to where I’m needed. Help me carry the message well.
Action for the Day: Today, I’ll think of ways I can help the addict who still suffers. Then I’ll chose one way I can be of help. I’ll talk with my sponsor about it, and I’ll follow through with my plan.

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Each Day a New Beginning

The idea of God is different in every person. The joy of my recovery was to find God within me. –Angela L. Wozniak
The program promises peace. Day by day, step by step, we move closer to it. Each time we clearly are touched by someone else, and each time we touch another, carries us closer to a realization of God’s presence, in others, in ourselves, in all experiences. The search for God is over, just as soon as we realize the Spirit is as close as our thoughts, our breath.
Coming to believe in a greater power brings such relief to us in our daily struggles. And on occasion we still fight for control to be all-powerful ourselves, only to realize that the barriers we confront are of our own making. We are on easy street, just as soon as we choose to let God be our guide in all decisions, large and small.
The program’s greatest gift to us is relief from anxiety, the anxiety that so often turned us to booze, or pills, or candy. Relief is felt every time we let go of the problem that’s entrapped us and wait for the comfort and guidance God guarantees.
God’s help is mine just as quickly as I fully avail myself of it. I will let go of today’s problems.

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition
Chapter 9 – The Family Afterward

We have three little mottoes which are apropos. Here they are:
First Things First
Live and Let Live
East Does It.

p. 135

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories
It Might Have Been Worse

Alcohol was a looming cloud in this banker’s bright sky. With rare foresight he realized it could become a tornado.

At first it was just that–an occasional drink. Then I looked forward to the weekend of golf and the nineteenth hole. The cocktail hour became a daily routine. Gradually, the quantity increased and the occasions for a drink came more frequently: a hard day, worries and pressures, bad news, good news–there were more and more reasons for a drink. Why did I want increasingly greater quantities of alcohol? It was frightening that drink was being substituted for more and more of the things I really enjoyed doing. Golf, hunting, and fishing were now merely excuses to drink excessively.

pp. 349-350

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Step Twelve – “Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.”

Our basic troubles are the same as everyone else’s, but when an honest effort is made “to practice these principles in all our affairs,” well-grounded A.A.’s seem to have the ability, by God’s grace, to take these troubles in stride and turn them into demonstrations of faith. We have seen A.A.’s suffer lingering and fatal illness with little complaint, and often in good cheer. We have sometimes seen families broken apart by misunderstanding, tensions, or actual infidelity, who are reunited by the A.A. way of life.

p. 114

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Resentment is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die.
–Cindy Clabough

“It’s what you learn after you know it all that counts.”
–Jean Rostand

“The first step to knowledge is to know that we are ignorant.”
–Lord David Cecil

Correction does much, but encouragement does more.
–Goethe

He who knows the precepts by heart, but fails to practice them,
Is like unto one who lights a lamp and then shuts his eyes.
–Nagarjuna

The best remedy for a short temper is a long walk.
–Joseph Joubert

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation
CERTAINTY

“The certainties of one age are
the problems of next.”
— R. H. Tawney

I was a religious bigot. I did not know that I was a bigot, but now I see how closed and
narrow my thinking was. I craved for certainty because I felt it would give me security
and happiness but it never did. I argued dogmas that I did not believe; the plight of the
unhappy hypocrite!

Today I live only in the certainty of the day. Today I know that what worked for me
yesterday will work for me today if I am open to love, truth, honesty and change.
Change is not necessarily “difference” if I see it as part of a process rather than an
event. Yesterday is linked to today, and together they forge tomorrow. The one thing
of which I can be certain is change. The God of Truth is revealed in the change;
the acceptance of this fact is spirituality.

May I continue to grow in the spiritual life by my continued desire to change and be
tolerant.

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“But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with
Christ even when we were dead in transgressions–it is by grace you have been
saved.”
Ephesians 2:4-5

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my
yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find
rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Matthew 11:28-30

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Daily Inspiration

Tranquility lies in self-improvement. Lord, help me to worry less about the faults of others and use my energy to enhance my own strengths and eliminate my weaknesses.

If you have more than you need, but still feel it isn’t enough, then you are poor. Lord, may I take time to recognize and enjoy my blessings.

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NA Just For Today
Being Ourselves

“To be truly humble is to accept and honestly try to be ourselves.”
Basic Text pg. 35

Humility is a puzzling concept. We know a lot about humiliation, but humility is a new idea. It sounds suspiciously like groveling, bowing, and scraping. But that’s not what humility is at all. True humility is, simply, acceptance of who we are.

By the time we reach a step that uses the word “humbly;” we have already started to put this principle into practice. The Fourth Step gives us an opportunity to examine who we really are, and the Fifth Step helps us accept that knowledge.

The practice of humility involves accepting our true nature, honestly being ourselves. We don’t have to grovel or abase ourselves, nor must we try to appear smarter, wealthier, or happier than we really are. Humility simply means we drop all pretense and live as honestly as we can.

Just for today: I will allow knowledge of my true nature to guide my actions. Today, I will face the world as myself.

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 Today’s Gift.

for most this amazing day . . .
. . . for everything
which is natural which is infinite
which is yes.
–e. e. cummings

Let us be thankful today for all simple obvious things: for the sun’s rising this morning without our having to awaken it; for another good turn the earth makes today without expecting anything in return; for our ability to know right and wrong by heart. Let us give thanks for all small things that mean the world to us; for bread and cheese and clean running water; for our ability to call our enemies our friends, to forgive even ourselves; for our own bodies, however sagging and worn, which insist on continuing for at least another day.
How much ordinary daily good do I take for granted?

Touchstones.

Our job gives most of us a clear role…. Although we may feel relatively lost at home, we know who we are and what to do at work. –Pierre Mornell

Most men have become well adapted to the workaday world. Even if our jobs seem like drudgery, they provide us with a place and a routine, which define us. Many of us have welcomed the end of a weekend or a vacation because we could go back to our jobs and definite roles. This situation has many drawbacks. For one thing, if we are out of work, we may feel adrift. Furthermore, if we have defined ourselves only as breadwinners, we have probably missed the benefits of closeness in our families. Some of us have even said, “I feel like I’m nothing but a meal ticket.”
A good job does have value, but we can also grow by giving more of ourselves in our less clear roles at home. It is healing to just “hang around” with our families and friends and to simply let relationships develop. The personal, familiar relationships that don’t depend on jobs and roles let us be comfortably human.
I am thankful for the humanizing effect of my relationships at home.

Each Day a New Beginning.

The idea of God is different in every person. The joy of my recovery was to find God within me. –Angela L. Wozniak

The program promises peace. Day by day, step by step, we move closer to it. Each time we clearly are touched by someone else, and each time we touch another, carries us closer to a realization of God’s presence, in others, in ourselves, in all experiences. The search for God is over, just as soon as we realize the Spirit is as close as our thoughts, our breath.
Coming to believe in a greater power brings such relief to us in our daily struggles. And on occasion we still fight for control to be all-powerful ourselves, only to realize that the barriers we confront are of our own making. We are on easy street, just as soon as we choose to let God be our guide in all decisions, large and small.
The program’s greatest gift to us is relief from anxiety, the anxiety that so often turned us to booze, or pills, or candy. Relief is felt every time we let go of the problem that’s entrapped us and wait for the comfort and guidance God guarantees.
God’s help is mine just as quickly as I fully avail myself of it. I will let go of today’s problems.

The Language of Letting Go.
Back to the Steps
Go back to the Steps. Go back to a Step
When we don’t know what to do next, when we feel confused, upset, distraught, at the end of our rope, overwhelmed, full of self will, rage, or despair, go back to the Steps.
No matter what situation we are facing, working a Step will help. Focus on one, trust your instincts, and work it.
What does it mean to work a Step? Think about it. Meditate on it. Instead of focusing on the confusion, the problems, or the situation causing our despair or rage, focus on the Step.
Think about how that Step might apply. Hold on to it. Hang on as tightly as we hang on to our confusion or the problem.
The Steps are a solution. They work. We can trust them to work.
We can trust where the Steps will lead us.
When we don’t know what step to take next, take one of the Twelve.
Today, I will concentrate on using the Twelve Steps to solve problems and keep me in balance and harmony. I will work a Step to the best of my ability. I will learn to trust the Steps, and rely on them instead of on my protective, codependent behaviors.

Today I know that I am nothing alone. I am willing to let go of any struggle that keeps me on a path of doing things my way. I know that all I have to do is ask for help and it is there for me. –Ruth Fishel

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Journey to the Heart
Bask in Self-Love

The commitment to love ourselves may be a decision we only need to make once, but we may need to take frequent action to implement that choice. It’s so easy to fall into that place of not loving and accepting ourselves. But it can become just as easy to decide to return to the place. We may need to do it daily, weekly, or whenever we begin a new part of our journey, especially a part that frightens or challenges us.

What would feel good? What would bring healing? What would energize or comfort you? And what purpose is to be fulfilled by depriving yourself of that?

However often we need to do it, we can return to that place of self-love. Each time we do it, it becomes easier. Each time we do it, we see the rewards of self-love, enhanced creativity, clearer decisions, a stronger connection to the Divine, and a more fulfilling connection to the world around us.

When we love ourselves, it becomes easier to correct our mistakes, admit our wrongs, share our deepest feelings, and love others. Our spirit dances, thrives. Self-love energizes us. It attracts more love. The universe responds directly and immediately to our choice to love ourselves.

Accept yourself. Love yourself just as you are. Your finest work, your best moments, your joy, peace, and healing come when you love yourself. You give a great gift to the world when you do that. You give others permission to do the same to love themselves.

Revel in self-love. Roll in it. Bask in it, as you would the sunshine.

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More Language Of Letting Go
It’s an opportunity

In order to develop a strong sense of the preciousness of human life, it must connect to one’s belief system. The belief system doesn’t need to be the Buddhist karmic system, but it has to be one that is critically aware of the uniqueness and special nature of this life form.
–Robert Thurman, Circling the Sacred Mountain

Do you see it? Do you see what a special, precious opportunity each day of your life is.

Look more closely. See all the lessons you can learn. See how you can participate in your growth. See how carefully God holds your hand, guides you down the right path, offers just the right words and opportunities at the right moments, sends just the right people your way.

You can feel. You can touch. You can agoniize in despair and giggle with glee. You can make jokes. You can cry at movies. You can weep in bed at night. Then get up the next day refreshed.

You can taste an orange, a lemon, a mango– and describe in detail the difference in each of those tastes. You can smell a forest of pine tree. You can hold a friend’s hand and feel how he trembles because he’s afraid.

You can stumble and fall and feel abandoned, then get up and suddenly, in one moment, understand that lesson you’ve been trying to learn. You can jump out of airplanes, feel the smoothness of your lover’s back, and hold your child to your breast.

You can wait and thank God later.

But you might as well thank God now.

Maybe the best way to thank God is by living your life fully today.

God, help me to use this opportunity, this life that I have been given to the best of my ability every day.

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The Understanding Underneath
Experiences with Multiple Meanings by Madisyn Taylor

The refined impression you glean from your experiences after contemplating their significance can add a new richness and texture to your life.

Though we humans are self-aware, we nonetheless cannot distance ourselves from the world around us and have a natural tendency to ascribe meaning to all that we experience. The significance we perceive in our experiences is rooted in our observation of patterns as they relate to ourselves. One situation has the power to teach us about life because it exposes us to something unfamiliar. Another touches our emotions deeply by enabling us to see how fortunate we are. Yet our initial impressions of an experience may not wholly reveal the true significance of that occurrence because our full response to an experience is like an onion with many layers that all have disparate meanings. Consider that a sunrise may stun us visually while simultaneously evoking memories of childhood and reminding us that each new day is a rebirth.

If you take the time to examine your experiences closely, you will discover that your original impressions may only be a part of a larger story of significance. Peeling away the layers of an event or incident can be a fun and interesting process if you allow it. To begin, relive your experience in your mind’s eye and from multiple perspectives if possible. Your interpretation of any situation is based not only on facts but also on feelings, beliefs, and your values. As you ruminate upon your experience, spend a few moments contemplating how you felt when it began and how your feelings had changed by its end. Ask yourself what abstractions, if any, it awakened in your mind. If an experience stirs up questions within your soul, it may be that in striving to answer them a new layer of meaning may reveal itself to you.

The significance of an experience may remain hidden to you for some time. The meaning of an event can change when viewed from another context or may only become apparent after intense meditation. An incident that seemed superficial may unexpectedly touch us deeply later in our lives. If you take a truly open-minded approach to your examination of each new level and do not shy away from revelations that could prove painful, you will learn much about your relationship to the world around you. And the refined impression you glean from your experiences after contemplating their significance can add a new richness and texture to your life. Published with permission from Daily OM

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A Day At A Time
Reflection For The Day

Our faith in god’s power — at work in us and in our lives — doesn’t relieve us of responsibility. Instead, our faith strengthens our efforts, makes us confident and assured, and enables us to act decisively and wisely. We’re no longer afraid to make decisions; we’re not afraid to take the steps that seem called for in the proper handling of given situations. Do I believe that God is at work beyond my human efforts, and that my faith and trust in Him will bring forth results for exceeding my expectations?

Today I Pray

May my trust in my Higher Power never falter. May my my faith in that Power continue to shore up my optimism, my confidence, my belief in my own decision-making. May I never shut my eyes to the wonder of God’s work or discount the wisdom of His solutions.

Today I Will Remember

Our hope is ages past, our help for years to come.

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One More Day

Time deals gently only with those who take it gently.
–Anatole France

There have been times when we’ve taken our lives too seriously. For whatever reasons — family problems, money problems, health problems, — we’ve let those concerns distort all the events of the day into sad or personally threatening experiences. When we’ve been preoccupied with negative thoughts, it’s probably been difficult to see good possibilities.

Life magically becomes better, easier, when we take it gently in manageable segments. Problems may seem insurmountable if we insist on seeing them stretch into the coming months or years. But when we challenge ourselves to live in theis day, the time treats us more gently by giving us a clearer picture of what we must deal with in this smaller segment of time.

Today, I will concentrate only on the things that must be dealt with in these twenty-four hours.

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One Day At A Time

~ GOODNESS ~
Above all, let us never forget that an act of goodness
is in itself an act of happiness.
Count Maurice Maeterlinck

While in the disease, most of the goodness I tried to do was for ulterior motives. It was only in recovery that I learned to give unselfishly and without strings to help another. In doing so, I have found happiness beyond measure. I can create my own happiness in the service of my Higher Power and other compulsive overeaters. I can make the promise of a “new happiness and a new freedom” come true.

One Day at a Time . . .
I will do acts of goodness.
~ Judy N. ~

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