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In Loving Memory of Vic

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Daily Recovery Readings – November 29

November 29

Daily Reflections
ACTIVE GUARDIANS

To us, however, it represents far more than a sound
public relations policy. It is more than a denial of
self-seeking. This Tradition is a constant and practical
reminder that personal ambition has no place in A.A.
In it, each member becomes an active guardian of our
Fellowship.
TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 183

The basic concept of humility is expressed in the
Eleventh Tradition: it allows me to participate
completely in the program in such a simple, yet profound,
manner; it fulfills my need to be an integral part of a
significant whole. Humility brings me closer to the
actual spirit of togetherness and oneness, without which
I could not stay sober. In remembering that every member
is an example of sobriety, each one living the Eleventh
Tradition, I am able to experience freedom because each
one of us is anonymous.

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

The A.A. way is the way of sobriety, and yet there are
slips. Why do these slips occur? Why don’t we all accept
A.A. and stay sober from then on? There are many reasons,
but it has been proven without exception that once we have
become alcoholics we can never drink successfully again.
This has never been disproved by any case we know of. Many
alcoholics have tried drinking after a period of sobriety
from a few days to a few years and no one that we know of
has been successful in becoming a normal drinker. Could I be
the only exception to this rule?

Meditation For The Day

“We are gathered together in Thy name.” First, we are
gathered together, bound by a common loyalty to God and
to each other. Then, when this condition has been fulfilled,
God is present with us. Then, when God is there and one
with us, we voice a common prayer. Then it follows that our
prayer will be answered according to God’s will. Then, when
our prayer is answered, we are bound together in a lasting
brotherhood of the spirit.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may be loyal to God and my fellow men. I pray
that my life today may be lived close to His and theirs.

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As Bill Sees It
The Great Fact, p. 331

We realize we know only a little. God will constantly disclose more to
you and to us. Ask Him in your morning meditation what you can do
each day for the man who is still sick. The answers will come, if your
own house is in order.

But obviously you cannot transmit something you haven’t got. See to it
that your relationship with Him is right, and great events will come to
pass for you and countless others. This is the great fact for us.

To the Newcomer:
Abandon yourself to God as you understand God. Admit your faults to
Him and to your fellows. Clear away the wreckage of your past. Give
freely of what you find and join us. We shall be with you in the
fellowship of the spirit, and you will surely meet some of us as you
trudge the road of happy destiny.

May God bless you and keep you–until then.

Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 164

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Walk In Dry Places

None are obligated to us.
Service
Service is considered an essential part of AA. As Dr. Bob said, AA is really love and service.
If this service is delivered in the right spirit….. the true AA spirit…. no sense of obligation is crated. If others feel they are incurring an obligation, they will resent us in time. Moreover, our carrying of the message will be flawed.
The proper way to look at service is to see it as something we perform for our own benefit. While we hope that it will benefit others, that does not have to happen in order for us to benefit. Our good comes from the giving of SERVICE, not the measurement of its results for others. No one is obligated to us; nor does anyone have the right to complain if our services did not help. We serve entirely for our own benefit.
For my own good, I’ll give service today. I want to be effective for others, but I realize my real purpose is to help myself.

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Keep It Simple

One is happy as the result of one’s own efforts.— George Sand

Happiness is not an accident. It comes from following the spiritual voice found in each of us.
This isn’t always easy. Sometimes, the voice tells us to do things we’re afraid of. For Example, if we’re lonely and the voice tells us to call someone on our phone list, we may make excuses to not do it. Again, the voice may say, “Just make the call. It will be okay.” If we follow the
voice, we will find happiness. The spiritual voice inside us speaks of care and love. It will never tell us to hurt others or ourselves. It’s our Higher Power’s voice . It’s what Step Eleven calls “conscious contact.” If we follow this guiding voice, it will lead us to happiness.
Prayer for the Day: I pray that I’ll come to know my Higher Power by listening to the spiritual voice in me.
Action for the Day: Today, I’ll meditate and listen to my higher power gentle voice within.

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Each Day a New Beginning

Faith is like the air in a balloon. If you’ve got it you’re filled. If you don’t, you’re empty. –Peggy Cahn

Being faith-filled takes effort, not unlike becoming a good writer, tennis player, or pianist. Faith grows within our hearts, but we must devote time to foster this growth. Daily discussions with God are required, frequent quiet times to hear God’s messages to us–just as practice on the court, hitting balls or sitting for extended periods at the typewriter or a piano are necessary to attainment of these goals.
Life’s difficulties are eased when we have faith. The most frightening situation, a job interview, an evaluation with our boss, a showdown with a friend, can be handled confidently when we let our faith work for us. But, we must first work for it, work to attain it and work to keep it. Like any skill, it gets rusty with lack of use.
I will make sure to add to my reserves today. We never know when we may need to let our faith direct our every action. I will make a friend of my higher power, and that partnership will carry me over any troubled time.

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition
Chapter 10 – To Employers

AMONG MANY employers nowadays, we think of one member who has spent much of his life in the world of big business. He has hired and fired hundreds of men. He knows the alcoholic as the employer sees him. His present views ought to prove exceptionally useful to business men everywhere.
But let him tell you:
I was at one time assistant manager of a corporation department employing sixty-six hundred men. One day my secretary came in saying Mr. B—— insisted on speaking with me. I told her to say that I was not interested. I had warned him several times that he had but one more chance. Not long afterward he had called me from Hartford on two successive days, so drunk he could hardly speak. I told him he was through—finally and forever.

p. 136

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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.

I made promises to myself, my family, and friends–and broke them. Short dry spells ended in heavy drinking. I tried to hide my drinking by going places where I was unlikely to see anyone I knew. Hangovers and remorse were always with me.

p. 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.”

Though the earning power of most A.A.’s is relatively high, we have some members who never seem to get on their feet moneywise, and still others who encounter heavy financial reverses. Ordinarily we see these situations met with fortitude and faith.

p. 114

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Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.
–Mother Teresa

I let go of shame, as it will hold me prisoner to myself.
–Shelley

What you are is God’s gift to you; what you make of yourself is your gift to God.
–unknown

God will not look you over for medals, degrees, or diplomas, but for scars.
–Elbert Hubbard

I work the steps and practice the principles because when I was out
there I drank away my principles and my values.
–unknown

Today I have choices. I can stay in a bad mood, I can stay in a bad
moment. Or, I can let them pass me by.
–unknown

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

TRUST

“Men become civilized, not in
proportion to their willingness
to believe, but in their readiness
to doubt.”
— H. L. Mencken

A civilized nation is essentially a spiritual nation. A civilized person is one who seeks
the truth and is willing to grow with change.

Sobriety is adventuresome because it is bigger than simply “not drinking”; it seeks
to address all areas of life and all situations. An example is trust. When I was
drinking, I trusted no one because I felt that everybody was like me out for
themselves! Today I know that the real enemy in my life is me; I am the one who
brings pain into my life. I am beginning to love myself by my decision not to drink. I
can trust today. I am beginning to trust myself and others.

O God, who trusted man with freedom, help me to freely trust.

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Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me, for in you my soul takes refuge. I will
take refuge in the shadow of your wings until the disaster has passed.
Psalms 57:1

Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be
compassionate and humble. Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with
blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing. For,
“Whoever would love life and see good days must keep his tongue from evil and his lips
from deceitful speech. He must turn from evil and do good; he must seek peace and pursue it.
1 Peter 3:8-11

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Daily Inspiration

Praise others when they do right and speak positive things and you will find it hard not to relax and rejoice in a new found source of peace. Lord, may I care less what others think of me and more and more what You think.

Gossip betrays trust. The harm done is often irreparable. Lord, may I never be responsible for hurting anyone through my conversations.

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NA Just For Today
Our Higher Power’s Care

“We believe that our Higher Power will take care of us.”
Basic Text pg. 55

Our program is based on the idea that the application of simple principles can produce profound effects in our lives. One such principle is that, if we ask, our Higher Power will care for us. Because this principle is so basic, we may tend to ignore it. Unless we learn to consciously apply this spiritual truth, we may miss out on something as essential to our recovery as breathing is to life itself.

What happens when we find ourselves stressed or panicked? If we have consistently sought to improve our relationship with our Higher Power, we’ll have no problem. Rather than acting rashly, we will stop for a moment and briefly remind ourselves of particular instances in the past when our Higher Power has shown its care for us. This will assure us that our Higher Power is still in charge of our lives. Then, we will seek guidance and power for the situation at hand and proceed calmly, confident that our lives are in God’s hands.

“Our program is a set of principles,” our White Booklet tells us. The more consistently we seek to improve our conscious appreciation of these principles, the more readily we will be able to apply them.

Just for today: I will seek to improve my conscious contact with the Higher Power that cares for me. When the need arises, I know I will be able to trust in that care.

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Today’s Gift.

When written in Chinese, the word crisis is composed of two characters–one represents danger and the other represents opportunity. –John F. Kennedy

Family crises are unavoidable. At times, things are going to break down. This is no reason to give up and abandon ship. These breakdowns are the things, which will strengthen our lives together if we do not lose faith. The Einstein family had a crisis of sorts when their little boy, Albert, did not talk until he was four years old. But what looked like a problem at first did not end up that way in the long run.
We can expect downhill slides once in a while, and we may even start to feel full of self-pity. With faith that these setbacks are meant to help us grow stronger, we won’t waste them and end up having to face them again and again until we do recognize their true purpose.
What setback can I use to grow stronger today?

Touchstones.

As with expeditions into the wilds when we have endured storms and rapids, cold and sleet, and sometimes lack of food, it is ultimately the good things we remember, not the bad. –Sigurd F. Olson

In our daily lives we often take a very short perspective. We see what is worrisome today, what is pressing hardest, or what is most frightening or confusing. Eventually, we may look back and have a totally different idea about what was truly important on this day.
Let us take a moment now to remember what does endure, what we value most, what counts in the long run. For a brief quiet time we can let go of all the anxieties of this moment. During these few quiet moments, we will identify our tensions and then place them totally into the hands of our Higher Power. This is our time to let go of our worries and be refreshed. It will provide a background of serenity for our day.
Today, help me remember this corner of serenity as I meet the tasks and activities on my path.

Each Day a New Beginning.

Faith is like the air in a balloon. If you’ve got it you’re filled. If you don’t, you’re empty. –Peggy Cahn

Being faith-filled takes effort, not unlike becoming a good writer, tennis player, or pianist. Faith grows within our hearts, but we must devote time to foster this growth. Daily discussions with God are required, frequent quiet times to hear God’s messages to us–just as practice on the court, hitting balls or sitting for extended periods at the typewriter or a piano are necessary to attainment of these goals.
Life’s difficulties are eased when we have faith. The most frightening situation, a job interview, an evaluation with our boss, a showdown with a friend, can be handled confidently when we let our faith work for us. But, we must first work for it, work to attain it and work to keep it. Like any skill, it gets rusty with lack of use.
I will make sure to add to my reserves today. We never know when we may need to let our faith direct our every action. I will make a friend of my higher power, and that partnership will carry me over any troubled time.

The Language of Letting Go.
Step Twelve
The Twelfth Step says that having had a spiritual awakening, we try to carry this message to others. Our message is one of hope, love, comfort, health – a better way of life, one that works.
How do we carry it? Not by rescuing. Not by controlling. Not by obsessing. Not by becoming evangelists for the recovery cause.
We carry the message in many small, subtle, but powerful ways. We do our own recovery work and become a living demonstration of hope, self-love, comfort, and health. These quiet behaviors can be a powerful message.
Inviting (not ordering or demanding) someone to go to a meeting is a powerful way to carry the message.
Going to our meetings and sharing how recovery works for us is a powerful way to carry the message.
Being who we are and allowing our Higher Power to guide our actions are powerful ways to carry the message. Often, we find ourselves carrying the message more effectively than we do when we set out to reform, convince, or coerce someone into recovery.
Caretaking and controlling are not ways to carry the message. All those behaviors carry is codependency.
Still, the most powerful form of helping others comes down to helping ourselves. When we do our own work and are honest and open about it, we impact others more than by our most well intentioned “helping” gesture. We cannot change others, but when we change ourselves, we may end up changing the world.
Today, I will strive to carry the message in ways that work. I will let go of my need to “help” people. Instead, I will concentrate on helping and changing myself. If an opportunity comes up to share my recovery with someone, I will do so quietly. God, help me show others comfort, empowerment, and hope. I can be a channel to help others when I am ready. I do not have to force this; it will happen naturally.

I am very grateful for the gift of this day. It is mine to do exactly what I choose and I choose to use it for good and love. –Ruth Fishel

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Journey to the Heart
Let Your Heart Open Gently

Let your heart open– gently, safely, surely, and certainly.

Do not let others decide when or even if you will open your heart, when or if you will embrace love. Those choices are too big, too important to let others make for you. Only you can decide when and how.

There was a time when it wasn’t safe to open your heart. Pain was all around you. You were not equipped to be that open. That time is passed. You have learned. You have grown. You have learned that you are a loving being. You know now that your love comes from within you. It is safe to open your heart.

The universe awaits, ready, willing, delighted to be able to help you open, the same way it aids the opening of a flower with the sun, the rain, the earth. To deny your power and ability to love is to deny joy. To deny your loving essence is to deny yourself, your God, and the Divine in you.

Look around. It’s not your location that makes you safe. It’s where you are in your soul, your mind, and your heart. That place is good. That place is safe. Open your heart. Embrace life. Go joyfully on your way.

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More Language Of Letting Go

There’s magic for you, too

I was looking at a photo of my friend Chip. In it, he’s sitting beside his battered, old volkswagon looking nearly as tired and battered as the car. But he’s smiling.

He was smiling the first time I met him,too. He told me the story of this photo prominently displayed on his desk.

“That picture was taken at the trailhead to White Mountain. Elevation twelve thousand feet. The last sixteen miles of the road are two dirt-tire tracks, but I really wanted to go on that hike. You should have seen the expressions on the faces of the research group in their four-wheel drive vans when I pulled up in Carmen.[That’s his name for his car.] It was so high that the carburetor could hardly breathe. I don’t think I got over ten miles an hour for the last sixteen miles. When I got there, the car was on empty, and it was forty-seven miles to the closest gas station.

“After my hike, I put her in neutral and coasted all the way down the mountain. It was insane, my brakes were shot by the time I made it down, and I rolled into the gas station just as the engine died. What a trip!”

You can do things if you think that you can. You can put a backpack into your old car and take that trip with just a few dollars. You can see new things, visit new places, and amaze others and yourself. You can get the career you want, have the relationship you want, reach the dreams in your heart. You can get wherever you want to go from where you are now.

All it takes is faith, desire, and a little belief in the magic of the universe.

“Oh, but that magic only works for other people, not me,” I’ve heard others protest in disbelief.

One of the things I like about Chip is something he always says and means, whether he has $5 in his pocket or $3,000 in the bank. He says this in both the good times and the times most of us would label as bad.

“I can’t believe what a lucky individual I am. I can’t believe how amazing the world is. And I can’t believe and don’t understand why I’ve been this blessed.”

The magic of the universe is there waiting for each of us.

Look around. See how lucky and blessed you are. Then take another look at the limitations in your life and start letting go of those limitations, one by one. Find your dirt track with the great experience at the end. Find and follow your path with heart.

Oh, but do check the gas tank first.

God, once again, teach me the magic of I can.

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Living for Ourselves
Trying to Please Others

We don’t need to live seeking approval from our parents or others; this can be overcome no matter what your age.

Most of us come to a point in our lives when we question why we are doing what we are doing, and many of us come to realize that we may be living our lives in an effort to make our parents happy. This realization can dawn when we are in our 20s, our 40s, or even later, depending upon how tight a hold our family of origin has on our psyche. We may feel shocked or depressed by this information, but we can trust that it is coming to us at this time because we are ready to find out what it would mean to live our lives for ourselves, following the call of our own soul, and refusing any longer to be beholden to someone else’s expectations.

One of the most common reasons we are so tied into making our parents, or others, happy, is that we were not properly mirrored when we were children. We were not honored as individuals in our own right, with a will and purpose of our own, to be determined by our own unfolding. As a result, we learned to look outside of ourselves for approval, support, and direction rather than look within. The good news is that the part of us that was not adequately nurtured is still there, inside us, like a seed that has not yet received the sunlight and moisture it needs to open and to allow its inner contents to unfurl. It is never too late to provide ourselves with what we need to awaken this inner being.

There are many ways to create a safe container for ourselves so that we can turn within and shine the light of awareness there. We may join a support group, go to therapy, or start a practice of journaling every day for half an hour. This experience of becoming is well worth the difficult work that may be required of us to get there. In whatever process we choose, we may feel worse before we feel better, but we will ultimately find out how to live our lives for ourselves and how to make ourselves happy. Published with permission from Daily OM

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A Day At A Time
Reflection For The Day

Contrary to what some people think, our slogan Let Go and Let God isn’t an expression of apathy, an attitude of defeatism, or an unwillingness to accept responsibility. Those who turn their backs on their problems are not “letting go and letting God,” but not, instead, are abandoning heir commitment to act on God’s inspiration and guidance. They neither ask for it all. In seeking God’s guidance, do I realize their the ultimate responsibility is mine?

Today I Pray

May I not allow myself to be lazy just because I think God is going to do everything anyway. (Such apathy reminds me of my old powerless self, the one that moaned that the world was going up in smoke, civilization was going down the drain and there wasn’t a thing I could do about it.) Neither may I use “letting God” do it as an excuse for shrugging off my problems without even trying. May God be my inspiration; may I be an instrument of God.

Today I Will Remember

God guides those who help themselves.

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One More Day

You should not hold back from making a start because of fears about th future.
–Lewis F. Presnall

Too often we fold up our dreams and set them aside because we can’t envision success. The dream of a new business or of a new home or even of a self-improvement plan is easily discarded if we allow ourselves to think only of reasons why it won’t work. Not enough money, we decided. Or, Id don’t have enough experience. Or — worse yet — I won’t succeed because I never have before.

We can become free to pursue our own dreams when we realize that the future is not an enemy waiting to thwart our efforts. What our tomorrows hold quite often depends on the decisions and moves we make today. right now, we can make a start. We can set aside — not our dreams — but our fears of an unfriendly future.

The choices I make today will affect the quality of my future.

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One Day At A Time

To Thine Own Self Be True
“Hide not your talents, they for use were made.
What’s a sun-dial in the shade?”
Benjamin Franklin

In the cups of my illness I was a chameleon and people-pleaser. I was afraid to stand on my own opinions and be myself. My fear of rejection kept me always looking for ways to fit in. I was running from life because I was afraid that I would be found to be a fraud and a compulsive eater. I played dumb in school and with my friends. I was afraid to be smart. I was afraid to have differing opinions. Shame kept me hiding inside of myself and inside of my suit of fat. I was afraid to be me.

Since coming to the program I am learning more each day that it is okay for me to be me. It is more than okay; it is essential. I can spread my wings and let myself out of my self-imposed cage ~ and I can go for a flight gliding on the breeze with ease. My first steps were wobbly, but this program promises me that the sunlight is there and it is okay to come out of the shade and be whom I really am. I have something to offer the world. We all do. It is up to us to find it in our deepest heart’s desire.

One day at a time…
I can take one small step to match my insides to my outsides.
~ Lanaya

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