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In Loving Memory of Vic

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Daily Recovery Readings – November 6

Just For Today
November 6
Understanding Humility

“Humility is a result of getting honest with ourselves.”
Basic Text p. 35

Humility was an idea so foreign to most of us that we ignored it as long as we could. When we first saw the word “humbly” ahead in Step Seven, we may have figured it meant we had quite a bit of humiliation in store. Perhaps we chose to look it up in the dictionary, only to become even more confused by the definition. We didn’t understand how “lowliness and subservience” applied to recovery.

To be humble does not mean we are the lowest form of life. On the contrary, becoming humble means we attain a realistic view of ourselves and where we fit in the world. We grow into a state of awareness founded on our acceptance of all aspects of ourselves. We neither deny our good qualities nor overemphasize our defects. We honestly accept who we are.

No one of us will ever attain a state of perfect humility. But we can certainly strive to honestly admit our faults, accept our assets, and rely on our Higher Power as a source of strength. Humility doesn’t mean we have to crawl life’s path on our hands and knees; it just means we must admit we cannot recover on our own. We need each other and, above all, we need the power of a loving God.

Just for today: To be humble, I will honestly accept all facets of myself, seeing my true place in the world. For the strength I need to fill that place, I will rely on the God of my understanding.

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Daily Reflections
November 6
GOING WITH THE FLOW

Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him. .
TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 96

The first words I speak when arising in the morning are, “I arise, O God, to do Thy will.”  This is the shortest prayer I know and it is deeply ingrained in me. Prayer doesn’t change God’s attitude toward me; it changes my attitude toward God. As distinguished from prayer, meditation is a quiet time, without words. To be centered is to be physically relaxed, emotionally calm, mentally focused and spiritually aware. One way to keep the channel open and to improve my conscious contact with God is to maintain a grateful attitude. On the days when I am grateful, good things seem to happen in my life. The instant I start cursing things in my life, however, the flow of good stops. God did not interrupt the flow; my own negativity did.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day
November 6
A.A. Thought For The Day

Fear and worry had me down. They were increased by my drinking. I worried about what I had done when I was drunk. I was afraid of what the consequences might be. I was afraid to face people because of the fear of being found out. Fear kept me in hot water all the time. I was a nervous wreck from fear and worry. I was a tied-up bundle of nerves. I had a fear of failure, of the future, of growing old, of sickness, of hangover, of suicide. I had a wrong set of ideas and attitudes. When A.A. told me to surrender these fears and worries to a Higher Power, I did so. I now try to think faith instead of fear. Have I put faith in place of fear?

Meditation For The Day

Spiritual power is God in action. God can only act through human beings. Whenever you, however weak you may be, allow God to act through you, then all you think and say and do is spiritually powerful. It is not you alone who produces a change in the lives of others! It is also the Divine Spirit in you and working through you. Power is God in action. God can use you as a tool to accomplish miracles in peoples’ lives.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may try to let God’s power act through me today. I pray that I may get rid of those blocks which keep His power from me.

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As Bill Sees It
November 6
A Way Out Of Depression, p. 308

“During acute depression, avoid trying to set your whole life in order all at once. If you take on assignments so heavy that you are sure to fail in them at the moment, then you are allowing yourself to be tricked by your consciousness. Thus you will continue to make sure of your failure, and when it comes you will have another alibi for still more retreat into depression.

“In short, the ‘all or nothing’ attitude is a most destructive one. It is best to begin with whatever the irreducible minimums of activity are.  Then work for an enlargement of these–day by day. Don’t be disconcerted by setbacks–just start over.”

Letter, 1960

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Walk In Dry Places
November 6
Dealing with worry
Dealing with feelings

There’s nothing like a siege of worry to spoil our day. It matters little whether the worry is about a real problem or something we’re imagining. In either case, worry makes us unhappy, depressed, and even fatigued.

It doesn’t help to be urged not to worry. We may even know worry is harmful, yet be unable to stop it. In fact, one of the things we may have sought in the bottle was an easing of worry.

The best answer to worry is in the 12 Step program. If we have turned our will and lives over to our Higher Power, the real direction of our lives is out of our hands. We must think of ourselves as passengers in a divinely guided vehicle.

Some will think this philosophy is preposterous and irresponsible, but in reality we are taking right actions in an orderly way, as our guidance continues. We need only prove to ourselves that our program works. Worry is merely a signal that we need to work our program.

If I catch myself worrying, I’ll remind myself that my Higher Power is in charge of all outcomes. I’ll do my best and expect the best.

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Keep It Simple
November 6

That suit is best that best suits me.
—John Clark

How much time do we spend trying to “fit in?” Many of us used to care too much what other people thought about us—our clothes, our ideas, our work. Did we drink the right brand, drive the right car, listen to the right music?

In our program, we still have to watch out for fads and peer pressure. We have to ask ourselves if we’re really in touch with our Higher Power. Are we searching for a sponsor who has inner peace and direction? Or do we look for people who are like our old using friends? As we learn to find our own way of following our Higher Power, we need to be okay with being different.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, help me be the best me I can be today.

Action for the Day: Today, I’ll work to be me—honestly me—to everyone I meet.

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Each Day a New Beginning
November 6

Of course fortune has its part in human affairs, but conduct is really much more important.
–Jeanne Detourbey

Behaving the way we honestly and sincerely believe God wants us to behave eliminates our confusion. When we contribute in a loving manner to the circumstances involving us, we carry God’s message; and that’s all that’s expected of us in this life.

This recovery program has involved us in the affairs of many other people. We are needed to listen, to guide, to sponsor, to suggest. Each time we have an opportunity to make an impact on another person, it’s to our benefit, and hers too, to let God direct our conduct.

Too often God’s message is missed due to our selfish concerns, but it’s never too late to begin listening for it. God is forever at hand, awaiting our recognition. We can be mindful that the ease of our lives is directly proportional to the recognition we offer.

Right conduct is never a mystery to us. We may not always choose to do it, but we never fail to know what should be done.

I will trust my conscience to be my guide every moment.

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Alcoholics Anonymous
November 6
A DRUNK, LIKE YOU

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

Usually our stories start out by telling what we were like, what happened, and what we are like now. For me, what it was like was nothing in particular–no problems, nothing special happened. Nothing that I realized, anyhow. Only much later, when I started listening to other people and what happened to them and when and how, did I realize that those things were in my past also.

p. 398

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions
November 6

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

When A.A.’s Traditions were first published, in 1946, we had become sure that an A.A. group could stand almost any amount of battering. We saw that the group, exactly like the individual, must eventually conform to whatever tested principles would guarantee survival. We had discovered that there was perfect safety in the process of trial and error. So confident of this had we become that the original statement of A.A. tradition carried this significant sentence: “Any two or three alcoholics gathered together for sobriety may call themselves an A.A. group provided that as a group they have no other affiliation.”

pp. 146-147

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Xtra Thoughts
November 6

“God’s grace is like the wind: I can’t see the wind, but I can surely feel the effects of the wind.”
–John G.

“AA gives us an opportunity to recreate ourselves, with God’s help, one day at a time.”
–Rufus K.

“When the solution is simple, God is answering.”
–Albert Einstein

“You can’t lose if you stay in God’s game plan.”
–unknown

“Friends are quiet angels who lift us to our feet when our wings have trouble remembering how to fly.”
–Unknown

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation
November 6
BELIEF

“An atheist is a man who has no invisible means of support.”
— John Buchanan

The common cry of those who suffer from addiction is that they feel isolated. Not only isolated from self, family and friends but also from God. One reason for this feeling of isolation is teachings and attitudes that produced guilt, shame and fear. God was seen as a hammer with which society beat the addict.

Today, in an atmosphere of love and fellowship, we begin to look at these old attitudes and, hopefully, begin to change them. God can be seen in the hug as well as the sacrament; in the doubt as well as the dogma. In the honest sharing of fellow addicts, God is made known. God needs to be given a human face.

Teach me to grow in the virtues of tolerance and understanding.

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Bible Scriptures
November 6

“Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from Him.”
Psalm 62:5

“I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust.”
Psalm 91:2

“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”
Matthew 11:28

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Daily Inspiration
November 6

Emotions can be dealt with by motion. Lord, when I feel controlled by feelings and complaints, help to get me up and get me moving to change my disposition even if it’s something simple like stretching or organizing something or starting something I’ve been putting off.

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A Day At A Time
November 6

Reflection For The Day

There are no boundaries to meditation. It has neither width, depth nor height, which means that it can always be further developed without limitation of any sort.  Meditation is an individual matter; few of us meditate in the same way, and in that sense, it is truly a personal adventure.  For all of us who practice meditation seriously, however, the purpose is the same; to improve our conscious contact with God.  Despite its lack of specific dimensions and despite its intangibility, meditation is, in reality, the most intensely practical thing that we can do.  One of its first rewards, for example, is emotional balance.  What could be more practical than that?  Am I broadening and deepening the channel between myself and God?

Today I Pray

As I seek God through daily prayer and meditation — may I find the peace that passes understanding, that balance that gives perspective to the whole of life.  May I center myself in God.

Today I Will Remember

My balance comes from God.

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One More Day
November 6

“To achieve great things we must live as though we were never going to die.”
— Vauvenarques

Of all the limitations we face, one of the greatest is actually one we impose upon ourselves. We limit ourselves by believing that it’s too late to go back to school, to change careers, or to start something new. We artificially restrict ourselves because we misunderstand the concept of time.

We can decide if time is a friend or an enemy. It’s our enemy when we shy away from new experiences. But when we willingly take unsteady steps into unknown territory by lifting a brush to canvas or finally learning to drive a car or applying for the job we’ve always wanted, then time is our friend. We have all the time in the world because we have this moment, this day, and that is all the time we need to begin great things.

I am the only one who can decide which great things I will begin today.

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One Day At A Time
November 6
FREEDOM

“And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
–The Bible, Book of John

In the past, when I was threatened by another person’s thoughts, beliefs, actions, or desires, I simply deemed them completely unacceptable and worked hard to convince the other person just how wrong they were. I cited all kinds of religious doctrine and politically correct ideas to try to convince the other person why their ideas were unacceptable.

This “convincing” was nothing more than an attempt to control another so I wouldn’t have to face myself or any of the things that caused me anxiety and fear. All I succeeded in doing was forcing others to help me lie to myself. Of course, this also created its own anxiety and fear, so I had to do something to cover it up. What did I do? I compulsively overate, I binged, I purged, I exercised, I starved myself, I abused laxatives, and on and on.

Today, because of my Higher Power and the gifts of this program, I can look at why some thoughts, feelings, beliefs and desires threaten me. I can be gentle with myself as I look at which of my “boo-boo buttons” have been pushed. I can ask myself how I’ve been hurt by these ideas in the past and learn how those “boo-boo buttons” were produced in the first place.

Just like a wound, exposing my hurts to the sunlight helps them heal. Bringing them out into the light helps me see all the truth about them–not just the distorted parts I felt in the darkness. I can see what my part was and I can see what the part of others may have been. Through working the Twelve Steps, I can find peace with these hurts and experience the promise of not regretting or wanting to close the door on the past.

One Day at a Time …
I can set myself free from the darkness by looking at past hurts in the light of truth.

~ Sandee S. ~

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Elder’s Meditation of the Day – November 6

“It is well to be good to women in the strength of our manhood because we must sit under their hands at both ends of our lives.”
–He Dog, OGLALA LAKOTA

The women bring us into this life and nurture us as we grow up.  When we reach our manhood, she supports us and sings the songs to help the family grow.

The Elders say we must look at the woman in a sacred way.  We must realize how special her powers are in brining forth life.  The woman will bring balance to a man.  The woman will help him see.  It is said, behind every successful man is a supporting woman.

Maybe we should examine how we are thinking about women.  The Great Spirit says we should honor them.  Are we respecting and honoring our women today?

Grandmother, Grandfather thank you for our women. Today, let me honor them.

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Journey to the Heart
November 6
Value Each Moment

How often we wait for those grand moments of revelation, those intense times that blast us into transformation, those turning points that forever change us and our lives. Those are the dramatic moments we write about, see in movies, and long for in our lives. Yes, they are wonderful. But turning points such as those happen only a couple of times in a movie and a few times in a lifetime.

Each moment of each day in our lives is a valuable turning point– an important part of our spiritual growth, an important scene in the movie of our lives. Each feeling is important: boredom, fear, hate, love, despair, excitement. Each action we take has value, an act of love, an act of healing. Each word we speak, each word we hear, each scene we allow ourselves to see, and each scenario we participate in changes us.

Trust and value each moment of your life. Let it be important. It is a turning point. It is a spiritual experience.

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Today’s Gift
November 6

“Work is love made visible.”
—Kahlil Gibran

Family members show love and concern for others through their work. Parents might build a bookcase or prepare the meals. Children might help by emptying the wastebaskets. All are showing love through what they do. In our lives together, our work is an important way of saying I love you. We will still want to give them lots of hugs and kisses. But our work shows how much we care, and who is important to us. Our work around the house is an investment. It makes a home for all of us, constructed of visible love.

How can I make our home a better one today?

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The Language of Letting Go
November 6
Meditation and Prayer

The Eleventh Step asks us to meditate as a route to improving our conscious contact with God.

Meditation is different than obsessing or worrying. Obsession and worrying are fear connections. Meditation means opening our mind and our spiritual energy to the God connection.

To connect with God, we need to relax as best we can and open our conscious and subconscious mind to a Higher Consciousness – one that is available to each of us.

In the busyness of our day and life, it may seem like a waste of time to slow down, to stop what we’re doing, and take this kind of break. It is no more a waste of time than stopping to put gas in our car when the tank is almost empty. It is necessary, it is beneficial, and it saves time. In fact, meditation can create more time and energy than the moments we take to do it.

Meditation and prayer are powerful recovery behaviors that work. We need to be patient. It is not reasonable to expect immediate answers, insight, or inspiration.

But solutions are coming. They are already on the way, if we have done our part – meditate and pray – and then let the rest go.

Whether we pray and meditate first thing in the morning, during a coffee break, or in the evening is our choice.

When our conscious contact with God improves, our subconscious contact will too. We will find ourselves increasingly tuned in to God’s harmony and will for us. We will find and maintain that soul connection, the God connection.

Today, I will take a moment for meditation and prayer. I will decide when and how long to do it. I am a child and creation of God – a Higher Power who loves to listen and talk to me. God, help me let go of my fears about whether or not You hear and care. Help me know that You are there and that I am able to tap into the spiritual consciousness.

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More Language Of Letting Go
November 6
Become willing

“There’s nothing against you to fall down flat
But to lie there–that’s disgrace.”
–Edmund Vance Cooke

Sometimes the problem isn’t that we don’t believe we can. The problem is that we don’t want to do it, whatever the current task or challenge is.

When I began my writing and recovery, I wanted to do these things. The challenge was invigorating. I wanted to get back up. I wanted to push ahead. I wanted to get into the game.

When my son Shane died, I didn’t want to get up.

I didn’t want the challenge. It wasn’t invigorating. I didn’t want the loss, and I didn’t want to heal from my grief.

One day in those painful, awful early years of grief, a friend stopped by the house. I had known him for a long time. He had suffered a permanent loss,too– the use of his leg muscles from a form of polio he had suffered during his teenage years.

People hadn’t known what to do with me back then. They had watched me flounder in my grief. They had tried to be compassionate, and that was good. But right now compassion wasn’t exactly what I needed to hear.

“You’ve got to get up,” my friend said in a loud voice. “You’ve got to get back up on your feet again. Stand up to life.”

Sometimes life’s problems and challenges are invigorating. Sometimes they’re not. But no matter what we get hit with, we need to get up again.

Let yourself grieve. Let yourself become enraged over your losses, if you must. Then, whether you want the loss or not, get back up again. You don’t have to; you don’t even have to believe you can. Sometimes all we need to do is be open to wanting to and then believe we can.

God, help me believe in life.

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Touchstones Meditations For Men
November 6

“The main thing in life is not to be afraid of being human.”
—Pablo Casals

The “shoulds” of our lives can be found all around us. We should wear our seat belts. We should not cry. We should go to our meetings. These “shoulds” usually serve as good guides for us, but they can intrude upon us. If we give them power, they only condemn us and give no useful help. At times we jump toward the “should” because we don’t have the courage to live with the insecurity of being human.

If someone at work gets an unfair shake, it takes courage to speak up and say what we think. We may have an impulse to reach out to a stranger, but it takes courage to do it. When an inner feeling emerges from our honesty, fear may prompt us to avoid it, and we need to call on our courage. That is how we fulfill the uniqueness of each of us.

I am alive as a man and a human being. I will not shy away from opportunities to express my humanity.

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Daily TAO
November 6
FRIENDSHIP

Those truly linked don’t need correspondence.
When they meet again after many years apart,
Their friendship is as true as ever.

In the distant past, there was once a young and wealthy statesman who was on a diplomatic mission. Pausing by a river at night, he heard the haunting sounds of a lute. A passionate musician himself, he took up his own lute and eventually found a goatherd sitting on an old ruin. In those days, an aristocrat would not associate with a commoner, but the two men struck up a friendship through their music. Their playing was as smooth and natural as flowing water.

Once a year, the ambassador and the goatherd would renew their friendship. Though they had the chance to play their music with others during the rest of the year, each man declared that he had found his true counterpart.

The ambassador tried for many years to lift the goatherd out of his poverty, but his friend steadfastly refused. He did not want to pollute their friendship with money.

Years later, when the ambassador was gray haired, he went to the appointed spot, but his friend was not there. He tried to play alone, but his melody was forlorn. Finally someone came to tell him that his friend had starved to death during a recent famine. This news made the ambassador despondent. He was caught in the irony of knowing that he had the money to save his friend, and yet he understood the man’s values as well. In sorrow, the ambassador broke his lute. “With my friend gone from the world, who will I play my music for?”

True friendship is a rare harmony.

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