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In Loving Memory of Vic

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Daily Recovery Readings – November 7

Just For Today
November 7
Feeling God’s Will

“I sincerely believed that a Higher Power could restore my sanity and that I would stop trying to figure out what God’s will was, just accept things for what they were, and be grateful.”
Basic Text p. 198

The longer we stay clean, the less surely we “know” what our Higher Power’s will for us is—and the less it matters. Knowledge of our Higher Power’s will becomes less a “knowing” thing and more a “feeling” thing. We still practice the Eleventh Step faithfully. But rather than look for “signs” from our Higher Power, we begin to rely more on our intuition, trusting our feelings about what will make us comfortable.

After staying clean a few years, what we do seem to know is when we are acting against God’s will for us. When we are going against God’s will, we get that old uncomfortable feeling in our gut. That queasiness is a warning that, if we continue in this direction, ahead lie many sleepless nights. We need to pay attention to such feelings, for they are often signals that we are acting contrary to our Higher Power’s will for us.

Our Eleventh Step clearly states the true goal of prayer and meditation: improvement of our conscious contact with the God of our understanding, bringing us clearer knowledge of our Higher Power’s will for us and the power to carry it out. We know God’s will most clearly by how it feels, not by “signs” or words—and it feels right.

Just for today: I will pray for the knowledge of my Higher Power’s will for me and the power to carry it out. I will pay attention to my feelings and act when they feel right.

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Daily Reflections
November 7
LET GO AND LET GOD

” … praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.”
TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 96

When I “Let Go and Let God,” I think more clearly and wisely. Without having to think about it, I quickly let go of things that cause me immediate pain and discomfort. Because I find it hard to let go of the kind of worrisome thoughts and attitudes that cause me immense anguish, all I need do during those times is allow God, as I understand Him, to release them for me, and then and there, I let go of the thoughts, memories and attitudes that are troubling me.

When I receive help from God, as I understand Him, I can live my life one day at a time and handle whatever challenges that come my way. Only then can I live a life of victory over alcohol, in comfortable sobriety.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day
November 7
A.A. Thought For The Day

I have lost many of my resentments. I have found that getting even with people doesn’t do any good. When we try to get revenge, instead of making us feel better, it leaves us frustrated and cheated. Instead of punishing our enemies, we’ve only hurt our own peace of mind. It does not pay to nurse a grudge, it hurts us more than anyone else. Hate causes frustration, inner conflict, and neurosis. If we give out hate, we will become hateful. If we are resentful, we will be resented. If we do not like people, we will not be liked by people.  Revengefulness is a powerful poison in our systems. Have I lost my resentments?

Meditation For The Day

It is not so much you, as the grace of God that is in you, that helps those around you. If you would help even those you dislike, you have to see that there is nothing in you to block the way, to keep God’s grace from using you. Your own pride and selfishness are the greatest blocks. Keep those out of the way and God’s grace will flow through you into the lives of others. Then all who come in contact with you can be helped in some way.  Keep the channel open, free from those things that make your life futile and ineffective.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that all who come in contact with me will feel better for it. I pray that I may be careful not to harbor those things in my heart that put people off.

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As Bill Sees It
November 7
Spiritual Axiom, p. 309

It is a spiritual axiom that every time we are disturbed, no matter what the cause, there is something wrong with us. If somebody hurts us and we are sore, we are in the wrong, too.

But are there no exceptions to this rule? What about “justifiable” anger? If somebody cheats us, aren’t we entitled to be mad? And shouldn’t we be properly angry with self-righteous folks?

For us of A.A. these adventures in anger are sometimes very dangerous. We have found that even justified anger ought to be left to those better qualified to handle it.

12 & 12, p. 90

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Walk In Dry Places
November 7
Sincerity at the beginning
Self-Honesty

We were told at our first AA meeting that half-measures will avail us nothing. What’s needed is a sincere desire to stop drinking and a desire to seek a new way of life.

As we continue in the program, we learn that sincerity is an ingredient for success in everything we do. Quite often, we may find that we’re failing in something simply because our heart isn’t really in it.

We can’t force ourselves into a sincere posture. Instead, the answer is to know ourselves well enough to know just how we feel about everything we do.

We’ll learn to be careful about attempting to do something when our heart is not really in it. We may be doing something we dislike merely for the recognition and money it gives us. For real sincerity, we need more than that, and the truths of the program will help us find it.

I’ll be conscious today of the sincerity I have about things I am attempting to do. There may be some things I need to abandon or at least change.

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Keep It Simple
November 7

“Telling the truth is a pretty hard thing.”
—Thomas Wolfe.

Often, we get scared to tell the truth. We wonder, “What will happen? Will I get in trouble? Will someone be mad at me?’” These things could happen. But good things could happen, too. Sometimes we want to lie.

We don’t want anyone mad at us or unhappy with us. We want people off our back. So we lie. And it comes back to haunt us. We must believe that the best will happen in the long run if we tell the truth. Our program tells us that we can stay sober if we’re honest. Telling the truth takes faith. We must have faith in the program. We must be honest. Our sobriety and our life depend on it.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, help me remember that I’m doing things Your way when I tell the truth.

Action for the Day: I will think about what I say today. I will be as honest as I can be.

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Each Day a New Beginning
November 7

” … we will be victorious if we have not forgotten how to learn.”
—Rosa Luxemburg

For most of us the struggle was long, painful and lonely to get to the place where we are now. But survive we have, and survive we will. The times we thought we could go no further are only dimly recalled. The experiences we were certain would destroy us fit ever so neatly into our book of memories.

We have survived, and the program is offering us the means for continued survival. Step by Step we are learning to handle our problems, build relationships based on honesty, and choose responsible behavior. We are promised serenity if we follow the Steps.

Gratitude for our survival is best expressed by working the program, setting an example for others, helping those women who haven’t yet attained victory. We must give away what we have learned to make way for our own new growth. There are many victories in our future if we keep pressing forward, opening new doors, and trusting in the process of the program and its promises.

I am still willing to learn or I wouldn’t be here, now. There are victories in my future. I will look for a victory today. It’s certain to accompany responsible action on my part.

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Alcoholics Anonymous
November 7
A DRUNK, LIKE YOU

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

My story starts in the middle. What happened? My family and I were attending a relative’s bris, a Jewish ritual circumcision and baby-naming ceremony. After the ceremonies and brunch, I fell asleep. When it was time to leave, they woke me up. The car ride home was very quiet. The wife and my two kids said nothing. Later that day I found out what the problem was.

p. 398

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions
November 7

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

This meant, of course, that we had been given the courage to declare each A.A. group an individual entity, strictly reliant on its own conscience as a guide to action. In charting this enormous expanse of freedom, we found it necessary to post only two storm signals: A group ought not do anything which would greatly injure A.A. as a whole, nor ought it affiliate itself with anything or anybody else. There would be real danger should we commence to call some groups “wet,” others “dry,” still others “Republican” or “Communist,” and yet others “Catholic” or “Protestant.” The A.A. group would have to stick to its course or be hopelessly lost. Sobriety had to be its sole objective. In all other respects there was perfect freedom of will and action. Every group had the right to be wrong.

p. 147

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Xtra Thoughts
November 7

“Progress results from persistence with purpose.”
—Frank Tyger

“Remember—nothing will happen that you and God can’t handle together.”
—Author Unknown

“I’ve never learned anything while I was talking.”
—Larry King

“Believe that life is worth living, and your belief will help create the fact.”
—William James

“He who obtains has little. He who scatters has much.”
—Lao-Tzu

“Handle them carefully, for words have more power than atom bombs.”
—Pearl Strachan Hurd

“The written word can be erased—not so with the spoken word.”
—Unknown

“A blow with a word strikes deeper than a blow with a sword.”
—Robert Burton

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation
November 7
FEAR

“A good scare is worth more to a man than good advice.”
—Ed Howe

My fear of alcoholism helped me into treatment. My awareness of reality—”I am an alcoholic,”—helped me towards recovery. I was scared into treatment!

I must never forget my frightening yesterdays because that can so easily lead to minimization and tomorrow’s denial. I need to remember my pain if I am to continue to gain. My car accident, my abuse of self and others, my suicidal behavior should be feared, on a daily basis, because it is only one drink away!

God has given me memory—I need to use it. My spiritual courage is in remembering my yesterdays so that I can continue to enjoy the sobriety of today.

May I see that a healthy fear comes from God; it is part of God’s love for me.

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Bible Scriptures
November 7

“Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
I Thessalonians 5:16-18

“I believe that I shall see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.
Psalm 27:13

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Daily Inspiration
November 7

Fears cannot survive without your full attention. Lord, help me to face my fears, realize that they are not as big as I imagine and see that their main purpose is to stop me from action.

Today is far too short to visit with all the friends you want to see, to read all that you want  to read, to think all that you want to think, to do all that you want to do. Thank You, Lord, for this beautiful day and for the privilege of spending it as I choose. May I spend it wisely.

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A Day At A Time
November 7

Reflection For The Day

There are those in The Program who, at the beginning, shun meditation and prayer as they would avoid a pit filled with rattlesnakes.  When they do finally take the first tentative and experimental step, however, and unexpected things begin to take place, they begin to feel different. Invariably, such tentative beginnings lead to true belief, to the extent that those who once belittled prayer and meditation become nothing less than walking advertisements for its rewards.  We hear in The Program that “almost the only scoffers at prayer are those who never really tried it.”  Is there an obstinate part of me that still scoffs?

Today I Pray

May I learn, however irreverent I have been, that prayer is not to be mocked;  I see the power of prayer affecting miracles around me, and I wonder.  If I have refused to pray, may I look to see if pride is in my way—that old pride that insists on doing things on its own.  Now that I have found a place for prayer in my life, may I reserve that place—religiously.

Today I Will Remember

Whoever learns to pray keeps on praying.

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One More Day
November 7

“Night brings our troubles to the light, rather than banishes them.”
—Lucius Annaeus Seneca

One of our greatest coping skills is setting realistic expectations. In doing so, we’re less likely to moan and complain. We’re not so filled with self-pity. We are learning to use all our resources when we lie awake struggling with physical or emotional pain.

We can help ourselves by making our bedroom surroundings as pleasant as possible. Adding small items, such as flowers, bookcases, and a mini-reading lamp isn’t just a cosmetic improvement. It’s admitting that we might be spending some wakeful time in there. Some nights might be sleepless, but admitting it and preparing for it may make the experience less frightening and more restful.

If I can’t sleep, I can relax in the comfort of my bedroom.

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One Day At A Time
November 7
FAITH

“Hold faithfulness and sincerity as first principles.”
—Confucius (551 BC – 479 BC)

As a child, I believed in God, but the God of my childhood was a punishing God. I often felt that the reason for all the tragedies and misfortunes that I went through was because I didn’t adhere to all the traditions and rules of my given religion. Perhaps the fact that I wasn’t a good enough daughter to my parents, a good enough mother to my children, or a good enough friend was another reason why I was being punished. I would pray to the God of my childhood for what I wanted, but God never answered me or gave it to me, so what was the use of praying? I eventually stopped praying because my prayers were never answered.

I now know, having been led into this beautiful fellowship of the spirit, that God is a loving and forgiving God who always gave me what I needed, even if it didn’t at the time seem to be what I wanted. The trouble had always been that I was filled with fear and found it hard to believe or trust in something or someone that I couldn’t see or hear. I am a logical and rational person so it was really hard for me to have faith and trust that God would take care of me. It’s said that the opposite of fear is faith, and so I am now learning to let go of the fear and put my faith and trust in a Higher Power of my understanding. I realize that He knows what’s best for me, and will always be there for me if I only let Him.

One Day at a Time …
I will trust that my Higher Power knows what’s best for me, and I put my myself in His care. My faith is growing stronger each day, and I am able to release fear.

Faith

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Elder’s Meditation of the Day – November 7

“Abuse and repression have no place in a traditional family.”
—Haida Gwaii, Traditional Circle of Elders

Traditional families guided by their culture were taught how to live. The were taught about relationships, respect, and spirituality.

Only since alcohol was introduced to Indians have we seen physical abuse, sexual abuse and verbal abuse. These behaviors have no room in traditional families. The cycle of abuse must be broken during this generation. We do this by asking for help to quit drinking and abusing and return to our traditional culture and spirituality.

Creator, plant inside of me the knowledge of the traditional family.

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Journey to the Heart
November 7
You Are Being Led

You are being guided. You are being led. I say that a lot because I need to hear that a lot. The more I hear it, the more I believe it. The more I believe it, the more I see it.

There are times when life flows along, when it’s easy and natural to believe we’re being guided. But there comes a point in any journey, in even the most magical of trips, when we look around and say, I don’t know where I’m going. We have no plan, we’re short on ideas, and we’re plumb out of vision. We’ve gone as far as we could see.

Now is the time to practice what you know. Let go. Stay as peaceful as you can. Stay right here in the present moment. Sharpen your tools—your intuition, your inner voice, your consciousness, and your awareness. Do the little things, the small actions that appear right, the things that are right before you. Feel your feelings. Move through the fear. Wrap up in self love.

Then let the journey unfold. Trust that you are being guided and led.

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Today’s Gift
November 7

“I never found the companion that was so companionable as solitude.”
—Henry David Thoreau

One of the greatest gifts of our lives is the ability to enjoy solitude. Many of us are unable to enjoy this gift. We are too busy—busy with work, with friends, with entertainment.

When we slow down, we find out we can feel peaceful when we are alone. For most of us, solitude is ordinary—we each find our private place and take up our favorite activities: fishing, sewing, writing, building models, and making pictures. These simple activities are so much fun it’s hard to figure out why it took us so long to calm down and enjoy them.

Our dreams may be quite ordinary. We can learn how to find them.

What ordinary activities have I been putting off because I think I’m too busy?

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The Language of Letting Go
November 7

There is a gift for us in each relationship that comes our way.

Sometimes the gift is a behavior we’re learning to acquire: detachment, self-esteem, becoming confident enough to set a boundary, or owning our power in another way.

Some relationships trigger healing in us—healing from issues of the past or an issue we’re facing today.

Sometimes we find ourselves learning the most important lessons from the people we least expect to help us. Relationships may teach us about loving ourselves or someone else. Or maybe we’ll learn to let others love us.

Sometimes, we aren’t certain what lesson we’re learning, especially while we’re in the midst of the process. But we can trust that the lesson and the gift are there. We don’t have to control this process. We’ll understand, when it’s time. We can also trust that the gift is precisely what we need.

Today, I’ll be grateful for all my relationships. I will open myself to the lesson and the gift from each person in my life. I will trust that I, too, am a gift in other people’s lives.

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More Language Of Letting Go
November 7
What can you do?

“Mr. Potter celebrated his hundredth birthday by doing a bungee jump from a 210 foot tower. When his physician of many years advised him against it, he simply got a new doctor.”
—Stella Resnick, The Pleasure Zone

I almost have the local record for number of tandems jumped. A tandem is a skydive you do attached to your jump master. The harness hooks you up to the front of him; all you do is go along for the ride. I’ve done a lot of my training during tandems, to get body memory of how to skydive and to build my confidence.

I haven’t met the woman who actually holds the tandem record for the area, but I’ve heard about her. I’ve done twenty-eight. She’s done many, many more. She even participates in skydiving team events doing tandems.

When she’s on the ground, she’s labeled a paraplegic. In the air, she can fly.

Sure, there are things we can’t do, things we can’t have, and things we really want. Stop worrying about those things; there’s an even longer list of things we can do and have.

What sounds good to you?

No matter what our limitations or disabilities or what we can’t have in life, we can fulfill our purpose and have some fun while we’re doing it.

If Mr. Potter and the tandem record holder can, so can you.

God, please show me what I can do.

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Touchstones Meditations For Men
November 7

“If the Great Spirit wanted men to stay in one place, He would make the world stand still; but He made it to always change, so birds and animals can move and always have green grass and ripe berries, sunlight to work and play, and night to sleep.”
—Flying Hawk

The American Indian’s spiritual knowledge teaches that God has a rhythm and a benevolent purpose for the earth. How we relate to the changes, which overtake us, is central to our spiritual lives. With our overdeveloped will, we still fight change in many ways. We fight the aging of our bodies by oversensitivity to our thinning hair and increasing grayness. We refuse to accept the end of summer by pouting and getting depressed about the cold. We try to hasten the time when our children are more independent and then hold them back when they get there. Peace comes with trusting the Great Spirit to bring changes in their natural progression. The extent of our willfulness affects our serenity—but not the progress of change.

God, help me accept the changes in my life.

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Daily TAO
November 7
SMALLNESS

You may be capable of great things,

But life consists of small things.

Big things seldom come along. One should know the small as well as the big. We may all yearn to make lasting achievements and to be heroes, but life seldom affords us the opportunities to do so. Most of our days consist of small things—the uneventful meditations, the ordinary cooking of meals, the banal trips to work, the quiet scratching in the garden—and it is from these small things that the larger events of life are composed.

We rarely have the occasion to make grand gestures. The champion gymnast’s greatest moment is but an hour out of an entire lifetime. The works of great artists are view for very short times. The master musician’s best composition is but one work in a sea of musical tones. If we want to be successful, it is the small things that we should pay attention to.

We must not fall into the trap of waiting so long for the big things that we let numerous small chances slip right by us. People who do this are always waiting for life to be perfect. They complain that fate is against them, that the world does not recognize their greatness. If they would lower their sights, they would see all the beautiful opportunities swirling at their feet. If they would humble themselves enough to bend down, they could scoop untold treasures up into their hands.

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