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Daily Recovery Readings – November 8

Just For Today
November 8
Freed From Insanity

“Do I believe it would be insane to walk up to someone and say,'”May I please have a heart attack or a fatal accident?'”
Basic Text p.23

We’ve heard it said that unless we’re in love, we can’t remember what love feels like. The same could be said of insanity: Once we’re freed of it, we may forget how truly bizarre our insane thinking can be. But to be grateful for the degree of sanity to which we’ve been restored in Narcotics Anonymous, we need to remember just how truly insane we’ve been.

Today, it may be hard to imagine saying something as ridiculous as, “May I please have a heart attack or a fatal accident?” No one in their right mind is going to ask for such things. And that’s the point. In our active addiction, we were not in our right mind. Each day we practiced our addiction, we courted fatal disease, degradation, exploitation, impoverishment, imprisonment, death by violence, even death by sheer stupidity. In that context, the idea of asking for a heart attack or a fatal accident doesn’t sound all that far out. That’s how insane we’ve been.

The program, the fellowship, and our Higher Power—together, they’ve worked a miracle. The Second Step is not a vain hope—it is reality. Knowing the degree of the insanity we’ve experienced, we can appreciate all the more the miraculous Power that has restored us thus far to sanity. For that, we are truly grateful.

Just for today: I will take some time to recall how insane I’ve been while practicing my addiction. Then, I will thank my Higher Power for the sanity that’s been restored to my life.

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Daily Reflections
November 8
An Individual Adventure

“Meditation is something which can always be further developed. It has no boundaries, either of width or height. Aided by such instruction and example as we can find, it is essentially an individual adventure, something which each one of us works out in his own way.”
TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 101

My spiritual growth is with God as I understand Him. With Him, I find my true inner self. Daily meditation and prayer strengthen and renew my source of well-being. I receive then the openness to accept all that He has to offer. With Go,d I have the reassurance that my journey will be as He wants for me, and for that I am grateful to have God in my life.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day
November 8
A.A. Thought For The Day

I have lost much of my inferiority complex. I was always trying to escape from life. I did not want to face reality. I was full of self-pity. I was constantly sorry for myself. I tried to avoid all responsibilities. I did not feel that I would handle the responsibilities for my family or my work. Owing to my inferiority complex, I was eager to be free of all responsibilities. I wanted to drift; I wanted to be “on the beach.” A.A. showed me how to get over my feeling of inferiority. It made me want to accept responsibility again. Have I lost my inferiority complex?

Meditation For The Day

“One thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things that are before, I press onward toward the goal.”

We should forget those things which are behind us and press onward toward something better. We can believe that God has forgiven us for all our past sins, provided we are honestly trying to live today the way we believe He wants us to live. We can wipe clean the slate of the past. We can start today with a clean slate and go forward with confidence toward the goal that has been set before us.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may drop off the load of the past. I pray that I may start today with a light heart and a new confidence.

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As Bill Sees It
November 8
Learning To Trust, p. 310

Our entire A.A. program rests upon the principle of mutual trust. We trust God, we trust A.A., and we trust each other. Therefore, we trust our leaders in world service. The “Right of Decision” that we offer them is not only the practical means by which they may act and lead effectively, but it is also the symbol of our implicit confidence.

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

If you arrive at A.A. with no religious convictions, you can, if you wish, make A.A. itself or even your A.A. group of people your “Higher Power.” Here’s a large group of people who have solved their alcohol problem. In this respect they are certainly a power greater than you. Even this minimum of faith will be enough.

Many members who have crossed the threshold just this way will tell you that, once across, their faith broadened and deepened. Relieved of the alcohol obsession, their lives unaccountably transformed, they came to believe in a Higher Power, and most of them began to talk of God.

1. Twelve Concepts, p. 16
2. 12 & 12, pp. 27-28

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Walk In Dry Places
November 8
Proving God’s existence.
Belief.

It surprised some of us to learn that the AA Big Book has a chapter about agnosticism. The agnostic is one who believes the existence of God cannot be proved, and, indeed, some of us liked to explain this during profound barroom discussions.

Our existence with a Higher Power does not really settle the questions about God or the purpose and meaning of life. We may still wonder why we are on Earth and what the universal system is all about.

We can prove, however, that our lives can become dramatically different as a result of our belief in God. While some people scoff that our belief in a Higher Power is merely psychological, we still know that it is far more than that. This belief seems to be something that we need just as we require physical nourishment.

It’s not necessary to join the debating society that seems to prove or deny God’s existence. For our purposes, it’s only necessary to believe that God exists in our lives.

I’ll not concern myself with a general question about the existence or nonexistence of God. What’s important is to know that my Higher Power is living and working in my sphere of activities.

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Keep It Simple
November 8

“Any man may make a mistake; none but a fool will persist in it.”
—Cicero

The way we face life’s challenges is what gives meaning to our lives. If we run from our mistakes, they follow us. If we stand up and work with them, we learn. Facing our mistakes teaches us wisdom and courage. Our self-respect grows. Spiritual growth means asking, “How would my Higher Power want me to deal with this mistake?” Then we listen for the answer and do what is needed. The better we get at facing our mistakes, the better we become at learning from them. Native American culture teaches us that all mistakes in life are gifts. The gift is that we are given a chance to learn.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, help me face the mistakes of life and find the lessons that lie within them.

Action for the Day: When I make a mistake, I’ll stop and ask, “What does my Higher Power want me to learn from this?”

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Each Day a New Beginning
November 8

“As in the physical world, so in the spiritual world, pain does not ‘last forever.'”
—Katherine Mansfield

Each of us struggles with pain and its repercussions; some of us more than others. At times pain seems unending. Sometimes we hang onto the pain in our lives, maybe because we fear even more what’s on the other side. The unknown so easily controls us. Right at this moment, each of us can look back on other painful times and feel thankful for what they taught us. The puzzle pieces take on a deeper meaning when we enjoy the gift of perspective. The pain at this moment fits, too, in the bigger picture of our lives. And it will pass. It is passing.

The wisdom of the past tells us that pain enriches us, prepares us to better serve others. We come to know who we are and the specialness of our gifts through the despair that at times encumbers us. An old, wise saying is, “We are never given more than we can handle.”

My pain today is bringing me closer to the woman I’m meant to be. With each breath I’ll remember that.

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Alcoholics Anonymous
November 8
A DRUNK, LIKE YOU

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

When they came to wake me, I was very belligerent and threatening. I scared them. They were afraid I would hit them. That was it. I could see that something had to be done. My wife’s sister-in-law, who is a social worker, suggested we seek a counselor. I thought that might be a good idea. I was having anxiety attacks for no reason. I used to be able to demonstrate products to high-level executives of the corporation I worked for with no problem; now even minor product showcases were becoming difficult.

pp. 398-399

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions
November 8

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

When A.A. was still young, lots of eager groups were forming. In a town we’ll call Middleton, a real crackerjack had started up. The townspeople were as hot as firecrackers about it. Stargazing, the elders dreamed of innovations. They figured the town needed a great big alcoholic center, a kind of pilot plant A.A. groups could duplicate everywhere. Beginning on the ground floor there would be a club; in the second story they would sober up drunks and hand them currency for the back debts; the third deck would house an educational project – quite noncontroversial, of course. In imagination the gleaming center was to go up several stories more, but three would do for a start. This would all take a lot of money – other people’s money. Believe it or not, wealthy townsfolk bought the idea.

p. 147

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Xtra Thoughts
November 8

“Everybody can make it with a little help from a friend.”
—Rab5178

“Don’t let yesterday use up too much of today.”
—Will Rogers

“First keep the peace within yourself, then you can also bring peace to others.”
—Thomas A Kempis, 1420

“Life is something like this trumpet. If you don’t put anything in it you don’t get anything out. And that’s the truth.”
—W. C. Handy (1873-1958) Composer

“Take a walk with God. He will meet you at the Steps.”
—unknown

F A I T H = Fantastic Adventures In Trusting Him.

“If you keep on doing what you’ve always done, you’ll keep on getting what you’ve always got.”
—W. L. Bateman

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation
November 8
THOUGHT

“There is no place in active life on which thought is negligible.”
—T. S. Eliot

It is not a crime to think. It is not a sin to have a brain. To think is human.

However, so much of my past thinking was destructive and negative. The disease of addiction permeated every aspect of my life particularly my thoughts. For years my best ideas justified my addiction.

Today I am open to a change of mind. I can choose to change my ideas. I am free to think differently.

God is alive in my willingness to change.

Lord, help my thinking to recover.

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Bible Scriptures
November 8

“What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us?”
Romans 8:31

“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.”
Colossians 3:12-14

Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.
James 1:12

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Daily Inspiration
November 8

We are each a huge container of talents and abilities many of which we have not yet discovered and recognized. Lord, increase my ability to believe in myself and let the wonderful me burst out.

We only have so much time and so much energy in a day. To use it grumbling leaves less time for enjoyment and accomplishment. Lord, may I focus on looking for Your blessings in every part of my life.

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A Day At A Time
November 8

Reflection For The Day

My conscious contact with God depends entirely on me and on my desire for it.  God’s power is available for me to use at all times;  whether I decide to use it or not is my choice.  It has been said that “God is present in all His creatures, but all are not equally aware of His presence.”  I’ll try to remind myself every day of how much depends on my awareness of God’s influence in my life.  And I’ll try to accept His help in everything I do.  Will I remember that God knows how to help me, that He can help me, and that He wants to help me?

Today I Pray

May I be aware always that god’s power and peace are a bottomless well within me.  I can draw bucket after bucket from it to refresh and purify my life.  All I need to supply are the buckets and the rope, The water is mine—free, fresh, healing and unpolluted.

Today I Will Remember

The well is God’s;  I bring the buckets.

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One More Day
November 8

“We often experience more regret over the part we have left, than pleasure over the part we have preferred.”
—Joseph Roux

We may sometimes think about past loves, jobs we turned down, or educations we didn’t pursue. This nostalgic inventory may give us more regret than joy.

A more accurate picture of our lives is found in the things we’ve chosen. We can start with the communities in which we live. Quickly, we find listing such intangibles as spiritual experiences, family times of togetherness, friendships, and love. Seeing life more clearly as a balance between mistakes and triumphs, disappointments and joys, can encourage us to expect the same balance each day.

I have less regret for what I’ve lost when I focus on the many good things I’ve chosen.

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One Day At A Time
November 8
~ DROWNING TROUBLES ~

“You can’t drown your troubles, because trouble can swim.”
—Margaret Millar

My feelings have always been too large for me to handle alone. Whenever I felt troubled or had a problem too big to handle, I always turned to my friend and comforter … FOOD. This friend and I went everywhere together and with it, I figured that I could handle anything thrown at me. This friend made me feel good. I was drowning my troubles one by one.

Then someone said to me, “Don’t you know that eating too much, drinking too much or even working too much won’t solve your problems? Troubles usually reproduce themselves rapidly when you try to drown them.”

I really didn’t understand what she was trying to tell me but kept the thought tucked inside my hat. My friend food and I just kept batting these troubles deeper and deeper in my sea of tears, but sure enough, they would bounce right back up at me again later only twice as bad. What was happening? I was using my friend more each time and I began to hate it. Why was food trying to hurt me? I really thought it was my friend.

Finally, after many bruises, I realized what that person was trying to tell me. She was right. My troubles were swimming and I was drowning. I was using one of my addictions to try and fight the others, and was only going in circles. I was caught in a tidal wave and unable to get out alone. Each of my other addictions were throwing me back to my primary addiction of compulsive eating…my former friend, FOOD.

But where could I go? What could I do? The wonderful person who warned me led me to my recovery meeting and stayed with me. She helped me to find a Higher Power who was always there to help. I learned to share my experiences with my recovery family of choice. I got a wonderful sponsor who also knew me as well as I know myself. Together we looked at all the problems and troubles of the past and they weren’t so heavy any more. I moved out of the deep sea that I couldn’t swim in, and on dryer, more sturdy ground. What a relief!

One Day at a Time …
I remember that my troubles are strong and can drown me in the sea of food if I try to handle them alone. Troubles may be able to swim strongly, but they are NO MATCH for me, my Higher Power, my sponsor and Program. Together, we are strong, but alone we are weak. Together we can do what we can never do alone.

~ Jeanette ~

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Elder’s Meditation of the Day November 8

“See how the boy is with his sister and the other ones of his home lodge and you can know how the man will be with your daughter.”
—LAKOTA Proverb

Very early in our lives we form beliefs, attitudes, expectations, and habits. We will live by these habits when we are older. The Elders say to watch the boy with his sister. If he is respectful and treats her good, then odds are that’s the way he will treat all women when he is older. Also, watch the young girl and how she treats her brother, for that will indicate what kind of woman she will be to her man. We need to teach our children to respect one another while they are young. The best way to teach them is to show respect ourselves.

Great Spirit, let me be a role model for the children.

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Journey to the Heart
November 8
Ease Up on Yourself

When you don’t know what to do next, ease up on yourself. See how much more you accomplish, how much easier life is, how much more you enjoy life when you aren’t forcing yourself. Forcing can turn into fear– fear that the job won’t get done, fear that the natural way things would evolve won’t be right, fear that you’re not good enough.

Learn a different way, learn the way of love. Relax. Sit back. Let go for now. Do something different. Breathe deeply. Burn a candle. Read a poem. Light some sage. If fear is present, send it away. See it, feel it, then allow it to leave. Return to the task in love when it feels natural, right, and on time. Participate naturally, joyfully in creation, whether that’s the creation of a relationship, a dinner, a garden, or a meeting.

Sometimes it’s time to focus, to try hard. Sometimes it’s time to ease up. See how much more you get done when you ease up. And see how much more playing and laughing and enjoying gets done too.

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Today’s Gift
November 8

“All acts performed in the world begin in the imagination.”
—Barbara Grizzuti Harrison

We use our imaginations to plan how we’re going to build a model car or plane, rearrange the furniture in our rooms, even dress for a special party. The imagination is like a big piece of drawing paper on which we sketch the way we want something to look.

When we don’t know just how to begin a task, the imagination gets us started. It’s like having the directions for playing a new game. Dreams about the future, where we want to go, the jobs we want to have, are made more real when we “draw” them in our minds. The imagination gives us courage, too.

Do I have the courage today to imagine a better me?

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The Language of Letting Go
November 8
True to Ourselves

“This above all: to thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou ‘canst not then be false to any man.”
—William Shakespeare

To thine own self be true. A grounding statement for those of us who get caught up in the storm of needs and feelings of others.

Listen to the self. What do we need? Are those needs getting met? What do we feel? What do we need to do to take care of our feelings? What are our feelings telling us about ourselves and the direction we need to go?

What do we want to do or say? What are our instincts telling us? Trust them—even if they don’t make sense or meet other people’s rules and expectations.

Sometimes, the demands of other people and our confused expectations of ourselves—the messages about our responsibilities toward others—can create a tremendous, complicated mess.

We can even convince ourselves that people pleasing, going against our nature and not being honest, is the kind, honest thing to do!

Not true. Simplify. Back to basics. Let go of the confusion. By honoring and respecting ourselves, we will be true to those around us, even if we displease them momentarily.

To thine own self be true. Simple words describing a powerful task that can put us back on track.

Today, I will honor, cherish, and love myself. When confused about what to do, I will be true to myself. I will break free of the hold others, and their expectations, have on me.

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More Language Of Letting Go
November 8
Take the lid off the box

“The world shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.”
—Anais Nin

First you crawled; then you learned to walk, and the world grew a little bigger. You learned to ride a bike, and it grew even more. Then you learned to drive a car and bought a plane ticket. Suddenly the horizons were limitless. But then, those doubts crept in. I can’t go to L.A. I’ll never find my way around. And the world shrinks a little bit. I shouldn’t take that trip this year; I’ve got too many responsibilities. And it shrinks a little more. Enough excuses and rationalizations and you’re left sitting in a little box with the lid tightly affixed.

No experiences, no lessons, no life.

Boxes can be comfortable. I’ve spent some time in them myself. But no matter how cozy you make it, a box is still a box. They come in all sizes and shapes. But whenever we start letting unrealistic fears hold us back and down, we can be fairly certain we’re climbing inside another box, again. It may take a while, but sooner or later we’ll run into the walls.

Find one small I can’t in your life and take the lid off of the box. Look around. It’s a big world out there. If it looks small, it’s because you’ve made it that way. Try for a minor impossibility. Go apply for that dream job. The worst that will happen is that you’ll learn something new about yourself. If you don’t actually get the job, you may find out what it will take to get it, and then the world will grow when you stop wishing for a miracle and begin pursuing your dreams yourself. Pick up some brochures for that photo safari you’ve always wanted to take. Learn how to speak a foreign language. One woman I know has claustrophobia. For her birthday this year, she rode an elevator for the first time. Then she went back and did it again.

Go ahead. Poke the top off from your box. Stick your head out. Look around. See! The world is a marvelous, amazing place.

Find a fear, then turn it into a ladder. Get out of the box of doubt and insecurity and into the freedom of courage and belief in yourself.

God, give me the courage to climb out of my box.

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Touchstones Meditations For Men
November 8

“Normally, we do not so much look at things as overlook them.”
—Alan Watts

As we live our very busy lives we might say, “How full and rich my life is!” But are we stopping long enough to look, to take in experiences, digest them, and grow from them? Or is our attention always focused upon the next event? Are we running from one thing to another, never truly being present in the current moment?

For spiritual deepening, many of us men do not need to enrich the events in our lives as much as we need to simplify and quiet ourselves. We need to slow down and look at what is here. At a banquet, we might appreciate a few fine foods served in a tranquil atmosphere more fully than a lavish variety served in a frenzied atmosphere. For today, we are not able to stop the hectic pace of the world, but we can slow ourselves down and notice and reflect upon our experiences. Then they will have meaning and value for us.

Today, I will slow down. I will notice what my experiences are and give myself time to look.

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Daily TAO
November 8
BRAVERY

One willing to take his own life into his hands
Will not hesitate to take the lives of others.

There were once two friends hiking in the mountains. One was a poet, the other was a statesman. They came to a deep ravine, and at the bottom were roaring rapids with a narrow plank bridge spanning the gap.

“Let’s climb down and write our names on the other side,” suggested the statesman. The poet refused. So the statesman went bravely down, crossed the bridge, and wrote their names in beautiful calligraphy. Then he climbed back up.

“Someday you will murder a man,” predicted the poet.

“Why do you say that?” exclaimed his companion.

“Those who will take their own lives into their hands will not hesitate to take the lives of others.”

Beware the brave man. He may be a hero, willing to risk his very life, but he will also be willing to endanger the lives of others. After all, he is a risk taker and therefore does not see the wisdom in conservation, compassion, and carefulness. Such a person will threaten others, force his will upon others, and even murder others not out of passion but out of something much more deadly—rationale. He will justify his actions according to ideology, patriotism, religion, and principle.

When attacked, a brave man goes forth with strength, power, and confidence. In that boisterousness, there is little awareness of the subtle. Life is not simple, and it takes a great deal of time to master.  Perhaps that is why the brave are youthful while the wise are old.

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