In Loving Memory of Vic

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Daily Recovery Readings – October 12

Just For Today
October 12
Being Right

“When we admit that our lives have become unmanageable, we don’t have to argue our point of view… We no longer have to be right all the time.”
Basic Text p. 56

Nothing isolates us more quickly from the warmth and camaraderie of our fellow NA members than having to be “right.” Insecure, we pretend to be some kind of authority figure. Suffering from low self-esteem, we try to build ourselves up by putting others down. At best, such tactics push others away from us; at worst, they draw attack. The more we try to impress others with how “right” we are, the more wrong we become.

We don’t have to be “right” to be secure; we don’t have to pretend to have all the answers for others to love or respect us. In fact, just the opposite is true. None of us have all the answers. We depend upon one another to help bridge the gaps in our understanding of things, and we depend upon a Power greater than our own to make up for our personal powerlessness. We live easily with others when we offer what we know, admit what we don’t, and seek to learn from our peers. We live securely in ourselves when we cease relying on our own power and start relying on the God we’ve come to understand in recovery.

We don’t have to be “right” all the time, just recovering.

Just for today: God, I admit my powerlessness and the unmanageability of my life. Help me live with others as an equal, dependent upon you for direction and strength.


Daily Reflections
October 12

When we speak or act hastily or rashly, the ability to be fair-minded and tolerant evaporates on the spot.

Being fair-minded and tolerant is a goal toward which I must work daily. I ask God, as I understand Him, to help me to be loving and tolerant to my loved ones, and to those with whom I am in close contact. I ask for guidance to curb my speech when I am agitated, and I take a moment to reflect on the emotional upheaval my words may cause, not only to someone else, but also to myself. Prayer, meditation and inventories are the key to sound thinking and positive action for me.


Twenty-Four Hours A Day
October 12
A.A. Thought For The Day

Am I still on a “free ride” in A.A.? Am I all get and no give? Do I go to meetings and always sit in the back row and let others do all the work? Do I think it’s enough just because I’m sober and can rest on my laurels? If so, I haven’t gone very far in the program, nor am I getting nearly enough of what it has to offer. I will be a weak member until I get in there and help carry the load. I must eventually get off the bench and get into the game. I’m not just a spectator; I’m supposed to be one of the team. Do I go in there and carry the ball?

Meditation For The Day

Try to be thankful for whatever vision you have. Try to perform, in the little things, faithful service to God and others. Do your small part every day in a spirit of service to God. Be a doer of God’s word, not a hearer only. In your daily life try to keep faith with God. Every day brings a new opportunity to be of some use. Even when you are tempted to rest or let things go or to evade the issue, make it a habit to meet the issue squarely as a challenge and not to hold back.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may perform each task faithfully. I pray that I may meet each issue of life squarely and not hold back.


As Bill Sees It
October 12

I had gone steadily downhill, and on that day in 1934 I lay upstairs in the hospital, knowing for the first time that I was utterly hopeless.

Lois was downstairs, and Dr. Silkworth was trying in his gentle way to tell her what was wrong with me and that I was hopeless. “But Bill has a tremendous amount of will power,” she said. “He has tried desperately to get well. We have tried everything. Doctor, why can’t he stop?”

He explained that my drinking, once a habit, had become an obsession, a true insanity that condemned me to drink against my will.


“In the late stages of our drinking, the will to resist has fled. Yet when we admit complete defeat and when we become entirely ready to try A.A. principles, our obsession leaves us and we enter a new dimension-freedom under God as we understand Him.”

1. A.A. COMES OF AGE, p. 52
2. LETTER, 1966


Walk In Dry Places
October 12
A fatal Feature of alcoholism
Admitting defeat

Part of alcoholism’s deadliness lies in its peculiar tendency to blind the victim to the hopelessness of the situation. Time and again, AA members meet people who are in the final stages of their disease, yet are still clinging to the fallacy that things are not as bad as they seem. Indeed, many alcoholics who have engineered their own ruin still believe they are either victims of bad luck or of malevolent action by others.

Let’s remember, however, that others might not be so fortunate. We must not criticize them for not being able to accept the hopelessness of their condition. We should also look for our own blind spots about others problems in our lives.

I’ll remember today that only the 12 Step program arrested my fatal disease and keeps it at bay. I’ll feel kindly toward others who are having trouble admitting defeat; maybe this is the day it will happen for them.


Keep It Simple
October 12

Trust only movement. Life happens at the level of events, not words.
—Alfred Adler

Being sober is an event. Being sober also means movement. We go to meetings. We find and meet with a sponsor. We talk with friends. If we don’t act in these ways were not sober.

Our actions also tell us if we’re leading a spiritual life. What do you do when you see someone in need? Spirituality means helping. It’s not just kind words.

In Step Four and Ten, we check out our action, not our words. Our actions will tell us if we’re on the recovery path.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, help me to not hide in words. I pray for the strength to take the right action. Help me walk a sober path.

Action for the Day: Today as I work Step Ten, I’ll focus only on my actions How have I acted sober today?


Each Day a New Beginning
October 12

…there are two entirely opposite attitudes possible in facing the problems of one’s life. One, to try and change the external world, the other, to try and change oneself.
–Joanna Field

God grant us the courage to change what we can–ourselves. How difficult it is to let go of our struggles to control and change someone else. How frequently we assume that everything would be fine if only someone else would change. All that needs to change is an attitude, our own.

Taking responsibility for improving one’s own life is an important step toward emotional health. Blaming another for our circumstances keeps us stuck and offers no hope for improved conditions. Personal power is as available as our decision to use it. And it is bolstered by all the strength we’ll ever need. The decision to take our lives in hand will exhilarate us. The decision each day to be thoughtful, prayerful, and wholly responsible for all that we do will nourish our developing selves. Each responsible choice moves us toward our wholeness, strengthening our sense of self, our well-being.

I will change only who I can today: myself.


Alcoholics Anonymous
October 12

– This lawyer tried psychiatrists. biofeedback, relaxation exercises, and a host of other techniques to control her drinking. She finally found a solution, uniquely tailored, in the Twelve Steps.

Until I was four years old, I lived upstairs from a tavern, where I saw drunks bounced around. My mother worked for relatives who also lived over the tavern, and whoever had time looked after me. Despite my pleas, my mother married a violent man, and we moved away to a life that made my tavern life look really holy. I kept running away back to the tavern until it was demolished. I still fondly look at pictures of that place.

p. 389


Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions
October 12

Tradition Two – “For our group purpose, there is but one ultimate authority – a loving God as He may express Himself in our group conscience.”

When A.A. was only three years old, an event occurred demonstrating this principle. One of the first members of A.A., entirely contrary to his own desires, was obliged to conform to group opinion.

Here is the story in his words. “One day I was doing a Twelfth Step job at a hospital in New York. The proprietor, Charlie, summoned me to his office. `Bill,’ he said, `I think it’s a shame that you are financially so hard up. All around you these drunks are getting well and making money. But you’re giving this work full time, and you’re broke. It isn’t fair.’ Charlie fished in his desk and came up with and old financial statement. Handing it to me, he continued, `This shows the kind of money the hospital used to make back in the 1920’s. Thousands of dollars a month. It should be doing just as well now, and it would – if only you’d help me. so why don’t you move your work in here? I’ll give you and office, a decent drawing account, and a very healthy slice of the profits. Three years ago, when my head doctor, Silkworth, began to tell me of the idea of helping drunks by spirituality, I thought it was crackpot stuff, but I’ve changed my mind. some day this bunch of ex-drunks of yours will fill Madison Square Garden, and I don’t see why you should starve meanwhile. What I propose is perfectly ethical. You can become a lay therapist, and more successful than anybody in the business.’

pp. 135-136


Xtra Thoughts
October 12

Be still and listen to the stillness within.  You must look into people, as well as at them.
–Lord Chesterfield

There is one thing worse than waiting on God… it’s wishing you had.

God is never in a hurry.

“Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies.”
–Mother Teresa

“When you see the value of continued growth, the circumstances around you become stepping stones.”
–Clyde M. Narrimore

The shortest distance between a problem and a solution is the distance between your knees and the floor. The one who kneels to the Lord can stand up to anything.


Father Leo’s Daily Meditation
October 12

“I invent nothing. I rediscover.”
– Auguste Rodin

I believe that spirituality is given to every human being and we need only discover it in our lives to experience its power. The history of my life has been more of a “cycle” than a straight line leading into the distance. I am constantly returning to past events, reminiscences and experiences that were part of my yesterdays but converge into my present. I am rediscovering my yesterdays in my todays; the fruits of my tomorrows are planted within today.

So it seems that my journey is not simply forward. It also involves a rediscovery of yesterday in today. My life is a mystery that exists within God.

O Lord, with You eternity is ever present and occasionally I get a glimpse of it.


Bible Scriptures
October 12

“He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge.”
Psalm 91:4

“Behold what manner of love the father hath bestowed upon us that we should be called the children of God.”
1 John 3:1

Make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love.
2 Peter 1:5-7


Daily Inspiration
October 12

Think good and wise thoughts over and over again until you make them your own. Lord, You have given me a strong foundation and the strength to stand firm for what I believe.

Never make the mistake of taking more credit than is due or less credit than you are worth. Lord, You have created me in Your image. Therefore, I am goodness and with You can accomplish great things.


A Day At A Time
October 12

Reflection For The Day

Many people we meet in The Program radiate a kind of special glow — a joy for living that shows in their faces and very bearing.  They’ve put aside alcohol and other mood-altering chemicals and have progressed to the point where they’re “high” on life itself.  Their confidence and enthusiasm are contagious — especially to those who are new in The Program.  The astonishing thing to newcomers is that those same joyous people also were once heavily burdened.  The miracle of their before-and-after stories and new outlook is living proof that The Program works.  Does my progress in The Program serve to carry the message to others?

Today I Pray

I pray that my own transformation through The Program — from burdened to unburdened, beaten down to unbeat, careless to caring, tyrannized by chemicals to chemically free -0- will be as much inspiration for newcomers as the dramatic changes to other’ lives have been for me.  May I — like those other joyous ones in the fellowship — learn how to be “high on life.”

Today I Will Remember

Life is the greatest “high” of them all.


One More Day
October 12

Joy . . . is found only in the good things of the soul.
–  Philo

Every day has its ups and downs — its good and bad moments.  The joys that today offers must be personally claimed, by each of us, or they will pass by unnoticed.

The events that cause a joyful experience are different for all individuals.  We sometimes share joyful experiences with other people.  Watching an infant walk for the first time can be a shared joy and a lasting memory.  Recognizing that our friends, or perhaps even ourselves, have found help in dealing with personal problems or harmful behaviors can also be joyful experiences.

Joy can also be a private time — fishing on a lovely morning, watching the petals of a flow unfold, or being part of a growing relationship.  All contribute to our sense of well-being.

In this day, I will be aware of the people and activities that give me joy.


One Day At A Time
October 12

“To spare oneself from grief at all cost can be achieved only at the price of a total detachment, which excludes the ability to experience happiness.”
–Erich Fromm

In the years before program I lived in a bland state of non-feeling and I ran away from all painful emotions, especially loss and grief. Of course my drug of choice was always there to keep the painful emotions at bay. Whenever I experienced any kind of loss, I was always able to focus my attention on other things. Instead of feeling my own emotions, I focused on being strong for someone else whose loss I perceived to be greater than mine. For some strange reason I didn’t think I had the right to grieve.

After losing a beloved cat recently, I was overwhelmed by all the painful emotions of loss and grief. It was almost as though all of my previous losses were combined into this latest loss, but instead of running from my feelings, I allowed myself the luxury of grieving for my cat who was so special to me. This time I didn’t need to run away into my addiction. Of course it was hard and painful, but I know that allowing myself to feel even uncomfortable feelings like this is part of being alive and that means allowing myself to feel both the positive emotions and the negative ones.

One day at a time…
I will allow myself to feel both the good emotions and the bad ones. Because I have a program, I don’t need to blot them out with addictive behavior.

~ Sharon S.


Elder’s Meditation of the Day – October 12

“The greatest obstacle to the internal nature is the mind. If it relies on logic…the domain of the inner nature is inaccessible. The simple fact is a man does not challenge the wisdom of the Holy Mystery.”
–Turtleheart, TETON SIOUX

Why is it we need to analyze and understand everything? The Great Mystery has designed certain areas of creation to be a mystery because humans usually miss-use it. We use the Great Mystery and see It unfold only under the direction of the Great Spirit. The Creator is in charge.

Great Spirit, let me realize You are in charge. I’m to do what You want.


Journey To The Heart
October 12
Trust Yourself to Know What’s Right

Sometimes we find ourselves with people or in places we can’t adapt to. No matter how hard we try, no matter how much we want it to, it just doesn’t feel right. Doesn’t fit. We are trying to jam the proverbial square peg into the round hole. Only what we’re trying to jam isn’t a block of wood– it’s us.

Sometimes in situations like these we revert to old ways of thinking, believing, and feeling. There must be something wrong with me if I don’t like this, if this isn’t working. If I try harder, control my emotions, jam a little harder, this square peg– me– will fit.

Those are the times we may begin to feel confused, weak, scattered, uncertain. We abandon ourselves. Our emotions disappear. Our passion wanes. We may begin sleeping, escaping, drifting further and further away. Our soul begins squirming in reaction to what we’re trying to force ourselves to do. We may become physically ill. It’s as though we’re allergic to our surroundings. Sometimes, we may spend years in this process– depending on what we’re afraid to face or what we’re afraid to lose. Other times, this process may only last hours or days,.

We can take as much time as we need to listen to and take care of ourselves. But if we love ourselves, we won’t torture ourselves for long, because we know we don’t have to. If a place or person or situation doesn’t work for us, that’s okay. We don’t have to punish ourselves. We don’t have to go away from ourselves. We can leave the situation.

Trust yourself– your body and your soul– to know what’s right for you. Learn to feel the energy of a situation, place, or person. If something feels right, you feel in harmony mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. If it doesn’t feel right, don’t abandon yourself. Leave the situation. Try something else until you do feel right.

You may not always know at first when a thing, place, or person is wrong for you. But if you listen to your body and trust your heart, you can learn to tell when it’s right.


Today’s Gift
October 12

We can secure other people’s approval, if we do right and try hard; but our own is worth a hundred of it . . .
—Mark Twain

There was once a young girl who thought that if only she tried a little harder, she could please her parents; if only she were prettier, her friends would like her better. She tried constantly to gain their approval. Sometimes they said they liked her, and sometimes they didn’t.

Then one night a fairy came to her in a dream and told her, “You are fine just the way you are. You don’t have to change. I want you to start noticing your own beauty and loving yourself exactly the way you are.”

Doing what the fairy suggested – giving love and approval to herself – wasn’t easy, but she found that when she did it she felt a peace that was not dependent on what others thought. She thanked her fairy for caring enough to come and give her such wise advice.

What are some things I like about myself?


The Language Of Letting Go
October 12
Being Gentle with Ourselves During Times of Grief

The process of adapting to change and loss takes energy. Grief is draining, sometimes exhausting. Some people need to “cocoon for transformation,” in Pat Carnes’s words, while going through grief.

We may feel more tired than usual. Our ability to function well in other areas of our life may be reduced, temporarily. We may want to hide out in the safety of our bedroom.

Grief is heavy. It can wear us down.

It’s okay to be gentle with ourselves when we’re gong through change and grief. Yes, we want to maintain the disciplines of recovery. But we can be compassionate with ourselves. We do not have to expect more from ourselves than we can deliver during this time. We do not even have to expect as much from ourselves as we would normally and reasonably expect.

We may need more rest, more sleep, more comfort. We may be more needy and have less to give. It is okay to accept ourselves, and our changed needs, during times of grief, stress, and change.

It is okay to allow ourselves to cocoon during times of transformation. We can surrender to the process, and trust that a new, exciting energy is being created within us.

Before long, we will take wings and fly.

God, help me accept my changed needs during times of grief, change, and loss.


More Language Of Letting Go
October 12
See it and let it go

This is a reminder. While you’re using your imagination, embracing your dreams, and spending your time visualizing positive performance, don’t forget to let go.

Don’t worry about how things will come to pass. Your part is seeing the best for yourself. Then return to the details of your daily life.

It’s safe to let go and let God. Just because we have the creative powers to imagine doesn’t mean we have to control the rest. Say, I see, then let it go.

Let God work the manifest.

God, after I’ve seen my dreams and visualizations, help me give them back to you.


Touchstones Meditations For Men
October 12

I resolve to meet evil courageously, but when even a small temptation cometh, I am in sore straits. That which seemeth trifling sometimes giveth rise to a grievous temptation.
—Thomas a’ Kempis

Even in recovery, we know we are vulnerable men, always subject to a return to old patterns. Sometimes we can understand the triggering event; other times there is no apparent reason for temptation to reappear. Perhaps it comes when we least expect it, when our guard is lowest. We may be tempted simply because we are addicts or codependents. Our powerlessness reminds us of our need for faithfulness to the program.

When we think we have moved beyond the draw of old behaviors, we veer away from our path of recovery. In saying we have grown out of our powerlessness, or that our resolve can now protect us, we are heading back into old troubles. Admitting the truth is unsettling. It also makes us more honest, more accessible, more spiritual, and more ready to deal with threats to our recovery.

I live with my powerlessness every day. Help me admit it to myself.



Daily TAO
October 12

The moon shines at midday.
The master blesses the people.

Humility is good, but sometimes it is inappropriate.  Self-cultivation in private is good, but sometimes it is also inappropriate. Why? Because if one never comes out to help others and show that it is possible to be spiritual in modern times, then people will lose faith. When people go to hear a spiritual master, they do not go to hear self-deprecation. They go to see perfection.

In the past the masters would come down from the mountains to let people see them. By going among the people, they reaffirmed the validity of spirituality. By walking among the masses, they inspired others to undertake self-cultivation. By helping those whom they encountered, they directly touched the lives of others. Self-cultivation and concentration on the divine is fine, but there are times when one should remember one’s fellow beings.

When one shines forth, it is like the moon at midday — an event so bright that what is normally hidden outshines even the brightest light.  That is what it is like when the masters walk among the people. By their presence, they illuminate and gladden all who come their way.

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