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In Loving Memory of Vic

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Daily Recovery Readings – October 13

Just For Today
October 13
Making A Difference

“Words cannot describe the sense of spiritual awareness that we receive when we have given something, no matter how small, to another person.”
Basic Text p. 100

Sometimes it seems as though there is so much wrong with the world that we might as well forget trying to make a difference. “After all,” we think, “what in the world can I do? I’m just one person.” Whether our concerns are so broad that we desire global peace or so personal that we simply want recovery made available to every addict who wants it, the task seems overwhelming. “So much work to do, so little time,” we sigh, sometimes wondering how we’ll ever do any good.

Amazingly enough, the smallest contributions can make the biggest difference. To gain more from life than an ordinary, plodding existence requires very little effort on our parts. We ourselves are transformed by the deep satisfaction we experience when we lift the spirits of just one person. When we smile at someone who is frowning, when we let someone in front of us on the freeway, when we call a newcomer just to say we care, we enter the realm of the extraordinary.

Want to change the world? Start with the addict sitting next to you tonight, and then imagine your act of kindness multiplied. One person at a time, each one of us makes a difference.

Just for today: An act of kindness costs me nothing, but is priceless to the recipient. I will be kind to someone today.

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Daily Reflections
October 13
UNREMITTING INVENTORIES

Continue to watch for selfishness, dishonesty, resentment, and fear. When these crop up, we ask God at once to remove them. We discuss them with someone immediately and make amends quickly if we have harmed anyone. Then we resolutely turn our thoughts to someone we can help.
ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 84

The immediate admission of wrong thoughts or actions is a tough task for most human beings, but for recovering alcoholics like me it is difficult because of my propensity toward ego, fear and pride. The freedom the A.A. program offers me becomes more abundant when, through unremitting inventories of myself, I admit, acknowledge and accept responsibility for my wrong-doing.  It is possible then for me to grow into a deeper and better understanding of humility. My willingness to admit when the fault is mine facilitates the progression of my growth and helps me to become more understanding and helpful to others.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day
October 13
A.A. Thought For The Day

A.A. work is one hundred percent voluntary. It depends on each and every one of our members to volunteer to do his or her share.  Newcomers can sit on the sidelines until they have got over their nervousness and confusion. They have a right to be helped by all, until they can stand on their own feet. But the time inevitably comes when they have to speak up and volunteer to do their share in meetings and in twelfth step work. Until that time comes, they are not a vital part of A.A. They are only in the process of being assimilated. Has my time come to volunteer?

Meditation For The Day

God’s kingdom on earth is growing slowly, like a seed in the ground. In the growth of his kingdom there is always progress among the few who are out ahead of the crowd. Keep striving for something better and there can be no stagnation in your life.  Eternal life, abundant life is yours for the seeking. Do not mis-spend time over past failures. Count the lessons earned from failures as rungs upon the ladder of progress. Press onward toward the goal.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may be willing to grow. I pray that I may keep stepping up on the rungs of the ladder of life.

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As Bill Sees It
October 13
FAITH-A BLUEPRINT-AND WORK, p. 284

“The idea of ‘twenty-four-hour living’ applies primarily to the emotional life of the individual. Emotionally speaking, we must not live in yesterday, nor in tomorrow.

“But I have never been able to see that this means the individual, the group, or A.A. as a whole should give no thought whatever to how to function tomorrow or even in the more distant future. Faith alone never constructed the house you live in. There had to be a blueprint and a lot of work to bring it into reality.

“Nothing is truer for us of A.A. than the Biblical saying ‘Faith without works is dead.’ A.A.’s services, all designed to make more and better Twelfth Step work possible, are the ‘works’ that insure our life and growth by preventing anarchy or stagnation.”

LETTER, 1954

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Walk In Dry Places
October 13
When are we receiving guidance?
Guidance

We have to face the fact that what we see as divine guidance may simply be an expression of self-will.. We are all too familiar with examples of people who did terrible things, claiming to be obeying orders from God.

We cannot judge whether another is really receiving guidance from a Higher Power. In our own lives, however, we can learn to distinguish between God’s guidance and our self-will. The outstanding characteristic of a divinely guided action is the strong sense of peace it brings. Even if we have to deny oureslves for a time, we sense that the final outcome of any decision will be beneficial for all concerned. We do not have to argue for or defend our decision.

When self-will is in the saddle, we may find ourselves being called on to justify our actions. We may also have to quell or rationalize feelings of guilt or doubt.

The right answers come when self-will is working in harmony with the Higher Will. Our lves will have a quality that everybody senses, including ourselves.

Knowing that self-will can easily lead me astray, I’ll listen today for the divine voice of my Higher Power.

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Keep It Simple
October 13

Self-pity is one of the most dangerous forms of self-centeredness. It fogs our vision.
—Kathy S.

Sometimes we get stuck in our own way of seeing things. We may feel as if everything that happens, happens to us or for us. If it rains, we may think about our ruined picnic and not about the dry fields that need the rain. We need to focus on the big picture. This keeps us from becoming self-centered. If it rains, we’ll gather indoors and be glad for the farmers. When we do our part, things go well. When we don’t we feel it. Every else feels it too. Self pity keeps us from doing our part.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, help me see myself as a big part of the picture. My job is just is to do my part.

Action for the Day: Today, I’ll think about how I fit in with my Higher Power, my family, the place I work, my community. Do I do my part?

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Each Day a New Beginning
October 13

Never turn down a job because you think it’s too small; you don’t know where it can lead.
–Julia Morgan

How short is our vision of where an invitation might take us! Any invitation. Of one thing we can be certain, it offers an opportunity for making a choice, which means taking responsibility for who we’re becoming. Choice making is growth enhancing because it strengthens our awareness of personal power.

Our lives unfold in small measures, just as small as they need to be for our personal comfort. It’s doubtful that we could handle everything the future has in store, today; however, we will be prepared for it, measure by measure, choice by choice, day by day. We need not fear; what is meted out to us in the invitations offered is for our benefit. We are on a pathway to goodness.

The thrill of making choices is new to many of us when we enter this program. We’d opted for the passive life, all too often, and we became increasingly aware of, and often depressed by, our self-imposed powerlessness. Free at last! We are free at last to fully participate in our lives.

I will be grateful for the many options to act tugging at me today. Every choice I make strengthens my womanhood.

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Alcoholics Anonymous
October 13
THE PERPETUAL QUEST

– 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.

By the age of fourteen I had my first drunk, which ended in a minor police visit to my home. By the age of eighteen I was a daily drinker, and by age twenty-one I had my first year-long binge in France, which I euphemistically referred to as my study year abroad. I came home very sick and drunk. A few months later I went to bed with a bottle of Scotch one night and decided I would go to law school. If you are having trouble, try something that is even more difficult, to “show them.” That was my philosophy. It was enough to drive me to drink, and it did.

pp. 389-390

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions
October 13

“I was bowled over. There were a few twinges of conscience until I saw how really ethical Charlie’s proposal was. There was nothing wrong whatever with becoming a lay therapist. I thought of Lois coming home exhausted from the department store each day, only to cook supper for a houseful of drunks who weren’t paying board. I thought of the large sum of money still owing my Wall Street creditors. I thought of a few of my alcoholic friends, who were making as much money as ever. Why shouldn’t I do as well as they?

pp. 136-137

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Xtra Thoughts
October 13

“Don’t dwell on what went wrong. Instead, focus on what to do next.  Spend your energies on moving forward toward finding the answer.”
–Denis Waitley

I pray to see the path God lights for me as I am at times blinded by my own lack of consciousness or lack of faith.
–Shelley

Spend 2 minutes a day reassuring yourself that you are made of loving thoughts. Spend the rest of the day acting on those thoughts.
–unknown

“Those who walk with God always get to their destination.”
–Unknown

“No one is useless in this world who lightens the burden of it to anyone else.”
–Charles Dickens

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation
October 13
PREJUDICE

“I am the inferior of any man whose rights I trample underfoot.”
– Horace Greeley

Now I can see my feelings of inferiority in the assumed arrogance of my past behavior. Now I see that behind the pride was the need to prove myself. The manipulation was a cover for my insecurity.

At some point years ago I accepted the idea that I was not good enough and needed to pretend to be something different. The use of alcohol was part of this disease process. Money, friends, fast cars and debts were all drawn into the delusion.

Today I am learning to accept me. I am not a millionaire, I will probably never be a millionaire and so I do not need to adopt the lifestyle of a millionaire! I work in an office. I drive a Ford. But today I am happy. Today I can pay my bills. Today I have friends who are involved in my life. Today I do not have to put people down to feel important. Today I have discovered that the people I treated with disdain are just like me.

I pray that I may receive healing and forgiveness from those I considered inferior.

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Bible Scriptures
October 13

Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.”
Mark 9:23

“The Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forever more.”
Psalm 121:8

“Come near to God and he will come near to you.”
James 4:8a

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Daily Inspiration
October 13

Good is always coming to you. No matter what is happening in your life, you can bless it with prayer and be peaceful. Lord, You give me the courage to face any situation confidently and victoriously.

Choose to be worthy to yourself and never confuse self worth with behavior. Lord, help me to be less critical of my past and see that this moment right now is all that I can do anything about.

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A Day At A Time
October 13

Reflection For The Day

My progress in recovery depends in large measure of my attitude, and my attitude is up to me.  It’s the way I decide to look at things.  Nobody can force an attitude on me. For me, a good attitude is a point of view unclouded by self-pity and resentments.  There will be stumbling blocks in my path, without a doubt.  But The Program has taught me that stumbling blocks can be turned into stepping stones for growth.  Do I believe, as Tennyson put it, “that men may rise on stepping stones of their dead selves to hide things…”?

Today I Pray

May God help me cultivate a healthy attitude toward myself.  The Program and other people.  God, keep me from losing my spiritual stabilizers, which keep me level in purpose and outlook.  Let me ignore self-pity, discouragement and my tendency to over-dramatize.  Let no dead-weight burden throw me out of balance.

Today I Will Remember

I can’t be discouraged with God on my side.

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One More Day
October 13

You learn to build your roads on today, because tomorrow’s ground is too uncertain for plans, and futures have a way of falling down in mid-flight.
–  Veronica Shoffstal

We may have lived a significant portion of our adult lives planning for the future.  Although we must make some provision for tomorrow — savings accounts, wills, pension plans — our attempts to live a full, rewarding life must be made each day.

Growth occurs in the present; it’s never accomplished if it’s postponed until tomorrow.  Each day we choose the direction of our lives, whether we know it or not.  Either we take positive steps toward better goals and stronger values, or we move not at all by “planning” our lives in some uncertain future.

I will make good choices for myself in the reality of today.

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One Day At A Time
October 13
HONESTY

“Honesty is the first chapter of the book of wisdom.”
–Thomas Jefferson

Throughout my ups and downs in life and in working the Steps, I have discovered the importance of complete honesty. No matter what I feel or think, being honest about it with myself, others and God helps me to stay in a healthier state of physical, emotional and spiritual wellness. When I first started in the program, the idea of telling my Higher Power how I really felt was foreign to me. Sure I asked for help and “explained” what I was going through, but I didn’t often pour my heart out. I didn’t want to offend or burden God with complaints or weakness.

With the help of the Steps, I have let go of the formal prayers I learned in my youth and I more often tell God the way my life really is. Sometimes that includes sharing my negative attitude, crying, or just conversing casually with God. My Higher Power is full of acceptance and understanding and is pleased every time I share my honest thoughts and feelings with Him.

The years of denying and burying my feelings have resulted in an automatic reaction to not allow myself to feel or think straight in lots of situations. If I can take the time to identify exactly where I am and then honestly admit that to God and others (when needed), I have made progress.

Sharing my true self with a sponsor or in a meeting helps, too. It lifts the blinders from my eyes so that I can see my reality and proceed from there. If I hide from God, fool myself or deceive others, I rob myself of honesty which is the foundation of my progress towards serenity and wisdom.

One day at a time…
For today I will embrace my reality, the good and the bad. I will honestly admit my thoughts and feelings to myself, to another person and to God.

~ Susanne

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Elder’s Meditation of the Day – October 13

“So unbelievable things like that happen. But you have to believe it first. Not wait until you see it first, then touch it, then believe it… You have to say it from the heart.”
–Wallace Black Elk, LAKOTA

The power of our belief system is incredible. The power of faith is a very natural power. How do we have faith? Inside of our minds we form a mental picture with our self talk. Self talk is recorded in our minds in three dimensions – words that trigger a picture, which has a feeling or an emotion attached to it. Once we get the words and the picture, it is the emotion that makes the idea turn into a belief. You get the right emotion by saying things from the heart. The heart is the source of emotions which can cause unbelievable things to happen.

Great Spirit, with You everything is possible.

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Journey To The Heart
October 13
You Are on Time

Quit wondering, worrying, and blaming yourself for being late. Or worse yet, missing the boat.

“Nothing else in the universe frets about being late. Does the moon ask itself if it’s where it should be? Does the sun say, “I must hurry, else I’ll be late?” a friend asked one evening when I was worrying about not being on time.

Stare up into the sky on a beautiful moonlit night. Feel the quiet, timeless rhythm of the planets, the moon, the stars, the universe. Know that you’re connected, tuned into a rhythm deeper and more secure than all your wondering could imagine. Breathe deeply. Relax. Let your pace spring from knowing that inside your heart.

Trust the rhythm of the universe. You are right where you need to be. You’ll get where you need to go. You have all the time you need.

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Today’s Gift
October 13

…(the king) can deprive them of the benefit of sun and rain, . . . and they are at the same time pelted from above with great stones, . . . while the roofs of their houses are beaten to pieces.
—Jonathan Swift

How do we punish those momentarily gone wrong? Do we try hurting with words – jab them in the heart with some spear-shaped phrases, slap them in the face with an insult or two? Maybe we like to poison them with a strong dose of silence. Have we tried to make them feel bad by making them feel sorry for us? Do we remind them daily that what went wrong with our lives is really all their fault?

We must remember that we are the rulers of our own lives only, and this knowledge gives us the power to punish only ourselves. It also gives us control over our lives, so that others’ actions need not wrong us, and we need not punish.

Have I been punishing someone?

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The Language Of Letting Go
October 13
Substance over Form

I’m learning that for a variety of reasons, I’ve spent much of my life focusing on form rather than substance. My focus has been on having my hair done perfectly, wearing the right clothes, having my makeup applied perfectly, living in the right place, furnishing it with the right furniture, working at the right job, and having the right man. Form, rather than substance, has controlled my behavior in many areas of my life. Now, I’m finally getting to the truth. It’s substance that counts.
–Anonymous

There is nothing wrong in wanting to look our best. Whether we are striving to create a self, a relationship, or a life, we need to have some solid ideas about what we want that to look like.

Form gives us a place to begin. But for many of us, form has been a substitute for substance. We may have focused on form to compensate for feeling afraid or feeling inferior. We may have focused on form because we didn’t know how to focus on substance.

Form is the outline; substance is what fills it in. We fill in the outline of ourselves by being authentic; we fill in the outline of our life by showing up for life and participating to the best of our ability.

Now, in recovery, we’re learning to pay attention to how things work and feel, not just to what they look like.

Today, I will focus on substance in my life. I will fill in the lines of myself with a real person – me. I will concentrate on the substance of my relationships, rather than what they look like. I will focus on the real working of my life, instead of the trappings.

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More Language Of Letting Go
October 13
Let go of what you can’t see,too

Let life unfold, even if you can’t see the good that you want coming your way. Are you worried about what’s going to happen next? Has there been a shift in your job or relationship that makes you tense?

Let life unfold. Don’t limit it by the past or even by what you see and visualize. Don’t deny that you feel discouraged or anxious. Let today unfold. Then tomorrow, do the same. If you’ve been worrying about something and you can’t see how it could possibly work out and there’s nothing to do now, then relax and let things unfold.

Sometimes the unexpected things that manifest are better than what we can imagine or see. Even if we can’t see the good coming our way, God can.

God, help me know that what is unseen today will be made clear when the time is right.

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Touchstones Meditation For Men
October 13

I can sing a prayer as well as say it.
—Baal Shem Tov

Lightness of spirit, song, and liberation are the products of a hearty spirituality. There is never a moment we don’t have reason to fret or mourn. If we need to grieve, our recovery helps and supports us. But more than that, we are freed in this new life to be men of song and humor. We can sing although life is painful, because we are part of a group of recovering people. We’re part of an unfolding mystery. We have love and it is beautiful.

Each time we let go of a secret or an old guilt or a worry about the future, our spirit is lightened. Maybe we experience this at its fullest while spending time with friends who take us just as we are. Perhaps we find it by seeing a funny movie or singing with a group. In the wisdom of the Steps, we are asked to do difficult and painful tasks, which lead to our spiritual awakening. A light spirit celebrates the outcome of our hard work.

I will remember that my laughter and song are also ways of praying.

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Daily TAO
October 13
TEACHING

Give back what you’ve learned.
Share your experience.

If you are in the position of teaching others, then you should teach without reservations. What need is there to hold back? You could tell the secret of life ten times over, and it would still be safe. After all, the secret is only known when people make it real in their own lives, not when they simply hear it.

In the past, masters were selfish. They had only learned with extreme difficulty, and so they in turn made it difficult on others. In addition, they were afraid of being surpassed by their students, and so they always held back some key. How foolish this attitude was! How can a student ever challenge a master, unless the master allows his or her abilities to decline? You should teach dispassionately and without holding back.

When you cultivate internal power, it begins to accumulate within you. But there is one odd thing. You cannot hold it in forever. If you try to do that, the spiritual energy will destroy you. But if you use it prudently — to heal others, to teach others, to comfort others — then the energy will surge back stronger and stronger, like a well that always replenishes itself. The more you give, the more you gain in return. The more selfless you are, the more the self benefits.

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