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In Loving Memory of Vic

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Daily Recovery Readings - October 14

Just For Today
October 14
The End Of Loneliness

“With the love that I am shown in Narcotics Anonymous, I have no excuse for loneliness.”
Basic Text p. 262

Addiction is a lonely disease. We may be surrounded by people but, sooner or later, our addiction drives a wedge between us and even our closest loved ones. Many of us are driven to Narcotics Anonymous by a desperate loneliness.

Though we may approach the rooms of NA with caution and suspicion, we are welcomed with a hug, a smile, and a warm “keep coming back.” This may be the first place where we have felt welcome in a long, long while. We watch other members talking and laughing, leaving the meeting in groups for more talk at the local coffee shop. We wonder if we, too, could become a part of this loving bunch.

Our pattern of isolation can make it difficult for us to join in. Over time, however, we begin to feel “a part of” rather than “apart from.” Soon, when we walk into the rooms, we feel at home. We begin to make friends and our lives start to change.

NA teaches us how to overcome our isolation. Through our first tentative friendships formed in our home group, we start to find that making friends isn’t hard. A sense of belonging comes when we share ourselves with others.

Just for today: I am thankful for the friendships my Higher Power has given me in NA. Because of them, I am lonely no more.

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Daily Reflections
October 14
A PROGRAM FOR LIVING

When we retire at night, we constructively review our day. . . . On awakening let us think about the twenty-four hours ahead. . . Before we begin, we ask God to direct our thinking, especially asking that it be divorced from self-pity, dishonest or self-seeking motives.
ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 86

I lacked serenity. With more to do than seemed possible, I fell further behind, no matter how hard I tried. Worries about things not done yesterday and fear of tomorrow’s deadlines denied me the calm I needed to be effective each day. Before taking Steps Ten and Eleven, I tried to focus on God’s will, not my problems, and to trust that He would manage my day. It worked! Slowly, but it worked!

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day
October 14
A.A. Thought For The Day

How big a part of my life is A.A.? Is it just one of my activities and a small one at that?  Do I only go to A.A. meetings now and then and sometimes never go at all? Do I think of A.A. only occasionally? Am I reticent about mentioning A.A. to people who might need help? Or does A.A. fill a large part of my life? Is it the foundation of my whole life? Where would I be without A.A.? Does everything I have and I do depend on my A.A. foundation? Is A.A. the foundation on which I build my life?

Meditation For The Day

Lay upon God your failures and mistakes and shortcomings. Do not dwell upon your failures, upon the fact that in the past you have been nearer a beast than an angel. You have a mediator between you and God–your growing faith–which can lift you up from the mire and point you toward the heavens. You can still be reconciled with the spirit of God.  You can still regain your harmony with the Divine Principle of the universe.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may not let the beast in me hold me back from my spiritual destiny. I pray that I may rise and walk upright.

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As Bill Sees It
October 14
FALSE PRIDE, p. 285

The alarming thing about pride-blindness is the ease with which it is justified. But we need not look far to see that self-justification is a universal destroyer of harmony and of love. It sets man against man, nation against nation. By it, every form of folly and violence can be made to look right, and even respectable.

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

It would be a product of false pride to claim that A.A. is a cure-all, even for alcoholism.

1. GRAPEVINE, JUNE 1961
2. A.A. COMES OF AGE, p. 232

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Walk In Dry Places
October 14
What is true sharing?
Sharing

Though it comes without a price, the sharing we undertake in the AA program has value without limits. When we share our experience, strength, and hope with others, we become both teachers and friends.

Sometimes we are led to believe that we should share our material goods with others, but all we learn is that this often fails to help anyone. Such sharing is not wrong, but it can be misused and misdirected.

In the form of sharing we practice, there can be only gain for all involved in the exchange. Our sharing of personal experience may be just what another person needs at the time. What also matters is that we need it and can benefit from it.

True sharing of this kid is one of the great secrets of AA’s success. If our program isn’t working well, perhaps we should do more of this sharing.

I’ll seek to share my true feelings with others today, in the hope that this will help all of us.

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Keep It Simple
October 14

A baby is God’s opinion that the world should go on.
—Carl Sandburg

Recovery, is also God’s opinion that the world should go on. But when we used alcohol and other drugs, there were days when even the sight of a newborn baby couldn’t bring hope into our hearts. We were spiritually dead. We didn’t care if the world went on. We didn’t care about anything but getting high.  Through recovery, our souls come alive.

The beauty of a fall day can reach our hearts. We can see the miracle found in a baby’s eyes. We can see the beauty of the world. We can feel how much we’re loved by our Higher Power and by others. This is how we know we’re alive. Hope fills our minds and love fill our hearts.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, now that I again believe the world should go on, have me work to improve it. Have me be a person who makes the world more beautiful.

Action for the Day: Today, I’ll notice the children and babies around me. I’ll notice how alive they are. I’ll try to be as alive as they are.

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Each Day a New Beginning
October 14

The balance between mind and spirit comes hard for me. The eternal split. Two entities, perfectly aware and yet perfectly unwilling to cooperate.
–Mary Casey

The program directs our spiritual growth, a human aspect that had atrophied, if ever it had existed, for most of us before abstinence. And the process of developing our spiritual nature is painstaking. Living by our wits, or the fervent application of “situational analysis” had been our survival tools for months or years.

To return repeatedly to the old tools for quick solutions to serious situations is second nature. Learning to rely on spiritual guidance for solutions and to use it to sharpen our analytical focus takes patience and continual effort.

Within our spiritual realm we find our connection to God. We have been given the wisdom; all the knowledge we need is at our fingertips. The confidence to move ahead and offer our special talent to others comes from our Spirit. We are all that we need to be. Our mind and our Spirits, in concert, can tackle any challenge and succeed.

My mind and my Spirit can become compatible entities with the development of my trust in each. Knowledge plus courage can move mountains. I have been given both.

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Alcoholics Anonymous
October 14
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.

At law school we used to drink a lot of beer in student pubs, debating whether rocks had souls and what was the nature of the judicial process, as though it had never been considered before. As new lawyers, my husband and I eagerly beavered in the office early in the morning before running off to court to fearlessly defend the downtrodden. Lunch was the training ground for the perpetual quest for the best martini–usually two or three of them, good for taking away the knot that by this time had permanently lodged itself in my stomach. (I didn’t know that it represented fear and that I was not a fearless defender after all.) Afternoons would be full of creative legal arguments in court. If court finished early, maybe we’d make it back to the office, maybe not.

p. 390

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions
October 14

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

“Although I asked Charlie for a little time to consider it, my own mind was about made up. Racing back to Brooklyn on the subway, I had a seeming flash of divine guidance. It was only a single sentence, but most convincing. In fact, it came right out of the Bible – a voice kept saying to me, `The laborer is worthy of his hire.’ Arriving home, I found Lois cooking as usual, while three drunks looked hungrily on from the kitchen door. I drew her aside and told the glorious news. She looked interested, but not as excited as I thought she should be.

p. 137

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Xtra Thoughts
October 14

I shall leap! No matter what is ahead, God is there to catch me.
–Shelley

One of the most valuable things we can do to heal one another is listen to each other’s stories.
–Rebecca Falls

Life is the first gift, love is the second, and understanding is the third.
–Marge Piercy

You get more than you give when you give more than you get.
–Cited in More of…The Best of BITS & PIECES

Much wisdom can be crowded into but four words:  In God we trust. This too shall pass. Live and let live. Still waters run deep. Bad news travels fast. Love laughs at locksmiths. Nothing succeeds like success. Charity begins at home. Politics make strange bedfellows. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. Man proposes, God disposes. Let sleeping dogs lie.
–Cited in The Best of BITS & PIECES

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation
October 14
INDIVIDUALITY

“I am one individual on a small planet in a little solar system in one of the galaxies.”
– Roberto Assagioli

Spirituality develops a humility that is realistic. Realism teaches me that I am one among many. That does not mean that I am less than anybody else, but it certainly doesn’t mean that I am above others.

Arrogance, fantasy and selfishness are characteristics of addiction that stop the development of true individuality. To pretend to be something we are not, or have a grandiose illusion about our own importance, misses the truth, misses our truth and misses our individuality.

Humility is treating people with the respect we would want, giving people the freedom we require in our life. Humility is perceiving our God-given talent and individuality.

I pray that I will remember that I am a “part of”, rather than the sum total of this universe.

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Bible Scriptures
October 14

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
John 3:16

My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: and I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.
John 10:27-28

“The LORD will not allow the righteous soul to famish, But He casts away the desire of the wicked.”
Proverbs 10:3

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Daily Inspiration
October 14

Spend a little time each day taking care of your own physical and emotional needs and the rest of your day will be more effective. Lord, help me to enrich and care for myself so that I am not depleted of energy and health and have something within that I can use to enrich others.

Welcome God into every part of your life. He is always with you, ready to help, waiting to bless you with miracles and able to enrich your every moment. Lord, I call out your name often in praise, in thanksgiving and in every need.

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A Day At A Time
October 14

Reflection For The Day

“Fundamental progress has to do with the reinterpretation of basic ideas,”  wrote Alfred North Whitehead.  When we review the ups and downs of our recovery in The Program, we can see the truth of that statement.  We make progress each time we get rid of an old idea, each time we uncover a character defect, each time we become ready to have that defect removed and then humbly ask God to remove it.  We make progress, one day at a time, as we shun the first drink, the first pill, the first addictive act that will so quickly swerve us from the path of growth to the road back to torment and despair.  Have I considered the progress I’ve made since I’ve come to The Program?

Today I Pray

May I remember that there are few new ideas in this world,  only old ones reinterpreted and restated.  May I be always conscious that even the big things in life — like love, brotherhood, God, sobriety — become more finely defined in each human life.  so may the Twelve steps of the Program be rescinded in each of our lives, as we keep in mind that, basically, these are time-tried principles — which work.

Today I Will Remember

The Twelve step work.

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One More Day
October 14

Nothing sharpens sight like envy.
–  Thomas Fuller

It’s natural to want to own things — a house, a car, nice clothes, a boat.  Once in a while we are able to save and buy some things we like, but more often we have to set priorities and choose which items really matter to us most.

Almost all of us know someone who does seem to have it all — materially — and we may be envious.  Perhaps, at those times we can better serve our needs if we reexamine our values and cast our eyes toward other people who have the things we really want — peace of mind, a loving nature, spiritual depth, and unjealous nature.  Those “things” may be what we should strive for to own.  These qualities can be purchased only with time, and enrich our lives more than mere material objects ever could.

I will take inventory of my qualities, not my possessions.

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One Day At A Time
October 14
Patience

“Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties and obstacles vanish.”
John Quincy Adams

When I first walked through the meeting doors, I wanted recovery and I wanted it now! Give me the magic wand, I’ll waive it, then get on with my life—I thought.

One of the most difficult things I’ve had to learn is the art of patience and allowing God to work within his own time while I do the footwork to the best of my ability. It is my belief that the universe and my Higher Power will order the next level of my physical recovery. Physical recovery does not grow without spiritual progress. This Program is a journey, not a crash-course in fad dieting.

When I struggled with bouts of pride connected to my levels of patience and God’s timing, I knew I was uncovering yet another character flaw that could delay my spiritual recovery. Spiritual recovery, as “Old-timers” have told us again and again, is the actual foundation of the program. The “inner” person will eventually make its way to the outer person.

One day at a time…
Today I will slow down, take a deep breath, and just remind myself that my Higher Power is in control and that my natural pattern will develop under His nurture, care, and control.

~ January

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Elder’s Meditation of the Day – October 14

“Each soul must meet the morning sun, the new sweet earth and the Great Silence alone!”
–Ohiyesa (Dr. Charles A. Eastman), SANTEE SIOUX

The most important thing we can do during the course of the day is pray in the morning. There is a special time in the morning that has great power. This is the exact time the sun is rising. During the rising of the sun, everything on the Earth is waking up. Animals, plants, birds and humans will be blessed at the rising of the sun. This is a special time to help us prepare for the day. During this time we ask the Creator to bless our day. We ask Him to guide us, to protect us and to give us courage to overcome the day’s obstacles. Doing this everyday will give us knowledge of God’s will for us.

Grandfather, Grandmother, guide my path. Let my thinking be guided by You.

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Journey To The Heart
October 14
Clear Out the Clutter

Have you ever noticed how easy it is to accumulate possessions and clutter in your home, things you pick up along the way? Have you ever noticed how easy it is to begin accommodating this clutter, getting used to it, thinking of it as just part of your environment?

It can be that way with our emotions,too. No matter how hard we strive to stay clear, we pick up bits of clutter along the way.

It’s so easy to ignore deeply embedded emotions and their impact on our lives. Many of us have undercurrents of old emotional energy that have been with us for so long we don’t see them. We don’t see the anger, the fear, the sadness. We’ve lived with these feelings for so long they have become embedded in us, part of us. When one of these nudges us, we tuck it back in, pack it away, and go on about our lives. But the feelings stays with us until we consciously acknowledge and address it. It affects us and our lives until we heal it.

Find a way to heal those old feelings, perhaps journaling or writing your memoirs. Whatever technique you choose to begin this journey of deep healing, deep cleansing, take the time to become conscious of what you really feel. Observe yourself; listen closely to yourself. Is there an edge to your voice? Do you talk about a particular person or place with a high degree of emotional energy? Learn to become comfortable with the rhythm of allowing these emotions to surface. They aren’t that hard to find. When it’s time to heal them, they’ll present themselves.

Release your fear of facing what’s there. Tap into that deeper part of you. Acknowledge your emotional energy, and heal.

Start cleaning house. Each piece of emotional clutter you clear out will bring you closer to your soul.

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Today’s Gift
October 14

If you’re never scared or embarrassed or hurt, it means you never take any chances.
—Julia Soul

Do we avoid making new friends because we’re scared they won’t like us? Do we get embarrassed when we make a mistake and avoid trying again? When we get our feelings hurt, do we think we’re bad, or that something is wrong with us?

Being scared or shy or hurt are all part of being alive. When we try to stay away from painful feelings, we keep ourselves from having many wonderful adventures. If we’re afraid to meet new people, we may never have any close friends. If we stop trying when we’re embarrassed, we may never learn a better way of doing things. And if we don’t share our hurt feelings, we may never find out that everyone else has the same feelings we have.

What can I try again today that I failed at yesterday?

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The Language Of Letting Go
October 14
Controlling Versus Trust

There was a time in my life when I felt so afraid of and overwhelmed by the very act of living that I actually wanted to make out a schedule for each day of my life for the next five years. I wanted to include all the chores I had to do, when I would do them, even when I would schedule relaxation. I wanted to get some order into what felt overwhelming. I wanted to feel like I was in control.
–Anonymous

Controlling is a direct response to our fear, panic, and sense of helplessness. It is a direct response to feeling overwhelmed, and to distrust.

We may not trust ourselves, our Higher Power, the Plan, the Universe, or the process of life. Instead of trusting, we revert to control.

We can approach this need to control by dealing with our fear. We deal with fear by trusting – ourselves, our Higher Power, the love and support of the Universe, the Plan, and this process we call life and recovery.

We can trust that when things don’t work out the way we want, God has something better planned.

We can trust ourselves to get where we need to go, say what we need to say, do what we need to do, know what we need to know, be who we need to be, and become all we can become, when we are intended to do that, when we are ready, and when the time is right.

We can trust our Higher Power and the Universe to give us all the direction we need.

We can trust ourselves to listen, and respond, accordingly.

We can trust that all we need on this journey shall come to us. We will not get all we need for the entire journey today. We shall receive today’s supplies today, and tomorrow’s supplies tomorrow. We were never intended to carry supplies for the entire journey. The burden would be too heavy, and the way was intended to be light.

Trust in yourself. We do not have to plan, control, and schedule all things. The schedule and plan have been written. All we need to do is show up.

The way will become clear and the supplies will be amply and clearly provided, one day at a time.

Trust, my friend, in today.

Today, I will trust that I will receive all I need to get me through today. I will trust that the same shall happen tomorrow.

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More Language Of Letting Go
October 14
See naturally

I was talking to a friend one day about using visualization as a tool to help create the present and the future we desire. Visualization, or using the spiritual energy of thought as a tool, can create physical reality.

“I don’t really do that much,” he said. “I’m not one for visualization.”

Later, we were talking about a project we were working on together. He began to describe the next stage of the process. “I see us working together on it like this,” he said. He described in great detail how he saw things coming to pass.

I listened. When he finished, I told him, “You said you don’t use visualization as a tool. But you just used it naturally, without thinking, to describe how we are going to work on the next stage of this project.”

He thought for a moment, then said he guessed I was right.

Don’t talk yourself out of using visualization as a tool. Most of us often use our imagination to consider things that are taking place now or in the future. Be aware of what you say and see, so that you can use this powerful tool, your imagination, to help create whatever it is that you really want to see.

Pay attention to the ways you use your imagination in your daily life, the number of times you naturally say how you see things working out. If you find yourself using your imaginative powers to create negative events, stop! Erase that scene and create something else.

God, help me become aware of how I see naturally. Help me use and respect my imagination as the powerful creative tool it is.

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Touchstones Meditation For Men
October 14

No man is more cheated than the selfish man.
—Henry Ward Beecher

When we’re selfish, we close off the channels of exchange with others. Not only are we grabbing and holding all the goods or attention we can get, but we are denying others the possibility of sharing with us in the benefits. We may be selfish in material goods, but there are many other ways too. Some of us expect our spouses to meet our needs while we make little effort to meet theirs. Some of us discover our selfishness as we drive, refusing to yield a position to another car or getting furious if we lose a place in heavy traffic.

By contrast, our generosity and welcoming responses nourish the spirit within us and create a good environment for our growth. Sometimes giving does not come easily. We have a more generous spirit when we are in touch with our ultimate vulnerability. All of life is fragile, and we need each other to have a good life. We can truly hold onto nothing but ourselves. Giving what we can of our time, our energy, and our goods, helps create the kind of world we want to live in.

Today, I will look for ways to be generous with those I share this world with.

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Daily TAO
October 14
COMPLETION

Only when the last spoke
Has been fitted to the wheel,
Is there completion.

Ambitions, career, family, and everyday identity are like the outer wheel. All the different talents and deep aspects of the mind are like the spokes. The consciousness is the hub that holds all together. At the center of the hub is emptiness — that aspect of ourselves that is open to the universal reality.

Unfortunately, we are not always whole. Perhaps it is a matter of opportunities missed when we were younger. Perhaps it is a lack of education or experience. Whatever it may be, we should, through introspection, search out what we lack and then work toward fulfilling it. Once we identify and complete some part of ourselves, it is like fitting a spoke into our wheel. When we have enough spokes, we are whole.

A new wheel will have a long future of rolling. Our selves, once made whole, can then serve our spiritual aspirations until the end.

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