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In Loving Memory of Vic

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Daily Recovery Readings – October 15

Just For Today
October 15
Choices

“We did not choose to become addicts.”
Basic Text p. 3

When we were growing up, all of us had dreams. Every child has heard a relative or neighbor ask, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Even if some of us didn’t have elaborate dreams of success, most of us dreamed of work, families, and a future of dignity and respect. But no one asked, “Do you want to be a drug addict when you grow up?”

We didn’t choose to become addicts, and we cannot choose to stop being addicts. We have the disease of addiction. We are not responsible for having it, but we are responsible for our recovery. Having learned that we are sick people and that there is a way of recovery, we can move away from blaming circumstances – or ourselves – and into living the solution. We didn’t choose addiction, but we can choose recovery.

Just for today: I choose recovery.

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Daily Reflections
October 15
MY CHECKLIST, NOT YOURS

Gossip barbed with our anger, a polite form of murder by character assassination, has its satisfactions for us, too. Here we are not trying to help those we criticize; we are trying to proclaim our own righteousness.
TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 67

Sometimes I don’t realize that I gossiped about someone until the end of the day, when I take an inventory of the day’s activities, and then, my gossiping appears like a blemish in my beautiful day. How could I have said something like that? Gossip shows its ugly head during a coffee break or lunch with business associates, or I may gossip during the evening, when I’m tired from the day’s activities, and feel justified in bolstering my ego at the expense of someone else. Character defects like gossip sneak into my life when I am not making a constant effort to work the Twelve Steps of recovery. I need to remind myself that my uniqueness is the blessing of my being, and that applies equally to everyone who crosses my path in life’s journey. Today the only inventory I need to take is my own. I’ll leave judgment of others to the Final Judge–Divine Providence.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day
October 15
A.A. Thought For The Day

Am I deeply grateful to A.A. for what it has done for me in regaining my sobriety and opening up an entirely new life for me? A.A. has made it possible for me to take on other interests, in business and in various other associations with people. It has made a full life possible for me. It would perhaps be wrong if all my activities were limited to A.A. work.  It has made a well rounded life possible for me in work, in play and in hobbies of various kinds. But will I desert A.A. because of this? Will I accept a diploma and become a graduate of A.A.? Do I realize I could have nothing worth while without A.A.?

Meditation For The Day

There is only one way to get full satisfaction from life and that is to live the way you believe God wants you to live. Live with God in that secret place of the spirit and you will have a feeling of being on the right road. You will have a deep sense of satisfaction. The world will have meaning and you will have a place in the world, work to do that counts in the eternal order of things. Many things will work for you and with you, as long as you feel you are on God’s side.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may have a sense of the eternal value of the work I do. I pray that I may not only work for now, but also for eternity.

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As Bill Sees It
October 15
MASTERING RESENTMENTS, p. 286

We began to see that the world and its people had really dominated us. Under that unhappy condition, the wrongdoing of others, fancied or real, had power to actually kill us, because we could be driven back to drink through resentment. We saw that these resentments must be mastered, but how? We could not wish them away.

This was our course: We realized that the people who wronged us were perhaps spiritually sick. So we asked God to help us show them the same tolerance, pity, and patience that we would cheerfully grant a sick friend.

Today, we avoid retaliation or argument. We cannot treat sick people that way. If we do, we destroy our chance of being helpful.  We cannot be helpful to all people, but at least God will show us how to take a kindly and tolerant view of each and every one.

ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, pp. 66-67

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Walk In Dry Places
October 15
Reading about ourselves.
Gratitude

It’s not only the experiences of our fellow AA members that can help us in recovery. We should also be able to see ourselves in stories about troubled people in the grip of alcoholism and anger.

Quite often, if we’re truly honest, we can even see ourselves in tragic accounts of alcoholics who harmed others during drunken rages or blackouts. We might have stopped short of such behavior, but could this have happened to us? We might read of a drunken driving accident, for example, and realize that we narrowly escaped one or might have caused one had we not found sobriety.

Reading such accounts gives us deep pity and sympathy for al the people involved. These stories make us realize that alcoholism has many victims in addition to those who are afflicted with the same disease. And we should be grateful that sobriety enabled some of us to stay out of such news stores and not add to the world’s problems.

Whatever happens today, I’ll at least be grateful that sobriety can keep me from causing the out-of-control situations I read about in the daily newspapers.

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Keep It Simple
October 15

Not to decide is to decide.
—Harvey Cox

We are winners, because everyday we decide to stay sober. Every day we decide to listen to our Higher Power. We win by making active choices. We’ve stopped acting as if we have no choice. Our old way was to us by accident. Not true. We pretend we had no power. Also not true. We lost our power over alcohol and other drugs, but we still had the power to ask for help. Each time we used chemicals was a decision, just as to stay sober each day is a decision.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, thanks for giving me choices. I will not run from them. Help me make good choices. Help me decide every day to listen to you.

Action for the Day: Not for one minute will I pretend I am a victim. I’ll face my choices squarely and decide.

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Each Day a New Beginning
October 15

Character contributes to beauty. It fortifies a woman as her youth fades.
–Jacqueline Bisset

How common it is for us to be overly concerned with our looks. The culture encourages it through our families, our friends, and the media. Many of us anguished over our looks in years past, and the pain of fading youth haunts some even now.

Perhaps it’s time for us to take special note of the women we admire for their achievements. We should emulate them, honor them, and celebrate their particular beauty–a beauty generally enhanced by dignity, perseverance, and courage.

We can cultivate our special interests. They’ll contribute to our achievements, which will add depth to our soul–the home of true beauty. Mature persons who acknowledge this true beauty are those we wish to attract into our lives. How fickle is the beautiful face! And even more fickle is the one who can see no deeper.

Youth and its beauty are fleeting. Not so the beauty of the developing character; time strengthens it. The program makes character development not only possible but also simple. Every Step, any Step, offers us an opportunity to take charge of our lives, right now.

I will remember, it’s who I am inside that truly counts in the lives of others.

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Alcoholics Anonymous
October 15
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.

Evenings we drank with the best of them; lawyers, writes, media types, everyone vying to tell the best stories, which of course got funnier and funnier the more we drank and the later it got. When I drank, the fear evaporated and I became articulate and apparently very, very funny–or so they said then. Years later I drank so much that I was no longer funny. But at the time, the drinks and the stories and the camaraderie were as wonderful as I was witty. We would get home to sleep by one or two in the morning, and the next day we would be up early to start all over again. The fortitude and resilience of youth made us invincible.

pp. 390-391

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions
October 15

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

“It was meeting night. Although none of the alcoholics we boarded seemed to get sober, some others had. With their wives they crowded into our downstairs parlor. At once I burst into the story of my opportunity. Never shall I forget their impassive faces, and the steady gaze they focused upon me. With waning enthusiasm, my tale trailed off to the end. There was a long silence.

p. 137

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Xtra Thoughts
October 15

Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.
–Carl Jung

“Your family and your love must be cultivated like a garden. Time, effort, and imagination must be summoned constantly to keep any relationship flourishing and growing.”
–Jim Rohn

I may not be where I want to be, but Thank God I am not where I used to be.
–unknown

I am at peace today knowing that God is doing for me what I cannot do for myself.
–Ruth Fishel

God, let my hard times be healing times.
–Melody Beattie

Hatred toward any human being cannot exist in the same heart as love to God.
–Dean William Inge

Prayer is the one thing that can make a change in your life. If you will go direct to God in simple, affirmative prayer, you can heal your body, bring peace and harmony into your life, and make well-being a reality.
–Emmet Fox

Don’t quit before the miracle happens.
–unknown

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation
October 15
MAJORITY

“One man with courage is a majority.”
– Thomas Jefferson

Alcoholism made me afraid of my shadow. I became so petrified with fear that I could not enjoy my life. And I felt that I could do nothing. My disease told me I was helpless. I existed in an atmosphere of doom and gloom.

Then I experienced a “moment” of sanity when I saw that I was the problem in my life. My pain was being caused by my actions and attitudes. I took courage, confronted the disease in my life and decided to take small steps towards recovery. I have built my confidence on that “moment” of courage I took years ago. I am not an island unto myself. I am not alone. God is with me in my life.

Teach me to have the courage to be what You have created. May I accept my miracle.

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Bible Scriptures
October 15

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
Psalm 46:1

Without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.
Hebrews 11:6

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Daily Inspiration
October 15

It is very humbling to realize that often what burdens us the most would be very missed if it were taken away. Lord, I will take the time to appreciate my life.

Mistakes give us experience. Without them going forward is almost impossible. Lord, may I always look for the good and use it to make tomorrow better.

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A Day At A Time
October 15

Reflection For The Day

All too often I unwittingly — and even unconsciously — set standards for others in The Program.  Worse yet, I expect those standards to be met.  I go so far, on occasion, to decide what progress other people should make in their recoveries, and how their attitudes and actions should change.  Not surprisingly, when things don’t work out the way I expect, I become frustrated and even angry.  I have to leave others to God.  I have to learn neither to demand nor expect changes in others, concentrating solely on my own shortcomings.  Finally, I mustn’t look for perfection in another human being until I’ve achieved perfection myself. Can I even be perfect?

Today I Pray

May God ask me to step down immediately if I start to climb up on any of these high places:  on my podium, as the know-it-all scholar,;  on my soapbox, as the leader who’s out to change the world;  into my pulpit, as the holier-than-thou-could-possibly-be messenger of God;  into the seat of judgement, as the gavel-banging upholder of the law.  May God please keep me from vesting myself with all this unwarranted authority and keep me humble.

Today I Will Remember

A heavy hand is not a helping hand.

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One More Day
October 15

We cannot tear out a single page from our life, but we can throw the whole book into the fire.
–  George Sand

During those darkest times, we may not be able to think beyond this moment, this pain, this loss.  All we’re aware of is this tiny piece of time, and it casts its darkness on all we remember and all we see in the future.

This moment is a fraction of a lifetime;  this feeling is just one perception amoung thousands we’ve experienced.  We ow it to ourselves to be sure of what we are experiencing before discarding the entire book in order to rid ourselves of one hated page.  If needed, we cna explore our emotions with a professional.  We can work within a group of people who understand.  We can wait a while to see what our lives will hold.  We can look for change outside and inside ourselves.

My feelings are real, but so is the chance that better things lie ahead.  I pray for patience.

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One Day At A Time
October 15
Learning New Ideas

“I can’t understand why people are frightened of new ideas.  I’m frightened of the old ones.”
–John Cage

When I look back upon my life before I heard of food being a compulsion, I remember my old thinking — which was not very thoughtful at all! I performed the task of feeding myself without any conscious forethought or planning. It was whatever was in sight, available, or easiest to fix. I never stopped to think why I eat what I eat. I don’t know what I was thinking when I consumed something that I knew would leave me feeling as though I were in a stupor or would send me crashing into naps that lasted hours.

My old ideas were mindless, thoughtless. I was an unhealthy automaton who had never been taught how to think about the “what” and “why” of her food choices. I have learned to listen to others who have recovery, take what I need from their stories, and apply some of their actions to my own life.

One day at a time…
I am willing to put aside old ideas as I discover them, to lay groundwork for the new ideas that have been presented to me, and to continue on a journey of personal growth. My mind is like a garden. I have to pull the weeds so that new flowers can begin to grow.

~ January K.

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Elder’s Meditation of the Day – October 15

“All of us begin to rethink what is good about ourselves – put the past where it belongs – and get on with the possibilities of the present!”
–Howard Rainer, TAOS PUEBLO-CREEK

There is a saying, you move toward and become that which you think about. So the question for today is, what are you thinking about? Are you thinking bad things about yourself or are you thinking good things about yourself? Are you thinking about a worldly life? Are you thinking good things about people or are you gossiping about people? Are you focusing on past things or are you living in the future? We need to bring our thoughts into the NOW, right here.

Great Spirit, let me experience living in the present moment.

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Journey To The Heart
October 15
Discover the Power of Vulnerability

A new kind of power will emerge from vulnerability. The more honest we are with ourselves about how we feel and what we really think, the more power we will have.

We may have once thought that being powerful meant not giving in to what we felt, what we thought, or who we really were. But that attitude didn’t garner power for us. It caused life, the universe, us to continue creating situations that would help open our hearts, help us to feel, help us learn the lesson of vulnerability.

The sooner we become honest with ourselves, the sooner we can be honest with others. The sooner we become honest with ourselves, the more quickly we’ll grow and move on to a new place. Become vulnerable, at least with yourself. Be honest about what you think and how you feel. Write it. Speak it. Feel it. Release it. Then you will know where to go, when to go. What you are to do next will emerge naturally, quietly, and clearly.

Try being absolutely honest. Reveal your most private feelings to yourself. It’s a new kind of power, a different kind of power. It is spiritual power, the power of opening the heart.

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Today’s Gift
October 15

…ere it vanishes
Over the margin
After it, follow it,
Follow The Gleam.
—Alfred, Lord Tennyson

It is difficult to find words for the “Gleam” we pursue. What it is, we are never too sure. We see it best in our daily dreams, while we’re staring out a window at nothing at all. Sometimes it appears between the words in a book; it is always sure to be there when we sit alone to write down our own thoughts. We see it in the autumn woods; feel its heavy breathing in ocean waves. It is suddenly a skylark in flight, a falling leaf, and a flower we have reluctantly picked. It makes us feel sad but good. It is always luring us on, always beautiful.

Is it love? Success? Peace? It may be any or all of these things, and we may find it through another person, or some talent we have, or a thing of beauty we stumble upon. And it is there within us, always, waiting to be found.

In what ways can I follow the Gleam I see in my life today?

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The Language Of Letting Go
October 15
Letting Go of Chaos

No good work comes from unrest.

Unrest, fear, anger, or sadness may motivate us. These feelings are sometimes intended to compel action. But our best work emerges after these feelings have been replaced by peace.

We will not accomplish our task any sooner, or any better, by performing it out of a sense of urgency, fear, anger, or sadness.

Let go of unrest. Let peace fill the void. We do not have to forfeit our power, our God given personal power – or our peace – to do the work as we are called upon to do today. We will be given all the power we need to do what we are meant to do, when it is time.

Let peace come first. Then proceed. The task will get done, naturally and on time.

Today, I will get peaceful first, and let my work and life emerge from that base.

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More Language Of Letting Go
October 15
Look where you’re going

“I have the controls!” Rob, my flight instructor said. He grabbed the yoke and turned the little Cessna away from an approaching plane. “Did you see him or hear him on the radio?” Rob asked.

“No,” I said. “I was concentrating too much on the flight panel instruments inside to scan outside for other planes.”

“The airplane wants to fly,” Rob said. “Learn to feel what coordinated flight feels like so you won’t need to be glued to the instruments. You need to be looking outside for other aircraft.”

Sometimes we get so engrossed in the world inside our heads that we forget to look outside. We can become so involved with the minor details of a project, something we’re trying to do, that we don’t see the big problem coming at us until it crashes into us. We can get so absorbed in our emotions that we neglect the rest of our lives. We can become so engrossed with our agenda– trying to get someone to like us, to get that job, to buy that house, or to control an outcome– that we don’t see the warning signs and realize that person, thing, or place might not be good for us.

Learn to feel your life and understand intuitively when you’re on the right path. Be aware. Sometimes we can spot potential problems when they’re still small and far away. If you can do this, then only minor corrections to your course may be necessary to avoid conflicts down the road.

Remember, the airplane wants to fly, but you’ve got to keep from hitting anything if you want a safe flight. Relax and look where you’re going. That’s how you stay on course.

God, help me become aware of danger signals before it’s too late.

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Touchstones Meditation For Men
October 15

We know about remorse and death. But do we know about hope and life? I believe in life after birth!
—Maxie Dunham

We do not need to create difficulties and pain in our lives. They come with the package of human existence. Some of us even feel bewildered when we aren’t pressed by trouble. As we grew in recovery and our lives became better ordered, many of us thought, “Life seems to be going so well; I wonder what’s wrong?” We were more accustomed to remorse and crisis than to joy and serenity.

What lies before us today is an unpainted picture. There are many possibilities for events to take a good turn. This, too, is part of the package, but we must believe and affirm the good things in order to accept them. When our only expectations are pain and trouble, they probably will be our only experiences. However, when we have faith that a better life is possible, we open ourselves to receive it.

Today, I will live with hope for the possibilities and accept the good things that come my way.

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Daily TAO
October 15
HORIZON

Single line drawn from one ocular corner to the other.
White clouds firmly tethered to shadows.
What is close at hand must first appear on the horizon.
What is cast upon us always has a source.

Life need not be the travesty of confusion and disorganization that it seems to be for so many people. When one feels this way, it is nearly always due to two things : Either one isn’t even looking, or one’s vantage point is too low.

Those who follow Tao position themselves on high vantage points.  Life never surprises them. Whatever is in their lives today, they foresaw many days before. Whatever is on the horizon, they take the time to prepare for. Such people are called wise, not because they have special abilities but because they take the care to view things from a high place.

Those who follow Tao also realize that all phenomena have a source.  Just as shadows on the ground are cast because clouds float between the earth and the sun, so too are the events outside of ourselves cast into our minds. A reaction in our minds is like a shadow cast by an external event.

We can understand such phenomena clearly if we stand at a place where we can see them coming. We need to remember to deal with them not simply by how we feel, but also by looking at their external form, and even checking to see their source. If we take care to do this, then we shall never be deterred.

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