In Loving Memory of Vic

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Daily Recovery Readings – October 16

Just For Today
October 16
The Simplest Prayer

“…praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.”
Step Eleven

How do we pray? With little experience, many of us don’t even know how to begin. The process, however, is neither difficult nor complicated.

We came to Narcotics Anonymous because of our drug addiction. But underlying that, many of us felt a deep sense of bewilderment with life itself. We seemed to be lost, wandering a trackless waste with no one to guide us. Prayer is a way to gain direction in life and the power to follow that direction.

Because prayer plays such a central part in NA recovery, many of us set aside a particular time each day to pray, establishing a pattern. In this quiet time, we “talk” to our Higher Power, either silently or aloud. We share our thoughts, our feelings, our day. We ask, “What would you have me do?” At the same time we ask, “Please give me the power to carry out your will.”

Learning to pray is simple. We ask for “knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.” By doing that, we find the direction we lacked and the strength we need to fulfill our God’s will.

Just for today: I will set aside some quiet time to “talk” with my Higher Power. I will ask for that Power’s direction and the ability to act on it.


Daily Reflection
October 16

This is not an overnight matter. It should continue for our lifetime.

During my early years in A.A. I saw Step Ten as a suggestion that I periodically look at my behavior and reactions. If there was something wrong, I should admit it; if an apology was necessary, I should give one. After a few years of sobriety I felt I should undertake a self-examination more frequently. Not until several more years of sobriety had elapsed did I realize the full meaning of Step Ten, and the word “continued.” “Continued” does not mean occasionally, or frequently. It means throughout each day.


Twenty-Four Hours A Day
October 16
A.A. Thought For The Day

How seriously do I take my obligations to A.A.? Have I taken all the good I can get out of it and then let my obligations slide? Or do I constantly feel a deep debt of gratitude and a deep sense of loyalty to the whole A.A. movement? Am I not only grateful but also proud to be a part of such a wonderful fellowship, which is doing such marvelous work among alcoholics? Am I glad to be a part of the great work that A.A. is doing and do I feel a deep obligation to carry on that work at every opportunity? Do I feel that I owe A.A. my loyalty and devotion?

Meditation For The Day

If your heart is right, your world will be right. The beginning of all reform must be in yourself. It’s not what happens to you, it’s how you take it. However restricted your circumstances, however little you may be able to remedy financial affairs, you can always turn to your inward self and, seeing something not in order there, seek to right it. And as all reform is from within outward, you will always find that the outward is improved as the inward is improved. As you improve yourself, your outward circumstances will change for the better. The power released from within yourself will change your outward life.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that the hidden power within me may be released. I pray that I may not imprison the spirit that is within me.


As Bill Sees It
October 16
Mastering Resentments

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 the 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.



Each Day a New Beginning
October 16

History provides abundant examples of . . . women whose greatest gift was in redeeming, inspiring, liberating, and nurturing the gifts of others.
—Sonya Rudikoff

Part of our calling as members of the human community is to unconditionally love and support the people emotionally close to us. We have been drawn together for purposes wonderful but seldom readily apparent. We need one another’s gifts, compassion, and inspiration in order to contribute our individual parts to the whole.

Not only do we need to nurture and to inspire others, but also our personal development, emotionally and spiritually, demands that we honor ourselves in like fashion. Self-love, full self-acceptance is necessary before we can give anything of lasting value to someone else. Selflessly must we give to others if, indeed, our love and support are meant to serve, and giving anything selflessly is evidence of healthy self-love.

Selfless love liberates the giver and the recipient. Giving selflessly reveals our personal contentment, and it means we are free to nurture our own gifts.

It’s good and right that I should encourage someone else today. I will pay the same respect to myself, too.


Keep It Simple
October 16

To err is human, but when the eraser wears out ahead of the pencil, you’re overdoing it.
–Josh Jenkins

It’s okay to make mistakes. But we shouldn’t live a life of excuses. We shouldn’t slide over our mistakes; we should learn from them.

Excuses keep us part from ourselves and others. People don’t trust us if we won’t admit and accept our mistakes. Relying on excuses dooms us to repeat the same mistakes.

In recovery, we admit and accept our behavior. We do this by continuing to take an inventory of our lives. We do this so we can learn from our mistakes. “Owning” our mistakes helps us grow.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, help me own my mistakes. Thank-you for Step Ten and the growth it holds for me.

Action for the Day: Today, I’ll list my five favorite excuses. I’ll think of the last time I used each of these. What was I trying to avoid.


Walk In Dry Places
October 16
Homeless and unemployed
Economic Insecurity

Alcoholism isn’t the sole cause of the homelessness and unemployment that troubles our world. Even in sobriety, people can lose their jobs and homes, through no fault of their own.

Recovery makes it less likely that we will cause such conditions in our own lives. Beyond that , by keeping sober, we will be better able to deal with any setbacks that do occur. It is a painful fact that it is almost impossible to help any destitute alcoholic find a home or employment unless he or she stops drinking. We learn that much through our experience.

Our true home is with our Higher Power, and our best work bay be in the sharing of our experience and strength with others. Remembering this, we can be sympathetic and understanding about the general problems of homelessness and unemployment. We don’t have the complete answer, but we do have answers.

I’ll be grateful and understanding in any consideration of today’s problems of homelessness and unemployment. By staying sober, I am at least helping to alleviate some of the general problems.


Alcoholics Anonymous
October 16

– 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


Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions
October 16

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

“Almost timidly, one of my friends began to speak. `We know how hard up you are, Bill. It bothers us a lot. We’ve often wondered what we might do about it. But I think I speak for everyone here when I say that what you now propose bothers us an awful lot more.’ The speaker’s voice grew more confident. `Don’t you realize,’ he went on, `that you can never become a professional? As generous as Charlie has been to us, don’t you see that we can’t tie this thing up with his hospital or any other? You tell us that Charlie’s proposal is ethical. Sure, it’s ethical, but what we’ve got won’t run on ethics only; it has to be better. Sure, Charlie’s idea is good, but it isn’t good enough. This is a matter of life and death, Bill, and nothing but the very best will do!’ Challengingly, my friends looked at me as their spokesman continued. `Bill, haven’t you often said right here in this meeting that sometimes the good is the enemy of the best? Well, this is a plain case of it. You can’t do this thing to us!’

pp. 137-138


Xtra Thoughts
October 16

Listen in the silence. Listen and you shall hear God speak.
–Frater Achad

Life is for living, love is for sharing. Don’t let the good things pass you by!

The hardest thing to learn in life is which bridge to cross and which to burn.
–David Russell

What I am is God’s gift to me. What I make of myself is my gift to Him.

G I F T = God Is Forever There.

“The secret of happiness is to count your blessings while others are adding up their troubles.”

Happiness is intrinsic, it’s an internal thing. When you build it into yourself, no external circumstances can take it away. That kind of happiness is a twenty-four-hour thing.
–Leo F. Buscaglia

The highest reward for a man’s toil is not what he gets for it but what he becomes by it.
–John Ruskin


Father Leo’s Daily Meditation
October 16

“The great law of culture: let each become all that he was created capable of being.”
– Thomas Carlyle

We are capable of great things. This history of man, although surrounded by wars and unspeakable acts of violence, is also the history of art, music, poetry and romance.  Each person is capable of great and noble acts — but do we want to do them? We can be honest, loving and caring people only if we choose to be that. The power of freedom and choice is the determining factor in all our lives. Each culture has imaginative and creative features, but it is the people that make them happen. Nothing will happen unless people decide to make it happen.

So it is with the culture of recovery. The people who make up the recovering community in all the addictions are the people who make a decision and acted upon it.  Talk is cheap and cruel unless it is followed by an event. Decisions must be made real.  We all have the capacity to be honest and kind.

May I not only be grateful for my culture but may I live to add something to it.


Bible Scriptures
October 16

The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me; your love O Lord endures forever.
Psalm 138 : 8

“Lead me in your truth, and teach me.”
Psalm 25:5

“Keep sowing the seed, for you never know which will grow, perhaps it all will.”
Ecclesiastes 11:6

“He saved us, not because of the good things we did, but because of His mercy. He washed away our sins and gave us a new life through the Holy Spirit.
Titus 3:5


Daily Inspiration
October 16

Many of life’s hassles are mere tests of our strength. Lord, help me remember that patience can often diffuse a situation quicker than a snap response.

Spend less time trying to change and more time making the best of who you are. Lord, help me daily to put Your words into action.


A Day At A Time
October 16

Reflection For The Day

Someone once said that the mind’s direction is more important than its progress.  If my direction is correct, then progress is sure to follow.  We first come to The Program to receive something for ourselves, but soon learn that we receive most bountifully when we give to others.  If the direction of my mind is to give rather than to receive, then I’ll benefit beyond my greatest expectations.  The more I give of myself and the more generously I open my heart and mind to others, the more growth and progress I’ll achieve.  Am I learning not to measure my giving against my getting, accepting that the act of giving is its own reward?

Today I Pray

May I not lose sight of that pillar of The Program — helping myself through helping others in our purpose of achieving comfortable sobriety.  May I feel that marvel of giving and taking and giving back again from the moment I take the First Step.  May I care deeply about others’ maintaining their freedom from chemicals, and may I know that they care about me.  It is a simple — and beautiful — exchange.

Today I Will Remember

Give and take and give back again


One More Day
October 16

Don’t let life discourage you;  everyone who got where he is had to begin where he was
–  Richard L. Eveans

There’s an old adage that good teachers still use:  Start the child from where he is.  In fact, we all have to begin from where we are.  We may, at first, have a tendency to measure all our successes with our healthy life before our medical condition changed.  Changed circumstances can play havoc with our lives.

Now we may have to set more realistic goals in order to reach them.  We can still begin new jobs or new relationships.  We begin over and over again throughout a lifetime — with or without a long-term medical situation.  What matters most is how successfully we can handle the change.  We’ll do fine as long as we remember we have started anew many times — successfully.

I will not discouraged by changes in my life.  I have coped before, and I will again.


One Day At A Time
October 16

“When we honestly ask ourselves which persons in our lives mean the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand.
Henri Nouwen, Out of Solitude

When I first came into The Recovery Group’s online meeting room nearly a year ago, I was bankrupt of mind, body and soul. I felt so unlovable that even I couldn’t stand myself! I casually observed at the first few meetings and I was intrigued by the warmth of the fellowship there. After a few meetings I finally opened up and shared, “spilling my guts” about what it was like to reach bottom and to desperately need a hand to lift me up. After they heard my share, they told me they would love me until I could learn to love myself. That really blew me away! They told me they had been where I was and that they had found a means to recover. They assured me this program would work for me, if I really wanted it, and to follow their steps ~ their beloved Twelve Steps.

Shortly after joining, I got an online sponsor with whom I have been walking the path of recovery ever since. I eventually shared with her things I had spent a lifetime desperately longing to be able to tell another person, but had needed to keep shrouded in secrecy. Being heard and understood was the gift of a lifetime. The weight has been falling off, I have experienced a lot of emotional healing, and I am in a much better place spiritually. This fellowship, their steps and meetings, and my Higher Power have brought me a long way in a year’s time!

One day at a time…
I will emulate those warm, wonderful people by welcoming newcomers with love and by helping them get started on the road to recovery. I will sponsor with the love and dedication that my sponsor has shown me.

~ Karen A.


Elder’s Meditation of the Day – October 16  

“Many religions have been brought to this land. And the way my religion is, they teach me, and they taught me, and told me to respect all religions. And I still do that.”
–Horace Axtell, NEZ PERCE

The Creator put on this Earth many different religions which represent different roads to walk to God. All religions are right and good if the path is the path to God. Should we be judging which road is better or worse than the other? When we accept each other’s way we can stand in a circle, hold hands and listen to each other as we pray to God. Let us be more accepting of the religions of others.

Great Spirit – God, Grandfather, Grandmother, Lord – let me know peace.


Journey To The Heart
October 16
Go for the Ride of Your Life

The roller coaster crawled slowly upward, inching toward the first and biggest hill. And suddenly we were screaming downhill at ninety-seven miles an hour. It is, they claim, the fastest roller coaster in the world. I laughed and yelled and clutched the handlebar. When the ride ended, the attendant turned to us as we were about to leave. “Would you like to go again?” he asked. “It’s the last ride of the night. “We all shouted yes and rode the course again, the wind whipping through our hair. When the ride ended, as all rides do, we sat in our seats and cheered.

Sometimes things happen. Things we didn’t expect. Things we didn’t plan on. An event occurs that changes our life dramatically. The event may be good or bad, desirable or undesirable, fortunate or unfortunate. No matter how we describe it, its impact is the same. We step off our usual path and go for a roller coaster ride.

You may have begun a time of deep transformation, a journey chosen by your soul. Feel all you need to feel. Allow your thoughts to flow. Let your body shift as you go through the curves. Let yourself be transformed. Enjoy the ride, the entire experience, with all its twists and curves. Scream in fear. Cry out in joy. Laugh aloud with glee.

If you find yourself on a roller coaster, turn it into the ride of your life.


Today’s Gift
October 16

Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself.
—Matthew 6:34

To worry about something ahead of time is a waste of time and energy that could be better spent on living a full life today.

For instance, if we spend hours today worrying about an important test at school tomorrow, we can’t very well concentrate on studying. And if we lie awake tonight agonizing over what we don’t know or haven’t studied, we’re going to be exhausted tomorrow when we take the test.

Wouldn’t it be much better to focus on doing all we can today to prepare for the test, and then, knowing we’ve done our best, let go of it tonight and get a good night’s sleep? In fact, if we do that every day of the year, when a big test comes along, we’ll know we’re as ready as we can be, and won’t have a thing to worry about. What a relief it is to know we’ve done our best today and every day.

What can I do well today so I won’t worry about it tomorrow?


The Language Of Letting Go
October 16
Being Honest with Ourselves

Our relationship with ourselves is the most important relationship we need to maintain. The quality of that relationship will determine the quality of our other relationships.

When we can tell ourselves how we feel, and accept our feelings, we can tell others.

When we can accept what we want and need, we will be ready to have our wants and needs met.

When we can accept what we think and believe, and accept what’s important to us, we can relay this to others.

When we learn to take ourselves seriously, others will too.

When we learn to chuckle at ourselves, we will be ready to laugh with others.

When we have learned to trust ourselves, we will be trustworthy and ready to trust.

When we can be grateful for who we are, we will have achieved self-love.

When we have achieved self-love and accepting our wants and needs, we will be ready to give and receive love.

When we’ve learned to stand on our own two feet, we’re ready to stand next to someone.

Today, I will focus on having a good relationship with myself.


More Language Of Letting Go
October 16
You’ll go where you look

There was only one tree in the landing area. Most of its leaves had been stripped away by the winter winds. I didn’t want to hit it, but that’s exactly what I did.

My parachute opened up right over the student landing area, a blessing for someone as new and unsure as I. I flew along the side of the field, turned onto the base leg, and then carefully turned into my final approach just as I’d been taught. There it was, the tree, its scrawny branches reaching up for me. It was all I could see from that point on. I couldn’t take my eyes off of it. For a moment I thought I might clear it. “NO LOW TURNS, NO LOW TURNS,” kept screaming in my ear as I drifted lower and lower, straight toward that tree.

I watched myself sink right into it.

Laughter and applause drifted out from the packing area.

Later another jumper pulled me aside to talk. “Do you know why you hit the tree?” she asked.

“Yes,” I said. “It was in my way.”

“There’s more to it than that,” she said. “You had plenty of time to turn out of the way of the tree. Instead, you watched yourself land right in it. You’ll always go where you look. Look at something long enough to be aware of the potential for trouble, but don’t fixate on the object. If you don’t want to land on top of something, quit staring at it so hard.”

Sometimes we get so focused on what we don’t want and what we’re afraid of, that’s all we can see. We obsess about it, worry, and mull it around in our heads. It’s all we can talk about, think, or feel. Then when we come crashing right into it, we wonder where we went wrong. After all, it was the very thing we had been trying to avoid.

The moral of this story is simple and sweet. Look at where you’re going, but remember you’ll go where you look.

Know what you don’t want. Release your fears. Stay aware and alert to the dangers looming in your peripheral view. Your mind is more powerful than you might believe. If you put all your concentration and energy on something, that’s exactly where you’ll go.

God, help me stay aware and focus my energy on where you want me to go.


Touchstones Meditation For Men
October 16

One of the main reasons wealth makes people unhappy is that it gives them too much control over what they experience. They try to translate their own fantasies into reality instead of tasting what reality itself has to offer.
—Philip Slater

We are constantly told that the way to happiness is through material possessions. “Men who drive this sports car have all the women after them!” “If I could only own this special tool it would make me happy!” What does a man really want? He wants a feeling that his life makes sense. He wants the give and take of loving relationships. He wants to feel he has a place in the world and can make a contribution. And he wants the feeling that he is not standing still, but growing in those ways.

Being poor certainly limits our options, but material wealth is an empty seduction. Putting all our energies into capturing wealth may make us rich, but it also can become an addiction that causes unhappiness. We become much richer in our souls and in our experiences when we take the risks that help us improve our relationships and teach us how to live balanced lives.

I will live each moment in ways that fit my true values.


Daily TAO
October 16

Take the sun. Put it in your heart.
Take the moon. Pull it to your belly.
Draw down the Big Dipper.
Merge with the Northern Star.

We have gone from distant views of gods to a more inner-oriented one. In the past, our relationship was viewed vertically : People were in a subordinate position and the gods were supreme. Without much effort, we can see that this point of view was a reflection of feudalistic definitions and childlike emotions.

By contrast, those who follow Tao declare that gods do not exist.

To think this blasphemous is to miss the point. Rather, those who follow Tao seek a relationship with the divine in which there is no division. They are seeking a state of oneness.

If people are one with their god, then it stands to reason that there is no division between them. If there is no division between them, then they are god and god is them. This doesn’t mean that a person can do all the things that gods are supposedly able to do. Instead, they attain a state of being and understanding where there are no distinctions, fears, or uncertainties about what is divine.

That is why we sometimes contemplate bringing the stars into our very being. We want to merge with Tao. In essence, we become Tao and Tao becomes us.


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