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In Loving Memory of Vic

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Daily Recovery Readings - October 21

NA Just For Today
October 21
God’s Will Today

“This decision demands continued acceptance, ever – increasing faith, and a daily commitment to recovery.”
IP No.14, “One Addict’s Experience…”

Sometimes, we really live the Third Step – and it’s great! We don’t regret the past, we aren’t afraid of the future, and we’re generally pleased with the present. Sometimes, though, we lose our vision of God’s will in our life.

Many of us dream of erasing the mistakes of our past, but the past cannot be erased. Many of us are grateful this is so, for our past experiences have brought us to the recovery we enjoy today. By working the program, we can learn to accept the past and reconcile ourselves with it by amending our wrongs. Those same Twelve Steps can help eliminate our worries over the future. When we practice NA principles on a daily basis in all our affairs, we can leave the results up to our Higher Power.

It seems as though our members with the strongest faith are the ones who are best able to live in the present moment. Enjoyment, appreciation, and gratitude for the quality of our lives – these are the results of faith in life itself. When we practice the principles of our program, today is the only day we need.

Just for today: I will make the most of today, and trust that yesterday and tomorrow are in God’s care.

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Daily Reflections
October 21
NOTHING GROWS IN THE DARK

We will want the good that is in us all, even in the worst of us, to flower and to grow.
AS BILL SEES IT, p. 10

With the self-discipline and insight gained from practicing Step Ten, I begin to know the gratifications of sobriety — not as mere abstinence from alcohol, but as recovery in every department of my life.

I renew hope, regenerate faith, and regain the dignity of self-respect. I discover the word “and” in the phrase “and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it.”Reassured that I am no longer always wrong, I learn to accept myself as I am, with a new sense of the miracles of sobriety and serenity.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day
October 21
A.A. Thought For The Day

Now that we have considered the obligations of real, working members of A.A., let us examine what the rewards are that have come to us as a result of our new way of living.  First, I understand myself more than I ever did before. I have learned what was the matter with me and I know now a lot of what makes me tick. I will never be alone again. I am just one of many who have the illness of alcoholism and one of many who have learned what to do about it. I am not an odd fish or a square peg in a round hole. I seem to have found my right place in the world. Am I beginning to understand myself?

Meditation For The Day

“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If any man hear my voice and open the door, I will come in to him and will remain with him and him with me.” The knocking of God’s spirit, asking to come into your life, is due to no merit of yours, though it is in response to the longing of your heart. Keep a listening ear, an ear bent to catch the sound of the gentle knocking at the door of your heart by the spirit of God. Then open the door of your heart and let God’s spirit come in.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may let God’s spirit come into my heart. I pray that it may fill me with an abiding peace.

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As Bill Sees It
October 21
Toward Partnership, p. 292

When the distortion of family life through alcohol has been great, a long period of patient striving may be necessary. After the husband joins A.A., the wife may become discontented, even highly resentful that A.A. has done the very thing that all her years of devotion had failed to do. Her husband may become so wrapped up in A.A. and his new friends that he is inconsiderately away from home more than when he drank. Each then blames the other.

But eventually the alcoholic, now fully understanding how much he did to hurt his wife and children, nearly always takes up his marriage responsibilities with a willingness to repair what he can and accept what he can’t. He persistently tries all of A.A.’s Twelve Steps in his home, often with fine results. He firmly but lovingly commences to behave like a partner instead of like a bad boy.

12 & 12, pp. 118-119

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Keep It Simple
October 21

Even a stopped clock is right twice a day.
—Anonymous

Nobody’s always wrong. Nobody’s all bad. And that includes us.

Sometimes, we really get down on ourselves. When we do Step Four, we sometimes see only our faults. When we make our Step Ten checkup, we see only our mistakes. We can’t afford to do this. We need to see our strengths too. But even our faults have a good side. Are you stubborn? Good—be stubborn, you know how to hang on to feelings. So, hang on to the good feelings instead of the bad ones.

Each of us is good and wise. What’s good about us got twisted by our disease. But now we can get the kinks out. We are sober, and we have a program to help us.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, help me to see the good in myself and others.

Action for the Day: I’ll take another look at my faults today. How can I use them in good ways?

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Each Day a New Beginning
October 21

The strength of the drive determines the force required to suppress it.
–Mary Jane Sherfey

We are all struggling to succeed. And each day of our lives we’ll be confronted with major or minor adversities that might well interfere with our success. Adversities don’t have to hinder us, however. They can strengthen us, if we incorporate them as opportunities for growth.

For many of us, the ability to handle adversity is a fairly recent phenomenon. And not always can we do it securely and with ease. But we are coming to believe that a power greater than ourselves is at hand and will guarantee us all the strength we’ll ever need. Knowing that action is always possible, that passive acceptance of any condition need never be necessary are unconditional gifts of living the Twelve Step program.

Our path forward is as certain as our commitment to it, our belief in the strength of the program, and our faith that all is well even when times are troubled. No one ever promised that our new way of life would be always easy. But we have been promised that we’ll arrive at our proper destination if we do the footwork and let God do the navigating.

Success is at hand. I will apply what I’m learning, and I’ll meet it.

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Alcoholics Anonymous
October 21
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.

Came the day when I realized that I couldn’t keep dragging myself off to work in the morning and spending half the energy of every day concealing the fact that I was barely a functioning drunk. I would go home to drink until I passed out, come to in the middle of the night terrified, listen to the radio, and get worldwide telephonitis, finally dozing off at dawn, just in time to be awakened by the alarm and start the process all over again. I gave up on relationships of any significance, saw my friends less, and stopped committing myself to most social occasions because I could never count on being sober. More and more, I just worked and went home to drink–and the drinking was starting to outstrip the working.

p. 392

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions
October 21

Tradition Three – “The only requirement for A.A. membership is a desire to stop drinking.”

“We were resolved to admit nobody to A.A. but that hypothetical class of people we termed `pure alcoholics.’ Except for their guzzling, and the unfortunate results thereof, they could have no other complications. So beggars, tramps, asylum inmates, prisoners, queers, plain crackpots, and fallen women were definitely out. Yes sir, we’d cater only to pure and respectable alcoholics! Any others would surely destroy us. Besides, if we took in those odd ones, what would decent people say about us? We built a fine-mesh fence right around A.A.
“Maybe this sounds comical now. Maybe you think we oldtimers were pretty intolerant. But I can tell you there was nothing funny about the situation then. We were grim because we felt our lives and homes were threatened, and that was no laughing matter. Intolerant, you say? Well, we were frightened. Naturally, we began to act like most everybody does when afraid. After all, isn’t fear the true basis of intolerance? Yes, we were intolerant.”

p. 140

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Xtra Thoughts
October 21

S T E P S = Solutions To Every Problem in Sobriety.

C H A N G E = Choosing Honesty Allows New Growth Every day.

Love begins at home, and it is not how much we do… but how much love we put in that action.
–Mother Teresa

Joy increases as you give it, and diminishes as you try to keep it for yourself. In giving it, you will accumulate a deposit of joy greater than you ever believed possible.
–Norman Vincent Peale, Positive Thinking Every Day

God is singing and Creation is the melody.
–David Palmer

Today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday.
–unknown

I didn’t learn humility with my head. I learned humility with my heart.
–unknown

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation
October 21
CONSCIENCE

“In matters of conscience, the law of the majority has no place.”
— Mohandas Gandhi

How I used to hate myself. So many times I caught myself pleasing the crowd, agreeing with people I did not understand or respect, laughing at jokes and opinions I loathed. How I used to hate myself!

Today I have a healthy respect for what the majority may feel but I also trust and follow my conscience. I know that to be in the minority is not necessarily to be in the wrong. My recovery insists that I listen to my conscience, that inner self that is based on a program of honesty, that spiritual cornerstone of my life that I have come to trust.

Now I can say to people, “I do not agree.” Today I give myself permission to disagree with family, friends and colleagues.

May I never follow the crowd because of the numbers: God is one.

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Bible Scriptures
October 21

The LORD himself watches over you! The LORD stands beside you as your protective shade. The sun will not hurt you by day, nor the moon at night. The LORD keeps you from all evil and preserves your life. The LORD keeps watch over you as you come and go, both now and forever.
Psalm 121:5-8

Let me hear of your unfailing love to me in the morning, for I am trusting you. Show me where to walk, for I have come to you in prayer. Save me from my enemies, LORD; I run to you to hide me. Teach me to do your will, for you are my God. May your gracious Spirit lead me forward on a firm footing.
Psalm 143:8-10

“Without wood a fire goes out; without gossip a quarrel dies down.”
Proverbs 26:20

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Daily Inspiration
October 21

There are far more solutions than problems and knowing this is very empowering. Lord, in the encounters of my daily life, may I choose to be part of the solution rather than part of the problem.

No gift is so precious as love. Gratefully trust God and give Him your love. Lord, I give You my heart.

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A Day At A Time
October 21

Reflection For The Day

There’s a world of difference between the idea of self-love and love of self.  Self-love is a reflection of an inflated ego, around which — in our distorted view of our own self-importance– everything must revolve, Self-love is the breeding around for hostility, arrogance, and a host of other character defects which blind us to any points of view but our own.  Love of self, in contrast, is an appreciation of our dignity and value as human beings.  Love of self is an expression of self-realization, from which springs humility.  Do I believe that I can love others best when I have gained love of self?

Today I Pray

May God, who loves me, teach me to love myself.  May I notice that the most arrogant of officious humans are not so completely sure of themselves, after all.  Instead, they are apt to have a painfully low self-image, and insecurity which they clock in pomp and princely trappings.  May God show me that when I can like myself, I am duly crediting Him, since every living thing is a work of God.

Today I Will Remember

I will try to like myself.

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One More Day
October 21

Business runs after nobody; people cling to it pof their own free will and think that to be busy is a proof of happiness.
—   Lucius Annaeus Seneca

Sometimes we need to keep busy just to fill time.  After a loss or health change, we may have great amounts of time to fill.  We may turn to busy work — working having no significance but marking time as we move toward yet another adjustment.  Tool-shop organizing, closet cleaning, and other tasks might be ploys we need, emotionally, to perform in rote fashion.

When we are adjusting, we may need to be busy — to think, to decide on new plans of action, and to move forward.  We won’t need busy work, and we’ll be able to make gains again.  As we make our adjustments, very very slowly, the purpose of our lives will return.

I will put effort into my days to find meaning.  It may be difficult to stay busy, but I can do it.

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One Day At A Time
October 21
Ready

“If we wait for the moment when everything, absolutely everything is ready, we shall never begin.”
–Ivan Turgenev

This was one of my biggest obstacles in recovery: I wanted everything to be perfect. This type of thinking kept me stuck for many years in the disease. Instead of my program being One Day At A Time, it was always “one day later and I will do your will God.”

Now I know that today is all I have. I have no guarantees for tomorrow. So I let go and let God, and do the best I can. I have discovered that I do not have to work a perfect program. Not everything has to be just “right.”

One day at a time…
One day at a time I do the footwork that is required of me and leave the results to God.

~ Terri

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Elder’s Meditation of the Day – October 21

“There is one God looking down on us all. We are children of the one God. God is listening to me. The sun, the darkness, the winds are all listening to what we now say.”
–Geronimo, APACHE

The Old Ones before us knew things. Many of them were so spiritual that the Creator told them things through visions, ceremonies, and prayer. The Creator taught them about interconnectedness, balance and respect. The Old Ones experienced these things and told us we are all children of the same God. We all live under the same natural laws. Every human being, every animal, every plant, every insect, every bird, we are all the same in the eyes of God.

Great Mystery, teach me to respect all the things You have created.

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Journey To The Heart
October 21
Learn to Nurture and Be Nurtured

It was a quiet morning. I was holed up in a hotel room at the mouth of Bryce Canyon, working on this book. Working on my life. I stayed in bed for a while– thinking, pondering, wondering. Finally I got up, went to the restaurant for coffee and a roll, then went for a drive. Soak up nature, I told myself. This journey is a living meditation.

I drove into Bryce Canyon Park, letting the massive stones, the colors and spirals, the eternity of the canyon touch me, heal me, soothe my soul. An hour later, when I felt calmer and more energized, I got back in the car and headed for the park exit. Several cars were jammed up. I wondered if there had been an accident. Then I saw why the others had stopped. A mother deer was standing on the side of the road, gently nuzzling her fawn. She stood by her off-spring’s side, protecting and nurturing.

Many of us barely remember a mother’s nurturing love, some of us do, with fondness and joy. many of us have experienced the great gift of nurturing and loving our children, a joy that opens the heart in a way little else can. Some of us have learned to give and receive nurturing in other ways, in people outside our immediate families. But most of us, along the way, have learned the gift, the wonder, the awe, and the healing blessings of nurturing. Giving and receiving is a continuous cycle, a necessary part of the road to the heart.

Learn to nurture others. Nurture and love yourself. The whole universe will rally aroud and help. Others will applaud your efforts and learn from them, the way passersby stopped to gaze on the deer and her fawn.

Celebrate the power of nurturing. Release its gentle love.. It rests inside each of us, waiting to be seen, appreciated, and brought to life.

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Today’s Gift
October 21

Great events make me quiet and calm; it is only trifles that irritate my nerves.
—Queen Victoria

Isn’t that always the way? We cope with major events, like births and weddings, fairly well. It is the little things – so inconsequential in the long run – that upset us. If the kids don’t pick up their rooms, or dinner is late, or we can’t go to the movies because we haven’t done our homework, we become irritated and annoyed. Minor things like these upset us much more than they should.

Are they really so important? A messy room is not a terminal illness. A late dinner won’t affect our health unless we get so upset about it we make ourselves sick. We’ll survive.

If we think back to the last time we were angry or upset, does it seem important now? We probably can’t even remember why we reacted that way. How much better life is when we let go of the little irritations.

What irritation can I let go of today?

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 The Language of Letting Go
October 21
Financial Responsibility

“When I began recovery from chemical dependency, I had to face my money mess stone cold sober, and I really had a mess,” said one woman.

“I wasn’t able to earn much at first, and it was important to me to make amends. I had past due bills from years before. I needed to try to stay current with my new bills. I had a lot more money before I sobered up. But in time, slowly, gradually, my financial situation cleared up. I restored my credit. I had a checking account. I had a little money in the bank.

“Then I married an alcoholic and began to learn about my codependency – the hard way. I lost myself, my feelings, my sanity, and all the progress I had made with my financial affairs. My husband and I opened a checking account together, and he over drafted checks until I lost the right to have a checking account. I let him charge and charge on my credit card, and he drove that into the ground.

“We borrowed and borrowed to keep our sinking ship afloat – and we borrowed a lot from my parents,” she said. “By the time I began my recovery from codependency, I was again facing a real financial mess. I was furious, but it didn’t matter who did what. I had some serious financial matters to face if that part of my life was ever going to become manageable again.

“Slowly – very slowly – I began to work out of my mess. It seemed impossible! I didn’t even want to face it, it felt so overwhelming and hopeless. But I did. And each day I did the best I could to be responsible for myself.

“One decision I made was to separate and protect myself financially from my husband, the best I could, before and after we divorced. The other decision I made was to face and begin reconstructing the financial affairs in my life.

“It was difficult. We owed over fifty thousand dollars, and my ability to produce income had dramatically decreased. I was grieving; my self-esteem was at an all time low; my energy was low. I did not know how I would ever untangle this nightmare. But it did happen. Slowly, gradually, with the help of a Higher Power, manageability crept in and replaces chaos.

“I began by not spending more than I earned. I paid back some creditors, a little at a time. I let go of what I couldn’t do, and focused on what I could do.

“Now, eight years have passed. I am debt free, which I never imagined possible. I am living comfortably, with money in the bank. My credit has been restored, again. And I intend to keep it that way.

“I am not willing to lose my financial sanity and security again, ever, for love or for alcoholism. With the help of God and the Twelve Steps, I won’t have to.”

One day at a time, we can be restored in recovery – mentally, emotionally, spiritually, physically, and financially. It may get worse before it gets better – because we are finally facing reality instead of dodging it. But once we make the decision to take financial responsibility for ourselves, we are on our way.

God, help me remember that what seems hopeless today can often be solved tomorrow, even if I can’t see the solution. If I have allowed the problems of others to hurt me financially, help me repair and restore my boundaries around money – and what I am willing to lose. Help me understand that I do not have to allow anyone else’s financial irresponsibility, addiction, disease, or problem to hurt me financially. Help me go on with my life in spite of my present financial circumstances, trusting that if I am willing to make amends and be responsible, things will work out.

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More Language Of Letting Go
October 21
Cultivate awareness

Often the words “consciousness” and “awareness” are used interchangeably. … Consciousness is the pulsing vibration that is the essence of all things. Awareness is the individuating “I AM” in each of us. Wherever I am, my awareness is also. When I move, my awareness goes with me. When I focus my awareness on something, I perceive that thing. Through my physical sensory organs, I am aware of sights, sounds, tastes, smells and touch. Through higher sensory perception I am aware of much more.
–Enid Hoffman

Use all your senses, whether you are visualizing the future or sinking into a joyful awareness of where you are right now. Don’t just look at the flower– touch it. Smell it. Feel it.

Don’t just gaze at the people in your life. Hear them. Feel their power and presence.

Slow down. Don’t move so fast. You’ll miss important things. Cultivate awareness. Bring your senses, all of them, into the heart of your life.

Awareness isn’t about looking. It’s about seeing with more than our eyes. Often when we look for a thing, whether it’s a home or a girlfriend, all we can see is our projections– our hopes, fears, past, and desires.

Relax. Stop projecting yourself onto the world. Let go of judgements. Let things and people be what and who they are.

Cultivate awareness by using all your senses.

Learn to see what is.

God, help me slow down and become aware.

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Touchstones Meditation For Men
October 21

No man can produce great things who is not thoroughly sincere in dealing with himself.
—James Russell Lowell

We are in the business of producing miracles. The renewal of life in us and others in this program is a great event and happens only after we establish an honest relationship with ourselves. No longer can we excuse our minimizing and little white lies that push aside the truth. No longer can we deny our private fears and self doubts. In our growing sincerity with ourselves, we can admit our weaknesses. Some of us feel inadequate at our work, many of us have feelings that we aren’t masculine enough, and many of us feel tempted to return to old destructive behaviors.

In this program we have a renewal based on truth. We build upon solid reality rather than upon fiction. Denying the truth to ourselves always made us weaker and sicker than the facts themselves ever could. Viewing the facts from a new position of acceptance shows they aren’t nearly as bad as we thought. Our sincerity with ourselves becomes a solid footing for growth.

My strength today is based upon a sincere relationship with myself.

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Daily TAO
October 21
SITTING

Cat sits in the sun.
Dog sits in the grass.
Turtle sits on the rock.
Frog sits on the lily pad.
Why aren’t people so smart?

Those who follow Tao are fond of pointing out the wisdom of animals.  When they see a cat sitting motionless in the sun or a turtle who stretches her head upward in a still pose, they say that these animals are meditating. They know how to be still and conserve their internal energy. They do not dissipate themselves in useless activity but instead withdraw into themselves to recharge.

It is only people who label meditation as some sort of odd religious activity. This is not the actual case. Something like meditation happens when we sleep, or when we are absorbed in reading a book, or when we “daydream” and become so lost in a thought or an image that we do not notice what is going on around us.

There is no reason to think of meditation as something out of the ordinary. Quite the opposite. Meditation is the purest and most natural expression we can have. When you next look at a cat or a dog sitting still, and admire the naturalness of their actions, think then of your own life. Don’t meditate because it is a part of your schedule or is demanded by your particular philosophy. Meditate because this is natural.

 

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