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In Loving Memory of Vic

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Daily Recovery Readings – October 24

NA Just For Today
October 24
Responsibility

“We are not responsible for our disease, only for our recovery. As we begin to apply what we have learned, our lives begin to change for the better.”
Basic Text, p.88

The further we go in recovery, the less we avoid responsibility for ourselves and our actions. By applying the principles of the Narcotics Anonymous program, we are able to change our lives. Our existence takes on new meaning as we accept responsibility and the freedom of choice responsibility implies. We do not take recovery for granted.

We take responsibility for our recovery by working the Twelve Steps with a sponsor. We go to meetings regularly and share with the newcomer what was freely given to us: the gift of recovery. We become involved with our home group and accept responsibility for our part in sharing recovery with the still-suffering addict. As we learn how to effectively practice spiritual principles in all areas of our lives, the quality of our lives improves.

Just for today: Using the spiritual tools I’ve gained in recovery, I am willing and able to make responsible choices.

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Daily Reflections
October 24
“BY FAITH AND BY WORKS”

On anvils of experience, the structure of our Society was hammered out. . . . Thus has it been with A.A. By faith and by works we have been able to build upon the lessons of an incredible experience. They live today in the Twelve Traditions of Alcoholics Anonymous, which – God willing – shall sustain us in unity for so long as He may need us.
TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 131

God has allowed me the right to be wrong in order for our Fellowship to exist as it does today. If I place God’s will first in my life, it is very likely that A.A. as I know it today will remain as it is.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day
October 24
A.A. Thought For The Day

I have turned to a Power greater than myself. Thank God, I am no longer at the center of the universe. All the world does not revolve around me any longer. I am only one among many. I have a Father in Heaven and I am only one of His children and a small one at that. But I can depend on Him to show me what to do and to give me the strength to do it. I am on the Way and the whole power of the universe is behind me when I do the right thing. I do not have to depend entirely on myself any longer. With God, I can face anything. Is my life in the hands of God?

Meditation For The Day

The grace of God is an assurance against all evil. It holds out security to the believing soul. The grace of God means safety in the midst of evil. You can be kept unspotted by the world through the power of His grace. You can have a new life of power. But only in close contact with the grace of God is its power realized. In order to realize it and benefit from it, you must have daily quiet communion with God, so that the power of His grace will come unhindered into your soul.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may be kept from evil by the grace of God. I pray that henceforth I will try to keep myself more unspotted by the world.

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As Bill Sees It
October 24
Praying Rightly, p.295

We thought we had been deeply serious about religious practices.  However, upon honest appraisal we found that we had been most superficial. Or sometimes, going to extremes, we had wallowed in emotionalism and had also mistaken this for true religious feeling.  In both cases, we had been asking something for nothing.

We had not prayed rightly. We had always said, “Grant me my wishes,” instead of “Thy will be done.” The love of God and man we understood not at all. Therefore, we remained self-deceived, and so incapable of receiving enough grace to restore us to sanity.

12 & 12, p. 32

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Walk In Dry Places
October 24
Light for Dark corners
Honesty

Newspaper writers know that there’s usually a future story in the “dark side” of any person who is being lavishly praised in the media. That’s because almost every person has a “dark side” or secrets that are carefully guarded.

We should look for such dark corners in our own lives. Most of us are not public figures fearing exposure, but recovering people seeking to stay sober and healthy.

We can begin to illuminate our dark corners by discussing our secrets with others. This does not necessarily eliminate whatever shortcoming is involved, but our honesty is a step in the right direction.

False pride may also play a part in keeping dark secrets from others, causing fear that others might see us as we really are. Thus, learning to confront and confess our dark sides can lead to victory over both fear and pride.

I’ll strive today to be honest about any weaknesses or wrongs that I’ve been concealing. Under the light of such honesty, my dark secrets can be transformed

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Keep It Simple
October 24

Sin has many tools, but a lie is the handle that fits them all.
—Oliver Wendell Homes

Lying, above anything else, brings us close to getting crazy again. Lying is what addicts do.  In our addiction, our whole life was a lie.

Lying creates danger because it creates secrets. Secrets keep us from others. To stay sober, we need to stay close to people. We can’t make it on our own.

Lying creates danger because it creates shame. A lie, like a drink, may make us feel good for the moment. But in the long run, it creates shame.

Do we still lie to deal with the world? Lies are like drinks—one leads to another.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, help me to live today free of lies.

Action for the Day: For the next twenty-four hours, I will tell no lies. If I do I’ll go back and do Step Ten. I will remember that lies can lead to relapse.

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Each Day a New Beginning
October 24

The universal human yearning [is] for something permanent, enduring, without shadow of change.
–Willa Cather

The specter of change builds dread in most of us. We fear the effects on our personal lives. We lack faith that the impending change will benefit us. Only time can assure us of that. And it will, just as every change we’ve survived up to now has done.

Changes are gifts, really. They come as hallmarks to our present attainments. They signify successful growth. How we struggle to understand this, and how quickly we forget it once we have adapted to the change. The struggle is then repeated the next time change visits us.

We long for permanence, believing it guarantees security, not realizing the only real security available to us comes with our trust in God, from whom all change comes as a blessing on the growth we’ve attained. If we were to experience total lack of change, we’d find death. Life is challenge, continued change, always endurable and growth-enhancing. We can reflect on what’s gone before, and trust that which faces us now.

Change means I am progressing, on course.

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Alcoholics Anonymous
October 24
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.

My first meeting back at A.A. was on an unseasonably hot June night, but there was not a cool drink in sight in that church basement. The smoke could have choked a horse (today, it is much improved), and a fanatical woman with smiling bright eyes eagerly explained to me that they had this important book I should buy. Thinking that they were doing the book promotion because they needed money, I said firmly, “I’ll give you the money, but I don’t want your book!” Which about sums up my attitude and explains why, for the next few months, I continued to get drunk in spite of dragging my body to meetings every few days. I would stare at the large vodka bottle in my kitchen cupboard and say, “You won’t get me!” but it did; I always lost the battle and ended up drunk.

p. 393

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions
October 24

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

As group after group saw these possibilities, they finally abandoned all membership regulations. One dramatic experience after another clinched this determination until it became our universal tradition. Here are two examples:
On the A.A. calendar it was Year Two. In that time nothing could be seen but two struggling, nameless groups of alcoholics trying to hold their faces up to the light.

p. 141

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Xtra Thoughts
October 24

“Every moment is an opportunity for those who are ready to seize it.”
–unknown

Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.
–Leo Buscaglia

Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds you plant.
–Robert Louis Stevenson

It is easy to sit up and take notice. What is difficult is getting up and taking action.
–Al Batt

Nature gave men two ends – one to sit on and one to think with. Ever since then man’s success or failure has been dependent on the one he used most.
–George R. Kirkpatrick

“Worry drives us to prayer and prayer drives away the worry.”
–Eliz McJunkin

A truly happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery on a detour.  Contentment comes from making the most of what you have and going with it.
–unknown

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation
October 24
CYNICS

“A cynic is a man who, when he smells flowers, looks around for a coffin.”
— H. L. Mencken

There was a time when I always felt that life was out to get me. I always looked on the “black” side of life. I was forever being negative and pessimistic I would always be surrounded by sick and destructive human beings. Whenever people offered hope or tried to help me, I turned away and rejected them. For years I created the pain and misery in my life.

Then a close friend forced himself into my life and gave me a dose of “tough love”. He made me see that I was wallowing in self-pity. He cared enough to intervene and tell me what I did not want to hear.

Today I have some years of recovery from alcoholism and I carry the message.

I pray that I may always love myself and others enough to take a risk.

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Bible Scriptures
October 24

“For we walk by faith, not by sight.”
2 Corinthians 5:7

The LORD is righteous in everything he does; he is filled with kindness.
The LORD is close to all who call on him, yes, to all who call on him sincerely. He fulfills
the desires of those who fear him; he hears their cries for help and rescues them. The
LORD protects all those who love him, but he destroys the wicked. I will praise the
LORD, and everyone on earth will bless his holy name forever and forever.
Psalm 145:17-21

My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.
1 John 3:18

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Daily Inspiration
October 24

Do not be discouraged if it seems that there is no response to your prayers at this time. God always responds. Lord, Your wisdom always responds to my needs with unceasing peace and love and when I listen and give thanks I am blessed with results that bring goodness to me in better ways than I expect.

Through the power of God within me, I am stronger than any of my circumstances. Lord, I seek, I knock and I ask and You are always there and ready to give me the miracles that I need.d

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A Day At A Time
October 24

Reflection For The Day

So many of us in The Program went through childhood — as well as part of our adult lives — emotionally shackled with the terrible burden called shyness. We found it difficult to walk into crowded rooms, to converse with even our friends, to make eye contact with anyone. The agonies we suffered! We learn in The Program that shyness is just another manifestation of self-centered fear, which is the root of all our character defects. Shyness, specifically, is fear of what others think or might think about us. To our enormous relief, our shyness gradually leaves us as we work The Program and interact with others. Am I aware that I’m okay as long as I don’t concentrate on me?

Today I Pray

God, may I be grateful that I am getting over my shyness, after years of pulling back from people, squirming, blushing, blurting out all the “wrong things” or blurting out all the sayings nothing at all — then reliving the agonies and imagining what I should have said and done. May I know that it has taken a full-blown addiction and a lot of caring people to convince me that I’m Okay — and you’re Okay, he’s Okay, and so is she.

Today I Will Remember

A cure for shyness is caring about someone else.

 

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One More Day
October 24

We conceal it from oursleves in vain — we must always hav esomething.
–Blaise Pascal

Not knowing how to love may imperil our very existence. Although love doesn’t literally nourish our bodies, not being able to love strips us of our humanness.

Romantic love is only one part of our capacity to love, for there is also the ability to love our friends, family, and our fellow human beings. The ripple effect of our well-being will spread, both within us and from us, and we will begin to nourish our souls as well.

We also learn to love ourselves — all that we are. Self-love enhances our self-image. A strong sense of esteem enhances our entire lives.

I need to love and be loved. It is essential to my psychic well-being that I understand the importance of loving.

 

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Elder’s Meditation of the Day October 24

“We create that bad among ourselves.
We create it; then we try to call it devil, satan, or evil.
But man creates it.
There is no devil.
Man creates the devil.”
–Wallace Black Elk, LAKOTA

Inside every human being are the laws and codes by which we should live. These laws and codes are communicated to us through a little voice. When we are still, this voice guides us.

If we choose to live out of harmony, our lives become filled with anger, hate, selfishness, dishonesty, etc… When these things appear in our lives, we give up accountability and blame it on something or someone else.

If we want to live in harmony, we need to pray our way back to living the principles the Creator gave us.

Grandfather, today let me walk with the principles.

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Journey To The Heart
October 24
Share Your Heart with the World

Share your heart with the world. Share willingly, openly, joyfully what you have seen, what you have learned.

Don’t tell people how you think you should have handled things. That’s shame. It teaches others to feel ashamed,too. Don’t tell people how you wish you had handled things. That’s needless regret that we pass on to others.

Share honestly and openly about yourself, the way you felt, the things you thought. Share how going through your experience changed you. Talk about your resistance, your pain, the imperfect way you did things, the way you handle things now.

Sharing honestly and openly teaches people aroud us the most helpful truth– that the imperfect way we live our lives is right for us at the time. When we love and accept ourselves enough to honestly share who we are, it helps those we touch to believe that they’re good anough,too.

Share your heart with the world and you will bring healing to those you touch.

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Today’s Gift
October 24

Before he closed his eyes, he let them wander round his old room . . . familiar and friendly things . . . which were so glad to see him again and could always be counted on for the same simple welcome.
—Kenneth Grahame

When they moved into the house, the room at the top of the stairs was just a junk room. As the years passed, they slowly transformed the room into a guest room.

When they decided they needed another voice in the house, they transformed the room again: out went the fold-out couch, in came a crib and rocking chair; off went the art gallery prints from the walls, up went Winnie-the-Pooh. It was no longer a guest room, but a place for the baby, a new – and permanent – member of the family.

We always have room for more in our lives. When we are ready for it, what we need for growth will emerge.

What do the rooms inside our homes and ourselves have to tell us about the way we live our lives?

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The Language Of Letting Go
October 24
Opening Ourselves to Love

Open ourselves to the love that is available to us.

We do not have to limit our sources of love. God and the Universe have an unlimited supply of what we need, including love.

When we are open to receiving love, we will begin to receive it. It may come from the most surprising places, including from within us.

We will be open to and aware of the love that is and has been there for us all along. We will feel and appreciate the love from friends. We will notice and enjoy the love that comes to us from family.

We will be ready to receive love in our special love relationships too. We do not have to accept love from unsafe people – people who will exploit us or with whom we don’t want to have relationships.

But there is plenty of good love available – love that heals our heart, meets our needs, and makes our spirit sing.

We have denied ourselves too long. We have been martyrs too long. We have given so much and allowed ourselves to receive too little. We have paid our dues. It is time to continue the chain of giving and receiving by allowing ourselves to receive.

Today, I will open myself to the love that is coming to me from the Universe. I will accept it and enjoy it when it comes.

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More Language Of Letting Go
October 24
What you see isn’t always what you get

I was walking through the mall when I saw a photo booth at one of the kiosks. A large green screen hung as a backdrop and the photographer had her subjects stand in front of it in various poses. After taking the photo, she used a computer to paste it into a scene. You might then look like an aligator wrestler, a snowboarder, a hapless adventurer getting run over by his own jeep.

What you see is not always what you get. People are not always what they seem. It’s easy for others to paint an inaccurate picture either to impress and manipulate us into doing what they want us to do. Understand that while many, even most, of the people in your life will be honest, there will be those who will paint a false picture. They will claim to have experience that you don’t have, they will claim to know the secret of how to live your life, they will claim to be something they’re not. They will try to use their self-exalted position to control and manipulate you.

Be aware of people who would manipulate you by pasting themselves into a false background or scene. Don’t just take things at face value. Take your time, as much time as you need, to see what the real background is.

Most of us get misled from time to time. Sometimes people con us. Other times we trick ourselves. Let go of naivete.

God, if I start getting conned or manipulated, please show me and help me see the truth.

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Touchstones Meditation For Men
October 24

Become nothing before God, learn to keep silent; in this silence is the beginning, which is first to seek God’s kingdom.
—Soren Kierkegaard

So many devastating things can bring us to our knees. With experience we learn that pain and trouble are part of life. Most of us have fought against everyday realities as if they were our personal enemies. We accepted every challenge, thinking we had to be winners every time. Today we may feel broken by the loss of a love, by a disappointing job experience, or by our powerlessness over a loved one.

In our brokenness we find our true humanity. It is the beginning of our spiritual awakening. As men we thought surrender was a word for losers and weaklings. Living this program teaches us that accepting our brokenness opens us to a new kind of wholeness. After we acknowledge we are not in control of every event in our lives, and after admitting our addiction and codependency have controlled us, we come alive inside with the rich new experience of being a person.

God, help me today to learn the spiritual lesson contained in my frustrations and grief.

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Daily TAO
October 24
CORE

What is the difference between a monk and a husband?
What is the difference between a priest and layperson?
I accept that this world is terrible and full of suffering.
And I also enjoy happiness when it comes to me.
As long as I am with Tao, distinctions are superfluous.

A spiritual initiate should not feel smug. They have no greater chance of enlightenment than ordinary people. An ordinary person shouldn’t look down on the holy aspirant; everyday life is so full of distractions that finding spirituality is not easy. Frankly, neither being a religious initiate nor being a layperson is the deciding factor in whether a person finds Tao or not. Identities only get in the way.

I do not need to pretend that I am anyone other than myself. I do not need to feel insecure about my perceptions. The self-cultivation that I undertake is to perfect who I am, not to become someone other than who I am.

I pursue the spiritual because it gives me tremendous satisfaction. I do not pursue it because of threats of hell, ignorance, or suffering.

Life has its sad and happy moments. I accept them all. Life has its times of dispassion and utter serenity. Those are the moments that I seek. They give me my path through the myriad phenomena of this existence. I do not compare myself to ascetics and priests. Let them have their lives. I enjoy mine.

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