In Loving Memory of Vic

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Daily Recovery Readings – October 25

Just For Today
October 25
Principles Before Personalities

“Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities.”
Twelfth Tradition

“Principles before personalities.” Many of us chant these words along with the reader whenever the Twelve Traditions are read. The fact that these words have become a cliche of sorts doesn’t make them any less important, either in service or in our lives. These words are an affirmation: “We listen to our conscience and do what’s right, no matter who’s involved.” And that principle serves as one of the cornerstones of recovery as well as our traditions.

What does “principles before personalities” really mean? It means we practice honesty, humility, compassion, tolerance, and patience with everyone, whether we like them or not. Putting principles before personalities teaches us to treat everyone equally. The Twelfth Step asks us to apply principles in all our affairs; the Twelfth Tradition suggests we apply them to our relations with everyone.

Practicing principles doesn’t stop with our friends or when we leave a meeting. It’s for every day, for everyone… in all areas of our lives.

Just for today: I will listen to my conscience and do what’s right. My focus will be on principles, not on people’s personalities.


Daily Reflections
October 25

Without unity, the heart of A.A. would cease to beat; . . . .

Without unity I would be unable to recover in A.A. on a daily basis. By practicing unity within my group, with other A.A. members and at all levels of this great Fellowship, I receive a pronounced feeling of knowing that I am a part of a miracle that was divinely inspired. The ability of Bill W. and Dr. Bob, working together and passing it on to other members, tells me that to give it away is to keep it. Unity is oneness and yet the whole Fellowship is for all of us.


Twenty-Four Hours A Day
October 25
A.A. Thought For The Day

Fifth, I have learned to live one day at a time. I have finally realized the great fact that all I have is now. This sweeps away all vain regret and it makes my thoughts of the future free of fear. Now is mine. I can do what I want with it. I own it, for better or worse. What I do now, in this present moment, is what makes up my life. My whole life is only a succession of nows. I will take this moment, which has been given to me by the grace of God, and I will do something with it. What I do with each now, will make me or break me.  Am I living in the now?

Meditation For The Day

We should work at overcoming ourselves, our selfish desires and our self-centeredness.  This can never be fully accomplished. We can never become entirely unselfish. But we can come to realize that we are not at the center of the universe and that everything does not revolve around us at the center. I am only one cell in a vast network of human cells. I can at least make the effort to conquer the self-life and seek daily to obtain more and more of this self-conquest. “He that overcomes himself is greater than he who conquers a city.”

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may strive to overcome my selfishness. I pray that I may achieve the right perspective of my position in the world.


As Bill Sees It
October 25
Daily Inventory, p. 296

Often, as we review each day, only the closest scrutiny will reveal what our true motives were. There are cases where our ancient enemy rationalization has stepped in and has justified conduct which was really wrong. The temptation here is to imagine that we had good motives and reasons when we really hadn’t.

We “constructively criticized” someone who needed it, when our real motive was to win a useless argument. Or, the person concerned not being present, we thought we were helping others to understand him, when in actuality our true motive was to feel superior by pulling him down.

We hurt those we loved because they needed to be “taught a lesson,” but we really wanted to punish. We were depressed and complained we felt bad, when in fact we were mainly asking for sympathy and attention.

12 & 12, p. 94


Walk In Dry Places
October 25
Different routes to alcoholism
Understanding powerlessness

While alcoholics have much in common, the personal stories heard at AA open meetings show that we took different routes to alcoholism. Some became out-of-control drinkers almost from the beginning. Others lost control slowly after years of seemingly moderate drinking.

These differences are underscored by the fact that we also differ in physical and emotional traits. Some alcoholics, for example, were so emotionally disturbed that they became problem drinkers from the very start. Some appeared to “have it all together,” yet became alcoholics after retirement or some other change in life patterns.

Whatever the route taken, we share in common our individual powerlessness at the time we knocked on AA’s door. And the solution for each of us was the same: sobriety in AA.

The risk in listening to such different personal accounts is that some of us twist these differences into “proof” that we are not alcoholics. The reward of such sharing , however, is learning that we do have a common problem and that there is a solution that fits everyone, in spite of our diffences.

I’ll remember today that I came to AA because I was powerless over alcohol. That has not changed.


Keep It Simple
October 25

Love thy neighbor as thyself, but choose your neighbor.
—Louise Beal

In our program, we learn a lot about loving ourselves. Then we start to see how this helps us love our neighbors. We learn to love ourselves honestly, seeing our strengths and our weaknesses. We learn to see others honestly . We learn how much to trust ourselves and when to get extra help. We learn how much to trust others too. We learn to love ourselves with a love that’s honest and challenging. We learn to love others this way too. We learn to care about others without losing our common sense. We learn to protect our spirits from harm.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, help me see others clearly. Help me love them. But help me choose carefully who I trust.

Action for the Day: Today, I’ll list three people I trust the most, and I’ll write down why.


Each Day a New Beginning
October 25

Love has the quality of informing almost everything–even one’s work.
–Sylvia Ashton-Warner

We are changed through loving and being loved. Our attitudes are profoundly and positively affected by the presence of love in our lives. Each time we offer a loving response to a friend, co-worker, even a stranger, we powerfully influence the dynamics of the interaction between us.

Every response we make to someone changes us while it informs him or her. When we treat others with disdain, we invite the same. When we express only criticism of others, our self-assessment is equally negative. The beauty of a loving posture is that it calls forth love in response. The more love we give away, the more we receive.

Any task before us is lessened when we carry love in our hearts. Love is more powerful than fear. Love helps to open the channel to God, assuring us of the strength, the understanding, and the patience needed to complete any assignment confronting us.

God loves me, unconditionally. And I will experience the reality of that love the more I give it away. Love wants to change me–and it can.


Alcoholics Anonymous
October 25

– 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 last hangover was on a Friday before a long summer weekend. I had struggled through the day feeling small and hopeless, hiding the trembling of my hands when I had to sign documents, and desperately working to wrap my tongue around words during meetings. Later that Friday night, after an agonizingly long workday, I was dragging myself up the deserted street thinking that the whole world, except for me, had someplace to go on that long weekend, and what’s more, they all had someone to go with.

pp. 393-394


Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions
October 25

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

A newcomer appeared at one of these groups, knocked on the door and asked to be let in. He talked frankly with that group’s oldest member. He soon proved that his was a desperate case, and that above all he wanted to get well. “But,” he asked, “will you let me join your group? Since I am the victim of another addiction even worse stigmatized than alcoholism, you may not want me among you. Or will you?”
There was the dilemma. What should the group do? The oldest member summoned two others, and in confidence laid the explosive facts in their laps. Said he, “Well, what about it? If we turn this man away, he’ll soon die. If we allow him in, only god knows what trouble he’ll brew. What shall the answer be – yes or no?”

pp. 141-142


Xtra Thoughts
October 25

“Be the change you want to see in the world.”
–Mohandas Ghandi

Who has never tasted what is bitter does not know what is sweet.
–German Proverb

It doesn’t take a lot of effort to know the needs of another person. By helping others you are helping yourself.

Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.
–Abraham Lincoln

In just two days, tomorrow will be yesterday.

Learn to enjoy little things; there are so many of them!


Father Leo’s Daily Meditation
October 25

“Better bend than break.”
— Scottish Proverb

Dis-ease: to be controlling, stiff, uncomfortable and unbending.

Sobriety: being relaxed, comfortable and flexible in my personal life and my interaction with others.

Life: not a race but an experience; it is not an exercise but an adventure.

Before I accepted my alcoholism, I went through periods of “dryness” — when I was rigid, stiff and unbending. It was awful! Everything became a test, a job, a premeditated act behind a mask of cheerfulness. I was angry, resentful and in pain. My problem was that I stopped drinking to please other people, rather than accept the true nature of my disease. Dryness is controlled denial.

Today the sobriety I have gained from an acceptance of self has overflowed into an acceptance of life on life’s terms — and I am happy.

Let the wind of experience continue to bend me in the knowledge of Your love.


Bible Scriptures
October 25

“From the rising of the sun to its going down the Lord’s name is to be praised.”
Psalms 113:3

So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. The man who plants and the man who waters have one purpose, and each will be rewarded according to his own labor. For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building.
1 Corinthians 3:7-9

“Trust in the LORD, and do good; Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness. Delight yourself also in the LORD, And He shall give you the desires of your heart.”
Psalm 37:3-4

The LORD opens the eyes of the blind. The LORD lifts the burdens of those bent beneath their loads. The LORD loves the righteous. The LORD protects the foreigners among us. He cares for the orphans and widows, but he frustrates the plans of the wicked. The LORD will reign forever.
Psalm 146:8-10


Daily Inspiration
October 25

Treat your family as you would treat a best friend. Lord, help me to treasure my family with all of their imperfections as well as my own and cherish the time we have together.

There is no real happiness without God and no peace when we separate ourselves from Him. Lord, You said, “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you”. I give you my troubled heart.


A Day At A Time
October 25

Reflection For The Day

My addictions were like thieves in more ways than I can count.  They robbed me not only of money, property and other material things, but of dignity and self-respect, while my family and friends suffered right along with me.  My addictions also robbed me of the ability to treat myself properly, as God would treat me.  Today, in total contrast, I’m capable of true love of self — to the extent that I’m able to provide myself with more love than even I need.  So I give that love away to other people in The Program, just as they have given their love to me.  Do I thank God for their love to me.  Do I thank God for bringing me to a Program in which sick people are loved back to health?

Today I Pray

Thanks be to God for a way of life which generates such love and caring that we in The Program can’t help but learn to love ourselves.  When I see that someone cares about me, I am more apt to be convinced that perhaps I am, after all, worth caring about.  May I be conscious always of the love I am now able to give — and give it.

Today I Will Remember

Someone caring about me makes me feel worth caring about.


One More Day
October 25

The more things you love, the more you are interested in, the more you enjoy, the more you have left when anything happens.
–Ethel Barrymore

Now is a good time for us to pursue our interest and to nurture both new and old relationships.  We understands so well how easily and quickly our circumstances can change.  This understanding nudges us to expand our experience.

No one of us is immune from the troubles of life.  Whether the problem is loss of a job or loss of a home, good health, or a dear friend, we all suffer at one time or another.  Keeping our lives as full as possible with the love of good people and the challenge of activities provides support even when times get tough.

Tragedies and hard times will affect me, but I know I have the ability to move on.


One Day At A Time
October 25

“If you’re going through hell, keep going.”
–Winston Churchill

Recovery work takes great courage. Everyone who tells you differently has not explored themselves in great depth.

It takes great courage for many of us to get up each morning to face a day of physical challenge. Others feel the pull of emotions, job, or family issues.

If but for today, reach inside and give yourself a big hug for being willing to hang on one minute longer. That minute will turn into moments, and before you know it, you will have lived out the Program message, “One day at a time.”

One day at a time…
I will honor and celebrate the courage shown in working this program.

~ January K.


Elder’s Meditation of the Day October 25

“What does it matter how long I pray, so long as my prayers are answered?”

Too often we worry about the words we use in prayer.
We focus on the words.
What really counts is the spirit and intent behind our words.
It is the spirit and intent that the Creator responds to.
He reads and listens to our heart.
Prayer isn’t only when we fold our hands and pray.
Prayer is when we talk to the Creator even when we are walking down a path or sitting on a hill or walking in the mountains.

The Elders say, walk in prayer. We should be willing to talk with the Great One.

Great Spirit, today I will pray to You all day. Listen to my heart.


Journey To The Heart
October 25
Replenish Yourself

Some of us don’t know how tired we are until we try to relax. Then we realize we’re exhausted.

We may have lived with exhaustion and stress so long it’s become habitual. That doesn’t mean we’re bad or wrong, or even off track. Many of us are deeply involved in activities, work, projects, and relationships we enjoy. We like our lives and the things we’re doing. But sometimes we’ve pushed too hard or too long. Sometimes we haven’t given our bodies adequate time to relax, to rest, to really let go.

It’s all right to take time out. Relax. Refresh. Regroup. It’s all right to rest even if we’re busy, rest often enough to keep ourselves replenished. Get in touch with your body, then stay in touch with yourself.

Find out how tired you are. Then let your body tell you what it needs to come back to life and love.


Today’s Gift
October 25

I love him and I cannot seem to find him.

Where can we find the ones we love? Do they always live in our world, or do we have to go out of our way? They often are not at home; we can find them at their work. Their play is different from ours; we could try having their kind of fun.

Too often, we look only for friends who are much like ourselves, and we tend to avoid those who are not. This kind of narrow-mindedness isn’t fair to others or ourselves. We are each unique, like the pieces of a puzzle. We are each necessary to the whole picture.

When we go out of our way to know someone else better, we stretch our own boundaries; we give ourselves new space in which to grow.

What part of my life can I discover in someone new today?


The Language Of Letting Go
October 25
Letting Go of the Past

… in thy book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me when as yet there was none of them.
–Ps. 139:16

Some people believe that each of our days were planned, Divinely Ordered, before we were born. God knew, they say, and planned exactly what was to transpire.

Others suggest we chose, we participated in planning our life – the events, the people, the circumstances that were to take place, in order to work through our issues and learn the lessons we needed to master.

Whatever our philosophy, our interpretation can be similar: Our past is neither an accident nor a mistake. We have been where we needed to be, with the necessary people. We can embrace our history, with its pain, its imperfections, and its mistakes, even its tragedies. It is uniquely ours; it was intended just for us.

Today, we are right where we need to be. Our present circumstances are exactly as they need to be – for now.

Today, I will let go of my guilt and fear about my past and present circumstances. I will trust that where I have been and where I am now are right for me.


More Language Of Letting Go
October 25
Stop tricking yourself

Even the best of us get tricked from time to time. Someone comes along and impresses us with magic. Later we discover it wasn’t magic, just illusions.

Sometimes the issue isn’t that people were trying to trick us. We tricked ourselves. We saw what we wanted to see, regardless of what reality was. Then, when reality started to creep in, we told ourselves if we held our breath and didn’t feel our feelings and hoped long and hard enough, reality would change.

We don’t have to get mad at ourselves when we get tricked, even if we’ve fooled ourselves. We need to see and acknowledge the truth and become aware of what reality is.

Don’t let your embarrassment over finding yourself in a bad situation cloud your view of yourself. Sometimes all we need to do is acknowledge the truth, including the truth about how we feel. In a few days or a few months, the solution will become clear.

When all the illusions drop away, that’s when real magic begins. You’ll be guided along your path.

God, help me remember that when I admit and accept the truth, I’ll be given the power and guidance to change.


Touchstones Meditation For Men
October 25

The wild geese do not intend to cast their reflection; the water has no mind to receive their image.
—Zenrin poem

There are moments which simply happen through no conscious intention or will on anyone’s part. The image of an old woman with a peaceful face, the smell of smoke rising from a chimney on a chilly night, the knowing look of recognition from a friend as we make a comment, the special feeling of a touch. These are spiritual moments because they reach a deeper part of our being. They are like a sliver in time set aside which nourishes our souls and adds serenity to our lives.

We grow when we learn to notice these kinds of moments. In our willfulness, we have often missed them before because we simply were not open to anything we weren’t already looking for. This world is so much larger than the human mind. In recovery, we can take time to admire the beauty reflected around us.

Today, I will let the rest of life intrude upon my mind. I will let myself be nourished by what comes along.


Daily TAO
October 25

Unless you are pious,
You cannot gain a foothold in Tao.
Unless you go beyond rules,
You haven’t gained the middle.
Unless you can be creative,
You aren’t traversing Tao.
Unless the road always stretches out before you,
You are not walking the true Tao.

When people start on a spiritual path, they are anxious to learn all the rules. This is understandable, even necessary. Often we need stern measures to set ourselves right.

But dogmatism is not spirituality. Sometimes, it is necessary to break rules. The task is to know how to go against doctrine in a way that actually fulfills the spirit of that doctrine. It is only at this point that one matures as a follower of Tao.

The next stage is complete creativity. You have so internalized doctrine that you need not think of it, yet everything you do will be spontaneously correct. There are many stages after that, stages not documented but there for you to explore on your own.

Those who follow Tao recognize that all people go through stages of development. Many people leave their spiritual communities when they outgrow them. The path of Tao has been conceived so that one never outgrows it. One can outgrow a particular stage, but when that happens, there is another one to be entered. In this way, following Tao is always vital.

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