Friday, 23 February 2018

Random Big Book Alcoholics Anonymous

All of us felt at times that we were regaining control, but such intervals--usually brief--were inevitably followed by still less control which led in time to pitiful and incomprehensible demoralization. We are convinced to a man that alcoholics of our type are in the grip of a progressive illness. Over any considerable period we get worse, never better. ~ Big Book Alcoholics Anonymous

The Revelation Of Silence - Anthony De Mello



Daily Dose Of Emmet Fox #essentialsofrecovery


BEAR HUGS KETTLE

There is an anecdote of the Far West that carries a wonderful lesson. It appears that a party of hunters, being called away from their camp, left the campfire unattended, with a kettle of water boiling on it. 

Presently an old bear crept out of the woods, and, seeing the kettle with its lid dancing about on top, promptly seized it. The boiling water scalded him badly; but instead of dropping hte kettle instantly, he proceeded to hug it tightly - this being a bear's idea of defense. Of course, the tighter he hugged it the more it burned him; and the more it burned him the tighter he hugged it; and so on in a vicious circle, to the undoing of the bear. 

This illustrates perfectly the way in which many people hug their difficulties to their bosoms by constantly rehearsing them to themselves and to others. 

Whenever you catch yourself thinking about your grievances, say to yourself sternly: "Bear hugs kettle," and think about God instead. You will be surprised how quickly some long-standing wounds will heal. 

Mine eyes are ever toward the Lord ... (Psalm 25:15). 
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Daily Reflections #essentialsofrecovery


MYSTERIOUS PARADOXES


Such is the paradox of A.A. regeneration: strength arising out of complete defeat and weakness, the loss of one’s old life as a condition for finding a new one. 

A.A. COMES OF AGE, p. 46

What glorious mysteries paradoxes are! They do not compute, yet when recognized and accepted, they reaffirm something in the universe beyond human logic. When I face a fear, I am given courage; when I support a brother or sister, my capacity to love myself is increased; when I accept a pain as part of the growing experience of life, I realize a greater happiness; when I look at my dark side, I am brought into new light; when I accept my vulnerabilities and surrender to a Higher Power, I am graced with unforeseen strength. I stumbled through the doors of A.A. in disgrace, expecting nothing from life, and I have been given hope and dignity. Miraculously, the only way to keep the gifts of the program is to pass them on.
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Just For Today #essentialsofrecovery

Messages And Messengers

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

Tradition Twelve

The Twelfth Tradition reminds us of the importance of putting “principles before personalities.” In recovery meetings, this might be paraphrased, “don’t shoot the messenger!” We often get the message confused with the messenger, and negate what someone shares at a meeting because we have personality conflicts with the person speaking.

If we are having problems with what certain people have to share at meetings, we might want to seek the guidance of our sponsor. Our sponsor can help us concentrate on what’s being said rather than who’s saying it. Our sponsor can also help us address the resentments that may be keeping us from acknowledging the value of some particular person’s recovery experience. It is surprising how much more we can get out of meetings when we allow ourselves to do as our Twelfth Tradition suggests, focusing on recovery principles rather than personalities.

Just for today: I will practice the principle of anonymity in today’s NA meeting. I will focus on the message of recovery, not the personality of the messenger.
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Twenty-Four Hours A Day #essentialsofrecovery

A.A. Thought For The Day

Besides our jobs, our families, our friends and our sobriety, we have something else which many of us found through A.A. That’s faith in a Power greater than ourselves, to which we can turn for help: faith in that Divine Principle in the universe which we call God and which is on our side as long as we do the right thing. There have been many days in the past when, if we had taken an inventory, we’d have found ourselves very much in the red, without sobriety and therefore without jobs, families, friends or faith in God. We now have these things because we’re sober. Do I make one resolution every day of my life–to stay sober?

Meditation For The Day

Love the busy life. It is a joy-filled life. Take your fill of joy in the Spring. Live outdoors whenever possible. Sun and air are nature’s great healing forces. That inward joy changes poisoned blood into pure, healthy, life-giving flow. But never forget that the real healing of the spirit comes from within, from the close, loving contact of your spirit with God’s spirit. Keep in close communion with God’s spirit day by day.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may learn to live the abundant life. I pray that I may enjoy a close contact with God this day and be glad in it.
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As Bill Sees It #essentialsofrecovery

To Deepen Our Insight, p. 54

It is necessary that we extricate from an examination of our personal relations every bit of information about ourselves and our fundamental difficulties that we can. Since defective relations with other human beings have nearly always been the immediate cause of our woes, including our alcoholism, no field of investigation could yield more satisfying and valuable rewards than this one.

Calm, thoughtful reflection upon personal relations can deepen our insight. We can go far beyond those things which were superficially wrong with us, to see those flaws which were basic, flaws which sometimes were responsible for the whole pattern of our lives. Thoroughness, we have found, will pay–and pay handsomely.

12 &12, p. 80 
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Walk In Dry Places #essentialsofrecovery

We always have choices
Decision Making


Self-pity is often rooted in the strong feeling that people or conditions have victimized us. “I never had a chance” and “You deceived me!” are common complaints that reveal self-pity.

It is astonishing and humbling to learn that we always have choices, even when other people or bad conditions are grinding us down. One of the great discoveries of the Twelve Step movement is that alcoholics could begin to recover no matter how helpless they had become, no matter how far they had slid into defeat and despair. Once a decision was made to seek sobriety as a primary goal, other choices and decisions became possible.

We choose our attitudes and responses. We have neither the power nor the right to control others, but we can choose to soften our attitudes toward them, and we can forgive and release people we don’t like.

We can always choose how we want to think and feel. It may take effort to break the habit of feeling victimized and sorry for ourselves, but our higher power will show us the way if we decide that is what we really want.

Nobody can ruffle my feathers today or make me feel oppressed and victimized. I can always make choices that will enhance my sobriety and place me on a better footing for the days ahead.
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Keep It Simple #essentialsofrecovery


Hitch your wagon to a star.—Ralph Waldo Emerson

Millions of people are sober and have peace of mind through the Twelve Steps. Like the stars, the Steps are always there. At times, clouds block our view of the stars, but we know they are still there. Let’s view the Twelve Steps the same way.

It is said that the stars are the gate to heaven, that we pass through their beauty to get ready to enter heaven. The Twelve Steps are the gate to spirituality here on earth. We travel through their beauty on our way to a spiritual awakening. Hitch your wagon to the Steps, and get ready for the ride of a lifetime.

Prayer for the Day: I pray to remember that the Steps keep me sober. I pray that I will follow where the Steps take me.

Action For the Day: I’ll look at the stars tonight. I’ll think of them as symbols of my life touched by the Twelve Steps.
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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation #essentialsofrecovery

THOUGHT


“I was a free-thinker before I knew how to think.”

— George Bernard Shaw

All of us are influenced by somebody. Not to be influenced is to remain an ignorant person. Most of us hinder our thinking, particularly around spiritual things, because of pride. We don’t like change. We find it hard to accept attitudes and opinions that differ from our own. Pride keeps us deaf and often stupid. However, the daily program of a lived spirituality encourages a variety of opinions and attitudes. We can learn from different customs, lifestyles and religions. We can be helped in our understanding of life by the stranger.

I know that I do not have all the answers. Perhaps you carry my answers. Today I am prepared to listen to you.

God, the sustainer of all religions and philosophies, help us to discover You in our differences.
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A Day At A Time #essentialsofrecovery

Reflection For The Day

The Twelve Steps teach us that as faith grows, so does security. The terrifying fear of nothingness begins to subside. As we work The Program, we find that the basic antidote for fear is a spiritual awakening. We lose the fear of making decisions, for we realize that if our choice proves wrong, we can learn from the experience. and should our decision be the right one, we can thank God for giving us the courage and the grace that caused us so to act. Am I grateful for the courage and grace I receive from my Higher Power?

Today I Pray

I ask that I be given the power to act knowing that I have at least a half-chance to make the right decision and that I can learn from a wrong one. for so long, decision-making seemed beyond my capabilities. Now, I can find joy in being able to make choices. Thank you, God, for courage.

Today I Will Remember

Freedom is choosing.
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One Day At A Time #essentialsofrecovery

HUMILITY


To the humble man, and to the humble man alone, the sun is really a sun; to the humble man, and to the humble man alone, the sea is really a sea.

–G.K. Chesterton

Before I started recovery, lack of clarity was all around me and within me. There was too much fear. I was unable to acknowledge: This is who I am, and this is what’s going on, no more, and no less. I was afraid to name my husband’s abusive behaviour. I was afraid to name my complicity in it. I was afraid to name who I was and what I wanted and needed, and I was afraid to name the behaviour of those around me who wanted me to fit into their mould. My husband was scared silly that one day the world would find out that we weren’t the perfect family.

So I was not humble. I kept nurturing the fog that covered what was really going on. And boy, was I good at it. I kind of had an inkling that something wasn’t right, so, semi-consciously, I made sure that my denial was watertight. I knew that if we pretended that we were a 100% perfect family, there might be suspicions. So I made sure I’d slip in a little problem here and there.

At one point, luckily, I allowed the bubble to burst. I started naming things, loud and clear. I named them to the police, I named them to my friends and family, I named them in my poetry. I started playing with another 12-step program.

But it took me another twelve years to name that I was an overeater. In those years I gained another 70 pounds (with some yoyo dieting thrown in, of course). Humbly admitting that, yes, really, I was an overeater, was the best thing I’ve done since ridding my family of my abusive spouse. I humbly admitted that I had been abusing myself with my eating behaviours. Now I can see clearly. (I can also see more clearly how wounded my ex spouse is, making it easier for me to work on forgiving him).
One day at a time …

I accept the gift of humility. I am not afraid anymore to look reality in the eye – and what I see is as right as the sun and the sea.

~ I.M. 
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Elder’s Meditation of the Day #essentialsofrecovery


“We've got to learn what’s going on today in the world, and we've got to get an education so we can survive.”

–Jimmy Jackson, OJIBWA

Indian people have the ability to adapt. In these modern times, we Native people must walk two roads. We must get educated so our people don’t lose. We need lawyers, doctors, nurses, foresters, scientists, educators, carpenters, welders. These skills are needed to help the people. While we are learning we need to remember to keep our culture, learn our dances, sing our songs, learn to speak our own language and maintain our culture for future generations.

Great Spirit, let my education never lack the meaning and value of Indian spirituality.
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Today's Gift #essentialsofrecovery

Say when it’s time to stop coping.

In her book Recovering from the Loss of a Child, author Katherine Fair Donnelly writes of a man whose infant daughter, Robyn, dies from SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome). The child had died in the stroller, while the mother was out walking her. The father had stopped to get a haircut that day and was given a number for his turn.

“It was something he never did again in future years,” Donnelly wrote. “He would never take a number at the barber’s and always came home first to make sure everything was all right. Then he would go and get a haircut. It became one of the ways he found of coping.”

I hate coping. It’s not living. It’s not being free. It reeks of surviving.

But sometimes it’s the best we can do, for a while.

Eight years after my son dies, I was signing the papers to purchase a home. It was the first home I had bought since his death. The night before he dies, I had also signed papers to buy a new home. I didn’t know that I had begun to associate buying a home with his death, until I noticed my hand trembling and my heart pounding as I finished signing the purchase agreement. For eight years, I had simply avoiding buying a home, renting one less-than-desirable place after another and complaining about the travails of being a renter. I only knew then that I was “never going to buy another house again.” I didn’t understand that I was coping.

Many of us find ways of coping. As children, we may have become very angry with our parents. Having no recourse, we may have said to ourselves, “I’ll show the, I’m never going to do well at music, or sports, or studies again.” As adults, we may deal with a loss, or death, by saying, “I’m always going to be nice to people and make them happy. Then they won’t go away.” Or we may deal with a betrayal by saying, “I’m never going to open my heart to a woman, or man, again.”

Coping often includes making an incorrect connection between an event and our behavior. It may help us survive., but at some point our coping behaviors usually get in our way. They become habits and take on a life of their own. And although we think we’re protecting ourselves or someone we love, we aren’t.

Robyn didn’t die because her father took a number and waited to get his hair cut.

My son didn’t die because I brought a new house.

Are you keeping yourself from dong something that you really want to do as a means of coping with something that happened to you a long time ago? Cope if you must, if it helps save your life. But maybe today is the day you could set yourself free.

God, show me if I’m limiting myself and my life in some way by using an outdated coping behavior. Help me know that I’m safe and strong enough now to let that survival behavior go.

From the book:




More Language of Letting Go © 2000 by Melody Beattie
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Daily Tao / 054 - ADVERSITY #essentialsofrecovery



A tree hemmed in by giants
Requires tenacity to survive.


Times of adversity inevitably confront us all. We are denied influence, people will not listen to what we have to say, and we are restricted by circumstance. In this situation, followers of Tao must rely on their determination. Without that, they cannot emerge successfully from the danger.

During times of adversity, vision and determination decide the outcome. Mere doggedness never served anyone well. Observe carefully, and try to act. If you find yourself tested by the situation, take comfort in the fact that adversity frequently forces one to consolidate one’s resources. You can often emerge from adversity stronger than before. Don’t be overcome by fear. Take calculated risks if you must, or face danger if you have to. If your mind is focused to the utmost, you will triumph.

Without the difficulty of being hemmed in, the tree in the forest would not be forced to marshal its power to grow toward the light. It must truly bring forth all its inner strength to spread its branches. If it becomes grand, it is in part because of its suffering. Thus the times of adversity can be crucial to the development of one’s inner personality.
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Daily Zen #essentialsofrecovery

Let each person first direct oneself to what is right;
then let one teach others; thus the wise will not suffer.
If a person makes oneself as one teaches others to be,
then being well-controlled, that one might guide others,
since self-control is difficult. 
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