Tuesday, 21 November 2017

J.P. M. - Author of Days Of Wine & Roses in Big Book


Daily Reflections #essentialsofrecovery

A CLASSIC PRAYER


Lord, make me a channel for thy peace—that where there is hatred, I may bring love—that where there is wrong, I may bring the spirit of forgiveness—that where there is discord, I may bring harmony—that where there is error, I may bring truth—that where there is doubt, I may bring faith—that where there is despair, I may bring hope—that where there are shadows, I may bring light—that where there is sadness, I may bring joy. Lord, grant that I may seek rather to comfort than to be comforted—to understand, than to be understood—to love, than to be loved. For it is by self-forgetting that one finds. It is by forgiving that one is forgiven. It is by dying that one awakens to Eternal Life. Amen.

— TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 99

No matter where I am in my spiritual growth, the St. Francis prayer helps me improve my conscious contact with the God of my understanding. I think that one of the great advantages of my faith in God is that I do not understand Him, or Her, or It. It may be that my relationship with my Higher Power is so fruitful that I do not have to understand. All that I am certain of is that if I work the Eleventh Step regularly, as best I can, I will continue to improve my conscious contact, I will know His will for me, and I will have the power to carry it out.

From the book Daily Reflections
Copyright © 1990 by Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc. 
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JUST FOR TODAY #essentialsofrecovery


Letting Our Defects Go


“If [character defects] contributed to our health and happiness, we would not have come to such a state of desperation.”


~ Basic Text pg. 34 

Getting started on the Sixth and Seventh Steps isn’t always easy. We may feel as though we have so much wrong with us that we are totally defective. We might feel like hiding under a rock. Under no circumstance would we want our fellow addicts to know about our inadequacies.

We will probably go through a time of examining everything we say and do in order to identify our character defects and make sure we suppress them. We may look back at one particular day, cringing at what we’re certain is the most embarrassing thing we’ve ever said. We become determined to be rid of these horrible traits at all costs. But nowhere in the Sixth or Seventh Steps does it say we can learn to control our defects of character. In fact, the more attention we focus on them, the more firmly entrenched they will become in our lives. It takes humility to recognize that we can’t control our defects any more than we can control our addiction. We can’t remove our own defects; we can only ask a loving God to remove them.

Letting go of something painful can be as difficult as letting go of something pleasant. But let’s face it – holding on is a lot of work. When we really think about what we’re holding onto, the effort just isn’t worthwhile. It’s time to let go of our character defects and ask God to remove them.

Just for today: I’m ready to have my defects removed. I will let go and allow a loving Higher Power to care for me.

© 1991 by Narcotics Anonymous World Services Inc 
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Twenty-Four Hours A Day #essentialsofrecovery

A.A. Thought for the Day

I no longer waste money, but try to put it to good use. Like all of us, when I was drunk, I threw money around like I really had it. It gave me a feeling of importance—a millionaire for a day. But the morning after, with an empty wallet and perhaps also some indecipherable checks, was a sad awakening. How could I have been such a fool? How will I ever make it up? Thoughts like these get you down. When we are sober, we spend our hard earned money as it should be spent. Although perhaps some of us could be more generous in our A.A. giving, at least we do not throw it away. Am I making good use of my money?

Meditation for the Day

You were meant to be at home and comfortable in the world. Yet some people live a life of quiet desperation. This is the opposite of being at home and at peace in the world. Let your peace of mind be evident to those around you. Let others see that you are comfortable, and seeing it, know that it springs from your trust in a Higher Power. The dull, hard way of resignation is not God's way. Faith takes the sting out of the winds of adversity and brings peace even in the midst of struggle.

Prayer for the Day

I pray that I may be more comfortable in my way of living. I pray that I may feel more at home and at peace within myself.

From the book Twenty-Four Hours a Day 
© Copyright 1975 by Hazelden Foundation
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As Bill Sees It #essentialsofrecovery


Groping Toward God, p. 323


“More than most people, I think, alcoholics want to know who they are, what this life is about, whether they have a divine origin and an appointed destiny, and whether there is a system of cosmic justice and love.

“It is the experience of many of us in the early stages of drinking to feel that we have had glimpses of the Absolute and a heightened feeling of identification with the cosmos. While these glimpses and feelings doubtless have a validity, they are deformed and finally swept away in the chemical, spiritual, and emotional damage wrought by the alcohol itself.

“In A.A., and in many religious approaches, alcoholics find a great deal more of what they merely glimpse and felt while trying to grope their way toward God in alcohol.”


Letter, 1960
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WALK IN DRY PLACES #essentialsofrecovery

ALCOHOLISM IN THE WORKPLACE

Employment

Most of the personal stories in AA include troubles in the workplace. This is not surprising, because the disease itself almost guarantees that an active alcoholic is likely to make more mistakes, have higher absenteeism, and get into trouble with bosses and/or fellow employees. Who really wants a practicing alcoholic on the payroll? Who would want such a person as a manager or employer? Who wants to be treated by a doctor who is drunk or badly hung over?

If our alcoholism created problems in the workplace, we have no moral right to blame others who held us accountable for this. Far from blaming others who were critical of us, we owe personal amends for any harm we caused employers or fellow workers.

The good news is that recovery makes it possible for us to perform up to acceptable standards at work and carry out our responsibilities. In sobriety, we can write a new chapter and establish a good work history.

In my work today, I’ll keep in mind the wonderful advantages I have as a result of knowing and practicing the AA principles. As a recovering alcoholic, I can be a positive force in an organization.


© 1996 by Hazelden Foundation 
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KEEP IT SIMPLE #essentialsofrecovery


To love others, we must first learn to love ourselves.

~ Anonymous

Sometimes we think our life would be fine if that dream person showed up. But loving someone isn’t easy. Our bad habits cause problems. We have to change. Sometimes we aren’t ready to have on especial person. We have to have a group of people—our recovery group—to love and help us get healthy. We must learn to trust, to be honest, to give help, and to love others. The truth is, no one person can make our life wonderful—except us. We hold happiness inside of us. It’s in our spirit. Look no further.

Prayer for the Day:

Higher Power, help me love myself

Action for the Day:

I’ll list five ways I will love myself today.

Copyright © 1988 by Hazelden Foundation
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FR. LEO'S DAILY MEDITATION #essentialsofrecovery

HEROES

"Self-trust is the essence of heroism.”

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson 

In recovery, I have become my own hero. It may sound egotistical, but it is part of my program of self-love. I may have other heroes, but today I respect myself.

I believe that God is involved in my life. An aspect of Divinity exists within me. I trust myself with my own life. I am proud of the daily choices I make in the best interest of my sobriety.

Spirituality allows me to be my own hero because it is with respect of self that I can truly respect others. My awareness of dignity affords dignity to others. My personal healing brings healing to others. Today I am the center of my universe, and I shine my light everywhere.

Thank You for the achievements and successes in my life. Today lam my own winner. 

© 2008 Leo Booth
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A DAY AT A TIME #essentialsofrecovery


Reflection for the Day


Adversity introduces man to himself, a poet once said. For me, the same is true of even imagined adversity. If I expect another person to react in a certain way in a given situation—and he or she fails to meet my expectation—well, then I hardly have the right to be disappointed or angry. Yet I occasionally still experience feelings of frustration when people don’t act or react as I think they should. Through such imagined—or, better yet, self-inflicted—adversity, I come face to face again with my old self, the one who wanted to run the whole show. Is it finally time for me to stop expecting and to start accepting?

Today I Pray

May I stop putting words in people’s mouths, programming them—in my own mind—to react as I expect them to. Expectations have fooled me before: I expected unbounded love and protection from those close to me, perfection from myself, undivided attention from casual acquaintances. On the adverse side, I expected failure from myself, and rejection from others. May I stop borrowing trouble—or triumph either—from the future.

Today I Will Remember

Accept. Don’t expect.

© 1989 by Hazelden Foundation 
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One Day at a Time #essentialsofrecovery

~ WILLINGNESS ~

If you have decided you want what we have and are willing to go to any length to get it then you are ready to take certain steps.

Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous

Willingness was one of the hardest concepts to get through my disease thinking. I was only willing to have my disease cured so I could continue indulging in my allergic substances of choice. According to the dictionary, the definition of will is "the power of choosing what one will do" and "willing, favorably inclined; ready." My disease was in control and chose for me.

I didn't want to stay stuck in the food. Then I found this program. Still, I had trouble with the concept of willingness. Then I relapsed, but the food didn't cure anything. This program, like the Big Book says, had ruined it for me. So, when I found some online recovery loops I found renewed hope. Hope led me to learning about willingness from others' sharing. Then I figured, ok God, I don't want to give up the allergic substances, they are too strongly imbedded in my fibers, but I am willing to ask You to grant me the willingness to let go of those substances that aren't healthy for me.

I kept up this prayer for weeks. One day I discovered that it had been a week since I had thought about or eaten one of those allergic substances. I figured this must be what was meant by God doing for me what I can't do for myself. So I changed my prayer and asked God to keep making me willing, just for today, to go without those foods. It is working, not because of me, but because I was finally ready to ask for willingness. As the saying goes, "Try it, you'll like it!" I tried it and I liked the results... A God-given abstinence. Now, as I go about my day, it's becoming easier to be willing to turn more and more of my will over to the God of my understanding.

One Day at a Time . . .
I will go to the God of my understanding and ask for the willingness to live according to His will for me; so that I may have a life, and not self-will run riot.

Judy 
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Today’s Gift #essentialsofrecovery



Ask, and ye shall receive.

— John 16:24

Somewhere in our past life, we may have picked up the idea that it’s not all right to ask for help, that asking for help would be a sign of weakness. Recovery calls for some basic changes in our thinking, and when we feel vulnerable is the best time to reach out and ask for help from our Higher Power, from our program, and from our friends in recovery. It’s hard for us, at first. We may be afraid of rejection, or of being laughed at for not knowing all the answers. But once we’ve taken the risk and openly asked for help, we realize our fears are a part of the past, and we can leave them behind us.

In asking for help, we acknowledge that we can’t do it all by ourselves. We surrender once again to powerlessness. And we give others the joy and satisfaction of helping us.

Today if I’m feeling I’m on a “solo-fight,” help me to reach out and find support just by asking.

From the book:

                                                                    

Body, Mind, and Spirit by Anonymous

Body, Mind, and Spirit © 1990 by Hazelden Foundation
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The Eye Opener #essentialsofrecovery

If a reasonable estimate could be made of the fatalities resulting from excessive drinking, the figures would be appalling. This loss, however, is only a small part of the price that Bacchus exacts.

The wasted man-hours of work, the homes broken up, the wealth of talent that was never developed, and the loss of moral character are also a part of the bill.

You definitely can’t drink moderately. Can you afford to drink to excess?

Hazelden Foundation 
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DAILY TAO / 325 - Mate #essentialsofrecovery

Passion is but a prelude to
Years of gradual unfolding.

Some people mate for life. Perhaps their love affair starts with infatuation, passion, and eroticism. Eventually it gives way to a more stable companionship. Not all couples pass this transition period intact, but those who do find a new mode of relating to one another. Devoted lovers find that minor faults can be accepted. At the same time, they find acceptance in spite of their own inherent shortcomings and insecurities.
Mature love is patient, selfless, generous, and kind. The lover becomes more important that the self. In love, we find transcendence and a unity that is unattainable alone.

Many sages speak out against romantic love. Can it be that they have never felt it or that they have been bitterly disappointed themselves? Individuals should know themselves well. If they are meant for love, they will know.

Ultimately, the other is divine and divinity dwells in the other. Through love, one can come to know the beauty of unity and wholeness. Without the female, the male element is static and sterile. Without the male element, the female is boundless potential without a catalyst. Through unification, we find selflessness, purity, and divinity.


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DAILY DOSE OF EMMET FOX #essentialsofrecovery



DIVINE ABUNDANCE


When you go down to the seashore, you find what is practically an unlimited supply of sea water at your disposal. There are billions upon billions of gallons there, but the amount that you can carry away will depend upon the vessel with which you have provided yourself. If you take a ten-gallon can, you can get ten gallons, but if you take only a pint pot you can take away only a pint, and if you have nothing bigger than a thimble, you would not be able to take away more than a thimbleful.


So it is with divine abundance. The only limit is the limit of our capacity to receive.

Thou openest thine hand, and satisfiest the desire of every living thing (Psalm 145:16). 


© 1931 by Emmet Fox

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Daily Zen #essentialsofrecovery

Whether you are going or staying
Sitting or lying down,
The whole world is your own self.
You must find out
Whether the mountains,
Rivers, grass, and forests
Exist in your own mind
Or exist outside it.
Analyze the ten thousand things,
And when you take
This to the limit,
You will come to the limitless;
When you search into it,
You come to the end of search,
Where thinking goes no
Further and distinctions vanish.
When you smash the citadel of doubt,
Then the Buddha is simply yourself.

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Monday, 20 November 2017