Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Father Leo’s Daily Meditation #essentialsofrecovery

LIES

“A liar needs a good memory.”

– Quintilian

I lied to impress. I lied to hide my guilt and shame. I lied to cover my mistakes. I lied to bridge the silence. I lied to fantasize. I lied to hurt and destroy. I lied to hide the real me. Then I lied to cover the lies.  Then I lied to cover the lies I told to cover the original lies! So it went on. Endless. Exhausting. Meaningless. A part of me always loathed the lies I told. Then I grew to hate myself.

Today, because I understand spirituality to be based on truth, I try not to tell lies. When I do lie, I make an effort to correct myself and apologize. Today lying is painful for me. Today I try to use my mind, imagination and memory for better things.

O God, who gave mankind the miracle of language and communication, let me not abuse Your gift with destructive deceit.
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Random Big Book Alcoholics Anonymous #essentialsofrecovery


He Sold Himself Short

But he found there was a Higher Power that had more faith in him than he had to himself. Thus, A.A. was born in Chicago.

All of this changed when I went to college. I had to adapt to new associations and associates, and it seemed to be the smart thing to drink and smoke. I confined drinking to weekends, and drank normally in college and for several years thereafter.

p. 258 
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Daily Reflections #essentialsofrec

THE “WORTH” OF SOBRIETY

Every A.A. group ought to be fully self-supporting, declining outside contributions. 

TWELVE AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 160

When I go shopping I look at the prices and if I need what I see, I buy it and pay. Now that I am supposed to be in rehabilitation, I have to straighten out my life. When I go to a meeting, I take a coffee with sugar and milk, sometimes more than one. But at the collection time, I am either too bust to take money out of my purse, or I do not have enough, but I am there because I need this meeting. I heard someone suggest dropping the price of a beer into the basket, and I thought, that’s too much! I almost never give one dollar. Like many others, I rely on the more generous members to finance the Fellowship. I forget that it takes money to rent the meeting room, buy my milk, sugar and cups. I will pay, without hesitation, ninety cents for a cup of coffee at a restaurant after the meeting; I always have money for that. So, how much is my sobriety and my inner peace worth?
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Just For Today #essentialsofrec

Unconditional Surrender

“Help for addicts begins only when we are able to admit complete defeat. This can be frightening, but it is the foundation on which we have built our lives.” Basic Text, p.22

Most of us have tried everything we can think of, exerted every ounce of force possible, to fill the spiritual hole inside us. Nothing – not drugs, not control and management, not sex, money, property, power, or prestige – has filled it. We are powerless; our lives are unmanageable, at least by ourselves alone. Our denial will not change that fact.

So we surrender; we ask a Higher Power to care for our will and our lives. Sometimes in surrendering, we don’t know that a Power greater than ourselves exists which can restore us to wholeness. Sometimes we’re not sure that the God of our understanding will care for our unmanageable lives. Our lack of certainty, though, does not affect the essential truth: We are powerless. Our lives are unmanageable. We must surrender. Only by doing so can we open ourselves wide – wide enough for our old ideas and past wreckage to be cleared, wide enough for a Higher Power to enter.

Just for today: I will surrender unconditionally. I can make it as easy or as hard as I choose. Either way, I will do it. 
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Twenty-Four Hours A Day #essentialsofrec


A.A. Thought For The Day

When we come to the end of our lives on earth, we will take no material thing with us. We will not take one cent in our cold, dead hands. The only things that we may take are the things we have given away. If we have helped others, we may take that with us; if we have given our time and money for the good of A.A., we may take that with us. Looking back over our lives, what are we proud of? Not what have we gained for ourselves, but what few good deeds we have done.  Those are the things that really matter in the long run. What will I take with me when I go?

Meditation For The Day

“Hallowed be Thy Name.” What does that mean to us? Here “name” is used in the sense of “spirit.” The words mean praise to God for His spirit in the world, making us better. We should be especially grateful for God’s spirit, which gives us the strength to overcome all that is base in our lives. His spirit is powerful. It can help us to live a conquering, abundant life. So we praise and thank Him for His spirit in our lives and in the lives of others.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may be grateful for God’s spirit in me. I pray that I may try to live in accordance with it. 
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As Bill Sees It #essentialsofrec


The Fellowship’s Future, p.207

“It seems proved that A.A. can stand on its own feet anywhere and under any conditions. It has outgrown any dependence it might once have had upon the personalities or efforts of a few of the older members like me. New, able, and vigorous people keep coming to the surface, turning up where they are needed. Besides, A.A. has reached enough spiritual maturity to know that its final dependence is upon God.”

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Clearly, our first duty to A.A.’s future is to maintain in full strength what we have now. Only the most vigilant caretaking can assure this.  Never should we be lulled into complacent self-satisfaction by the wide acclaim and success that are everywhere ours. This is the subtle temptation which could render us stagnant today, perchance disintegrate us tomorrow. We have always rallied to meet and transcend failure and crisis. Problems have been our stimulants. How well, though, shall we be able to meet the problems of success?

1. Letter, 1940
2. A.A. Today, p. 106 
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Walk In Dry Places #essentialsofrec


No tap dancing around problems.
Inventory

Our program calls for a “searching and fearless” moral inventory, not only in the beginning, but as we continue to follow our new way of life.

What this means is complete honesty about who and what we really are. We should not tap-dance around our problems in order to evade responsibility. This willnot bring the cleansing we need for real sober living. We need deep changes, not mere surface ones.

Difficult as it is to be fully honest, it’s made easier when we remind ourselves that it’s all for our own recovery. We benefit in proportion to the amount of honesty we bring to our inventory. If it’s searching and fearless, the results will be far-reaching and substantial.

I will not shirk from facing the truth about myself as I go through the day. What I need for self-improvement will be revealed to me. 
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Walk In Dry Places #essentialsofrec


No tap dancing around problems.
Inventory

Our program calls for a “searching and fearless” moral inventory, not only in the beginning, but as we continue to follow our new way of life.

What this means is complete honesty about who and what we really are. We should not tap-dance around our problems in order to evade responsibility. This willnot bring the cleansing we need for real sober living. We need deep changes, not mere surface ones.

Difficult as it is to be fully honest, it’s made easier when we remind ourselves that it’s all for our own recovery. We benefit in proportion to the amount of honesty we bring to our inventory. If it’s searching and fearless, the results will be far-reaching and substantial.

I will not shirk from facing the truth about myself as I go through the day. What I need for self-improvement will be revealed to me. 
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Keep It Simple #essentialsofrec



I was never less alone when by myself.

—Edward Gibson

To stay in this program, we need to accept that we have an illness. We need to accept that we were out of control. And we need to accept that we need others and they need us. At times, we won’t want to accept these facts. We will want to deny we have an illness and our lives were out of control.

Many of us get into trouble when we don’t accept that we need others. This is why helping others is so important. It teaches us that we need others, and others need us. By helping others, we learn about the give-and-take of human relationships. There is no give-an-take in addiction. There is just take. Now, finally, we can give too!

Prayer for the Day: I pray to remember that I need other people.

Action for the Day: Today, I’ll help out. I will make coffee at the next meeting or offer to do the Step next week. I will let a fellow addict know I’m glad he or she is sober. 
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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation #essentialsofrec



ADVERSITY

“Adversity reveals genius, prosperity conceals it.”

–Horace

Today I believe that the only way to understand God, the world, my neighbor and myself is through some degree of suffering. Pain and suffering are humbling in the truest sense; they stop you from being arrogant, selfish and “prideful”.

I know this because I was a spoiled child. My family tried to give me everything. Whatever I wanted was given to me; my way or no way! This sick love robbed me of humility and separated me from humanity: it made me feel different, selfish and place me on a pity-pot. Being spoiled stopped me experiencing the real world and stopped me from growing.

Today adversity is part of life and part of being human. Not to grow through adversity is to die. To have everything is to experience nothing. To feel in life — to have emotion — demands adversity and pain.

Teach me to be grateful for the suffering that leads to growth.
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A Day At A Time #essentialsofrec

Reflection For The Day

Now that I avail myself of the letters H-O-W suggested by friends in The Program –  Honesty,  Open-Mindedness, Willingness –  I see things differently.  In ways that I couldn’t have predicted and surely never expected, I’ve come to see things quite differently from the person I was before coming to The Program.  I feel good most days.  I seldom feel bad, and never for long.  Certainly never as bad as I used to feel all of the time.  Is my worst day now infinitely better than my best day previously?

Today I Pray

May I remember today to say “thank you” to my Higher Power, to my friends in the group and to the whole, vast fellowship of recovering chemically dependent persons for making me know that things do get better.  I give thanks, too, for those verbal boosters, the tags and slogans which have so often burst into my brain at exactly the moments when they were needed, redefining my purp0ose, restoring my patience, reminding me of my God.

Today I Will Remember

How it was. 
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One Day At A Time #essentialsofrec


~ OPPORTUNITIES ~

A wise man will make more opportunities than he finds.
–Francis Bacon

There is a promise that more will be revealed as we trudge the road of happy destiny. We all start by building on the basics, the foundation that must be in place. In grade school I learned to read and write; in high school, how to research and train myself to acquire information. In college, I gained specific advanced information that allowed me to build upon, and advance my interests. When I applied the same principles to the program, I got similar results, but even more so. When my mind was opened to spiritual principles, I received much more than that I was seeking. My thoughts were lifted to a much higher plane of ethics.

In searching for an answer to compulsive overeating, I was exposed to additional opportunities to grow by doing. Often I tried them. These exercises sent my thoughts to other areas, which I again explored. I am amazed at what I have learned while looking for something else.

We can all learn truth if we will open our hearts and minds. We will then be without excuse not to exercise every opportunity to practice it.

One Day at a Time . . .
Am I taking advantage of every opportunity to grow?  Some opportunities?  Any opportunities?

~ Jeremiah ~ 
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Elder’s Meditation of the Day #essentialsofrec



“These are our times and our responsibilities.  Every human being has a sacred duty to protect the welfare of our Mother Earth, from whom all life comes. In order to do this, we must recognize the enemy – the one within us. We must begin with ourselves…”

–Leon Shenandoah, ONONDAGA

The outside is merely a reflection of our insides. My mind is designed to tell me that I’m not crazy for thinking what I am thinking. Even if I have angry thought, my mind is giving me excuses and reasons why it is OK to think what I’m thinking. I need to be knowledgeable about the laws of harmony and balance. I cannot twist the laws to serve me but I can adjust my life to serve the laws. This is the law – I am here to serve the earth. The earth is not here for me to misuse and abuse.

Oh Great Spirit, allow me the insight and knowledge of how to live in harmony and balance with my surroundings.  Grant me change from within. 
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Today’s Gift #essentialsofrec


Isn’t it great life is open-ended!

—Brigitte Frase

Elizabeth Lawton, known as “Grandma Layton,” is an American artist who never drew a picture until she was sixty-eight years old. She spent all the years before that time trying to cope with depression. She had gone through therapy, medications, and shock treatment and continued to be severely depressed. But then she signed up for an art class and the act of drawing cured her depression. She continues to make fabulous pictures.

What does she think about the critical acclaim her artwork has received? She says she wants others to know about her art so it may give hope to those who have also “suffered from feelings.”

Many of us have suffered from feelings. We must remember that we can each turn to our creativity – at any age – as a source for our well-being. All we need to do is have faith in the potential goodness within ourselves and those we love.

What creative activity can I look to for comfort today? 
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Step by Step #essentialsofrec


” …(T)his program is not for sissies for …it takes a man to make the grade. It is not too difficult nor easy to grasp. I have had many more reasons to drink since I have been in AA than I had in all the years of my drinking. I’ve had more problems but, thank God, I have had the teachings of AA with which to face them. …When I hear the more rugged stories of alcoholics who became sicker than I did with this affliction, I humbly thank God for showing me ‘the handwriting on the wall.'”

 – Alcoholics Anonymous, 3rd Edition, 1976, Part II (“They Stopped in Time”), Ch 8 (“Rum, Radio and Television”), p 367.

Today, this excerpt unleashes a barrage of experience, that the Program is not without work, that working it takes more courage than to keep drinking and that being sober will not shield us from the problems that non-alcoholics face but will arm us with stronger combat ammunition. I will heed the word of the experienced and not set myself up for a slip or relapse if the promises of the Program don’t come to fruition quickly enough for me- because I haven’t worked for those promises. Nor will I dismiss the Program that it doesn’t work when I face the problems that everyone else has. Problems will continue to arise; how I handle them will depend on how I use the tools of the Program. For as courageous and bold my decision to stop drinking, I need even more to graduate from being dry to being sober. Today, I’m ready to give it my all, to “go to any lengths.” And our common journey continues. 


Step by step. – Chris M. 
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The Eye Opener #essentialsofrec

Patience is a virtue that few alcoholics have. We want to do everything yesterday. Even after we sober up, we seldom acquire any substantial amount of this virtue. We feel a real need to make up for all our lost years; we fret and fume over delays; we feel the world should synchronize their watches with ours.

Like Phillips Brooks, we are in a hurry, but God isn’t.

Hazelden Foundation 
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