Tuesday, 18 December 2018

John L. - Recovery Speaker



DAILY REFLECTIONS #essentialsofrecovery

HONESTY WITH NEWCOMERS

Tell him exactly what happened to you. Stress the spiritual feature freely.

~ ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 93 

The marvel of A.A. is that I tell only what happened to me. I don’t waste time offering advice to potential newcomers, for if advice worked, nobody would get to A.A. All I have to do is show what has brought me sobriety and what has changed my life. If I fail to stress the spiritual feature of A.A.’s program, I am being dishonest. The newcomer should not be given a false impression of sobriety. I am sober only through the grace of my Higher Power, and that makes it possible for me to share with others.

Copyright © 1990 by Alcoholics Anonymous World Services Inc
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Just For today




“The fact that we, each and every group, focus on carrying the message provides consistency; addicts can count on us.”
Basic Text, p. 68
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Tales of our antics in active addiction may be funny.  Stories of our old bizarre reactions to life when using may be interesting.  But they tend to carry the mess more than the message.  Philosophical arguments on the nature of God are fascinating.  Discussions of current controversies have their place—however, it’s not at an NA meeting.
Those times when we grow disgusted with meetings and find ourselves complaining that “they don’t know how to share” or “it was another whining session” are probably an indication that we need to take a good, hard look at how we share.
What we share about how we got into recovery and how we stayed here through practicing the Twelve Steps is the real message of recovery.  That’s what we are all looking for when we go to a meeting.  Our primary purpose is to carry the message to the still-suffering addict, and what we share at meetings can either contribute significantly to this effort or detract greatly.  The choice, and the responsibility, is ours.
––––=––––
Just for today:  I will share my recovery at an NA meeting.

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Twenty-Four Hours a Day #essentialsofrecovery

Thought for the Day

Unless we have the key of faith to unlock the meaning of life, we are lost. We do not choose faith because it is one way for us, but because it is the only way. Many have failed and will fail. For we cannot live victoriously without faith; we are at sea without a rudder or an anchor, drifting on the sea of life. Wayfarers without a home. Our souls are restless until they find rest in God. Without faith, our lives are a meaningless succession of unrelated happenings, without rhyme or reason.

Have I come to rest in faith?

Meditation for the Day

This vast universe around us, including this wonderful earth on which we live, was once perhaps only a thought in the mind of God. The nearer the astronomers and the physicists get to the ultimate composition of all things, the nearer the universe approaches a mathematical formula, which is thought. The universe may be the thought of the Great Thinker. We must try to think God’s thoughts after Him. We must try to get guidance from the Divine Mind as to what His intention is for the world and what part we can have in carrying out that intention.

Prayer for the Day

I pray that I may not worry over the limitations of my human mind. I pray that I may live as though my mind were a reflection of the Divine Mind.

Copyright Hazelden Foundation
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As Bill Sees It #essentialsofrecovery

Those Other People, p.268

“Just like you, I have often thought myself the victim of what other people say and do. Yet every time I confessed the sins of such people, especially those whose sins did not correspond exactly with my own, I found that I only increased the total damage. My own resentment, my self-pity would often render me well-nigh useless to anybody.

“So, nowadays, if anyone talks of me so as to hurt, I first ask myself if there is any truth at all in what they say. If there is none, I try to remember that I too have had my periods of speaking bitterly of others; that hurtful gossip is but a symptom of our remaining emotional illness; and consequently that I must never be angry at the unreasonableness of sick people.

“Under very trying conditions I have had, again and again, to forgive others—also myself. Have you recently tried this?”


Letter, 1946 
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Walk In Dry Places #essentialsofrecovery

Deadlines

Facing delays


The procrastination of our drinking years caused some of us to become compulsive and fearful about meeting deadlines. We fret and stew if we're unable to get things done when we think they should be completed.

Without being careless or irresponsible, we should remember that we're really living in a spiritual world on a spiritual basis. There are times when a delay even turns out to be beneficial because additional information or assistance turns up later on to ensure the success of a project.

It is part of mature living to keep promises and to meet the proper deadlines. Let's be sure, however, that we're not simply meeting unrealistic deadlines of our own making. We don't have to do this to atone for any failures of the past.

I'll look over my plans today to make sure that I haven't set any unrealistic deadlines for myself. I may be trying too much, too soon
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Keep It Simple


“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”

—Franklin D. Roosevelt

As addicts, we had lots of fear. Some of us were afraid of failure. So we didn’t try to do much. Or else we tried too hard all the time. We used alcohol and other drugs to forget our fear, but it didn’t go away. It got worse. Now we know we don’t have to be afraid. When our lives are in the care of our Higher Power, we’re safe. Faith is the cure for our fear. But still, fear keeps creeping back inside us. That’s okay. It’s normal. There is so much that’s new in our sober life! We don’t know what will happen next. It’s hard to always remember to trust our Higher Power. It’s hard to always do what our Higher Power says. It’s hard to always have faith. We have to practice turning our fear over to our Higher Power.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, be with me when I’m afraid. Help me remember to have faith to believe in You, even when my fear tells me not to.

Action for the Day: Today, I’ll notice my fear and pray each time I get afraid.
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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

FREEDOM

“You are free and that is why you are lost.”

—Franz Kafka

Part of my understanding of spirituality is that we have many choices, and we live in moments of “not knowing.” Part of being human is that we have feelings of being lost. These feelings can lead to fear and loneliness or they can be seen as the essence of man’s risk and adventure. With freedom comes daily uncertainties; nothing is predestined or made to happen. God is in the choice. Herein lies true greatness. The fact is that we do not have all the answers. We are not sure of the results. The joys are mingled with the pain and sorrows such is the divinity of life. And yet still we choose to live!

Sobriety is accepting the reality of this uncertain life. My responsibility is accepting this freedom and making a daily choice not to drink.

May I accept my “lostness” until I return home to You.
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A Day At A Time


Reflection For The Day

I’m learning—all too slowly, at times—that when I give up the losing battle of trying to run my life in my own way, I gain abiding peace and deep serenity. For many of us, that learning process is a painfully slow one. Eventually, however, we understand that there are only two wills in the world, my will and God’s. Whatever is within my direct control is my will; whatever is beyond my direct control is His Will. So I try to accept that which is beyond my control as God’s will for me. Am I beginning to realize that by surrendering my will to the Divine Will, I am for the first time living without turmoil and without anxiety?

Today I Pray

May I hope that my will can be congruent with the all-encompassing will of God. I pray that I will know immediately if my will is in a useless tug-of-war with His Divine Will. May I trust God now to guide my will according to his Master Plan—and to make His purpose mine.

Today I Will Remember


Achievement comes when my will is in harmony with God’s.
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One Day At A Time #essentialsofrecovery


ACTION


“You learn to speak by speaking, to study by studying, to run by running, to work by working; in just the same way, you learn to love by loving.”

—St. Francis De Sales (1567 – 1622) (in French, St Fran├žois de Sales)

Bishop of Geneva, Switzerland and a Roman Catholic saint.

St. Francis de Sales lived from 1567 to 1622. Isn’t it amazing that a man who lived over 300 years before the birth of our recovery program could encapsulate its meaning in the above quote? Put another way, what St. Francis was saying was, “You work the program by working the program.”

I’ve met so many people who had theoretical knowledge of recovery, but no practical experience. They don’t work the program; they just talk the talk without walking the walk. I’m not proud to admit that I’ve been one of those people myself.

It’s a wonderful feeling to actually work the program, to take the Steps, and to trust in the God of my understanding to keep me working it. Paying lip service to the program doesn’t bring recovery; only working it does. Anything else is a waste of time and energy.

One Day at a Time …

I will work the program by working the program; today, I’ll take action to bring about my recovery.

Jeff  
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Elders Meditation Of The Day #essentialsofrecovery

"Parents have to demonstrate the value of trust, respect and honor." 

-
-Haida Gwaii, Traditional Circle of Elders

Children learn more by watching than by listening. If we want our children to understand and value trust, they know it by watching how adults live their lives! If we want the children to be respectful, they will observe what the adults do and say to each other. We need to walk our talk. We need to remember the children are watching.

Grandfather, help me learn these important values: Trust, Respect and Honor.
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Today's Gift #essentialsofrecovery


Competing with others – Attitude

Some of us never liked close competition. We preferred to be clear winners or not to compete at all. We didn’t like to have competitors breathing down our necks.

This attitude kept up from doing our best, and we made a mistake when we thought we were competing with others. We’re actually competing with ourselves at all times, trying to do better than we did yesterday. The presence of other people only helps us to set performance standards and goals.

Once we accept the idea of self-improvement, we can delight in competition. We can take satisfaction in situations where, though we were not number one, we came in a close second instead of a sullen last.


I’ll know today that I’m always working with others but only competing against myself.


Copyright Hazeldon Foundation 
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The Eye Opener #essentialsofrecovery

We must work out our spiritual development in our own way and according to our conception of the God of our understanding.

Our success or failure will be determined by the honesty of our efforts and the fidelity with which we practice our convictions.

Copyright Hazelden Foundation 
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Daily Tao/ 352 - Template #essentialsofrecovery


Must you see nature as a machine?

Is your only learning chemistry, physics, and ontology?

What if poetry was your template for life?

Can't you know Tao by the feeling of mud in your sandals?

Thus are the sages called silly:

They have given up their prejudices.



The world appears as you perceive it. It is not that your perceptions are wholly shaped by a so-called objective world. The habit of interpretation is interactive; we do things to test our hypotheses until we have created a complicated web of sensory input and centrifugal manipulation. By the time we are "mature," we have created innumerable layers of interpretation and biased perception that become our templates for living. Of course, we could have some fun with this situation. We could change the templates that we use to interact with the world.
What if we used poetry instead of science? What if we substituted spirituality for politics? The results of such experimentation are often fresh, happy, and unusual. Unfortunately, when carried to their logical conclusions, they are just as futile as any other method. Templates are essential for beginners, a hindrance for veterans. True followers of Tao give up all templates and are without prejudices. They return to the actions of infants. Thus they are called silly. But because they view the world with their inner eye, they transcend all the sorrows of life.
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Daily Zen #essentialsofrecovery

Half the spiritual life consists in remembering what we are up against and where we are going.

-Ayya Khema, "When the Iron Eagle Flies" 
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