Monday, 27 March 2017


‎The less people tolerated us, the more we withdrew from society, from life itself. As we became subjects of King Alcohol, shivering denizens of his mad realm, the chilling vapor that is loneliness settled down. It thickened, ever becoming blacker. Some of us sought out sordid places, hoping to find understanding companionship and approval. Momentarily we did—then would come oblivion and the awful awakening to face the hideous Four Horsemen—Terror, Bewilderment, Frustration, Despair. ~ Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, A Vision For You, pg. 151

AROUND THE YEAR WITH EMMET FOX #essentialsofrecovery


Let us see how we are to go about inheriting the earth. This Beatitude say that dominion, that is, power over the condition of our lives, is to be obtained in a certain way, by nothing less than meekness.

The word meek in the Bible connotes a mental attitude for which there is no other single word available. It is a combination of open-mindedness, faith in God, and the realization that the will of God for us is always something joyous and interesting and vital. This state of mind also includes a perfect willingness to allow this will of God to come about in whatever way divine Wisdom considers to be best, rather than in some particular way that we have chosen for ourselves.

This mental attitude of teachableness, willingness to be led, is the key to dominion, or success in demonstration. There is no word for it in common speech, because the thing does not exist except for those who are up on the spiritual basis of the teaching of Jesus Christ. If we desire to inherit the earth we must absolutely acquire this “meekness.”

The lord reighneth; let the earth rejoice…(Psalm 97:1).

© 1931 by Emmet Fox 
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DAILY REFLECTIONS #essentialsofrecovery


We trust that we already know what our several freedoms truly are; that no future generation of AAs will ever feel compelled to limit them. Our AA freedoms create the soil in which genuine love can grow. . . .


I craved freedom. First, freedom to drink; later, freedom from drink. The A.A. program of recovery rests on a foundation of free choice. There are no mandates, laws or commandments. A.A.’s spiritual program, as outlined in the Twelve Steps, and by which I am offered even greater freedoms, is only suggested. I can take it or leave it. Sponsorship is offered, not forced, and I come and go as I will. It is these and other freedoms that allow me to recapture the dignity that was crushed by the burden of drink, and which is so dearly needed to support an enduring sobriety.

Copyright © 1990 by Alcoholics Anonymous World Services Inc
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JUST FOR TODAY #essentialsofrecovery

Looking For the Assets

“In accordance with the principles of recovery we try not to judge, stereotype, or moralize with each other”

~ Basic Text p. 11 ~

How many times in our recovery have we misunderstood the behavior of another, immediately formed a judgment, applied a label, and neatly tucked the individual into a pigeonhole? Perhaps they had developed a different understanding of a Power greater than themselves than we had, so we concluded their beliefs were unspiritual. Or maybe we saw a couple having an argument; we assumed their relationship was sick, only to find out later that their marriage had prospered for many years.

Thoughtlessly tossing our fellows into categories saves us the effort of finding out anything about them. Every time we judge the behavior of another, we cease to see them as potential friends and fellow travelers on the road to recovery. If we happened to ask those we are judging if they appreciate being stereotyped, we would receive a resounding “no” in response. Would we feel slighted if this were done to us? Yes, indeed. Our best qualities are what we want others to notice. In the same way, our fellow recovering addicts want to be well thought of. Our program of recovery asks us to look positively at life. The more we concentrate on the positive qualities in others, the more we’ll notice them in ourselves.

Just for today: I will set aside my negative judgments of others, and concentrate instead on appreciating the favorable qualities in all.

© 1991 by Narcotics Anonymous World Services Inc 
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A.A. Thought for the Day

You get the power to overcome drinking through the fellowship of other alcoholics who have found the way out. You get power by honestly sharing your past experience by a personal witness. You get power by coming to believe in a Higher Power, the Divine Principle in the universe which can help you. You get power by working with other alcoholics. In these four ways, thousands of alcoholics have found all the power they needed to overcome drinking. Am I ready and willing to accept this power and work for it?

Meditation for the Day

The power of God’s spirit is the greatest power in the universe. Our conquest of each other, the great kings and conquerors, the conquest of wealth, the leaders of the money society, all amount to very little in the end. But one who conquers oneself is greater than one who conquers a city Material things have no permanence. But God’s spirit is eternal. Everything really worthwhile in the world is the result of the power of God’s spirit.

Prayer for the Day

I pray that I may open myself to the power of God’s spirit. I pray that my relationships with others may be improved by this spirit.

© 1954, 1975, 1992 by Hazelden Foundation 
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AS BILL SEES IT #essentialsofrecovery

~ Page 86 ~

Room for Improvement

We have come to believe that A.A.’s recovery Steps and Traditions represent the approximate truths which we need for our particular purpose. The more we practice them, the more we like them. So there is little doubt that A.A. principles will continue to be advocated in the form they stand now.

If our basis are so firmly fixed as all this, then what is there left to change or to improve?

The answer will immediately occur to us. While we need not alter our truths, we can surely improve their application to ourselves, to A.A. as a whole, and to our relation with the world around us. We can constantly step up the practice of “these principles in all our affairs.”


© 1967 by Alcoholics Anonymous ® World Services, Inc 
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WALK IN DRY PLACES #essentialsofrecovery


Accepting Life

A lot of things in life are all right just as they are. This is hard to understand in a world that puts high value on improvement and progress, but since there are so many things that do need fixing, it’s best not to tamper with things that are working.

Sometimes we think something should be changed in another person’s life. Two AA members decided, for example, that a mutual AA friend de-served higher status employment than what he was doing. They seized upon an unusual profession that seemed to fit his talents and interests, and were disappointed and even a bit offended when he decided he wasn’t interested. He continued to follow his regular trade until his retirement thirty years later.

In truth, there had really been nothing that needed “fixing” in his choice of a vocation. He had been earning a living doing very honest but difficult work. It was somewhat presumptuous of his friends to outline a new career for him, and it could have led to considerable harm.

Let’s leave people and things alone unless our help is requested and something really does need fixing.

I’ll look around today and notice the things in my life that are working well and really don’t need changing. Then I’ll focus my attention on the things that really should be fixed.

© 1996 by Hazelden Foundation 
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KEEP IT SIMPLE #essentialsofrecovery

The secret of success is constancy of purpose.

~ Benjamin Disraeli ~

In Twelve Step meetings, we don’t talk about counseling, treatment centers, or non-program reading. Many of us have been helped in these ways, but we shouldn’t con-fuse them with Twelve Step programs.

We must keep our Twelve Step programs pure, no matter what is in style among counselors or at treatment centers, or what the latest books say. Certainly, we should use these sources if they help us, but not in our program meetings. There, we must stick to the basics that have helped addicts recover all over the world for many years. Steps, traditions, meetings, sponsorship—these things work, no matter what is in style.

Prayer for the Day

Higher Power, let me be there to help an addict in need, by sharing my Twelve Step program.

Action for the Day

I will help out today by being a sponsor or by calling a new group member, just to say hello.

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


It is all the same to me whether one comes from Sing Sing or Harvard. We hire a person, not their history.

~ Henry Ford ~

Too often I get so locked into my history ─ what I did, what I said, and the events of which I was ashamed—that I miss the gift of the new day. Those who suffer from the disease of addiction need to deal with past problems but not live in them.

My attitude toward today need not be based on what happened yesterday. Today is the beginning of the rest of my life.

I know I create most of the pain and tragedy in my life, but I also know I create the joys and successes. I am confident my sobriety makes me a winner.

Spirit, I forgive myself for yesterday and look forward to the healing that comes today.

© 2008 Leo Booth 
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A DAY AT A TIME #essentialsofrecovery

Reflection for the Day

Storing up grievances is not only a waste of time, but a waste of life that could be lived to greater satisfaction. If I keep a ledger of “oppressions and indignities,” I’m only restoring them to painful reality.

“‘The horror of that moment,’ the King said, ‘I shall never, never forget.’

“‘You will though, if you don’t make a memorandum of it.'”

~ Lewis Carroll, Through The Looking Glass ~

Am I keeping a secret storehouse for the wreckage of my past?

Today I Pray

God keep me from harboring the sludge for the past—grievances, annoyances, grudges, oppressions, wrongs, injustices, put-downs, slights, hurts. They will nag at me and consume my time in rehashing what I “might have said” or done until I face each one, name the emotion it produces in me, settle it as best I can—and forget it. May I empty my storehouse of old grievances.

Today I Will Remember

Don’t rattle old bones.

© 1989 by Hazelden Foundation 
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EASY DOES IT #essentialsofrecovery


Joy to forgive and joy to be forgiven hang level in the balance of love.

~ Richard Garnett~

If we are unable or unwilling to forgive others for whatever they do, we won’t be able to forgive ourselves for our actions. The agony of resentment, guilt, remorse, and shame will overpower us. These emotions will halt our progress toward the comfortable and rewarding living we are promised in recovery.

Early in recovery, we often were told to pray for those whom we thought had wronged us. This philosophy is as old as civilization. Forgiveness will always triumph over guilt and shame. Recovery is one-third love and two-thirds forgiveness.

We’ve been our own worst enemies during most of our lives. We’ve often hurt ourselves over what we thought was justifiable anger and resentment.

Self-forgiveness is strength, not weakness. Gaining the strength is simple. I need only remind myself that “God has forgiven me. Why not forgive myself?”

©1990 by Anonymous. All rights reserved. Published by Hazelden®. 
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ONE DAY AT A TIME #essentialsofrecovery


To err is human, to forgive is divine.

~ Alexander Pope ~

When most of us first came into Program, we carried around a great deal of shame, guilt, and resentment. This made it very difficult for us to forgive ourselves, or others, for various past transgressions. We usually must rely on the forgiveness and support of other Program members before we come to a point of being able to truly forgive ourselves.

Coming to the point of self-forgiveness is a crucial step because once we have achieved it for ourselves, we can finally come to the stage of maturity to begin to forgive others. By offering true forgiveness we can begin to release the plethora of harbored resentments that have poisoned our souls and hindered our recovery for so many years.

One Day at a Time . . .

I will work towards learning to forgive myself so that I might eventually learn to forgive others.

~ Rob R. ~ 
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ELDER'S MEDITATION OF THE DAY #essentialsofrecovery

" have to believe it first. Not wait until you see it first, then touch it, then believe it.You have to say it from the heart.”

~ Wallace Black Elk, LAKOTA ~

We are designed to function from faith. First we pray. Then we use our imagination to create a vision or picture in our mind. We surround this mental picture with our emotions or feelings. These feelings are available when we ask or say it from the heart. The combination of the mental picture and asking from the heart to create the emotions will cause us to believe it. Then we just need to wait. We need to believe as though it is already done.

Great Spirit, remove from me any doubt that comes up today. 
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A WOMAN’S SPIRIT #essentialsofrecovery

To each particular person the world speaks a different, particular word and calls for a different, particular response.

~ Mary McDermott Shideler ~

It’s reassuring to hear that we are special. Most of us felt like failures for much of our lives. We lacked both confidence and enthusiasm. Occasionally we still tremble, fearing that we can’t handle what’s happening to us. However, we have been told that our experiences are unique and that no other woman could handle them in our specific way. We are coming to believe that this is true.

So many miracles are happening in our midst. The fact that we survived numerous dangerous moments should indicate that our work isn’t yet complete. But what will we be called upon to do today? Can we fulfill this request adequately? Never fear. That we are here means we can. It also means that whatever is about to happen needs each of us, specifically. This is wonderfully reassuring.

I am invited to experience particular situations today. My presence is needed if I am called.

© 1994 by Hazelden Foundation 
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THE EYE OPENER #essentialsofrecovery

Many of us can recall being fired from jobs for drinking and at the same time being given a letter of recommendation that spoke in going terms about our ability. Of course the former boss was trying to be kind in avoiding any mention of the drinking problem, but such letters are actually dishonest, and it was equally dishonest when we used them to procure new jobs.

How much better it would have been if they had tried to do something constructive about the problem rather than lowering us in our own esteem by making us a party to the deceit.

Published by Hazelden
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DAILY TAO - Images #essentialsofrecovery

Sound, smell, taste, image, touch, sleep.
Can you think without clinging to these forms?
A thought without shape is rare,
Knowledge of Tao rarer still.

Our mind needs to cling to some object in order to function in its usual modes. If you look at your memories, you will find that most are tied to some sensory image. The thought of being in the country brings up a certain fragrance. You “see” relationships in a certain way. We may do math problems, or compose something to say to our companions, but we will still think in numbers and words.

Some people make the mistake of rejecting this type of thinking, but we need to use these modes in order to function in the everyday world. When it comes to knowing Tao, thought tied to sensory images is not enough to bring complete realization. Dualistic thinking cannot be used to know Tao. But don’t discard it as long as ordinary functioning in the world is necessary.

When one meditates, one must use an aspect of consciousness that does not cling to external forms. This type of consciousness is beyond the senses. Some call these states of mind superconsciousness, samadhi, nirvana, or enlightenment. These are mere names. All that matters is getting to these states. Then all labels fall away.

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