Friday, 20 October 2017

Bob. L. - A.A. Big Book Speaker


Daily Dose OF Emmet Fox #essentialsofrecovery


Many people look upon change with dread and foreboding. But for those on the spiritual path-for those who believe in God and the power of prayer-change is a fuller expression of life. When a problem or condition arises in your life that indicates a change, rely upon God, and realize that it is not so much that a door has closed on a chapter of your life, but rather that a door has opened on new and more interesting things.

~Emmet fox 
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Daily Reflections #essentialsofrecovery


SOLACE FOR CONFUSION


Obviously, the dilemma of the wanderer from faith is that of profound confusion. He thinks himself lost to the comfort of any conviction at all. He cannot attain in even a small degree the assurance of the believer, the agnostic, or the atheist. He is the bewildered one.


TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 28

The concept of God was one that I struggled with during my early years of sobriety. The images that came to me, conjured from my past, were heavy with fear, rejection and condemnation. Then I heard my friend Ed’s image of a Higher Power: As a boy he had been allowed a litter of puppies, provided that he assume responsibility for their care. Each morning he would find the unavoidable “byproducts” of the puppies on the kitchen floor. Despite frustration, Ed said he couldn’t get angry because “that’s the nature of puppies.” Ed felt that God viewed our defects and shortcomings with a similar understanding and warmth. I’ve often found solace from my personal confusion in Ed’s calming concept of God.
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Just For Today #essentialsofrecovery

Freedom To Choose

“Enforced morality lacks the power that comes to us when we choose to live a spiritual life.” Basic Text, p.44

In our active addiction, many of us lived our lives by default. We were unwilling or unable to make choices about how we wanted to act, what we preferred to do, or even where we would live. We allowed the drugs or other people to make our most basic decisions for us. Freedom from active addiction means, among other things, the freedom to make those choices for ourselves.

Freedom of choice is a wonderful gift, but it’s also a great responsibility. Choice allows us to find out who we are and what we believe in. However, in exercising it, we’re called on to weigh our own choices and accept the consequences. This leads some of us to seek out someone who will make our choices for us-our sponsor, our home group, our NA friends-just as our disease made our choices for us when we were using. That’s not recovery.

Seeking others’ experience is one thing; abdicating personal responsibility is something else. If we don’t use the gift of freedom we’ve been given, if we refuse to accept the responsibilities that go along with it, we’ll lose that gift and our lives will be diminished. We are responsible for our own recovery and our own choices. Difficult as it may seem; we must make those choices for ourselves and become willing to accept the consequences.

Just for today: I am grateful for the freedom to live as I choose. Today, I will accept responsibility for my recovery, make my own choices, and accept the consequences.
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Twenty-Four Hours A Day #essentialsofrecovery


A.A. Thought For The Day

For the past few weeks we have been asking ourselves some searching questions. We have not been able to answer them all as we would like. But on the right answers to these questions will depend the usefulness and effectiveness of our lives and to some extent the usefulness and effectiveness of the whole A.A. movement. It all boils down to this: I owe a deep debt to A.A. and to the grace of God. Am I going to do all I can to repay this debt? Let us search our souls, make our own decisions, and act accordingly. Any real success we have in life will depend on that. Now is the time to put our conclusions into effect. What am I going to do about it?

Meditation For The Day

“Our Lord and our God, be it done unto us according to Thy will.” Simple acceptance of God’s will in whatever happens is the key to abundant living. We must continue to pray: Not my will but Thy will be done. It may not turn out the way you want it to, but it will be the best way in the long run, because it is God’s way. If you decide to accept whatever happens as God’s will for yourself, whatever it may be, your burdens will be lighter. Try to see in all things some fulfillment of the Divine Intent.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may see the working out of God’s will in my life. I pray that I may be content with whatever He will for me.
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AS Bill Sees It #essentialsofrecovery

Pain-Killer—-or Pain-Healer, p. 291

“I believe that when we were active alcoholics we drank mostly to kill pain of one kind or another–physical or emotional or psychic. Of course, everybody has a cracking point, and I suppose you reached yours–hence, the resort once more to the bottle.

“If I were you, I wouldn’t heap devastating blame on myself for this; on the other hand, the experience should redouble your conviction that alcohol has no permanent value as a pain-killer.”

*********************************

In every A.A. story, pain has been the price of admission into a new life. But this admission price purchased more than we expected. It led us to a measure of humility, which we soon discovered to be a healer of pain. We began to fear pain less, and desire humility more than ever.

1. LETTER, 1959

2. TWELVE AND TWELVE, p. 75
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Walk In Dry Places #essentialsofrecovery

This too shall pass
Acceptance


When personal problems are brought up in group discussions, someone usually remembers the saying, “This too shall pass.” We use it in reference to unpleasant matters, but it also applies to happier experiences. It is a certainty that nothing will ever stay the same.

Our responsibility to ourselves is to see all situations constructively, whether they are seen as good or bad at the time. What seems a disappoint today might be seen as a blessing tomorrow. And we can’t always be sure that today’s wonderful opportunity doesn’t have a few hidden nettles in it.

The one certainty is that everything will pass. We should extract the good from everything, and let what is unpleasant fade into the past.

Whatever I’m facing today will certainly change as I do my best in the 24 hours ahead. None of us is permanently bound to any problem.
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Keep It Simple #essentialsofrecovery


We lie loudest when we lie to ourselves.

—Eric Hoffer

When we’re not honest with others, we’re not being honest with ourselves. In recovery, we’re taught how to heal our hearts. We admit we’re wrong, and we do it quickly. We let our spirit have the loudest voice. This way, lies lose power over us. We find a way to be true to our spirit.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, You have a soft, quiet voice inside me. Help me, through meditation, to hear You better. Yours is the voice to follow.

Action for the Day: I’ll listen to my Higher Power. I’ll list any lies I’ve been telling myself and others lately. Then I’ll find someone I trust and tell that person what I’ve lied about.
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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation #essentialsofrecovery


OBSERVANCE


“The older I grow, the more I listen to people who don’t say much.”

— German G. Gladden

I’ve noticed that an important part of my recovery is people watching. I have fun watching people — at a party, on a train or in a park. I find the daily “theater” of life fascinating and stimulating. I also learn so much about me by observing others. I can identify with their mannerisms, actions and facial antics and intuitively sense what they are feeling. I see their fear, hesitancy and shame and connect it with mine. People are a mirror to my life.

Part of my recovery is developing that instinctive spirituality that grows through observation. The human being is forever communicating, sending energy and messages not only with words but by his existence — and especially by his silence. Sometimes a person’s silence can be deafening! God is most alive to me in the lives and behavior of His people, and part of my worship and prayer is observing the splendor and richness of my fellow human beings.

You, who have created the universe in such magnificent silence, touch me with Your stillness.
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A Day At A Time #essentialsofrecovery


Reflection For The Day


Before I admitted my powerlessness over alcohol and other chemicals, I had as much self-worth as a “peeled zero.” I came into The Program as a nobody who desperately wanted to be a somebody. In retrospect, my self-esteem was shredded, seemingly beyond repair. Gradually, The Program has enabled me to achieve an even-stronger sense of self-worth. I’ve come to accept myself, realizing that I’m not so bad as I had always supposed myself to be. Am I learning that my self-worth is not dependent on the approval of others, but instead is truly an “inside job”?

Today I Pray

When I am feeling down and worthless, may my Higher Power and my friends in the group help me see that, although I was “fallen,” I was not “cast down.” However sick I might have been in my worst days, with all the self-esteem of an earth worm, may I know that I still had the power of choice. And I chose to do something about myself. May that good choice be the basis for my reactivated self-worth.

Today I Will Remember

I will not kick myself when I’m down.
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One Day At A Time #essentialsofrecovery

Limitations


“You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves.”

–Abraham Lincoln

I love the idea of helping people. Seeing the other person shine after my input gives me a great feeling. The flip side of this peak experience is the sadness and bleakness I feel when the person I am helping does not succeed. When it is all about me, I have to accept responsibility for everything: the good and the bad.

Thank You, God, that it is not really me who is the source of all help, it is You. I can point the way and make suggestions, but I cannot make someone change for the better. What causes people to change is something for which no person can take credit. It is simply divine!

The real question is whether or not the person I want to help will turn to his or her Higher Power and use the help that is offered. I cannot actually take these steps for others. I can pretend to do that, and perhaps offer some temporary relief, but lasting recovery will come only to those who make a quality decision to take the necessary steps on their own.

One day at a time…
I will realize the limitations of my help. I will not try to do for others what only they can and should do for themselves.

~ Q
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Elder’s Meditation of the Day #essentialsofrecovery


“As Elders, it is our place to show respect to our young people in order to gain respect.”

–Grace Azak, NISGA’A

The attitude of our leaders will be the attitude of the people.
The attitude of the parents will be the attitude of the children.

If respect is shown from above, respect will be developed below.
If the Elders show respect, the younger people will be respectful.
As above, so below.

This happens because of interconnectedness. The heart of the Elders is connected to the heart of the youth.

Great Spirit, in the fall season let me respect both the Elders and the youth.
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Today’s Gift #essentailsofrecovery


Today I Will Trust


Today, I will stop straining to know what I don’t know.
To see what I can’t see.
To understand what I don’t yet understand.
I will trust that being is sufficient,
And I will let go of my need to figure things out.

From the book:



The Language of Letting Go © 1990 by Hazelden Foundation

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The Eye Opener #essentialsofrecovery

For a person who knew almost everything just a few years back and who now knows more than he did then, it is indeed strange to have had that consciousness of just beginning to learn the most elementary facts of living.

Copyright Hazelden Foundation
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Daily Tao / 293 – Interval #essentialsofrecovery


Seven geese pierce straight line over frigid bay,
Intervals between them constantly equal,
Pointed wings slash as if joined to an axle:
Today is the ideal moment between yesterday and tomorrow.


Every morning means a fresh start on things. If yesterday was trying and exhausting, today is a given opportunity to do something different. If yesterday was full of triumph and satisfaction, today is a free chance to go further. All too often, we wake up, think of our schedules, and assume that we must act according to the same dull script. We need not. If we find what is unique to each day, we will have freshness and the greatest fulfillment possible.

Although we have talked about our relationship to Tao in terms of positioning and timing, the clear discerning of intervals is just as important. Geese keep a perfect distance between them to establish a dynamic equilibrium; so too must we fit in with the intervals of a day’s events. If we, like the geese, act in unison with these moments, with each other, and with the season, then we will be in total concert with Tao.

Today is poised between yesterday and tomorrow. What you may have started yesterday can be continued or interrupted today. What you want for tomorrow may be planted or destroyed today. Every morning is a new day. That observation is so simple as to seem trite. If we could observe the simple, there would be no need to study Tao.
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Daily Zen

He who wherever he goes is attached to no person and to no place by ties of flesh; who accepts good and evil alike, neither welcoming the one nor shrinking from the other — take it that such a one has attained Perfection.

 "Bhagavad-Gita" 
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Thursday, 19 October 2017

We are reaching a lot of people. Here are this months stats



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Random Big Book 'Alcoholics Anonymous'

I had always believed in a Power greater that myself. I had often pondered these things. I was not an atheist. Few people really are, for that means blind faith in the strange proposition that this universe originated in a cipher and aimlessly rushes no where. ~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, Bill's Story, pg. 10~

Just For Today #essentialsofrecovery

Standing For Something


“… we could feel time, touch reality, and recognize spiritual values long lost to many of us.”

Basic Text, p.85

In our active addiction, we were prepared to compromise everything we believed in just to get our hands on more drugs. Whether we stole from our families and friends, sold ourselves, or lied to our employers, we were ignoring the values that mattered most to us. Each time we compromised another dearly held belief, another chunk of the mortar holding our characters together fell away. By the time many of us came to our first meeting, nothing was left but the ruin of our former selves.

We will locate our lost values as we carry out our first honest self-examination. But in order to rebuild our characters, we’ll find it necessary to maintain those values, no matter how great the temptation to shove them aside. We will need to be honest, even when we think we could fool everyone by lying. If we ignore our values, we’ll discover that the biggest fibs we’ve told have been the ones we’ve told ourselves.

We don’t want to start the demolition of our spirits again after all the work we’ve put into their restoration. It’s essential that we stand for something, or we risk falling for anything. Whatever we find important to us, we honor.

Just for today: I stand for something. My strength is the result of living my values.
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Twenty-Four Hours A Day #essentialsofrecovery

A.A. Thought For The Day

Do I realize that I do not know how much time I have left? It may be later than I think. Am I going to do the things that I know I should do before my time runs out? By the way, what is my purpose for the rest of my life? Do I realize all I have to make up for in my past wasted life? Do I know that I am living on borrowed time and that I would not have even this much time left without A.A. and the grace of God? Am I going to make what time I have left count for A.A.?

Meditation For The Day

We can believe that somehow the cry of the human soul is never unheard by God. It may be that God hears the cry, even if we fail to notice God’s response to it. The human cry for help must always evoke a response of some sort from God. It may be that our failure to discern properly keeps us unaware of the response. But one thing we can believe is that the grace of God is always available for every human being who sincerely calls for help. Many changed lives are living proofs of this fact.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may trust God to answer my prayer as He sees fit. I pray that I may be content with whatever form that answer may take.
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As Bill Sees It #essentialsofrecovery


TIME VERSUS MONEY, p. 290


Our attitude toward the giving of time when compared with our attitude toward giving money presents an interesting contrast. We give a lot of our time to A.A. activities for our own protection and growth, but also for the sake of our groups, our areas, A.A. as a whole, and, above all, the newcomer. Translated into terms of money, these collective sacrifices would add up to a huge sum.

But when it comes to the actual spending of cash, particularly for A.A. service overhead, many of us are apt to turn a bit reluctant. We think of the loss of all that earning power in our drinking years, of those sums we might have laid by for emergencies or for education of the kids.

In recent years, this attitude is everywhere on the decline; it quickly disappears when the real need for a given A.A. service becomes clear. Donors can seldom see what the exact result has been. They well know, however, that countless thousands of other alcoholics and their families are being helped.

TWELVE CONCEPTS, pp. 63-64
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Walk In Dry Places #essentialsofrecovery

The same situation… over and over
Growth in Maturity.


Our drinking experience should have taught us that we’ll continue to repeat old destructive behaviors until we change our attitudes.

In sobriety, we can take this idea a step further and apply it to other areas. If we have trouble with other people, for example, we should ask what we’re doing to bring about unpleasant situations.

This is not to say that we’re responsible for everything that goes wrong, but we are getting a message ourselves if we continuously meet the same problem in different forms. Some people, for example, repeatedly become involved in bad relationships or find themselves working for abusive bosses.

Just as a changed attitude helped us recover from our drinking problem, so can a new attitude keep us from repeating other destructive situations.

I’ll be on the lookout today for any indications of a tendency to “attract” trouble. It’s true that I can have bad luck, but I don’t need to bring it on myself.
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Keep It Simple #essentialsofrecovery



A wise man changes his mind, a fool never will.

—Seventeenth century proverb


We addicts used to be stubborn. Once we got an idea in our heads, we wouldn’t change it.

We didn’t listen to others ideas. We almost seemed to say, “Don’t tell me the facts. I’ve already made up my mind.”

But lately , some new ideas are making sense to us. We are starting to change our minds. Maybe we are good people, after all. Maybe we do deserve to be happy. Maybe other people can help us. Maybe our Higher Power does know best.

We’re not acting like fools any longer. We’re learning to change our old ideas.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, when I hear a better idea, help me change my mind.

Action for the Day: When I hear or read a new idea today, I’ll really think about it. If it fits, I’ll try it.
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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation #essentialsofrecovery

TACT


“Tact is the art of making a point without making an enemy.”
— Howard W. Newton

An aspect of my recovery is not hurting people’s feelings unnecessarily. I am learning how to say what I have to say without causing offense. Today I am learning to be tactful and respectful.

As a drunk I would say the first thing that came into my head without any regard for the feelings of others. I was often violent with words, sarcastic with comments and cruel in dialogue. Tact was a sign of weakness; gentleness and sensitivity were unmanly; my power was seen in forcing people to change their minds!

Today I do not wish to be like this. Today I desire to be tactful.

Lord, let me always express my opinion respectfully.
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A Day At A Time #essentialsofrecovery

Reflection For The Day

There are countless ways by which my progress and growth in The Program can be measured. One of the most important is my awareness that I’m no longer compelled, almost obsessively, to go around judging everything and everybody. My only business today is to work on changing myself, rather than other people, places and things. In its own way, the obsession of being forever judgmental was as burdensome to me as the obsession of my addiction; I’m grateful that both weights have been lifted from my shoulders. When I become judgmental, will I remind myself that I’m trespassing on God’s territory?

Today I Pray

Forgive me my trespasses, when I have become the self-proclaimed judge-and-jury of my peers. By being judgmental, I have trespassed on the rights of others to judge themselves– and on the rights of God in the Highest Court of all. May I throw away all my judgmental tools — my own yardstick and measuring tapes, my own comparisons, my unreachable standards — and accept each person as an individual beyond compare.

Today I Will Remember

Throw away old tapes – especially measuring tapes.
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One Day At A Time #essentialsofrecovery

Live and Let Live


“If I knew for a certainty that a man was coming to my house with the conscious design of doing me good, I should run for my life.”

–Henry David Thoreau

I have gleaned from the OA program that I can let others be themselves and make their own decisions unless an issue involves me as well. What a powerful concept. I have struggled long and hard with the issue of letting others live their lives as they choose without the benefit of my wise, profound advice. I really believed that I had all the answers and that by listening to me, one could get his or her life on the right track and be forever grateful to me for the magnanimous favor I had done them. I really believed this! I was also deeply frustrated when people did not immediately do whatever it was I had “advised” them to do. How could they be so dumb?

More importantly, how did I overlook the fact that my own life was heading downhill at a remarkable clip? Thanks to the OA program, I have slowly learned to keep my mouth shut. My motto for relationships is simple: sweep off my side of the street. It makes being me so much easier and it makes the lives of those around me a bit better too.

One day at a time…
Today I will accept and love those around me without acting on the urge to make their lives “better.” I will live and let live as I continue to realize the freedom the program offers me.

~ Pete
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Elder’s Meditation of the Day #essentialsofrecovery


“The teachings are for all, not just for Indians… The white people never wanted to learn before. They thought we were savages. Now they have a different understanding, and they do want to learn. We are all children of God. The tradition is open to anyone who wants to learn.”

–Don Jose Matusuwa, HUICHOL

In the summer of 1994, a white buffalo calf was born. This means that now is the time for all races to come together. The Elders say that at this time a voice from within will speak to everyone. It will say now is the time to forgive, now is the time to come together. Are we willing to do this? Are we willing to quit judging other people? The Elders say, He will be talking through people of all races and gender. We need to open our hearts and welcome our brothers and sisters.

Great Spirit, let my ears be open as I walk the path You have chosen for me.
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Today’s Gift #essentialsofrecovery


Accepting our limitations


Helen Keller said, “Life is a banquet and most of us are starving to death.” Drinking and using sure kept us from seeing the beauty, the bounty in our lives. Since we recognized that we can’t use or drink – and got clean and sober – most of us today can get higher than ever before on the important things like justice, peace, and love.

Those of us who seem successful in relationships have at some point learned to accept our shortcomings more than most.

Am I learning to accept my limitations?

Higher Power, help me accept myself today, with all my defects, knowing that in your time I will gradually change for the better.

From the book:



Day by Day © 1974, 1998 by Hazelden Foundation

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The Eye Opener #essentialsofrecovery

Bad luck is not often just a series of unhappy events that just happened. Our bad luck is usually the result of our ignorance, carelessness or indifference.

Our experience with bad luck should make us more careful and then good luck can be expected to follow in consequence.

It was your bad luck that brought you to AA; it was your good luck that you profited by it.

Copyright Hazelden Foundation
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Daily Tao / 292 – Balance #essentialsofrecovery

Summer withered grass to flaxen yellow,
Scorched leaves to brittle paper,
Dried lakes to cracked clay.
Chill autumn brought little relief —
Only frosted the devastation.
But with the early gentle rains,
The earth’s fissures softened
And desiccated plants began to dissolve.
Slowly, balance comes once again.


Many cultures describe old people as having seen many winters. Those elders have seen many cycles come and go, and their wisdom comes from long observation of life’s rising and falling.


If we have a long-range view, then we realize that equilibrium comes in the course of nature’s progression. Nature does not achieve balance by keeping to one level. Rather, elements and seasons alternate with one another in succession. Balance, as defined by Tao, is not stasis but a dynamic process of many overlapping alternations; even if some phases seem wildly excessive, they are balanced by others.

Everything has its place. Everything has its season. As events turn, balance is to know what is here, what is coming, and how to be in perfect harmony with it. Then one attains a state of sublimity that cannot be challenged.


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Daily Zen


Abandon wrongdoing. It can be done. If there were no likelihood, I would not ask you to do it. But since it is possible and since it brings blessing and happiness, I do ask of you: abandon wrongdoing.

Cultivate doing good. It can be done. If it brought deprivation and sorrow, I would not ask you to do it. But since it brings blessing and happiness, I do ask of you: cultivate doing good.

-Anguttara Nikaya
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Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Daily Dose Of Emmet Fox

Make up your mind to devote one week solely to the task of building a new habit of thought, and during that week let everything in life be unimportant as compared with that. 

If you will do so, then that week will be the most significant week in your whole life. It will literally be the turning’ point for you. If you will do so, it is safe to say that your whole life will change for the better. In fact, nothing can possibly remain the same. This does not simply mean that you will be able to face your present difficulties in a better spirit; it means that the difficulties will go. This is the scientific way to Alter Your Life, and being in accordance with the Great Law it cannot fail. Now do you realize that by working in this way you do not have to
change conditions.

~ Emmet Fox

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Daily Reflections #essentialsofrecovery

AN OPEN MIND


True humility and an open mind can lead us to faith . . 
.
TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 33

My alcoholic thinking led me to believe that I could control my drinking, but I couldn’t. When I came to A.A., I realized that God was speaking to me through my group. My mind was open just enough to know that I needed His help. A real, honest acceptance of A.A. took more time, but with it came humility. I know how insane I was, and I am extremely grateful to have my sanity restored to me and to be a sober alcoholic. The new, sober me is a much better person than I ever could have been without A.A.
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Just For Today #essentialsofrecovery

We All Belong


“Although ‘politics makes strange bedfellows,’ as the old saying goes, addiction makes us one of a kind.”

Basic Text, p.84

What a mixture of folks we have in Narcotics Anonymous! In any given meeting on any given night, we’ll find a variety of people that probably never would have sat down in a room together if it weren’t for the disease of addiction.

A member who is a physician described his unwillingness to identify at his first meeting by refusing to go into “that room full of junkies.” Another member with an extensive background in jails and institutions shared a similar story, except that her shock and surprise stemmed from the realization that “there were nice people there – wearing suits, yet!” These two friends recently celebrated their seventh wedding anniversary.

The most unlikely people form friendships, sponsor each other, and do service work together. We meet in the rooms of recovery together, sharing the bonds of past suffering and hope for the future. We meet on mutual ground with our focus on the two things we all have in common – addiction and recovery.

Just for today: No matter what my personal circumstances, I belong.
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Twenty-Four Hours A Day #essentialsofrecovery


A.A. Thought For The Day


Have I got over most of my sensitiveness, my feelings which are too easily hurt, and my just plain laziness and self-satisfaction? Am I willing to go all out for A.A. at no matter what cost to my precious self? Is my own comfort more important to me than doing the things that need to be done? Have I got to the point where what happens to me is not so important? Can I face up to things that are embarrassing or uncomfortable if they are the right things to do for the good of A.A.? Have I given A.A. just a small piece of myself? Am I willing to give all of myself whenever necessary?

Meditation For The Day

Not until you have failed can you learn true humility. Humility arises from a deep sense of gratitude to God for giving you the strength to rise above past failures. Humility is not inconsistent with self-respect. The true person has self-respect and the respect of others and yet is humble. The humble person is tolerant of others failings, and does not have a critical attitude toward the foibles of others. Humble people are hard on themselves and easy on others.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may be truly humble and yet have self-respect. I pray that I may see the good in myself as well as the bad.

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As Bill Sees It #essentialsofrecovery


WHEN CONFLICTS MOUNT, p. 289


Sometimes I would be forced to look at situations where I was doing badly. Right away, the search for excuses would become frantic.

“These,” I would exclaim, “are really a good man’s faults.” When that pet gadget broke apart, I would think, “Well, if those people would only treat me right, I wouldn’t have to behave the way I do.” Next was this: “God well knows that I do have awful compulsions. I just can’t get over this one. So He will have to release me.” At last came the time when I would shout, “This, I positively will not do! I won’t even try.”

Of course, my conflicts went right on mounting, because I was simply loaded with excuses, refusals, and outright rebellion.
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Walk In Dry Places #essentialsofrecovery

Those who want it, Not those who need it.
Honest Desire


In the first bloom of sobriety, many recovering people confront drinking companions who also “need” the program. They’re often surprised and disillusion when efforts to help their friends are rejected… sometimes curtly.

We’re truly limited to helping those who desire recovery, not those who we think need it. Though intervention methods can be effective, we’re still largely helpless to assist those who don’t desire recovery.

We regret that we really have no answers for the millions who perish from alcoholism, unaware of their problem. We also can hold out little hope that any future recovery attempts will succeed without the individual alcoholic’s cooperation.

Desire….. a personal determination and decision…. is necessary for almost any kind of change. We have the freedom to choose in many areas of our lives, and alcoholics must eventually choose recovery in order to find and maintain it.

Though I’d love to see others recover, I must accept the fact that their personal desire and choice is necessary. I’ll remember this if any opportunities arise today to carry the message.
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Keep It Simple #essentialsofrecovery


When people bother you in any way, it is because their souls are trying to get your divine attention and your blessing.

–Catherine Ponder

We are in constant communication with one another and with God in the spiritual realm. No matter how singular our particular course may appear, our path is running parallel to many paths. And all paths will intersect when the need is present. The point of intersection is the moment when another soul seeks our attention. We can be attentive and loving to the people seeking our attention. Their growth and ours is at stake,

We can be grateful for our involvement with other lives. We can be mindful that our particular blessing is like no one else’s and that we all need input from the many significant persons in our lives. There is no insignificant encounter in our passage through life. Each juncture with someone else is part of the destiny of both participants.

I will look carefully and lovingly at the people around me today and bless them, one and all. They are in my life because they need to be. I, likewise, need them.
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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation #essentialsofrecovery


WORSHIP



“Our concern is not how to worship in the catacombs but how to remain human in the skyscrapers.”

— Abraham Heschel

Worship requires the discovery of “true worth” in my own life. True worship is not only historical and traditional but also contemporary. I need to discover not only the God of yesterday, but also the God of the modern city.

My past addiction to fantasy often made me place God in an unreal world. I was happy talking about the Jews, Roman and Philistines but I missed God in Las Vegas, on freeways and in local politics.

God is alive in His world, and it is tragic to make Him a prisoner of history.

Let me find You in the place where I live.
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A Day At A Time #essentialsofrecovery

Reflection For The Day

Not in my wildest dreams could I have imagined the rewards that would be mine when I first contemplated turning my life and will over to the care of God as I understand Him. Now I can rejoice in the blessing of my own recovery, as well as the recoveries of countless others who have found hope and a new way of life in The Program. After all the years of waste and terror, I realize today that God has always been on my side and at my side. Isn’t my clearer understanding of God’s will one of the best things that has happened to me?

Today I Pray


May I be thankful for the blessed contrast between the way my life used to be (Part 1) and the way it is now (Part II). In Part I, I was the practicing addict, adrift among my fears and delusions. In Part II, I am the recovering addict, rediscovering my emotions, accepting my responsibilities, learning what the real world has to offer, growing close to my Higher Power. Without the contrast, I could never feel the joy I know today or sense the peaceful nearness of my Higher Power.

Today I Will Remember


I am grateful for such contrast.
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One Day At A Time #essentialsofrecovery

Looking for Love


“The most important thing in life is to learn how to give out love, and to let it come in.”

–Morrie Schwartz

As a compulsive overeater I was always looking outside of myself for love, yet I was terrified of letting it in. “What if it hurts me once I let it in?” I was just as afraid of giving out love. “What if I lost myself or was taken advantage of?” My life was ruled by fear, and at a very young age I discovered the false security of food. I used food as a source of companionship and as a way to numb out my pain. It became a substitute for love.

As the disease gained control, the more I ate and the more shut down I became. I built huge walls around myself. As the weight came on, I was convinced that this was the reason people didn’t love me the way that I wanted to be loved. I believed that “if only I was thin enough” I would get what I wanted. It never occurred to me that I was already so full of the food that there was no room inside to receive anything else.

When I came into program and began to put down the food, I slowly discovered that this love that I was searching for was within me all along. My Higher Power is love and dwells within and all around me. In recovery I am graced with the freedom to act out of love and therefore be with my Higher Power.

One day at a time…

I will choose to act out of love and to keep my heart open to the love that my Higher Power brings into my life. If I just open my eyes, my ears and my heart, it is everywhere.

~ Jessica M.
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Today’s Gift #essentialsofrecovery

You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years of trying to get other people interested in you.

— Dale Carnegie

We wanted friends, but our addiction wanted all our attention. We had no time to be close to others.

Well, stand aside addiction! The program has taught us that others are important. Our purpose is to help others. People have become what’s important to us.

Now we listen to others. We help them do what they want to do, not what we want them to do. We help people instead of use them. Friendship is now a way of life. And another promise of the program becomes a part of us.

Prayer for the Day

Higher Power, help me to know that I’m here to help others, not just myself. Through others, I find myself.

Today’s Action

Today I’ll help someone in the way he or she wants to be helped.

From the book:



                                               Keep It Simple © 1989 by Hazelden Foundation
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The Eye Opener #essentialsofrecovery


The life of the alcoholic is very similar to a jigsaw puzzle. In our days of drinking, the whole of life appeared as simply a jumbled mass of unrelated pieces, impossible to unscramble.

In AA, someone gave us the cornerpiece and, from this, we slowly and laboriously found one piece after another. Each piece that we fitted in made it easier to find the next piece.

First, we found understanding, then hope, then determination, then sobriety, then unselfishness, then love, then faith and finally God.

All the pieces are in place finally, the picture makes sense – and it is beautiful to behold.

Copyright Hazelden Foundation 
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Daily Tao / 291 – Progression #essentialsofrecovery

When meditation stales,
Change methods quickly.



For those who follow Tao, there is no such thing as just one meditation that you practice for the rest of your life. All of Tao changes and flows, so too should meditation. It is not a static discipline but rather a progressive means of spiritual living. Beginners have their meditation, advanced students have theirs. Simple people have simple meditations, complicated people must have meditations that engage them fully.

No matter what kind of person you are, there are times when you will exhaust all the potential of a certain contemplative method. After all, a method is only an arbitrary structure, whereas the subconscious that you are trying to master is infinite, changeable, elusive. Therefore, when a method is exhausted, you have to change to another one. Sometimes, it is enough to switch back and forth between methods; at other times, you will need to go to a higher stage of meditation.

As long as you feel restless, it is a sign that you have not yet become fully mature on the spiritual path. The ultimate levels of meditation deal with a complete stillness of the mind. In this state, one feels nothing, thinks of nothing, worries about nothing. When meditation becomes stale, there is a preoccupation that will prevent you from attaining this stillness. That is why you change, until the day when restlessness naturally recedes and stillness is all that remains.
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Daily Zen #essentialsofrecovery

The nobility of the ancients was no more than purity and serenity; what need for bushels of emblems?

-Zen proverb  
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Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Daily Dose OF Emmet Fox



“The present moment is never intolerable. It is always what is coming in five minutes or five days that makes people despair. The Law of Life is to live in the present, and this applies to both time and place. Keep your attention to the present moment, and in the place where your body is now. Do a fair day’s work, and then stop. Overwork is not productive in the long run.”

~ Emmet Fox
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Daily Reflections #essentialsofrecovery


A DAILY TUNE-UP


Every day is a day when we must carry the vision of God’s will into all of our activities. 

ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 85

How do I maintain my spiritual condition? For me it’s quite simple: on a daily basis I ask my Higher Power to grant me the gift of sobriety for that day! I have talked to many alcoholics who have gone back to drinking and I always ask them: “Did you pray for sobriety the day you took your first drink?” Not one of them said yes. As I practice Step Ten and try to keep my house in order on a daily basis, I have the knowledge that if I ask for a daily reprieve, it will be granted.
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Just For Today #essentialsofrecovery


“The Truth”


“Everything we know is subject to revision, especially what we know about the truth.” 


Basic Text, p.91

Many of us thought we could recognize “The Truth.” We believed the truth was one thing, certain and unchanging, which we could grasp easily and without question. The real truth, however, was that we often couldn’t see the truth if it hit us square in the face. Our disease colored everything in our lives, especially our perception of the truth – in fact, what we “knew” about the truth nearly killed us. Before we could begin to recognize truth, we had to switch our allegiance from our addiction to a Higher Power the source of all that is good and true.

The truth has changed as our faith in a Higher Power has grown. As we’ve worked the steps, our entire lives have begun to change through the healing power of the principles of recovery. In order to open the door for that change, we have had to surrender our attachment to an unchanging and rigid truth.

The truth becomes purer and simpler each time we encounter it. And just as the steps work in our lives every day – if we allow them – our understanding of the truth may change each day as we grow.

Just for today: I will open my eyes and my heart to changes brought about by the steps. With an open mind, I can understand the truth in my life today.
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Twenty-Four Hours A Day #essentialsofrecovery

A.A. Thought For The Day

What am I going to do today for A.A.? Is there someone I should call up on the telephone or someone I should go to see? Is there a letter I should write? Is there an opportunity somewhere to advance the work of A.A. which I have been putting off or neglecting? If so, will I do it today? Will I be done with procrastination and do what I have to do today? Tomorrow may be too late. How do I know there will be a tomorrow for me? How about getting out of my easy chair and getting going? Do I feel that A.A. depends partly on me today?

Meditation For The Day

Today look upward toward God, not downward toward yourself. Look away from unpleasant surroundings, from lack of beauty, from the imperfections in yourself and in those around you. In your unrest, behold God’s calmness; in your impatience, God’s patience; in your limitations, God’s perfection. Looking upward toward God, your spirit will begin to grow. Then others will see something in you that they also want. As you grow in the spiritual life, you will be enabled to do many things that seemed too hard for you before.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may keep my eyes trained above the horizon of myself. I pray that I may see infinite possibilities for spiritual growth.
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As Bill Sees It #essentialsofrecovery

EMOTIONAL SOBRIETY, p. 288

If we examine every disturbance we have, great or small, we will find at the root of it some unhealthy dependency and its consequent unhealthy demand. Let us, with God’s help, continually surrender these hobbling liabilities.

Then we can be set free to live and love; we may then be able to twelfth-step ourselves, as well as others, into emotional sobriety.

GRAPEVINE, JANUARY 1958
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Walk In Dry Places #essentialsofrecovery


Driven by Fear
Finding courage.

During any group discussion of fear, someone usually points out that it serves a protective purpose by keeping us out of harm’s way.

With the type of fear that drove us, however, we more often fled into further harm while trying to avoid the threats at hand. No person whose fear reaches a panic stage can effectively control his or her actions.

We cannot expect sobriety alone to make us exempt from fear. What it can do is give us an ability to handle our fear constructively.

There are steps to doing this. FIRST, we should not be too prideful to admit that fear can come to us. SECOND, we should admit it when we do feel fear. THIRD, we can discuss our fear with others while turning it over to our Higher Power.

It would be wonderful if these steps then lifted us above any sense of fear. Even if this doesn’t happen completely, we’ve succeeded in mastering our problems if we don’t let fear drives us to work against ourselves. If I am afraid to give a presentation for work or go for a job interview, for example, I am being driven into inaction. This must no be allowed to happen.

I can find courage today in the Twelve Step program. This will enable me to act properly and responsibly, even if I’m a bit queasy with fear.
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Keep It Simple #essentialsofrecovery


Every child is an artist. The problem is remain an artist once your grow up.

—Pablo Picasso

We each have colorful ideas waiting to be shared. We’re alive inside. But do we let this side of us show? Our disease stole much of the child like openness. Many of us were taught that growing up meant denying the child within us. Many of us grew up in homes where it wasn’t safe to act alive and creative. Whatever the reason, it’s time to claim the child, the artist, in each of us. Each of our programs is different, and each has its artistic touch. When we tell our stories, we share our life. And our lives are unique and alive. The more alive we become, the more color we bring to others and ourselves. Let’s not be afraid to add color to our lives.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, help me claim the child inside of me. Joy is choice. Help me choose it.

Action for the Day: Today, I’ll work at not hiding myself from others. I’ll be alive, and I’ll greet everyone I meet with the openness of a child.
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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation #essentialsofrecovery

PROGRESS


You’ve got to be a fool to want to stop the march of time.”

–Pierre Renoir

My fear of the future gave me a fear of change. My need to control made me avoid any new or confusing ideas. My alcoholism wanted me to escape and hide in the past–tomorrow was too fearful to be contemplated. At other times–and this is why alcohol is cunning, baffling and powerful–I would want to escape into tomorrow and avoid the reality of today.

Time and reality were to be “played with” rather than experienced. But time moves on, it progresses just like the disease, and if I am to be a winner in this world, I need to move with it. God is to be experienced in the march of time and today I want to be in a relationship with God. Teach me to respect time as an opportunity for growth.
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A Day At A Time #essentialsofrecovery

Reflection For The Day

Now that we’re sober and living in reality, it’s sometimes difficult to see ourselves as others see us and, in the process, determine how much progress we’ve made in recovery. In the old days, the back-of-the-bar mirror presented us with a distorted and illusory view of ourselves; the way we imagined ourselves to be and the way we imagined ourselves to appear in the eyes of others. A good way for me to measure my progress today is imply to look about me at my friends in The Program. As I witness the miracle of their recoveries, I realize that I’m part of the same miracle — and will remain so as long as I’m willing. Am I grateful for reality and the Divine miracle of my recovery?

Today I Pray

May god keep my eyes open for miracles — those marvelous changes that have taken place in my own life and in the lives of my friends in the group. May I ask no other measurement of progress than a smile I can honestly mean and a clear eye and a mind that can, at last, touch reality. May my own joy be my answer to my question. “How am I doing?”

Today I Will Remember

Miracles measure our progress: Who needs more?
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One Day At A Time #essentialsofrecovery

Self-sabotage


“The truth is that our finest moments are most likely to occupy when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy, or unfulfilled. For it is only in such moments, propelled by our discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and start searching for different ways or truer answers.”

M. Scott Peck

For the last fifteen years I have been an avid and restless student of “self-help.” I read popular books, spent years in therapy, and attended various support groups. Because I didn’t see any improvement in my life, I was consumed with anger, shame, bitterness, and a pervasive sense of injustice. I blamed my Higher Power, my family, my partner, and my life circumstances. Only since joining The Recovery Group have I discovered the source of my toxic stagnation. It was myself. When doing a thorough examination of my life, I was absolutely shocked to find that I had been repeatedly practicing destructive acts of self-sabotage.

I was in love with my suffering. I was addicted to my misery. Sometimes we cling to our illnesses and weaknesses because they are so familiar to us. Though they hurt us, we find them oddly comforting. It’s what we’re used to. And change is scary. The unknown is scary. I found that my self-sabotage stemmed from shame, anger, low self-esteem, my lust for being a Victim — and even a Fear of Being Well. I had to reach the profound darkness of depression before I could admit that the damage I did to myself had become unbearable.

Now I make a choice each day to not sabotage myself. It’s not easy. Rather than being my enemy, I choose to be my friend and advocate. With the help of this program and my friends in recovery, I have come to like myself and to truly want good things for myself. The changes are gradual and require me to be patient and gracious with myself. Now I can celebrate each baby step and forgive myself when I fall back into old patterns. I now know that when I do make a mistake, I can admit it, learn from it, and press forward with my Recovery.

One day at a time…

I will choose to accept myself as a person of worth. I will resist temptations to sabotage my recovery and I will choose good things for my life.

~ Lisa
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Elder’s Meditation of the Day #essentialsofrecovery


Peace… comes within the souls of men when they realize their relationship, their oneness, with the universe and all its powers, and when they realize that at the center of the Universe dwells Wakan-Tanka, and that this center is really everywhere, it is within each of us.”

–Black Elk (Hehaka Sapa) OGLALA SIOUX

If we are to know peace we must look within ourselves. In order to do this, we must learn to be still. We must quiet the mind. We must learn to meditate. Meditation helps us locate and find the center that is within ourselves. The center is where the Great One resides. When we start to look for peace, we need to realize where it is within ourselves. When we experience conflict we need to pause for a moment and ask the Power within ourselves, “How do you want me to handle this? What would you suggest I do in this situation?” By asking the Higher Power for help we find peace.

Creator, help me to find peace.
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Today’s Gift #essentialsofrecovery


Fear makes strangers of people who should be friends.

—Shirley MacLaine

No one is brave every moment; each of us feels awkward, shy, perhaps even ugly or dumb part of the time. If we could understand that about each other, it would make it easier for us to be friendly and willing to talk to someone new. Instead, we often sit back, waiting to be noticed; waiting for someone to invite us to join in an activity.

We are all so much alike, yet we are so certain we’re different. Being self-conscious is normal. Even those who are the most popular suffer the same fears as the rest of us. The better we understand the ways we are the same, the easier it will be to make friends with someone new. And it’s through friends that we grow and are strengthened for whatever lies ahead.

What new person can I offer friendship to today?
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The Eye Opener #essentialsofrecovery


In your AA talks, you may have the eloquence of a Patrick Henry but, if your AA work stops there, you are only fooling the new man temporarily. He will soon get wise to the fact that you are but a phonograph – nice to listen to but of no use to anyone beyond this one function.

Beautiful sentiments need lovely actions or they have but little value. Lovely actions speak for themselves.

Copyright Hazelden Foundation
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Daily Tao / 290 – Transformation #essentialsofrecovery

You hurt me years ago;
My wounds bled for years.
Now you are back,
But I am not the same.



In the past, warriors fought by striking the same points that acupuncturists use. One famous swordsman nearly died in a duel in which his opponent attacked him in such a way. After that, the swordsman became a wanderer and tried to renounce the martial life. Years later, his enemy found him and challenged him to duel again. They fought. In the first flurry of blows, the aggressor stepped back in surprise. The swordsman smiled and said, “I trained for twenty years to move my vulnerable spots.” With that, he was finally able to triumph.

Spirituality is a process of inner healing. The wounds of the past can be the greatest obstacles for self-cultivation unless we find them all and heal them. This task can take years, but we must accomplish it.

In many cases, our wounds were inflicted by other people — enemies. This is subtle. Our enemies can be others on the street, or people much more intimate with us : parents, teachers, siblings, lovers, friends.

If we move away from such people and succeed in our practice, they will have no chance to come back in our lives. How can they? We change whatever made us vulnerable in the first place.
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Daily Zen #essentialsofrecovery



Internal peace is an essential first step to achieving peace in the world. How do you cultivate it? It's very simple. In the first place by realizing clearly that all mankind is one, that human beings in every country are members of one and the same family.


~ His Holiness the Dalai Lama
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Monday, 16 October 2017

Daily Dose Of Emmet Fox

All day long the thoughts that occupy your mind, your Secret Place, as Jesus calls it, are moulding your destiny for good or evil; in fact, the truth is that the whole of our life’s experience is but the outer expression of inner thought. Now we can choose the sort of thoughts that we entertain. It will be a little difficult to break a bad habit of thought, but it can be done. We can choose how we shall think—in point of fact, we always do choose—and therefore our lives are just the result of the kind of thoughts we have.

― Emmet Fox 
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Daily Reflections #essentialsofrecovery

THROUGHOUT EACH DAY

This is not an overnight matter. It should continue for our lifetime. 

ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 84

During my early years in A.A. I saw Step Ten as a suggestion that I periodically look at my behavior and reactions. If there was something wrong, I should admit it; if an apology was necessary, I should give one. After a few years of sobriety I felt I should undertake a self-examination more frequently. Not until several more years of sobriety had elapsed did I realize the full meaning of Step Ten, and the word “continued.” “Continued” does not mean occasionally, or frequently. It means throughout each day.
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Just For Today #essentialsofrecovery

The Simplest Prayer

“…praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.” Step Eleven

How do we pray? With little experience, many of us don’t even know how to begin. The process, however, is neither difficult nor complicated.

We came to Narcotics Anonymous because of our drug addiction. But underlying that, many of us felt a deep sense of bewilderment with life itself. We seemed to be lost, wandering a trackless waste with no one to guide us. Prayer is a way to gain direction in life and the power to follow that direction.

Because prayer plays such a central part in NA recovery, many of us set aside a particular time each day to pray, establishing a pattern. In this quiet time, we “talk” to our Higher Power, either silently or aloud. We share our thoughts, our feelings, our day. We ask, “What would you have me do?” At the same time we ask, “Please give me the power to carry out your will.”

Learning to pray is simple. We ask for “knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.” By doing that, we find the direction we lacked and the strength we need to fulfill our God’s will.

Just for today: I will set aside some quiet time to “talk” with my Higher Power. I will ask for that Power’s direction and the ability to act on it.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day #essentialsofrecovery

A.A. Thought For The Day

How seriously do I take my obligations to A.A.? Have I taken all the good I can get out of it and then let my obligations slide? Or do I constantly feel a deep debt of gratitude and a deep sense of loyalty to the whole A.A. movement? Am I not only grateful but also proud to be a part of such a wonderful fellowship, which is doing such marvelous work among alcoholics? Am I glad to be a part of the great work that A.A. is doing and do I feel a deep obligation to carry on that work at every opportunity? Do I feel that I owe A.A. my loyalty and devotion?

Meditation For The Day

If your heart is right, your world will be right. The beginning of all reform must be in yourself. It’s not what happens to you, it’s how you take it. However restricted your circumstances, however little you may be able to remedy financial affairs, you can always turn to your inward self and, seeing something not in order there, seek to right it. And as all reform is from within outward, you will always find that the outward is improved as the inward is improved. As you improve yourself, your outward circumstances will change for the better. The power released from within yourself will change your outward life.

Prayer For The Day


I pray that the hidden power within me may be released. I pray that I may not imprison the spirit that is within me.
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As Bill Sees It #essentialsofrecovery

Mastering Resentments

We began to see that the world and its people had really dominated us. Under that unhappy condition, the wrongdoing of others, fancied or real, had the power to actually kill us, because we could be driven back to drink through resentment. We saw that these resentments must be mastered, but how? We could not wish them away.

This was our course: We realized that the people who wronged us were perhaps spiritually sick. So we asked God to help us show them the same tolerance, pity, and patience that we would cheerfully grant a sick friend.

Today, we avoid retaliation or argument. We cannot treat sick people that way. If we do, we destroy our chance of being helpful. We cannot be helpful to all people, but at least God will show us how to take a kindly and tolerant view of each and every one.

ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, PP. 66-67
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Keep It Simple #essentialsofrecovery


To err is human, but when the eraser wears out ahead of the pencil, you’re overdoing it.

–Josh Jenkins

It’s okay to make mistakes. But we shouldn’t live a life of excuses. We shouldn’t slide over our mistakes; we should learn from them.

Excuses keep us part from ourselves and others. People don’t trust us if we won’t admit and accept our mistakes. Relying on excuses dooms us to repeat the same mistakes.

In recovery, we admit and accept our behavior. We do this by continuing to take an inventory of our lives. We do this so we can learn from our mistakes. “Owning” our mistakes helps us grow.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, help me own my mistakes. Thank-you for Step Ten and the growth it holds for me.

Action for the Day: Today, I’ll list my five favorite excuses. I’ll think of the last time I used each of these. What was I trying to avoid.
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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation #essentialsofrecovery

CULTURE


“The great law of culture: let each become all that he was created capable of being.”

– Thomas Carlyle

We are capable of great things. This history of man, although surrounded by wars and unspeakable acts of violence, is also the history of art, music, poetry and romance. Each person is capable of great and noble acts — but do we want to do them? We can be honest, loving and caring people only if we choose to be that. The power of freedom and choice is the determining factor in all our lives. Each culture has imaginative and creative features, but it is the people that make them happen. Nothing will happen unless people decide to make it happen.

So it is with the culture of recovery. The people who make up the recovering community in all the addictions are the people who make a decision and acted upon it. Talk is cheap and cruel unless it is followed by an event. Decisions must be made real. We all have the capacity to be honest and kind.

May I not only be grateful for my culture but may I live to add something to it.
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A Day At A Time #essentialsofrecovery

Reflection For The Day

Someone once said that the mind’s direction is more important than its progress. If my direction is correct, then progress is sure to follow. We first come to The Program to receive something for ourselves, but soon learn that we receive most bountifully when we give to others. If the direction of my mind is to give rather than to receive, then I’ll benefit beyond my greatest expectations. The more I give of myself and the more generously I open my heart and mind to others, the more growth and progress I’ll achieve. Am I learning not to measure my giving against my getting, accepting that the act of giving is its own reward?

Today I Pray

May I not lose sight of that pillar of The Program — helping myself through helping others in our purpose of achieving comfortable sobriety. May I feel that marvel of giving and taking and giving back again from the moment I take the First Step. May I care deeply about others’ maintaining their freedom from chemicals, and may I know that they care about me. It is a simple — and beautiful — exchange.

Today I Will Remember


Give and take and give back again
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One Day At A Time #essentialsofrecovery

Fellowship

“When we honestly ask ourselves which persons in our lives mean the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand.

Henri Nouwen, Out of Solitude

When I first came into The Recovery Group’s online meeting room nearly a year ago, I was bankrupt of mind, body and soul. I felt so unlovable that even I couldn’t stand myself! I casually observed at the first few meetings and I was intrigued by the warmth of the fellowship there. After a few meetings I finally opened up and shared, “spilling my guts” about what it was like to reach bottom and to desperately need a hand to lift me up. After they heard my share, they told me they would love me until I could learn to love myself. That really blew me away! They told me they had been where I was and that they had found a means to recover. They assured me this program would work for me, if I really wanted it, and to follow their steps ~ their beloved Twelve Steps.

Shortly after joining, I got an online sponsor with whom I have been walking the path of recovery ever since. I eventually shared with her things I had spent a lifetime desperately longing to be able to tell another person, but had needed to keep shrouded in secrecy. Being heard and understood was the gift of a lifetime. The weight has been falling off, I have experienced a lot of emotional healing, and I am in a much better place spiritually. This fellowship, their steps and meetings, and my Higher Power have brought me a long way in a year’s time!

One day at a time…
I will emulate those warm, wonderful people by welcoming newcomers with love and by helping them get started on the road to recovery. I will sponsor with the love and dedication that my sponsor has shown me.

~ Karen A.
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