Wednesday, 25 April 2018

Random Big Book - 'Alcoholics Anonymous'

Pioneer A.A., minister’s son, and southern farmer, he asked, “Who am I to say there is no God?” I am in another fellow’s room at college. “Freshman,” said he to me, “do you ever take a drink?” I hesitated. Father had never directly spoken to me about drinking and he never drank any, so far as I knew. Mother hated liquor and feared a drunken man. Her brother had been a drinker and had died in a state hospital for the insane. But his life was unmentionable, so far as I was concerned. I had never had a drink but I had seen enough merriment in the boys who were drinking to be interested. I would never be like the village drunkard at home. How a lot of people despised him! Just a weakling! “Well,” said the older boy, “Do you?” “Once in a while,” I lied. I could not let him think I was a sissy. ~ Our Southern Friend _ page. 208-209

Steve S. Recovery Speaker - The Road To Recovery



Daily Reflections #essentialsofrecovery

ENTERING A NEW DIMENSION

In the late stages of our drinking, the will to resist has fled. Yet when we admit complete defeat and when we become entirely ready to try A.A. principles, our obsession leaves us and we enter a new dimension – freedom under God as we understand Him.

 –AS BILL SEES IT, p. 283

I am fortunate to be among the ones who have had this awesome transformation in my life. When I entered the doors of A.A., alone and desperate, I had been beaten into willingness to believe anything I heard. One of the things I heard was, “This could be your last hangover, or you can keep going round and round.” The man who said this obviously was a whole lot better off than I. I liked the idea of admitting defeat and I have been free ever since! My heart heard what my mind never could: “Being powerless over alcohol is no big deal.” I’m free and I’m grateful!
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Just For Today #essentialsofrecovery

Embracing Reality


“Recovery is a reality for us today”

Basic Text, p. 97

Pain and misery were realities in our using lives. We were unwilling either to accept our living situation or to change what was unacceptable in our lives. We attempted to escape life’s pain by taking drugs, but using only compounded our troubles. Our altered sense of reality became a nightmare.

Through living the program of Narcotics Anonymous, we learn that our dreams can replace our nightmares. We grow and change. We acquire the freedom of choice. We are able to give and receive love. We can share honestly about ourselves, no longer magnifying or minimizing the truth. We accept the challenges real life offers us, facing them in a mature, responsible way.

Although recovery does not give us immunity from the realities of life, in the NA Fellowship we can find the support, genuine care, and concern we need to face those realities. We need never hide from reality by using drugs again, for our unity with other recovering addicts gives us strength. Today the support, the care, and the empathy of recovery give us a clean, clear window through which to view, experience, and appreciate reality as it is.

Just for today: A gift of my recovery is living and enjoying life as it truly is. Today, I will embrace reality.
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Twenty-Four Hours A Day #essentialsofrecovery

A.A. Thought For The Day

I don’t believe that A.A. works because I read it in a book or because I hear people say so. I believe it because I see people getting sober and staying sober. An actual demonstration is what convinces me. When I see the change in people, I can’t help believing that A.A. works. We could listen to talk about A.A. all day and still not believe it, but when we see it work, we have to believe it. Seeing is believing. Do I see A.A. work every day?

Meditation For The Day

Try saying “God bless her (or him)” of anyone who is in disharmony with you. Also say it of those who are in trouble through their own fault. Say it, willing that showers of blessings may fall upon them. Let God do the blessing. Leave to God the necessary correcting or disciplining. You should only desire blessing for them. Leave God’s work to God. Occupy yourself with the task that He gives you to do. God’s blessing will also break down all your own difficulties and build up all your successes.

Prayer For The Day


I pray that I may use God’s goodness so that it will be a blessing to others. I pray that I may accept God’s blessing so that I will have harmony, beauty, joy, and happiness.
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As Bill Sees It #essentialsofrecovery

Each Man’s Vision, p. 116
Beyond a Higher Power, as each of us may vision Him, A.A. must never, as a society, enter the field of dogma or theology. We can never become a religion in that sense, lest we kill our usefulness by getting bogged down in the theological contention.”

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

“The really amazing fact about A.A. is that all religions see in our program a resemblance to themselves. For example, Catholic theologians declare our Twelve Steps to be in exact accord with their Ignatian Exercises for Retreat, and, though our book reeks of sin, sickness, and death, the Christian Science Monitor has often praised it editorially.

“Now, looking through Quaker eyes, you, too, see us favorably. What happy circumstances, these!”

1. Letter, 1954 
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Walk in Dry Places #essentialsofrecovery

Fixing needs
Inventory.


AA pioneers once thought of their work as “fixing” drunks. That was dropped in AA, but “getting a fix” survives in the drug culture

The truth is, we can’t fix anybody, nor can we fix any problem with a destructive, mood altering drug. What we’re really seeking … what every compulsive person really seeks…. Is to fix the conflicting needs that tear us apart at the seams.

We can fix many of those needs over time if we practice Twelve step principles. “That searching and fearless moral inventory”, humbling though it may be, will expose the fierce drives that are consuming us. Sharing the truth about ourselves with others helps us understand both what is right and what is wrong in our lives. The power to change ourselves, when we desire it, comes from a Higher Power… God as we understand Him.

Somebody has summed this process up this way: “Need a fix? Fix the need!” We can use that idea to fix our needs today by following the Twelve step program. At times, we may not even by completely aware of our real needs. This too will be revealed to us as we continue in this program.

I’ll start my day by affirming that there’s no need that can cause me to do anything destructive. As any problem arises, I learn how to fix my needs in healthy ways.
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Keep It Simple #essentialsofrecovery


You’re never too old to grow up.

–Shirley Conran

Some of us have spent many years trying not to grow up. As children, we watched the adults around us. They may not have seemed happy. “Is life all hard work for grown-ups?” we wondered. No, it’s not hard work. There are lots of good things about growing up. We can take charge of our life. We can learn to take care of ourselves. We can learn to share feelings with good friends. We can make our world safe enough for us to express feelings again. We learn how to love others. We do have choices.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, help me grow up into a happy, grateful adult.

Action for the Day: There are happy grown-ups. I’ll find one to be my sponsor.

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation #essentialsofrecovery

IMPERFECTION


“In the country of the blind the one eyed king can still goof up.”

–Anonymous

For years I tried to control everything and everybody. Things had their place; there was a correct code of behavior for doing things; everything had to have its place. I felt responsible for the universe and everybody in it.

Today I can laugh at my mistakes and the mistakes of others. When I catch myself organizing the world, I remember where the “perfect” yesterdays got me – and I laugh. God made me with a navel and flat feet; I would have preferred something different but there is a loving message within my imperfections. It is okay to goof up!

Today I relax in the humor of being human. Thank You for making me an angel in the dirt.
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A Day At A Time #essentialsofrecdvery

Reflection For The Day

I have much more to be grateful for than I realize. Too often, I don’t remember to give thought to all the things in my life that I could enjoy and appreciate. Perhaps I don’t take time for this important meditation because I’m too preoccupied with my own so-called woes. I allow my mind to overflow with grievances; the more I think about them, the more monumental they seem. Instead of surrendering to God and His goodness, I let myself be controlled by the negative thinking into which my thoughts are apt to stray unless I guide them firmly into brighter paths. Do I try to cultivate an “attitude of gratitude?”

Today I Pray

May god lead me away from my pile-up of negative thoughts, which make for detours in my path of personal growth. May I break the old poor-me habits of remembering the worst and expecting the most dire. May I turn my thoughts ahead to a whole new world out there. May I allow myself to envision the glory of God.

Today I Will Remember

Keep an attitude of gratitude.
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One Day At A Time #essentialsofrecovery

~ Understanding ~


Understanding is the wellspring of life.


–The Bible, Book of Proverbs

Early on in my recovery I became aware that understanding myself and my disease was going to be a tool of success. For many years I lived day after day in my addiction, bemoaning it, suffering in it, struggling against it, and adopting the world view of my condition. I came to believe that losing weight was the answer to all my problems … if I could stick to a diet. Because I couldn’t, the thoughts of worthlessness, ignorance, shame and guilt were repeatedly reinforced.

In working the Steps, the idea of recovery through understanding myself was born. Through knowledge of my Higher Power, and by His guidance, the understanding of my past and my present have given me keys to freedom from compulsive overeating. I welcome working the Steps because they have opened doors of my heart to mend the past and receive hope for the future. Understanding who I am and why I’m like I am, allows me to be abstinent and to develop new ways of coping with the stresses of life. Understanding the disease frees me from guilt and shame and releases self-acceptance.

One Day at a Time . . .
I continue to seek knowledge and understanding as a way to recovery.
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Elder’s Meditation of the Day #essentialofrecovery

“In some mysterious and wonderful way you are part of everything, Nephew. And in that same mysterious and wonderful way, everything is a part of you.”

–Nippawanock, ARAPAHOE

In order to experience this, we must be aware of how limited our senses are—eyes, ears touch, smell, taste. These senses help us to function in the Seen World. What we see is interpreted by our minds and put inside our belief system, and this can become our reality. But there also exists an Unseen World.
In this world we experience connectedness; we experience the mystery; and we experience another whole point of view. If we pay attention to both the Unseen World and the Seen World, our belief systems will print in our mind a new and wonderful reality. We will see and know we are a part of everything.

Great Spirit, today, give me the knowledge to know this mystery.
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Today’s Gift from Hazelden #essentialsofrecovery

I think my peace comes from my good fortune.

— Jim Burns

How we define “good fortune” is a significant indicator of one’s attitude. While winning the lottery might be judged as good fortune by all of us, virtually every other occurrence will be evaluated in a very individualistic way. What seems like a wonderful situation or opportunity to one might greatly frighten his or her neighbor.

Peacefulness is a feeling everyone deserves. Thank goodness it’s attainable. Perhaps we’re beginning to realize that it always was available even though it didn’t seem within our grasp. The fault was never the result of external circumstances, even though that was where we laid the blame. Finally, we’re becoming willing to see that we will have all the peace and good fortune we want by simply taking charge of how we interpret the experiences that trouble us.

We’re never too old to develop a positive outlook on life. Some say, “I’m too old to change.” But that’s not true. Let’s offer a good example to a friend who is still stuck in the chaos of a defeated perspective. Our demonstration of the attainment of peace may be all this person needs.



Peace can be enjoyed by me today, regardless of circumstances, if I shift my perception ever so slightly.


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The Eye Opener #essentialsofrecovery

Man is a pretty smart duck, but after all these centuries of study, experimentation and reasoning, we still don’t know what we are, where our life came from or what happens to it when we die. True, we have certain faiths and beliefs, but who can say with certainty and with personal knowledge exactly what the answer to the Great Enigma really is? 

We have unlocked many of the secrets of Nature, but we still don’t know what we are, how we got here or where we will go when we leave.

God still has many secrets. If man knew them all, there would be no incentive to know God better.


Copyright Hazelden Foundation
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Daily Tao / 115 – Dominance

Sun shines in the center of the sky.
All things turn their faces toward the light.


All things in this life depend on direction. In our world, all is oriented toward the sun : The planets revolve around it, the seasons depend upon it, and our very concept of night and day is tied to the sun’s rising and setting. The sun is the dominant element in our lives.

In all other areas of our actions, we cannot avoid making arrangements that have a center or orientation. Our lives require composition, just as the solar system has a relationship and structure. Yet all structure and orientation is essentially arbitrary. We take the sun as the center of our world because of our vantage point. To someone standing in another galaxy, our sun is nothing more than another point in limitless space. There is no absolute standard by which to truly call something the center. Therefore, all arrangements and all compositions, all determinations of a dominant element are relative, subjective, and provisional.

There is no center except for that in our own consciousness. When we look at the sun and the arrangement of the planets, we must also include ourselves as observers. How else is there the determination of what is being seen? Consciousness is part of the phenomenon. We are the center, and there is no absolute measure.
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Tuesday, 24 April 2018

Ronnie C. Recovery Speaker - Southern Pines Conf



Daily Reflections #essentialsofrecovery


LEARNING TO LOVE OURSELVES


Alcoholism was a lonely business, even though we were surrounded by people who loved us… We were trying to find emotional security either by dominating or by being dependent upon others . . . We still vainly tried to be secure by some unhealthy sort of domination or dependence. 

AS BILL SEES IT, p. 252

When I did my personal inventory I found that I had unhealthy relationships with most people in my life- my friends and family, for example. I always felt isolated and lonely. I drank to dull emotional pain. It was through staying sober, having a good sponsor and working the Twelve Steps that I was able to build up my low self-esteem. First the Twelve Steps taught me to become my own best friend, and then, when I was able to love myself, I could reach out and love others.
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Just For Today #essentialsofrecovery


Twelve Steps Of Life

“Through abstinence and through working the Twelve Steps of Narcotics Anonymous, our lives have become useful.”

Basic Text, p. 8

Before coming to Narcotics Anonymous, our lives were centered around using. For the most part, we had very little energy left over for jobs, relationships, or other activities. We served only our addiction.

The Twelve Steps of Narcotics Anonymous provide a simple way to turn our lives around. We start by staying clean, a day at a time. When our energy is no longer channeled into our addiction, we find that we have the energy to pursue other interests. As we grow in recovery, we become able to sustain healthy relationships. We become trustworthy employees. Hobbies and recreation seem more inviting. Through participation in Narcotics Anonymous, we help others.

Narcotics Anonymous does not promise us that we will find good jobs, loving relationships, or a fulfilling life. But when we work the Twelve Steps to the best of our ability, we find that we can become the type of people who are capable of finding employment, sustaining loving relationships, and helping others. We stop serving our disease, and begin serving God and others. The Twelve Steps are the key to transforming our lives.

Just for today: I will have the wisdom to use the Twelve Steps in my life, and the courage to grow in my recovery I will practice my program to become a responsible, productive member of society.
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Twenty-Four Hours A Day #essentialsofrecovery

 
A.A. Thought For The Day


It’s been proved that we alcoholics can’t get sober by our willpower. We’ve failed again and again. Therefore I believe there must be a Higher Power which helps me. I think of that power as the grace of God. And I pray to God every morning for the strength to stay sober today. I know that power is there because it never fails to help me. Do I believe that AA. works through the grace of God?

Meditation For The Day

Once I am “born of the spirit,” that is my life’s breath. Within me is the life of life, so that I can never perish. The life that down the ages has kept God’s children through peril, adversity, and sorrow. I must try never to doubt or worry, but follow where the life of the spirit leads. How often, when little I know it, God goes before me to prepare the way, to soften a heart, or to overrule a resentment. As the life of the spirit grows, natural wants become less important.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that my life may become centered in God more than in self. I pray that my will may be directed toward doing His will.
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As Bill Sees It #essentialsofrecovery


Essence of Growth, p. 115


Let us never fear needed change. Certainly we have to discriminate between changes for better. But once a need becomes clearly apparent in an individual, in a group, or in A.A. as a whole, it has long since been found out that we cannot stand still and look the other way.

The essence of all growth is a willingness to change for the better and then an unremitting willingness to shoulder whatever responsibility this entails.

Grapevine, July 1965 
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Walk in Dry Places essentialsofrecovery

Do I trigger gossip?
Personal inventory.


There is a saying that “listening to gossip is gossip”. How true! If there were no listeners, there would never be any gossip.

Some of us who pride ourselves in refraining from gossip may still have a problem with it. It’s possible we still keep our ears open for any juicy gossip that could fall our way. We might also “shake the tree” if we believe another person has some gossip to share with us. This is done in seemingly innocent ways, sometimes just by mentioning the name of a person to another who may have strong opinions to express.

The harm of gossip lies in what we do to ourselves when we engage in it. There is no way we can continue to have spiritual growth if we practice gossip, even as passive listeners. Spiritual growth takes place within us, and it needs an environment completely free of an ill will.

Let’s beware of any tendency to say things that induce others to gossip. At the same time, let’s tune out gossip that seems to occur spontaneously. Gossip is the enemy of the growth we desire.

It is a real relief to know that today I have no desire to spread gossip or listen to it. This includes things I might read in magazines or newspapers.
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Keep It Simple #essentialsofrecovery


The hardest thing to learn in life is which bridge to cross and which bridge to burn.

–David Russell

Making big decisions is like crossing bridges. Sometimes, these decisions change our lives. We find that turning back will be very hard. This is why we have to be very careful when we decide to burn bridges. When we decide to make changes, we act carefully. We don’t want to make decisions out of anger or envy. Instead , we can think about what we want and how our program can help us make wise decisions.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, help me cross those bridges that are on my path.

Action for the Day: What do I really want in life? What decisions do I need to make to get there?

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation #essentialsofrecovery

MAN


“Man is what he believes. ”

–Anton Chekhov


My miracle is that I now believe in me. Today I accept my disease of addiction and I do not resist or deny it. I believe that I am an alcoholic. I believe that I am an overeater. I am a co-dependent. I believe that I am an adult child of an alcoholic. And this belief enables me to be free.

For too long I played the game of control; blaming and bargaining – and I lost. Now I choose to surrender to the reality of who I am. I accept my disease on a daily basis and I make choices with the awareness of my disease. And it is getting better.

My belief about my addiction has also given me an insight into God and His gift of freedom. He loves me enough to give me choice and with this gift comes responsibility. I believe that I am responsible for how I live with my addictions. Today I accept that responsibility.

What I believe reflects the God I believe in; I believe in Freedom.
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A Day At A Time #essentialsofrecovery

Reflection For The Day

We come to know in The Program that there is no deeper satisfaction and no greater joy than in a Twelfth Step well done. To watch the eyes of men and women open with wonder as they move from darkness to light, to see their lives quickly fill with new purpose and meaning, and above all to watch them awaken to the presence of a loving God in their lives — these things are the substance of what we receive as we carry the message of The Program. Am I learning through Twelfth Step experiences that gratitude should go forward, rather than backward?

Today I Pray

May my Twelfth Steps be a wholehearted and as convincing and as constructive as others’ Twelfth-Stepping has been to me. May I realize that the might of The Program and its effectiveness for all of us come through “passing it on.” When I guide someone else to sobriety, my own sobriety is underlined and reinforced. I humbly ask God’s guidance before each Twelfth Step.

Today I Will Remember

To pass it on.
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EASY DOES IT #essentialsofrecovery


FAMILY

The family is the association established by nature for the supply of man’s everyday wants.
~ Aristotle ~


The bond between us and our families becomes tighter in recovery. It’s not because they understand or appreciate us more. It’s because we understand and appreciate them more. We come to grips with our personal history in our Fourth and Fifth Steps. We are given a clearer point of view on all our relationships. We take more responsibility for what happens to our families, because we learn that we are more than just guiltless victims.

Our Eighth and Ninth Steps let us admit our part in family relationships and mend fences that have been torn down. Our family bonds become tighter because we know we’re forgiven. We ask to share that forgiveness with our loved ones.

All of us in our families are loved by our Higher Power. I don’t regret the fact that I can’t change the past. I rejoice that the future is open.

©1990 by Anonymous. All rights reserved. Published by Hazelden.

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One Day At A Time #essentialsofrecovery

~ Loneliness ~

Feeling our loneliness magnifies it. Understanding our loneliness can open doors into our self-awareness, which we long for and need.

–Anthony Robbins


Before I found my Twelve Step program, I felt so lonely. I was stuck in total isolation and the feeling of loneliness felt one hundred times worse. The isolation and loneliness caused me to continually eat … and so I’d isolate more. What a vicious cycle!

When I found my recovery program, I still wanted to isolate. When going to meetings, I wanted the seat with nobody around it. I didn’t want to open my mouth to share or talk, even after the meeting. I kept coming back even though I felt alone, because I heard familiar things that really interested me. I eventually saw that most of the people in the room felt the same loneliness I did. I began to understand why I felt so lonely.

When I understood that my compulsive eating was causing me to isolate and be more lonely, a big burden was lifted off my shoulders. I finally felt some hope! Then I found that there were many other doors in the past that I should open and become more aware of. These past happenings were what started and fueled this disease of compulsive eating. I wanted to know but I was also afraid to find out.

The similarities, kindness and love I found in the rooms made it easier to look at my past. Understanding that I was not the total reason for my loneliness, I began making amends. I needed to forgive others who had harmed me and those I had harmed. I felt lighter and more self aware, and confidence began to emerge.

One Day at a Time . . .

I will remember that it’s okay and good to feel my feelings but they don’t have to rule my life. I don’t have to let loneliness magnify, causing me to eat uncontrollably to solve the problem. I’ve learned to turn things over to my Higher Power and to let them go. Looking back is the key to my self-awareness and my recovery.

~ Jeanette ~
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Elder’s Meditation of the Day #essentialsofrecovery

“Each person’s prayers can help everyone.”

–Thomas Yellowtail, CROW

Prayer is our entrance into the Unseen World. It is by prayer we can call upon the powers and laws of the Great Spirit. The Spirit World has powers and laws that are different from the Physical World. The spiritual laws allow healing to take place; they allow forgiveness to occur; they cause miracles to happen; they cause hate to disappear; they heal broken relationships; they guide every moment of our lives; they allow us to love even when it’s hard. Prayer allows us access to the Spirit World.

Creator, teach me to pray.
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Today’s Gift from Hazelden


In three words, I can sum up everything I've learned about life: It goes on.

— Robert Frost

If we’ve ever dug in a garden and unearthed an ants’ nest, we can recall their first reaction to our unintended destruction: they do everything possible to save their lives and supplies. The ants scurry around, moving the larvae to an underground room. Exposed contents are then relocated to unseen passages. In a matter of minutes, the ants are again safely underground and ready to resume their daily routines.

How do we react when some catastrophe or unplanned event occurs? Do we want to crawl under a rock or are we as resilient as the ants? Instead of moaning over postponed plans or the loss of something in our lives, we can try to be like the ants and learn how to best work with circumstances that come our way.

Life doesn’t stop for us to lick wounds or add fuel to grievances. Hours pass, we grow older, nature continues. Every event is part of life’s cycle. We can’t run away from anything. We must meet life head-on and adjust to its ebb and flow.

I can look at an unplanned event in my life as part of life’s cycle. I need to trust that life will go on.


From the book:




Night Light by Amy E. Dean. © 1986, 1992 by Hazelden Foundation
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The Eye Opener #essentialsofrecovery

The reasoning of the practising alcoholic is in such foul shape that he is apt to take any attitude on the drinking question and usually does.

It is unreasonable to expect them to view their own or anyone else’s sobriety in a rational way. Naturally plain common sense is not possible in the midst of an alcoholic fog, but why – oh, why – do so many practising alcoholics, including slipees, invariably persist in looking for the most insecure member of AA in their quest for a drinking partner?

If you are homesick for the gutter, go on back to it. But don’t take anyone with you.

Copyright Hazelden Foundation
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Daily Tao / 114 - FAITH


In spite of knowing,
Yet still believing.
Though no god above,
Yet god within.

There is no god in the sense of a cosmic father or mother who will provide all things to their children. Nor is there some heavenly bureaucracy to petition. These models are not descriptions of a divine order, but are projections from archetypal templates. If we believe in the divine as cosmic family, we relegate ourselves to perpetual adolescence. If we regard the divine as supreme government; we are forever victims of unfathomable officialdom.
Yet it does not work for us to totally abandon faith. It does not follow that we can forego all belief in higher beings. We need faith, not because there are beings who will punish us or reward us, but because gods are wonderful ways of describing things that happen to us. They embody the highest aspects of human aspiration. Gods on the altars are essential metaphors for the human spiritual experience.

Faith shouldn't be shaken because bad things happen to us or because our loved ones are killed. Good and bad fortune are not in the hands of gods, so it is useless to blame them. Neither does faith need to be confirmed by some objective occurrence. Faith is self-affirming. If we maintain faith, then we have its reward. If we become better people, then our faith has results. It is we who create faith, and it is through our efforts that faith is validated. 
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Daily Zen

The Secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, not to worry about the future, nor to anticipate troubles, but to live the present moment wisely and earnestly.
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Monday, 23 April 2018

Daily Reflections



A LIST OF BLESSINGS

One exercise that I practice is to try for a full inventory of my blessings …

-AS BILL SEES IT, p. 37


What did I have to be grateful for? I shut myself up and started listing the blessings for which I was in no way responsible, beginning with having been born of sound mind and body. I went through seventy-four years of living right up to the present moment. The list ran to two pages, and took two hours to compile; I included health, family, money, A.A.– the whole gamut. Every day in my prayers, I ask God to help me remember my list, and to be grateful for it throughout the day. When I remember my gratitude list, it’s very hard to conclude that God is picking on me.

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Daily Dose Of Emmet Fox #essentialsofrecovery

The man who really believes that his wares are excellent does not dream of lying about them. The man who is satisfied with what he is, has no incentive to pretend to be something that he is not. The man who is conscious of substantial achievement has no desire to boast. Nature always takes you at your own valuation. Believe that you are a child of God – really believe it. Believe that you express Divine Life, Divine Truth, and Divine Love. Believe that Divine Wisdom guides you. Believe that God is your supply. Believe that God is helping and blessing humanity through you yourself. Believe that you are a special enterprise on the part of God and that He is opening your way – and what you really believe, that you will demonstrate. EF (Find and Use Your Inner Power).


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Daily Reflections #essentialsofrecovery


A.A. IS NOT A CURE-ALL


It would be a product of false pride to claim that A.A. is a cure-all, even for alcoholism.

–AS BILL SEES IT, p. 285

In my early years of sobriety I was full of pride, thinking that A.A. was the only source of treatment for a good and happy life. It certainly was the basic ingredient for my sobriety and even today, with over twelve years in the program, I am very involved in meetings, sponsorship and service. During the first four years of my recovery, I found it necessary to seek professional help, since my emotional health was extremely poor. There are those folks too, who have found sobriety and happiness in other organizations. A.A. taught me that I had a choice: to go to any lengths to enhance my sobriety. A.A. may not be a cure-all for everything, but it is the center of my sober living.
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Just For Today #essentialsofrecovery

A God Of Our Own Understanding

“Many of us understand God to be simply whatever force keeps us clean.”

Basic Text, p. 25

Some of us enter recovery with a working understanding of a Higher Power. For a lot of us, however, “God” is a troublesome word. We may doubt the existence of any sort of Power greater than ourselves. Or we may remember uncomfortable experiences with religion and shy away from “the God stuff.”

Starting over in recovery means we can start over in our spiritual life, too. If we’re not comfortable with what we learned when we were growing up, we can try a different approach to our spirituality. We don’t have to understand everything all at once or find the answers to all our questions right away. Sometimes it’s enough just to know that other NA members believe and that their belief helps keep them clean.

Just for today: All I have to know right now about my Higher Power is that it is the Power that helps keep me clean.
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Twenty-Four Hours A Day #essentialsofrecovery

A.A. Thought For The Day

Men and women keep coming into A.A., licked by alcohol, often given up by doctors as hopeless cases, they themselves admitting they’re helpless to stop drinking. When I see these men and women get sober and stay sober over a period of months and years, I know that A.A. works. The change I see in people who come into A.A. not only convinces me that A.A. works, but it also convinces me that there must be a Power greater than ourselves which helps us to make that change. Am I convinced that a Higher Power can help me to change?

Meditation For The Day

Cooperation with God is the great necessity for our lives. All else follows naturally. Cooperation with God is the result of our consciousness of His presence. Guidance is bound to come to us as we live more and more with God, as our consciousness becomes more and more attuned to the great Consciousness of the universe. We must have many quiet times when we not so much ask to be shown and led by God, as to feel and realize His presence. New spiritual growth comes naturally from cooperation with God.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that God may supply me with strength and show me the direction in which He wants me to grow. I pray that these things may come naturally from my cooperation with Him.
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As Bill Sees It #essentialsofrecovery

No Personal Power, p. 114

“At first, the remedy for my personal difficulties seemed so obvious that I could not imagine any alcoholic turning the proposition down were it properly presented to him. Believing so firmly that Christ can do anything, I had the unconscious conceit to suppose that He would do everything through me–right then and in the manner I chose. After six long months, I had to admit that not a soul had surely laid hold of the Master–not excepting myself.

“This brought me to the good healthy realization that there were plenty of situations left in the world over which I had no personal power–that if I was so ready to admit that to be the case with alcohol, so I must make the same admission with respect to much else. I would have to be still and know that He, not I, was God.”

Letter, 1940 
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Walk in Dry Places #essentialsofrecovery

When am I manipulative?
Personal relations.


Without understanding our motives, we can easily lapse into behavior aimed at manipulating others. Sulking is a means of letting others know we are displeased and forcing them to attempt to win our approval. Flattery is a false expression of approval that we don’t really feel…. Giving others good strokes for our own purpose. Withholding deserved praise is a means of putting others down, something we’re likely to do because of our jealousy.

Manipulative behavior is almost always selfish behavior. IT is usually a false means of trying to get our own way. It is certainly an immature way of dealing with people and situations.

The best way to avoid being manipulative is to be ourselves at all times. We have neither the right nor the responsibility to control or regulate other people. Our best approach, in trying to influence others’ actions, is simply to state our own case with sincerity and honest. Others must be free to act, free to choose, and free to make their own decisions without manipulative interference on our part.

I will be myself at all times today. I will not assume false roles simply for the purpose of bending others to my own will. Manipulative behavior is controlling behavior, which I must avoid.

The door to the human heart can only be opened from the INSIDE.
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Keep It Simple #essentialsofrecovery


When people talk, listen completely. Most people never listen.

— Ernest Hemingway
It’s hard to listen in a complete way. Often we listen, but we’re still thinking about ourselves. We wonder, “How do their words relate to me? Do I have anything to add?” Often, fear is behind these questions. We fear saying the wrong thing. We fear looking stupid. Good listeners know how to let go of their fears. To listen completely, we step outside ourselves, and we’re totally there for someone else. Sometimes we listen for only a few moments. Sometimes we don’t even agree with the people we’re listening to. But we let them know that they count. What a gift we give when we listen in a complete way!

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, teach me to listen in a complete way. Teach me to step outside myself and be their for others.

Action for the Day: Today, I’ll listen to what the person says.
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Daily Tao / 113 - ACCEPTANCE


Drought burns basins to dust,

Light rain is a dew of mockery.

Receive without complaint,

Work with fate.


When the countryside is gripped in drought, it is useless to complain. Even when light rains fail to moisten the parched landscape, we should accept what happens. This is the way of Tao, and one who follows Tao accepts what comes.

We may have ambitions to move in one direction, but Tao will decide otherwise. We may have plans for the future, but Tao will bend time differently. T here are those who will cry out in anger and frustration, but the follower of Tao remains silent and goes about the business of preparation.


Acceptance does not mean fatalism. It does not mean capitulation to some slaughtering predestination. Those who follow Tao do not believe in being helpless. They believe in acting within the framework of circumstance. For example, in a drought, they will prepare by storing what water is available. That is sensible action. They will not plant a garden of flowers that requires a great deal of water. That is ignorance and egotism.


Acceptance is a dynamic act. It should not signal inertness, stagnation, or inactivity. One should simply ascertain what the situation requires and then implement what one thinks is best. As long as one's deeds are in accord with the time and one leaves no sloppy traces, then the action is correct.
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Daily Zen

Even in the case of individuals, there is no possibility to feel happiness through anger. If in a difficult situation one becomes disturbed internally, overwhelmed by mental discomfort, then external things will not help at all. However, if despite external difficulties or problems, internally one's attitude is of love, warmth, and kindheartedness, then problems can be faced and accepted.



-His Holiness the Dalai Lama

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Sunday, 22 April 2018

Random Big Book - 'Alcoholics Anonymous'

Despite great opportunities, alcohol nearly ended her life. Early member, she spread the word among women in our pioneering period. It didn’t stop there. They knew what to do about those black abysses that yawned ready to swallow me when I felt depressed, or nervous. There was a concrete program, designed to secure the greatest possible inner security for us long-time escapists. The feeling of impending disaster that had haunted me for years began to dissolve as I put into practice more and more of the Twelve Steps. It worked! Alcoholics Anonymous - Women Suffer, Too p. 207

Daily Reflections #essentialsofrecovery

NEW SOIL . . . NEW ROOTS


Moments of perception can build into a lifetime of spiritual serenity, as I have excellent reason to know. Roots of reality, supplanting the neurotic underbrush, will hold fast despite the high winds of the forces which would destroy us, or which we would use to destroy ourselves.

–AS BILL SEES IT, p. 173

I came to A.A. green–a seedling quivering with exposed taproots. It was for survival but it was a beginning. I stretched, developed, twisted, but with the help of others, my spirit eventually burst up from the roots. I was free. I acted, withered, went inside, prayed, acted again, understood anew, as one moment of perception struck. Up from my roots, spirit-arms lengthened into strong, green shoots: high-springing servants stepping skyward. Here on earth God unconditionally continues the legacy of higher love. My A.A. life put me “on a different footing . . . [my] roots grasped a new soil.”


(Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 12). 
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Just for today


Friends and amends—keeping it simple


“We made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.”


Step Nine

––––=––––

In every relationship, we don’t always handle things the way we would have hoped. But friendships don’t have to end when we make mistakes; instead, we can make amends. If we are sincerely willing to accept the responsibilities involved in friendship and make the amends we owe, those friendships can become stronger and richer than ever.


Making amends is simple. We approach the person we have harmed and say, “I was wrong.” Sometimes we avoid getting to the point, evading an admission of our own part in the affair. But that frustrates the intent of the Ninth Step. To make effective amends, we have to keep it simple: we admit our part, and leave it at that.

There will be times when our friends won’t accept our amends. Perhaps they need time to process what has happened. If that is the case, we must give them that time. After all, we were the ones in the wrong, not them. We have done our part; the rest is out of our hands.

––––=––––

Just for today: I want to be a responsible friend. I will strive to keep it simple when making amends.
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Just For Today #essentialsofrecovery

Traveling The Open Road


“This is our road to spiritual growth.”

Basic Text, p. 35

When we arrived at our first NA meeting, it looked like the end of the road to many of us. We weren’t going to be able to use anymore. We were spiritually bankrupt. Most of us were totally isolated and didn’t think we had much to live for. Little did we realize that, as we began our program of recovery, we were stepping onto a road of unlimited possibilities.

At first, just not using was tough enough. Yet, as we watched other addicts working the steps and applying those principles in their lives, we began to see that recovery was more than just not using. The lives of our NA friends had changed. They had a relationship with the God of their understanding. They were responsible members of the fellowship and of society. They had a reason to live. We began to believe these things were possible for us, too.

As we continue our recovery journey, we can get sidetracked by complacency, intolerance, or dishonesty. When we do, we need to recognize the signs quickly and get back on our path — the open road to freedom and growth.

Just for today: I am continuing to develop my spiritual, social, and general living skills by applying the principles of my program. I can travel as far as I wish on the open road of recovery.
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Twenty-Four Hours A Day #essentialsofrecovery

A.A. Thought For The Day

People believe in A.A. when they see it work. An actual demonstration is what convinces them. What they read in books, what they hear people say doesn’t always convince them. But when they see a real honest-to-goodness change take place in a person, a change from a drunkard to a sober, useful citizen, that’s something they can believe because they can see it. There’s really only one thing that proves to me that A.A. works. Have I seen the change in people who come into A.A.?

Meditation For The Day

Divine control and unquestioning obedience to God are the only conditions necessary for a spiritual life. Divine control means absolute faith and trust in God, a belief that God is the Divine Principle in the universe and that He is the intelligence and the Love that controls the universe. Unquestioning obedience to God means living each day the way you believe God wants you to live, constantly seeking the guidance of God in every situation and being willing to do the right thing at all times.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may always be under Divine Control and always practice unquestioning obedience to God. I pray that I may be always ready to serve Him.
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As Bill Sees It #essentialsofrecovery

To Be Fair-Minded, p. 113

Too often, I think, we have deprecated and even derided projects of our friends in the field of alcoholism just because we do not always see eye to eye with them.

We should very seriously ask ourselves how many alcoholics have gone on drinking simply because we have failed to cooperate in good spirit with these many agencies–whether they be good, bad, or indifferent. No alcoholics should go mad or die merely because he did not come straight to A.A. at the beginning.

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

Our first objective will be the development of self-restraint. This carries a top-priority rating. When we speak or act hastily or rashly, the ability to be fair-minded and tolerant evaporates on the spot.

1. Grapevine, July 1963
2. 12 & 12, p. 91 
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Walk in Dry Places #essentialsofrecovery

Faking it, and then making it.
Finding the Spirit of the Thing.


We’re sometimes advised to “fake it until you make it.” But how can anything false really lead us to recovery? Aren’t we told that this is an honest program?

We’re not being dishonest by pushing ourselves to become actively involved in AA. The self-help movements have told us for years that we have to form an image of what we want to be in order to reach our goals. We are forming an image that corresponds to the sober people we want to be. We are actually rehearsing sober living and working to accept a picture of sobriety in our heart of hearts.

There’s also much to be said for “faking it” enough to attend meetings and try to benefit from association with people….. even those we don’t like. This puts us in line for the change we really need.

A lot of members say that they “white-knuckled it” during the first months or years of sobriety. If this worked to bring recovery, it had to be the right approach.

Even if there is rebellion within, today I’ll talk and act like the sober person I want to be.
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Keep It Simple #essentialsofrecovery


One meets his destiny often on the road one takes to avoid it.

–French proverb

None of us, perhaps, ever thought we’d end up in recovery. But we were working at joining recovery years before we got here! Maybe recovery was our fate from the day we first took a drink or a pill. Others around us could see the writing on the wall, but we couldn’t. We were to busy trying to avoid the pain. Alcoholism and other drug abuse have to do with us trying to find spiritual wholeness— the kind of spiritual wholeness we’re finding now. . .in recovery. So, let’s welcome recovery into our lives. We have found our spiritual home.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, I got lost because I acted like I knew the way to a good life. You lead the way. Thank-you for putting me on the right track.

Action for the Day: Today, I’ll think about why it’s my fate to be in recovery. I will list ways that I try to avoid my fate.
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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation #essentialsofrecovery

MUSIC

“I have my own particular sorrows, loves, delights; and you have yours. But sorrow, gladness, yearning, hope, love belong to all of us, in all times and in all places. Music is the only means whereby we feel these emotions in their universality.”

–H. A. Overstreet

A language for the world is music. It unites all peoples, cultures, religions and backgrounds; it points man beyond himself, while at the same time breathing through him God’s glory. Music makes man wonder, enables him to dream, allows him to rest in the miracle of creativity.

Drugs stopped me from appreciating the gift of music. They twisted and corrupted sounds and made them destructive and coarse. Drugs took from me so much and left me with a feeling of utter emptiness.

In my recovery I can hear again. My spiritual program incorporates music, different types of music, the inexhaustible joys of melody. I can feel in it, through it, with it – another miracle.

Thank You for the gift of music that enables me to grow in my understanding of self and my need of others.
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A Day At A Time #essentialsofrecovery

Reflection For The Day

As I Attend meetings of The Program, my eyes open wider and wider. Other people’s problems make mine look small, yet they are facing them with courage and confidence. Others are trapped in situations as bad as mine, but they bear their troubles with more fortitude. By going to meetings, I find many reasons to be grateful. My load has begun to lighten. Do I expect easy solutions to my problems? Or do I ask only to be guided to a better way?

Today I Pray

Make The Program my way of life. Its goals are my goals. Its members are my truest friends. May I pass along the skills for coping I have learned there. May my turnabout and the resulting transformation in my life inspire others, as others have inspired me.

Today I Will Remember

May I be grateful.
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One Day At A Time #essentialsofrecovery

COMPULSIONS

“Compulsive urges to overeat, gorge or purge are inadequate coping mechanisms. Compulsion is loss of control and continuation of the behavior despite the consequences.”

–Gloria Arenson

Compulsive overeating is not a moral dilemma. It is not about “right” or “wrong.” It is not a black-and-white situation. I learned at a pre-verbal stage that compulsive overeating is a coping mechanism. When I cried to be held, I was fed. When I cried because I was wet, I was fed. When I cried because I was in pain, I was fed. When life was good, I was fed. Is it any wonder I came to reach for food when life was happening around me?

This program teaches me better ways to cope with life. Instead of reacting to life, I have learned through the Steps how to take action. I did not choose this disease, but I do choose recovery. Through the help of my Higher Power, the program, and other program members I can recover. I can live in the solution one day at a time and one meal at a time.

One Day at a Time . . .
I will have a program. I choose recovery, health, love and life.

~ Sarah H
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Elder’s Meditation of the Day #essentialsofrecovery


“Each creature has a medicine, so there are many medicines. Because they are so close to the Creator, they are to communicate that medicine. Then they bring help and health.”


–Wallace Black Elk, LAKOTA

The Elders say everything has a purpose and everything has a will. We should never interfere with purpose or the will of everything. Every plant, creature, animal, insect, human being has a purpose to be here on the Earth. Each has a special medicine to contribute for the good of all things. Each person also has good medicine, a special talent, a special gift. These medicines are to help others or to help make us healthy. What is your special medicine?

Creator, today, help me discover and use my medicine to serve a greater good.
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Today’s Gift from Hazelden #essentialsofrecovery


Intuition is a spiritual faculty and does not explain, but simply points the way.


— Florence Scovel Shinn

Should we make this move? Should we change jobs? Should we talk to others about our feelings? We are seldom short on prayers when we’re filled with fear and indecision. We are, however, short on answers. Our worries block them out.

No prayer ever goes unanswered. Of this we can be certain. On the other hand, the answer may not be what we’d hoped for. In fact, we may not have recognized it as the answer because we were expecting something quite different. It takes willingness on our part to be free of our preconceptions–free to accept whatever answers are offered.

Our answers come unexpectedly, a chance meeting on the street, a passage in a book or newspaper, a nagging feeling within. God speaks to each of us throughout the day. Our prayers are answered, our problems find solutions, our worries are eased, if we but attune ourselves to the messages. They are all around.

I will be attentive to all the signs from God today. Whatever answer I seek is finding its way to me.

From the book:



                  Each Day a New Beginning by Karen Casey. © 1982, 1991 by Hazelden Foundation
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The Eye Opener #essentialsofrecovery

When we take the first drink, we invite the dead certainty of physical illness, untold sorrows, shame and degradation. That first drink has built more hospitals, jails, poorhouses and insane asylums than any other cause. All the drinks that follow are simply compounding the felony.

There are some people that can drink intelligently, but these people avoid difficulties. We are not in that class, and experience has proven it. Years of sobriety will not enable us to join that class and, again, experience has proven it. Why do you persist in trying, what are you trying to prove? That you are the exception to the rule? If you are the exception, you automatically become a freak.


Copyright Hazelden Foundation
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Daily TAO / 112 - NONANTICIPATION #essentialsofrecovery

Put forth your effort
With no thought of gain.


One should not pray or meditate with any thought of gain. Hold no expectations. Then the rewards will come. If one strives for power and gifts, no true results will come, and one will become lost in lust. Praying for results brings no results — the true spirit appears only when there are no expectations to hamper it.

Books and teachings talk of the results of meditation because they prepare the aspirant for the experiences that will occur. It is important not to look on these writings as advertisements. They are merely descriptions of what you will encounter.

Sit down with no thought of results and you will go naturally and spontaneously with Tao. It is admittedly a paradox. We are to know what to expect, and yet we should allow them to appear as they will. It seems irrational and inefficient. Yet if you would know Tao, there is no faster way to enter the midstream.
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Daily Zen

How much of your life do you spend looking forward to being somewhere else?



-Matthew Flickstein, "Journey to the Center"
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Saturday, 21 April 2018

Daily Dose Of Emmet Fox

EXCEEDING RIGHTEOUSNESS

Read Matthew 5:17-20

If anyone were so insane as to suppose that the knowledge of the Truth of Being could put him “above” the moral law, in the sense of authorizing him to break it, he would speedily discover that he had made a tragic mistake. The more spiritual knowledge that one possesses, the more severe is the punishment which one brings upon oneself by any infraction of the moral law. The Christian has to be very much more careful than other people. Indeed, all real spiritual understanding must necessarily be accompanied by definite moral improvement. A theoretical acceptance of the letter of Truth might go with moral carelessness (greatly to the peril of the delinquent), but it is impossible to make any real spiritual progress unless you are trying your very best to live the life. It is impossible to divorce true spiritual knowledge from right conduct.

For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 5:20)



© 1931 by Emmet Fox

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Daily Reflections #essentialsofrecovery


CULTIVATING FAITH


“I don’t think we can do anything very well in this world unless we practice it. And I don’t believe we do A.A. too well unless we practice it. . . . We should practice . . . acquiring the spirit of service. We should attempt to acquire some faith, which isn’t easily done, especially for the person who has always been very materialistic, following the standards of society today. But I think faith can be acquired; it can be acquired slowly; it has to be cultivated. That was not easy for me, and I assume that it is difficult for everyone else . . . . ”

 –DR. BOB AND THE GOOD OLDTIMERS, pp. 307-08

Fear is often the force that prevents me from acquiring and cultivating the power of faith. Fear blocks my appreciation of beauty, tolerance, forgiveness, service, and serenity.

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Just For Today #essentialsofrecovery

Fear

“We have found that we had no choice except to completely change our old ways of thinking or go back to using.”

Basic Text, p. 21

Many of us find that our old ways of thinking were dominated by fear. We were afraid that we wouldn’t be able to get our drugs or that there wouldn’t be enough. We feared discovery, arrest, and incarceration. Further down the list were fears of financial problems, homelessness, overdose, and illness. And our fear controlled our actions.

The early days of recovery weren’t a great deal different for many of us; then, too, fear dominated our thinking. “What if staying clean hurts too much?” we asked ourselves. “What if I can’t make it? What if the people in NA don’t like me? What if NA doesn’t work?” The fear behind these thoughts can still control our behavior, keeping us from taking the risks necessary to stay clean and grow. It may seem easier to resign ourselves to certain failure, giving up before we start, than to risk everything on a slim hope. But that kind of thinking leads only to relapse.

To stay clean, we must find the willingness to change our old ways of thinking. What has worked for other addicts can work for us—but we must be willing to try it. We must trade in our old cynical doubts for new affirmations of hope. When we do, we’ll find it’s worth the risk.

Just for today: I pray for the willingness to change my old ways of thinking, and for the ability to overcome my fears.
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Twenty-Four Hours A Day #essentialsofrecovery

A.A. Thought For The Day

After we’ve been in A.A. for a while, we find out that if we’re going to stay sober, we have to be humble people. The men and women in A.A. who have achieved sobriety are all humble people. When I stop to think that but for the grace of God I might be drunk right now, I can’t help feeling humble. Gratitude to God for His grace makes me humble. When I think of the kind of person I was not so long ago, when I think of the person I left behind me, I have nothing to be proud of. Am I grateful and humble?

Meditation For The Day

I must arise from the death of sin and selfishness and put on a new life of integrity. All the old sins and temptations must be laid in the grave and a new existence rise from the ashes. Yesterday is gone. All my sins are forgiven if I am honestly trying to do God’s will today. Today is here, the time of resurrection and renewal. I must start now, today, to build a new life of complete faith and trust in God and a determination to do His will in all things.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may share in making the world a better place to live in. I pray that I may do what I can to bring goodness a little nearer to the earth.
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As Bill Sees It #essentialsofrecovery


Complete Security?, p. 112


Upon entering A.A., the spectacle of years of waste threw us into panic. Financial importance was no longer our principal aim; we now clamored for material security.

Even when we were re-established in our business, terrible fears often continued to haunt us. This made us misers and penny-pinchers all over again. Complete financial security we must have–or else.

We forgot that most alcoholics in A.A. have an earning power considerably above average; we forgot the immense good will of our brother A.A.’s who were only too eager to help us to better jobs when we deserved them; we forgot the actual or potential financial insecurity of every human being in the world. And, worst of all, we forgot God. In money matters we had faith only in ourselves, and not too much of that.

12 & 12, pp. 120-121 
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Walk in Dry Places #essentialsofrecovery

The Good that I do
Action


Why do we hold back when we’re offered the opportunity to help others or to do something unusually kind? Why is it that many people are reluctant to give of themselves unless rewarded with recognition or praise?

We may hold back because we do not understand that any good action always brings its own reward. Despite Shakespeare’s timeless saying, the good we do is not “interred with our bones”… it does survive, now and in the future.

We’ve learned in Twelve Step programs that it’s not really satisfying to work only for recognition and praise. There also has to be a confident feeling that our efforts are contributing to a large good with a worthwhile purpose. That’s what makes AA so special to people who are completely devoted to it… we know that anything done for AA makes the world a better place.

We should also know that those who can help others are fortunate, well-favored people. Others may want to help, but lack the tools. We have the tools to give the help that changes lives—- and the world.

The good that I do today is a treasure I’ll always possess. I need not fear the act of letting my higher self take over and guide me.
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Keep It Simple #essentialsofrecovery

One of the most important parts of the AA program is to give our drinking problem to God honestly and fully…


We don’t handle our drinking or other drug problem. We don’t take care of this problem by ourselves. We turn our problem over to God as we understand Him. We need to be very clear about this. We can’t handle our drinking or other drug problem! Our Higher Power keeps us sober through the Steps and the fellowship of the program.

Our job is to hand over our problem to our Higher Power. We do this daily by acting like sober people.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, I know I can’t handle drinking and using other drugs. I turn my problem over to you. Please take from me the urge to drink or use.

Action for the Day: Today, I’ll remember why I can’t handle or take care of my problem with alcohol or other drugs. And I’ll remember why my Higher Power can.
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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation #essentialsofrecovery


VALUES


“A man who dares to waste one hour of time has not discovered the value of life.”
–Charles Darwin

Life is not to be wasted. Time is not to be wasted. Friends, relationships, opportunities are not to be wasted. Why? Because as vulnerable human beings we do not have the ultimate control of our lives and none of us know when our lives will end, when we shall die, when time and opportunity will be no more! Life is too precious to waste.

During my years as an addict I did not value my life. I did not value time. I did not value friends and relationships. Nothing was valued except the alcohol! Life was meaningless. God was absent and I felt nothing – just a “dullness” at the center of my being. Today this is not the case. Through my pain I have found the value of life and I have discovered a God as I understand Him.

God, let me value what I have while I have it.
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A Day At A Time #essentialsofrecovery

Reflection For The Day

Can I be wholeheartedly grateful for today? If so, I’m opening doors to more and more abundant good. What if I can’t be thankful for the “rain” that has fallen in my life — for the so-called bad times? What then? I can begin by giving thanks for all the sunshine I can remember, and for every blessing that ha come my way. Perhaps then I’ll be able to look back over the rainy periods of my life with new vision, seeing them as necessary; perhaps then, hidden blessings I’ve overlooked will come to my attention. Am I Grateful for all of life — both the sunshine and the rain?

Today I Pray

May I be grateful for all that has happened to me, good an bad. Bad helps to define good. Sorrow intensifies joy. Humility brings spirituality. Disease turns health into a a paradise. Loneliness makes love both human and Divine, the greatest gift of all. I thank God for the contrasts which have made me know Him better.

Today I Will Remember

I am grateful for the whole of life.
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One Day At A Time #essentialsofrecovery

~ RELIGION ~


Religion is for people who don’t want to go to hell. Program is for people who have already been there.–Unknown

I was religious when I came into program and I was ready and willing to tell everyone what the “true” faith was. I went to church every Sunday. I was a religion teacher. I knew it all.

The truth is I didn’t know ANYTHING. It didn’t take long for me to begin to question my own religiosity. In fact, it began at Steps two and three. Before long, I wondered if there was a God at all. If there was, is God a He, a She or an It? Then I decided, yes there was a God, but did He/She/It care about me?

The real truth is God is who God needs to be to work through me. There’s no right or wrong answer to my questions. What I DO know is that God loves me just the way I am.

The greatest gift my Higher Power gave me came on the day I looked up to “heaven” and told God, “I don’t believe in You!” And that still, quiet voice inside of me asked, “Then to Whom are you speaking?”

One Day at a Time . . .
I don’t have to have theological “proof” that there is a Power greater than myself. I just need to believe.
~ Debbie ~
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Elder’s Meditation of the Day #essentialsofrecovery


“Conciliation is the key to survival. Peace is the goal.”

–Haida Gwaii, Traditional Circle of Elders

When we make decisions or experience conflict we need to look at the greater whole. The end result we want to accomplish is peace of mind.

If we keep this goal in mind, we will, overall, live a happy and fulfilling life. Everything in the world is constantly changing so we should not resist this change.

A good question to ask ourselves is, “would I rather be right or happy?” If we would rather be happy, then it is easier to let the little things go. If we would rather be right, we tend to look for the WIN/LOSE.

Great Spirit, today, give me the tools to seek peace of mind.
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Today’s Gift from Hazelden #essentialsofrecovery

The cut worm forgives the plow.

— William Blake


Would anyone believe that rain abuses grass, or accuse roots, hungry for a better hold on life, of digging too far into earth’s flesh? Look closely at the small world of busy life overturned in the garden each spring. No ant there curses another bug, and no worm curses itself. Though they can neither speak nor think, even small creatures know enough to accept their pain as a natural part of life.

Why, then, should we waste time blaming others, or ourselves, for the natural sensations of life?

In the process of new growth, can we expect no pain?


From the book:




                                       Today’s Gift © 1985, 1991 by Hazelden Foundation
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