Thursday, 31 May 2018

Big Book - Chapter 5 How It Works (pg 64 & top 65)

Therefore, we started upon a personal inventory. This was Step Four. A business which takes no regular inventory usually goes broke. Taking commercial inventory is a fact-finding and a fact-facing process. It is an effort to discover the truth about the stock-in-trade. One object is to disclose damaged or unsalable goods, to get rid of them promptly and without regret. If the owner of the business is to be successful, he cannot fool himself about values. We did exactly the same thing with our lives. We took stock honestly. First, we searched out the flaws in our make-up which caused our failure. Being convinced that self, manifested in various ways, was what had defeated us, we considered its common manifestations. Resentment is the 'number one' offender. It destroys more alcoholics than anything else. From it stem all forms of spiritual disease, for we have been not only mentally and physically ill, we have been spiritually sick. When the spiritual malady is overcome, we straighten out mentally and physically. In dealing with resentments, we set them on paper. We listed people, institutions or principles with who we were angry. We asked ourselves why we were angry. In most cases it was found that our self-esteem, our pocketbooks, our ambitions, our personal relationships, (including sex) were hurt or threatened. So we were sore. We were 'burned up.' On our grudge list we set opposite each name our injuries. Was it our self-esteem, our security, our ambitions, our personal, or sex relations, which had been interfered with? We were usually as definite as this example: I’m resentful at: The Cause Affects my: Sex relations. Self-esteem (fear) His attention to my wife. Sex relations. Mr. Brown Told my wife of my mistress. Self-esteem (fear) Brown may get my job at the office. Security Self-esteem (fear) She's a nut -- she snubbed me. She committed her Personal relationship husband for drinking Self-esteem Mrs. Jones He’s my friend. (fear) She’s a gossip. Unreasonable-Unjust - Overbearing - Self-esteem (fear) My employer Threatens to fire Security. me for my drinking and padding my ex - pense account. Misunderstands and Pride -- Personal My wife nags. Likes Brown. sex relations -- Wants house put in Security (fear) her name. Chapter 5 How It Works (pg 64 & top 65)
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Annie P. - Irish Annie - Recovery Speaker



Daily Dose Of Emmet Fox


“We know the Truth; we do not judge by appearances. We know that we live in a mental world, and to know that is the key to life. If a child could be taught only one thing, it should be taught that this is a mental world. I would let all the other things go and teach him that.”

― Emmet Fox, The Mental Equivalent: The Secret of Demonstration
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Daily Reflections #essentialsofrecovery



READINESS TO SERVE OTHERS


. . . our Society has concluded that it has but one high mission–to
carry the A.A. message to those who don’t know there’s a way out.


TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 151


The “Light” to freedom shines bright on my fellow alcoholics as each

one of us challenges the other to grow. The “Steps” to self-

improvement have small beginnings, but each Step builds the “ladder”

out of the pit of despair to new hope. Honesty becomes my “tool” to

unfurl the “chains” which bound me. A sponsor, who is a caring

listener, can help me to truly hear the message guiding me to freedom.


I ask God for the courage to live in such a way that the Fellowship

may be a testimony to His favor. This mission frees me to share my

gifts of wellness through a spirit of readiness to serve others.
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A Day At A Time


Reflection For The Day

Almost daily, I hear of seemingly mysterious coincidences in the lives of my friends in The Program. From time to time, I’ve experienced such “coincidences” myself; showing up at the right place at exactly the right time; phoning a friend who, unbeknown to me, desperately needed that particular phone call at that precise moment; hearing “my story” at an unfamiliar meeting in a strange town. These days, I choose to believe that many of life’s so-called “coincidences” are actually small miracles of God, who prefers to remain anonymous. Am I continually grateful for the miracle of my recovery?

Today I Pray


May my awareness of a Higher Power working in our lives grow in sensitivity as I learn, each day, of “coincidences” that defy statistics, illnesses that reverse their prognoses, hair-breadth escapes that defy death, chance meetings that change the course of a life. When the un-understandable happens, may I perceive it as just another of God’s frequent miracles. My own death-defying miracle is witness enough for me.

Today I Will Remember

My life is a miracle.
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The Eye Opener


For a person to attempt to live apart from this world is as useless as for a drop of water to live apart from the ocean. God put everything in this world, and He takes nothing out. To endeavor to withdraw from the world’s activities is another way of fooling yourself. We are an influence for good or evil regardless of our attempts to hide from society at large.

When a rock falls from a cliff into the sea, it is not merely that the land is one rock less, it means the contour of the whole continent has changed. However, it is still a part of God’s Universe whether it can be seen by man or not.

Hazelden Foundation
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Daily Tao / 151 - ACTUAL


The actual

Is only actual

In one place

And one time.

When one listens to a barking dog, one might imagine emotion, pain, reaction, anxiety, and self-identification, but actually there is nothing there -- just sound from a long and deep corridor, channeled out of nothingness and fading into nothingness again.

Like that dog, we may all strive, but there is truly nothing to be done. If we look deeply into our lives, there is only a thin veneer of self-generated meaning over an immense ocean of nothingness.

What we do only has meaning in the here and now. It will not remain in the next instant. Just do what you can for the present, and leave everything else to happen naturally. Work. Wash. Meditate. Eat. Study. Urinate. Sleep. Exercise. Talk. Listen. Touch. Die each night. Be born again each morning.


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Daily Zen

Meditate on that which is beyond words and symbols. Forsake the demands of the self. By such forsaking you will live serenely.

-Sutta Nipata
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Wednesday, 30 May 2018

Big Book - Chapter 4 We Agnostics (pg 48 & top 49)

The reader may still ask why he should believe in a Power greater than himself. We think there are good reasons. Let us have a look at some of them. The practical individual of today is a stickler for facts and results. Nevertheless, the twentieth century readily accepts theories of all kinds, provided they are firmly grounded in fact. We have numerous theories, for example, about electricity. Everybody believes them without a murmur of doubt. Why this ready acceptance? Simply because it is impossible to explain what we see, feel, direct, and use, without a reasonable assumption as a starting point. Everybody nowadays, believes in scores of assumptions for which there is good evidence, but no perfect visual proof. And does not science demonstrate that visual proof is the weakest proof? It is being constantly revealed, as mankind studies the material world, that outward appearances are not inward reality at all. To illustrate: The prosaic steel girder is a mass of electrons whirling around each other at incredible speed. These tiny bodies are governed by precise laws, and these laws hold true throughout the material world, Science tells us so. We have no reason to doubt it. When, however, the perfectly logical assumption is suggested that underneath the material world and life as we see it, there is an All Powerful, Guiding, Creative Intelligence, right there our perverse streak comes to the surface and we laboriously set out to convince ourselves it isn't so. We read wordy books and indulge in windy arguments, thinking we believe this universe needs no God to explain it. Were our contentions true, it would follow that life originated out of nothing, means nothing, and proceeds nowhere.

  Chapter 4 We Agnostics (pg 48 & top 49)
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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation


PERFECTION

“I have offended God and mankind because my work didn’t reach the quality it should have.”

–Leonardo da Vinci

How I used to beat myself up! I was not good enough. I was not attractive enough. I could not speak properly. I was too small. My family was not prestigious enough. I was boring. My breath smelled, etc., etc. I never saw my value in life. I could never see beyond my failings into my God-given virtues. Sin was all too evident in my life!

Today I catch an egotism in my past criticism of self and others! Who was I to think I should be perfect? I could find fault with the Archangel Gabriel if he came to be my neighbor. My compulsive disease extended beyond drugs to negative attitudes about life.

Today I see my value. Sobriety has restored my dignity. Today I am in touch with that part of me that is noble. Today in my sobriety I am a spiritual somebody, not a nobody.

Let my desire for “perfection” be tempered by reality. 
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Gene M. - Sleep Hollow N.Y. - Recovery Speaker



Just For Today

 Loneliness vs. being alone

“Sharing with others keeps us from feeling isolated and alone.”

Basic Text, p. 85

––––=––––

There is a difference between being alone and being lonely.  Being lonely is a state of the heart, an emptiness that makes us feel sad and sometimes hopeless.  Loneliness is not always alleviated when we enter into relationships or surround ourselves with others.  Some of us are lonely even in a room full of people.

Many of us came to Narcotics Anonymous out of the desperate loneliness of our addiction.  After coming to meetings, we begin to make new friends, and often our feelings of loneliness ease.  But many of us must contend with loneliness throughout our recovery.

What is the cure for loneliness?  The best cure is to begin a relationship with a Higher Power that can help fill the emptiness of our heart.  We find that when we have a belief in a Higher Power, we never have to feel lonely.  We can be alone more comfortably when we have a conscious contact with a God of our understanding.

We often find deep fulfillment in our interactions with others as we progress in our recovery.  Yet we also find that, the closer we draw to our Higher Power, the less we need to surround ourselves with others.  We begin to find a spirit within us that is our constant companion as we continue to explore and deepen our connection with a Power greater than ourselves.  We realize we are spiritually connected with something bigger than we are.

––––=––––

Just for today:  I will take comfort in my conscious contact with a Higher Power.  I am never alone.
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Twenty-Four Hours A Day


A.A. Thought For The Day

I am part of A.A., one among many, but I am one. I need the A.A. principles for the development of the buried life within me. A.A. may be human in its organization, but it is Divine in its purpose. The purpose is to point me toward God and a better life. Participating in the privilege of the movement, I shall share in the responsibilities, taking it upon myself to carry my fair share of the load, not grudgingly but joyfully. To the extent that I fail in my responsibilities, A.A. fails. To the extent I succeed, A.A. succeeds. Do I accept this as my A.A. credo?

Meditation For The Day

“Praise the Lord.” What does praising God mean? It means being grateful for all the wonderful things in the universe and for all the blessings in your life. So praise God by being grateful and humble. Praise of this kind has more power to vanquish evil than has mere resignation. The truly grateful and humble person who is always praising God, is not tempted to do wrong. You will have a feeling of security because you know that fundamentally all is well. So look up to God and praise Him.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may be grateful for all my blessings. I pray that I may humble because I know that I do not deserve them.
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As Bill Sees It


No Boundaries, p. 150


Meditation is something which can always be further developed. It has no boundaries, of width or height or depth. Aided by such instruction and example as we can find, it is essentially an individual adventure, something which each one of us works out in his own way. But its object is always the same; to improve our conscious contact with God, with His grace, wisdom, and love.

And let’s always remember that meditation is in reality intensely practical. One of its first fruits is emotional balance. With it we can broaden and deepen the channel between ourselves and God as we understand Him.

12 & 12, pp. 101-102
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Walk in Dry Places


Civilians who show resentments

Healthy Thinking



As compulsive people, we’re urged to watch resentments carefully. These negative feelings can flare up out of nowhere and bring terrible destruction.


This sensitivity in spotting our own resentments also makes us more aware of resentments in others— perhaps people who are not alcoholics and thus are considered NORMAL. (Earth people I call them even if I doubt that anyone is really normal)


When this happens, we have no responsibility to point their resentment out to them. Our best approach is to deal with them as cordially as possible and to withdraw gracefully if their resentment is directed at us. This teaches us that resentment is a universal human problem— not just an affliction of alcoholics and other compulsive people.


While guarding against resentment in myself today, I’ll not be surprised or hurt when it appears in others. If it does, I will not feel hurt or surprised, knowing that it’s a human problem.
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Keep It Simple


One Day at a Time

-AA program slogan




One Day at a Time reminds us to live in a sane, natural way. It reminds us we can’t control the past. It reminds us we can’t control the future. We can live only in the present. We have only the moment. We have only today.

Before recovery, our worries about the past and the future put stress in our lives We need to live in a way that doesn’t put us in danger. We need to live in a way that lets us enjoy things. We need to live in a way that lets us stay close to others, ourselves, and our Higher Power.


Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, teach me to really live One Day at a Time.


Action for the Day:
Today, I’ll keep reminding myself that I have the moment. No more, no less. Am I using my moments the way my Higher Power wants me to?
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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation


POSTERITY

“We need to make a world in which fewer children are born, and in which we take better care of them.”
–Dr. George Wald

Spirituality is concerned for the physical. How we plant seeds, do exercises and develop a healthy food plan is as important as prayer, reading and meditation. The body is part of the soul.

Also we have a responsibility for the future; for those who follow us on this planet. The ecological welfare of our world is spiritual. An irresponsibility concerning childbirth reveals an arrogance that does not belong to the spiritual program. The satisfaction of our personal desires should never hurt the lives of others – including the unborn.

Teach me to have a spiritual responsibility to the future.
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A Day At A Time


Reflection For The Day

Since I’ve been in The Program, I’ve learned to redefine love.  I’ve come to understand, for example, that sometimes it’s necessary to place love ahead of indiscriminate “factual honesty.”  No longer, under the guise of “perfect honesty,” can I cruelly and unnecessarily hurt others.  Today, I always must ask myself, “What’s the best and most loving thing I can do?”  Have I begun to sow the seeds of love in my daily living?

Today I Pray

May God, in His live, show me how to be loving.  May I first sense the feelings of love and caring within me and then find ways to show those feelings.  May I remember how many times I cut myself off from relationships because I did not know how either to let myself feel love or to show what I did feel.

Today I Will Remember

When I feel love, I will be loving. 
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One Day At A Time #essentialsofrecovery


Home

“A person can run for years but sooner or later he has to take a stand in the place which, for better or worse, he calls home, do what he can to change things there.”

–Paule Marshall

I’ve been running for most of my life. I was in a hurry to grow up. As a kid, all I wanted was to grow up and move out. I was so sick of everything and everyone in my life. I didn’t want to be told what to do. I wanted to be able to call the shots. Then, when I grew up, I wanted to be a kid again. I wanted people to tell me what to do and to take care of me. When I was calling the shots, I found myself in bars and eating out all the time because I didn’t want to go to the grocery store or cook. The only foods I kept in my studio apartment were binge foods. I lived in a very urban area and could very easily walk to fast food or to convenience stores. I didn’t know what home meant. When I’m running, I get out of breath, my body hurts, my soul hurts, and I have no space for my Higher Power to guide me. I run laps in the same place, expecting to feel better, but never feeling better.

As a relative newcomer to program, I have made a conscious choice to stop. I turned it over to my Higher Power and asked for guidance in finding home and staying there. Now, as I am standing in place, I find that my home is my Higher Power. Standing in place, I’ve found that the world isn’t as adverse as I’d perceived it to be. I can actually see the beauty in the world around me and feel nurtured by the feeling of home.

One day at a time …

Today I can stand in place and look around. I can be aware of the ever-loving presence of my Higher Power and the comfort of the home that have both been with me all along.

~ AJ 
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Elder’s Meditation of the Day


“Power comes and goes. It can vanish in the twinkling of an eye, like smoke dissolving in the air.”

–Archie Fire Lame Deer, LAKOTA


The East, South, West, and North are the powers of the four directions. The Creator makes these powers available to do things. We pray to the Creator to give us the power to do these things. Often, we are given these powers for awhile, then these powers disappear. Power is given and taken from us by the Great Spirit, the source of power. During the time we have this power, we should be responsible and use the power in a good way. Many good things can be accomplished when we realize where this power really comes from.

Great Spirit, today, show me how to use Your power.
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Today’s Gift


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? And if the earth should have to quake, would anyone blame it for cracking here and there? 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?
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The Eye Opener


We are all familiar with that class of people who have a drinking problem; they know they have it and they know that they can do nothing about it themselves. They also know that we had a similar problem and that we did something about it; their own eyes bear testimony to that effect – yet they refuse to take the message we bring them. They have ears, yet they will not hear. It is not our purpose to sell them a bill of goods. Our message is only for those who want it. They aren’t ready yet, so conserve your efforts for those who are hungry for what we have to give.

Hazelden Foundation
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Daily Tao / 150 - MERCY


Uphold precepts, but be merciful.

Gradually absorb, until there is no need for law.

Gain wisdom beyond right and wrong.



There was a young priest who returned to the community of his birth. Instead of the neighborhood he knew as a boy, the community was now predominantly homosexual. He was uncertain : On one hand, he had to serve the people. On the other hand, his sect forbade homosexuality and condemned it as a grave wrong. It would seem that whatever he did, he would be a hypocrite. He eventually decided to accept all who came to him but still uphold the doctrines of his sect. He saw his most important duty as mercy, and so he was able to help others without truly violating his precepts. When there are contradictions between beliefs, one must resolve them in favor of what one judges to be the higher principle.

We should not sell our ideals short for the sake of expediency or selfishness. Following a particular spiritual tradition means a full commitment to its rules in order to gain the essence of that tradition. But we cannot afford to be dogmatic. Human law is imperfect : There will always be unprecedented circumstances. Thus, we must go beyond rules and operate instead from pure wisdom. We must act with experience, flexibility, and insight. Let us so absorb integrity -- experiencing both its triumphs and defeats -- that we do the right thing intuitively.

Tradition is first. Mercy is greater than tradition. Wisdom is greater than mercy.
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Daily Zen


"Besides the noble art of getting things done, there is the noble art

of leaving things undone. The wisdom of life consists in the elimination of

non-essentials."

--Lin Yutang
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Tuesday, 29 May 2018

Father Leo’s Daily Meditation


REALITY

“Do not take life too seriously. You will never get out of it alive.”


–Elbert Hubbard


When I used to take life too seriously, I was always miserable. I missed so much. I placed a disproportionate amount of energy on my own importance. I am not saying that I am not important, but I must learn to live within the structures of this imperfect world.

For so long I made myself the “victim” of this world. Every airplane missed was seen as a personal abuse. I could not wait in a line without getting angry and developing a resentment to everybody around. Everybody was expected to revolve around my world and I felt the world owed me a living! The result: unhappiness.

I needed to change or remain unhappy. Today I am learning to change and I am working on patience.

Thank You for the spiritual gift of balance in my life.
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Big Book - Chapter 5 - How It Works (pg 65 & top 66)

We went back through our lives. Nothing counted but thoroughness and honesty. When we were finished we considered it carefully. The first thing apparent was that this world and its people were often quite wrong. To conclude that others were wrong was as far as most of us ever got. The usual outcome was that people continued to wrong us and we stayed sore. Sometimes it was remorse and then we were sore at ourselves. But the more we fought and tried to have our own way, the worse matters got. As in war, the victor only seemed to win. Our moments of triumph were short-lived. Big Book - Chapter 5 How It Works (pg 65 & top 66)
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Gene D. - Recovery Speaker



Daily Dose Of Emmet Fox


“You cannot expect to reach port if you are faithful in your prayers and meditations for a time, and then for a time you forget God.”
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Daily Reflections



TRUE TOLERANCE

The only requirement for A.A. membership is a desire to stop drinking.

-TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 139


I first heard the short form of the Third Tradition in the Preamble. When I came to A.A. I could not accept myself, my alcoholism, or a Higher Power. If there had been any physical, mental, moral, or religious requirements for membership, I would be dead today. Bill W. said in his tape on the Traditions that the Third Tradition is a charter for individual freedom. The most impressive thing to me was the feeling of acceptance from members who were practicing the Third Tradition by tolerating and accepting me. I feel acceptance is love and love is God’s will for us.
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Just for today



Carry me

“We believe that our Higher Power will take care of us.”

Basic Text, p. 58


––––=––––


We all have times when it seems as though our lives are falling apart. There are days, or even weeks, when it seems that everything that can go wrong is going wrong. Whether it’s the loss of a job, the death of a loved one, or the end of a relationship, we doubt that we’ll survive the changes taking place in our lives.


It’s during the times when the world is crashing down around our ears that we find our greatest faith in a loving Higher Power. No human being could relieve our suffering; we know that only God’s care can provide the comfort we seek. We feel broken but we go on, knowing that our lives will be repaired.


As we progress in our recovery and our faith in our Higher Power grows, we are sure to greet the difficult times with a sense of hope, despite the pain we may be in. We need not despair, for we know that our Higher Power’s care will carry us through when we can’t walk on our own.

––––=––––


Just for today: I will rely on God’s care through the painful times, knowing that my Higher Power will always be there.
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Twenty-Four Hours A Day


A.A. Thought For The Day

We who have learned to put our drink problem in God’s hands can help others to do so. We can be used as a connection between an alcoholic’s need and God’s supply of strength. We in Alcoholics Anonymous can be uniquely useful, just because we have the misfortune or fortune to be alcoholics ourselves. Do I want to be a uniquely useful person? Will I use my own greatest defeat and failure and sickness as a weapon to help others?

Meditation For The Day

I will try to help others. I will try not to let a day pass without reaching out an arm of love to someone. Each day I will try to do something to lift another human being out of the sea of discouragement into which he or she has fallen. My helping hand is needed to raise the helpless to courage, to strength, to faith, to health. In my own gratitude, I will turn and help other alcoholics with the burden that is pressing too heavily upon them.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may be used by God to lighten many burdens. I pray that many souls may be helped through my efforts. 
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As Bill Sees It


More than Comfort, p. 148

When I am feeling depressed, I repeat to myself statements such as these: “Pain is the touchstone of progress.” “Fear no evil.” “This, too, will pass.” “This experience can be turned to benefit.”

These fragments of prayer bring far more than mere comfort. They keep me on the track of right acceptance; they break up my compulsive themes of guilt, depression, rebellion, and pride; and sometimes they endow me with the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.
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Walk in Dry Places


Guarding against disguised hostility

Fairness.



One of the pitfalls in continued recovery is the tendency to become self-righteous and judgmental. Sometimes this fuses into a hostility directed toward newcomers or chronic “slippers”. Now and then, we’ve seen grumpy older members demanding that those who slip get honest.


While we may be right in concluding that a person is not showing honesty, we have NO RIGHT to denounce or expose anyone in a group setting. Far from helping the person, we may be showing off. If there is hostility in our words or manner, the other person will certainly sense it.


The best group setting for good recovery is always one that expresses warmth, acceptance, and understanding. There are few, if any, times when a verbal assault can be justified. Before we lash out at another person’s lack of honesty, we must take an honest look at our own motives and feelings.


I’ll face the day with a feeling of goodwill and acceptance in my dealings with every person I meet. If I attend a meeting, I’ll show the same warmth and acceptance toward every person there.
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Keep It Simple



The more one judges the less one love.

-Balzac


At times we need to make judgments about people’s behavior. We stand back and look at how their lives affect our sobriety. We have to do this to choose people whose relationships will be good for us. We have to do this before we trust someone in business. We should take a good look at the others person before we fall in love. But we decide to trust or love someone, we have to stop judging.


When we love someone, we don’t stand back. We move in close. We give them all our love can offer. We don’t just think and judge. We feel. We are on their side. We look for the good in them. We don’t pick them apart. We love the whole person.


Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, help me to judge a little and love a lot. Help me accept the people I love, faults and all. Help me love them better.


Action for the Day:
Today, I’ll catch myself when I start to judge others. I will accept them as they are.
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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation


SELF


“The fault, dear Brutus, is not in the stars, but in ourselves that we are underlings.”

–William Shakespeare

My addiction to alcohol led me away from “self.” Today in my sobriety I am beginning to understand me. For years I blamed others for my misfortunes but today I see that I was the enemy in my life. It was a “cop-out” to blame God, family, job or life for my alcoholism – I needed to take responsibility for “self”.

Part of my recovery program today involves me not looking “outside” for answers but looking within. The answer is not in the stars, not in fate – but rather in the destiny I create by the decisions I make today. I, and I alone, forge my future.

O Lord, let me create a life that is pleasing in Your sight.
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A Day At A Time


Reflection For The Day

When we fist reached The Program and for the first time in our lives stood among people who seemed to understand, the sense of belonging was exhilarating.  We felt that the problem of isolation had been solved.  We soon discovered, however, that while we weren’t alone any more, in a social sense, we still suffered many of the old pangs of anxious apartness.  Until we had talked with complete candor of our conflicts, and had listened to someone else do the same thing, we still didn’t belong.  Step Five was the answer.  Have I found through the Fifth step the beginning of true kinship with my fellows and God?

Today I Pray

May God help me learn to share myself, my attributes and my failings, not just as I take the Fifth Step but in a continuing give-and-take process with my friends.  May I cultivate an attitude of openness and honesty with others, now that I have begun to be honest with myself.  May I remember who I used to be — the child in a game of hide-and-seek, who hid so well that nobody could find her/him and everyone gave up trying and went home.

Today I Will Remember

I will be open to friendships. 
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One Day At A Time


HIGHER POWER

“Think not because no man sees, such things will remain unseen.”

–Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Recently at a meeting I heard a person share that they weren’t sure that the program would work for them because they did not believe in God. They were very distressed. I wanted to get out the Big Book and quote to them from page 47, “When, therefore, we speak to you of God, we mean your own conception of God. This applies too, to other spiritual expressions which you find in this book. Do not let any prejudice you may have against spiritual terms deter you from honestly asking yourself what they mean to you. At the start this was all we needed to commence spiritual growth, to effect our first conscious relation with God as we understood Him.”

Many of us have a problem with God in the beginning of our program. We may be atheists, agnostics, or simply have had bad experiences regarding God or His/Her people. We can choose the group, or the Higher Power of another, to be our Higher Power until we are able to begin, bit-by-bit, to define and establish a relationship with our own Higher Power. I know that when I came into the program I was very angry with God. I used the group as my Higher Power at first. Then I used my sponsor’s God of her understanding as my Higher Power because He was so loving and full of grace. We had many talks about her God. This helped me greatly until I was able to reconnect to my relationship with the God of my understanding. Today I have a full, rich and intimate relationship with my God.

One day at a time …

I will be tolerant of others’ conception of their Higher Power and will continue to grow in my relationship with the God of my understanding.

~ Carolyn H.
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Elder’s Meditation of the Day


“Humility is probably the most difficult virtue to realize.”

–Thomas Yellowtail, CROW

Two definitions of humility are; one, being aware of one’s own defects of character, and two, giving credit where credit is due. This means if you do something and are successful because God gave you certain talents, give credit to God when someone tells you how well you did; this is being humble. If you are successful at something, but had help from friends, spouse, neighbors, give credit to those who helped you; this is being humble. If you have done a task and you alone accomplished it, give credit to yourself; this is being humble. Say the truth and give credit where credit is due.

Grandfather, let me walk a truthful road today. 
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Today’s Gift



The only people who never fail are those who never try.

—Ilka Chase


A boy once asked his grandfather how he had become so happy and successful in his life. “Right decisions,” replied his grandfather. The boy thought for a while and then asked a second question, “But how do you learn to make right decisions?” The grandfather answered quickly with a twinkle in his eye, “Wrong decisions!”


We, too, will learn from our “wrong decisions,” our mistakes. Whenever we try anything, there is always the possibility of failure. We must learn to not let this keep us from trying. When we are willing to try, we have already conquered our fear. We can grow no matter what the outcome is.

What failure have I turned into success?
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The Eye Opener


Life has been hard on us, but most of it was made hard by ourselves. The hard life, however, taught us much: it strengthened our muscles; it broadened our experiences. We are better men because of it. We have known much of hunger, pain, defeat, mental anguish, despair and shame. Only the good survived this ordeal, and we can alleviate the sufferings of the world all the better because we have suffered also.

God was not punishing us …He was conditioning us.

Hazelden Foundation
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DAILY TAO / 149 - PIVOTING



Some days, you and I go mad.

Our bellies get stuffed full,

Hearts break, minds snap.

We can't go on the old way so

We change. Our lives pivot,

Forming a mysterious geometry.





Life revolves. You cannot go back one minute, or one day. In light of this, there is no use marking time in any one position. Life will continue without you, will pass you by, leaving you hopelessly out of step with events. That's why you must engage life and maintain your pace.

Don't look back, and don't step back. Each time you make a decision, move forward. If your last step gained you a certain amount of territory, then make sure that your next step will capitalize on it. Don't relinquish your position until you are sure that you have something equal or better in your grasp. But how do we develop timing for this process?




It has to be intuitive. On certain days, we come to our limits, and our tolerance for a situation ends. When that happens, change without the interference of concepts, guilt, timidity, or hesitancy. Those are the points when our entire lives pivot and turn toward new phases, and it is right that we take advantage of them. We mark our progress not by the distance covered but by the lines and angles that are formed.
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Daily Zen

Small waves and large waves

A small wave in the ocean laments "Poor me. Other waves are so great in size, yet I am so small. Other waves can travel so fast, yet I am so inferior." Another wave replies "This is because you do not know your true being, so you think you are suffering. A wave is your temporary phenomenon. In actual fact, you are water. When you realize that your true being is water, you will no longer be troubled by your physical form, and therefore will no longer suffer."
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Monday, 28 May 2018

Father Leo’s Daily Meditation


LIES

“The cruelest lies are often told in silence.”

–Robert Louis Stevenson

In treatment I said that I did not “tell” many lies – and although this was not true (hence a lie), it missed the fact that most of my lies were “lies of silence”. It was what I did not say that produced the confusion; the pretended self-confidence that hid the pain and shame;  the half-spoken truth that harbored the disease.

Communication is the key to any spiritual relationship and a sick silence creates the ultimate blasphemy. God created you and me to relate. In the interchange of our ideas is the miracle born. A sick, angry and ego-centered silence is our shouted “no” to God.

O Lord of the paradox, let me see how the lie of silence can be used to destroy my world. 
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Daily Tao / 172 - SOLSTICE



When the true light appears,

The entire planet turns to face it.


The summer solstice is the time of greatest light. It is a day of enormous power. The whole planet is turned fully to the brilliance of the sun.

This great culmination is not static or permanent. Indeed, solstice as a time of culmination is only a barely perceptible point. The sun appears to stand still. Its diurnal motion seems to nearly cease. Yesterday, it was still reaching this point; tomorrow, it will begin a new phase of its cycle.

Those who follow Tao celebrate this day to remind themselves of the cycles of existence. They remember that all cycles have a left and a right, an up side and a down side, a zenith and a nadir. Today, day far surpasses night, and yet night will gradually begin to reassert itself. All of life is cycles. All of life is balance.


So celebrate, but be not proud. For whenever you celebrate high achievement, the antithesis is also approaching. Likewise, in misfortune, be not sad. For whenever you mourn in grief, the antithesis is also approaching. Those who know how to reach the peak of any cycle and remain glorious are the wisest of all.
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Big Book - Chapter 4 We Agnostics (pg 50 & top 51)

Instead, we looked at the human defects of these people, and sometimes used their shortcomings as a basis of wholesale condemnation. We talked of intolerance, while we were intolerant ourselves. We missed the reality and the beauty of the forest because we were diverted by the ugliness of some its trees. We never gave the spiritual side of life a fair hearing. In our personal stories you will find a wide variation in the way each teller approaches and conceives of the Power which is greater than himself. Whether we agree with a particular approach or conception seems to make little difference. Experience has taught us that these are matters about which, for our purpose, we need not be worried. They are questions for each individual to settle for himself. On one proposition, however, these men and women are strikingly agreed. Every one of them has gained access to, and believe in, a Power greater than himself. This Power has in each case accomplished the miraculous, the humanly impossible. As a celebrated American statesman put it, "Let's look at the record." Here are thousands of men and women, worldly indeed. They flatly declare that since they have come to believe in a Power greater than themselves, to take a certain attitude toward that Power, and to do certain simple things. There has been a revolutionary change in their way of living and thinking. In the face of collapse and despair, in the face of the total failure of their human resources, they found that a new power, peace, happiness, and sense of direction flowed into them. This happened soon after they wholeheartedly met a few simple requirements. Once confused and baffled by the seeming futility of existence, they show the underlying reasons why they were making heavy going of life. Leaving aside the drink question, they tell why living was so unsatisfactory. They show how the change came over them. When many hundreds of people are able to say that the consciousness of the Presence of God is today the most important fact of their lives, they present a powerful reason why one should have faith. Big Book - Chapter 4 We Agnostics (pg 50 &  top 51)

Ed Lavell - Recovery Speaker



Daily Reflections


EQUAL RIGHTS

At one time or another most A.A. groups go on rule making benders. After a time fear and intolerance subside. [and we realize] We do not wish to deny anyone his chance to recover from alcoholism. We wish to be just as inclusive as we can, never exclusive.

-“A.A. TRADITION: HOW IT DEVELOPED.” pp. 10, 11, 12

A.A. offered me complete freedom and accepted me into the Fellowship for myself. Membership did not depend upon conformity, financial success or education and I am so grateful for that. I often ask myself if I extend the same equality to others or if I deny them the freedom to be different. Today I try to replace my fear and intolerance with faith, patience, love and acceptance. I can bring these strengths to my A.A. group, my home and my office. I make an effort to bring my positive attitude everywhere that I go.

I have neither the right, nor the responsibility, to judge others. Depending on my attitude I can view newcomers to A.A., family members and friends as menaces or as teachers. When I think of some of my past judgments, it is clear how my self-righteousness caused me spiritual harm. 
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Just For Today


As We Understand

"We examined our lives and discovered who we really are. To be truly humble is to accept and honestly try to be ourselves."

Basic Text, p. 35


As using addicts, the demands of our disease determined our personality. We could be whoever or whatever we needed to be in order to get our "fix." We were survival machines, adapting easily to every circumstance of the using life.

Once we began our recovery, we entered a new and different life. Many of us had no idea what behavior was appropriate for us in any given situation. Some of us didn't know how to talk to people, how to dress, or how to behave in public. We couldn't be ourselves because we didn't know who we were anymore.

The Twelve Steps give us a simple method for finding out who we really are. We uncover our assets and our defects, the things we like about ourselves and the things we're not so thrilled about. Through the healing power of the Twelve Steps, we begin to understand that we are individuals, created to be who we are by the Higher Power of our understanding. The real healing begins when we understand that if our Higher Power created us this way, it must be okay to be who we really are.

Just for today:
By working the steps I can experience the freedom to be myself, the person my Higher Power intended me to be.

pg. 154
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Twenty-Four Hours A Day


A.A. Thought For The Day

In A.A. we learn that since we are alcoholics we can be uniquely useful people. That is, we can help other alcoholics when perhaps somebody who has not had our experience with drinking could not help them. That makes us uniquely useful. The A.A.s are a unique group of people because they have taken their own greatest defeat and failure and sickness and used it as a means of helping others. We who have been through the same thing are the ones who can best help other alcoholics. Do I believe that I can be uniquely useful?

Meditation For The Day

I should try to practice the presence of God. I can feel that He is with me and near me, protecting and strengthening me always. In spite of every difficulty, every trial, every failure, the presence of God suffices. Just to believe that He is near me brings strength and peace. I should try to live as though God were beside me. I cannot see Him because I was not made with the ability to see Him else there were no room for faith. But I can feel His spirit with me.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may try to practice the presence of God. I pray that by doing so I may never feel alone or helpless again. 
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As Bill Sees It


A.A. the Lodestar, p. 147


We can be grateful for every agency or method that tries to solve the problem of alcoholism–whether of medicine, religion, education, or research. We can be open-minded toward all such efforts and we can be sympathetic when the ill-advised ones fail. We can remember that A.A. itself ran for years on “trial and error.”

As individuals, we can and should work with those that promise success–even a little success.

<< << << >> >> >>

Every one of the pioneers in the total field of alcoholism will generously say that had it not been for the living proof of recovery in A.A., they could not have gone on. A.A. was the lodestar of hope and help that kept them at it.

Grapevine, March 1958
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Walk in Dry Places


Everyday risks
Courage

We have to take certain risks if we hope to achieve anything. Applying for a job entail a risk of reject. Saving money carries a risk of losing it. Falling in love can result in heartbreak.

We have to take such risks because life is ordered that way. We are hear to learn, and learning includes pressing into unknown situations where we could fail.

God could have created us in such a way we could either avoid risks or not unduly concerned about the. Animals, for example, live with risks but do no seem to worry about them.

We must accept risk as part of God’s plan for us. We also are given tools for working with uncertainties. We have our innate intelligence and a capacity for prudent, reasoned action. We have friends who will help us. Above all, we have our Higher Power, who guides and directs us through all sorts of risky conditions.

I cannot face life without also facing uncertainties. Today I’ll accept risk as a part of ordinary living. 
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Keep It Simple

Who dares nothing, need hope for nothing.

-Johann Fredrich von Schiller

As we grow in recovery, we’ll need to change our behaviors, values, and beliefs to stay sane. This take courage. Courage is doing what is needed in spite of fear.

Courage means facing what we can’t change. We can’t change the fact that we have hurt people. We can’t change the fact we have an illness. And we can’t change the fact that we need help from others.

Courage also means facing those things we can change. We need courage to be honest, to have faith, and to be humble. And we need courage to let people know how important they are.

Prayer for the Day: Courage is more than being tough. Courage means being human. Higher Power, grant me the courage to stay sober and live a spiritual life.

Action for the Day: Today, I’ll have an attitude of courage. I’ll talk in my meeting. I’ll offer help where it is needed. I’ll have the courage to say no when needed.

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation


CHRISTIANITY


“He who begins by loving Christianity better than Truth will proceed by loving his sect or church better than Christianity, and end in loving himself better than all.”

–Samuel Taylor Coleridge


My program for recovery from addiction is spiritual and not religious. I believe that spirituality encompasses all that is good and noble in all the great religions of the world. It cannot be confined or limited to one religion or denomination. Spirituality stops the recovering person from looking for the differences; it stops the arrogance and prejudice; it stops the division and separations that feed the disease. Spirituality emphasizes the inherent unity of man. It teaches the most stubborn of men to hold hands.

God the Creator is revealed in the variety of His universe. I can find Him in the sunset, the variety of animals, the love and care of family and friends, the excitement and vision of poetry and art, the inspiration of music. Spirituality is . . .!




Kneeling before the beauty of Your creation I whisper “Amen”.
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A Day At A Time


Reflection For The Day

We’ve all had times when we felt alienated, when it seemed we had nowhere to turn and no one to turn to.  When we don’t know which way to turn, when there seems to be no one to help us, even then we’re not alone or without help, the presence of God is always with us.  When we need strength or courage or comfort, God is there with us as the help we need.  Even before we turn to God, His love reaches out to us;  His loving Spirit in us hears our cry and answers us.  Do I truly believe that I no longer need be alone?

Today I Pray

May I never be alone, even in a place by myself, if I take time to talk to my Higher Power.  May He be my companion, my joy, my ever-present help in trouble.  May the knowledge of His constant presence fill me with calm, so that I will not fear either the solitude of my own room or alienation in a roomful of people.

Today I Will Remember

Listen for the presence of God. 
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One day At A Time

Serenity

“Serenity is not freedom from the storm, but peace amid the storm.”


-Anonymous Quote


Why is serenity so important to our recovery? Because darkness cannot exist where there is light! If we can maintain a serene state of mind as established through our faith in HP and the BB Promises, negative emotions and behaviour will have no power over us. Stress, fear, compulsiveness, obsessiveness, resentment, guilt, shame, willfulness, doubt, distrust, greed and envy, have no power over a mind that is kept in serene repose. Serenity allows us to see situations clearly and make wise decisions. Most importantly, by maintaining a serene mind, we keep the door to our High Power open.

One Day at a Time …

I will face each challenge with grace and serenity.

~ Rob R.
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Elder’s Meditation of the Day June 21 of the Day




“The god that people reject is not the true god, it is a god they have conjured up apart from proper education, and understanding. In such cases, the least Fools Crow will do is to call their assumptions into question, and force them to re-evaluate their position.”



—Thomas Mails on Fools Crow, LAKOTA

Inside of every person – man, woman, and child – is the knowledge that there is a Supreme Being. Many of us have been taught that the Creator is a punishing God. We have been taught about feelings of guilt and shame when we do things wrong. We have been taught that God gets angry and disappointed with us. The Elders teach us that the Creator is a loving and forgiving God. He loves us during our good days and He loves us during our bad days. He doesn’t know how to do anything but love. If I really want to find out about the true God, I only need to ask in prayer. There is one thing that God cannot do and that is refuse help to one of His children who asks.

My Creator, I ask You to be a part of my life everyday. Whisper to me Your wisdom. Let me feel Your presence. If I am doubtful and afraid, show me, in terms I can understand, You are real.
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Elder’s Meditation of the Day


“The land is a sacred trust held in common for the benefit of the future of our nations.”

–Haida Gwaii – Traditional Circle of Elders

The Creator made the Earth to support life so that life would continue to reproduce, everything would support one another, and future generations would have the same benefits of supply and beauty as the generations the proceeded them. This cycle will only continue to the degree that we make choices and decisions for the future generations. Today, we are too greedy and selfish. We are cheating our children, grandchildren, and the children unborn.

Creator, let me see the consequences of my decisions, and show me how to make healthy corrections. 
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Today's Gift


Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not.

—Ralph Waldo Emerson



The little rabbit stood alone, watching her family and friends hop and skip about her in the forest, playing her favorite rabbit game. Try as she might, each time she attempted to join in, she tripped about awkwardly. When this happened, the other rabbits laughed uproariously at her and called her “Grace.” Soon even she forgot her real name. But in the moments when Grace was alone, she danced around the trees with ease. She was as smooth and graceful as any ballerina. An old owl sat high above her one night, watching her intently. The moonlight streamed through the treetops like a soft spotlight and he sat and watched as little Grace moved in and out of the moonbeams. Finally he said, “Grace, you are more graceful than any creature I’ve ever seen.” Grace was startled that someone had been watching her, but listened carefully to the wise owl’s words as he continued. “You have carried this beauty within you all the time, but locked it inside when you tried too hard.” If we remember to relax and trust in ourselves, we, too, will discover that we are able.

What hidden ability can I set loose today?
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Daily Tao /148 - TRANSLATION


Place the word Tao
Into your heart.
Use no other words.


Why do so many people seek foreign religions? Why are so many of our philosophies translations from other languages? Surely we are all human beings, with hearts and minds, two hands and two legs. Each of us needs spirituality, but why must we always look abroad?

People who investigate Tao ask whether they have to be Chinese to benefit from it. It is true that part of the study of Tao is strictly Chinese. It is also true that this Taoism has never been exported -- unlike Buddhism, Islam, Hinduism, Christianity, or Judaism -- and has never been preached beyond the Five Sacred Mountains of China. It is elitist, to protect itself from coarse unbelievers. But this Taoism is not the Tao you need.

The true Tao is of no nationality, no religion. It is far beyond the conceptions of even the most brilliant human being, so it cannot be the property of one race or culture. The need to understand Tao is universal; people just give it different names in their native languages. Tao is the very essence of life itself, so those who are alive always have the possibility of knowing Tao. It is meant to be found in the here and now, and it is within the grasp of any sincere seeker.
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Daily Zen

Everything has to do with your own attitude, your own way of thinking - your motivation ... your perception.
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Sunday, 27 May 2018

Eddie L. - Spring Time In The Ozarks - Recovery Speaker



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Daily Reflections


NO MAUDLIN GUILT

Day by day, we try to move a little toward God’s perfection. So we need not be consumed by maudlin guilt …

-AS BILL SEES IT, p. 15


When I first discovered that there is not a single “don’t” in the

Twelve Steps of A.A., I was disturbed because this discovery swung

open a giant portal. Only then was I able to realize what A.A. is for

me:

A.A. is not a program of “don’ts”, but of “do’s.”

A.A. is not martial law; it is freedom.

A.A. is not tears over defects, but sweat over fixing them.

A.A. is not penitence; it is salvation.

A.A. is not “Woe to me” for my sins, past and present.

A.A. is “Praise God” for the progress I am making today.
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Just for today



Meeting the day’s challenge



“...the decision to ask for God’s help is our greatest source of strength and courage.”


Basic Text, p. 26

––––=––––

A challenge is anything that dares us to succeed. Things new and unfamiliar serve as challenges, whether those things appear good or bad to us. We are challenged by obstacles and opposition from within ourselves and from without. New and difficult things, obstacles and opposition, all are a part of “life on life’s terms.” Living clean means learning to meet challenges.

Many of us, consciously or unconsciously, took drugs to avoid meeting challenges. Many of us were equally afraid of failure and success. Each time we declined the day’s challenge, we suffered a loss of self-esteem. Some of us used drugs to mask the shame we felt. Each time we did that, we became even less able to meet our challenges and more likely to use.

By working the NA program, we’ve found the tools we need to successfully meet any challenge. We’ve come to believe in a Power greater than ourselves, a Power that cares for our will and our lives. We’ve asked that Power to remove our character defects, those things that made our lives unmanageable. We’ve taken action to improve our conscious contact with that Higher Power. Through the steps, we’ve been given the ability to stop using drugs and start living.

Each day, we are faced with new challenges. And each day, through working our program of recovery, we are given the grace to meet those challenges.

––––=––––

Just for today:
I will ask my Higher Power to help me squarely meet today’s challenge.
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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

In twelfth-step work, the fifth thing is Continuance. Continuance means our staying with prospects after they have started on the new way of living. We must stick with them and not let them down. We must encourage them to go to meetings regularly for fellowship and help. They will learn that keeping sober is a lot easier in the fellowship of others who are trying to do the same thing. We must continue to help prospects by going to see them regularly or telephoning them or writing them so that they don’t get out of touch with A.A. Continuance means good sponsorship. Do I care enough about other alcoholics to continue with them as long as necessary?

Meditation For The Day



Every strong and beautiful flower must have a strong root in the ground. It must send a root down so that it may be rooted and grounded while at the same time it sends a shoot up to be the flower that shall gladden the world. Both growths are necessary. Without a strong root, it would soon wither. The higher the growth upward, the deeper must be the rooting. My life cannot flower into success and helpfulness unless it is rooted in a strong faith, or unless it feels deeply secure in the goodness and purpose of the universe.


Prayer For The Day

I pray that my life may be deeply rooted in faith. I pray that I may feel deeply secure.
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As Bill Sees It


Down To Earth, p. 178

Those of us who have spent much time in the world of spiritual make-believe have eventually seen the childishness of it. This dream world has been replaced by a great sense of purpose, accompanied by a growing consciousness of the power of God in our lives.

We have come to believe He would like us to keep our heads in the clouds with Him, but that our feet ought to be firmly planted on earth. That is where our work must be done. These are the realities for us. We have found nothing incompatible between a powerful spiritual experience and a life of sane and happy usefulness.

Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 130 
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As Bill Sees It


 Spot-Checking, p. 132


A spot-check inventory taken in the midst of disturbances can be of very great help in quieting stormy emotions. Today’s spot check finds its chief application to situations which arise in each day’s march. The consideration of long-standing difficulties had better be postponed, when possible, to times deliberately set aside for that purpose.

The quick inventory is aimed at our daily ups and downs, especially those where people or new events throw us off balance and tempt us to make mistakes.


12 & 12, pp. 90-91
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Keep It Simple


It’s only by forgetting yourself that you draw near to God.

-Henry David Thoreau

The biggest danger we face as recovering people is self-will. Do we try to control others?

Do we always put ourselves before others? Are we full of self-pity? These are all ways that bind us to our self-will.

In recovery, we put our lives in the hands of a loving God. Here, we find a new home. Our goal is to lose as much of our self-will as we can. We than put love in place of self-will. Recovery is truly about love.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, I pray and offer my self-will to You, Self-will is a danger to my sobriety. I pray that I may be closer to You than to myself.

Action for the Day:
I’ll list the areas that self-will get in my way. I’ll read my list every day next week, and I’ll try to put love in place of self will.
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Walk in Dry Places


Who is important?

Respect for people.


The Twelve step movement grew out of an earlier society, the Oxford group, whose members believed in “key People.” They embraced the idea that attracting promising individuals with high standing would, in turn, attract others.

We’ve also had such people in AA and other 12 step groups, and we are grateful for their examples and efforts. We’ve learned, however, not to view one person as more important than another’s. We could even harm a recovering person by focusing on his or her personal prestige in the community. Our purpose is to help people get well, not to run a club emphasizing social standing.

We’ll find our program working much better if we treat all people equally, and view them as equal in the sight of God. We have a standing in God’s sight that is eternal and everlasting.

I’ll extend kind and generous thoughts toward every person I meet today. We are all children of equal standing in the sight of God.
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A Day At A Time



Reflection For The Day

When I have only myself to talk to, the conversation gets sort of one-sided.  Trying to talk myself out of a drink or a pill or a “small wager” or just one chocolate eclair is sort of like trying self-hypnosis.  It simply doesn’t work;  most of the time, it’s about as effective as trying to talk myself out of a case of diarrhea.  When my heart is heavy and my resistance low, I can always find some comfort in sharing with a true and understanding friend in The Program.  Do I know who my friends are?

Today I Pray

May I be convinced that, as part of God’s master plan, we were put here to help each other.  May I be as open about asking for help as I am ready to give it, no matter how long I have been in The Program.  May the experiences of countless others be enough to prove to me that “talking myself out of it” seldom works, that the mutual holstering that comes from sharing with a friend usually does.

Today I Will Remember

When I ask for help, I am Helping. 
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One Day At A Time


Balance

“I’ve learned that you can’t have everything … and do everything … at the same time.”
–Oprah Winfrey

Learning about balance has been a struggle throughout my life; both as an addict and as a mother, friend, lover, sister… and woman. I’m not sure if it is my addiction that causes me to be over-zealous when it comes to giving too much to too many, or if my desire for love has manifested my addiction out of a need to feel full and satisfied. For me, finding that spot where a relationship is comfortable and not one-sided, where work is just ‘work’ and not all that nourishes my life… where school is an enhancement and not a crutch for hiding and isolating, is a hard place to for me to find. I see patterns within my life where I consistently struggle for harmony and balance. Why isn’t one of anything enough? No matter what it is that is in my life; relationships, work, eating, shopping, I have to work at managing balance so that things flow at the right pace, otherwise, my entire life is off kilter.

But today, I don’t need to struggle. I don’t need to overdo my relationships or my work. I can do just one thing and know that the rest will be there tomorrow. Today I have the gifts that have been given to me to manage my life.

One Day at a Time …
I pray that God will help me to manage and balance my life so that I can do a good job with all things, especially living.

~ Pamela 
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Elder’s Meditation of the Day



“One of the things the old people taught me about the spirits was to never have a doubt.”
–Wallace Black Elk, LAKOTA

The spirit world is sometimes hard to believe in because we can’t see it. Our minds convince us to seek proof for everything. We need to believe that the Unseen World exists and the Unseen World is guided by principles, laws, and values. If we have doubts, we can pray to the Great Spirit to remove the doubt. He understands how difficult it can be sometimes, so He’s always ready to help us during our doubtful times. We are lucky to have such an understanding and helpful Father.

Great Spirit, today, divorce me from doubt. 
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Today's Gift


If your life is ever going to get better, you’ll have to take risks. There is simply no way you can grow without taking chances.

—David Viscott


One sunny day a caterpillar who was afraid of the dark came to a tunnel, which lay squarely in its path. It had a choice of going back where it started, or summoning the courage to crawl into the darkness. “What shall I do?” wondered the caterpillar. “If I go back home, I won’t get where I want to go, but I’m so afraid!”


Just then, a voice called out from the tunnel. “I can hear you, Mr. Caterpillar. I am Mr. Beetle. I am here in the tunnel and I can see the other end. If you come through, you won’t lose your fear of the dark, but you will get where you want to go.”


We are all like the caterpillar once in a while. But if we let our fear stop us from doing things, which are necessary to our growth, we will never realize what courage we really have.


Is my fear a necessary part of new experiences?
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