Thursday, 21 February 2019

Big Book - Alcoholics Anonymous - 4th Edition - Bill’s Story, pg. 8

‎No words can tell of the loneliness and despair I found in that bitter morass of self-pity. Quicksand stretched around me in all directions. I had met my match. I had been overwhelmed. Alcohol was my master.”

~Big Book - Alcoholics Anonymous - 4th Edition - Bill’s Story, pg. 8

People Help Or Damage Themselves - Athony De Mello



AROUND THE YEAR WITH EMMET FOX #essentialsofrecovery

QUARANTINE YOUR TROUBLES

When you are praying or “treating” about a particular thing, you should handle it, mentally, very carefully indeed. The ideal way is not to think about it at all except when you are actually praying about it. Moreover, to talk to the other people about it is exceedingly likely to invite failure.

When a new problem presents itself to you, decline to consider it except in the light of Truth. I call this “putting a subject in quarantine.” Even an old long-standing problem can be “put in quarantine” today, if you mean business and will resolutely break the habit of constantly thinking over that problem.

Whenever you think about any subject, you are treating it with your thought- either for good or evil.

The lip of truth shall be established for ever . . . (Proverbs 12:19)

© 1931 by Emmet Fox
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DAILY DOSE OF EMMET FOX



QUARANTINE YOUR TROUBLES



When you are praying or "treating" about a particular thing, you should handle it, mentally, very carefully indeed. The ideal way is no to think about it at all except when you are actually praying about it. Moreover, to talk to other people about it is exceedingly likely to invite failure.

When a new problem presents itself to you, decline to consider it except in the light of Truth. I call this "Putting a subject in quarantine." Even an old long-standing problem can be "put in quarantine" today, if you mean business and will resolutely break the habit of constantly thinking over that problem. Whenever you think about any subject, you are treating it with your thought - either for good or for evil.

The lip of truth shall be established for ever... (Proverbs 12:19).
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DAILY REFLECTIONS #essentialsofrecovery


I’M PART OF THE WHOLE

At once, I became a part—if only a tiny part—of a cosmos. . . .

~ AS BILL SEES IT, p. 225 ~

When I first came to A.A., I decided that “they” were very nice people—perhaps a little naive, a little too friendly, but basically decent, earnest people (with whom I had nothing in common). I saw “them” at meetings—after all, that was where “they” existed. I shook hands with “them” and, when I went out the door, I forgot about “them.”

Then one day my Higher Power, whom I did not then believe in, arranged to create a community project outside of A.A., but one which happened to involve many A.A. members. We worked together, I got to know “them” as people. I came to admire “them,” even to like “them” and, in spite of myself, to enjoy “them.” “Their” practice of the program in their daily lives—not just in talk at meetings— attracted me and I wanted what they had. Suddenly the “they” became “we.” I have not had a drink since.

Copyright © 1990 by Alcoholics Anonymous World Services Inc 
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Daily Reflections #essentialsofrecovery

I'M PART OF THE WHOLE

At once, I became a part–if only a tiny part–of a cosmos…. 

AS BILL SEES IT, p. 225

When I first came to A.A., I decided that “they” were very nice people–perhaps a little naive, a little too friendly, but basically decent, earnest people (with whom I had nothing in common). I saw “them” at meetings–after all, that was where “they” existed. I shook hands with “them” and, when I went out the door, I forgot about “them.” Then one day my Higher Power, whom I did not then believe in, arranged to create a community project outside of A.A., but one which happened to involve many A.A. members. We worked together, I got to know “them” as people. I came to admire “them,” even to like “them” and, in spite of myself, to enjoy “them.” “Their” practice of the program in their daily lives–not just talk at meetings –attracted me and I wanted what they had. Suddenly the “they” became “we.” I have not had a drink since.
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JUST FOR TODAY #essentialsofrecovery



Self-Pity or Recovery – It’s Our Choice

“Self-pity is one of the most destructive of defects; it will drain us of all positive energy.”

~ Basic Text, p. 77 ~

In active addiction, many of us used self-pity as a survival mechanism. We didn’t believe there was an alternative to living in our disease&151or perhaps we didn’t want to believe. As long as we could feel sorry for ourselves and blame someone else for our troubles, we didn’t have to accept the consequences of our actions; believing ourselves powerless to change, we didn’t have to accept the need for change. Using this “survival mechanism” kept us from entering recovery and led us closer, day by day, to self-destruction. Self-pity is a tool of our disease; we need to stop using it and learn instead to use the new tools we find in the NA program.

We have come to believe that effective help is available for us; when we seek that help, finding it in the NA program, self-pity is displaced by gratitude. Many tools are at our disposal: the Twelve Steps, the support of our sponsor, the fellowship of other recovering addicts, and the care of our Higher Power. The availability of all these tools is more than enough reason to be grateful. We no longer live in isolation, without hope; we have certain help at hand for anything we may face. The surest way to become grateful is to take advantage of the help available to us in the NA program and to experience the improvement the program will bring in our lives.

Just for today: I will be grateful for the hope NA has given me. I will cultivate my recovery and stop cultivating self-pity.

© 1991 by Narcotics Anonymous World Services Inc 
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Just For Today #essentialsofrecovery

Self-Pity Or Recovery – It’s Our Choice

“Self-pity is one of the most destructive of defects; it will drain us of all positive energy.” 

Basic Text, p. 77

In active addiction, many of us used self-pity as a survival mechanism. We didn’t believe there was an alternative to living in our disease&151or perhaps we didn’t want to believe. As long as we could feel sorry for ourselves and blame someone else for our troubles, we didn’t have to accept the consequences of our actions; believing ourselves powerless to change, we didn’t have to accept the need for change. Using this “survival mechanism” kept us from entering recovery and led us closer, day by day, to self-destruction. Self-pity is a tool of our disease; we need to stop using it and learn instead to use the new tools we find in the NA program.

We have come to believe that effective help is available for us; when we seek that help, finding it in the NA program, self-pity is displaced by gratitude. Many tools are at our disposal: the Twelve Steps, the support of our sponsor, the fellowship of other recovering addicts, and the care of our Higher Power. The availability of all these tools is more than enough reason to be grateful. We no longer live in isolation, without hope; we have certain help at hand for anything we may face. The surest way to become grateful is to take advantage of the help available to us in the NA program and to experience the improvement the program will bring in our lives.

Just for today: I will be grateful for the hope NA has given me. I will cultivate my recovery and stop cultivating self-pity.
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TWENTY-FOUR HOURS A DAY #essentialsofrecovery


A.A. Thought for the Day

I go to the A.A. meetings because it helps me in my business of keeping sober. And I try to help other alcoholics when I can, because that’s part of my business of keeping sober. I also have a partner in this business and that’s God. I pray to Him every day to help me to keep sober. As long as I keep in mind that liquor can never be my friend again, but is now my deadly enemy, and as long as I remember that my main business is keeping sober and that it’s the most important thing in my life, I believe I’ll be prepared for that crucial moment when the idea of having a drink pops into my mind. When that idea comes, will I be able to resist it and not take that drink?

Meditation for the Day

I will be more afraid of spirit-unrest, of soul- disturbance, of any ruffling of the mind, than of earthquake or fire. When I feel the calm of my spirit has been broken by emotional upset, then I must steal away alone with God, until my heart sings and all is strong and calm again. Uncalm times are the only times when evil can find an entrance. I will beware of unguarded spots of unrest. I will try to keep calm, no matter what turmoil surrounds me.

Prayer for the Day

I pray that no emotional upsets will hinder God’s power in my life. I pray that I may keep a calm spirit and a steady heart.

© 1954, 1975, 1992 by Hazelden Foundation 
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Twenty-Four Hours A Day #essentialsofrecovery

A.A. Thought For The Day

I go to the A.A. meetings because it helps me in my business of keeping sober. And I try to help other alcoholics when I can, because that’s my part of my business of keeping sober. I also have a partner in this business and that’s God. I pray to Him every day to help me keep sober. As long as I keep in mind that liquor can never be my friend again, but is now my deadly enemy, and as long as I remember that my main business is keeping sober and that it’s the most important thing in my life, I believe that I’ll be prepared for that crucial moment when the idea of having a drink pops into my mind. When that idea comes, will I be able to resist it and not take that drink?

Meditation For The Day

I will be more afraid of spirit-unrest, of soul- disturbance, of any ruffling of the mind, than of earthquake or fire. When I feel the calm of my spirit has been broken by emotional upset, then I must steal away alone with God, until my heart sings and all is strong and calm again. Uncalm times are the only times when evil can find an entrance. I will beware of unguarded spots of unrest. I will try to keep calm, no matter what turmoil surrounds me.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that no emotional upset will hinder God’s power in my life. I pray that I may keep a calm spirit and a steady heart.
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FR. LEO'S DAILY MEDITATION #essentialsofrecovery

ART

“Only work which is the product of inner compulsion can Have spiritual meaning.”

~ Walter Gropius ~

I have developed, in my recovery, an awareness of the beauty of this world and an appreciation of what people can produce. Sobriety has made art accessible. Today I see beauty in paintings, sculpture, music, literature, and the art of nature.

Spirituality is always creative; it is at the center of all that is good, noble, and inspiring. Although I may not be an artist, I appreciate and have a feeling of belonging to the beauty of this world. In a sense, it all happens and takes shape through me. The rediscovery of spirituality has brought the world and the universe into my life.

Give me the desire to re-create Your splendor through my experiences. 

© 2008 Leo Booth 
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AS BILL SEES IT #essentialsofrecovery


~ Page 52 ~

To Guard Against a Slip

Suppose we fall short of the chosen ideal and stumble? Does this mean we are going to get drunk? Some people tell us so. But this is only a half-truth.

It depends on us and on our motives. If we are sorry for what we have done, and have the honest desire to let God take us to better things, we believe we will be forgiven and will have learned our lesson. If we are not sorry, and our conduct continues to harm others, we are quite sure to drink. These are facts out of our experience.

~ ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, P. 70 ~

© 1967 by Alcoholics Anonymous ® World Services, Inc 
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As Bill Sees It #essentialsofrecovery

To Guard Against A Slip, p. 52

Suppose we fall short of our chosen ideals and stumble? Does this mean we are going to get drunk? Some people tell us so. But this is only a half-truth.

It depends on us and on our motives. If we are sorry for what we have done, and have the honest desire to let God take us to better things, we believe we will be forgiven and will have learned our lesson. If we are not sorry, and our conduct continues to harm others, we are quite sure to drink. These are facts out of our experience.

Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 70 
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WALK IN DRY PLACES #essentialsofrecovery



UNEXPECTED DISAPPOINTMENT

Acceptance


As life unfolds, we sometimes get unexpected disappointments that seem un-deserved—the car breaks down, a business deal goes sour, or a close friend betrays us. As alcoholics, most of us don’t handle such things too well. “Why me, Lord?” we often respond.

Our best approach is simply to view life as a mixture of bitter and sweet, knowing that we’ve been given real mastery over conditions. We cannot always be sure that a disappointment really is as bad as it seems to be, and sometimes it can become a step toward our good. As one alcoholic phrased it, “Some of the worst things that have happened turned out to be the best.”

It’s good to face the day with optimism, with confidence, and even with some excitement about the opportunities ahead. If we’re maintaining sober thinking, everything that happens today will be transformed into gains for tomorrow—all our tomorrows. We’re on a spiritual journey that goes far beyond anything we’re doing here and now.

I won’t expect to be disappointed today, but I’ll know that nothing can really upset or disturb me without my permission.

© 1996 by Hazelden Foundation
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Walk In Dry Places #essentialsofrecovery


Unexpected Disappointments
Acceptance.


As life unfolds, we sometimes get unexpected disappointments that seem undeserved — the car breaks down, a business deal goes sour, or a close friend betrays us. As alcoholics, most of us don’t handle such things too well. “Why me, Lord?” we often respond.

Our best approach is simply to view life as a mixture of bitter and sweet, knowing that we’ve been given real mastery over conditions. We cannot always be sure that a disappointment really is as bad as it seems to be, and sometimes it can become a step toward our good. As one alcoholic phrased it, “some of the worst things that have happened turned out to be the best.”

It’s good to face the day with optimism, with confidence, and even with some excitement about the opportunities ahead. If we’re maintaining sober thinking, everything that happens today will be transformed into gains for tomorrow — all our tomorrows. We’re on a spiritual journey that goes far beyond anything we’re doing here and now.

I won’t expect to be disappointed today, but I’ll know that nothing can really upset or disturb me without my permission.
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KEEP IT SIMPLE #essentialsofrecovery

To thine own self be true.

~ AA medallions ~

Sometimes we hear that we have a “selfish program.” Being “selfish” means that we ask for help when we need it. We only go to places that are safe for us, no matter what others Eire doing. Being selfish comes to mean safety for us.

Being selfish doesn’t mean we act like brats. We must act in ways that show respect and love—for ourselves and for others. Being selfish means we do what is good for us.

What is good for us? First, we have to save our lives by stopping our drinking and drugging. Next, we start working the Steps. We come to know a loving Higher Power. This is how we come to know our true self.

Prayer for the Day

Higher Power, help me be true to myself and my values. Help me be “selfish” about spending time to talk with You each day.

Action for the Day

I’ll list ten ways I need to be “selfish” in recov-ery. If I get stuck, I’ll be “selfish” and ask for help.

Copyright © 1988 by Hazelden Foundation 
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Keep It Simple #essentialsofrecovery

It easier to speak of love, than to practice it.
–Anonymous

Do we help our neighbor who is in need? We must help when we see the need, not just when it fits our schedule. In the program, this becomes our goal. We work at helping out. For example, when someone is needed to run the meeting, we offer. We see that the needs of the group are also our needs. We are the group. Over time, the idea of service spreads to the rest of our lives. Maybe we help a family down the street. We start to see that we have something to offer the world; ourselves. We start to see that the needs of the world are also our needs. We are an important part of the world.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, make me quick to act when I see a need. Please don’t let my fear stop me.

Action for the Day: Today, I’ll list what I have to offer the world. I will think of two ways I can use these gifts my Higher Power has given me.
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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation #essentialsofrecovery

PATRIOTISM

“For us, patriotism is the same as the love of humanity.”

— Mohandas Gandhi

Today I am on the side of mankind. I am convinced that my welfare is generated by the peace and stability of the world. The love and joy that produces spiritual growth stems from my relationships in the world: we cannot exist alone.

Today I strive to bring the world and people together; we must not seek to be the same but rather rejoice in the richness of difference.

Drugs always divide, separate and isolate; spirituality unites. Today I am an optimist for mankind because of what has happened in my own life.

Thank You for a humanity that can be shared.
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A DAY AT A TIME #essentialsofrecovery

Reflection for the Day

Do I waste my time and energy wrestling with situations that aren’t actually worth a second thought? Like Don Quixote, the bemused hero of Spanish literature, do I imagine windmills as menacing giants, battling them until I am ready to drop from exhaustion? Today, I’ll not allow my imagination to build small troubles into big ones. I’ll try to see each situation clearly, giving it only the value and attention it deserves. Have I come to believe, as the second of the Twelve Steps suggests, that a Power greater than myself can restore me to sanity?

Today I Pray

God, keep my perspective sane. Help me to avoid aggrandizing petty problems, tying too much significance to casual conversations, making a Vesuvius out of an anthill. Keep my fears from swelling out of scale, like shadows on a wall. Restore my values, which became distorted during the days of my chemical involvement

Today I Will Remember

Sanity is perspective.

© 1989 by Hazelden Foundation 
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A Day At A Time #essentialsofrecovery

Reflection For The Day

When I came to The Program, I found people who knew exactly what I meant when I spoke finally of my fears. They had been where I had been; they understood. I’ve since learned that many of my fears have to do with projection. It’s normal, for example, to have a tiny “back-burner” fear that the person I love will leave me. But when the fear takes precedence over my present and very real relationship with the person I’m afraid of losing, then I’m in trouble. My responsibility to myself includes this: I must not fear things which do not exist. Am I changing from a fearful person into a fearless person?

Today I Pray


I ask God’s help in waving away my fears — those figments, fantasies, monstrous thoughts, projections of disaster which have no bearing on the present. May I narrow the focus of my imagination and concentrate on the here-and-now, for I tend to see the future through a magnifying glass.

Today I Will Remember

Projected fears, like shadows, are larger than life.
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ONE DAY AT A TIME #essentialsofrecovery


PROGRESS

” … I was taught that the way of progress is neither swift nor easy.”

~ Marie Curie 

I have always been the queen of quick fix, so if I wanted something to happen, it had to happen today if not yesterday. So coming into the program was very hard for me, in that for the first time I have had to realise that recovery is not an overnight thing. For a perfectionist like me, that has been a very hard lesson to learn, in that I don’t have to have perfect recovery. My journey in this program has been an up and down one, with many slips along the way, and everytime I have slipped, I have had to remember that I may think I’m a failure, but I’m only a failure if I fail to pick myself up. In the past if I made a mistake, I was a total and utter failure, but I know now that all I have to do each time is to pick myself up, dust myself off and start over.

The other thing I’ve learned in the program is that I also always need to remember where I came from, and when I look back, I can see the progress I have made. My self-esteem is growing, and even though I still seem to slip back into the old character defects from time to time, they are nowhere near as bad as in the past. I am able to forgive people whom I thought I would never be able to forgive, and I make amends whenever the need arises, and as a result my relationships with people have improved dramatically.

One Day at a Time . . .

May I remember that in this program, it is always progress and not perfection that counts.

~ Sharon 
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One Day At A Time #essentialsofrecovery

~ CHILDLIKE ~


Anxiety is the rust of life, destroying its brightness and weakening its power. A childlike and abiding trust in Providence is its best preventive and remedy.
–Tyron Edwards

Like so many of us in OA, I grew up as a little adult. My parents didn’t know better – treating me like an adult seemed a good way to them of both showing love to me and making their difficult post-war life easier. Providence was something that intervened once in a while, and in ways that were weighty and important. God was there – but God had to attend to serious matters.

There was little room in God’s and my parents’ life for the seemingly unimportant details of a child’s world. I had no trouble internalizing that message. I learned very soon that no-one was going to take care of my “little” problems and anxieties, that I had to shove them out of the way, and that I could do that very well by daydreaming, by making sure I was the little adult my parents were so proud of – and by eating.

The trouble was that there were times when these coping mechanisms didn’t work seamlessly and those anxieties would break through. Panic attacks were the result, and dogged attempts to do more of the insanity: more retreating from the world, more “adult” behaviour, more eating.

One of the things I’m learning in recovery is that paradoxically, in order to really grow up, I need to risk the vulnerability of being more childlike. I need to learn that my Higher Power is not too busy worrying about world peace to listen and deeply care about my little booboos. I need to, I WANT to develop an abiding trust that I am safe with and cared for by my Higher Power, like a baby in a mother’s arms.
One day at a time … I let go of the rust of anxiety so that like a child, I may marvel at and participate in the brightness and wonder of God’s world.

~ Isabella ~ 
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ELDER'S MEDITATION OF THE DAY #essentialsofrecovery



“Everything or living being that exists in this world, be it trees, flowers, birds, grasses, rocks, soil of the earth, or human beings, has its unique manner of existence — its essence, its spirit that makes it what it is. That is what is meant by connectedness.”

~ Larry P. Aitken, CHIPPEWA ~

Scientists are finally realizing what the Elders have taught for thousands of years—everything is connected. Because everything is interconnected, whatever you do to any one thing, you do to everything. If you poison any part of the earth, the poison eventually affects everything else. If you poison the plants, the birds will eat the plants, which poisons the birds. The birds are eaten by humans which poisons the humans. The humans will have babies who could be deformed because the plants were poisoned. We must learn to live in harmony with the earth. We must learn to think good things. Every good thought is felt by everything, which causes everything to be happy.

Creator, let my thoughts only be good thoughts. 
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Elder’s Meditation of the Day #essentialsofrecovery

“In the Indian way, we are connected to that flower if we understand its spirit, the essence of its life.”

–Larry P. Aitken, CHIPPEWA

Everything on our Earth is alive. Every rock, every plant, every animal, every tree, every bird, every thought is alive. This is true because everything is made by the Great Spirit and the Great Spirit is alive. We need to slow our lives down each day and realize, consciously, that this is true. First we need to realize it, second, we need to acknowledge it, third, we need to appreciate it and, finally, we need to go on.

Great Spirit, let me see life through Your eyes. Today let me be alive.
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A WOMAN’S SPIRIT #essentialsofrecovery

Practiced consistently, new habits become who I am.

~ Lin Andrukat ~

We sometimes have trouble defining ourselves. Anyone who spends much time in our presence, however, can define us pretty accurately. Our habits tell our “story” quite readily.

Many of our behaviors embarrass us, yet we repeat them. But changing them takes more than wishing they’d disappear. It takes a decision not to repeat them and the thoughtfulness to find a replacement for them. We return to old behaviors more out of laziness than intent.

Those of us in a Twelve Step program have the tools to make this shift in our behavior easier. Doing a Fourth Step to look at the past, and frequent Tenth Steps to stay on top of today, gives us the insight to define who we are and who we’d rather be. Changing who we are isn’t that difficult if we have the desire.

Any current behavior used to be “new.” It became a habit only with continuous use. I can decide to begin a new behavior today.

© 1994 by Hazelden Foundation 
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Today's Gift #essentialsofrecovery


A terrace nine stories high begins with a pile of earth.
— Lao-tzu

Imagine yourself with a pile of dirt in front of you and building plans for a one-story structure. It would be easy to think, “Oh, this is impossible – it will never get done.”

But the architect hires people to help. A foundation is built, and then the frame. From there, step by step, the rest is filled in. We have all watched a building take shape and become a finished product.

Building plans are like the goals we all have. We want to be a better person or friend, a better artist or athlete. Reaching a goal is like putting up a building. Once we have a goal, we need a strong foundation to support us. All of us need the help of others to reach our goals.

From the book:


                                                            Today’s Gift by Anonymous
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THE EYE OPENER #essentialsofrecovery


The effectiveness of AA is largely built upon understanding and human sympathy. These characteristics were not acquired from a book but learned the hard way as we, too, travelled the long dark alley of despair in search of a helping hand and an understanding heart.

Creeds and ideologies are for preachers and students to debate and reason, but our doctrine of love and understanding has nothing to do with reason; frequently it is contrary to reason, as it comes from the heart and not the head.

Published by Hazelden
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The Eye Opener #essentialsofrecovery

You cannot know and appreciate wisdom unless you are also acquainted with a liberal amount of pure folly. Folly provides the lessons that really stick in our memories and provide danger signals to govern our decisions in our future conduct.

For that reason, the lessons learned overnight in a jail cell outlast those acquired after long periods of study. Believe you me, those lessons are seldom forgotten.


Copyright Hazelden Foundation 
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DAILY TAO / 52 - NONCONFORMITY #essentialsofrecovery

The world is dazzling,
I alone am dull.
Others strive for achievement,
I follow a lonely path.


Followers of Tao are nonconformists. The conventional label our behavior erratic, antisocial, irresponsible, inexplicable, outrageous, and sometimes scandalous. We hear other voices, respond to inner urgings. We have no interest in the social norm; we only care about following Tao. It does not matter if no one can understand us, for we are nurtured by something most people do not sense. Awakening to this inner urge, and distinguishing spiritual impulses from the merely instinctual, is one of the crucial goals of self-cultivation.

We all have many voices, personalities, ambitions, and tendencies within ourselves. The ability to distinguish between them, and the ability to silence all the voices save for Tao’s, is imperative if one is to reach this state of being. Once one is in touch with the true Tao, there are no doubts, and the murmuring of others cannot have any effect. One is as comforted as a child at its mother’s breast.

The more one walks in Tao, the more one is interested in self-perfection. All that matters is constant cultivation to be with Tao. This is a lonely path. There are others who follow Tao, but it is not always possible to meet them. That is why is takes someone both sensitive enough to hear the call and strong enough to walk the solitary path.
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Daily Tao / 053 - IMBALANCE



Sleepless nights.

Diet, mind, conditions

Hold the possibility of correction.


Whenever you feel out of sorts, or cannot sleep, or find it hard to work and think, you are separated from Tao. If you want to get back in touch with it, ask yourself three questions : Am I eating right? Is my mind tamed? Is my world safe?

It is not facetious to look at the way you eat whenever you feel out of step with life. Many problems can be alleviated by feeling better physically, and even if this doesn't remedy things, it will give you a good basis for coping. Eat a balanced diet rich in nutrients. Take the time to understand proper nutrition and eat a large variety of foods according to the seasons. The skillful use of foods is far superior to medicine.

Next is the difficult mind that seems to have its own interests, habits, and excesses. The only way to counter this is to guard against worry, stress, intellectualism, scheming, and desires. This can only happen through a strong philosophical grounding and by methodical meditation.

Finally, environmental factors such as weather, natural and man-made disasters, and socioeconomic problems can break our unity with Tao. To cope with this, gain as much control over your environment as possible. Keep your home a haven, have control over your work place, and be independent enough to face emergencies. It is inevitable that one will fall in and out of Tao. The wise arrange their lives so that they can always return to balance.
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Daily Tao / 053 - IMBALANCE



Sleepless nights.

Diet, mind, conditions

Hold the possibility of correction.


Whenever you feel out of sorts, or cannot sleep, or find it hard to work and think, you are separated from Tao. If you want to get back in touch with it, ask yourself three questions : Am I eating right? Is my mind tamed? Is my world safe?

It is not facetious to look at the way you eat whenever you feel out of step with life. Many problems can be alleviated by feeling better physically, and even if this doesn't remedy things, it will give you a good basis for coping. Eat a balanced diet rich in nutrients. Take the time to understand proper nutrition and eat a large variety of foods according to the seasons. The skillful use of foods is far superior to medicine.

Next is the difficult mind that seems to have its own interests, habits, and excesses. The only way to counter this is to guard against worry, stress, intellectualism, scheming, and desires. This can only happen through a strong philosophical grounding and by methodical meditation.

Finally, environmental factors such as weather, natural and man-made disasters, and socioeconomic problems can break our unity with Tao. To cope with this, gain as much control over your environment as possible. Keep your home a haven, have control over your work place, and be independent enough to face emergencies. It is inevitable that one will fall in and out of Tao. The wise arrange their lives so that they can always return to balance.
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DAILY ZEN #essentialsofrecovery


If you knew what I know about the power of giving, you would not let a single meal pass without sharing it in some way.
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Daily zen


Trust has nothing to do with moral courage. It occurs when we have nowhere else to turn, when we reach the end of our need to control.

-Rodney Smith, "Lessons from the Dying"
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Wednesday, 20 February 2019

Daily Dose OF Emmet Fox



WITH ALL SAILS SET

God intended us to have dominion over our lives, to be the captains of our souls. 


Of course, in the ship of life, you cannot make port unless all sails are set. You must pursue the spiritual life wholeheartedly. 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. 

You are the captain of your soul when you can say with Jesus, I and my father are one (John 10:30).

...the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works (John 14:10).
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DAILY DOSE OF EMMET FOX #essentialsofrecovery

WITH ALL SAILS SET

God intended us to have dominion over our lives, to be the captains of our souls.

Of course, in the ship of life, you cannot make port unless all sails are set. You must pursue the spiritual life wholeheartedly. You cannot expect to reach port if you are faithful in prayer and meditations for a time, and then for a time you forget God.
You are the captain of your soul when you can say with Jesus,

I and my Father are one (John 10:30).

. . . the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works (John 14:10).

© 1931 by Emmet Fox 
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Daily Reflections #essentialsofrecovery

THE GIFT OF LAUGHTER


At this juncture, his A.A. sponsor usually laughs.

TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 26

Before my recovery from alcoholism began, laughter was one of the most painful sounds I knew. I never laughed and I felt that anyone else’s laughter was directed at me! My self-pity and anger denied me the simplest of pleasures or lightness of heart. By the end of my drinking not even alcohol could provoke a drunken giggle in me. When my A.A. sponsor began to laugh and point out my self-pity and ego-feeding deceptions, I was annoyed and hurt, but it taught me to lighten up and focus on my recovery. I soon learned to laugh at myself and eventually I taught those I sponsor to laugh also. Every day I ask God to help me stop taking myself too seriously.
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DAILY REFLECTIONS #essentialsofrecovery


THE GIFT OF LAUGHTER

At this juncture, his A.A. sponsor usually laughs.

~ TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 26 ~

Before my recovery from alcoholism began, laughter was one of the most painful sounds I knew. I never laughed and I felt that anyone else’s laughter was directed at me! My self-pity and anger denied me the simplest of pleasures or lightness of heart. By the end of my drinking not even alcohol could provoke a drunken giggle in me.

When my A.A. sponsor began to laugh and point out my self-pity and ego-feeding deceptions, I was annoyed and hurt, but it taught me to lighten up and focus on my recovery. I soon learned to laugh at myself and eventually I taught those I sponsor to laugh also. Every day I ask God to help me stop taking myself too seriously.

Copyright © 1990 by Alcoholics Anonymous World Services Inc 
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Just For Today #essentialsofrecovery

Powerlessness, Personal Responsibility


“Through our inability to accept personal responsibilities, we were actually creating our own problems.”

Basic Text, p. 13

When we refuse to take responsibility for our lives, we give away all of our personal power. We need to remember that we are powerless over our addiction, not our personal behavior.

Many of us have misused the concept of powerlessness to avoid making decisions or to hold onto things we had outgrown. We have claimed powerlessness over our own actions. We have blamed others for our circumstances rather than taking positive action to change those circumstances. If we continue to avoid responsibility by claiming that we are “powerless;” we set ourselves up for the same despair and misery we experienced in our active addiction. The potential for spending our recovery years feeling like victims is very real.

Instead of living our lives by default, we can learn how to make responsible choices and take risks. We may make mistakes, but we can learn from these mistakes. A heightened awareness of ourselves and an increased willingness to accept personal responsibility gives us the freedom to change, to make choices, and to grow.

Just for today: My feelings, actions, and choices are mine. I will accept responsibility for them.
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JUST FOR TODAY #essentialsofrecovery



Powerlessness, Personal Responsibility

“Through our inability to accept personal responsibilities, we were actually creating our own problems.”

~ Basic Text, p. 13 ~

When we refuse to take responsibility for our lives, we give away all of our personal power. We need to remember that we are powerless over our addiction, not our personal behavior.

Many of us have misused the concept of powerlessness to avoid making decisions or to hold onto things we had outgrown. We have claimed powerlessness over our own actions. We have blamed others for our circumstances rather than taking positive action to change those circumstances. If we continue to avoid responsibility by claiming that we are “powerless;” we set ourselves up for the same despair and misery we experienced in our active addiction. The potential for spending our recovery years feeling like victims is very real.

Instead of living our lives by default, we can learn how to make responsible choices and take risks. We may make mistakes, but we can learn from these mistakes. A heightened awareness of ourselves and an increased willingness to accept personal responsibility gives us the freedom to change, to make choices, and to grow.

Just for today: My feelings, actions, and choices are mine. I will accept responsibility for them.

© 1991 by Narcotics Anonymous World Services Inc 
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Twenty-Four Hours A Day #essentialsofrecovery

A.A. Thought For The Day

Liquor used to be my friend. I used to have a lot of fun drinking. Practically all the fun I had was connected with drinking. But the time came when liquor became my enemy. I don’t know just when liquor turned against me and became my enemy, but I know it happened, because I began to get into trouble. And since I realize that liquor is now my enemy, my main business now is keeping sober. Making a living or keeping a house is no longer my main business. It’s secondary to the business of keeping sober. Do I realize that my main business is keeping sober?

Meditation For The Day

I can depend on God to supply me with all the power I need to face any situation, provided that I will sincerely believe in that power and honestly ask for it, at the same time making all my life conform to what I believe God wants me to be. I can come to God as a business manager would come to the owner of the business, knowing that to lay the matter before Him means immediate cooperation, provided the matter has merit.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may believe that God is ready and willing to supply me with all that I need. I pray that I may ask only for faith and strength to meet any situation.
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As Bill Sees It #essentialsofrecovery

The Coming Of Faith, p. 51

In my own case, the foundation stone of freedom from fear is that of faith: a faith that, despite all worldly appearances to the contrary, causes me to believe that I live in a universe that makes sense.

To me, this means a belief in a Creator who is all power, justice, and love; a God who intends for me a purpose, a meaning, and a destiny to grow, however little and haltingly, toward His own likeness and image. Before the coming of faith I had lived as an alien in a cosmos that too often seemed both hostile and cruel. In it there could be no inner security for me.

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

“When I was driven to my knees by alcohol, I was made ready to ask for the gift of faith. And all was changed. Never again, my pains and problems notwithstanding, would I experience my former desolation. I saw the universe to be lighted by God’s love; I was alone no more.”

1. Grapevine, January 1962
2. Letter, 1966 
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AS BILL SEES IT #essentialsofrecovery

~ Page 51 ~

The Coming of Faith

In my own case, the foundation stone of freedom from fear is that of faith: a faith that, despite all worldly appearances to the contrary, causes me to believe that I live in a universe that makes sense.

To me, this means a belief in a Creator who is all power, justice, and love; a God who intends for me a purpose, a meaning, and a destiny to grow, however little and haltingly, toward His own likeness and image. Before the coming of faith I had lived as an alien in a cosmos that too often seemed both hostile and cruel. In it there could be no inner security for me.

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

“When I was driven to my knees by alcohol, I was made ready to ask for the gift of faith. And all was changed. Never again, my pains and problems notwithstanding, would I experience my former desolation. I saw the universe to be lighted by God’s love; I was alone no more.”

~ 1. GRAPEVINE, JANUARY 1962 ~
~ 2. LETTER, 1966 ~

© 1967 by Alcoholics Anonymous ® World Services, Inc 
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Walk In Dry Places #essentialsofrecovery

A day of Acceptance
Releasing the Past


“We will not regret the past nor fear the future,” goes one of the promises in Twelve Step programs. Neither the past nor the future should control what we’re thinking and doing today. After all, if our higher power is everything, no person or action can be outside of this supreme control.

Today, I will rise above anything that was said or done in the past. I will also hold the idea that the future is bright with promise, and that this promise will be fulfilled. Nobody’s opinion or criticism can be unsettling to me if my beliefs and self-worth are anchored in my Higher Power.

It’s true that there might have been lots of wreckage in the past…. Even more recently when we have been living sober. It doesn’t matter. I amazing ways, our higher power sometimes turns negative conditions into future benefits. This was actually what happened when our compulsive condition led directly to a new way of life.

I will accept life today and will look for unexpected blessings. No person or group can keep me from good as I accept God’s direction in my life.

“In all your ways acknowledge [God who] shall direct your paths.” I’ll remember this frequently as I go about the day.
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WALK IN DRY PLACES #essentialsofrecovery

A DAY OF ACCEPTANCE

Releasing the Past

“We will not regret the past nor fear the future,” goes one of the promises in Twelve Step programs. Neither the past nor the future should control what we’re thinking and doing today. After all, if our Higher Power is everything, no person or action can be outside of this supreme control.

Today, I will rise above anything that was said or done in the past. I will also hold the idea that the future is bright with promise, and that this promise will be fulfilled. Nobody’s opinion or criticism can be unsettling to me if my beliefs and self- worth are anchored in my Higher Power.

It’s true that there might have been lots of wreckage in the past—even more recently when we have been living sober. It doesn’t matter. In amazing ways, our Higher Power sometimes turns negative conditions into future benefits. This was actually what happened when our compulsive condition led directly to a new way of life.

I will accept life today and will look for un-expected blessings. No person or group can keep me from good as I accept God’s direction in my life.

“In all your ways acknowledge [God, who] shall direct your paths.” I’ll remember this frequently as I go about the day.

© 1996 by Hazelden Foundation  
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Keep It Simple #essentialsofrecovery


Whoever gossips to you will gossip about you. —

Spanish proverb

Gossip can kill the trust in a Twelve Step program. We all need to feel safe when we share our personal lives with others. We need to know our private business won’t spread around.

We can do two things to help keep the trust in our groups, and in the rest of our lives too. First, don’t gossip. Second, don’t listen to gossip about others.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, help me mind my own business today. Help me honor the trust of my friends by not gossiping.

Action for the Day: Today, I’ll think of two ways to stop someone from telling me gossip. Then, I’ll put those ways to use.
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KEEP IT SIMPLE #essentialsofrecovery


Let Go and Let God.

~ Twelve Step slogan ~

Some days we might ask ourselves, Is it worth it? We feel alone. No one seems to care. Life seems hard. Recovery seems hard.

This is when we need to slow down and take a look at what’s going on. We’re feeling this way because we’re off our recovery path. We may be back into wanting people to see things our way, or do things our way. We want control.

Remember, all problems are not our problems. All work is not our work. We can’t have everything the way we want it. But we can do our part and let go of the rest. Then we can feel better.

Prayer for the Day

Higher Power, help me remember my only work today is to do Your will for me. It is not my job to be You.

Action for the Day

I’ll talk with my sponsor or a program friend today. I’ll talk about how to deal with things that seem to pull me down.

Copyright © 1988 by Hazelden Foundation 
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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation #essentialsofrecovery

CHRISTIANITY

“Going to Church doesn't make you a Christian any more than going to the garage makes you a car.”
— Laurence J. Peter

I cannot help but believe that the truth of Christianity is about bringing the world and mankind together, rather than creating divisions and resentments. It must be much bigger than what we do or say in any building. Christ’s truth seeks to discover God in the splendour of His varied world. In this sense, Christianity is an aspect of the world’s spirituality!

My addiction made me a small man with a small god. Constantly focusing on the differences in the world stopped me from seeing the glaring similarities; my exclusiveness kept me a lonely man. The world of black and white, rather than shades of creative colour, is a sick and dangerous world to live in. Jesus Christ reveals for me the “man for others”; the bridge by which reconciliation and harmony can be achieved. His message for me is not so much a series of dogmas as a revealed journey into Truth.

In the created stranger, help me to discover the friend.
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FR. LEO'S DAILY MEDITATION #essentialsofrecovery

CHRISTIANITY

“Going to Church doesn’t make you a Christian any more than going to the garage makes you a car.”

~ Laurence J. Peter ~

I believe Christianity is about bringing humankind together, rather than creating division and resentment. It must be much bigger than what we do or say in any building. Christ’s truth seeks to discover God in the splendor of this varied world.

My addiction made me a small person with a small god. Constantly focusing on differences in the world stopped me from seeing the glaring similarities. The world of black and white, rather than shades of creative color, is sick and dangerous. Christ reveals for me the bridge by which reconciliation and harmony are achieved. The message is not so much dogma as a revealed journey into Truth.

In the created stranger, help me discover the friend.

© 2008 Leo Booth 
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A Day At A Time #essentialsofrecovery

Reflection For The Day

We are often told in The Program that “more will be revealed.” As we are restored to health and become increasingly able to lve comfortably in the real world without using chemicals, we begin to see many things in a new light. Many of us have come to realize, for example, that our arch enemy, anger, comes disguised in many shapes and colors: intolerance, contempt, snobbishness, rigidity, tension, sarcasm, distrust, anxiety, envy, hatred, cynicism, discontent, self-pity, malice, suspicion, jealousy. Do I let my feelings get the best of me?

Today I Pray


May I recognize that my anger, like dancer at a masquerade, wears many forms of many faces. May I strip off it’s several masks and know it for what it is.

Today I Will Remember

Anger wears a thousand masks.
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A DAY AT A TIME #essentialsofrecovery



Reflection for the Day

We are often told in the Program that “more will be revealed.” As we are restored to health and become increasingly able to live comfortably in the real world without using chemicals, we begin to see many things in a new light. Many of us have come to realize, for example, that our arch-enemy, anger, comes disguised in many shapes and colors: intolerance, contempt, snobbishness, rigidity, tension, sarcasm, distrust, anxiety, envy, hatred, cynicism, discontent, self-pity, malice, suspicion, jealousy. Do I let my feelings get the best of me?

Today I Pray

May I recognize that my anger, like a dancer at a masquerade, wears many forms and many faces. May I strip off its several masks and know it for what it is.

Today I Will Remember

Anger wears a thousand masks.

© 1989 by Hazelden Foundation
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One Day At A Time #essentialsofrecovery

Secrets


There were deep secrets hidden in my heart, never said for fear others would scoff or sneer. At last I can reveal my sufferings, for the strength I once felt in silence has lost all its power.

–Deidra Sarault

I’ve heard it said in program that we are only a sick as the secrets we keep. If that is the case, then I was very sick when desperation forced me through the doors of ths wonderful fellowship.

Not one of my friends or family knew what I was doing around food, as most of it was done in secret, and I was always careful to remove all the evidence. I couldn’t believe that anyone would love me if they knew what I was doing around food, and felt that I was either really bad or totally crazy, or both. But for the first time ever, I was able to come clean about what I was doing around food, and I wasn’t judged or frowned upon. The love and acceptance I have received here has been totally overwhelming, but in addition I found out that others had done the same or similar things to what I had done, and so for the first time ever, I felt that I wasn’t alone. Not only have I been able to talk freely about my food and what I had been doing, as well as what it was doing to me, but in the fourth and fifth step, I was finally able to share with another person my darkest deepest secrets, that for years I’d thought had made me this terrible person. It was in fact in sharing all the things that I’d thought of as so bad, that I came to realise that it was only my magnifying mind that had made them appear so, and that in fact they really weren’t bad at all. I would never have found that out, had I not been in this program, and I’m so grateful for the relief that sharing all these things has given me.

One Day at a Time . . .
I will learn to get honest and share with my sponsor and others in this program, all the things that are bothering me, whether it be food or other issues, so I can be relieved of the pain that all my secrets are causing me.

~ Sharon
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ONE DAY AT A TIME #essentialsofrecovery

SECRETS

There were deep secrets hidden in my heart,
never said for fear others would scoff or sneer.
At last I can reveal my sufferings, for the strength I once felt in silence has lost all its power.

~ Deidra Sarault 

I’ve heard it said in program that we are only a sick as the secrets we keep. If that is the case, then I was very sick when desperation forced me through the doors of this wonderful fellowship.

Not one of my friends or family knew what I was doing around food, as most of it was done in secret, and I was always careful to remove all the evidence. I couldn’t believe that anyone would love me if they knew what I was doing around food, and felt that I was either really bad or totally crazy, or both. But for the first time ever, I was able to come clean about what I was doing around food, and I wasn’t judged or frowned upon. The love and acceptance I have received here has been totally overwhelming, but in addition I found out that others had done the same or similar things to what I had done, and so for the first time ever, I felt that I wasn’t alone. Not only have I been able to talk freely about my food and what I had been doing, as well as what it was doing to me, but in the fourth and fifth step, I was finally able to share with another person my darkest deepest secrets, that for years I’d thought had made me this terrible person. It was in fact in sharing all the things that I’d thought of as so bad, that I came to realise that it was only my magnifying mind that had made them appear so, and that in fact they really weren’t bad at all. I would never have found that out, had I not been in this program, and I’m so grateful for the relief that sharing all these things has given me.

One Day at a Time . . .

I will learn to get honest and share with my sponsor and others in this program, all the things that are bothering me, whether it be food or other issues, so I can be relieved of the pain that all my secrets are causing me.

~ Sharon 
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Elder’s Meditation of the Day #essentialsofrecovery


“When a community does something together, that community is very happy, jovial, connected, and unified.”

–Larry P. Aitken, CHIPPEWA

The Indian People have always been able to adapt. If the hunting changed, we found new hunting grounds. If the earth changed, we moved to a better place. If the river changed course, we followed the river. But with every change, we kept our Indianness and spirituality. Our culture and spirituality have always been our strength. Our culture and spirituality taught us to live in harmony. We must change with the times, but we must maintain our culture and spirituality, always living in harmony.

Great Spirit, You have taught us to survive. Let me always maintain my Indianness. 
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ELDER'S MEDITATION OF THE DAY #essentialsofrecovery


“When a community does something together, that community is very happy, jovial, connected and unified.”

~ Larry P. Aitken, CHIPPEWA ~

The Indian People have always been able to adapt. If the hunting changed, we found new hunting grounds. If the earth changed, we moved to a better place. If the river changed course, we followed the river. But with every change, we kept our Indianness and spirituality. Our culture and spirituality have always been our strength. Our culture and spirituality taught us to live in harmony. We must change with the times, but we must maintain our culture and spirituality, always living in harmony.

Great Spirit, You have taught us to survive. Let me always maintain my Indianness. 
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The Eye Opener #essentialsofrecovery

So many times we hear people say, “Don’t preach to me about God. He has no time for the likes of me.” It is hard for us alcoholics to conceive of a God, whom we have gone out of our way to alienate, who has time for the likes of us – yet we know that He does have time for us and has demonstrated this fact in hundreds of cases, just as though He had nothing else in the world to do.

Copyright Hazelden Foundation 
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THE EYE OPENER #essentialsofrecovery


So many times we hear people say, “Don’t preach to me about God. He has no time for the likes of me.” It is hard for us alcoholics to conceive of a God, whom we have gone out of our way to alienate, who has time for the likes of us—yet we know that he does have time for us and has demonstrated this fact in hundreds of cases, just as though He had nothing else in the world to do.

Published by Hazelden 
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Daily Tao / 049 - BEAUTY


Lavender roses.
Incarnate fragrance,
Priestly hue of dawn,
Spirit unfolding.


Even on the road to hell, flowers can make you smile. They are fragile, ephemeral, uncompromising. No one can alter their nature. True, you can easily destroy them, but you will not gain anything; you cannot force them to submit to your will.

Flowers arouse in us an instinct to protect them, to appreciate them, and to shelter them. This world is too ugly, too violent. There should be something delicate to care about. To do so is to be lifted above the brute and to go toward the refined. When we offer flowers on our altar, we are offering a high gift. Money is too vulgar, food too pedestrian. Only flowers are unsullied. By offering them, we offer purity.

The tenderness of flowers arouses mercy, compassion, and understanding. If that beauty is delicate, so much the better. Life itself is fleeting. We should take the time to appreciate beauty in the midst of temporality.
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Daily TAO / 51 – Beauty #essentialsofrecovery

Lavender roses.
Incarnate fragrance,
Priestly hue of dawn,
Spirit unfolding.

Even on the road to hell, flowers can make you smile. They are fragile, ephemeral, uncompromising. No one can alter their nature. True, you can easily destroy them, but you will not gain anything; you cannot force them to submit to your will.

Flowers arouse in us an instinct to protect them, to appreciate them, and to shelter them. This world is too ugly, too violent. There should be something delicate to care about. To do so is to be lifted above the brute and to go toward the refined. When we offer flowers on our altar, we are offering a high gift. Money is too vulgar, food too pedestrian. Only flowers are unsullied. By offering them, we offer purity.

The tenderness of flowers arouses mercy, compassion, and understanding. If that beauty is delicate, so much the better. Life itself is fleeting. We should take the time to appreciate beauty in the midst of temporality. 
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DAILY ZEN #essentialsofrecovery

Even though the training in ethics takes many forms, the ethics of abandoning the ten non-virtues is their basis. Of the ten non-virtues, three pertain to bodily actions, four to verbal actions, and three to mental actions.

The four verbal non-virtues are:

1. Lying: deceiving others through spoken words or physical gestures.

2. Divisiveness: creating dissension by causing those in agreement to disagree still further.

3. Harshness: abusing others.

4. Senselessness: talking about foolish things motivated by desire and so forth.

The opposite of these ten non-virtues are the ten virtues, and engaging in them is called the practice of ethics.


From "The Pocket Dalai Lama," edited by Mary Craig, 2002.
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DAILY ZEN #essentialsofrecovery

I sit quietly,
Listening to the falling leaves.
A lonely hut, a life of renunciation.
The past has faded,
Things are no longer remembered.
My sleeve is wet with tears.

- Ryokan (1758-1831) 
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Tuesday, 19 February 2019

Big Book - Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, Working With Others, pg. 10

So our rule is not to avoid a place where there is drinking, if we have a legitimate reason for being there. That includes bars, nightclubs, dances, receptions, weddings, even plain ordinary whoopee parties. To a person who has had experience with an alcoholic, this may seem like tempting Providence, but it isn't. You will note that we made an important qualification. Therefore, ask yourself on each occasion, 'Have I any good social, business, or personal reason for going to this place? Or am I expecting to steal a little vicarious pleasure from the atmosphere of such places?' If you answer these questions satisfactorily, you need have no apprehension. Go or stay away, whichever seems best. But be sure you are on solid spiritual ground before you start and that your motive in going is thoroughly good. Do not think of what you will get out of the occasion. Think of what you can bring to it. But if you are shaky, you had better work with another alcoholic instead.

 Big Book - Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, Working With Others, pg. 10

Daily Dose OF Emmet Fox #essentialsofrecovery

THINE THE GLORY

Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever (Matthew6:313).

This is a wonderful gnomic saying summing up the essential truth of the Omnipresence and the Allness of God.

We know that God is the only power, and so, when we work, it is really God working by means of us. Just as the pianist produces his music by means of, or through his fingers, so may mankind be thought of as the fingers of God. His is the Power. If, when you have anything to do, you hold the thought, "Divine Intelligence is working through me now," you will perform the most difficult tasks.



The wondrous change that comes over us as we gradually realize what the Omnipresence of God really means, transfigures every phase of our lives, turning sorrow into joy, age into youth, and dullness into light and life. This is the glory!
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Daily Reflections #essentialsofrecovery

I'M NOT DIFFERENT


In the beginning, it was four whole years before A.A. brought permanent sobriety to even one alcoholic woman. Like the “high bottoms, ” the women said they were different; . . . The Skid-Rower said he was different . . . so did the artists and the professional people, the rich, the poor, the religious, the agnostic, the Indians and the Eskimos, the veterans, and the prisoners. . . . nowadays all of these, and legions more, soberly talk about how very much alike all of us alcoholics are when we admit that the chips are finally down.

AS BILL SEES IT, p. 24

I cannot consider myself “different” in A.A.; if I do I isolate myself from others and from contact with my Higher Power. If I feel isolated in A.A., it is not something for which others are responsible. It is something I’ve created by feeling I’m “different” in some way. Today I practice being just another alcoholic in the worldwide Fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous.
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Daily Reflections #essentialsofrecovery

I’M NOT DIFFERENT

In the beginning, it was four whole years before A.A. brought
permanent sobriety to even one alcoholic woman. Like the “high
bottoms, ” the women said they were different; . . . The
Skid-Rower said he was different . . . so did the artists and the
professional people, the rich, the poor, the religious, the agnostic, the
Indians and the Eskimos, the veterans, and the prisoners. . . .
nowadays all of these, and legions more, soberly talk about how very
much alike all of us alcoholics are when we admit that the chips are
finally down.

AS BILL SEES IT, p. 24

I cannot consider myself “different” in A.A.; if I do I isolate myself
from others and from contact with my Higher Power. If I feel
isolated in A.A., it is not something for which others are responsible.
It is something I’ve created by feeling I’m “different” in some way.
Today I practice being just another alcoholic in the worldwide Fellowship of
Alcoholics Anonymous. 
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Just For Today


Reservations

“Relapse is never an accident. Relapse is a sign that we have a reservation in our program.”

Basic Text, p. 76


A reservation is something we set aside for future use. In our case, a reservation is the expectation that, if such-and-such happens, we will surely relapse. What event do we expect will be too painful to bear? Maybe we think that if a spouse or lover leaves us, we will have to get high. If we lose our job, surely, we think, we will use. Or maybe it’s the death of a loved one that we expect to be unbearable. In any case, the reservations we harbor give us permission to use when they come true-as they often do.


We can prepare ourselves for success instead of relapse by examining our expectations and altering them where we can. Most of us carry within us a catalog of anticipated misery closely related to our fears. We can learn how to survive pain by watching other members live through similar pain. We can apply their lessons to our own expectations. Instead of telling ourselves we will have to get high if this happens, we can quietly reassure ourselves that we, too, can stay clean through whatever life brings us today.


Just for today: I will check for any reservations that may endanger my recovery and share them with another addict.
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