Wednesday, 20 March 2019

A.A. Recovery Speaker - Jenny K.



Daily Dose Of Emmet Fox #essentialsofrecovery

TRUTH DEMONSTRATED

Truth never chasten, but what we have to deal with on this plane is man’s apprehension of the Truth, and throughout historical time, this has been steadily and continuously becoming more plain to us.

Jesus Christ summed up this Truth, taught it completely and thoroughly, and, above all, demonstrated it in his own person. Most of us now can glimpse intellectually the idea of what it must mean in its fullness. To accept the Truth is the great first step, but not until we have proved it in doing is it ours. Jesus proved everything that he taught, even to the overcoming of death in what we call the resurrection. By surmounting every sort of limitation to which mankind is subject, he performed a work of unique and incalculable value to the race, and is therefore justly entitle the Savior of the world.

…when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth….(John 16:13).




© 1931 by Emmet Fox
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Daily Reflections #essentialsofrecovery


LOVE AND TOLERANCE


Love and tolerance of others in our code.

ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 84

I have found that I have to forgive others in all situations to maintain any real spiritual progress. The vital importance of forgiving may not be obvious to me at first sight, but my studies tell me that every great spiritual teacher has insisted strongly upon it. I must forgive injuries, not just in words, or as a matter of form, but in my heart. I do this not for the other persons’ sake, but for my own sake. Resentment, anger, or a desire to see someone punished, are things that rot my soul. Such things fasten my troubles to me with chains. They tie me to other problems that have nothing to do with my original problem. 
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Just For Today #essentialsorecovery

Higher Power


“Most of us have no trouble admitting that addiction had become a destructive force in our lives. Our best efforts resulted in ever greater destruction and despair. At some point, we realized that we needed the help of some Power greater than our addiction.”


Basic Text p. 24

Most of us know without a doubt that our lives have been filled with destruction. Learning that we have a disease called addiction helps us understand the source or cause of this destruction. We can recognize addiction as a power that has worked devastation in our lives. When we take the First Step, we admit that the destructive force of addiction is bigger than we are. We are powerless over it.

At this point, our only hope is to find some Power greater than the force of our addiction—a Power bent on preserving life, not ending it. We don’t have to understand it or even name it; we only have to believe that there could be such a Higher Power. The belief that a benevolent Power greater than our addiction just might exist gives us enough hope to stay clean, a day at a time.

 I believe in the possibility of some Power that’s bigger than my addiction.
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Twenty-Four Hours A Day #essentialsofrecovery


A.A. Thought For The Day


As I look back over my drinking career, have I learned that you take out of life what you put into it? When I put drinking into my life, did I take out a lot of bad things? Hospitals with the D.T.’s? Jails for drunken driving? Loss of job? Loss of home and family? When I put drinking into my life, was almost everything I took out bad?

Meditation For The Day


I should strive for a friendliness and helpfulness that will affect all who come near to me. I should try to see something to love in them. I should welcome them, bestow little courtesies and understandings on them, and help them if they ask for help. I must send no one away without a word of cheer, a feeling that I really care about them. God may have put the impulse in some despairing one’s mind to come to me. I must not fail God by repulsing that person. They may not want to communicate with me unless they are sure of a warm welcome.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may warmly welcome all who come to me for help. I pray that I may make them feel that I really care.
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As Bill Sees It #essentialsofrecovery

Whose Responsibility?, p. 79

“An A.A. group, as such, cannot take on all the personal problems of its members, let alone those of non-alcoholics in the world around us. The A.A. group is not, for example, a mediator of domestic relations, nor does it furnish personal financial aid to anyone.

“Though a member may sometimes be helped in such matters by his friends in A.A., the primary responsibility for the solutions of all his problems of living and growing rests squarely upon the individual himself. Should an A.A. group attempt this sort of help, its effectiveness and energies would be hopelessly dissipated.

“This is why sobriety–freedom from alcohol–through the teaching and practice of A.A.’s Twelve Steps, is the sole purpose of the group. If we don’t stick to this cardinal principle, we shall almost certainly collapse. And if we collapse we cannot help anyone.”


Letter, 1966 
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Walk in Dry Places #essentialsofrecovery


Think, Think, Think
Prudence.


It’s hard to believe, but some AA members insist that newcomers shouldn't think. “Whoever said you should think?” some members are told. The newcomer is apparently supposed to suspend all thinking for several months until reaching a certain level of recovery.

This is nonsense, and it also contradicts AA teaching. If we don’t want people to use their heads, why do we have printed cards on meeting room walls that say, “Think, Think, Think”? We are always capable of thinking, even in moments of deep despair. Indeed, we could not keep from thinking.

A constructive approach to thinking is to form complete sentences from the slogan on the wall: THINK what might happen if I take one drink. THINK of the wonderful new life that awaits me in sobriety. THINK about ways of improving myself and following a more satisfactory lifestyle.

It’s also important to remember that good thinking will drive out bad thinking…. But good thinking has to be cultivated.

I’ll keep my thinking centered today on the good things that can be done in life. I’ll focus my attention only on matters that are under my control, and I know that better thinking will bring better conditions.
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Keep It Simple #essentialsofrecovery


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

–Dale Carnegie

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

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

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

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, help me to know that I’m here to help others, not just myself. Through others, I find myself.

Today’s’ Action: Today I’ll help someone the way he or she wants to be helped.
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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation #essentialsofrecovery

APATHY


“Science may have found a cure for most evils; but it has found no remedy for the worst of them all — the apathy of human beings.”

— Helen Keller

I read today of a woman who ate herself to death. Friends and family when interviewed said, “She simply didn’t seem to care.” She had stuffed her feelings for so long that she had forgotten what they were; she had lost her spirituality. Apathy kills people.

So long as people do nothing, the disease of addiction gets worse and more victims are claimed. Apathy feeds ignorance because it stops activity; apathy stops life.

The antidote for apathy is spirituality. The spiritual person is alive with positive attitudes and creative hope — he is infectious. People are challenged to discover a meaning to life in their own lives. Hope produces recovery; recovery produces a message that must be shared; in the message is the miracle of life.

I pray that in the face of apathy I can discover hope.
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A Day At A Time #essentialsofrecovery


Reflection For The Day

The longer I’m in The Program, the more important becomes the slogan “First Things First” I used to believe that my family came first, that my home life came first, that my job came first. But I know today, in the depths of my heart, that If I can’t stay sober I’ll have nothing. “First Things First.” to me, means that everything in my life depends on my sobriety. Am I grateful fo be sober today?


Today I Pray


May my first priority, the topmost item on my list of concerns, be my sobriety — maintaining it, learning to live comfortably with it, sharing the tools by which I maintain it. When other things crowd into my life and I am caught up in the busyness of living, may I still preserve that first -of-all goal — remaining free of chemicals.

Today I Will Remember


First Things First.
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ONE DAY AT A TIME #essentialsofrecovery

MAINTENANCE

Another flaw in the human character is that everybody wants to build and nobody wants to do maintenance.

~ Kurt Vonnegut Jr. ~

With the help of our Higher Power, sponsors, and fellow Program members we have, completed the 12 Steps, studied the Big Book, hit regular meetings, worked the loops, given service, etc ….and finally were able to achieve abstinence and reach our recovery goals! Reaching our goals is one thing, but now we must maintain what we’ve struggled so hard to achieve. As COE’s, we never truly lose our addiction for food. Relapse is only a heartbeat away. Therefore, we must diligently strive to continue working the Program tools to guard this precious gift that we have earned.

One Day at a Time . . .

I will diligently maintain the recovery goals I have worked so long and hard to achieve.

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

“You have wandered away from your teachings. You must concentrate on your spiritual teachings…Don’t be sidetracked.”

~ Henry Quick Bear, LAKOTA 

Why are the Elders always telling us to know The culture and listen to the teachings? When We go off track, why do the Elders say, return to the teachings? The teachings tell us how to live in harmony with the Laws and principles of the Great Spirit. Living means Life – a good life, a happy life. Many of us have grown up without the teachings and the culture, that is why we don’t know how to live. To improve on relationships, to treat our children with honor and to respect our Elders, we need to live by the old teachings again.

Great Spirit, today, show me how to live. 
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Today's Gift

Communicating

… armed to deal with whatever comes

One couple never told each other anything negative if they could avoid it. They always protected each other from bad news. Their neighbors, however, were not that careful about what they said. They had a positive attitude but they believed that reality was not to be shaped or measured in their words, so they just laid it on the line with each other.

The first couple seemed more sedate and calm while their neighbors seemed more in turmoil. But over time the first couple’s protective attitude worked like a wedge that drove quiet distance between them as more and more unresolved issues were ignored or sugar-coated. The second couple always clearly knew what was going on. They did not have to wonder what the truth was behind each other’s words, and they dealt with issues as they arose. Time brought them more deeply into the lively embrace of their trusting relationship.

Bad news is part of life, just as good news is. When we engage life we do not shy away from problems; we do our loved ones the favor of speaking the truth. Then our relationships are armed to deal with whatever comes.

From the book:


                     he More We Find In Each Other by Merle Fossum and Mavis Fossum
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The Eye Opener #essentialsofrecovery


The only way that AA can be considered a Reform is in the fact that our way of living is the result of a reformation in our thinking.

Our new pattern of action is the result of a new pattern of thinking. As our thoughts are focused more and more on more and more, our minds grow in the capacity to absorb more and more.

As our thoughts are directed to the God of our understanding and our suffering alcoholic brethren, we find that self is pushed back into the little space it deserves.

Copyright Hazelden Foundation 
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Daily Tao / 109 – Fundamentals #essentialsofrecovery

After completion
Come new beginnings.
To gain strength,
Renew the root.


In music, the fundamental tone is the lowest, or root, tone of a chord. Without its presence, no true character is established. Our actions in life are as similarly varied and complex as music. Without a thorough grounding, there is no harmony.

Followers of Tao emphasize cycles. This must include a sound understanding of what to do whenever a cycle comes to an end. New ones will begin : Some of them will be engendered by the old one, others may simply be in the background and will now come forward. If we are to properly shape these new movements and if we are to prevent unwanted cycles from beginning, we must take stock and renew our basis in the fundamentals.

Everyone wants to be daring, creative, and original. Everyone wants to do things in new ways. But unless we return over and over again to the basics, we will have no chance to truly soar. Do not forget the root. Without it, we can never issue forth true power.
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DAILY ZEN #essentialsofrecovery


What people expect to happen is always different from what actually happens. From this comes great disappointment; this is the way the world works.


-Sutra Piñata
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Tuesday, 19 March 2019

Nancy F. The Independent Blonde , DOS June 1945 ,90 years old ,2nd edition p532


Daily Dose Of Emmet Fox #essentialsofrecovery

TRUTH DEMONSTRATED

Truth never chasten, but what we have to deal with on this plane is man’s apprehension of the Truth, and throughout historical time, this has been steadily and continuously becoming more plain to us.

Jesus Christ summed up this Truth, taught it completely and thoroughly, and, above all, demonstrated it in his own person. Most of us now can glimpse intellectually the idea of what it must mean in its fullness. To accept the Truth is the great first step, but not until we have proved it in doing is it ours. Jesus proved everything that he taught, even to the overcoming of death in what we call the resurrection. By surmounting every sort of limitation to which mankind is subject, he performed a work of unique and incalculable value to the race, and is therefore justly entitle the Savior of the world.

…when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth….(John 16:13).




© 1931 by Emmet Fox
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Daily Reflections #essentialsofrecovery

PRAYER: IT WORKS

It has been well said that “almost the only scoffers at prayer are those who never tried it enough.” 

–TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 97

Having grown up in an agnostic household, I felt somewhat foolish when I first tried praying. I knew there was a Higher Power working in my life — how else was I staying sober? — but I certainly wasn’t convinced he/she/it wanted to hear my prayers. People who had what I wanted said prayer was an important part of practicing the program, so I persevered. With a commitment to daily prayer, I was amazed to find myself becoming more serene and comfortable with my place in the world. In other words, life became easier and less of a struggle. I’m still not sure who, or what, listens to my prayers, but I’d never stop saying them for the simple reason that they work.
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Just For Today #essentialsofrecovery

Something Valuable To Share

“A simple, honest message of recovery from addiction rings true.” 

Basic Text p. 50

You’re in a meeting. The sharing has been going on for some time. One or two members have described their spiritual experiences in an especially meaningful way. Another has had us all rolling in the aisles with entertaining stories. And then the leader calls on you.., gulp. You shyly introduce yourself, apologetically stammer out a few lines, thank everyone for listening, and sit out the rest of the meeting in embarrassed silence. Sound familiar? Well, you’re not alone.

We’ve all had times when we’ve felt that what we had to share wasn’t spiritual enough, wasn’t entertaining enough, wasn’t something enough. But sharing is not a competitive sport. The meat of our meetings is identification and experience, something all of us have in abundance. When we share from our hearts the truth of our experience, other addicts feel they can trust us because they know we’re just like them. When we simply share what’s been effective in our lives, we can be sure that our message will be helpful to others.

Our sharing doesn’t have to be either fancy or funny to ring true. Every addict working an honest program that brings meaningful recovery has something of immense value to share, something no one else can give: his or her own experience.

Just for today: I have something valuable to share. I will attend a meeting today and share my experience in recovery from addiction.
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Twenty-Four Hours A Day #essentialsofrecovery

A.A. Thought For The Day
When we were drinking, we used to be ashamed of the past. Remorse is terrible mental punishment: ashamed of ourselves for the things we’ve said and done, afraid to face people because of what they might think of us, afraid of the consequences of what we did when we were drunk. In A.A. we forget about the past. Do I believe that God has forgiven me for everything I’ve done in the past, no matter how black it was, provided I’m honestly trying to do the right thing today?

Meditation For The Day

God’s spirit is all about you all day long. You have no thoughts, no plans, no impulses, no emotions, that He does not know about. You can hide nothing from Him. Do not make your conduct conform only to that of the world and do not depend on the approval or disapproval of others. God sees in secret, but He rewards openly. If you are in harmony with the Divine Spirit, doing your best to live the way you believe God wants you to live, you will be at peace.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may always feel God’s presence. I pray that I may realize this Presence constantly all through the day.
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As Bill Sees It #essentialsofrecovery


Clearing A Channel, p. 78


During the day, we can pause where situations must be met and decisions made, and renew the simple request “Thy will, not mine, be done.”

If at these points our emotional disturbances happens to be great, we will more surely keep our balance provided we remember, and repeat to ourselves, a particular prayer or phrase that has appealed to us in our reading or meditation. Just saying it over and over will often enable us to clear a channel choked up with anger, fear, frustration, or misunderstanding, and permit us to return to the surest help of all–our search for God’s will, not our own, in the moment of stress.

12 & 12, pp. 102-103 
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Walk in Dry Places #essentialsofrecovery

Where is God?
Guidance.


AA members have always had a difficult time explaining the “God business”. We didn’t want to be considered religious, but at the same time we’ve always believed some contact with a Higher Power is necessary for real personal growth.

There’s nothing wrong… for our purposes… in simply visualizing God as a Higher Power that has always been within us and around us. “Before they call, I will answer,” goes an old saying, and that was true even in our darkest days. Many of us also believe that a higher power helped bring AA into being and move it along to become a worldwide force for good.

But God works in ways that can seem to come from change or coincidence. Quite often, we’ll find that little events had far-reaching results in our lives. When we review how such things happened, we should not conclude that this happens only to certain “special” people. All human beings are part of God’s creation and can avail themselves of guidance and direction. The more serious problem is that guidance and direction are sometimes ignored or rejected.

I’ll go about my affairs today with the knowledge that my Higher Power is making the important decisions in my life. I’ll come out about where God wants me to be.
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Keep It Simple #essentialsofrecovery

Speak when you’re angry and you’ll make the best speech you’ll ever regret.–Lawrence J. Peter

When we used alcohol or other drugs, most of us were hotheads. We thought we were right. If we were proven wrong, we may have made life hell for everyone. People knew enough to stay away from us. In recovery, things will still go badly at times. We’ll get hurt. And we’ll get angry. But now, we turn our anger to our Higher Power. In our groups, we talk about what makes us angry. Then we leave the anger behind when the meeting is over. We find that being at peace is now more important than getting even.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, when I’m angry, help me slow down, Help me remember it’s okay to be angry, but its not okay to abuse people.

Action for the Day: I will remember a time when I turned anger, into rage and hurt someone. I will also remember a time I was angry in a respectful way.
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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation #essentialsofrecovery

MADNESS

“Sanity is madness put to good use.”

— George Santayana

I heard the phrase “make the disease work for you”. It made a great deal of sense to me and still does. I am a recovering alcoholic. My alcoholism is still within me and every day I take the necessary steps to stay sober. My disease is that “mad” part of me that wants to destroy my life, relationships and understanding of God. What I need to do is accept my “madness” and turn it around so that it works for me. My suffering is the key to my spiritual growth. My anger and manipulation helps me to understand the imperfections of others. My powerlessness over alcohol give me an understanding of humility that is based on reality. The acceptance of my “madness” keeps me sane!

O God, give me the sanity to accept my imperfections so that I can grow into the “best” that I can be.
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A Day At A Time #essentialsofrecovery

Reflection For The Day

I know today that “stopping in for a drink” will never again be — for me — simply killing a few minutes and leaving a luck on the air. In exchange for the first drink, what I’d plunk down now would be my bank account, my family, our home, or car, my job, my sanity, and probably my life. It’s too big a price, and too great a risk. Do you remember your last drunk?

Today I Pray

May I be strong in the knowledge that God’s spirit is with me at all times. May I learn to feel His presence. May I know that nothing is hidden from Him. Unlike the world which approves or disapproves of my outward behavior, God sees all that I do, think or feel. If I seek to do His will, I can always count on His reward for me — peace of mind.

Today I Will Remember

God Knows all.
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One Day At A Time #essentialsofrecovery


~ Commitment ~


Shallow men believe in luck ~ Strong men believe in cause and effect.

–Ralph Waldo Emerson

Abstinence did not happen for me until I made a commitment to it. I realized that I would have abstinence until something was a bit too uncomfortable for me to face or feel. Then I would have a slip. So it became a game for me. Was this event or circumstance enough to justify another slip? Sure, why not? That’s the nature of the disease. Everything and anything was an excuse to eat.

It wasn’t until I made a commitment to abstinence that I was forced to find my solutions in the Twelve Steps and really let go of my addiction. I’m grateful to my Higher Power that I hit the bottom I did. By accepting the truth about myself and my food addiction, I am now free to live in the solution.

One Day at a Time . . .

I will renew my commitment by receiving the gift of abstinence and practicing my program to the best of my ability.

~ Christine S. ~ 
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Elder’s Meditation of the Day #essentialsofrecovery

“There’s a deep wound in people – that they have been so cut off from the source of their being, their mother, their Earth Mother.”

–Francis Story Talbott II (Medicine Story), WAMPANOAG

When we are connected to the Earth Mother, or when we are clear on our purpose, we will feel connected and safe. We will feel love. When we are disconnected from the Earth Mother, or we don’t know who we are or why we are, we will feel pain. It will be similar to a little child who has lost its Mother. We will hurt insid – we will be wounded within. If this happens to the whole community, the people will be very sad and lost. It will seem like there is death in the air. When this happens, it is time for ceremony and reconnection to God and Mother Earth. This is the time of prayer.

Great Mystery, today, help me to stay connected to the Earth and to You, my Creator.
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Today's Gift #essentialsofrecovery

Moving Forward

Much as we would like, we cannot bring everyone with us on this journey called recovery. We are not being disloyal by allowing ourselves to move forward. We don’t have to wait for those we love to decide to change as well.

Sometimes we need to give ourselves permission to grow, even though the people we love are not ready to change. We may even need to leave people behind in their dysfunction or suffering because we cannot recover for them. We don’t need to suffer with them.

It doesn’t help.

It doesn’t help for us to stay stuck just because someone we love is stuck. The potential for helping others is far greater when we detach, work on ourselves, and stop trying to force others to change with us.

Changing ourselves, allowing ourselves to grow while others seek their own path, is how we have the most beneficial impact on people we love. We’re accountable for ourselves. They’re accountable for themselves. We let them go, and let ourselves grow.

Today, I will affirm that it is my right to grow and change, even though someone I love may not be growing and changing alongside me.

From the book:


The Language of Letting Go by Melody Beattie
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The Eye Opener #essentialsofrecovery

No man ever lived without a God of some kind. If it was not the God of Abraham or of the Christian conception, it was the sun, or Nature, or thunder or mythical gods. It was golden images or idols of wood, and to some it was money or position or fame. We all had a God even if it was no more than a bottle.

No man, however brave, would have the temerity to face the forces of Nature and a hostile world unless he had recourse to something beyond his own puny strength.

Every time I hear an atheist sounding off, I always think of the days when I denied the fact that I was an alcoholic, knowing, deep down inside, that I was kidding myself.

Copyright Hazelden Foundation 
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Daily Tao / 078 - FEAR #essentialsofrecovery


Trust the gods within,
Accept given boons.
Illusion is reality's border :
Pierce fear to go beyond.


In your meditations, you will meet gods. These gods are nothing more than the holiest aspects of your own mind; they are not other beings. Your inner gods will grant gifts of knowledge and power. Accept what comes your way without doubt and without fear. You can trust your gods. They will never betray you, for you cannot betray yourself.

Such trust dissolves fear and regret. You will find a resolution to your inner conflicts. The gods will direct you forward to the very border of reality itself. On the other side is vast profundity, the ultimate nature of existence. But the border can be crossed only if you have resolved all fear and regret.

All fear comes from our sense of self. When we stand at the border of reality, we are afraid that we will lose our identities by plunging in. We are afraid of being destroyed. but we came from Tao in the first place. We are Tao. To return to Tao is not to be negated, but to become one with the entire universe. True, we will no longer be who we are now, but we will be one with Tao. In that state, there is no need for fear.
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Too Rushed To Learn

Too rushed to learn

A young man went into the deep mountains to ask a master to teach him swordsmanship. He asked the master how long it would take to learn, to which the master replied "ten years". The young man said "my father is getting old, and I need to take care of him. If I am very diligent in learning, how long will it take?"The master replied "That way will take thirty years". The young man was even more anxious. "First you said ten years, now you say thirty years. I don't care how much hardship I have to bear, I must learn it in the shortest amount of time." The master replied "In that case, it will take seventy years".
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Monday, 18 March 2019

Faith without Works and the Body without the Spirit


Editorial:

On the 12th Step. . .

"Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of those steps we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all of our affairs."

The 12th Step is the climax of the other 11. Without the 12th Step, the conception formulated in the other 11 would be like faith without works and the body without the spirit.

Here is the plan put into action, and it is a two-way action. Through the 12th Step, one receives as he gives. He gives to another what he has learned and in so doing receives new strength for himself. And it is through this two-way action that A.A. grows not only larger but stronger, for it is through the 12th Step that new members are made and old members extend the length and the quality of their sobriety.

When the 12th Step operates as it is intended to it precludes the development of the stultifying results of the ordinary debtor-creditor relationship. Although the A.A. engaged on a 12th Step mission may appear to be the donor--donor of a priceless gift which has helped thousands of others--and though the distraught recipient may feel grateful either then or subsequently, there is a powerfully restraining factor in the transaction. The A.A. cannot feel smugly virtuous as bearer of this gift when he knows that by giving it he keeps it and that 12th Step work is the way he helps to preserve his own sobriety. He is not likely to get a fatally righteous and inflated estimation of himself when he remembers that in 12th Step work one receives at least as much and usually much more than he gives. He cannot well fancy himself becoming a saint when he remembers that through 12th Step work he helps to keep himself from becoming a drunk again.

Even for the newcomer who discovers A.A. by way of some member applying the 12th Step in his behalf, there is an equalizer. He may always feel grateful, but as he learns more about A.A. he realizes the necessity of the 12th Step work to the do-er as well as the receiver and thus is relieved of any sense of imposed obligation. And he in turn can embark on 12th Step work knowing that he is doing it for himself more even than for others and certainly without the duress of paying off a debt.

By virtue of these factors, 12th Step work is both inspirational and practical, often the spark that rekindles the fires of shining hope, and at the same time a completely realistic approach to a very tough problem. Few situations arise anywhere that offer a greater challenge to one's ingenuity, resourcefulness, perseverance and the best of his brains than those which arise commonly in 12th Step work. Nor, it should be added, are there many things which man does that require more hard work than is so often needed in the completion of a 12th Step task.

In 12th Step work, one is dealing with the most exasperating, stubborn, conniving, prevaricating, baffling, unpredictable, twisted and messed-up human being at large --the drunk. Successful 12th Step work calls for practically all of the virtues and talents given man, and often, even if any A.A. had all of the virtues and all of the talents, they would not be enough.

Yet, 12th Step work also offers more drama, more comedy, suspense, thrills and excitement than one will ever find on any movie screen. And it is real. It is life in the raw. It takes care of any idle time that may have been dragging heavily. And it has given to many an A.A. experiences that yield the greatest happiness of a lifetime.
Finally, of course, 12th Step work is certainly one of the surest, if not the surest, way of keeping sober. The reason it is so effective is that it almost compels one engaging in it to keep thinking in the direction that preserves sobriety. It is, at the same time, a reminder of what has been and a warning of what could be again.
But, more even than its value as both a reminder and a warning, 12th Step work is the practice of the basic principle of a way of life. The principle has been voiced in many different phrases --as "Do unto others. . ." and "My brother's keeper," or "Brotherhood of man," and simply, "Helping others." So, likewise, is 12th Step work helping others, keeping the brother, doing unto others as we have been done unto. And doing it without expectancy of repayment or bouquets.




The Grapevine October 1946
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Big Book - Alcoholics Anonymous - Chapter 6 - Into Action (pg 72 & top 73)

HAVING MADE our personal inventory, what shall we do about it? We have been trying to get a new attitude, a new relationship with our Creator, and to discover the obstacles in our path. We have admitted certain defects; we have ascertained in a rough way what the trouble is; we have put our finger on the weak times in our personal inventory. Now these are about to be cast out. This requires action on our part, which, when completed, will mean that we have admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being, the exact nature of our defects. This brings us to the Fifth Step in the program of recovery mentioned in the preceding chapter. This is perhaps difficult-especially discussing our defects with another person. We think we have done well enough in admitting these things to ourselves. There is doubt about that. In actual practice, we usually find a solitary self-appraisal insufficient. Many of us thought it necessary to go much further. We will be more reconciled to discussing ourselves with another person when we see good reasons why we should do so. The best reason first: If we skip this vital step, we may not overcome drinking. Time after time newcomers have tried to keep to themselves certain facts about their lives. Trying to avoid this humbling experience, they have turned to easier methods. Almost invariably they got drunk. Having persevered with the rest of the program, they wondered why they fell. We think the reason is that they never completed their housecleaning. They took inventory all right, but hung on to some of the worst items in stock. They only thought they had lost their egoism and fear; they only thought they had humbled themselves. But they had not learned enough of humility, fearlessness and honesty, in the sense we find it necessary, until they told someone else all their life story.


Big Book - Alcoholics Anonymous - Chapter 6 - Into Action (pg 72 & top 73)

Edward Juergens, Death of a Salesman


Daily Reflections #essentialsorecovery

REAL INDEPENDENCE


The more we become willing to depend upon a Higher Power, the more independent we actually are.

–TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 36

I start with a little willingness to trust God and He causes that willingness to grow. The more willingness I have, the more trust I gain, and the more trust I gain, the more willingness I have. My dependence on God grows as my trust in Him grows. Before I became willing, I depended on myself for all my needs and I was restricted by my incompleteness. Through my willingness to depend upon my Higher Power, whom I choose to call God, all my needs are provided for by Someone Who knows me better than I know myself – even the needs I may not realize, as well as the ones yet to come, bring me to be myself and to help me fill the need in someone else that only I am meant to fill. There never will be another exactly like me. And that is real independence.
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Just For Today #essentialsorecovery

The Full Message


“There is a special feeling for addicts when they discover that there are other people who share their difficulties, past and present.”

Basic Text p. 53

The wealth of our recovery is too good to keep to ourselves. Some of us believe that when we talk in meetings, we should “remember the newcomer” and always try to carry a positive message. But sometimes the most positive message we can carry is that we are going through difficult times in our recovery and are staying clean in spite of them!

Yes, it’s gratifying to send out a strong message of hope to our newer members. After all, no one likes a whiner. But distressing things happen, and life on life’s terms can send shock waves even through the recovery of long-time members of Narcotics Anonymous. If we are equipped with the tools of the program, we can walk through such turmoil and stay clean to tell the tale.

Recovery doesn’t happen all at once; it is an ongoing process, sometimes a struggle. When we dilute the fullness of our message by neglecting to share about the tough times we may walk through on our journey, we fail to allow newcomers the chance to see that they, too, can stay clean, no matter what. If we share the full message of our recovery, we may not know who benefits, but we can be sure someone will.

Just for today: I will honestly share both the good times and the difficult times of my recovery. I will remember that my experience in walking through adversity may benefit another member.
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Twenty-Four Hours A Day #essentialsofrecovery


A.A. Thought For The Day


When alcoholics first come into A.A. and we face the fact that we must spend the rest of our life without liquor, it often seems like an impossibility for us. So A.A. tells us to forget about the future and take it one day at a time. All we really have is now. We have no past time and no future time. As the saying goes: “Yesterday is gone, forget it; tomorrow never comes, don’t worry; today is here, get busy.” All we have is the present. The past is gone forever and the future never comes. When tomorrow gets here, it will be today. Am I living one day at a time?

Meditation For The Day

Persistence is necessary if you are to advance in spiritual things. By persistent prayer, persistent firm and simple trust, you achieve the treasures of the spirit. By persistent practice, you can eventually obtain joy, peace, assurance, security, health, happiness and serenity. Nothing is too great, in the spiritual realm, for you to obtain, if you persistently prepare yourself for it.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may persistently carry out my spiritual exercises every day. I pray that I may strive for peace and serenity.
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As Bill Sees It #essentialsofrecovery


R.S.V.P.–Yes or No?, p. 77


Usually, we do not avoid a place where there is drinking–if we have a legitimate reason for being there. That includes bars, night clubs, dances, receptions, weddings, even plain ordinary parties.

You will note that we made an important qualification. Therefore, ask yourself, “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?” Then go or stay away, whichever seems better. 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.

If you are shaky, you had better work with another alcoholic instead!


Alcoholics Anonymous, pp. 101-102 
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Walk in Dry Places #essentialsofrecovery

Should everybody like me?
Personal Relations.


In AA discussions, the term “people pleaser's” doesn't fare very well. When people say they are people-pleaser's, they’re acknowledging that it’s also a problem

It’s a problem because it reflects a desire to have everybody’s acceptance and approval…… to be universally liked. But from what we know about human relationships, this is not possible. No matter how hard we work to be pleasant and likeable, some people may still detest us for reasons we cannot understand. When that happens, we should not blame ourselves or step up our efforts to them and to avoid giving offence in any way, while accepting the fact that they do not like us.

If our own behaviour is mature and reasonable, even the people who don’t like us will at least respect us. That may be the best we can hope for , and it is certainly far better than shameless people pleasing. In the end, people-pleaser's don’t please anybody and, as a famous comedian notes about himself, they “get no respect.”

I’ll try hard to be pleasant and cordial to everyone I meet today. If some people do not respond in the same way. I’ll accept this without feeling hurt or betrayed.
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Keep It Simple #essentialsofrecovery

Money cost too much.

—Ross MacDonald

Many people are poor and really need money to live better. But we’re in trouble if we think money will solve all our problems. If money solved all problems, all rich people would be happy.

Consider this: A man talks about his shortcomings in a Twelve Step meeting. He says his main shortcoming is to think being happy means having enough money. But then he says that he has over a million dollars! This man is lucky—not because he has money, but because he knows greed is a shortcoming. He knows he has a spiritual problem. He doesn’t need money; he needs faith in a Higher Power.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, help me to really believe I’ll be given what I need. This will free me to get on with life.

Action for the Day: Today, I’ll read over the promises of the program. They are found at the bottom of page 83 at the top of the page of page 84 in the Big Book, Alcoholics Anonymous, Third Edition.
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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation #essentialsofrecovery

HUMOR


“Humor may be defined as the kindly contemplation of the incongruities of life and the artistic impression thereof . . . The essence of humor is human kindliness.”

— Stephen Leacock

Humor for me is a key to balance. In the joke I am able to release some tension or frustration and cope with my disease of alcoholism. When I drank, I did not have a genuine sense of humor — rather it was sarcasm, cruel “put-downs” or insane expressions of my manic personality. My fun was created at the expense of others. It was a form of violence. It kept people away from me and created a loneliness in my life.

Today I seek to use humor as an expression of acceptance, tolerance, understanding and forgiveness. Humor is an aspect of my spiritual program. In humor I experience God.

Give me the gift of humor that reflects the dignity and hope for us all.
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A Day At A Time #essentialsofrec

Reflection For The Day

In the old days, we often had such devastating experiences that we fervently swore, “never again.” We were absolutely sincere in those moments of desperation. Yet, despite our intentions, the outcome was inevitably the same. Eventually, the memory of our suffering faded, as did the memory of our “pledge.” so we did it again, ending up in even worse shape than when we had last “sworn off it” Forever turned out to be only a week, or a day or less. In The Program, we learn that we need only be concerned about today, this particular 24-hour period. Do I live my life just 24 hours at a time?

Today I Pray


May the long-term requirements of such phrases as “never again, ” “not on your life,” “forever,” “I’ll never take another..” not weaken my resolve. “Forever,” when it is broken down into single days — or even just parts of days — does not seem to impossible long. May I awake each day with my goal set realistically at just 24 hours.

Today I Will Remember

Twenty -four hours at a time.
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One Day At A Time #essentialsofrec

Example

“Setting an example is not the main means of influencing another, it is the only means.”

–Albert Einstein

Program’s philosophy dictates that we gain new members by attraction rather than promotion. We should be striving to become living embodiments of Program principles in order that we might attract and inspire those in need whom we may encounter in our daily lives – just as we were fortunate enough to find our way here because of the amazing effort, inspiration and example of the Program founders. Because of their blood, sweat and tears, Program has grown in leaps and bounds over the years . Now – its future growth rests with us. Are you prepared for this responsibility?

One Day at a Time . . .

I will diligently work the tools of my program and be a shining example of recovery to others.


~ Rob R.

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Elder’s Meditation of the Day #essentialsorecovery


“The sacred fire used to heat the rocks represents the eternal fire that burns at the center of the universe.”


–Dr. A.C. Ross (Ehanamani), LAKOTA

Our Sweat Lodge represents the womb of Mother Earth. This is the place of forgiveness. The altar is the place where the Grandfathers are heated. The Sweat Lodge and the altar represent the whole story of the universe. The Sweat Lodge and the ceremonies are sacred. The Great Spirit gave these things to us to help us. He taught us to do the ceremonies in harmony with Mother Earth. We need to know and understand these things.

Great Spirit, let me understand harmony.
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Today's Gift #essentialsofrecovery

I can stand what I know. It’s what I don’t know that frightens me.

— Frances Newton

Fear of the unknown, often referred to as free-floating anxiety, catches up to us on occasion. But it needn’t. The program offers us strength whenever we need it, and faith diminishes all fear. It is said that fear cannot exist where there is faith.

We have many days when we feel strong, in touch with our higher power, able to meet all situations. On those days, we are seldom conscious of how our faith is guiding us. But the hours of fear that we experience on other days make us aware of faith’s absence. There is a simple solution: We can reach out to a friend. We can be attentive to our friend’s needs and the connection to God will be made.

Shifting our focus, from self-centered fears to another person’s needs, offers us a perspective on our own life. It also offers us a chance to let God work through us. Our own faith is strengthened each time we offer our services to God and to a friend in need. What may frighten us seems less important the closer we are to the people in our lives.

When I touch someone else, God touches me in return.



From the book:


                                                      Each Day a New Beginning by Karen Casey
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The Eye Opener #essentialsofrecovery


Nothing in life is obtained except by pain and toil. This is sad news to us alcoholics who have shunned both like smallpox most of our lives.

Let the famous musician tell you of his hours of dreary practice, the inventor of his hundred failures for each success, the boxing champ of his endless days of absorbing punishment in empty gymnasiums. Toil and suffering are a necessary prelude to success, and we should bear our crosses not as burdens but as preparations for our ultimate victory.


Copyright Hazelden Foundation  
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Daily Tao / 077 - FATE #essentialsofrecovery


Dispel time
And you will 
Dispel fate.

Fate is the force that interferes with our lives, wrecking things at the worst moments. Yet what we call fate is nothing more than the consequence of our own actions. Each time we act, we generate a chain of events that is tied to us completely. The faster we run from these links, the faster they follow us. They cannot be severed; our every act binds us further.
The operative element here is time. The events of the past are the curse. Beginning followers of Tao learn to manipulate past, present, and future. They learn how circumstances operate and seek to take advantage of that. More advanced followers of Tao eschew this process of manipulation. They obliterate all regard to past, present, and future as definitions in order to negate the concept of fate.

In order to attain a state of being where there is no past to weigh upon the present and no future to be determined, followers of Tao must reach a profound merging with Tao. The follower then acts no differently than Tao would. There is no fate to oppose them, for they are existence, they are causality,  
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DAILY ZEN #essentialsofrecovery

You should know that so far as Buddha-nature is concerned, there is no difference between an enlightened man and an ignorant one.
What makes the difference is that one realizes it, while the other is ignorant of it.


-The Sutra of Hui Neng
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Sunday, 17 March 2019

Paul Stanley , author of Truth Freed Me , from Decatur Ill


DAILY DOSE OF EMMET FOX #essentialsofrecovery


MIRACLES

Jesus taught through miracles.

If the miracles did not happen, the rest of the Gospel story loses all real significance. If Jesus did not believe them to be possible, and undertake to perform them, then the Gospel message is chaotic, contradictory, and devoid of significance.

But the deeds related to Jesus in the Four Gospels did happen, and many others too, “the which, if they should be written, every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written.” Jesus himself justified what people thought to be a strange teaching by the works he was able to do; and he went further and said,

… the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works… (John 14:12).

Now what, after all, is a miracle? Those who deny the possibility of miracles on the ground that the universe is a perfect system of law and order, to the operation of which there can be no exception, are perfectly right. But the explanation is that the world of which we are normally aware, and with whose laws alone most people are acquainted, is only a fragment of the whole universe as it really is; and that there is such a thing as appealing from a lower to a higher law—from a lesser to a greater expression. In the sense of a real breach of law, miracles are impossible. Yet, in the sense all ordinary rules and limitation of the physical plane can be set aside or overridden by an understanding that has risen about them, miracles can and do happen.

© 1931 by Emmet Fox 
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DAILY REFLECTIONS #essentialsofrecovery

MYSTERIOUS WAYS

. . . out of every season of grief or suffering when the hand of God seemed heavy or even unjust, new lessons for living were learned, new resources of courage were uncovered, and that finally, inescapably, the conviction came that God does “move in a mysterious way His wonders to perform.”

~ TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 105

After losing my career, family and health, I remained unconvinced that my way of life needed a second look. My drinking and other drug use were killing me, but I had never met a recovering person or an A.A. member. I thought I was destined to die alone and that I deserved it. At the peak of my despair, my infant son became critically ill with a rare disease. Doctors’ efforts to help him proved useless. I redoubled my efforts to block my feelings, but now the alcohol had stopped working. I was left staring into God’s eyes, begging for help. My introduction to A.A. came within days, through an odd series of coincidences, and I have remained sober ever since. My son lived and his disease is in remission. The entire episode convinced me of my powerlessness and the unmanageability of my life. Today my son and I thank God for His intervention.

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


True Courage

“Those who make it through these times show a courage not their own.”

~ Basic Text p. 82 

Before coming to NA, many of us thought we were brave simply because we had never experienced fear. We had drugged all our feelings, fear among them, until we had convinced ourselves that we were tough, courageous people who wouldn’t crack under any circumstances.

But finding our courage in drugs has nothing to do with the way we live our lives today. Clean and in recovery, we are bound to feel frightened at times. When we first realize we are feeling frightened, we may think we are cowards. Were afraid to pick up the phone because the person on the other end might not understand. We’re afraid to ask someone to sponsor us because they might say no. We’re afraid to look for a job. We’re afraid to be honest with our friends. But all of these fears are natural, even healthy. What’s not healthy is allowing fear to paralyze us.

When we permit our fear to stop our growth, we will be defeated. True courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the willingness to walk through it.

Just for today: I will be courageous today. When I’m afraid, I’ll do what I need to do to grow in recovery.

© 1991 by Narcotics Anonymous World Services Inc 
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TWENTY-FOUR HOURS A DAY #essentialsofrecovery




A.A. Thought for the Day

A.A. also helps us to hang onto sobriety By having regular meetings so that we can associate with other alcoholics who have come through that same door in the wall, by encouraging us to tell the story of our own sad experiences with alcohol, and by showing us how to help other alcoholics, A.A. keeps us sober. Our attitude toward life changes from one of pride and selfishness to one of humility and gratitude. Am I going to step back through that door in the wall to my old helpless, hopeless, drunken life?

Meditation for the Day

Withdraw into the calm of communion with God. Rest in that calm and peace. When the soul finds its home of rest in God, then it is that real life begins. Only when you are calm and serene can you do good work. Emotional upsets make you useless. The eternal life is calmness and when you enter into that, then you live as an eternal being. Calmness is based on complete trust in God. Nothing in this world can separate you from the love of God.

Prayer for the Day

I pray that I may wear the world like a loose garment. I pray that I may keep serene at the center of my being.

© 1954, 1975, 1992 by Hazelden Foundation Why not sign up to get emails with all daily posts included?
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AS BILL SEES IT #essentialsofrecovery

~ Page 76 ~

Only God Is Unchanging

“Change is the characteristic of all growth. From drinking to sobriety, from dishonesty to honesty, from conflict to serenity, from hate to love, from childish dependence to adult responsibility—all this and infinitely more represent change for the better.

“Such changes are accomplished by a belief in and a practice of sound principles in favor of good ones that work. Even good principles can sometimes be displaced by the discovery of still better ones.

“Only God is unchanging; only He has all the truth there is.”

~ LETTER, 1966 ~

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


IS IT EASY?

Practicing Principles

There’s no “softer, easier way,” we’re told. If so, why are we also urged to embrace the slogan “Easy does it”? Which is right?

Both are right, because they express two different ideas. The softer, easier way doesn’t work be-cause it grows out of self-deception and falls short of a thorough working of the program. “Easy does it” works because it describes an approach to action that is relaxed, confident, and careful.

The person seeking an easier, softer way usually avoids taking some of the steps that are considered necessary in maintaining sobriety. It’s a way of trying to win without doing sufficient work. The person following the “Easy does it” principle pays attention to every detail, but carries on without reasonable haste or excessive loafing.

In a spiritual sense, “Easy does it” also means letting the Higher Power carry the load. At all times, however, we must continue to make choices and bear responsibility for our actions.

I’ll be relaxed and confident while carrying on a full day’s activity. There is always time to do things the right way.

© 1996 by Hazelden Foundation
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KEEP IT SIMPLE #essentialsofrecovery

Money costs too much.

~ Ross MacDonald ~

Many people are poor and really need money to live better lives. But we’re in trouble if we think money will solve all our problems. If money solved all problems, all rich people would be happy.

Consider this: A man talks about his short-comings in a Twelve Step meeting. He says his main shortcoming is to think being happy means having enough money. But then he says that he has over a million dollars!

This man is lucky—not because he has money, but because he knows greed is a shortcoming. He knows he has a spiritual problem. He doesn’t need money; he needs faith in a Higher Power.

Prayer for the Day

Higher Power, help me to really believe I’ll be given what I need. This will free me to get on with life.

Action for the Day Today

I’ll read over the promises of the program. They are found at the bottom of page 83 and at the top of page 84 in the Big Book, Alcoholics Anonymous, Third Edition.

Copyright © 1988 by Hazelden Foundation 
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FR. LEO'S DAILY MEDITATIONS #essentialsofrecovery

SAINTS

“Saints are the sinners who keep on going.”

~ Robert Louis Stevenson ~

At times, I do not want to carry on; I do not want to fight anymore for truth and freedom. At times, it seems so much easier to give up and agree with everybody, but deep inside I know this is not true.

Occasionally, the disease speaks to me and tells me to give up and everything will be okay: “Maybe you can have one drink.” “Don’t rush off to so many meetings.” “Get what you can when you can!” It all sounds so tempting, but I know it does not work.

Sobriety works! The struggle and pain to act responsibly in my life are paying off, and it does get better. I am not going to give up. My life is worth more than a quick fix!

Spirit, let me know true courage is working through the pain. 

© 2008 Leo Booth 
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A DAY AT A TIME #essentialsofrecovery


Reflection for the Day

“Lead us not into temptation,” we pray, for we know with certainty that temptation lurks around the corner. Temptation is cunning, baf-fling, powerful—and patient; we never know when it will catch us with our guard down. Temptation could come in the siren song of a four-color advertisement, the fragment of a help-remembered song or, more obviously, in the direct urgings of another person. We must remain forever vigilant, remembering that the first drink gets us drunk, that the first obsessive bite will likely trigger an overeating orgy, that the first roll of the dice could well destroy our lives. Am I aware of my number one priority?

Today I Pray

God, lead me out of temptation—whether it is I he jolly-alcoholic abandon of my peers at a special-occasion celebration, the pressure from my friends to “get in the spirit” of a party, the familiar aura of an apartment where joints are passed around, the sound of rattling dice, the smell of a bakery. May I know the limits of my resistance and stay well within them. May my surrender to the will of God give a whole new meaning to that old phrase, “Get in the spirit.”

Today I Will Remember

Let in the spirit.

© 1989 by Hazelden Foundation
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ONE DAY AT A TIME #essentialsofrecovery

PERSPECTIVE

“Nothing is lost upon a man who is bent upon growth;
nothing wasted on one who is always preparing for life.
By keeping eyes, mind, and heart open to nature, men,
books, experience, and what he gathers, serves
him at unexpected moments, is unforeseen.”

~ Hamilton Wright Mabie 

I love to walk in the woods. The silent serenity of shadowed sunlight; the soft bounce of scattered needles under my feet; and the cool, clear air breathe peace into my soul.

I’ve long been fascinated by “nurse logs” – those aged, fallen pines who serve as fertile sustenance for younger, healthy trees.

When I look back at my life I see so much death. I see wasted years of hiding, lying, pretending ─ years of wrapping myself in my sickness. I have held my disease close to me. At first it seemed to bring safety, but I came to find that it was actually a death shroud. I wondered how any good could ever come from my years of pain.

After entering Recovery and working the Program, I have come to see that Nothing Is Wasted. Every sorrow, every injury, and every failure have brought me to this fruitful forest of New Life. Had I never suffered, I would never have found the Serenity that comes from choosing Gratitude. Had my life been easy, I would not have the appreciation I have gained for each new day. No one values safety, peace, and growth quite so profoundly as do those who have lived without them for so very long.

As I keep my mind, heart, and perspective focused on God, growth, and life, I find that my pain has become a nurse log; rich with all that is needed to bring life where once was only death.

One day at a time . . .

I will remember that nothing is wasted. I will choose to appreciate the pain and wisdom of the God-given nurse log which feeds me with hope and peace.

~ Lisa V ~ 
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ELDER'S MEDITATION OF THE DAY #essentialsofrecovery


“By listening to the inner self and following one’s instincts and intuitions, a person may be guided to safety.”

~ Dr. A.C. Ross (Ehanamani), LAKOTA ~

Be still and know. The Medicine Wheel teaches the four directions of inner power — not personal power, but the power of God. These four directions are emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual. As our emotions get too far out of control, we simultaneously create an equivalent mental picture, our physical body fills with stress and tension, and we become spiritually confused. When we experience these uptight feelings, the best thing to do is mentally pause, slow down our thinking, breathe slowly, or pray and ask the spirits to help. Only when we approach the stillness of the mind do we get access to our spiritual guidance system. To be guided, let your mind be still.

Creator, today, let me reside in Your stillness. 
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Today’s Gift


“Love is always open arms.”

—Leo Buscaglia

There is a story about a boy who left home and dishonored his father by spending a large amount of money on fast and reckless living. When the boy’s money ran out, he was faced with the prospect of returning home to face his father, knowing the father had every reason to be disappointed in him. Filled with fear and shame he approached his home, his mind racing with words of apology. Before the boy could say a word, his father rushed to him with open arms and hugged his lost son in joy and love.

Have we done this? Have we found it in our hearts to approve whatever a loved one does, even if we would have wanted something different?

Love like this is the highest kind of love. It finds joy in others no matter what, because it recognizes the freedom of those we love, and doesn’t chain them to our own wants. It is the same kind of love God has for us.

Are my arms open today?
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DAILY ZEN #essentialsofrecovery

Indulge in lust a little, and like the child it grows apace.

The wise man hates it therefore; who would take poison for food? Every sorrow is increased and cherished by the offices of lust.


If there is no lustful desire, the risings of sorrow are not produced, the wise man seeing the bitterness of sorrow, stamps out and destroys the risings of desire;...



-Of-Show-Hang-Stan-King'
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Saturday, 16 March 2019

DAILY DOSE OF EMMET FOX #essentialsofrecovery

LETTER OR SPIRIT

Jesus made a special point of discouraging the laying of emphasis upon outer observances; and, indeed, upon hard-and-fast rules and regulations of every kind. What he insisted upon was a certain spirit in one’s conduct, knowing that when the spirit is right, details will take care of themselves. Yet, in spite of this, the history of orthodox Christianity is largely made up of attempts to enforce all sorts of external observances upon the people.

Who also hath make us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit; for the letter kelleth, but the spirit giveth life (2 Corinthians 3:6).

© 1931 by Emmet Fox
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Daily Reflections #essentialsofrecovery

AS WE UNDERSTAND HIM

My friend suggested what then seemed a novel idea . . . “Why don’t you choose your own conception of God?” That statement hit me hard. It melted the icy intellectual mountain in whose shadow I had lived and shivered many years. I stood in the sunlight at last. It was only a matter of being willing to believe in a Power greater than myself.  Nothing more was required of me to make my beginning.

–ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 12

I remember the times I looked up into the sky and reflected on who started it all, and how. When I came to A.A., an understanding of some description of the spiritual dimension became a necessary adjunct to a stable sobriety. After reading a variety of versions, including the scientific, of a great explosion, I went for simplicity and made the God of my understanding the Great Power that made the explosion possible. With the vastness of the universe under His command, He would, no doubt, be able to guide my thinking and actions if I was prepared to accept His guidance. But I could not expect help if I turned my back on that help and went my own way. I became willing to believe and I have had 26 years of stable and satisfying sobriety. 
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Just For Today #essentialsofrecovery

Inventory

“The purpose of a searching and fearless moral inventory is to sort through the confusion and the contradiction of our lives so that we can find out who we really are.”

Basic Text p. 27

Using addicts are a confused and confusing bunch of people. It’s hard to tell from one minute to the next what they’re going to do or who they’re going to be. Usually, the addict is just as surprised as anyone else.

When we used, our behavior was dictated by the needs of our addiction. Many of us still identify our personalities closely with the behavior we practiced while using, leading us to feel shame and despair. Today, we don’t have to be the people we once were, shaped by our addiction; recovery has allowed us to change.

We can use the Fourth Step inventory to see past the needs of the old using life and find out who we want to be today. Writing about our behavior and noticing how we feel about that behavior helps us understand who we want to be. Our inventory helps us see beyond the demands of active addiction, beyond our desire to be loved and accepted—we find out who we are at the root. We begin to understand what’s appropriate for us, and what we want our lives to be like. This is the beginning of becoming who we really are.

Just for today: If I want to find out who I am, I’ll look at who I’ve been and who I want to be.
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