Sunday, 23 February 2020

Film Worth Watching - THE ANONYMOUS PEOPLE

Big Book - Alcoholics Anonymous - 4th Edition - How It Works, pg. 70

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. We are not theorizing. These are facts out of our experience.

 ~ Big Book - Alcoholics Anonymous - 4th Edition - How It Works, pg. 70

A.A.Speaker Jack - New York



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AROUND THE YEAR WITH EMMET FOX #essentialsofrecovery

AROUND THE YEAR WITH EMMET FOX #essentialsofrecovery


BEAR HUGS KETTLE

There is an anecdote of the Far West that carries a wonderful lesson. It appears that a party of hunters, being called away from their camp, left the campfire unattended, with a kettle of water boiling on it.

Presently an old bear crept out of the woods, and, seeing the kettle with its lid dancing about on top, promptly seized it. The boiling water scalded him badly; but instead of dropping the kettle instantly, he proceeded to hug it tightly—this being a bear’s idea of defense. Of course, the tighter he hugged it the more it burned him; the more it burned him the tighter he hugged it; and so on in a vicious circle, to the undoing of the bear.

This illustrates perfectly the way in which many people hug their difficulties to their bosoms by constantly rehearsing them to themselves and others.

Whenever you catch yourself thinking about your grievances, say to yourself sternly: “Bear hugs kettle,” and think about God instead. You will be surprised how quickly some long-standing wounds will heal.

Mine eyes are ever toward the Lord . . . (Psalm 25:15).

© 1931 by Emmet Fox 

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DAILY REFLECTIONS #essentialsofrecovery


MYSTERIOUS PARADOXES

Such is the paradox of A.A. regeneration: strength arising out of complete defeat and weakness, the loss of one’s old life as a condition for finding a new one.

~ A.A. COMES OF AGE, p. 46 ~

What glorious mysteries paradoxes are! They do not compute, yet when recognized and accepted, they reaffirm something in the universe beyond human logic. When I face a fear, I am given courage; when I support a brother or sister, my capacity to love myself is increased; when I accept pain as part of the growing experience of life, I realize a greater happiness; when I look at my dark side, I am brought into new light; when I accept my vulnerabilities and surrender to a Higher Power, I am graced with unforeseen strength. I stumbled through the doors of A.A. in disgrace, expecting nothing from life, and I have been given hope and dignity. Miraculously, the only way to keep the gifts of the program is to pass them on.

Copyright © 1990 by Alcoholics Anonymous World Services Inc 

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JUST FOR TODAY #essentialsofrecovery


Messages and Messengers

“Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities.”

~ Tradition Twelve ~

The Twelfth Tradition reminds us of the importance of putting “principles before personalities.” In recovery meetings, this might be paraphrased, “don’t shoot the messenger!” We often get the message confused with the messenger, and negate what someone shares at a meeting because we have personality conflicts with the person speaking.

If we are having problems with what certain people have to share at meetings, we might want to seek the guidance of our sponsor. Our sponsor can help us concentrate on what’s being said rather than who’s saying it. Our sponsor can also help us address the resentments that may be keeping us from acknowledging the value of some particular person’s recovery experience. It is surprising how much more we can get out of meetings when we allow ourselves to do as our Twelfth Tradition suggests, focusing on recovery principles rather than personalities.

Just for today: I will practice the principle of anonymity in today’s NA meeting. I will focus on the message of recovery, not the personality of the messenger.

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

TWENTY-FOUR HOURS A DAY #essentialsofrecovery


A.A. Thought for the Day

Besides our jobs, our families, our friends, and our sobriety, we have something else that many of us found through A. A. That’s faith in a Power greater than ourselves, to which we can turn for help: faith in that Divine Principle in the universe which we call God and which is on our side as long as we do the right thing. There have been many days in the past when, if we had taken an inventory, we’d have found ourselves very much in the red, without sobriety, and therefore without jobs, families, friends, or faith in God. We now have these things because we’re sober. Do I make one resolution every day of my life—to stay sober?

Meditation for the Day

Love the busy life. It is a joy-filled life. Take your fill of joy in the spring. Live outdoors whenever possible. Sun and air are nature’s great healing forces. That inward joy changes poisoned blood into a pure, healthy, life-giving flow. But never forget that the real healing of the spirit comes from within, from the close, loving contact of your spirit with God’s spirit. Keep in close communion with God’s spirit day by day.

Prayer for the Day

I pray that I may learn to live the abundant life. I pray that I may enjoy a close contact with God this day and be glad in it.

© 1954, 1975, 1992 by Hazelden Foundation 
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AS BILL SEES IT #essentialsofrecovery


~ Page 54 ~

To Deepen Our Insight

It is necessary that we extricate from an examination of our personal relations every bit of information about ourselves and our fundamental difficulties that we can. Since defective relations with other human beings have nearly always been the immediate cause of our woes, including our alcoholism, no field of investigation could yield more satisfying and valuable rewards than this one.

Calm, thoughtful reflection upon personal relations can deepen our insight. We can go far beyond those things which were superficially wrong with us, to see those flaws which were basic, flaws which sometimes were responsible for the whole pattern of our lives. Thoroughness, we have found, will pay—and pay handsomely.

~ TWELVE AND TWELVE, P. 80 ~

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

WALK IN DRY PLACES #essentialsofrecovery



WE ALWAYS HAVE CHOICES

Decision Making

Self-pity is often rooted in the strong feeling that we have been victimized by people or conditions. “I never had a chance” and “You deceived me!” are common complaints that reveal self-pity.

It is astonishing and humbling to learn that we always have choices, even when other people or bad conditions are grinding us down. One of the great discoveries of the Twelve Step movement is that alcoholics could begin to recover no matter how helpless they had become, no matter how far they had slid into defeat and despair. Once a decision was made to seek sobriety as a primary goal, other choices and decisions became possible.

We choose our attitudes and responses. We have neither the power nor the right to control others, but we can choose to soften our attitudes toward them, and we can forgive and release people we don’t like.

We can always choose how we want to think and feel. It may take effort to break the habit of feeling victimized and sorry for ourselves, but our Higher Power will show us the way if we decide that is what we really want.

Nobody can ruffle my feathers today or make me feel oppressed and victimized. I can always make choices that will enhance my sobriety and place me on a better footing for the days ahead.

© 1996 by Hazelden Foundation
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KEEP IT SIMPLE #essentialsofrecovery


Hitch your wagon to a star.

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson ~

Millions of people are sober and have peace of mind through the Twelve Steps. Like the stars, the Steps are always there. At times, clouds block our view of the stars, but we know they’re still there. Let’s view the Twelve Steps the same way.

It is said that the stars are the gate to heaven, that we pass through their beauty to get ready to enter heaven. The Twelve Steps are the gate to spirituality here on earth. We travel through their beauty on our way to a spiritual awakening. Hitch your wagon to the Steps, and get ready for the ride of a lifetime!

Prayer for the Day

I pray to remember that the Steps keep me sober. I pray that I will follow where the Steps take me.

Action for the Day

I’ll look at the stars tonight. I’ll think of them as symbols of my life touched by the Twelve Steps.
Copyright © 1988 by Hazelden Foundation
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FR. LEO'S DAILY MEDITATION #essentialsofrecovery


THOUGHT

“I was a free thinker before I knew how to think.”

~ George Bernard Shaw ~

Everyone is influenced by someone, and so am I. To not be influenced is to remain ignorant. Today I do not hinder my thinking, particularly around spiritual matters, because of pride. I may not like change. I may find it hard to accept attitudes and opinions that differ from my own. I know pride keeps me deaf and often stupid. However, the daily program of a lived spirituality encourages a variety of opinions and attitudes. I can learn from different customs, lifestyles, and religions. I can be helped in my understanding of life by the stranger.

I know I do not have all the answers. Today I am prepared to listen.

Sustainer of all religions and philosophies, help me discover You in any differences. 

© 2008 Leo Booth 
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A DAY AT A TIME #essentialsofrecovery


 Reflection for the Day

The Twelve Steps teach us that, as faith grows, so does security. The terrifying fear of nothingness begins to subside. As we work the Program, we find that the basic antidote for fear is a spiritual awakening. We lose the fear of making decisions, for we realize that if our choice proves wrong, we can learn from the experience. And should our decision be the right one, we can thank God for giving us the courage and the grace that caused us so to act. Am I grateful for the courage and grace I receive from my Higher Power?

Today I Pray

I ask that I be given the power to act, knowing that I have at least a half-chance to make the right decision and that I can learn from a wrong one. For so long, decision-making seemed beyond my capabilities. Now, I can find joy in being able to make choices. Thank you, God for courage.

Today I Will Remember

Freedom is choosing.

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


HUMILITY

To the humble man, and to the humble man alone, the sun is really a sun;
to the humble man, and to the humble man alone, the sea is really a sea.


~ G.K. Chesterton ~

Before I started recovery, lack of clarity was all around me and within me. There was too much fear. I was unable to acknowledge: This is who I am, and this is what’s going on, no more, and no less. I was afraid to name my husband’s abusive behaviour. I was afraid to name my complicity in it. I was afraid to name who I was and what I wanted and needed, and I was afraid to name the behaviour of those around me who wanted me to fit into their mould. My husband was scared silly that one day the world would find out that we weren’t the perfect family.

So I was not humble. I kept nurturing the fog that covered what was really going on. And boy, was I good at it. I kind of had an inkling that something wasn’t right, so, semi-consciously, I made sure that my denial was watertight. I knew that if we pretended that we were a 100% perfect family, there might be suspicions. So I made sure I’d slip in a little problem here and there.


At one point, luckily, I allowed the bubble to burst. I started naming things, loud and clear. I named them to the police, I named them to my friends and family, I named them in my poetry. I started playing with another 12-step program.

But it took me another twelve years to name that I was an overeater. In those years I gained another 70 pounds (with some yoyo dieting thrown in, of course). Humbly admitting that, yes, really, I was an overeater, was the best thing I’ve done since ridding my family of my abusive spouse. I humbly admitted that I had been abusing myself with my eating behaviours. Now I can see clearly. (I can also see more clearly how wounded my ex-spouse is, making it easier for me to work on forgiving him).

One day at a time …

I accept the gift of humility. I am not afraid anymore to look reality in the eye – and what I see is as right as the sun and the sea.


~ I.M. ~ 
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EASY DOES IT #essentialsofrecovery


THE EIGHTH PROMISE

Our whole attitude and outlook on life will change.

~Big Book 

Before the Program, the only changes in our lives were in the substances we were using, our companions, or the place we went to use. We only changed the way we obeyed the commands of our compulsion. What didn’t change was the fact that our lives always became worse.

We never admitted that our addiction was our enemy. We always considered it to be a friend in times of need. We believed it was the only way to enjoy life—unti it began to destroy that life. Then we realized it must be put entirely out of our lives if we were to survive.

Our attitudes and outlook on life changed for the better in every way when we began to practice abstinence and work the Steps.

Today I see exciting changes occurring physically, emotionally, and spiritually. I am no longer a slave to the limited changes dictated by my addiction.

©1990 by Anonymous, Published by Hazelden 
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ELDER'S MEDITATION OF THE DAY #essentialsofrecovery


“We’ve got to learn what’s going on today in the world, and we’ve got to get an education so we can survive.”

~ Jimmy Jackson, OJIBWA 

Indian people have the ability to adapt. In these modern times, we Native people must walk two roads. We must get educated so our people don’t lose. We need lawyers, doctors, nurses, foresters, scientists, educators, carpenters, welders. These skills are needed to help the people. While we are learning we need to remember to keep our culture, learn our dances, sing our songs, learn to speak our own language and maintain our culture for future generations.

Great Spirit, let my education never lack the meaning and value of Indian spirituality. 
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A WOMAN’S SPIRIT #essentialsofrecovery


Healing can occur when I see my family of origin as just a vessel to bring me into new spiritual growth, rather than as the predictor of all my life’s work.

~ Judi Hollis ~

Traumatic experiences often teach us the most. This surprises us at first: How could the pain have had value? How could God have allowed it? It’s futile to ponder these questions. We experienced what was necessary to fulfill our life’s purpose. We are doing so now.

Many of us came from punishing families. Our successes were ignored, our failures held up for ridicule. How we functioned in our families gave us opportunities to fail so we could then appreciate success, to experience pain so we could understand compassion, to know regret so we could nurture forgiveness. Our families educated us. What we do with what we learned determines where we go now.

Every day I am embarking on an adventure. What I do with my experiences today can be a positive reaction to what I learned from the past.

© 1994 by Hazelden Foundation 
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THE EYE OPENER #essentialsofrecovery


Criticism is often the sincerest form of flattery. We are all subject to it at times if we do anything at all. When criticism does arise, and before you build up a first rate resentment, think first—who is it that criticizes? What is the motive behind it? Is it constructive or just plain antagonistic? Is it prompted by jealousy or ignorance? Would you do the same thing again if you had it to do over? What does your conscience say about it?

No great man escaped having enemies; all the old masters had critics; all political and social reforms had their adversaries and the early disciples of all new religions were persecuted, stoned and crucified.

If you are criticized you may possibly be right, but if you are ignored you know you are wrong.

Published by Hazelden
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Daily TAO / 54 – Adversity #essentialsofrecovery


A tree hemmed in by giants
Requires tenacity to survive.

Times of adversity inevitably confront us all. We are denied influence, people will not listen to what we have to say, and we are restricted by circumstance. In this situation, followers of Tao must rely on their determination. Without that, they cannot emerge successfully from the danger.

During times of adversity, vision and determination decide the outcome. Mere doggedness never served anyone well. Observe carefully, and try to act. If you find yourself tested by the situation, take comfort in the fact that adversity frequently forces one to consolidate one’s resources. You can often emerge from adversity stronger than before. Don’t be overcome by fear. Take calculated risks if you must, or face danger if you have to. If your mind is focused to the utmost, you will triumph.

Without the difficulty of being hemmed in, the tree in the forest would not be forced to marshal its power to grow toward the light. It must truly bring forth all its inner strength to spread its branches. If it becomes grand, it is in part because of its suffering. Thus the times of adversity can be crucial to the development of one’s inner personality.
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Daily Zen

Half the spiritual life consists in remembering what we are up against and where we are going.

-Ayya Khema, "When the Iron Eagle Flies"
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