Monday, 6 December 2021

DAILY REFLECTIONS #essentialsofrecovery

WHEN THE CHIPS ARE DOWN

When we developed still more, we discovered the best possible source of emotional stability to be God Himself. We found that dependence upon His perfect justice, forgiveness, and love was healthy, and that it would work where nothing else would. If we really depended upon God, we couldn’t very well play God to our fellows nor would we feel the urge wholly to rely on human protection and care.

~ TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 116 

It has been my experience that, when all human resources appear to have failed, there is always One who will never desert me. Moreover, He is always there to share my joy, to steer me down the right path, and to confide in when no one else will do. While my well-being and happiness can be added to, or diminished, by human efforts, only God can provide the loving nourishment upon which I depend for my daily spiritual health.

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


Understanding Humility


“Humility is a result of getting honest with ourselves.”

~ Basic Text p. 35

Humility was an idea so foreign to most of us that we ignored it as long as we could. When we first saw the word “humbly” ahead in Step Seven, we may have figured it meant we had quite a bit of humiliation in store. Perhaps we chose to look it up in the dictionary, only to become even more confused by the definition. We didn’t understand how “lowliness and subservience” applied to recovery.

To be humble does not mean we are the lowest form of life. On the contrary, becoming humble means we attain a realistic view of ourselves and where we fit in the world. We grow into a state of awareness founded on our acceptance of all aspects of ourselves. We neither deny our good qualities nor overemphasize our defects. We honestly accept who we are.

No one of us will ever attain a state of perfect humility. But we can certainly strive to honestly admit our faults, accept our assets, and rely on our Higher Power as a source of strength. Humility doesn’t mean we have to crawl life’s path on our hands and knees; it just means we must admit we cannot recover on our own. We need each other and, above all, we need the power of a loving God.

Just for today: To be humble, I will honestly accept all facets of myself, seeing my true place in the world. For the strength I need to fill that place, I will rely on the God of my understanding.


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

A.A. Thought for the Day

People who have had a slip are ashamed of themselves—sometimes so ashamed that they fear to go back to A A. They develop the old inferiority complex and tell themselves that they are no good, that they have let down their friends in AA., that they are hopeless, and that they can never make it. This state of mind is perhaps worse than it was originally. They have probably been somewhat weakened by their slip. But their A.A. training cannot ever be entirely lost. They always know they can go back if they want to. They know there is still God’s help for them if they will again ask for it. Do I believe that I can never entirely lose what I have learned in A.A?

Meditation for the Day


Nobody entirely escapes temptation. You must expect it and be ready for it when it comes. None of us is entirely safe. You must try to keep your defenses up by daily thought and prayer. That is why we have these daily meditations. You must be able to recognize temptation when it comes. The first step toward conquering temptation always is to see it clearly as temptation and not to harbor it in your mind. Dissociate yourself from it, put it out of your mind as soon as it appears. Do not think of excuses for yielding to it. Turn at once to the Higher Power for help.

Prayer for the Day

I pray that I may be prepared for whatever temptation may come to me. I pray that I may see it clearly and avoid it with the help of God.   
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As Bill Sees It

The Way Of Strength, p. 129

We need not apologize to anyone for depending upon the Creator. We have good reason to disbelieve those who think spirituality is the way of weakness. For us, it is the way of strength.

The verdict of the ages is that men of faith seldom lack courage. They trust their God. So we never apologize for our belief in Him. Instead, we try to let Him demonstrate, through us, what He can do.

Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 68  
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Walk In Dry Places

Alcoholism: Disease or Bad Habit?
Understanding my problem.


While AA has always considered alcoholism a disease, controversy still simmers over its definition. In the past, alcoholism has been considered a sin, a sickness, or just a very bad habit. More recently, there has been a suggestion that some “problem drinkers” might not be alcoholics at all and can very possibly bring their drinking under control.

This controversy will undoubtedly continue, but it is important that recovering people understand the NATURE of alcoholism. It is deadly, it is compulsive, and it is progressive. While there are occasional reports of alcoholics who claim to have become controlled drinkers, few of us have any firsthand evidence of such changes. Much more often, we hear stories of alcoholics who try to drink again, only to find themselves headed down a rocky road.

It is not necessary that we define alcoholism perfectly or precisely. What’s more important is that we remember we’re powerless over alcohol and cannot safely pick up a drink. No definition will change that reality for an alcoholic who has had an unmanageable life.

I’m fortunate AA gave me an understanding of my problem that I can live with—one that will help me continue living. Others can worry about defining alcoholism. I’ll focus on staying sober myself.  
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KEEP IT SIMPLE #essentialsofrecovery

The strongest of all warriors are these two—Time and Patience.

~ Leo Tolstay 


One of the first things we learn about in recovery is time. Before, we may have tried to control time by Pushing it along. We tried to hurry everything and everybody. We wanted our “quick fix.” But the program tells us to slow down. Easy Does It.

We probably couldn’t picture ourselves staying sober for the rest of our life. So we were told to just work at staying sober today. We learned to work our program One Day at a Time. We were thought that time can be our friend. Times is our Higher Power’s way of not having everything happen at once.

Prayer for the Day:


Higher Power, you are my teacher. You are in charge of the lesson. Help me accept this. Teach me how to use my time wisely.

Action for the Day:


Today, I’ll list five ways I use my time in ways that aren’t helpful to me. I’ll work at making time my friend.

Copyright © 1988 by Hazelden Foundation   
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FR.LEO'S DAILY MEDITATION #essentialofrecovery

FAILURE

“There are two kinds off failures: those who thought and never did, and those who did and never thought.”

~ Laurence J. Peter 

In my own life, I know I am guilty of both these failures. I remember making sandcastles in the air without realizing I could build one in my life. I would see somebody I wanted to talk with and imagine a conversation, rather than going over and risking possible rejection.

Today I am able to risk. I am now the possessor of a thousand memories that actually happened.

I am also aware of how thoughtless I was in my addiction. I would react rather than respond, creating hostility as a wall to keep people out. Today I am able to think through a problem and apologize when I am wrong.

God, help me accept the richness of life on life’s terms. 

© 2008 Leo Booth   
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A DAY AT A TIME #essentialsofrecovery

Reflection for the Day

When I finally convince myself to let go of a problem that’s been tearing me apart—when I take the action to set aside my will and let God handle the problem—my torment subsides immediately. If I continue to stay out of my own way, then solutions begin to unfold and reveal themselves. More and more, I’m coming to accept the limitations of my human understanding and power. More and more, I’m learning to let go and trust my Higher Power for the answers and the help. Do I keep in the forefront of my mind the fact that only God is all-wise and all-powerful?

Today I Pray

If I come across a stumbling-block, may I learn to step out of the way and let God remove it. May I realize my human limitations at problem-solving, since I can never begin to predict God’s solutions until I see them happening. May I know that whatever answer I come to, God may have a better one.

Today I Will Remember


God has a better answer. 

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

FORGIVENESS

We realized that the people who wronged us were spiritually sick.
When a person offended we said to ourselves,
“This is a sick man. How can I be helpful to him?
God save me from being angry. Thy will be done.”


~ Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous

This has been one of the most important paragraphs for me in recovery. I have used it for any type of hurt I have in reaction to another person. Besides my asking God to save me from anger, I ask God to heal all feelings I have toward that person that block me from having a closer relationship with the God of my understanding. For me, this has meant I have had to learn to forgive everyone who my thinking told me had injured me in some way. I was unable to do this no matter how hard I tried. I prayed to the God of my understanding to teach me how to forgive those others and to work with my heart to create that forgiveness. It involved a long process of discovering my part and the other’s part; separating acts from people.

Once I had done this work and knew in my heart that God had given me the miracle to forgive these people, an interesting thing happened. During Step Four and Five work, my sponsor told me I also had to forgive myself. I discovered, by going through this process, that working through the anger and pain, I ended up also having forgiven myself. For me, it wasn’t enough to tell another person all my Fourth Step. I had to feel the feelings in my heart and give them to God to heal. Then, after I truly forgave others I could forgive myself. I wasn’t able to forgive myself until I gave it away to others.

One Day at a Time . . .

I will remember that God will help me in anything I ask, the answer just may be different than I expected. When the miracle occurs I will be able to see God’s hand in it.

~ Judy A. ~   
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ELDER'S MEDITATION OF THE DAY #essentialsofrecovery

“And that, I guess, is what it all boils down to-do the right thing, everything goes fine; do the wrong thing, everything’s a mess.”

~ Robert Spott, YUROK 

The Elders say every person is born with free will and every person has a specific purpose to accomplish during their life time. When our life is relatively free from obstacles we are walking the path of God’s will. If our life is full of obstacles, we are not doing the will of God. Often, the Great Spirit guides us through a system of coincidences. We need to pay attention to coincidences. If we are aware of these, we often can recognize the path which God is showing us. We need to pray and ask Him to show us the path in terms we can understand.
Oh, Great Mystery, let me recognize the coincidences.   
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Today's Gift


Hatred is never anything but fear – if you feared no one, you would hate no one.

— Hugh Downs

On those occasions when we find the bigger person within, we are more generous in spirit toward others. But sometimes we think too much about what is wrong with others and how they ought to change. That is a form of hate. If we are searching for what we have power to change in our families, in our friendships, in the world, we can learn to be big enough to set aside our fears.

Do we bear ill will toward someone today? When we are honest with ourselves, do we feel a sense of fear in relation to this person? What are we really afraid of? Perhaps the same person fears us. When we can do something about our fear, the hatred melts with no further effort. Then we are in touch with the bigger person within.

I have the inner strength to face my fears today. I will not send them outward as hatred.

From the book:


                                                         Touchstones by Anonymous  
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Daily Tao

Context. Connection. Engagement.
If we understand these words,
We do not need esoteric terms.



We can say that Tao is the context for everything, but we must go deeper than that.

All things are relative to their surroundings and to us. Strictly speaking, something that is one way to us will be another way to someone else. It might be very subtle, but there will be differences worth considering.

What do we do with this understanding? First, we have to reconsider that all things are connected. Although the angles of relationships shift and differ for each of us, we must be aware of the actual connections and even take advantage of them.

Secondly, we have to understand that relationships are transitory. We must have constant awareness to fit ourselves into the changing constellations of life.

Thirdly, we have to understand the value of our own point of view. Out of this mass of changing concordances, we must pick out the coordinates by which we act at any given moment.

We should take comfort in this situation. As long as we engage life fully, we need not fear being separated from the essential current of life.   
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