Tuesday, 31 January 2023

Set Aside Prayer


“God, please set aside everything I think I know about myself, the twelve steps, this book, the meetings, my disease, and you, God, so I may have an open mind and a new experience with all these things, please let me see the truth.”

Although the set aside prayer that we use is not found as we say it in the Big Book of “Alcoholics Anonymous” here are some references to it:

Pg. 42-Paragraph 3

“It meant I would have to throw several lifelong conceptions out of the window.”

Pg. 46-Paragraph 2

“We found that as soon as we were able to lay aside prejudice and express even a willingness to believe in a power greater than ourselves, we commenced to get results, even though it was impossible for any of us to fully define or comprehend that power, which is God.”

Pg. 47-Paragraph 1

“Do not let any prejudice you may have against spiritual terms deter you from honestly asking yourself what they mean to you.”

Pg. 48-Paragraph 1

“Besides a seeming inability to accept much on faith, we often found ourselves handicapped by obstinacy, sensitiveness, and unreasoning prejudice.” “It finally beat us into a state of reasonableness. Sometimes this was a tedious process: we hope no one else will be prejudiced for as long as some of us were.”

Pg. 49-Paragraph 3

“We, who have traveled this dubious path, beg you to lay aside prejudice, even against organized religion.”

Pg. 58-Paragraph 3

“Some of us have tried to hold on to our old ideas and the result was nil until we let go absolutely.”

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Daily Dose OF Emmet Fox

THE LORD’S PRAYER

The Lord’s Prayer is the most important of all the Christian documents. Everyone who is seeking to follow along the Way that Jesus led, should pray the Lord’s prayer intelligently every day.

The Great Prayer is a compact formula for the development of the soul. It is designed with the utmost care for the specific purpose; so that those who use it regularly, with understanding, will experience a real change of soul. It is the change of soul that matters. The mere acquisition of fresh knowledge received intellectually makes no change in the soul.

The first thing that we notice is that the Prayer naturally falls into seven clauses. This is very characteristic of the Oriental tradition. Seven symbolizes individual completeness, the perfection of the soul, just as the number twelve in the same convention stands for corporate completeness. The seven clauses are put together with the utmost care, in perfect order and sequence, and they contain everything that is necessary for the nourishment of the soul. The more one analyzes the Lord’s Prayer, the more wonderful its construction is seen to be.

After that manner therefore pray ye . . . (Matthew 6:9)

© 1931 by Emmet Fox
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Daily Reflections #essentialsofrecovery


OUR COMMON WELFARE COMES FIRST



The unity of Alcoholics Anonymous is the most cherished quality our Society has. . . . We stay whole, or A.A. dies.

TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 129

Our Traditions are key elements in the ego deflation process necessary to achieve and maintain sobriety in Alcoholics Anonymous. The First Tradition reminds me not to take credit, or authority, for my recovery. Placing our common welfare first reminds me not to become a healer in this program; I am still one of the patients. Self-effacing elders built the ward.

Without it, I doubt I would be alive. Without the group, few alcoholics would recover. The active role in renewed surrender of will enables me to step aside from the need to dominate, the desire for recognition, both of which played so great a part in my active alcoholism. Deferring my personal desires for the greater good of group growth contributes toward A.A. unity that is central to all recovery. It helps me to remember that the whole is greater than the sum of all its parts.
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Just For Today #essentialsofrecovery

Trust

“Just for today I will have faith in someone in NA who believes in me and wants to help me in my recovery.”

—Basic Text p. 90

Learning to trust is a risky proposition. Our past experience as using addicts has taught us that our companions could not be trusted. Most of all, we couldn’t trust ourselves.

Now that we’re in recovery, trust is essential. We need something to hang onto, believe in, and give us hope in our recovery. For some of us, the first thing we can trust is the words of other members sharing in meetings; we feel the truth in their words.

Finding someone we can trust makes it easier to ask for help. And as we grow to trust in their recovery, we learn to trust our own.

Just for today: I will decide to trust someone. I will act on that trust.
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Twenty-Four Hours A Day #essentialsofrecovery

A.A. Thought For The Day

Drinking cuts you off from God. No matter how you were brought up, no matter what your religion is, no matter if you say you believe in God, nevertheless you build up a wall between you and God by your drinking. You know you’re not living the way God wants you to. As a result, you have that terrible remorse. When you come into A.A., you begin to get right with other people and with God. A sober life is a happy life, because by giving up drinking we’ve got rid of our loneliness and remorse. Do I have real fellowship with other people and with God?

Meditation For The Day
I believe that all sacrifice and all suffering is of value to me. When I am in pain, I am being tested. Can I trust God, no matter how I feel? Can I say Thy will be done, no matter how much I am defeated? If I can, my faith is real and practical. It works in bad times as well as in good times. The Divine Will is working in a way that is beyond my finite mind to understand, but I can still trust in it.

Prayer For The Day
I pray that I may take my suffering in my stride. I pray that I may accept pain and defeat as part of God’s plan for my spiritual growth.
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As Bill Sees It #essentialsofrecovery

In God’s Economy, p. 31

“In God’s economy, nothing is wasted. through failure, we learn a lesson in humility which is probably needed, painful though it is.”

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

We did not always come closer to wisdom by reason of our virtues; our better understanding is often rooted in the pains of our former follies. Because this has been the essence of our individual experience, it is also the essence of our experience as a fellowship.

1. Letter, 1942

2. Grapevine, November 1961
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Walk In Dry Places #essentialsofrecovery

Open-mindedness Means Growth
Facing Change


While open-mindedness is supposedly virtuous, many of us have difficulty with it. In our drinking, we continued to suffer because we were unwilling to believe that anything could relieve us of our condition. We also feared that change would diminish us.

Our great liberation came in opening up our minds to new ideas. This same process might be needed to sober living. We may have an investment in old attitudes and ideas that are keeping us from constructive growth. Without giving up our attitudes immediately, we can at least give new ideas hones consideration and study.

True open-mindedness does not mean empty-mindedness. We still can have strong convictions, consistent values, and definite opinions. But in the spirit of open-mindedness, we should continuously reexamine our views and adopt new ideas for improvement and growth.

Open-mindedness helped bring us to sobriety. It can also open the doors to other blessings that will bring enrichment and happiness.

I will be open-minded and curious today. New ideas can bring wonderful benefits to me if I am willing to consider them.
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Keep It Simple #essentialsofrecovery


“Do not cut down the tree that gives you shade.”

—Arabian proverb

We need to remember what got us well. The Twelve Steps heal us. The meetings we attend heal us.

Reading and listening to program tapes heals us. Talking with our sponsors heals us. The time we spend with program friends heals us. Sometimes we’re pressed for time. As a result, we have to make choices about how to use our time. We may think we know enough about the program. We may feel like cutting down on meetings. These are danger signs. We only know how to stay sober One Day at a Time: by working the Steps. Let’s not forget them as we grow in this program. It may seem like we’ve been recovering a long time, but we’re all beginners.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, I’ve found You in the program. Help me find ways to stay a “beginner” in the program.

Action for the Day: Today, I’ll take time to read the Twelve Steps. I’ll meditate on how much these Steps have given me.
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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation #essentialsofrecovery

WAR


“We have the power to make this the best generation of mankind in the history of the world — or to make it the last.”

— John F. Kennedy
War is tragic because it always destroys; it kills creation itself. People, buildings, relationships, trust, hope, culture, history, youth — they all disappear behind a puff of smoke. The immensity of war is such that it cannot be fully comprehended. Only isolated aspects can be understood: a child is maimed, a treaty is broken, a race is blamed, bullets are heard and a history that existed within a human life is ended in silence.

Addiction is a kind of war — a silent war that exists within an individual and family. People, trust, buildings, hope, culture, history and youth disappear behind a glass or a pill. Creation is attacked from the inside; God is forgotten in an act of destructive selfishness.

Teach me to make peace in my life. 
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A Day At A Time #essentialsofrecovery

Reflection For The Day

One of the most constructive things I can do is to learn to listen to myself and get in touch with my true feelings. For years, I tuned myself out, going along, instead, with what others felt and said. Even today, it sometimes seem that they have it all together, while I’m still stumbling about. Thankfully, I’m beginning to understand that people-leasing takes many forms. Slowly but steadily, I’ve also begun to realize that it’s possible for me to change my old patterns. Will I encourage myself to tune in to the real me? Will I listen carefully to my own inner voice with the expectation that I’ll hear some wonderful things?

Today I Pray

I pray that I may respect myself enough to listen to my real feelings, those emotions which for so long I refused to hear or name or own, which festered in me like a poison. May I know that I need to stop often, look at my feelings, listen to the inner me.

Today I Will Remember

I will own my feelings.
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One Day At A Time #essentialsofrecovery

~ TOMORROW ~


Do not be anxious for tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself.

–The Bible, book of Matthew

I’ve spent too much of my life worrying about the future. This was especially true with every diet I was ever on. I was always concerned about how much weight I was going to be able to lose in a certain amount of time. I always thought about tomorrow and what tomorrow would bring instead of staying in the present.

Today, my Higher Power is teaching me to keep my eyes on Him instead of on the calendar. I am more successful and more at peace when I remain in the present and follow my Higher Power’s will.

One day at a time . . .
I will keep my thoughts in the present, for my Higher Power will take care of tomorrow.

Gina 
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Elder’s Meditation of the Day #essentialsofrecovery

“In sharing, in loving all and everything, one people naturally found a due portion of the thing they sought, while in fearing, the other found need of conquest.”

–Chief Luther Standing Bear, SIOUX

There are two systems of thought that are available for us to choose from. One is the love-thought system and the other is the fear- thought system. If we choose love, we will see the laws, principles and values of the Creator. If we choose fear, the results will be so paralyzing that it will cause us to take over and not rely on the Great Spirit. The fear-thought system will automatically cause attack, conflict, need to control over others. The love-thought system seeks peace of mind, unity and causes us to be love seekers.

Great Spirit, today let me see only love.
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Today’s Gift #essentialsofrecovery



Perfection is expressing God’s will enthusiastically.

Sponsors tell us that this is a simple program we are prone to complicate. Reflecting on our lives, we probably would agree. Because we doubt that God will tell us how to handle the circumstances facing us, we aggressively move ahead, making decisions that are often not in sync with God’s will and certainly not in our long-term best interests. We complicate our lives unnecessarily.

Before we came into the Twelve Step program, most of us wanted to be perfect. We worked hard and oftentimes were overachievers because we needed the praises of others. Sadly, because we too often relied solely on ourselves, we missed the mark. Now we are learning to let God direct us. Each time we fulfill God’s will, we’ll experience the perfection and the praises we’d sought for so long. This is a much simpler way to live.

Today I will use the Third Step every time I have a question about my life.



From the book:



A Life of My Own by Karen Casey. © 1993 by Hazelden Foundation
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Today’s Gift #essentialsofrecovery


Thou shalt not should thyself.

—-Anonymous

When someone tells us we should do something, do we want to do it, or do we feel mad that someone else is telling us what we want to do? Sometimes we forget that these messages are not our own, but are the desires of others. It’s important to listen to what we tell ourselves, to be aware of which messages we’re giving ourselves and which come from others. We can make a list of all our shoulds and identify where they came from: parent, boss, friend, self. Then we can decide which shoulds are want to’s, and throw out the rest. Doing what we want to is very different from doing what we should, and we can usually do a better job of it.

Have I freed myself of shoulds today? 
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Daily Tao / 031 - ORIENTATION #essentialsofrecovery


Planets orbit the sun.

Forms orbit the mind.


Most of us embody disparate aspects in our personalities; these are our forms, the way we take shape. If we aren't careful, we can become confused by such complexity. We should not deny any part of ourselves. We should arrange them. All elements are valid -- they must simply be placed in the right context.

Those who follow Tao understand that a diverse personality is problematic only if some aspects dominate to the exclusion of the others. This is unbalanced. If there is constant alteration between all aspects, then equilibrium is possible. Like the planets, feelings, instincts, and emotions must be kept in a constantly rotating order. Then all things have their place and the problems of excess are avoided.

Just as the sun is at the center of our solar system, so too must the mind of wisdom be the center of our diverse personalities. If our minds are strong, then the various parts of our lives will be held firmly to their proper courses, and there will be no chance of deviation.
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The Eye Opener #essentialsofrecovery


Nothing great was ever achieved without overcoming great obstacles, and no hero of history deserves more acclaim than those who were triumphant over self. But do not let us swell up too much with pride. If we are honest, we know that with our character-weakened souls, with our “fogbound” brains, we could accomplish nothing of ourselves. It was only when we, in our desperate surrender, threw our lives and our wills into His keeping that He, in His mercy, removed the obstacle. Unknown, even to ourselves, there must have slept in us that Faith of a mustard seed, that can remove mountains.

Copyright Hazelden Foundation 
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Daily TAO / 031 - ORIENTATION #essentialsofrecovery



Planets orbit the sun.
Forms orbit the mind.

Most of us embody disparate aspects in our personalities; these are our forms, the way we take shape. If we aren’t careful, we can become confused by such complexity. We should not deny any part of ourselves. We should arrange them. All elements are valid — they must simply be placed in the right context.

Those who follow Tao understand that a diverse personality is problematic only if some aspects dominate to the exclusion of the others. This is unbalanced. If there is constant alteration between all aspects, then equilibrium is possible. Like the planets, feelings, instincts, and emotions must be kept in a constantly rotating order. Then all things have their place and the problems of excess are avoided.

Just as the sun is at the center of our solar system, so too must the mind of wisdom be the center of our diverse personalities. If our minds are strong, then the various parts of our lives will be held firmly to their proper courses, and there will be no chance of deviation.
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Daily Zen #essentialsofrecovery

“Who would then deny that when I am sipping tea in my tearoom I am swallowing the whole universe with it and that this very moment of my lifting the bowl to my lips is eternity itself transcending time and space?” 

― D.T. SuzukiZen and Japanese Culture  
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