Monday, 18 November 2019

DAILY REFLECTIONS


A SAFETY NET


Occasionally . . . We are seized with a rebellion so sickening that we simply won’t pray. When these things happen we should not think too ill of ourselves. We should simply resume prayer as soon as we can, doing what we know to be good for us.

~ TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 105 

Sometimes I scream, stomp my feet, and turn my back on my Higher Power. Then my disease tells me that I am a failure, and that if I stay angry I’ll surely get drunk. In those moments of self-will it’s as if I’ve slipped over a cliff and am hanging by one hand. The above passage is my safety net, in that it urges me to try some new behavior, such as being kind and patient with myself. It assures me that my Higher Power will wait until I am willing once again to risk letting go, to land in the net, and to pray.

Copyright © 1990 by Alcoholics Anonymous World Services Inc  
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TWENTY-FOUR HOURS A DAY


A.A. Thought for the Day


I have gotten over my procrastination. I was always putting things off till tomorrow and as a result they never got done. “There is always another day” was my motto instead of “Do it now.” Under the influence of alcohol, I had grandiose plans. When I was sober I was too busy getting over my drunk to start anything. “Someday I’ll do that”—but I never did it. In A.A. I have learned that it’s better to make a mistake once in a while than to never do anything at all. We learn by trial and error. But we must act now and not put it off until tomorrow. Have I learned to doit now?

Meditation for the Day

“Do not hide your light under a bushel. Arise and shine, for the light has come and the glory of the Lord is risen in thee.” The glory of the Lord shines in the beauty of your character. It is risen in you, even though you can realize it only in part. “Now you see as in a glass darkly, but later you will see face to face.” The glory of the Lord is too dazzling for mortals to see fully on earth. But some of this glory is risen in you when you try to reflect that light in your life.

Prayer for the Day

I pray that I may try to be a reflection of the Divine Light. I pray that some of its rays may shine in my life

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

Easy Does It — but Do It

Procrastination is really sloth in five syllable.


*********************************************

“My observation is that some people can get by with a certain amount of postponement, but few can live with outright rebellion.”

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

“We have succeeded in confronting many a problem drinker with that awful alternative, `This we A.A.’s do, or we die.’ Once this much is firmly in his mind, more drinking only turns the coil tighter.

“As many an alcoholic has said, `I came to the place where it was either into A.A. or out the window. So here I am!'”

~ 1. TWELVE AND TWELVE, P. 67
~ 2. LETTER, 1952
~ 3. LETTER, 1950

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


THE OLD FRIENDS WHO DROPPED US

Personal Relations


As our drinking progressed, most of us lost old friends. Sometimes it was our behavior that drove them away; at other times, it was because they didn’t want to associate with “losers.”

In sobriety, some of our old friendships have been restored. These are the real friendships based on trust and true affection.

But sobriety can also give us a deeper and finer understanding of friendships. We may acquire a new set of values on this subject. We may find that some of those whom we considered friends were only fair-weather drinking acquaintances.

Drinking acquaintances will probably ease away from us if we really mean business in staying sober. This need not bother us if we’re thinking rightly.

The great news in all of this is that in the fellowship, we’ll be making some of the best friends we can ever have. We’ll also learn how to be great friends with ourselves.

In my thinking about friendship today, I’ll seek people I trust and like, not people I can use.

© 1996 by Hazelden Foundation  
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KEEP IT SIMPLE #essentialsofrecovery


Life is short: live it up.

~ Nikita Khrushchev 

We won’t stay sober long unless it’s more fun than using chemicals. The truth is, using chemicals wasn’t fun anymore. It was work. We just told ourselves it was still fun.

So live it up! Try new things. Meet new friends. Try new foods. Taking risks and having adventures are a basic human need. So go for it. Sobriety is fun. Living a spiritual life is fun. Get out there and live!

Prayer for the day:

Higher Power, teach me to play. Teach me to have fun. Teach me to live!

Action for the day:

Today is for fun. I’ll try something new. I’ll see how many people I can get to smile. And I’ll celebrate the fact that I’m sober.

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

STRENGTH

“All cruelty springs from weakness.”

~ A Seneca Saying 

Spiritual recovery means I must confront my disease and remember the sick attitudes and behavior patterns. Sometimes, I would rather not talk about my disease for it can be embarrassing and shameful, particularly the cruelty I demonstrated. Alcoholism made me lash out at the weak. My own weakness inflicted pain and cruelty on others.

Today I remember this only to rejoice in the strength that allows me vulnerability. My past weaknesses made me act as if I were strong. Now my strength allows me to be weak in a way that is healthy.

I get my ego out of the way and open my heart to love. I know my strength is God ordained and shows up in myriad ways.

God, the recognition of my past cruelties enables me to forgive and understand others. 

© 2008 Leo Booth 
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A DAY AT A TIME #essentialsofrecovery

Reflection for the Day

“Nothing is enough to the man for whom enough is too little,” wrote the Greek philosopher Epicurus. Now that we’re free from addiction, rebuilding our self-respect and winning back the esteem of family and friends, we have to avoid becoming smug about our new-found success. For most of us, success has always been a heady brew; even in our new life, it’s still possible to fall into the dangerous trap of “big-shot- itis.” As insurance, we ought to remember that we’re free today only by the grace of God. Will I remember that any success I may be having is far more His success than mine?

Today I Pray

May I keep a constant string-on-the-finger reminder that I have found freedom through the grace of God—just so I don’t let my pride try to convince me I did it all myself. May I learn to cope with success by ascribing it to a Higher Power, not to my own questionable superiority.

Today I Will Remember

Learn to deal with success.

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

HONESTY

You never find yourself until you face the truth.

~ Pearl Bailey 

I was brought up to be scrupulously honest, or so I thought. I still remember how my father would go back into a shop if he’d been given too much change, a practice that I adopted too. I found it hard to tell a lie, even a white lie, and I would never contemplate cheating on a test. But when it came to food, I only realized later, I was totally dishonest. I was even dishonest when it came to telling people how I felt, or for that matter who I really was. The person who did these things was a totally different person to the upright person I liked people to see.

I know now that all the things I’d hidden around food were obviously what I felt ashamed about. I wanted people to see only the “good” side of me and not the person who did all these devious things in secret. I kept thinking that I was a bad person and the shame stopped me from being totally honest about what I had been doing.

It has taken time, and the love and acceptance I have found in the fellowship, to be able to get totally honest with myself. It has taken time to look at all the things about me that I felt ashamed of. In the housecleaning necessary in the Steps, I have been able to face my shame. I learned that I am human, and that I have a disease. Some of the soul searching has been very painful, but at the same time it has been totally enlightening. I am amazed how I am beginning to know a new me, with faults and all, but a loveable me nevertheless. As I peel off more layers of the onion that represents the sum total of what makes me unique and truly one of God’s creatures, I am actually beginning to like the new me. I know now that I am not a bad person trying to get good, merely a sick person trying to get well.

One Day at a Time . . . 
I will keep being honest about who I am, what I eat and how I am behaving in my relationships, so I can learn more about me. Even when I don’t like what I see, I know I am still a loveable person and a child of God, created in His image.

~ Sharon S.  
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ELDER'S MEDITATION OF THE DAY #essentialsofrecovery


“Power is not manifested in the human being. True power is in the Creator.”

~ Oren Lyons, ONONDAGA ~

The Old Ones say the only true power is spiritual power. Sometimes our egos tell us we have power but really we don’t. Great Spirit power is called by other names such as love, forgiveness, intelligence, life, principles and laws. When the Creator uses this power to make the human being powerful, we must stay humble. We should constantly acknowledge that we are who we are. We do what we do because of the power of the Great One.

Great One, guide me to use Your power well. I will use it only to serve the people. 
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Today's Gift



Making prompt amends is the fresh air of each new day.


— Sandra Little

Today brings us a new hill to climb and a new view from the top. Taking time to reflect about our daily journeys is a challenging adventure in self-discovery. Looking down, we see our past trials and difficulties as lessons to learn from. Letting go of old baggage as we end our day will give us a bright window to open onto tomorrow.

Completing a daily inventory creates a good foundation for living peacefully. Honestly acknowledging the things we have done or said to hurt ourselves or others enables us to say, “I’m sorry” and to begin each day with a clean slate and a peaceful heart. As we empty ourselves of regret by making amends to ourselves and others, we make room for the love and comfort of our Higher Power.

Today help me take inventory and make amends where I need to.

From the book:

                                                                 
                                              Body, Mind, and Spirit by Anonymous 
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The Eye Opener #essentialsofrecovery


Money is a medium of exchange and is as good as the things you can get with it.

If you have enough money in your pocket when you fall overboard it can drown you.

Love of money can make you the most despised of men, but love of mankind can make your money a blessing to you and to them.

Copyright Hazelden Foundation  
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Daily Tao / 322 – Decadence #essentialsofrecovery

Powdered concubine dressed in rich silks —
Feet bound, body soft, lips slack —
Views lotuses through binoculars.
A dragonfly alights on her motionless fan.


How do you know when your own life verges on decadence?

Certainly when the force of form becomes more important that the force of substance. When etiquette and morals become more important that understanding and righteousness. When procedure becomes more important than creativity. When gratifying your lust becomes more important than giving to others. When patriotism becomes more important than measured governing and enlightened treatment of other nations. When the act of eating becomes more important than considerations of nutrition. When the opera becomes more important than helping the poor and homeless. When one’s own comfort becomes more important than the suffering of loves ones. When ambition becomes more important than benevolence. When prestige becomes more important than charity. When the academy becomes more important than the streets. When loud expression becomes more important than listening to others. When outrageousness becomes more important than communication. When connoisseurship becomes more important than simple acts. When style becomes more important than function. When books become more important than teachers. When expediency becomes more important than the elderly.

When you smell these things happening, you are not far from decadence. 
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Daily Zen

Intention is the core of all conscious life. It is our intentions that create karma, our intentions that help others, our intentions that lead us away from the delusions of individuality toward the immutable verities of enlightened awareness. Conscious intention colors and moves everything.

-Master Hsing Yun, "Describing the Indescribable"  
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Daily Zen #essentialsofrecovery

Let me tell you about the middle path. Dressing in rough and dirty garments, letting your hair grow matted, abstaining from eating any meat or fish, does not cleanse the one who is deluded. Mortifying the flesh through excessive hardship does not lead to a triumph over the senses. All self-inflicted suffering is useless as long as the feeling of self is dominant.

You should lose your involvement with yourself and then eat and drink naturally, according to the needs of your body. Attachment to your appetites--whether you deprive or indulge them--can lead to slavery, but satisfying the needs of daily life is not wrong. Indeed, to keep a body in good health is a duty, for otherwise the mind will not stay strong and clear.

This is the middle path.

-Discourse II

From "The Pocket Buddha Reader," edited by Anne Bancroft, 2000. Reprinted by arrangement with Shambhala Publications, Boston 
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Sunday, 17 November 2019

Bill Meets Dr. Bob - Writing the Big Book


Daily Dose OF Emmet Fox

NO OFFICE HOURS

God has no office hours. There is never a time when God is unavailable. Day or night, summer or winter, God is always present; always ready to heal, to comfort, to inspire. It is not possible that you could turn to God in prayer without receiving help.

The one thing required of you is that you shall turn to Him wholeheartedly, and that you shall expect Him to act. The greater the emergency, the easier will it be to demonstrate. The most powerful of all prayers is simply “Be still, and know that I am God.”

For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him (2 Chronicles 16:9). 


© 1931 by Emmet Fox  
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DAILY REFLECTIONS

OVERCOMING LONELINESS

Almost without exception, alcoholics are tortured by loneliness Even before our drinking got bad and people began to cut us off, nearly all of us suffered the feeling that we didn’t quite belong.

~ AS BILL SEES IT, p. 90 

The agonies and the void that I often felt inside occur less and less frequently in my life today. I have learned to cope with solitude. It is only when I am alone and calm that I am able to communicate with God, for He cannot reach me when I am in turmoil. It is good to maintain contact with God at all times, but it is absolutely essential that, when everything seems to go wrong, I maintain that contact through prayer and meditation.

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

Walking Through the Pain

“We never have to use again, no matter how we feel. All feelings will eventually pass.”

~ Basic Text p. 79 

It hurts like never before. You get out of bed after a sleepless night, talk to God, and still don’t feel any better. “It will pass;” a little voice tells you. “When?” you wonder, as you pace and mutter and get on with your day.

You sob in your car and turn the radio all the way up so you can’t hear your own thoughts. But you go straight to work, and don’t even think about using drugs.

Your insides feel as though they’ve been torched. Just when the pain becomes unbearable, you go numb and silent. You go to a meeting and wish you were as happy as other members seem to be. But you don’t relapse.

You cry some more and call your sponsor. You drive to a friend’s house and don’t even notice the beautiful scenery because your inner landscape is so bleak. You may not feel any better after visiting your friend-but at least you didn’t visit the connection instead.

You listen to a Fifth Step. You share at a meeting. You look at the calendar and realize you've gotten through another day clean.

Then one day you wake up, look outside, and realize it’s a beautiful day. The sun is shining. The sky is blue. You take a deep breath, smile again, and know that it really does pass.

Just for today: No matter how I feel today, I’ll go on with my recovery.

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

A.A. Thought for the Day

Everyone has two personalities, a good and a bad. We are all dual personalities to some extent. When we were drinking, the bad personality was in control. We did things when we were drunk that we would never do when we were sober. When we sober up, we are different people. Then we wonder how we could have done the things we did. But we drink again, and again our bad side comes out. So we are back and forth, always in conflict with our other selves, always in a stew. This division of our selves is not good; we must somehow become unified. We do this by giving ourselves wholeheartedly to A.A. and to sobriety. Have I become unified?

Meditation for the Day

“Well done, thou good and faithful servant. Enter into the joy of Thy Lord.” These words are for many ordinary people whom the world may pass by, unrecognizing. Not to the world-famed, the proud, the wealthy, are these words spoken, but to the quiet followers who serve God unobtrusively yet faithfully, who bear their crosses bravely and put a smiling face to the world. “Enter into the joy of Thy Lord.” Pass into that fuller spiritual life, which is a life of joy and peace.

Prayer for the Day

I pray that I may not desire the world’s applause. I pray that I may not seek rewards for doing what I believe is right.

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

Results of Prayer

As the doubter tries the process of prayer, he should begin to add up the results. If he persists, he will almost surely find more serenity, more tolerance, less fear, and less anger. He will acquire a quiet courage, the kind that isn’t tension-ridden. He can look at “failure” and “success” for what these really are. Problems and calamity will begin to mean his instruction, instead of his destruction. He will feel freer and saner.

The idea that he may have been hypnotizing himself by autosuggestion will become laughable. His sense of purpose and of direction will increase. His anxieties will commence to fade. His physical health will be likely to improve. Wonderful and unaccountable things will start to happen. Twisted relations in his family and on the outside will improve surprisingly.

~ GRAPEVINE, JUNE 1958 ~

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

ARE WE DOING WELL ENOUGH?

Success


Sometimes we can get off the track by mixing AA with the world’s ideas of success.

In AA, success means staying sober while using the AA principles in our daily affairs. We can be successful people in all walks of life.

We should never think that a person is unsuccessful merely because he or she holds a low-paying job or has not regained any business or professional stature that has been lost. One of our members, for example, had once been the senior member of a lucrative law partnership before drinking himself into the gutter. In his sober years, he found great satisfaction in a relatively low-paying judgeship. In worldly terms, he could be seen as less successful. In AA terms, however, this period was the truly successful part of his life.

Our Higher Power will show us where our place in life should be. That should be success enough for any of us.

I’ll do my very best today in whatever job I have, grateful for the sobriety that helps me stay self-supporting and happy.


© 1996 by Hazelden Foundation  
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FR.LEO'S DAILY MEDITATION

EXPERIENCE

“Experience is not what happens to us. It is what we do with what happens to us.”

~ Aldous Huxley 

I feel the joy of sobriety. I see God in my world. I know the peace and serenity that eluded me for years. Experience is a key to my recovery. It locates all that is tangible in my life. It allows me to appreciate what living is all about.

Love is meant to be felt. Forgiveness is meant to be experienced. Humility is meant to be lived in action. Hope is meant to be recognized in the brightness of the eyes. My spirituality entails the lived experience of God working in my world. Recovery is not something I can merely intellectualize—I must walk the talk. Joy should not be limited to the imagination—I want to feel it. Today I live my dream as experienced reality.

Loving Creator; may my experience of You be reflected in my daily life. 

© 2008 Leo Booth  
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A DAY AT A TIME

Reflection for the Day

Many of us in the Program stubbornly cling to false ideas and positions simply because we fear we’d be left defenseless if we admitted having been wrong. The thought of “backing down” still seems distasteful to some of us. But we come to learn that our self-esteem soars when we’re able to push pride into the background and truly face the facts. Chances are that people with true humility have more genuine self- esteem than those of us who are repeatedly victimized by pride. Does pride deviously keep me from thorough and continuing attention to the Tenth Step?

Today I Pray

May pride stay out of my way, now that I’ve found a road to follow. May I avoid that familiar, destructive cycle of pride—the ego that balloons up out of all proportion and then deflates with a fizzle. May I learn the value of “backing down.”

Today I Will Remember

Pride is the arch-enemy of self-esteem.

© 1989 by Hazelden Foundation 
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ONE DAY AT A TIME

AGING

Those who love deeply never grow old; they may die of old age, but they die young.

~ Benjamin Franklin 

I used to be afraid of getting older. I was also afraid to become friends with older people, because I would come to love them and then they would die. I could not handle unpleasant feelings (other than if I overate to stop feeling them) because the feeling of unpleasantness would totally devastate me.

In working the Twelve Step program, my Higher Power has brought me great recovery in this area … I am now able to handle the grief and sorrow that come up when I allow myself to get to know and love older people and then they die. I am now free in this area! I get to enjoy the wisdom and beauty that they have to share, from all their life experiences, and from the beautiful people they are!

Another beautiful gift from my Higher Power came when I started relating to older people again. When the first one died, it really threw me, and I was very sad. But I got up the next day and had a great spiritual awakening: this person was missing and that was sad, but I looked around and saw all the other wonderful people still there in my life, with whom I got to share another day! Life suddenly became much more precious to me … to have one more day to be with and share with someone who touches my soul!

One Day at a Time . . .

I enjoy myself as I become older. I allow myself to enjoy friendships with those who are older than me. I thank my Higher Power for every day and every moment of precious life!

~ Lynne 
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ELDER MEDITATION OF THE DAY


“Humbleness means peace, honesty — all mean Hopi. True, honest, perfect words — that’s what we call Hopi words. In all languages, not just in Hopi. We strive to be Hopi. We call ourselves Hopi because maybe one or two of us will become Hopi. Each person must look into their heart and make changes so that you may become Hopi when you reach your destination.”

~ Percy Lomaquahu, HOPI 

The Creator has made available to us all the laws, principles and values which we need to know to live in harmony. The Creator also designed each human being to learn and grow by trial and error. We have tools to help us live the right way. We have prayers, visions, nature, teachers, Elders, and we have the Great Spirit to talk to and ask for help when we have problems. We also have choice. To walk the Red Road takes courage and a lot of prayer.

Creator, give me courage to walk the Red Road. 
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Today's Gift #essentialsofrecovery



Sharing feelings


Many of us just did what other people did. We took drugs. But we felt so different from “normal” people. Why? Because of the way we did drugs and because drugs were so unfulfilling for us. It’s a joke among us recovering addicts that we tried so hard to look normal.

Non-addicts didn’t know our torment, didn’t know that we lived in another world. While high, we felt moments of euphoria and false well being. When the drugs wore off, we suffered centuries of misery. Both are feelings that “normal” people did not experience.

In the fellowship, however, we share all our feelings because we know that we are among friends, we know that we are finally home.

Do I share my true feelings with others?

Higher Power, I pray for the willingness to see my true feelings more clearly and to share myself with my fellow addicts.

                                                         From the book:

                                                           

                                     Day by Day – Second Edition by Anonymous 
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Daily Tao / 321 - Self -Sufficiency


Be self-sufficient but not isolated.
When the king of China closed the borders,
Centuries of stagnation and decadence began.


All the philosophy of Tao is intended to lead to self-sufficiency. Whatever one needs to do in life, one should be able to do on one's own. Whether one is trapped in the wilderness or whether one is dealing with a social gathering requiring etiquette and grace, one should be able to cope with aplomb and ease.

Being self-sufficient is not the same as being isolated. This is a very important point. When the king of China closed the borders, the country was self-sufficient enough to enjoy the isolation very well. The entire nation withdrew into a magic contentment. But eventually an inbred society developed. Stagnation and decay set in.

The same problems can arise in people who are so self-sufficient that they fail to engage life fully. Either they will implode from the sheer weight of their own decadence and stagnation, or they will explode once the outside world confronts them with something they cannot comprehend.

Those who follow Tao roam the world. They may avail themselves of the temporary advantages of withdrawal and intense self-cultivation, but they do not become permanently isolated. They flow with the Tao, are with all things, and therefore avoid decadence.
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Daily Zen

As long as the followers of the way hold regular and frequent assemblies, they may be expected to prosper and not decline. As long as they meet in harmony, break up in harmony, and carry on their business in harmony, they may be expected to prosper and not decline.



-from the Mahaparinibbana Sutta, translated by Maurice Walshe 
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Saturday, 16 November 2019

Made Direct Amends


DAILY DOSE OF EMMET FOX

BEWARE THE DOG!

He that passeth by, and meddleth with strife belonging not to him, is like one that taketh a dog by the ears (Proverbs 26:17).

If, when those around you are talking negatively about something or someone, you chip in with your contribution, you are taking a strange dog by the ears—so look out! If you get emotionally entangled in what is not your affair, through indignation, self-righteousness, hatred, or otherwise, you have seized the dog again—and he will bite. And even to think negatively concerning such matters in the secret chamber of your own heart, will bring you proportionate and natural punishment.

It is always right to think rightly about any person or situation, and if you do this many opportunities will come to you to help people practically, without any breach of law, and without coming near the dangerous dog. 


© 1931 by Emmet Fox  
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DAILY REFLECTIONS #essentialsofrecovery

A DAILY REPRIEVE

What we really have is a daily reprieve contingent on the maintenance of our spiritual condition.

~ ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 85 

Maintaining my spiritual condition is like working out every day, planning for the marathon, swimming laps, jogging. It’s staying in good shape spiritually, and that requires prayer and meditation. The single most important way for me to improve my conscious contact with a Higher Power is to pray and meditate. I am as powerless over alcohol as I am to turn back the waves of the sea; no human force had the power to overcome my alcoholism. Now I am able to breathe the air of joy, happiness and wisdom. I have the power to love and react to events around me with the eyes of a faith in things that are not readily apparent. My daily reprieve means that, no matter how difficult or painful things appear today, I can draw on the power of the program to stay liberated from my cunning, baffling and powerful illness.

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

Alone No More

“We gradually and carefully pull ourselves out of the isolation and loneliness of addiction and into the mainstream of life.”

~ Basic Text p. 35 

Many of us spent much of our using time alone, avoiding other people – especially people who were not using – at all costs. After years of isolation, trying to find a place for ourselves in a bustling, sometimes boisterous fellowship is not always easy. We may still feel isolated, focusing on our differences rather than our similarities. The overwhelming feelings that often arise in early recovery-feelings of fear, anger, and mistrust-can also keep us isolated. We may feel like aliens but we must remember, the alienation is ours, not NA’s.

In Narcotics Anonymous, we are offered a very special opportunity for friendship. We are brought together with people who understand us like no one else can. We are encouraged to share with these people our feelings, our problems, our triumphs, and our failures. Slowly, the recognition and identification we find in NA bridge the lonely gap of alienation in our hearts. As we’ve heard it said – the program works, if we let it.

Just for today: The friendship of other members of the fellowship is a life-sustaining gift. I will reach out for the friendship that’s offered in NA, and accept it.

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


A.A. Thought for the Day

I have gotten rid of most of my inner conflicts. I was always at war with myself. I was doing things that I did not want to do. I was waking up in strange places and wondering how I got there. I was full of recklessness when I was drunk and full of remorse when I was sober. My life didn’t make sense. It was full of broken resolves and frustrated hopes and plans. I was getting nowhere fast. No wonder my nerves were all shot. I was bumping up against a blank wall and I was dizzy from it. A.A. taught me how to get organized and to stop fighting against myself. Have I gotten rid of inner conflicts?

Meditation for the Day

“When two or three are gathered together in My name, there am I in the midst of them.” The spirit of God comes upon His followers when they are all together at one time, in one place, and with one accord. When two or three consecrated souls are together at a meeting place, the spirit of God is there to help and guide them. Where any sincere group of people are together, reverently seeking the help of God, His power and His spirit are there to inspire them.

Prayer for the Day


I pray that I may be in accord with the members of my group. I pray that I may feel the strength of a consecrated group.

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


Running the Whole Show


Most people try to live by self-propulsion. Each person is like an actor who wants to run the whole show and is forever trying to arrange the lights, the scenery and the rest of the players in his own way. If his arrangements would only stay put, if only people would do as he wished, the show would be great.

What usually happens? The show doesn’t come off very well. Admitting he may be somewhat at fault, he is sure that other people are more to blame. He becomes angry, indignant, self-pitying.

Is he not really a self-seeker even when trying to be useful? Is he not a victim of the delusion that he can wrest satisfaction and happiness out of this world if only he manages well?

~ ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, PP. 60-61 ~

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

KEEPING SOBRIETY ROLLING

Continuing to Follow


A child learning to ride a bicycle discovers that it only takes gentle pedaling to keep the bike in motion. The more difficult task was getting on the bike and maintaining a straight course in the right direction.

Staying sober in AA seems to be the same kind of thing. It may take a lot of effort and self-honesty to establish sobriety, but a routine of simple steps can keep it going on a daily basis. For most people, daily meditations and regular attendance at meetings are enough to maintain a straight course in the right direction.

The danger comes when people become too lazy or careless to take even these simple steps. Then, like a bike losing forward momentum, they can wobble and fall.

Even at the point of wobbling, one can get a bike up to speed again and gain stability. This is something to remember if we find our own sobriety becoming wobbly.

Nothing can be so important today that it keeps me from doing the simple things needed for continuous sobriety. I’ll remember the bike.


© 1996 by Hazelden Foundation  
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KEEP IT SIMPLE #essentialsofrecovery

Pray for powers equal to your task.

~ Phillips Brooks ~

Our task is to stay sober and to help others who still suffer from addiction. We will need patience and understanding. We will need much love. Most of all, we’ll need to work a strong program.

Pray that you come to know the Steps well. Pray that you’ll want to help others—always. Pray for these things, and you’ll have a strong program. In the program, we learn that prayer works. We see prayer change our lives and the lives of those around us. We came to know the power of prayer.

Prayer for the Day:

Higher Power, I pray for knowledge of Your will for me and the power to carry it out.

Action for the Day:

Today, I’ll admit my needs by praying for help from my Higher Power.

Copyright © 1988 by Hazelden Foundation  
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Fr. .LEO DAILY MEDITATION #essentialsofrecovery

FRIENDSHIP

“True friendship comes when silence between two people is comfortable.”

~ Dave Tyson Gentry ~

A spiritual practice that awakens serenity includes silence and stillness. “Be still and know that I am God.” True friendship is Divine. It is a special love that binds two hearts as one. It is the opposite of disease.

Friendship is necessary to recovery and involves sharing feelings. Often the feelings are silent: unspoken emotions, cherished moments that exist in wordlessness. As a recovering alcoholic, I have a thousand friends who attest to the silent witness of love by simply being there. They are my allies. They are my friends.

Sobriety allows me to communicate without speech when the situation calls for it. Seeing God in the eyes of others tells me more than words could ever say.

Thank You for the joy of friendship that grows in silence. 

© 2008 Leo Booth  
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A DAY AT A TIME #essentialsofrecovery

Reflection for the Day

We sometimes hear humility defined as the state of being “teachable.” In that sense, most of us in the Program who are able to stay free of active addiction have acquired at least a smattering of humility, or we never would have learned to stay away from the first drink, the first tranquilizer, the first “side bet,” and similar destructive acts for those of us who are powerless over our respective addictions. Do I see increasing humility as a pathway to continuing improvement?

Today I Pray

Now that I have made a start at developing humility, may I keep it up. May I open myself to the will of God and the suggestions of my friends in the group. May I remain teachable, confrontable, receptive, and conscious that I must stay that way in order to be healthy.

Today I Will Remember


To remain confrontable.

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

HONESTY

“Whatever games are played with us, we must play no games with ourselves, but deal in our privacy with the last honesty and truth.”

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson ~

When I began to study step one in OA I learned that the principle behind the step was honesty. That was difficult for me because I had spent so much time lying to myself and others about my eating. I was so ashamed of my eating habits and behaviors that when asked about them, it never occurred to me to tell the truth. I couldn’t conceive of being accepted, or even cared for, if anyone knew the truth.

Then I came into the program and began to hear people share. The denial and shell of lies began to melt. For the first time I found myself in a fellowship where I felt like I could tell the truth because I was surrounded by people whose stories were similar to mine. Most importantly, the people in the fellowship loved me and cared for me when I told my truth, no matter how ugly it seemed to me. I call this the magic of the fellowship. It makes me want to be that kind of loving, caring person for the newcomer taking his or her first step.

One day at a time…

I will honestly confront the reality of my compulsive eating, knowing that I am in a fellowship where I am unconditionally loved and cared for.

~ Carolyn H. ~ 
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ELDER'S MEDITATION OF THE DAY

“We do not want riches, but we want to train our children right. Riches would do us no good. We could not take them with us to the other world. We do not want riches, we want peace and love.”

~ Red Cloud, OGLALA LAKOTA ~

The Elders say that what is important is peace and love. To have material things is okay, but if not, that’s okay too. To have peace and love is more important than anything material. Our children will see the value of peace and love only if adults show they are a priority. Too often we think we can offer material things and they will replace the time spent with our children. But the most important way to give our children peace and love is to spend time with them.

My Creator, give me Your peace and love today. 
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Today's Gift #essentialsofrecovery



Today’s thought from Hazelden is:

Education should be the process of helping everyone to discover his uniqueness. — Leo Buscaglia

We are each special, which means there is not another person just like ourselves. Nobody looks just like us. Nobody’s voice sounds quite like our own. And nobody thinks through a story just like we do.

Each of us has been created for a special purpose. Maybe it’s for what we’ll teach a friend, or the way we’ll help a sister or a brother. Every day will give us chances to offer our special talents to others. Our being alive is God‘s way of proving that we’re important to the family, the neighborhood, the world.

From the book:


                                                                   

                                                         Today’s Gift by Anonymous 
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THE EYE OPENER

We become too easily discouraged when the new man fails to make the grade. What we fail to keep before us is the fact that we are not accountable for the results of our efforts. We are only charged with the responsibility of carrying the message to other alcoholics.

Just go about your end of the job, which is sowing the seed, and if the ground is fertile, God in His good time will bring forth the harvest.

Copyright Hazelden Foundation 
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Daily Tao / 320 – Poor

Chopsticks made from bamboo —
Too poor to afford silverware.
Tender bamboo shoots for food —
Too poor to afford meat.


Why were people of old so integrated with their surroundings? Because the objects that they used, the food that they ate, and the activities that they engaged in were straight from their surroundings. They used sticks made from bamboo as eating implements. They used vines to make baskets. They used gourds as vessels. For food, they grew plants, domesticated animals, and caught fish and game. Their social structure was built around the cycles of the sun, moon, and stars. Newborn babies were washed with the waters of the nearest stream. The dead were buried in the same earth that provided sustenance.

Now our food is imported from distant places and elaborately processed. We have no idea where objects we purchase come from, thinking that their presence and convenience is all that is necessary. We have means of transport that can bring us to places faster than our minds can adjust. We abuse our wealth and use it to insulate ourselves from our surroundings.

That’s why being of modest means is not necessarily bad. When one is poor, one is forced to use what is at hand. It is Tao that brings us these things. The closer we can be to the earth and to nature, the more integrated with life we shall be. Followers of Tao never complain about feeling alienated from life : They have no choice. Their every action keeps them synchronized with the movement of Tao. 
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Daily Zen #essentialsofrecovery

Our life is shaped by our mind; we become what we think. Suffering follows an evil thought as the wheels of a cart follow the oxen that draws it. Our life is shaped by our mind; we become what we think. Joy follows a pure thought like a shadow that never leaves. 

~The Dhammapada   
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Friday, 15 November 2019

Dealing with Depression Fr_Melitios Webber


DAILY DOSE OF EMMET FOX #essentialsofrecovery

ON MINDING ONE’S BUSINESS

It would probably be safe to say that more than half of the evil in the world is due to well-meaning busybodies who just cannot refrain from interfering. Needless to say, such people never have harmony or success in their own lives, for it is an invariable rule that he who minds his neighbor’s business, neglects his own.

To interfere mentally in any situation involves you in the consequences just as much as would a physical interference. Of course, where it is your duty to concern yourself in any matter, you must do so—constructively and spiritually—and then the consequences to you can only be good.

For every man shall bear his own burden (Galatians 6:5). 

© 1931 by Emmet Fox 

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DAILY REFLECTIONS #essentialsofrecovery

VITAL SUSTENANCE

Those of us who have come to make regular use of prayer would no more do without it than we would refuse air, food, or sunshine. And for the same reason. When we refuse air, light, or food, the body suffers. And when we turn away from meditation and prayer, we likewise deprive our minds, our emotions, and our intuitions of vitally needed support.

~ TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 97 ~

Step Eleven doesn’t have to overwhelm me. Conscious contact with God can be as simple, and as profound, as conscious contact with another human being. I can smile. I can listen. I can forgive. Every encounter with another is an opportunity for prayer, for acknowledging God’s presence within me.

Today I can bring myself a little closer to my Higher Power. The more I choose to seek the beauty of God’s work in other people, the more certain of His presence I will become.

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

Letting Go

“Take my will and my life. Guide me in my recovery. Show me how to live.”

~ Basic Text p. 25 

How do we begin the process of letting our Higher Power guide our lives? When we seek advice about situations that trouble us, we often find that our Higher Power works through others. When we accept that we don’t have all the answers, we open ourselves to new and different options. A willingness to let go of our preconceived ideas and opinions opens the channel for spiritual guidance to light our way.

At times, we must be driven to the point of distraction before we are ready to turn difficult situations over to our Higher Power. Anxiously plotting, struggling, planning, worrying – none of these suffice. We can be sure that if we turn our problems over to our Higher Power, through listening to others share their experience or in the quiet of meditation, the answers will come.

There is no point in living a frantic existence. Charging through life like the house is on fire exhausts us and gets us nowhere. In the long run, no amount of manipulation on our part will change a situation. When we let go and allow ourselves access to a Higher Power, we will discover the best way to proceed. Rest assured, answers derived from a sound spiritual basis will be far superior to any answers we could concoct on our own.

Just for today: I will let go and let my Higher Power guide my life.

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

 A.A. Thought for the Day

I am less sensitive and my feelings are less easily hurt. I no longer take myself so seriously. It didn’t used to take much to insult me, to feel that I had been slighted or left on the outside. What happens to me now is not so important. One cause of our drinking was that we couldn't take it, so we escaped the unpleasant situation. We have learned to take it on the chin if necessary and smile. When I am all wrapped up in A.A., I do not notice the personal slights so much. They do not seem to matter so much. I have learned to laugh at self-pity because it’s so childish. Am I less sensitive?

Meditation for the Day

God’s miracle-working power is as manifest today as it was in the past. It still works miracles of change in lives and miracles of healing in twisted minds. When a person trusts wholly in God and leaves to Him the choosing of the day and hour, there is God’s miracle- working power becoming manifest in that person’s life. So we can trust in God and have boundless faith in His power to make us whole again, whenever He chooses.

Prayer for the Day

I pray that I may feel sure that there is nothing that God cannot accomplish in changing my life. I pray that I may have faith in His miracle-working power.

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

Two Authorities

Many people wonder how A.A. can function under a seeming anarchy. Other societies have to have law and force and sanction and punishment, administered by authorized people. Happily for us, we found that we need no human authorities which are far more effective. One is benign, the other malign.

There is God, our Father, who very simply says, “I am waiting for you to do my will.” The other authority is named John Barlicorn, and he says, “You had better do God’s will or I will kill you.”

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

The A.A. Traditions are neither rules, regulations, nor laws. We obey them willingly because we want to. Perhaps the secret of their power lies in the fact that these life-giving communications spring out of living experience and are rooted in love.

~ 1. A.A. COMES OF AGE, P. 105 ~
~ 2. A.A. TODAY, P. 11 ~

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

THE LOSS OF CHOICE

Freedom


Many alcoholics are vigorous defenders of free choice. We have to concede, however, that our choices are not always limited by the tyranny of others. Our own actions can take away our freedom of choice.

Recovering people in AA have learned that taking even one drink will result in the loss of choice, and it is not just a temporary loss of sobriety that one faces. It’s always possible that the person who drinks again may never recover sobriety.

In the same way, other actions represent loss of choice in our lives. A person who cheats, for example, may learn that he or she has no choice over the unpleasant outcomes that follow.

We can protect our freedom of choice by deciding only to take actions that will strengthen such freedom in the future. At no time should we make any choices that rob us of our precious right to choose.

Every action I take today must help me keep favorable options open in the future. My right to choose was restored by AA, and I must help protect it.

© 1996 by Hazelden Foundation 
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KEEP IT SIMPLE #essentialsofrecovery


The best way to know God is to love many things.

~ Vincent Van Gogh 

Now that we’re in recovery, we’re learning to love people. We’re learning to love nature.

We’re learning to love new ideas about life. The result? We love the way we feel now that we’re taking care of ourselves.

Is our Higher Power really so close? Can we really find our Higher Power just by loving many things? Yes! When we love, we wake up that part of us that is part of all creation—our spirit. We really come to life when we love!

Prayer for the Day:

Higher Power, remind me that You are near when I love someone or something. The energy of love come from You.

Action for the Day:

I will list three things I love that help me know my Higher Power is near me.

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

COMFORT

“No one knows of what stuff one is made until prosperity and ease try one.”
~ A. P. Gouthey

I must not get too comfortable or self-confident. I must not plateau at this stage of sobriety. I cannot afford to relax in past achievements. Sometimes, I hear my addiction saying “You’ve done all you need. Relax and take it easy.” Other times, the sick voice commands, “Listen to the stupidity of these newly recovering people. Avoid them! You don’t need meetings now.”

Based on my experience, when things are going well I need to be careful. A complacent sobriety is dangerous. It leads to the disarming slip of arrogance and false pride. I need to remember the pain of my yesterdays and keep listening to the newly recovering.

Teach me to embrace humility and enjoy a realistic sobriety. 


© 2008 Leo Booth 
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A DAY AT A TIME #essentialsofrecovery

Reflection for the Day

As a newcomer, I was told that my admission of my powerlessness over alcohol was my first step toward freedom from its deadly grip; I soon came to realize the truth of that fact. In that regard, surrender was a dire necessity. But for me that was only a small beginning toward acquiring humility. I’ve learned in the Program that to be willing to work for humility—as something to be desired for itself—takes most of us a long, long time. Do I realize that a whole lifetime geared to self-centeredness can’t be shifted into reverse in a split second?

Today I Pray

May I search for my own humility as a quality that I must cultivate to survive, not just an admission that I am powerless over my compulsive behavior. Step One is just that—step one in the direction of acquiring an attitude of humility. May I be realistic enough to know that this may take half a lifetime.

Today I Will Remember


Pride blew it; let humility have a chance.

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

STEP TWO

“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.”

~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

While in the grip of my disease I tried many things to deal with my compulsive overeating. I tried many, many diets, fasting, exercise programs, treatment, therapy, church and even resorted to weight loss surgery. I did the same thing over and over again – I tried outward solutions to fix an inward problem. And the sad thing was I somehow thought that I would get different results: a permanent change of my compulsive overeating. But it did not work that way. It was acting with insanity. I was frustrated and very, very sad. All along, I knew there was something wrong with me, that I was not “normal”, but I didn’t know what to do about it.

Then the blessing of the program came to me. I learned about Step Two: “Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.” I came to believe that was true. I finally was doing something different. Never before had I approached my compulsive overeating on three levels all at the same time. I had never seen my disease as a physical, emotional and spiritual disease that needed addressing at the same time, one day at a time. I began to slowly learn how to do this through the steps and the tools, with the help of sponsors and friends in the program. I found myself doing something different and getting different results. I found my sanity returning, piece by piece.

One Day at a Time . . .


I will do something different, knowing I will get different results.


~ Carolyn  
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ELDER MEDITATION OF THE DAY #essentialsofrecovery


“Our Spiritual belief is that we were created as part of the land – so our identity, our names, and our songs are all tied to the land.”

Chief Roderick Robinson, NISGA’A 

In the traditional way, the names of native people had great meaning. We even had naming ceremonies. The naming of someone was very important and had great significance because it was tied to the Earth. The identity of each member and the teachings of the songs were all tied to Mother Earth. We need to know these teachings from our culture. This knowledge will help us heal the people.


My Maker, today help me find my identity. 
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Today's Gift #essentialsofrecovery



When one door closes, fortune will usually open another. — Fernando De Rojas

Sometimes, especially in early recovery, we concentrate on our losses instead of our gains. We see a chapter in our life closing, and we mourn. We must leave some friends behind, or say good-bye to a social life we enjoyed. We must give up active addiction, which had become our best friend and only comfort. We may even have to leave our families, at least for a time, in order to concentrate on our own needs.

We need to grieve all these losses. Then we can see more clearly what recovery has brought us. For every loss, we’ve gained blessings. For every friend gone, we have the chance to make many more. A whole new sober life awaits us when we’re ready to be part of it.

When we gave up the fake comforts of addiction, we found genuine comfort in sound sleep and healthy bodies, in peaceful days and serene nights. When we were ready to give up anger and resentment, we found generosity and forgiveness toward other people, and toward ourselves, too. In recovery, it’s true, one door has closed. But another, better door has finally opened.

Today help me be grateful for my new life. Help me grieve my losses so I can appreciate all that awaits me.

From the book:


                                                                 

                                           Body, Mind, and Spirit by Anonymous 
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The Eye Opener #essentialsofrecovery

We alcoholics were accustomed to look at the world through whiskey glasses and, consequently, what we saw of the world made it appear as one big case of DT's.

Sobriety corrected our vision and the world took on a more ordered appearance. The world hadn't changed – our viewpoint had.

If the world still doesn't look good to you – probably you are still looking through your old glasses.

Hazelden Foundation  
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Daily Tao / 319 – Sustaining #essentialsofrecovery

Orange and gold carp,
Living beneath ice.
Uncaring of the world above,
Sustained by the water below.



In the rapidly chilling autumn, ponds begin to ice over. The waters become deep, dark, and mysterious, but in those depths the fish can survive the coming winter.

Tao may be known as directly as water is knowable to a fish. My Tao will not be the same as your Tao. We are both individuals, with different backgrounds and thoughts. As soon as Tao enters into us, it takes on the colors of our inner personalities. When it passes out of us, it returns again to its universal nature. This is an ongoing and constant process, like water flowing through a fish’s gills. Just as the water nurtures the fish, so too does Tao nurture and sustain us. As long as we continue our immersion in Tao, we will be as safe as a carp in water. When we separate from Tao, we are as helpless as a fish out of water. 
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Daily Zen #essentialsofrecovery

My teaching does not require anyone to become homeless or resign the world unless he wants to, but it does require everyone to free himself from the illusion that he is a permanent self and to act with integrity while giving up his craving for pleasure.

-Majjhima Nikaya  
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Thursday, 14 November 2019

Susie P.- Recovery Speaker


Daily Dose Of Emmet Fox #essentialsofrecovery

A DEPENDABLE RECIPE

When you make a cake, you know that whatever you put into your mixing bowl will appear in the cake itself, and, on the other hand, that unless a particular substance does go into the mixing bowl, it cannot appear in the finished article.

The thoughts and beliefs that fill our minds ultimately appear in the cake of experience, and to realize this is to save oneself a lot of trouble. No one puts kerosene in the mixing bowl because no one wants it in the cake, for everyone knows that, if it does enter the bowl, in the cake it will be.

. . . they that plow iniquity, and sow wickedness, reap the same (Job 4:8). 

© 1931 by Emmet Fox  
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Daily Reflections #essentialsofrecovery

INTUITION AND INSPIRATION


. . . . we ask God for inspiration, an intuitive thought or a decision. We relax and take it easy. We don’t struggle.

ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 86
I invest my time in what I truly love. Step Eleven is a discipline that allows me and my Higher Power to be together, reminding me that, with God’s help, intuition and inspiration are possible. Practice of the Step brings on self-love. In a consistent attempt to improve my conscious contact with a Higher Power, I am subtly reminded of my unhealthy past, with its patterns of grandiose thinking and false feeling of omnipotence. When I ask for the power to carry out God’s will for me, I am made aware of my powerlessness. Humility and a healthy self-love are compatible, a direct result of working Step Eleven.
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Just For Today #essentialsofrecovery


Not Just Surviving

“When we were using, our lives became an exercise in survival. Now we are doing much more living than surviving.”

Basic Text p. 50

“I’d be better off dead!” A familiar refrain to a practicing addict, and with good reason. All we had to look forward to was more of the same miserable existence. Our hold on life was weak at best. Our emotional decay, our spiritual demise, and the crushing awareness that nothing would ever change were constants. We had little hope and no concept of the life we were missing out on.

The resurrection of our emotions, our spirits, and our physical health takes time. The more experience we gain in living, rather than merely existing, the more we understand how precious and delightful life can be. Traveling, playing with a small child, making love, expanding our intellectual horizons, and forming relationships are among the endless activities that say, “I’m alive.” We discover so much to cherish and feel grateful to have a second chance.

If we had died in active addiction, we would have been bitterly deprived of so many of life’s joys. Each day we thank a Power greater than ourselves for another day clean and another day of life.

Just for today: I am grateful to be alive. I will do something today to celebrate. 
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Twenty-Four Hours A Day #essentialsofrecovery

A.A. Thought For The Day

A better way than judging people is to look for all the good you can find in them. If you look hard enough and long enough, you ought to be able to find some good somewhere in every person. In A.A. I learned that my job was to try to bring out the good, not criticize the bad. Every alcoholic is used to being judged and criticized. That has never helped anyone get sober. In A.A. we tell people they can change. We try to bring out the best in them. We encourage their good points and ignore their bad points as much as possible. People are not converted by criticism. Do I look for the good in people?

Meditation For The Day

There must be a design for the world in the mind of God. We can believe that His design for the world is a universal brotherhood of men and women under the fatherhood of God. The plan for your life must also be in the mind of God. In times of quiet meditation you can seek for God’s guidance, for the revealing of God’s plan for your day. Then you can live this day according to that guidance. Many people are not making of their lives what God meant them to be, and so they are unhappy. They have missed the design for their lives.

Prayer For The Day


I pray that I may try to follow God’s design for today. I pray that I may have the sense of Divine Intent in what I do today.
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As Bill Sees It #essentialsofrecovery

Our Protective Mantle, p. 316

Almost every newspaper reporter who covers A.A. complains, at first, of the difficulty of writing his story without names. But he quickly forgets this difficulty when he realizes that here is a group of people who care nothing for acclaim.

Probably this is the first time in his life he has ever reported on an organization that wants no personalized publicity. Cynic though he may be, this obvious sincerity quickly transforms him into a friend of A.A.

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Moved by the spirit of anonymity, we try to give up our natural desires for personal distinction as A.A. members, both among fellow alcoholics and before the general public. As we lay aside these very human aspirations, we believe that each of us takes part in the weaving of a protective mantle which covers our whole Society and under which we may grow and work in unity.

1. Grapevine, March 1946

2. 12 & 12, p. 187  
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Walk In Dry Places #essentialsofrecovery

No Respecter of People
Carrying the message


As human beings, we have to realize that some people are more attractive to us than others. Even in AA, we will likely be more interested in a person who has qualities we admire than one who annoys and repels us.

This is a snobbish attitude that we ridicule when we see it practiced by others, but we may be practicing it in our own way by seeking out only those members we find interesting and attractive. Without realizing it, we can be making AA a popularity contest, which it’s not supposed to be.

We can compensate for such tendencies by making a special effort to express friendship to everyone at the meeting. This can even become a spiritual exercise. It doesn’t hurt to admit that one has snobbish tendencies that can violate the spirit of AA.

Just as alcohol is no respecter of people, so it is that the program should be open to all. Today, I’ll try to make AA a welcoming haven for everyone 
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Keep It Simple #essentialsofrecovery


Make it a point to do something every day that you don’t want to do

—Mark Twain

Self-discipline is a key part of living sober life. We need it t get to our meetings regularly. We need it to understand the Steps. We need it to work the Steps.

And we get much in return. With self-discipline, we learn to trust ourselves. We learn to do what is most loving and caring for ourselves. What a great relief! One of the worst parts of our illness was that we couldn’t count on ourselves. We didn’t know what we’d do next. Self-discipline heals this part of our illness.

Prayer for the DayHigher Power, You have given me much. It’s only right that I give You part of my day. I will pray and meditate on Your wonders.

Action for the Day: I will list areas of my program where I lack self-discipline. I will share the list with my group and sponsor, and I’ll let them know in a month how I’m doing. 
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Father Leo Daily Meditations #essentialsofrecovery

LEISURE

“It is seldom an American retires from business to enjoy fortune in comfort. . . . We work because we have always worked and know no other way.”
~ Thomas Nichols 

For years, I rushed around being busy—and I missed me. I spent far too much time trying to please people by doing things—and I missed me. I was a workaholic whose only value was in what I could achieve—and I missed me.

Today I can relax in my sobriety because sobriety has enabled me to relax. I can sit and do nothing and it is okay. Life is about “being,” not “doing.” Spirituality is about taking time out for me because I am worth it. “Be still and know that I am God,” wrote the psalmist.

In the silence of self, I have discovered the meaning of life. I have found God. In my leisure, I pause to appreciate these gifts.

Thank You for creating the feelings of peace that come from leisure. 

© 2008 Leo Booth  
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