Tuesday, 10 December 2019

DAILY REFLECTIONS #essentialsofrecovery

CARRYING THE MESSAGE

Now, what about the rest of the Twelfth Step? The wonderful energy it releases and the eager action by which it carries our message to the next suffering alcoholic and which finally translates the Twelve Steps into action upon all our affairs is the payoff, the magnificent reality, of Alcoholics Anonymous.

~ TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 109 

To renounce the alcoholic world is not to abandon it, but to act upon principles I have come to love and cherish, and to restore in others who still suffer the serenity I have come to know. When I am truly committed to this purpose, it matters little what clothes I wear or how I make a living. My task is to carry the message, and to lead by example, not design.


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

Winners

“I started to imitate some of the things the winners were doing. I got caught up in NA. I felt good…”

~ Basic Text, p. 223 

We often hear it said in meetings that we should “stick with the winners.” Who are the winners in Narcotics Anonymous? Winners are easily identified. They work an active program of recovery, living in the solution and staying out of the problem. Winners are always ready to reach their hands out to the newcomer. They have sponsors and work with those sponsors. Winners stay clean, just for today.

Winners are recovering addicts who keep a positive frame of mind. They may be going through troubled times, but they still attend meetings and share openly about it. Winners know in their hearts that, with the help of a Higher Power, nothing will come along that is too much to handle.

Winners strive for unity in their service efforts. Winners practice putting “principles before personalities.” Winners remember the principle of anonymity, doing the principled action no matter who is involved.

Winners keep a sense of humor. Winners have the ability to laugh at themselves. And when winners laugh, they laugh with you, not at you.

Who are the winners in Narcotics Anonymous? Any one of us can be considered a winner. All of us exhibit some of the traits of the winner; sometimes we come very close to the ideal, sometimes we don’t. If we are clean today and working our program to the best of our ability, we are winners!

Just for today: I will strive to fulfill my ideals. I will be a winner.

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

A.A. Thought for the Day

Our drinking fellowship was a substitute one, for lack of something better. At the time, we did not realize what real fellowship could be. Drinking fellowship has a fatal fault. It is not based on a firm foundation. Most of it is on the surface. It is based mostly on the desire to use your companions for your own pleasure, and using others is a false foundation. Drinking fellowship has been praised in song and story. The “cup that cheers” has become famous as a means of companionship. But we realize that the higher centers of our brains are dulled by alcohol and such fellowship cannot be on the highest plane. It is at best only a substitute. Do I see my drinking fellowship in its proper light?

Meditation for the Day


Set for yourself the task of growing daily more and more into the consciousness of a Higher Power. We must keep trying to improve our conscious contact with God. This is done by prayer, quiet times, and communion. Often all you need to do is sit silent before God and let Him speak to you through your thought. Try to think God’s thoughts after Him. When the guidance comes, you must not hesitate, but go out and follow that guidance in your daily work, doing what you believe to be the right thing.

Prayer for the Day


I pray that I may be still and know that God is with me. I pray that I may open my mind to the leading of the Divine Mind.

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

Page 120

Word of Mouth


“In my view, there isn’t the slightest objection to groups who wish to remain strictly anonymous, or to people who think they would not like their membership in A.A. known at all. That is their business, and this is a very natural reaction.

“However, most people find that anonymity to this degree is not necessary, or even desirable. Once one is fairly sober, and sure of this, there seems no reason for failing to talk about A.A. membership in the right places. This has a tendency to bring in other people. Word of mouth is one of our most important communications.

“So we should criticize neither the people who wish to remain silent, nor even the people who wish to talk too much about belonging to A.A., provided they do not so at the public level and thus compromise our whole Society.”

LETTER, 1962 ~
© 1967 by Alcoholics Anonymous ® World Services, Inc
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WALK IN DRY PLACES #essentialsoferecovery

HOW IMPORTANT IS IT?

Good Judgment


All of our lives, many of us had to deal with “tempests in a teapot.” These were minor problems that we somehow magnified until they became disasters.

Some of us also took refuge in the bottle when faced with problems. Remembering this with some guilt, we may feel a responsibility today to deal with every problem efficiently and promptly. This feeling might also create unnecessary anxiety. We can easily get to the heart of such matters by asking ourselves, “How important is it?” We might be making something far more important than it really is.

The importance of problems is revealed by our inability to remember what was upsetting us a week ago. Asking “How important is it?” can be a useful test to avoid excessive worrying about any problem.

I’ll take a responsible attitude today, but I’ll watch myself for a tendency to go to pieces over things that really aren’t important in the long run.

© 1996 by Hazelden Foundation 
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KEEP IT SIMPLE #essentialsofrecovery


Kindness in giving creates love.

~ Lao-tzu 

In our illness, we were takers. Now, we’ve changed this around. We are now givers. Giving is a big part of recovery. Our word for it is service. Our program is based on care, respect, and service. Our program tells us to “practice these principles in all our affairs.” No matter if it’s getting to our meeting early to put on the coffee, or going on a Twelfth Step call, we are giving of ourselves. We give so that we know we can make a difference. We give so that we can know how to love better. The healing power of recovery is love. As we give love and kindness to others, we heal. Why? Because people grow by giving kindness and love to others.

Prayer for the Day:

Higher Power with Your help I’ll be a kind and loving giver. I’ll look for way to share Your kindness.

Action for the Day:

Today, I’ll list five ways I can be of service to others. I’ll put at least one of these ways into action today.

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

SERVICE

There is no higher religion than human service. To work for the common good is the greatest creed.”
~ Albert Schweitzer 

I enjoy doing things for other people. I enjoy knowing other people are happy. I enjoy seeing gratitude in their eyes and experiencing their hugs of thankfulness.

Some people need to restrict how much they do for others and begin doing more for themselves. I, on the other hand, am happy and pleased with my service for others because I used to only be a taker. For years, as a practicing alcoholic, I would walk away with all someone could give me and only thank them because I wanted to return for more!

In sobriety, I am beginning to change this. Now I am giving and enjoying it.

God, the gift of service is a precious gift.

© 2008 Leo Booth 
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A DAY AT A TIME #essentialsofrecovery

Reflection for the Day

Have I ever stopped to think that the impulse to “blow off steam” and say something unkind or even vicious will, if followed through, hurt me far more seriously than the person to whom the insult is directed? I must try constantly to quiet my mind before I act with impatience or hostility, for my mind can be—in that very real way —an enemy as great as any I’ve ever known. Will I look before I leap, think before I speak—and try to avoid self-will to the greatest extent possible?

Today I Pray

May I remember that my blow-ups and explosions, when they are torrents of accusations or insults, hurt me just as much as the other person. May I try not to let my anger get to the blow-up stage, simply by recognizing it as I go along and stating it as a fact.

Today I Will Remember

Keep a loose lid on the teapot.

© 1989 by Hazelden Foundation 
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One Day At A Time #essentialsofrecovery

FAULT FINDING

“When You Look For The Bad In Mankind Expecting To Find It, You Surely Will.”

—Abraham Lincoln

The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous says, “To conclude that others were wrong was as far as most of us ever got.” It seemed as though I spent half a lifetime discovering the faults in others. I used this information as a tool or weapon against them when the need would arise, or if I needed a victory to feel superior when I was feeling low. How very sick. It took me a long time to learn that all of us have weaknesses; it’s part of being an imperfect human being. We also have strengths and talents, sometimes waiting to be discovered. My job now is to search for the good in others, to overlook the pettiness, to understand that they are still growing and becoming. I am also to practice ongoing forgiveness, for them as well as for myself, to remember that God is still spiritually creating us all in His image.

One Day at a Time …

Have I quit fault finding others? Myself? God?

Jeremiah 
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Elder’s Meditation of the Day


“Come forward and join hands with us in this great work for the Creator.”

—Traditional Circle of Elders, NORTHERN CHEYENNE

The Elders have spent years learning to pray and communicate with the Great Spirit. Their job is to pass this knowledge onto the young people. The Elders have told us we are now in a great time of healing. The Creator is guiding them to help the young people figure this out. We must get involved and participate. We should pray and see what it is the Great Spirit wants us to do. We need to sacrifice our time to help the people and to be of maximum use to the Creator. Every person is needed to accomplish this great healing.
Creator, whisper what You want me to do.
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Today's Gift #essentialsofrecovery

Self-Help or Mutual Aid?
Assisting Others



The Twelve Step movement is sometimes called a self-help program. This falls short of describing what it really is. Mutual aid might be a better term.


Self-help implies that an individual will help himself or herself. Mutual aid is a much different sort of thing. With mutual aid, we do help ourselves, but we have found that the best way to do this is by helping each other. Self-help says, “I can do it,” whereas mutual aid says, “We can do it.”

We should not dismiss the idea of self-help or of doing one’s best in achieving self-improvement. We must know, however, that we need the assistance and loving help of others for our highest growth. There are times when we will feel helpless and alone. That’s when mutual aid will carry the day for us and perhaps even save our lives.


I’ll realize today that I have a bond with others, and that I can achieve my highest good only in mutual service with them.


From the book:




                                                             Walk in Dry Places by Mel B. 
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THE EYE OPENER #essentialsofrecovery


It is hard for us at times to understand the misfortunes that befall us when we are doing the very best we know how, to live right by both God and man.

It is only in times that try men’s souls that the soul develops and grows stronger. Like a muscle, it develops with hard work.

If you would produce an exceptional rose, you must prune the brush of every budding branch so that all the strength goes into the single bloom. It’s not what the bush would want, but it develops the perfection in the rose you desire.

Copyright Hazelden   
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Daily Tao / 344 – Uninhibited #essentialsofrecovery

The drunk falls from the cart but is not hurt.
You throw hesitation aside but look stupid.
To be truly uninhibited is a rare grace.



Don’t be inhibited. If you hold back from achieving your heart’s desires, you will become bitter and frustrated. If you hold back from expressing yourself, your creativity will stagnate. If you hold back from taking action, you will become impotent with timidity. Don’t stop anything. Let your uniqueness flow freely.

In the beginning, one must adhere to a structure — artificial though it may be — until one attains that proper understanding to behave with uninhibited spontaneity. If people attempt to be uninhibited without actually being uninhibited, then they only look like crass clowns. Thus one must spend a certain amount of time studying structure until there is no need for structure. By that time, one will have thoroughly absorbed the secret of moderation and one will be able to act with correctness and spontaneity. True uninhibitedness must come as a by-product of sure, fresh, and creative actions. 
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Daily Zen

Set your heart on doing good ... Do it over and over again, and you will be filled with joy.

- Buddha  
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Monday, 9 December 2019

Jack K. - West Hollywood 1985


Daily Dose OF Emmet Fox #essentialsofrecovery

Don’t Hurry. You are going to live forever—somewhere. In fact, you are in eternity now; so why rush?

Don’t Worry. You belong to God, and God is Love; so why fret?

Don’t Condemn. As you cannot get under the other fellow’s skin, you cannot possibly know what difficulties he has had to meet—how much temptation, or misunderstanding, or stupidity. You are not perfect yourself and might be much worse in his shoes.

Don’t Resent. If wrong has been done, the Great Law will surely take care of it. Rise up in consciousness and set both yourself and the delinquent free. Forgiveness is the strongest medicine.

…For there is no power but of God (Romans 13:1).

© 1931 by Emmet Fox 
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DAILY REFLECTIONS #essentialsofrecovery

LOVE WITH NO PRICE TAG

When the Twelfth Step is seen in its full implication, it is really talking about the kind of love that has no price tag on it

~ TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 106

In order for me to start working the Twelfth Step, I had to work on sincerity, honesty, and to learn to act with humility. Carrying the message is a gift of myself, no matter how many years of sobriety I may have accumulated. My dreams can become reality. I solidify my sobriety by sharing what I have received freely. As I look back to that time when I began my recovery, there was already a seed of hope that I could help another drunk pull himself out of his alcoholic mire. My wish to help another drunk is the key to my spiritual health. But I never forget that God acts through me. I am only His instrument.

Even if the other person is not ready, there is success, because my effort in his behalf has helped me to remain sober and to become stronger. To act, to never grow weary in my Twelfth Step work, is the key. If I am capable of laughing today, let me not forget those days when I cried. God reminds me that I can feel compassion!


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

Listening

“This ability to listen is a gift and grows as we grow spiritually. Life takes on a new meaning when we open ourselves to this gift.”

~ Basic Text, p. 102 

Have you ever watched two small children carry on a conversation? One will be talking about purple dragons while the other carries on about the discomfort caused by having sand in one’s shoes. We sometimes encounter the same communication problems as we learn to listen to others. We may struggle through meetings, trying desperately to hear the person sharing while our minds are busy planning what we will say when it’s our turn to speak. In conversation, we may suddenly realize that our answers have nothing to do with the questions we’re being asked. They are, instead, speeches prepared while in the grip of our self-obsession.

Learning how to listen—really listen—is a difficult task, but one that’s not beyond our reach. We might begin by acknowledging in our replies what our conversational partner is saying. We might ask if there is anything we can do to help when someone expresses a problem. With a little practice, we can find greater freedom from self-obsession and closer contact with the people in our lives.

Just for today: I will quiet my own thoughts and listen to what someone else is saying.

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

A.A. Thought for the Day

The way of A. A. is the way of fellowship. We have read a good deal about fellowship and yet it is such an important part of the A.A. program that it seems we cannot think too much about it. Human beings were not meant to live alone. A hermit’s life is not a normal or natural one. We all need to be by ourselves at times, but we cannot really live without the companionship of others. Our natures demand it. Our lives depend largely upon it. The fellowship of A.A. seems to us to be the best in the world. Do I fully appreciate what the fellowship of A.A. means to me?

Meditation for the Day

We are all seeking something, but many do not know what they want in life. They are seeking something because they are restless and dissatisfied, without realizing that faith in God can give an objective and a purpose to their lives. Many of us are at least subconsciously seeking for a Power greater than ourselves because that would give a meaning to our existence. If you have found that Higher Power, you can be the means of leading others aright, by showing them that their search for a meaning to life will end when they find faith and trust in God as the answer.

Prayer for the Day

I pray that my soul will lose its restlessness by finding rest in God. I pray that I may find peace of mind in the thought of God and His purpose for my life.

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

Page 110

Trouble: Constructive or Destructive?


“There was a time when we ignored trouble, hoping it would go away. Or, in fear and in depression, we ran from it, but found it was still with us. Often, full of unreason, bitterness, and blame, we fought back. These mistaken attitudes, powered by alcohol, guaranteed our destruction, unless they were altered.

“Then came A.A. Here we learned that trouble was really a fact of life for everybody — a fact that had to be understood and dealt with. Surprisingly, we found that our troubles could, under God’s grace, be converted into unimagined blessings.

“Indeed, that was the essence of A.A. itself: trouble accepted, trouble squarely faced with calm courage, trouble lessened and often transcended. This was the A.A. story, and we became a part of it. Such demonstration became our stock in trade for the next sufferer.”

~ LETTER, 1966
© 1967 by Alcoholics Anonymous ® World Services, Inc
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A DAY AT A TIME #essentialsofrecovery


Reflection for the Day


As long as I stubbornly hang on to the conviction that I can live solely by my individual strength and intelligence, a working faith in my Higher Power is impossible. This is true, no matter how strongly I believe that God exists. My religious beliefs—no matter how sincere —will remain forever lifeless if I continue trying to play God myself. What it comes down to, we find, is that, as long as we place self-reliance first, true reliance upon a Higher Power is out of the question. How strong is my desire to seek and do God’s will?

Today I Pray

I pray that I may not place my self-reliance above reliance on God. May I know that there is no conflict between taking responsibility for my own actions, which I have been taught is the essence of maturity, and looking to God for guidance. May I remember that if I stick to the “do it myself” rule, it is like refusing to ask for a road map from a tourist information bureau —and wandering around forever lost.

Today I Will Remember


Maturity is knowing where to go for help.

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

CHANGE

If we don’t change, we don’t grow.
If we don’t grow, we are not really living.


~ Gail Sheehy 

Throughout my life, I have been terrified of change. To me, change meant abandoning one set of experiences which, although adverse, were at least familiar. I thought I’d be replacing them with another set of experiences which would surely be at least as bad, and which had the additional disadvantage of being unknown.

In this program, I was appalled to see a whole room of people who spoke enthusiastically, joyfully, about the changes that the program was bringing to their lives –not just in terms of released weight, but in so many areas of day-to-day living. Panic-stricken at the idea that I, too, would change, I talked about it after the first meeting with a dear friend.

“Hey,” she smiled. “No one’s forcing you. If changing gets too scary, you can always decide you want to stay put.”

Armed with that slight reassurance, I decided I would go with the program until it got too scary.

In the course of the next weeks, as I maintained strict abstinence and began to work the Steps, strange things began to happen, imperceptibly at first. I found myself looking forward to getting up in the morning and adding all kinds of things to my morning ritual: body lotion, foot care, cosmetics. Amazingly, my life-long habit of nail-biting disappeared, and my nails are not only well-tended, but polished!

On the professional level, I started keeping a list of projects due, instead of relying on my sketchy memory. I hired someone to answer phones and to help keep my eternally messy desk more or less clear. Most important, I have started an honest reassessment of my relationship with my life partner, and have decided that it’s not enough that this is the first relationship of my life that is free of physical abuse; I deserve to be loved and desired, and to have that love and desire expressed.

At a face-to-face program meeting this week, I read the Promises. I was amazed to hear a strong, confident voice–mine–saying “Our whole attitude and outlook upon life will change,” and I realized that I was changing. I love it!

One Day at a Time . . .


I will welcome change, for change is growth, and I will know that, now that I have placed my life in the hands of my Higher Power, any change will be for the better. 

~ Sharon N.  
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Today's Gift #essentialsofrecovery



Pray to God but row to shore.



— Proverb



There exists a Divine partnership between God and man that is wonderfully depicted in the following story. A young minister was driving through the countryside when he spotted a farmer tilling 40 acres of magnificent farmland. The minister pulled over and addressed the farmer, “God has certainly blessed you with a wonderful piece of land.” The farmer replied, “Yes, but you should have seen the mess it was in when God had it to Himself!”


A well-known entrepreneur was asked the secret of her business success. She answered, “I pray as if everything depends on God, but act as if everything depends on me.” It is not enough just to pray for and affirm our good. Like the farmer and businesswoman, we must also take concrete steps to make our dreams a reality.


Working together, we and spirit form an unbeatable combination. Neither can succeed without the other. Just as nature provided the land but needed the farmer to till the soil, spirit needs us to bring about heaven on earth. Let us work together as Divine partners to fulfill this promise.


From the book:




                                                 Listening to Your Inner Voice by Douglas Bloch 
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THE EYE OPENER #essentialsofrecovery


Every person at some time in life has a spiritual experience of some kind. It may have been no more than a soul- stimulating experience after hearing a beautiful hymn, beautifully sung. Perhaps it is only an undefined hunger within when viewing alone a star-studded sky, or an awe-inspiring view. Maybe it was experienced when looking upon the miracle of a baby.

The soul of even the most callous will light up when it glimpses the beauty and power of God.

Copyright  Hazelden Foundation  
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Daily Tao / 343 – Alienation #essentialsofrecovery


Why yearn for a promised land?
The true land is in the heart.



Today Jews meet with Tibetans. They believe they have something in common in that they have both been exiled from their homelands. They are not alone. Chinese find themselves strange natives of lands outside China. Some Europeans have been forced far from their birthplaces by war and arbitrary boundaries. Native Americans are alienated in their own ancestral lands. And African descendants of slaves are still victimized by institutional shackles.

Those who follow Tao recognize the importance of place, people, and nation. But these factors cannot be allowed to hold ultimate sway. Tao affirms the responsibility of the individual over the people. We cannot allow ourselves to be hobbled by the woes and alienation of our race or nation. It is our responsibility to overcome these, even if we can only succeed in our hearts.
By following Tao, we join a larger spiritual order. There is a great comfort in being part of something that is not tied to place or state. Indeed, since Tao is not wholly relegated to the material level, it can never be taken away from us. Even if we are exiled from our homes and thrown into the most miserable prison, Tao is there for us. Once we enter it, we need never be frightened by the threat of alienation again.   
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Daily Zen

 Reality as it is becomes the right view of the meditator. Thinking of it as it is becomes the right thought. Awareness of it as it is becomes the right awareness. Concentration on it as it is becomes the right concentration. Actions of the body and speech are then aligned to reality as it is. In this way the meditator develops and is fulfilled.

-Majjhima Nikaya 
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Sunday, 8 December 2019

Gail B. - Recovery Speaker


DAILY REFLECTIONS #essentialsofrecovery

SERVICE

Life will take on new meaning. To watch people recover, to see them help others, to watch loneliness vanish, to see a fellowship grow up about you, to have host of friends—this is an experience you must not miss. . . . Frequent contact with newcomers and nth each other is the bright spot of our lives.

~ ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 89 

t is through service that the greatest rewards are to be found. But to be in a position of offering true, useful and effective service to others, I must first work on myself. This means that I have to abandon myself to God, admitting my faults and clearing away the wreckage of my past. Work on myself has taught me how to find the necessary peace and serenity to successfully merge inspiration and experience. I have learned how to be, in the truest sense, in open channel of sobriety.

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


Calling a Defect a Defect


“When we see how our defects exist in our lives and accept them, we can let go of them and get on with our new life.”

~ Basic Text, pp. 33-34

Sometimes our readiness to have our character defects removed depends on what we call them. If misnaming our defects makes them seem less “defective,” we may be unable to see the damage they cause. And if they seem to be causing no harm, why would we ever ask our Higher Power to remove them from our lives?

Take “people pleasing,” for example. Doesn’t really sound all that bad, does it? It just means we’re nice to people, right? Not quite. To put it bluntly, it means we’re dishonest and manipulative. We lie about our feelings, our beliefs, and our needs, trying to soothe others into compliance with our wishes.

Or perhaps we think we’re “easygoing.” But does “easygoing” mean we ignore our housework, avoid confrontations, and stay put in a comfortable rut? Then a better name for it would be “laziness,” or “procrastination,” or “fear.”

Many of us have trouble identifying our character defects. If this is the case for us, we can talk with our sponsor or our NA friends. We clearly and honestly describe our behavior to them and ask for their help in identifying our defects. As time passes, we’ll become progressively better able to identify our own character defects, calling them by their true names.

Just for today: I will call my defects by their true names. If I have trouble doing this, I will ask my sponsor for help.

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

A.A. Thought for the Day

The length of time of our sobriety is not as important as its quality. A person who has been in A.A. for a number of years may not be in as good mental condition as a person who has only been in a few months. It is a great satisfaction to have been an A. A. member for a long time and we often mention it. It may sometimes help the newer members, because they may say to themselves, “If they can do it, I can do it.” And yet the older members must realize that as long as they live, they are only one drink away from a drunk. What is the quality of my sobriety?

Meditation for the Day


“And greater works than this shall ye do.” We can do greater works when we have more experience of the new way of life. We can have all the power we need from the Unseen God. We can have His grace, His spirit, to make us effective as we go along each day. Opportunities for a better world are all around us. Greater works can we do. But we do not work alone. The power of God is behind all good works

Prayer for the Day

I pray that I may find a rightful place in the world. I pray that my work may be made more effective by the grace of God.

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


The Forgotten Mountain


When I was a child, I acquired some of the traits that had a lot to do with my insatiable craving for alcohol. I was brought up in a little town in Vermont, under the shadow of Mount Aeolus. An early recollection is that of looking up at this vast and mysterious mountain, wondering what it meant and whether I could ever climb that high. But I was presently distracted by my aunt who, as a fourth- birthday present, made me a plate of fudge. For the next thirty-five years I pursued the fudge of life and quite forgot about the mountain.

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

When self-indulgence is less than ruinous, we have a milder word for it. We call it “taking our comfort.”

~ 1. A.A. COMES OF AGE, PP. 52-53 ~
~ 2. TWELVE AND TWELVE, P. 67 ~

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

A NEW FRAME OF MIND

Mood Control

Long after AA was started, the term mood-altering drug came into vogue. Though this originally was applied to hard drugs, it is also true of alcohol.

There’s nothing wrong with wanting to alter one’s mood. None of us really wants to be depressed, anxious, or fearful. We’re all looking for ways to stay happy and high-spirited.

The problem with all mood-altering drugs, alcohol included, is that they provide temporary highs while bringing on long-term destruction and enslavement. We would love to have those highs if they did not carry such a terrible price.

But we can seek a new frame of mind in sober living that will give us better moods without destroying us. This is “the peace that passes all understanding,” and it comes only from living the right way and listening to our Higher Power. This is the only mood control that really works.

I want to be in a good mood today, but it must be as a result of having a healthy frame of mind. I have no desire for the false highs that were killing me.


© 1996 by Hazelden Foundation 
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KEEP IT SIMPLE #essentialsofrecovery

“When I was about 12, I used to think I must be a genius, but nobody’s noticed.”

~ John Lennon

“We all have secret ideas about ourselves. How often we have said to ourselves, If only They knew . . .But if we watch others, we see that many of their ideas are not so secret. We can often guess how they see themselves by the way they act. We all act out our secrets.

Faith means trusting our Higher Power with our secrets. Faith in others means trusting them with our secret feelings. Why share these secrets? When we were using alcohol or other drugs we lived too much in a secret world. We need to give up the secrets that keep us from others. We need others in our lives. Our spirits need to be close to others.

Prayer for the Day:

God, help me to live in ways I’m not ashamed to tell others. Allow me to meet you and others, free of shame.

Action for the Day:

Today, I’ll share one of my secrets w/ a loving friend.”

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

ENJOYMENT

“All animals, except humans, know the ultimate of life is to enjoy it.”

~ Samuel Butler 

Today I choose to enjoy life. Regardless of any problems or difficulties this day may bring, I am blessed with an inner joy that comes with my recovery from addiction.

With a clear head and body—free from drugs and chemicals—I can face today and look forward to tomorrow. My life is to be enjoyed, not endured. My worst days in recovery are better than my best days as an addict.

Spiritually, I am free because I have begun to discover myself. I now perceive God in every dimension of my world because I have sobriety.

Creator of all play, I dance before You in my world and I stop to smell the roses. 

© 2008 Leo Booth  
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A DAY AT A TIME #essentialsofrecovery

Reflection for the Day

We often see people in the Program—devoutly and with seeming sincerity—ask for God’s guidance on matters ranging from major crises to such insignificant things as what to serve at a dinner party. Though they may be well-intentioned, such people tend to force their wills into all sorts of situations—with the comfortable assurance that they’re following God’s specific directions. In reality, this sort of prayer is nothing more than a self-serving demand of God for “replies”; it has little to do with the Program’s suggested Eleventh Step. Do I strive regularly to study each of the Steps, and to practice them in all my affairs?

Today I Pray


May I not make the common mistake of listing my own solutions for God and then asking for a stamp of Divine approval. May I catch myself if I am not really opening my mind to God’s guidance, but merely laying out my own answers with a “what do You think of these?” attitude.

Today I Will Remember


Am I looking for God’s rubber stamp?

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


Reflection for the Day


My conscious contact with God depends entirely on me and on my desire for it. God’s power is available for me to use at all times; whether I decide to use it or not is my choice. It has been said that “God is present in all His creatures, but all are not equally aware of His presence.” I’ll try to remind myself every day of how much depends on my awareness of God’s influence in my life. And I’ll try to accept His help in everything I do. Will I remember that God knows how to help me, that He can help me, and that He wants to help me?

Today I Pray

May I be aware always that God’s power and peace are a bottomless well within me. I can draw bucket after bucket from it to refresh and purify my life. All I need to supply are the buckets and the rope. The water is mine—free, fresh, healing, and unpolluted.

Today I Will Remember

The well is God’s; I bring the buckets.

© 1989 by Hazelden Foundation 
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One Day At A Time #essentialsofrecovery

DROWNING TROUBLES

“You can’t drown your troubles, because trouble can swim.”

—Margaret Millar

My feelings have always been too large for me to handle alone. Whenever I felt troubled or had a problem too big to handle, I always turned to my friend and comforter … FOOD. This friend and I went everywhere together and with it, I figured that I could handle anything thrown at me. This friend made me feel good. I was drowning my troubles one by one.

Then someone said to me, “Don’t you know that eating too much, drinking too much or even working too much won’t solve your problems? Troubles usually reproduce themselves rapidly when you try to drown them.”

I really didn’t understand what she was trying to tell me but kept the thought tucked inside my hat. My friend food and I just kept batting these troubles deeper and deeper in my sea of tears, but sure enough, they would bounce right back up at me again later only twice as bad. What was happening? I was using my friend more each time and I began to hate it. Why was food trying to hurt me? I really thought it was my friend.

Finally, after many bruises, I realized what that person was trying to tell me. She was right. My troubles were swimming and I was drowning. I was using one of my addictions to try and fight the others, and was only going in circles. I was caught in a tidal wave and unable to get out alone. Each of my other addictions were throwing me back to my primary addiction of compulsive eating…my former friend, FOOD.

But where could I go? What could I do? The wonderful person who warned me led me to my recovery meeting and stayed with me. She helped me to find a Higher Power who was always there to help. I learned to share my experiences with my recovery family of choice. I got a wonderful sponsor who also knew me as well as I know myself. Together we looked at all the problems and troubles of the past and they weren’t so heavy any more. I moved out of the deep sea that I couldn’t swim in, and on dryer, more sturdy ground. What a relief!

One Day at a Time …
I remember that my troubles are strong and can drown me in the sea of food if I try to handle them alone. Troubles may be able to swim strongly, but they are NO MATCH for me, my Higher Power, my sponsor and Program. Together, we are strong, but alone we are weak. Together we can do what we can never do alone.

~ Jeanette ~ 
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Today's Gift #essentialsofrecovery

People Pleasers

Have you ever been around people pleasers? They tend to be displeasing. Being around someone who is turned inside out to please another is often irritating and anxiety producing.

People pleasing is a behavior we may have adapted to survive in our family. We may not have been able to get the love and attention we deserved. We may not have been given permission to please ourselves, to trust ourselves, and to choose a course of action that demonstrated self trust.

People pleasing can be overt or covert. We may run around fussing over others, chattering a mile a minute when what we are really saying is, “I hope I’m pleasing you.” Or, we may be more covert, quietly going through life making important decisions based on pleasing others.

Taking other people’s wants and needs into consideration is an important part of our relationships. We have responsibilities to friends and family and employers. We have a strong inner responsibility to be loving and caring. But, people pleasing backfires. Not only do others get annoyed with us, we often get annoyed when our efforts to please do not work as we planned. The most comfortable people to be around are those who are considerate of others but ultimately please themselves.

Help me, God, work through my fears and begin to please myself.

 From the book:



                                        The Language of Letting Go by Melody Beattie
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THE EYE OPENER #essentialsofrecovery

Have you ever noticed those old expressions: “Sit down and cry”; “Prostrate with grief”; “Wallowing in pity”; “Bowed down with troubles,” etc.?

Truly troubles in all their forms get us “down” so the only antidote would appear to be to “get up and do.”


Copyright  Hazelden Foundation 
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The Eye Opener


It takes two people to make a fight. Everybody will not be against you unless you are against everybody – including yourself. If you are at war with the whole universe, it is because a civil war rages within your breast.

If you so live as to be able to like yourself, then peace will reign in your life and your attitude toward everybody will be free of fear, jealousy and suspicion. You will have no reason to oppose anyone and no one will oppose you.


Hazelden Foundation
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Daily Tao / 342 – Manifestation #essentialsofrecovery

Watching a performance of warriors, I was told,
“This fighter’s tradition is six hundred years old.”
And I saw a performance so mired in ritual —
As if nothing valid had happened in six hundred years.
We must honor the classical without being irrelevant.



Followers of Tao place great value on ancient traditions. A living and valid tradition is like a river with a long course : It brings freshness, richness, and fertility. Just as a drought-ridden place cannot bring forth sweet fruit, those without tradition have less support for their endeavors.

What makes a tradition alive? The adherents must be fully capable of manifesting the greatness of their tradition in contemporary settings. If someone says that they are expert in traditional medicine, then they must be able to heal others today. If someone says that they are capable in traditional calligraphy, then they must be able to write beautiful words today. If someone says that they have mastered esoteric spiritual traditions, Then they must be able to manifest the power of that spirit today.

We should not ape the habits and theories of a long dead people and time in the name of tradition. We must be ruthless in this respect. Unless the force of tradition allows us to manifest a unique greatness, there is no reason to keep it. 
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Daily Tao / 312 - BRAVERY


One willing to take his own life into his hands
Will not hesitate to take the lives of others.


There were once two friends hiking in the mountains. One was a poet, the other was a statesman. They came to a deep ravine, and at the bottom were roaring rapids with a narrow plank bridge spanning the gap.

"Let's climb down and write our names on the other side," suggested the statesman. The poet refused. So the statesman went bravely down, crossed the bridge, and wrote their names in beautiful calligraphy. Then he climbed back up.

"Someday you will murder a man," predicted the poet.

"Why do you say that?" exclaimed his companion.

"Those who will take their own lives into their hands will not hesitate to take the lives of others."

Beware the brave man. He may be a hero, willing to risk his very life, but he will also be willing to endanger the lives of others. After all, he is a risk taker and therefore does not see the wisdom in conservation, compassion, and carefulness. Such a person will threaten others, force his will upon others, and even murder others not out of passion but out of something much more deadly -- rationale. He will justify his actions according to ideology, patriotism, religion, and principle.

When attacked, a brave man goes forth with strength, power, and confidence. In that boisterousness, there is little awareness of the subtle. Life is not simple, and it takes a great deal of time to master. Perhaps that is why the brave are youthful while the wise are old.
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Daily Tao / 312 - BRAVERY


One willing to take his own life into his hands
Will not hesitate to take the lives of others.


There were once two friends hiking in the mountains. One was a poet, the other was a statesman. They came to a deep ravine, and at the bottom were roaring rapids with a narrow plank bridge spanning the gap.

"Let's climb down and write our names on the other side," suggested the statesman. The poet refused. So the statesman went bravely down, crossed the bridge, and wrote their names in beautiful calligraphy. Then he climbed back up.

"Someday you will murder a man," predicted the poet.

"Why do you say that?" exclaimed his companion.

"Those who will take their own lives into their hands will not hesitate to take the lives of others."

Beware the brave man. He may be a hero, willing to risk his very life, but he will also be willing to endanger the lives of others. After all, he is a risk taker and therefore does not see the wisdom in conservation, compassion, and carefulness. Such a person will threaten others, force his will upon others, and even murder others not out of passion but out of something much more deadly -- rationale. He will justify his actions according to ideology, patriotism, religion, and principle.

When attacked, a brave man goes forth with strength, power, and confidence. In that boisterousness, there is little awareness of the subtle. Life is not simple, and it takes a great deal of time to master. Perhaps that is why the brave are youthful while the wise are old.
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DAILY ZEN #essentialsofrecovery

Hearing the above, another questioner, Jatukkani, asked: "Like the sun which controls the world with its heat and light, you, Master, seem to control desire and pleasure. I have only a little understanding. How can I find and know the way to give up this world of birth and aging?"

The Buddha answered: "Lose your greed for pleasure. See how letting go of the world brings deep tranquility. There is nothing you need hold on to and nothing you need push away. Live in the present but do not cling to it and then you can go from place to place in peace. There is a state of greed that enters and dominates the individual. But when that greed has gone, it is like poison leaving a body and death will have no more terror for you."

-Sutta Nipata  
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Saturday, 7 December 2019

"The man who removes a mountain begins by carrying away small stones." --William Faulkner

Daily Dose Of Emmet Fox #essentialsofrecovery


IS IT A LIE?


Thoughtless people sometimes say that our affirmations and meditations are foolish because we state what is not so. “To claim that my body is well or being healed when it is not, is only to tell a lie,” said one distinguished man some years ago.

This is to misunderstand the whole principle. We affirm the harmony that we seek in order to provide the subconscious with a blueprint of the work to be done. When you decide to build a house your architect prepares drawings of a complete house. Actually, of course, there is no such house on the lot today, but you would not think of saying that the architect was drawing a lie. He is drawing what is to be, in order that it may be. So, we build in thought the conditions that will later come into manifestation on the physical plane.

What is your intelligence for if not to be used in building the kind of life that you want? Very primitive men in prehistoric times rejoiced when they found food growing anywhere, and then they waited, perhaps for years, until they happened to find another crop. Today we use our intelligence, and plant in good time the actual crops that we want; and the amount that we consider necessary. We do not sit about hoping that wheat or barley may fortunately come up somewhere. If we did that, civilization would collapse.

The time has come when intelligent men and women must understand the laws of Mind, and plant consciously the crops that they desire; and just as carefully pull up the weeds that they do not want.

Then I told them of the hand of my God which was good upon me; … and they said, Let us rise up and build. So they strengthened their hands for this good work (Nehemiah 2:18).

© 1931 by Emmet Fox
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Daily Dose Of Emmet Fox

IS IT A LIE?

Thoughtless people sometimes say that our affirmations and meditations are foolish because we state what is not so. “To claim that my body is well or being healed when it is not, is only to tell a lie,” said one distinguished man some years ago.

This is to misunderstand the whole principle. We affirm the harmony that we seek in order to provide the subconscious with a blueprint of the work to be done. When you decide to build a house your architect prepares drawings of a complete house. Actually, of course, there is no such house on the lot today, but you would not think of saying that the architect was drawing a lie. He is drawing what is to be, in order that it may be. So, we build in thought the conditions that will later come into manifestation on the physical plane.

What is your intelligence for if not to be used in building the kind of life that you want? Very primitive men in prehistoric times rejoiced when they found food growing anywhere, and then they waited, perhaps for years, until they happened to find another crop. Today we use our intelligence, and plant in good time the actual crops that we want; and the amount that we consider necessary. We do not sit about hoping that wheat or barley may fortunately come up somewhere. If we did that, civilization would collapse.

The time has come when intelligent men and women must understand the laws of Mind, and plant consciously the crops that they desire; and just as carefully pull up the weeds that they do not want.

Then I told them of the hand of my God which was good upon me; … and they said, Let us rise up and build. So they strengthened their hands for this good work (Nehemiah 2:18).

© 1931 by Emmet Fox 
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DAILY REFLECTIONS

TRUE AMBITION

True ambition is not what we thought it was. True ambition is the deep desire to live usefully and walk humbly under the grace of God.

~ TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, pp. 124-25 


During my drinking years, my one and only concern was to have my fellow man think highly of me. My ambition in everything I did was to have the power to be at the top. My inner self kept telling me something else but I couldn’t accept it. I didn’t even allow myself to realize that I wore a mask continually. Finally, when the mask came off and I cried out to the only God I could conceive, the Fellowship of A.A., my group and the Twelve Steps were there. I learned how to change resentments into acceptance, fear into hope and anger into love. I have learned also, through loving without undue expectations, through sharing my concerns and caring for my fellow man, that each day can be joyous and fruitful. I begin and end my day with thanks to God, who has so generously shed His grace on me.

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

Surviving Our Emotions

“We use the tools available to us and develop the ability to survive our emotions.”

~ Basic Text, p. 30

“Survive my emotions?” some of us say. “You’ve got to be kidding!” When we were using, we never gave ourselves the chance to learn how to survive them. You don’t survive your feelings, we thought—you drug them. The problem was, that “cure” for our unsurvivable emotions was killing us. That’s when we came to Narcotics Anonymous, started working the Twelve Steps and, as a result, began to mature emotionally.

Many of us found emotional relief right from the start. We were tired of pretending that our addiction and our lives were under control; it actually felt good to finally admit they weren’t. After sharing our inventory with our sponsor, we began to feel like we didn’t have to deny who we were or what we felt in order to be accepted. When we’d finished making our amends, we knew we didn’t have to suffer with guilt; we could own up to it and it wouldn’t kill us. The more we worked the NA program, the better we felt about living life as it came to us.

The program works today as well as it ever did. By taking stock of our day, getting honest about our part in it, and surrendering to reality, we can survive the feelings life throws our way. By using the tools available to us, we’ve developed the ability to survive our emotions.

Just for today: I will not deny my feelings. I will practice honesty and surrender to life as it is. I will use the tools of this program to survive my emotions.

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

A.A. Thought for the Day

When people come back to A.A. after having a slip, the temptation is strong to say nothing about it. No other A.A. member should force them to declare themselves. It is entirely up to them. If they are well grounded in A.A., they will realize that it’s up to them to speak up at the next meeting and tell about their slip. There is no possible evasion of this duty, if they are thoroughly honest and really desirous of living the A.A. way again. When they have done it, their old confidence returns. They are home again. Their slip should not be mentioned again by others. They are again a good member of A. A. Am I tolerant of other people’s mistakes?

Meditation for the Day

It is in the union of a soul with God that strength, new life, and spiritual power come. Bread sustains the body but we cannot live by bread alone. To try to do the will of God is the meat and support of true living. We feed on that spiritual food. Soul starvation comes from failing to do so. The world talks about bodies that are undernourished. What of the souls that are undernourished? Strength and peace come from partaking of spiritual food.

Prayer for the Day

I pray that I may not try to live by bread alone. I pray that my spirit may live by trying to do the will of God as I understand it.

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

To Watch Loneliness Vanish

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. Either we were shy, and dared not draw near others, or we were noisy good fellows constantly craving attention and companionship, but rarely getting it. There was always that mysterious barrier we could neither surmount nor understand.

That’s one reason we loved alcohol too well. But even Bacchus betrayed us; we were finally struck down and left in terrified isolation.

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

Life takes on new meaning in A.A. To watch people recover, to see them help others, to watch loneliness vanish, to see a fellowship grow up about you, to have a host of friends — this is an experience not to be missed.

~ 1. TWELVE AND TWELVE, P. 57

~ 2. ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, P. 89  
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WALK IN DRY PLACES

WHAT RATHER THAN WHO

Principles before Personalities


We’re sometimes led to do something because a persuasive or important person recommends it. This is, in fact, the strategy behind endorsement advertising.

We learn in AA that it’s more important to ask what is right rather than who is offering a course of action. If a course of action is right, it matters not who recommends it. If it is wrong, a dozen important people cannot make it right by endorsing it.

There are, indeed, many important people whom we can know and trust. But we should always remember that every human being will turn out to have clay feet if he or she is set up as a god. Our trust must always be in our Higher Power and in principles that never fail.

I’ll not be unduly impressed today by persuasive, charismatic people. I’ll follow their ideas only if I believe them to be right. Principles have a precedence over personality.

© 1996 by Hazelden Foundation  
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KEEP IT SIMPLE


We are here to add what we can to, not to get what we can get from, Life.

~ Sir William Osler 

Service is a word we hear in our recovery program. Service means work we do for others. It’s the backbone of our program. The reason is simple. Service to our Higher Power and to others breaks down our wanting to be self-centered.

Service brings us back into the world. We really are part of the group when we pitch in to make coffee, set up chairs, or talk in meetings. We really feel like part of the family when we run errands and help with meals and housework. We really connect with our Higher Power when we pray, “Use me today to help others.” Service breaks down the feeling of being alone that being self-centered brings.

Prayer for the Day:

Higher Power, help me to be of service to You and others. Show me what is needed.

Action for the Day:

Today will be a service day. I’ll see how valued I am. I’ll give to others, knowing that I, too, will receive.

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


REALITY


“Humans are complex beings: they make deserts bloom and lakes die.”

~ Gif Stern 

I am a mix of good and bad. When I was drinking, I could be cruel, sarcastic, and violent but at other times loving, sensitive, and thoughtful. In recovery, I can be honest, humble, and creative, but I also harbor a dark side that may hurt, lie, or seek negative power. What a mix I was and still am! In my many conversations with a variety of people, I have discovered this is part of what it means to be human.

Now I am able to accept this fact and develop my spiritual life. I am not perfect, but I try to improve my attitude and behavior. I am not God, but I can aspire to be the best I can be. Today I own the sickness in my life, but I also accept the responsibility for recovery.

With my feet in the dirt, I look to the stars.

© 2008 Leo Booth

REALITY


“Humans are complex beings: they make deserts bloom and lakes die.”

~ Gif Stern 

I am a mix of good and bad. When I was drinking, I could be cruel, sarcastic, and violent but at other times loving, sensitive, and thoughtful. In recovery, I can be honest, humble, and creative, but I also harbor a dark side that may hurt, lie, or seek negative power. What a mix I was and still am! In my many conversations with a variety of people, I have discovered this is part of what it means to be human.

Now I am able to accept this fact and develop my spiritual life. I am not perfect, but I try to improve my attitude and behavior. I am not God, but I can aspire to be the best I can be. Today I own the sickness in my life, but I also accept the responsibility for recovery.

With my feet in the dirt, I look to the stars.

© 2008 Leo Booth 
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A DAY AT A TIME


Reflection for the Day


As long as I stubbornly hang on to the conviction that I can live solely by my individual strength and intelligence, a working faith in my Higher Power is impossible. This is true, no matter how strongly I believe that God exists. My religious beliefs—no matter how sincere —will remain forever lifeless if I continue trying to play God myself. What it comes down to, we find, is that, as long as we place self-reliance first, true reliance upon a Higher Power is out of the question. How strong is my desire to seek and do God’s will?

Today I Pray

I pray that I may not place my self-reliance above reliance on God. May I know that there is no conflict between taking responsibility for my own actions, which I have been taught is the essence of maturity, and looking to God for guidance. May I remember that if I stick to the “do it myself” rule, it is like refusing to ask for a road map from a tourist information bureau —and wandering around forever lost.

Today I Will Remember


Maturity is knowing where to go for help.

© 1989 by Hazelden Foundation 
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ONE DAY AT A TIME

CHANGE

If we don’t change, we don’t grow.
If we don’t grow, we are not really living.


~ Gail Sheehy 

Throughout my life, I have been terrified of change. To me, change meant abandoning one set of experiences which, although adverse, were at least familiar. I thought I’d be replacing them with another set of experiences which would surely be at least as bad, and which had the additional disadvantage of being unknown.

In this program, I was appalled to see a whole room of people who spoke enthusiastically, joyfully, about the changes that the program was bringing to their lives –not just in terms of released weight, but in so many areas of day-to-day living. Panic-stricken at the idea that I, too, would change, I talked about it after the first meeting with a dear friend.

“Hey,” she smiled. “No one’s forcing you. If changing gets too scary, you can always decide you want to stay put.”

Armed with that slight reassurance, I decided I would go with the program until it got too scary.

In the course of the next weeks, as I maintained strict abstinence and began to work the Steps, strange things began to happen, imperceptibly at first. I found myself looking forward to getting up in the morning and adding all kinds of things to my morning ritual: body lotion, foot care, cosmetics. Amazingly, my life-long habit of nail-biting disappeared, and my nails are not only well-tended, but polished!

On the professional level, I started keeping a list of projects due, instead of relying on my sketchy memory. I hired someone to answer phones and to help keep my eternally messy desk more or less clear. Most important, I have started an honest reassessment of my relationship with my life partner, and have decided that it’s not enough that this is the first relationship of my life that is free of physical abuse; I deserve to be loved and desired, and to have that love and desire expressed.

At a face-to-face program meeting this week, I read the Promises. I was amazed to hear a strong, confident voice–mine–saying “Our whole attitude and outlook upon life will change,” and I realized that I was changing. I love it!

One Day at a Time . . .


I will welcome change, for change is growth, and I will know that, now that I have placed my life in the hands of my Higher Power, any change will be for the better. 

~ Sharon N.  
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ELDER MEDITATION OF THE DAY


“A man should rely on his own resources; the one who so trains himself is ready for any emergency.”

~ Oral Tradition, OMAHA 

Man is designed to function independently and to rely on the Creator for his resources. If we build our relationship with the Great Spirit, we are ready when emergencies occur. We need to build a trusting relationship with the Creator. We do this by constantly talking with the Creator. It’s good to talk to Him many times a day. Then we will realize, even though we can’t see Him, that He is always with us and He is ready to respond to our requests.

God, let me remember to talk to You many times today. 
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Today's Gift #essentialsofrecovery



Pray to God but row to shore.


— Proverb


There exists a Divine partnership between God and man that is wonderfully depicted in the following story. A young minister was driving through the countryside when he spotted a farmer tilling 40 acres of magnificent farmland. The minister pulled over and addressed the farmer, “God has certainly blessed you with a wonderful piece of land.” The farmer replied, “Yes, but you should have seen the mess it was in when God had it to Himself!”


A well-known entrepreneur was asked the secret of her business success. She answered, “I pray as if everything depends on God, but act as if everything depends on me.” It is not enough just to pray for and affirm our good. Like the farmer and businesswoman, we must also take concrete steps to make our dreams a reality.


Working together, we and spirit form an unbeatable combination. Neither can succeed without the other. Just as nature provided the land but needed the farmer to till the soil, spirit needs us to bring about heaven on earth. Let us work together as Divine partners to fulfill this promise.


From the book:




                               Listening to Your Inner Voice by Douglas Bloch 
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THE EYE OPENER #essentialsofrecovery


Every person at some time in life has a spiritual experience of some kind. It may have been no more than a soul- stimulating experience after hearing a beautiful hymn, beautifully sung. Perhaps it is only an undefined hunger within when viewing alone a star-studded sky, or an awe-inspiring view. Maybe it was experienced when looking upon the miracle of a baby.

The soul of even the most callous will light up when it glimpses the beauty and power of God.

Copyright  Hazelden Foundation  
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Daily Tao / 341 – Simplicity


“Be aware of Tao.”
Isn’t that simple?
No — let’s reduce more :

“Be Tao.”


Why go through all this rigmarole? Why endlessly examine scriptures and debate obscure actions of long-dead saints and equally dead words? We need to affirm experience over words, individuality over dogma.

After all this study of Tao, there should only be this simple conclusion : There is only us and Tao.

No, more simple still is to be Tao itself. Then everything that is Tao is us.
Those who follow Tao reduce everything in complexity until they reach the final irreducible conclusion : You are Tao. When you can be that without any contradictions, then you have truly achieved sublime simplicity. 
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DAILY ZEN #essentialsofrecovery


If the eye never sleeps,
All dreams will naturally cease.
If the mind makes no discriminations,
The ten thousand things
Are as they are, of single essence.
To understand the mystery of the One-essence
Is to be released from all entanglements.
When all things are seen equally
The timeless Self-essence is reached.
No comparisons or analogies are possible
In this causeless, relationless state.

- T’sen T’sang (d. 606) 
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Friday, 6 December 2019

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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