Friday, 23 October 2020

DavidB- A.A. Big Book Speaker


Daily Dose Of Emmet Fox #essentialsofrecovery

The birth of that marvelous wish in your soul -- the dawning of that secret dream -- was the Voice of God Himself telling you to arise and come up higher because He has need of you.

~Emmet Fox 
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Just For Today #essentialsofrecovery


Surrender

“By surrendering control, we gain a far greater power.” 

Basic Text, p.43

When we were using, we did everything we could to run things our way. We used every scheme imaginable to bring our world under control. When we got what we wanted, we felt powerful, invincible; when we didn’t, we felt vulnerable, defeated. But that didn’t stop us – it only led to more efforts to control and manipulate our lives into a manageable state.

Scheming was our way of denying our powerlessness. As long as we could distract ourselves with our plans, we could put off accepting that we were out of control. Only gradually did we realize that our lives had become unmanageable and that all the conning and manipulating in the world was not going to put our lives back in order.

When we admit our powerlessness, we stop trying to control and manage our way to a better life – we surrender. Lacking sufficient power of our own, we seek a Power greater than ourselves; needing support and guidance, we ask that Power to care for our will and our lives. We ask others in recovery to share their experience with living the NA program instead of trying to program our own lives. The power and direction we seek is all around us; we need only turn away from self to find it.

Just for today: I will not try to scheme and manipulate my way to a manageable life. Through the NA program, I will surrender myself to my Higher Power’s care.  
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As Bill Sees It #essentialsofrecovery

Love+Rationality=Growth, p. 294

“It seems to me that the primary object of any human being is to grow, as God intended, that being the nature of all growing things.

“Our search must be for what reality we can find, which includes the best definition and feeling of love that we can acquire. If the capability of loving is in the human being, then it must surely be in his Creator.

“Theology helps me in that many of its concepts cause me to believe that I live in a rational universe under a loving God, and that my own irrationality can be chipped away, little by little. This is, I suppose, the process of growth for which we are intended.”  
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Walk In Dry Places #essentialsofrecovery


How do we hurt others?
Inventory


Even while drinking, few of us abused others physically or committed crimes. Yet we did harm others, even when we thought we were hurting only ourselves.

One way we harmed others…. and this applies to many alcoholic family relationships.. was by with-holding the love and support they needed. If we had a nasty disposition at times, this poisoned the atmosphere and made others uncomfortable and afraid.

Maybe we harmed others by not being productive at work. Our absenteeism, for example, may have put our boss in a bad light with superiors or caused the firm to lose a client.

Perhaps the worst harm was in being completely indifferent to what we were doing to others. Any willingness to admit wrong, then, can be a major step toward recovery and self-improvement.

Though, I have no intention of harming anyone today, I’ll realize that even my attitude can affect others unfavorably. I’ll try to maintain an attitude that’s uplifting to everyone.
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Keep It Simple #essentialsofrecovery

It’s not dying faith that’s so hard, it’s living up to it.

William Makepeace Thackeray

We may ask, “Do I have to do an Eighth or Ninth Step?” “Do I really need a sponsor?” “Hmm…can I get by without going to so many meetings?” Having faith means putting our questions aside. So…what do we do? We work the program. We accept that those who’ve gone before us were right. We accept the idea that we need others. Faith is knowing that others love and care for us. Faith is also about action. The main way we know that we have faith is by looking at our behavior. Ask yourself this: “Are my actions those of a person with faith?”

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, help me remove the questions that get in my way. Help me act like a person with faith.

Action for the Day: I’ll list four parts of my program that I have faith in, such as, “I believe honesty is important to my sobriety.”  
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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation #essentialsofrecovery

VALUE


“A cynic is a man who knows the price of everything and value of nothing.”

— Oscar Wilde

I never knew the value of my life until I looked beyond it. For years I was so self-obsessed that I missed the joy and beauty of this wonderful world. I was so concerned with details and minutia of life that I missed the fun of living.

I now see that my behavior had its roots in my childhood. I was the child in a dysfunctional family. I became a parent to my parents. I took charge of everybody’s life and I felt responsible and guilty. Everything was work and I did not learn how to play.

Today I am working on my recovery. I am “dumping” my feelings of guilt, shame and anger. I am beginning to understand that I am not responsible for my parents and I am beginning to feel free. Today I am learning how to play.

Lord of the dance, teach me the steps.  
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A Day At A Time #essentialsofrecovery

Reflection For The Day

“One’s own self is well hidden from one’s own self,” a renowned philosopher once wrote. “of all mines of treasure, one’s own is the last to be dug up.” The Twelve Steps have enabled me to unearth my “own self,” the one that for so long was buried beneath my desperate need for approval from others. Thanks to The Program and my Higher Power, I’ve begun acquiring a true sense of self and a comfortable sense of confidence. No longer do I have to react chameleon like, changing my coloration from one moment to the next, fruitlessly trying to bee all things to all people. Do I strive, at all time, to be true to myself?

Today I Pray

I pray that I may be honest with myself, and that I will continue — with the help of God and my friends — to try to get to know the real me. May I know that I cannot suddenly be a pulled-together, totally defined, completely consistent personality; it may take a while to develop into that personality, to work out my values and my priorities. May I know now that I have a good start on being who I want to be.

Today I Will Remember


I’m getting to be who I want to be.  
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Elder’s Meditation of the Day #essentialsofrecovery


“We do not walk alone.
Great Being walks beside us.
Know this and be grateful.”


–Polingaysi Q“yawayma, HOPI

Many religions have different names for these Beings.
Some are called angels, some are called spirits.
These Spirit Beings are helpers.
They guide us, protect us and will help us during our times of need. Sometimes they give us dreams.
We need not be afraid when these Spirit Helpers come.
We need to understand they are the Creator’s helpers.

Great Spirit, send me the helpers to guide my path as I seek to walk in Your service.  
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Today’s Gift #essentialsofrecovery

Change Me

— Ruth C.’s Prayer


Change me, God,

Please change me.

Though I cringe,

Kick,

Resist and resent.

Pay no attention to me whatsoever.

When I run to hide

Drag me out of my safe little shelter.

Change me totally.

Whatever it takes.

However long You must work at the job.

Change me – and save me

From spiritual self-destruction.

From the book:




                                The 12 Step Prayer Book Volume 2 by Bill P. and Lisa D.  
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Today’s Gift #essentialsofrecovery

Change Me

— Ruth C.’s Prayer


Change me, God,

Please change me.

Though I cringe,

Kick,

Resist and resent.

Pay no attention to me whatsoever.

When I run to hide

Drag me out of my safe little shelter.

Change me totally.

Whatever it takes.

However long You must work at the job.

Change me – and save me

From spiritual self-destruction.

From the book:




                                The 12 Step Prayer Book Volume 2 by Bill P. and Lisa D.
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Daily Zen #essentialsofrecovery

The person resolute in the Way must strive not to lose sight of it, whether in a place of calm or in a place of strife. Beware of clinging to quiet places and shunning those where there is disturbance. If you try to take refuge from trouble by running to some quiet place, you will fall into confusion.

- Daikaku (1213-1279)   
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Thursday, 22 October 2020

Viki E. - Recovery Speaker


Daily Dose Of Emmet Fox

God is life. I understand that and express it. God is perfect Truth. I understand that and express it. God is Love. I understand that and express it. I radiate thoughts of love and peace and healing to the whole universe. If anyone has ever injured me or done me any harm, I fully and freely forgive that person now, and the thing is done forever. I go free.

~ Emmet Fox 
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Daily Reflections #essentialsofrecovery

TRUE TOLERANCE

Finally, we begin to see that all people, including ourselves, are to some extent emotionally ill as well as frequently wrong, and then we approach true tolerance and see what real love for our fellows actually means. 

TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 92

The thought occurred to me that all people are emotionally ill to some extent. How could we not be? Who among us is spiritually perfect? Who among us is physically perfect? How could any of us be emotionally perfect? Therefore, what else are we to do but bear with one another and treat each other as we would be treated in similar circumstances? That is what love really is. 
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Just For Today #essentialsofrecovery

Look Who’s Talking

“Our disease is so cunning that it can get us into impossible situations.”

Basic Text, p.80

Some of us say, “My disease is talking to me.” Others say, “My head won’t turn off.” Still others refer to “the committee in my mind” or “the monkey on my back.” Let’s face it. We suffer from an incurable malady that continues to affect us, even in recovery. Our disease gives us warped information about what’s going on in our lives. It tells us not to look at ourselves because what we’ll see is too scary. Sometimes it tells us we’re not responsible for ourselves and our actions; other times, it tells us that everything wrong with the world is our fault. Our disease tricks us into trusting it.

The NA program provides us with many voices that counter our addiction, voices we can trust. We can call our sponsor for a reality check. We can listen to the voice of an addict trying to get clean. The ultimate solution is to work the steps and draw on the strength of a Higher Power. That will get us through those times when “our disease is talking.”

Just for today: I will ignore the “voice” of my addiction. I will listen to the voice of my program and a Power greater than myself.  
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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

I am content to face the rest of my life without alcohol. I have made the great decision once and for all. I have surrendered as gracefully as possible to the inevitable. I hope I have no more reservations. I hope that nothing can happen to me now that would justify my taking a drink. No death of a dear one. No great calamity in any area of my life should justify me in drinking. Even if I were on some desert isle, far from the rest of the world, but not far from God, should I ever feel it right to drink. For me, alcohol is out–period. I will always be safe unless I take that first drink. Am I fully resigned to this fact?

Meditation For The Day

Day by day we should slowly build up an unshakable faith in a Higher Power in that Power’s ability to give us all the help we need. By having these quiet times each morning, we start each day with a renewing of our faith, until it becomes almost a part of us and is a strong habit. We should keep furnishing the quiet places of our souls with all the furniture of faith. We should try to fill our thoughts each day with all that is harmonious and good, beautiful, and enduring.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may build a house in my soul for the spirit of God to dwell in. I pray that I may come at last to an unshakable faith.
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As Bill Sees It #essentialsofrecovery

Rebellion Or Acceptance, p.293

All of us pass through the times when we can pray only with the greatest exertion. Occasionally we go even further than this. 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.

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

A man who persists in prayer finds himself in possession of great gifts. When he has to deal with hard circumstances, he finds he can face them. He can accept himself and the world around him.

He can do this because he now accepts a God who is All–and who loves all. When he says, “Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name,” he deeply and humbly means it. When in good meditation and thus freed from the clamours of the world, he knows that he’s in God’s hands, that his own ultimate destiny is really secure, here and hereafter, come what may.

1. TWELVE AND TWELVE, p. 105

2. GRAPEVINE, JUNE 1958   
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As Bill Sees It #essentialsofrecovery

Rebellion Or Acceptance, p.293

All of us pass through the times when we can pray only with the greatest exertion. Occasionally we go even further than this. 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.

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

A man who persists in prayer finds himself in possession of great gifts. When he has to deal with hard circumstances, he finds he can face them. He can accept himself and the world around him.

He can do this because he now accepts a God who is All–and who loves all. When he says, “Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name,” he deeply and humbly means it. When in good meditation and thus freed from the clamours of the world, he knows that he’s in God’s hands, that his own ultimate destiny is really secure, here and hereafter, come what may.

1. TWELVE AND TWELVE, p. 105

2. GRAPEVINE, JUNE 1958  
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Walk In Dry Places #essentialsofrecovery

When the bath is negative
Personal relations


A member referred to getting a “negative bath” every day at work. She was talking about her boss’s bad disposition and the poor attitudes of several co-workers. How does one deal with this negativity?

It’s not satisfactory to say that this member created her own “negative bath” by her attitudes toward her boss and others. In fact, in many businesses, the atmosphere is negative… and dealing with it takes more than trite comment.

In such situations, we can employ detachment, as practiced in Al-Anon, and accept the things we cannot change, as stated in the Serenity Prayer.

The longer-term solution may require making a major change, such as finding a new job, but we must be careful not to exchange one negative situation for another. We will make the right decision if we’re careful to avoid resentment and self-pity while being completely honest about our own motives and intentions.

I may find myself in a “negative bath” of some kind today, but I can detach from it by avoiding resentment or the tendency to blame others.  
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Keep It Simple #essentialsofrecovery


Life is what happens to us while we’re making other plans.

—Thomas LaMance

What happened to our years of drinking and using other drugs? They seemed to pass so quickly with so little to show for them. We had plans, but we didn’t get where we wanted to go. There was always “tomorrow.”

What a difference today! Now we work a program that helps us really live each day. We’re not losing time out of our lives anymore. Now every day is full of life: sights, sounds, people, feelings—those things we used to miss out on. We have the help of a Higher Power who makes every day important.

Prayer for the Day:
 Higher Power, help me do Your will for me today. I place this day in Your care.

Action for the Day: Be on the lookout today for signs of life! 
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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

UNITY

“This land of ours cannot be a good place for any of us to live in unless we make it a good place for all of us to live in.”

— Richard Nixon

My sobriety has given me a comprehensive view of life and my neighbor. Today I believe that we are all connected and if I hurt or am hurt, then everybody at some level is affected. Because we are all children of God, it follows that we are all one big family — speaking different languages, having different customs, revealing different physical characteristics and complexions, requiring different satisfaction (both sexual and emotional), but we are still one big family under God.

This means I have a responsibility to all in the family and I can best exercise that responsibility by having a healthy respect for myself. I should treat people as I would want to be treated, allowing them the freedom and love I require in my life. I am the key to the world’s needs.

Lord, let me find my neighbor in myself.   
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A Day At A Time #essentialsofrecovery

Reflection For The Day

“not all those who know their minds know their hearts as well,” wrote La Rochefoucauld. The Program is of inestimable value for those of us, formerly addicted, who want to know ourselves and who are courageous enough to seek growth through self-examination and self-improvement. If I remain honest, open-minded and willing, The Program will enable me to rid myself of my self-deceptive attitudes and character flaws that for so long prevented me from growing into the kind of person I want to be. Do I try to help others understand The Program and Twelve Steps? Do I carry the message by example?

Today I Pray

I ask God’s blessing for the group, which has shown me so much about myself that I was not swilling to face on my own. May I have the courage to be confronted and to confront, not only to be honest for honesty’s sake — which may be reason enough — but to allow myself and the others in the group to grow in self-knowledge.

Today I Will Remember

We are mirrors of each other.  
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One Day At A Time #essentialsofrecovery

Scars

“Dwelling on the negative simply contributes to its power.”

–Shirley MacLaine

I’ve lived most of my life filled with bitterness towards people, God and myself. My mind, soul, and body were consumed by hatred, self-pity, pain, hopelessness, and a complete sense of powerlessness. I focused my energy on reviewing my scars. I counted them, checked them, nurtured them, and flaunted them. They were proof of all the wrongs I’d endured. They were my source of energy. They were my identity. They were my badge of sorrow.

As I work my recovery, I am beginning to see everything from a new perspective. Gradually my head is lifted and my eyes are turned away from my once-beloved scars. The more I allow myself to accept that my powerlessness is not a prison of doom, the more I discover that it is my doorway to faith, surrender, and serenity.

My scars are still here. There is no magic potion to remove them. What is magical, however, is that I see them so differently. I find that I have a choice to make every day: I can cherish my scars as proof of the pain I have suffered, or I can be thankful for them as evidence of things I have survived. Scar tissue forms and creates a stronger, thicker skin in its place. I can either pick at it and make it bleed, or I can welcome the lessons and endurance it has built into my life.

One day at a time…
I will choose to see my scars as proof of the difficulties I have survived. I will choose to appreciate them as evidence that God has brought me through suffering and has used all things to strengthen my faith in Him, my hope for tomorrow, and my serenity for today.

~ Lisa
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ELDERS MEDITATION OF THE DAY #essentialsofrecovery

Growth is a painful process.”

~ Wilma Mankiller, CHEROKEE ~

Whenever we grow, we usually need to let go of emotional attachments. Letting go can be painful. Sometimes growth allows us to deal with fear. All fear can fit into two categories: one, we’re going to lose something we have, and two, we’re not going to get something we want. Both of these categories can cause pain. The best way to grow is to pray to the Great Spirit and ask Him to guide and protect us. All growth is guided by God.

My Creator, guide my growth today and give me Your love and courage to help my pain.  
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Today’s Gift #essentialsofrecovery


Happiness is a by product of an effort to make someone else happy.

— Gretta Brooker Palmer

Self-centeredness aggravates the natural flow of circumstances surrounding us; too much attention on ourselves distorts whatever might be troubling us. However, focusing on others’ needs diminishes what we’d perceived as our own pressing need. This is a simple principle we might all consider adopting.

None of us is free of problems. That’s one of life’s givens. Through their resolution we grow and ready ourselves for the next group of challenges. Each group we survive enables us to offer better assistance to someone else who will confront a similar problem. Perhaps we’d do well to see all our problems as preparation for guiding someone who will come into our life. Helping someone else is certain to lift spirits and foster happiness, but the unexpected reward is that the helper reaps even greater benefits than the one helped.

My happiness is guaranteed if I help someone else find it today.

From the book:


                           The Promise of a New Day by Karen Casey and Martha Vanceburg  
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The Eye Opener #essentialsofrecovery

We alcoholics should never claim Justice. It is the one thing in the way of a virtue that we can’t use. It would be poison.

It would be found upon examination that had we received justice, we would never have gotten to the door of AA. The warden wouldn’t have allowed it. If we are wise, we will confine our conversations to Mercy, for this is something we want and need. But if Justice was ever given us in full measure, we would find it would be something we didn’t want.

Copyright Hazelden Foundation  
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Daily Tao / 295 – Solutions #essentialsofrecovery


Don’t be afraid to explore;
Without exploration there are no discoveries.
Don’t be afraid of partial solutions;
Without the tentative there is no accomplishment.


Indecision and procrastination are corrosive habits. Those who wait for every little thing to be perfect before they embark on a project or who dislike the compromise of a partial solution are among the least happy. Ideal circumstances are seldom given to anyone for an undertaking. Instead there is uncertainty in every situation. The wise are those who can wrest great advantage from circumstances opaque to everyone else.

Wanting everything in life to be perfect before you take action is like wanting to reach a destination without travel. For those who follow Tao, travel is every bit as important as the destination. One step after another : That is still central to the wisdom of Tao.
Every day passes whether you participate or not. If you are not careful, years will go by and you will only have regrets. If you cannot solve a problem all at once, at least make a stab at it. Reduce your problems into smaller, more manageable packages, and you can make measurable progress toward achievement. If you wait for everything to be perfect according to your preconceived plans, then you may well wait forever. If you go out and work with the current of life, you may find that success comes from building upon small things.  
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Daily Zen

If you students of the Way wish to become Buddhas, you need study no doctrines whatever, but learn only how to avoid seeking for and attaching yourselves to anything.

-Huang Po, "Zen Teaching of Huang Po"   
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Wednesday, 21 October 2020

Bob. O. - Speaker


Daily Dose Of Emmet Fox #essentialsofrecovery

The birth of that marvelous wish in your soul -- the dawning of that secret dream -- was the Voice of God Himself telling you to arise and come up higher because He has need of you.

~Emmet Fox  
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Daily Dose Of Emmet Fox

God is life. I understand that and express it. God is perfect Truth. I understand that and express it. God is Love. I understand that and express it. I radiate thoughts of love and peace and healing to the whole universe. If anyone has ever injured me or done me any harm, I fully and freely forgive that person now, and the thing is done forever. I go free.

~ Emmet Fox 
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Daily Reflections #essentialsofrecovery

NOTHING GROWS IN THE DARK

We will want the good that is in us all, even in the worst of us, to flower and to grow.

AS BILL SEES IT, p. 10

With the self-discipline and insight gained from practicing Step Ten, I begin to know the gratifications of sobriety — not as mere abstinence from alcohol, but as recovery in every department of my life.
I renew hope, regenerate faith, and regain the dignity of self-respect. I discover the word “and” in the phrase “and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it.”Reassured that I am no longer always wrong, I learn to accept myself as I am, with a new sense of the miracles of sobriety and serenity.  
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Just For Today #essentialsofrecovery

God’s Will Today

“This decision demands continued acceptance, ever – increasing faith, and a daily commitment to recovery.”


IP No.14, “One Addict’s Experience…”

Sometimes, we really live the Third Step – and it’s great! We don’t regret the past, we aren’t afraid of the future, and we’re generally pleased with the present. Sometimes, though, we lose our vision of God’s will in our life.

Many of us dream of erasing the mistakes of our past, but the past cannot be erased. Many of us are grateful this is so, for our past experiences have brought us to the recovery we enjoy today. By working the program, we can learn to accept the past and reconcile ourselves with it by amending our wrongs. Those same Twelve Steps can help eliminate our worries over the future. When we practice NA principles on a daily basis in all our affairs, we can leave the results up to our Higher Power.

It seems as though our members with the strongest faith are the ones who are best able to live in the present moment. Enjoyment, appreciation, and gratitude for the quality of our lives – these are the results of faith in life itself. When we practice the principles of our program, today is the only day we need.

Just for today: I will make the most of today, and trust that yesterday and tomorrow are in God’s care. 

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day #essentialsofrecovery

A.A. Thought For The Day

Now that we have considered the obligations of real, working members of A.A., let us examine what the rewards are that have come to us as a result of our new way of living. First, I understand myself more than I ever did before. I have learned what was the matter with me and I know now a lot of what makes me tick. I will never be alone again. I am just one of many who have the illness of alcoholism and one of many who have learned what to do about it. I am not an odd fish or a square peg in a round hole. I seem to have found my right place in the world. Am I beginning to understand myself?

Meditation For The Day


“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If any man hear my voice and open the door, I will come in to him and will remain with him and him with me.” The knocking of God’s spirit, asking to come into your life, is due to no merit of yours, though it is in response to the longing of your heart. Keep a listening ear, an ear bent to catch the sound of the gentle knocking at the door of your heart by the spirit of God. Then open the door of your heart and let God’s spirit come in.

Prayer For The Day


I pray that I may let God’s spirit come into my heart. I pray that it may fill me with an abiding peace.  
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As Bill Sees It #essentialsofrecovery

Toward Partnership, p. 292

When the distortion of family life through alcohol has been great, a long period of patient striving may be necessary. After the husband joins A.A., the wife may become discontented, even highly resentful that A.A. has done the very thing that all her years of devotion had failed to do. Her husband may become so wrapped up in A.A. and his new friends that he is inconsiderately away from home more than when he drank. Each then blames the other.

But eventually the alcoholic, now fully understanding how much he did to hurt his wife and children, nearly always takes up his marriage responsibilities with a willingness to repair what he can and accept what he can’t. He persistently tries all of A.A.’s Twelve Steps in his home, often with fine results. He firmly but lovingly commences to behave like a partner instead of like a bad boy.


12 & 12, pp. 118-119   
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WALK IN DRY PLACES #essentialsofrecovery


HOW DO WE HELP OTHERS?

Carrying the Message


We may be disillusioned by the selfish behavior we see around us, but many people and groups do dedicate themselves to helping others. Sometimes, however, even their efforts fail, or are misunderstood and even resented.

In AA, we don’t have solutions for every human problem—though some believe our program is widely applicable. But we can help people in a surprising and simple way by showing how well the program works in our own lives.

This provides role models of recovery for others who struggle in the bondage of alcoholism. We are giving them convincing evidence that the program does work.

We also help by sharing how our recoveries came about and how we maintained our sobriety. This is a form of helping that benefit everyone. Furthermore, we can be assured that we will be helped, even when our efforts to help others don’t seem to be succeeding.

I’ll expect to help somebody today, preferably by carrying the message of recovery. One person is certain to benefit from this.


© 1996 by Hazelden Foundation  
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Keep It Simple #essentialsofrecovery

Even a stopped clock is right twice a day. 

—Anonymous

Nobody’s always wrong. Nobody’s all bad. And that includes us.

Sometimes, we really get down on ourselves. When we do Step Four, we sometimes see only our faults. When we make our Step Ten checkup, we see only our mistakes. We can’t afford to do this. We need to see our strengths too. But even our faults have a good side. Are you stubborn? Good—be stubborn, you know how to hang on to feelings. So, hang on to the good feelings instead of the bad ones.

Each of us is good and wise. What’s good about us got twisted by our disease. But now we can get the kinks out. We are sober, and we have a program to help us.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, help me to see the good in myself and others.

Action for the Day: I’ll take another look at my faults today. How can I use them in good ways? 
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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation #essentialsofrecovery

CONSCIENCE

“In matters of conscience, the law of the majority has no place.”

— Mohandas Gandhi

How I used to hate myself. So many times I caught myself pleasing the crowd, agreeing with people I did not understand or respect, laughing at jokes and opinions I loathed. How I used to hate myself!

Today I have a healthy respect for what the majority may feel but I also trust and follow my conscience. I know that to be in the minority is not necessarily to be in the wrong. My recovery insists that I listen to my conscience, that inner self that is based on a program of honesty, that spiritual cornerstone of my life that I have come to trust.

Now I can say to people, “I do not agree.” Today I give myself permission to disagree with family, friends and colleagues.

May I never follow the crowd because of the numbers: God is one.  
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A Day At A Time #essentialsofrecovery

Reflection For The Day

There’s a world of difference between the idea of self-love and love of self. Self-love is a reflection of an inflated ego, around which — in our distorted view of our own self-importance– everything must revolve, Self-love is the breeding around for hostility, arrogance, and a host of other character defects which blind us to any points of view but our own. Love of self, in contrast, is an appreciation of our dignity and value as human beings. Love of self is an expression of self-realization, from which springs humility. Do I believe that I can love others best when I have gained love of self?

Today I Pray

May God, who loves me, teach me to love myself. May I notice that the most arrogant of officious humans are not so completely sure of themselves, after all. Instead, they are apt to have a painfully low self-image, and insecurity which they clock in pomp and princely trappings. May God show me that when I can like myself, I am duly crediting Him, since every living thing is a work of God.

Today I Will Remember


I will try to like myself. 
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One Day At A Time #essentialsofrecovery

 Ready


“If we wait for the moment when everything, absolutely everything is ready, we shall never begin.”

–Ivan Turgenev

This was one of my biggest obstacles in recovery: I wanted everything to be perfect. This type of thinking kept me stuck for many years in the disease. Instead of my program being One Day At A Time, it was always “one day later and I will do your will God.”

Now I know that today is all I have. I have no guarantees for tomorrow. So I let go and let God, and do the best I can. I have discovered that I do not have to work a perfect program. Not everything has to be just “right.”

One day at a time…

One day at a time I do the footwork that is required of me and leave the results to God.

~ Terri 
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Elder’s Meditation of the Day #essentialsofrecovery

“There is one God looking down on us all. We are children of the one God. God is listening to me. The sun, the darkness, the winds are all listening to what we now say.”

–Geronimo, APACHE


The Old Ones before us knew things. Many of them were so spiritual that the Creator told them things through visions, ceremonies, and prayer. The Creator taught them about interconnectedness, balance and respect. The Old Ones experienced these things and told us we are all children of the same God. We all live under the same natural laws. Every human being, every animal, every plant, every insect, every bird, we are all the same in the eyes of God.

Great Mystery, teach me to respect all the things You have created.  
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Today’s Gift #essentialsofrecovery


I wish my parents would trust me and understand that I am trying my hardest.

— Anonymous


Parents are hard to understand at times. Sometimes they give double messages. They tell us what is really important is that we try our hardest. Then they seem crushed when we do try our hardest but don’t do as well as they expected. We sometimes wish they would stop getting themselves mixed up in us. We don’t always want the things they want for us.

We hope our parents know that we’re really trying. It’s true that we’ll make mistakes, but isn’t that normal? It might help if we knew more about what it was like for them growing up. Maybe it’s time to risk asking them.

Today let me get to know my parents a little better.

From the book:


                                               Our Best Days by Nancy Hull-Mast  
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The Eye Opener #essentialsofrecovery

One day, not too long ago, you lost everything in the world you held dear, then a man sat down with you and he gave you friendship, understanding, faith, hope, courage and opportunity. Have you ever realized the great value of what this man gave you? These were the tools with which you made a new and better life.

Someone did this for you, so “go and do thou likewise.”

Copyright Hazelden Foundation   
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Daily Tao / 294 – Sitting #essentialsorecovery

Cat sits in the sun.
Dog sits in the grass.
Turtle sits on the rock.
Frog sits on the lily pad.
Why aren't people so smart?



Those who follow Tao are fond of pointing out the wisdom of animals. When they see a cat sitting motionless in the sun or a turtle who stretches her head upward in a still pose, they say that these animals are meditating. They know how to be still and conserve their internal energy. They do not dissipate themselves in useless activity but instead withdraw into themselves to recharge.

It is only people who label meditation as some sort of odd religious activity. This is not the actual case. Something like meditation happens when we sleep, or when we are absorbed in reading a book, or when we “daydream” and become so lost in a thought or an image that we do not notice what is going on around us.

There is no reason to think of meditation as something out of the ordinary. Quite the opposite. Meditation is the purest and most natural expression we can have. When you next look at a cat or a dog sitting still, and admire the naturalness of their actions, think then of your own life. Don’t meditate because it is a part of your schedule or is demanded by your particular philosophy. Meditate because this is natural.  
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Daily Zen #essentialsofrecovery

Listen to the sound of water. Listen to the water running through chasms and rocks. It is the minor streams that make a loud noise; the great waters flow silently.

The hollow resounds and the full is still. Foolishness is like a half-filled pot; the wise man is a lake full of water.

-Sutta Nipata   
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Tuesday, 20 October 2020

Daily Dose Of Emmet Fox

 

Daily Reflections #essentialsofrecovery


SOLACE FOR CONFUSION


Obviously, the dilemma of the wanderer from faith is that of profound confusion. He thinks himself lost to the comfort of any conviction at all. He cannot attain in even a small degree the assurance of the believer, the agnostic, or the atheist. He is the bewildered one.


TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 28

The concept of God was one that I struggled with during my early years of sobriety. The images that came to me, conjured from my past, were heavy with fear, rejection and condemnation. Then I heard my friend Ed’s image of a Higher Power: As a boy he had been allowed a litter of puppies, provided that he assume responsibility for their care. Each morning he would find the unavoidable “byproducts” of the puppies on the kitchen floor. Despite frustration, Ed said he couldn't get angry because “that’s the nature of puppies.” Ed felt that God viewed our defects and shortcomings with a similar understanding and warmth. I've often found solace from my personal confusion in Ed’s calming concept of God. 
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Just For Today #essentialsofrecovery

Freedom To Choose

“Enforced morality lacks the power that comes to us when we choose to live a spiritual life.” Basic Text, p.44

In our active addiction, many of us lived our lives by default. We were unwilling or unable to make choices about how we wanted to act, what we preferred to do, or even where we would live. We allowed the drugs or other people to make our most basic decisions for us. Freedom from active addiction means, among other things, the freedom to make those choices for ourselves.

Freedom of choice is a wonderful gift, but it’s also a great responsibility. Choice allows us to find out who we are and what we believe in. However, in exercising it, we’re called on to weigh our own choices and accept the consequences. This leads some of us to seek out someone who will make our choices for us-our sponsor, our home group, our NA friends-just as our disease made our choices for us when we were using. That’s not recovery.

Seeking others’ experience is one thing; abdicating personal responsibility is something else. If we don’t use the gift of freedom we’ve been given, if we refuse to accept the responsibilities that go along with it, we’ll lose that gift and our lives will be diminished. We are responsible for our own recovery and our own choices. Difficult as it may seem; we must make those choices for ourselves and become willing to accept the consequences.

Just for today: I am grateful for the freedom to live as I choose. Today, I will accept responsibility for my recovery, make my own choices, and accept the consequences.  
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AS Bill Sees It #essentialsofrecovery

Pain-Killer—-or Pain-Healer, p. 291

“I believe that when we were active alcoholics we drank mostly to kill pain of one kind or another–physical or emotional or psychic. Of course, everybody has a cracking point, and I suppose you reached yours–hence, the resort once more to the bottle.

“If I were you, I wouldn’t heap devastating blame on myself for this; on the other hand, the experience should redouble your conviction that alcohol has no permanent value as a pain-killer.”

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

In every A.A. story, pain has been the price of admission into a new life. But this admission price purchased more than we expected. It led us to a measure of humility, which we soon discovered to be a healer of pain. We began to fear pain less, and desire humility more than ever.

1. LETTER, 1959
2. TWELVE AND TWELVE, p. 75  
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Walk In Dry Places #essentialsofrecovery

This too shall pass
Acceptance


When personal problems are brought up in group discussions, someone usually remembers the saying, “This too shall pass.” We use it in reference to unpleasant matters, but it also applies to happier experiences. It is a certainty that nothing will ever stay the same.

Our responsibility to ourselves is to see all situations constructively, whether they are seen as good or bad at the time. What seems a disappoint today might be seen as a blessing tomorrow. And we can’t always be sure that today’s wonderful opportunity doesn’t have a few hidden nettles in it.

The one certainty is that everything will pass. We should extract the good from everything, and let what is unpleasant fade into the past.

Whatever I’m facing today will certainly change as I do my best in the 24 hours ahead. None of us is permanently bound to any problem.  
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Keep It Simple #essentialsofrecovery

We lie loudest when we lie to ourselves.

—Eric Hoffer

When we’re not honest with others, we’re not being honest with ourselves. In recovery, we’re taught how to heal our hearts. We admit we’re wrong, and we do it quickly. We let our spirit have the loudest voice. This way, lies lose power over us. We find a way to be true to our spirit.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, You have a soft, quiet voice inside me. Help me, through meditation, to hear You better. Yours is the voice to follow.

Action for the Day: I’ll listen to my Higher Power. I’ll list any lies I’ve been telling myself and others lately. Then I’ll find someone I trust and tell that person what I’ve lied about. 
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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation #essentialsofrecovery


OBSERVANCE


“The older I grow, the more I listen to people who don’t say much.”

— German G. Gladden

I’ve noticed that an important part of my recovery is people watching. I have fun watching people — at a party, on a train or in a park. I find the daily “theater” of life fascinating and stimulating. I also learn so much about me by observing others. I can identify with their mannerisms, actions and facial antics and intuitively sense what they are feeling. I see their fear, hesitancy and shame and connect it with mine. People are a mirror to my life.

Part of my recovery is developing that instinctive spirituality that grows through observation. The human being is forever communicating, sending energy and messages not only with words but by his existence — and especially by his silence. Sometimes a person’s silence can be deafening! God is most alive to me in the lives and behavior of His people, and part of my worship and prayer is observing the splendor and richness of my fellow human beings.

You, who have created the universe in such magnificent silence, touch me with Your stillness.
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A Day At A Time #essentialsofrecovery

Reflection For The Day

Before I admitted my powerlessness over alcohol and other chemicals, I had as much self-worth as a “peeled zero.” I came into The Program as a nobody who desperately wanted to be a somebody. In retrospect, my self-esteem was shredded, seemingly beyond repair. Gradually, The Program has enabled me to achieve an even-stronger sense of self-worth. I’ve come to accept myself, realizing that I’m not so bad as I had always supposed myself to be. Am I learning that my self-worth is not dependent on the approval of others, but instead is truly an “inside job”?

Today I Pray

When I am feeling down and worthless, may my Higher Power and my friends in the group help me see that, although I was “fallen,” I was not “cast down.” However sick I might have been in my worst days, with all the self-esteem of an earth worm, may I know that I still had the power of choice. And I chose to do something about myself. May that good choice be the basis for my reactivated self-worth.

Today I Will Remember

I will not kick myself when I’m down.
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One Day At A Time #essentialsofrecovery

Limitations


“You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves.”

–Abraham Lincoln

I love the idea of helping people. Seeing the other person shine after my input gives me a great feeling. The flip side of this peak experience is the sadness and bleakness I feel when the person I am helping does not succeed. When it is all about me, I have to accept responsibility for everything: the good and the bad.

Thank You, God, that it is not really me who is the source of all help, it is You. I can point the way and make suggestions, but I cannot make someone change for the better. What causes people to change is something for which no person can take credit. It is simply divine!

The real question is whether or not the person I want to help will turn to his or her Higher Power and use the help that is offered. I cannot actually take these steps for others. I can pretend to do that, and perhaps offer some temporary relief, but lasting recovery will come only to those who make a quality decision to take the necessary steps on their own.

One day at a time…
I will realize the limitations of my help. I will not try to do for others what only they can and should do for themselves.

~ Q
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One Day At A Time #essentialsofrecovery

Limitations


“You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves.”

–Abraham Lincoln

I love the idea of helping people. Seeing the other person shine after my input gives me a great feeling. The flip side of this peak experience is the sadness and bleakness I feel when the person I am helping does not succeed. When it is all about me, I have to accept responsibility for everything: the good and the bad.

Thank You, God, that it is not really me who is the source of all help, it is You. I can point the way and make suggestions, but I cannot make someone change for the better. What causes people to change is something for which no person can take credit. It is simply divine!

The real question is whether or not the person I want to help will turn to his or her Higher Power and use the help that is offered. I cannot actually take these steps for others. I can pretend to do that, and perhaps offer some temporary relief, but lasting recovery will come only to those who make a quality decision to take the necessary steps on their own.

One day at a time…
I will realize the limitations of my help. I will not try to do for others what only they can and should do for themselves.

~ Q 
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Elder’s Meditation of the Day


“As Elders, it is our place to show respect to our young people in order to gain respect.”

–Grace Azak, NISGA’A

The attitude of our leaders will be the attitude of the people.
The attitude of the parents will be the attitude of the children.

If respect is shown from above, respect will be developed below.
If the Elders show respect, the younger people will be respectful.
As above, so below.

This happens because of interconnectedness. The heart of the Elders is connected to the heart of the youth.

Great Spirit, in the fall season let me respect both the Elders and the youth.  
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Today’s Gift #essentailsofrecovery


Today I Will Trust


Today, I will stop straining to know what I don’t know.
To see what I can’t see.
To understand what I don’t yet understand.
I will trust that being is sufficient,
And I will let go of my need to figure things out.

From the book:


                            The Language of Letting Go by Melody Beattie  
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The Eye Opener #essentialsofrecovery

For a person who knew almost everything just a few years back and who now knows more than he did then, it is indeed strange to have had that consciousness of just beginning to learn the most elementary facts of living.

Copyright Hazelden Foundation  
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Daily Zen #essentialsofrecovery

All the faults of our mind our selfishness, ignorance, anger, attachment, guilt, and other disturbing thoughts are temporary, not permanent and everlasting. And since the cause of our suffering our disturbing thoughts and obscurations is temporary, our suffering is also temporary.



- Lama Zopa Rinpoche, "Ultimate Healing: 
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Monday, 19 October 2020

Cheeky Charlie From Port Adelaide 55 years Sober - Australia #essentialsofrecovery


Daily Dose Of Emmet Fox

Make up your mind to devote one week solely to the task of building a new habit of thought, and during that week let everything in life be unimportant as compared with that. 

If you will do so, then that week will be the most significant week in your whole life. It will literally be the turning’ point for you. If you will do so, it is safe to say that your whole life will change for the better. In fact, nothing can possibly remain the same. This does not simply mean that you will be able to face your present difficulties in a better spirit; it means that the difficulties will go. This is the scientific way to Alter Your Life, and being in accordance with the Great Law it cannot fail. Now do you realize that by working in this way you do not have to
change conditions.

~ Emmet Fox 
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Daily Reflections



A. A.’S “MAIN TAPROOT”


The principle that we shall find no enduring strength until we first admit complete defeat is the main taproot from which our whole Society has sprung and flowered.
-TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, pp. 21-22

Defeated, and knowing it, I arrived at the doors of A.A., alone and afraid of the unknown. A power outside of myself had picked me up off my bed, guided me to the phone book, then to the bus stop, and through the doors of Alcoholics Anonymous. Once inside A.A. I experienced a sense of being loved and accepted, something I had not felt since early childhood. May I never lose the sense of wonder I experienced on that first evening with A.A., the greatest event of my entire life.  
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Just For Today

Standing For Something


“… we could feel time, touch reality, and recognize spiritual values long lost to many of us.”

Basic Text, p.85

In our active addiction, we were prepared to compromise everything we believed in just to get our hands on more drugs. Whether we stole from our families and friends, sold ourselves, or lied to our employers, we were ignoring the values that mattered most to us. Each time we compromised another dearly held belief, another chunk of the mortar holding our characters together fell away. By the time many of us came to our first meeting, nothing was left but the ruin of our former selves.

We will locate our lost values as we carry out our first honest self-examination. But in order to rebuild our characters, we’ll find it necessary to maintain those values, no matter how great the temptation to shove them aside. We will need to be honest, even when we think we could fool everyone by lying. If we ignore our values, we’ll discover that the biggest fibs we’ve told have been the ones we’ve told ourselves.

We don’t want to start the demolition of our spirits again after all the work we’ve put into their restoration. It’s essential that we stand for something, or we risk falling for anything. Whatever we find important to us, we honor.

Just for today: I stand for something. My strength is the result of living my values.  
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Twenty-Four Hours A Day #essentialsofrecovery


A.A. Thought For The Day

For the past few weeks we have been asking ourselves some searching questions. We have not been able to answer them all as we would like. But on the right answers to these questions will depend the usefulness and effectiveness of our lives and to some extent the usefulness and effectiveness of the whole A.A. movement. It all boils down to this: I owe a deep debt to A.A. and to the grace of God. Am I going to do all I can to repay this debt? Let us search our souls, make our own decisions, and act accordingly. Any real success we have in life will depend on that. Now is the time to put our conclusions into effect. What am I going to do about it?

Meditation For The Day

“Our Lord and our God, be it done unto us according to Thy will.” Simple acceptance of God’s will in whatever happens is the key to abundant living. We must continue to pray: Not my will but Thy will be done. It may not turn out the way you want it to, but it will be the best way in the long run, because it is God’s way. If you decide to accept whatever happens as God’s will for yourself, whatever it may be, your burdens will be lighter. Try to see in all things some fulfillment of the Divine Intent.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may see the working out of God’s will in my life. I pray that I may be content with whatever He will for me.  
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Twenty-Four Hours A Day #essentialsofrecovery

A.A. Thought For The Day

Do I realize that I do not know how much time I have left? It may be later than I think. Am I going to do the things that I know I should do before my time runs out? By the way, what is my purpose for the rest of my life? Do I realize all I have to make up for in my past wasted life? Do I know that I am living on borrowed time and that I would not have even this much time left without A.A. and the grace of God? Am I going to make what time I have left count for A.A.?

Meditation For The Day

We can believe that somehow the cry of the human soul is never unheard by God. It may be that God hears the cry, even if we fail to notice God’s response to it. The human cry for help must always evoke a response of some sort from God. It may be that our failure to discern properly keeps us unaware of the response. But one thing we can believe is that the grace of God is always available for every human being who sincerely calls for help. Many changed lives are living proofs of this fact.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may trust God to answer my prayer as He sees fit. I pray that I may be content with whatever form that answer may take.  
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As Bill Sees It #essentialsofrecovery


TIME VERSUS MONEY, p. 290


Our attitude toward the giving of time when compared with our attitude toward giving money presents an interesting contrast. We give a lot of our time to A.A. activities for our own protection and growth, but also for the sake of our groups, our areas, A.A. as a whole, and, above all, the newcomer. Translated into terms of money, these collective sacrifices would add up to a huge sum.

But when it comes to the actual spending of cash, particularly for A.A. service overhead, many of us are apt to turn a bit reluctant. We think of the loss of all that earning power in our drinking years, of those sums we might have laid by for emergencies or for education of the kids.

In recent years, this attitude is everywhere on the decline; it quickly disappears when the real need for a given A.A. service becomes clear. Donors can seldom see what the exact result has been. They well know, however, that countless thousands of other alcoholics and their families are being helped.

TWELVE CONCEPTS, pp. 63-64 
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Keep It Simple #essentialsofrecovery

A wise man changes his mind, a fool never will.

—Seventeenth century proverb


We addicts used to be stubborn. Once we got an idea in our heads, we wouldn’t change it.

We didn’t listen to others ideas. We almost seemed to say, “Don’t tell me the facts. I’ve already made up my mind.”

But lately , some new ideas are making sense to us. We are starting to change our minds. Maybe we are good people, after all. Maybe we do deserve to be happy. Maybe other people can help us. Maybe our Higher Power does know best.

We’re not acting like fools any longer. We’re learning to change our old ideas.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, when I hear a better idea, help me change my mind.

Action for the Day: When I hear or read a new idea today, I’ll really think about it. If it fits, I’ll try it.  
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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation #essentialsofrecovery

TACT


“Tact is the art of making a point without making an enemy.”

— Howard W. Newton

An aspect of my recovery is not hurting people’s feelings unnecessarily. I am learning how to say what I have to say without causing offense. Today I am learning to be tactful and respectful.

As a drunk I would say the first thing that came into my head without any regard for the feelings of others. I was often violent with words, sarcastic with comments and cruel in dialogue. Tact was a sign of weakness; gentleness and sensitivity were unmanly; my power was seen in forcing people to change their minds!

Today I do not wish to be like this. Today I desire to be tactful.

Lord, let me always express my opinion respectfully.  
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A Day At A Time #essentialsofrecovery

Reflection For The Day

There are countless ways by which my progress and growth in The Program can be measured. One of the most important is my awareness that I’m no longer compelled, almost obsessively, to go around judging everything and everybody. My only business today is to work on changing myself, rather than other people, places and things. In its own way, the obsession of being forever judgmental was as burdensome to me as the obsession of my addiction; I’m grateful that both weights have been lifted from my shoulders. When I become judgmental, will I remind myself that I’m trespassing on God’s territory?

Today I Pray

Forgive me my trespasses, when I have become the self-proclaimed judge-and-jury of my peers. By being judgmental, I have trespassed on the rights of others to judge themselves– and on the rights of God in the Highest Court of all. May I throw away all my judgmental tools — my own yardstick and measuring tapes, my own comparisons, my unreachable standards — and accept each person as an individual beyond compare.

Today I Will Remember

Throw away old tapes – especially measuring tapes.  
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One Day At A Time #essentialsofrecovery

Live and Let Live


“If I knew for a certainty that a man was coming to my house with the conscious design of doing me good, I should run for my life.”

–Henry David Thoreau

I have gleaned from the OA program that I can let others be themselves and make their own decisions unless an issue involves me as well. What a powerful concept. I have struggled long and hard with the issue of letting others live their lives as they choose without the benefit of my wise, profound advice. I really believed that I had all the answers and that by listening to me, one could get his or her life on the right track and be forever grateful to me for the magnanimous favor I had done them. I really believed this! I was also deeply frustrated when people did not immediately do whatever it was I had “advised” them to do. How could they be so dumb?

More importantly, how did I overlook the fact that my own life was heading downhill at a remarkable clip? Thanks to the OA program, I have slowly learned to keep my mouth shut. My motto for relationships is simple: sweep off my side of the street. It makes being me so much easier and it makes the lives of those around me a bit better too.

One day at a time…
Today I will accept and love those around me without acting on the urge to make their lives “better.” I will live and let live as I continue to realize the freedom the program offers me.

~ Pete 
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Elder’s Meditation of the Day #essentialsofrecovery


“The teachings are for all, not just for Indians… The white people never wanted to learn before. They thought we were savages. Now they have a different understanding, and they do want to learn. We are all children of God. The tradition is open to anyone who wants to learn.”

–Don Jose Matusuwa, HUICHOL

In the summer of 1994, a white buffalo calf was born. This means that now is the time for all races to come together. The Elders say that at this time a voice from within will speak to everyone. It will say now is the time to forgive, now is the time to come together. Are we willing to do this? Are we willing to quit judging other people? The Elders say, He will be talking through people of all races and gender. We need to open our hearts and welcome our brothers and sisters.

Great Spirit, let my ears be open as I walk the path You have chosen for me.  
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Today’s Gift #essentialsofrecovery


Accepting our limitations


Helen Keller said, “Life is a banquet and most of us are starving to death.” Drinking and using sure kept us from seeing the beauty, the bounty in our lives. Since we recognized that we can’t use or drink – and got clean and sober – most of us today can get higher than ever before on the important things like justice, peace, and love.

Those of us who seem successful in relationships have at some point learned to accept our shortcomings more than most.

Am I learning to accept my limitations?

Higher Power, help me accept myself today, with all my defects, knowing that in your time I will gradually change for the better.

From the book:


                                         Day by Day – Second Edition by Anonymous  
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