Daily Readings for Wednesday April 17th - SoberRecovery : Alcoholism Drug Addiction Help and Information
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Old 04-16-2019, 06:33 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Colorado
Posts: 2,990

Daily Readings for Wednesday April 17th


Daily Reflections

LOVE AND FEAR AS OPPOSITES

All these failings generate fear, a soul-sickness in its own right.
TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 49

"Fear knocked at the door; faith answered; no one was there." I
don't know to whom this quote should be attributed, but it certainly
indicates clearly that fear is an illusion. I create the illusion myself.
I experienced fear early in my life and I mistakenly thought that the
mere presence of it made me a coward. I didn't know that one of the
definitions of "courage" is "the willingness to do the right thing in
spite of fear." Courage, then, is not necessarily the absence of fear.
During the times I didn't have love in my life I most assuredly had
fear. To fear God is to be afraid of joy. In looking back, I realize
that, during the times I feared God most, there was no joy in my life.
As I learned not to fear God, I also learned to experience joy.

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

Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

Every time we go to an A.A. meeting, every time we say the Lord's
Prayer, every time we have a quiet time before breakfast, we're
paying a premium on our insurance against taking that first drink. And
every time we help another alcoholic, we're making a large payment
on our drink insurance. We're making sure that our policy doesn't
lapse. Am I building up an endowment in serenity, peace, and
happiness that will put me on easy street for the rest of my life?

Meditation For The Day

I gain faith by my own experience of God's power in my life. The
constant, persistent recognition of God's spirit in all my personal
relationships, the ever accumulating weight of evidence in support of
God's guidance, the numberless instances in which seeming chance or
wonderful coincidence can be traced to God's purpose in my life. All
these things gradually engender a feeling of wonder, humility, and
gratitude to God. These in turn are followed by a more sure and
abiding faith in God and His purposes.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that my faith may be strengthened every day. I pray that I may
find confirmation of my life in the good things that have come into my
life.

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

As Bill Sees It

Learn in Quiet, p. 108

In 1941, a news clipping was called to our attention by a New York
member. In an obituary notice from a local paper, there appeared
these words: "God grant us the serenity to accept the things we
cannot change, the courage to change the things we can, and the
wisdom to know the difference."

Never had we seen so much A.A. in so few words. With amazing
speed the Serenity Prayer came into general use.

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

In meditation, debate has no place. We rest quietly with the thoughts
or prayers of spiritually centered people who understand, so that we
may experience and learn. This is the state of being that so often
discovers and deepens a conscious contact with God.

1. A.A. Comes Of Age, p. 196
2. 12 & 12, pp. 101-100

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

Walk in Dry Places

We can't go home again….
Living here and now.
Despite all evidence that we must live for today, some of us persist in trying to recapture the past. We may be holding a few good memories that we would like to bring alive today. More likely, we may also be re-fighting old battles in the hope that this time we'll come out winners.
But since change is taking place everywhere at every moment, we can never return to any previous place or time. Time does march on, and we are part of the parade. Whether we were winners or losers in the past, we can live only in the here and now.
The good news is that we can retain any lessons from the past and put them to use today. If we have scalding memories of twisted relationships, we can remind ourselves that growth and understanding now place us out of harm’s way. And if we remember the things that did turn our right even in the confused past, we can reflect that even greater good is possible today.
Our home is never in the past. It is in the time and place where we are today. As we make the best of it, all of our future homes in place and time will improve, for “in God’s house are many mansions.”
Accepting the value of all of its lessons, I will close the door firmly on the past, knowing that I must devote all of my interest and energies to the present moment.

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

Keep It Simple

We create revolution by living it.---Jerry Rubin
There’s a lot wrong in the world---Child abuse, homeless and hungry people, pollution. Our old way of dealing with these troubles was to break the rules or to “drop out” by using chemicals.
Now we have a new way to change the world. We’re changing ourselves. One Day at a Time, we’re acting like the caring , responsible people we want to be. We use the ideas of the program in our lives.
We’re kinder. We’re more honest. We stand up for ourselves and for others who need our help. What if the whole world started working the Steps? What a wonderful world this would be!
Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, please work through me today. Help me make the world a little better place.
Action for the Day: I’ll list one thing that brothers me about the world today. How can using the ideas of the program help solve that problem? Remember, the program tells us to look at our own behavior.

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

Each Day a New Beginning

I can stand what I know. It's what I don't know that frightens me. --Frances Newton
Fear of the unknown, often referred to as free-floating anxiety, catches up to us on occasion. But it needn't. The program offers us strength whenever we need it, and faith diminishes all fear. It is said that fear cannot exist where there is faith.
We have many days when we feel strong, in touch with our higher power, able to meet all situations. On those days, we are seldom conscious of how our faith is guiding us. But the hours of fear that we experience on other days make us aware of faith's absence. There is a simple solution: We can reach out to a friend. We can be attentive to her needs, and the connection to God will be made.
Shifting our focus, from self-centered fears to another person's needs, offers us a perspective on our own life. It also offers us a chance to let God work through us. Our own faith is strengthened each time we offer our services to God and to a friend in need. What may frighten us seems less important the closer we are to the people in our lives.
When I touch someone else, God touches me in return.

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

Alcoholics Anonymous - Fourth Edition

THERE IS A SOLUTION

Highly competent psychiatrists who have dealt with us have found it sometimes impossible to persuade an alcoholic to discuss his situation without reserve. Strangely enough, wives, parents and intimate friends usually find us even more unapproachable than do the psychiatrist and the doctor.
But the ex-problem drinker who has found this solution, who is properly armed with facts about himself, can generally win the entire confidence of another alcoholic in a few hours. Until such an understanding is reached, little or nothing can be accomplished.

p. 18

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

Alcoholics Anonymous - Fourth Edition Stories

THE PERPETUAL QUEST - This lawyer tried psychiatrists. biofeedback, relaxation exercises, and a host of other techniques to control her drinking. She finally found a solution, uniquely tailored, in the Twelve Steps.

When I was a newly minted lawyer starting out in the practice of criminal law, there were five of us in our law office. My favorite lawyer was the eccentric, disheveled, wild-eyed Irish law professor who was brilliant or crazy, depending on your point of view, constantly cleaning out his pipe bowl with a black fingernail and tossing back vodka martinis whenever he got the chance. Then there was the new but world-weary litigation lawyer who told endless tales of his former life of white wine and bouillabaisse under the Mediterranean sun as he conducted his exporting business on the Riviera. Why would he leave such an ideal, wine-drenched job in sunny climes to slog away at law school? I kept wondering. There was also a giant good-hearted bear of a man, who today is a judge, who spent more time listening and helping others than he did practicing criminal law. Into this office landed a pair of know-it-all, fast-acting, but not too experienced young lawyers: my husband and me.
p. 388

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

Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Tradition Five - "Each group has but one primary purpose - to carry it's message to the alcoholic who still suffers."

"His next question: `What are you getting out of it?' "Of course, my answer was `My own sobriety and a mighty happy life.' "Still dubious, he demanded, `Do you really mean the only reason you are here is to try and help me and to help yourself?'
"`Yes,' I said. `That's absolutely all there is to it. There's no angle.'

p. 152

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

See with your heart not with your eyes for beauty lies everywhere.
The mind reasons. The heart knows.

Take the first step in faith. You don't have to see the whole staircase,
just take the first step.
--Martin Luther King Jr.

God, help me take guided action, then surrender to your will. Help me
remember that true power comes from aligning my will, intentions, and
desires with you.
--Melody Beattie

God, help me learn to take care of myself and live with passion,
compassion, and an open heart.
--Melody Beattie

Before you criticize a man, walk a mile in his shoes. That way, when
you do criticize him, you'll be a mile away and have his shoes.
--Unknown

Compromise often leads to the solution to a problem, so keep your
heart open to it.

God is with us through all the changes in our lives.
--Greg Faggart

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

Father Leo's Daily Meditation

POWER

"Power does not corrupt. Fear
corrupts, perhaps the fear of loss
of power."
--John Steinbeck

In my recovery I am beginning to understand that so much "power" in
the world is really fear. The power that seeks to attack first in order
to feel secure is really fear. The power that always has to have an
answer is really fear. The power that arrogantly refuses to listen is
really fear. So much power is "fear" dressed in illusion!

Spiritual power has the ability to be vulnerable. It can live with
confusion. It can stand alone. It allows others to walk away to pursue
their happiness. Spiritual power can exist in suffering and loneliness,
and it does not expect perfection.

My recovery is teaching me to live and let others live, too. My
freedom must respect the freedom of others; respect is a two-way
street!

Give me the power that can rest in imperfection.

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

"My child, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my
commandments; for length of days and years of life and abundant
welfare they will give you."
Proverbs 3:1

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

Daily Inspiration

It's very possible that our problems may not be as big as they seem and could sometimes actually be a blessing. Lord, I place my trust in You to see me through my trials and help me to become a stronger and wiser person because of them.

Enthusiasm will be yours if you love God, love people, and love life. Lord, the nearer I follow Your way, the happier I become.

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

NA Just For Today

Priority: Meetings

"I initially felt that it would be impossible to attend more than one or two meetings a week. It just wouldn't fit in with my busy schedule. I later learned that my priorities were [180] degrees reversed. It was the everything else that would have to fit into my meeting schedule."
Basic Text p. 204

Some of us attended meetings infrequently when we first came to Narcotics Anonymous, then wondered why we couldn't stay clean. What we soon learned was that if we wanted to stay clean, we had to make meeting attendance our priority.

So we began again. Following our sponsor's suggestion, we made a commitment to attend ninety meetings in ninety days. We identified ourselves as newcomers for our first thirty days so that others could get to know us. At our sponsor's direction, we stopped talking long enough to learn to listen. We soon began to look forward to meetings. And we began to stay clean.

Today, we attend meetings for a variety of reasons. Sometimes we go to meetings to share our experience, strength, and hope with newer members. Sometimes we go to see our friends. And sometimes we go just because we need a hug. Occasionally we leave a meeting and realize that we haven't really heard a word that's been said—but we still feel better The atmosphere of love and joy that fills our meetings has kept us clean another day. No matter how hectic our schedule, we make meeting attendance our priority.

Just for today: In my heart, I know that meetings benefit me in all kinds of ways. Today, I want what's good for me. I will attend a meeting.
pg. 111

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

You are reading from the book Today's Gift.
If your heart catches in your throat ask a bird how she sings. --Cooper Edens
The idea of your heart getting caught in your throat and then asking a bird how she sings may seem silly. It is, but being silly is sometimes exactly what we need. Instead of always trying to figure out the lumps in our throats, we can learn how to sing with them.
Birds sing all day. Their songs are lighthearted and playful. And they bring us color along with their songs. We have all stopped to notice a special bird outside the window. A bird song can be a lullaby. It can be laughter. We need these things in our lives, too. By playing and laughing, we change the lumps in our throats to songs.
What sadness can I turn into song today?


You are reading from the book Touchstones.
It is extraordinary how extraordinary the ordinary person is. --George F. Will
At our meetings, we often hear stories of the courage of ordinary people and their triumph against great odds. When we hear of a person's life being restored, we are witnesses to miracles. Our friends are heroes and so are we. As a man describes his passage from insanity to recovery, we are moved. Whenever we are truly open to knowing the people around us, whether at a meeting or in getting to know a neighbor, we will see heroism. It is amazing that when we get to know most people, and hear what their lives have been like, we find so much to admire and respect. It is a privilege to have such friends. It is amazing that they are so abundant when we open ourselves to them. God truly does speak to us through others.
I am grateful when I think about the extraordinary people around me and the courage in each of them. I am grateful to be among them.


You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
I can stand what I know. It's what I don't know that frightens me. --Frances Newton
Fear of the unknown, often referred to as free-floating anxiety, catches up to us on occasion. But it needn't. The program offers us strength whenever we need it, and faith diminishes all fear. It is said that fear cannot exist where there is faith.
We have many days when we feel strong, in touch with our higher power, able to meet all situations. On those days, we are seldom conscious of how our faith is guiding us. But the hours of fear that we experience on other days make us aware of faith's absence. There is a simple solution: We can reach out to a friend. We can be attentive to her needs, and the connection to God will be made.
Shifting our focus, from self-centered fears to another person's needs, offers us a perspective on our own life. It also offers us a chance to let God work through us. Our own faith is strengthened each time we offer our services to God and to a friend in need. What may frighten us seems less important the closer we are to the people in our lives.
When I touch someone else, God touches me in return.


You are reading from the book The Language of Letting Go.
Taking Care of Ourselves
We often refer to recovery from codependency and adult child issues as self care. Self care is not, as some may think, a spin off of the me generation. It isn't self-indulgence. It isn't selfishness - in the negative interpretation of that word.
Were learning to take care of ourselves, instead of obsessively focusing on another person. Were learning self-responsibility, instead of feeling excessively responsible for others. Self care also means tending to our true responsibilities to others; we do this better when were not feeling overly responsible.
Self care sometimes means, me first, but usually, me too. It means we are responsible for ourselves and can choose to no longer be victims.
Self care means learning to love the person were responsible for taking care of - ourselves. We do not do this to hibernate in a cocoon of isolation and self indulgence; we do it so we can better love others, and learn to let them love us.
Self-care isn't selfish; its self-esteem.
Today, God, help me love myself. Help me let go of feeling excessively responsible for those around me. Show me what I need to do to take care of myself and be appropriately responsible to others.


Today I choose to think positive and loving thoughts. I know that if I do this I will feel loving and positive and create a positive and loving world for those around me. --Ruth Fishel

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

Journey To The Heart

Listen to the Voice of Your Heart

Cultivate the art of listening to your intuition, your inner voice. This is the guidance of your heart. It’s a voice that speaks differently from the one in your head. The heart whispers softly, the head prattles loudly.

The head has an agenda for our lives. It chatters away boldly, but its vision is limited. It leaves no room for the mysterious workings of the universe, nor does it take into account the side trips we need to get where we’re going, where our souls need to go. It’s the voice that says, This is the way it’s going to be.

The heart, the inner voice, speaks differently. Sometimes it whispers. Sometimes it pulls. Sometimes it pushes. It’s spontaneous, in the present moment, and often a surprise. The heart takes into account what has to be done and the best way to do that. The heart takes emotions into account– the way things feel, the way you feel, the wisdom of your soul. The heart leads us into and through the lessons we’re here to learn.

Cultivate your inner voice. Practice listening to the whispers of your heart. Practice trusting your intuition, what you really feel, what you really know. Practice until that voice is the one that you hear.

Be patient. Be gentle. Let yourself learn to hear the gentle and trustworthy words of your heart.

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

More Language Of Letting Go

Keep your balance

Sometimes, our legitimate needs and wants run amuck.

We want something so badly– for instance our spouse sobering up, or that job, or that woman or that man– that we begin to obsess and dwell. We take ourselves out of that place of balance and end up in a no-win tailspin.

It’s not that what we want and need is bad for us. It’s just that right now, what we want isn’t, obviously, taking place. Don’t take it out on yourself by judging yourself wrong. Don’t take it out on your needs by telling yourself you shouldn’t have any.

Relax. Come back to center, to that clear, balanced place.

Don’t let your needs and desires run away with you. Yes, passion is great stuff. Identify what you want. Then let it go. And ask God what your lesson is.

Today, I will come back to balance with any need or want that seems to be controlling my life. Instead of dwelling on it, I’ll give it to God and focus on taking care of myself.

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

In God’s Care

Example is not the main thing in influencing others. It is the only thing.
~~Albert Schweitzer

Throughout our life we’ve been influenced by other people’s behavior and opinions. Many of us were influenced by very poor examples in earlier years. And we may have to pray for help rather than continuing to follow those poor examples now. But all around us are people who are healthy, loving, and honest. We are invited to emulate their behavior.

Acting As If can help us develop new behaviors. We may not feel very comfortable reaching out to a program newcomer or making conversation with someone we’ve just met, but we can do it. And in time, with practice, we’ll discover we’ve added a positive dimension to our character, one that influences the lives of other people who struggle just like us. All of us, Acting As If in positive ways, offer wonderful examples of behavior change. We reinforce our own changes, and each others every time we are thoughtful before we act.

With my Higher Power’s help, I will be a good example for someone today.

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

Raising Our Consciousness
Stepping out from Where We Were

by Madisyn Taylor

We cannot gain a sense of power in our lives while identifying ourselves as a victim.


Albert Einstein said, “No problem can be solved from the same consciousness that created it. We must learn to see the world anew.” A Nobel Prize winner, Albert Einstein’s scientific theories transformed the world’s understanding of the universe and its workings, so we can believe that these words come from his personal experience and helped him to explore both science and life itself. He offered us an example of what can be learned by looking deeply into nature to reach a deeper understanding of all life and by following our ideas to their logical conclusions in our minds before acting upon them in the world.

When we apply this quote to our lives, we can see that we cannot create abundance by staying in a consciousness of poverty, nor can we gain a sense of power in our lives while identifying ourselves as a victim. Situations begun from anger or fear can have little chance of reaching a state of peace and trust unless someone involved can conceive of that possibility and act upon it. We need to find ways to step outside of our limited understanding in order to seek a bigger picture. One way to do this is to shift our perspective to see the situation from another’s point of view and ideally the perspective of all others involved. Even if we can’t truly know another’s motivations, by imagining what they might be, we open ourselves up to numerous possibilities and an expanded vision. This alone can shift our feelings of anger to compassion and the desire for a positive solution for all involved.

Once we have opened our mind to greater possibilities, we can connect to our higher self for inspired solutions. From the peace at our center, we gain distance from our emotions to connect to intuitive wisdom that offers us understanding of the underlying causes and the inspiration needed to guide our steps in a new direction. Albert Einstein showed us the impact that can be made when we raise our consciousness and allow ourselves to imagine the possibilities. Published with permission from Daily OM

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

A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

The Program teaches me to remain on guard against impatience, lapses into self-pity, and resentments of the words and deeds of others. Though I must never forget what it used to be like, neither should I permit myself to take tormenting excursions into the past — merely for the sake of self-indulgent morbidity. Now that I’m alert to the danger signals, I know I’m improving day by day. If a crisis arises, or any problem baffles me, do I hold it up to the light of the Serenity Prayer?

Today I Pray

I pray for perspective as I review the past. May I curb my impulses to upstage and outdo the members of my group by regaling them with the horrors of my addiction. May I no longer use the past to document my self-pity or submerge myself in guilt. May memories of those miserable earlier days serve me only as sentinels, guarding against hazardous situations or unhealthy sets of mind.

Today I Will Remember

I cannot change the past.

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

One More Day

The Great and glorious masterpiece of man is to know how to live to purpose.
– Montaigne

When we undergo any crisis, it’s quite common for self-esteem to take a plunge. If life seems to hand us one crisis after another, our feelings of self-worth may vary from day to day. Once we get used to the newest change (perhaps this time it is diminished health) we begin to realize that only we are capable of nurturing ourselves.

We can solve some of our problems by setting new, more realistic goals, goals that we can reach successfully. Then our damaged self-esteem can start to become whole once again.

I am capable of taking better care of myself by setting challenging goals and by doing things I love to do.

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

Food For Thought

Easy Does It

Strain and struggle abound when we try to do everything ourselves, our way. We want positive change to occur immediately and expect miracles to happen according to our personal timetable. We sometimes feel that if our Higher Power is guiding us, we should be able to accomplish great and marvelous things constantly.

To remember "easy does it" is to humbly realize that we are not all powerful and that God does not expect us to be all things to all people. Growth is slow, time belongs to God, and change will occur according to His plan. If we do the jobs we have been given for this 24-hour period, our Higher Power will take care of tomorrow.

How much more agreeable life is when we do not overextend ourselves but admit our weakness and trust God to take care of us. We do not shirk our share, but we do not try to carry the whole load. Only our Higher Power is strong enough to do that.

Take from our lives the strain and stress.

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

One Day At A Time

~ FORGIVENESS
Forgiving is not forgetting; it's letting go of the hurt.
Mary McCleod Bethune

When I first came into the program, I was so fired up with anger and resentment that I had no space for any other emotions. After all, I had the food which would anesthetize me against any emotions I didn't want to feel. I was angry with God for all the trauma and losses that had happened to me in my life. I blamed my mother for not being the kind of mother I wanted, which was, of course, why I ate. But the person towards whom I felt the most anger and resentment was my ex-husband, who never financially supported my children, making my financial burden and my present husband's very heavy. What made it worse was that he was good to the children and they thought he was great because they would have fun with him on a weekend, while we had all the financial responsibilty and resulting worry.

But when I came to Step Eight, my sponsor gently reminded me that I needed to forgive the people towards whom I felt the most anger, namely my mother and my ex-husband. My mother had passed away and so I had to write a long letter to her, forgiving her for not being the person I wanted her to be and also making amends to her for my part in it all. I realize now that she did the best she knew how, just as I have done with my children, and I have been able to forgive her with love. When it came to forgiving my ex-husband, I knew that I wasn't able forgive him in person, but I was able to write a letter to him which I never sent. In it, I forgave him for being the irresponsible person that he is. It was like a weight had been lifted from my shoulders. When my younger daughter had her 21st birthday, I could be there for her and not spoil it as I had done before, and in fact, I could be almost friendly to her father. As a result, the relationship with all my children has improved a hundredfold, but more importantly, I'm a much better person for it.

One day at a time...
I will forgive the people who have harmed me, let them go with love, and entrust them to their Higher Power.
~ Sharon ~

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

AA 'Big Book' - Quote

Follow the dictates of a Higher Power and you will presently live in a new and wonderful world, no matter what your present circumstances! - Pg. 100 - Working With Others

Hour To Hour - Book - Quote

My sponsor told me to listen to people, that anyone (even people that I hate or have resentments towards) are right over half the time. (Bryan C.)

Giving of Myself

I will not give things instead of love. I will recognize that the people who need and depend on me for that sustaining kind of love and attention will be hurt and confused if I ignore their real need for me. I need to give those who are close to me real love. They have cast their fate with mine and I owe them this. They depend on me and I need to understand that and step up to the plate and do what's necessary and right. I will also be appropriately grateful, when those I need and depend upon give me the caring and concern that nourishes my heart.

I give of my time and attention

- Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor - Book - Quote

It is not unusual for people to say something and then consider it done. They forget to actually do it. Do not say 'I will go to more meetings; I will get a sponsor soon; I must work with newcomers,' then consider it done. You must actually do these things to have them work for you.

I let go of doing life in my head.

"Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book" - Book

When we dwell on the problem, the problem gets bigger. When we dwell on the solution, the solution gets bigger.

Time for Joy - Book - Quote

I will open myself up to all the possibilities around me today, leaving my fear of change behind.

Alkiespeak - Book - Quote

The person I was drank. The person I was will drink again. - Anon.
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