Daily Readings for Thursday October 3

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Daily Readings for Thursday October 3

Daily Reflections


Someone who knew what he was talking about once remarked that
pain was the touchstone of all spiritual progress. How heartily
we A.A.'s can agree with him. . . .

When on the roller coaster of emotional turmoil, I remember that
growth is often painful. My evolution in the A.A. program has
taught me that I must experience the inner change, however painful,
that eventually guides me from selfishness to selflessness. If I
am to have serenity, I must STEP my way past emotional turmoil and
its subsequent hangover, and be grateful for continuing spiritual

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

Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

How do I talk with new prospects? Am I always trying to dominate
the conversation? Do I lay down the law and tell prospects what

they will have to do? Do I judge them privately and feel that they
have small chance of making the program? Do I belittle them to
myself? Or am I willing to bare my soul so as to get them talking
about themselves? And, then, am I willing to be a good listener,
not interrupting, but hearing them out to the end? Do I feel deeply
that they are my brothers or my sisters? Will I do all I can to help
them along the path to sobriety?

Meditation For The Day

"The work of righteousness shall be peace and the effect of
righteousness shall be quietness and assurance forever." Only

when the soul attains this calm, can there be true spiritual work
done, and mind and soul and body be strong to conquer and bear all
things. Peace is the result of righteousness. There is no peace in
wrong doing, but if we live the way God wants us to live, quietness
and assurance follow. Assurance is that calmness born of a deep

certainty of God's strength available to us and in His power to love
and guard us from all harm and wrong doing.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may attain a state of true calmness.
I pray that I may live in quietness and peace.

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As Bill Sees It

Going It Alone, p. 274

Going it alone in spiritual matters is dangerous. How many times
have we heard well-intentioned people claim the guidance of God

when it was plain that they were mistaken? Lacking both practice
and humility, they deluded themselves and were so able to justify
the most arrant nonsense on the ground that this was what God had
told them.

People of very high spiritual development almost always insist on
checking with friends or spiritual advisers the guidance they feel
they have received from God. Surely, then, a novice ought not lay
himself open to the chance of making foolish, perhaps tragic,
blunders. While the comment or advice of others may not be
infallible, it is likely to be far more specific than any direct guidance
we may receive while we are still inexperienced in establishing
contact with a Power greater than ourselves.

12 & 12, p. 60

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Walk In Dry Places

Proving Ourselves
Long after a bitter failure, some of us still cling to the hope that we
can erase the defeat in some spectacular way. One dream is to

“prove ourselves” to those who scorned us or put us down.
This never really works, even when we do become winners at some
later time. For one thing, we may be proving ourselves to people
who never will like us. If we are striving to show others that we
can succeed, we are still dancing to their tune. We are accepting
their idea of what success should be.
Many of us failed simply because we were alcoholics and could do
no better. We might have destroyed opportunities that will never
rise again. But by finding sobriety, we may already have proved
ourselves to those who really count in our lives...... Including ourselves.

I can prove today that the Twelve Step program works and that a
loving Higher Power is present in my life.

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

Keep It Simple

That which is called firmness I a king is called stubbornness in a
donkey. ---Lord Erskine
“Rigid” is a fancy word for “stubborn.” We act this way because
of our fear. When we’re afraid, we hang on to what we’re used to
doing. Our illness had us so scared, we were afraid of the new ideas
and new people. The only thing that didn’t scare us was using alcohol
or other drugs.
We also were stubborn when anyone tried to help us. We thought we
knew what was best. How silly our stubborn actions made us look!
How lonely they kept us.
But our stubborn behavior can teach us about our fears. We need to
be aware our stubbornness. Then we’ll be able to find out what we’re
afraid of---and do something about it.
Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, help me know when I’m stubborn.
Action for the Day: Today, I’ll work at accepting my stubbornness.
I will use it to learn what I am afraid of today.

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Each Day a New Beginning

Ambiguity means admitting more than one response to a situation and
allowing yourself to be aware of those contradictory responses. You may

want something and fear it at the same time. You may find it both beautiful
and ugly. --Tristine Rainer
Flexibility is a goal worth the striving. It eases our relations with others,
and it stretches our realm of awareness. Letting go of rigid adherence to
what our perceptions were yesterday assures us of heightened understanding
of life's variables and lessons.
Being torn between two decisions, feeling ambivalent about them, need not
create consternation, though it often does. Hopefully, it will encourage us to
pray for direction, and then to be responsive to the guidance. And we must
keep in mind that no decision is ever wrong. It may lead us astray for a time,
but it will also introduce us to uncharted territories, which offer many
opportunities for flexibility.
Contradictory responses, our own and also ours in relations with others,
keep us on our toes, lend an element of excitement to our lives, and push
us to think creatively about our perceptions. Growth and change are guaranteed.
I will be in tune with myself today. I will let my perceptions guide me.

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

Alcoholics Anonymous - Fourth Edition

Chapter 6 - INTO ACTION

Whatever the situation, we usually have to do something about it. If we are sure our wife does not know, should we tell her? Not always, we think. If she knows in a general way that we have been wild, should we tell her in detail? Undoubtedly we should admit our fault. She may insist on knowing all the particulars. She will want to know who the woman is and where she is. We feel we ought to say to her that we have no right to involve another person. We are sorry for what we have done and, God willing, it shall not be repeated. More than that we cannot do; we have no right to go further. Though there may be justifiable exceptions, and though we wish to lay down no rule of any sort, we have often found this the best course to take.

p. 81

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Alcoholics Anonymous - Fourth Edition - Stories

SAFE HAVEN - This A.A. found that the process of discovering who he really was began with knowing who he didn't want to be.

I had experienced run-ins with the law several times--for not paying fines, public intoxication, fighting, and driving while intoxicated. But nothing could compare with the time the police asked me to come downtown for questioning concerning a murder. I had been drinking the night before and had gotten involved in a dangerous incident. I knew I hadn't committed a murder, but here I was being considered a prime suspect. An hour or two into questioning it was determined that I had not committed the crime, and I was released. This was quite enough to get my full attention.
pp. 454-455

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Step Five - "Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs."

Yet if A.A.'s experience means anything at all, this is not only unwise, but is actually a perilous resolve. Few muddled attitudes have caused us more trouble than holding back on Step Five. Some people are unable to stay sober at all; others will relapse periodically until they really clean house. Even A.A. old timers, sober for years, often pay dearly for skimping this Step. They will tell how they tried to carry the load alone; how much they suffered of irritability, anxiety, remorse, and depression; and how, unconsciously seeking relief, they would sometimes accuse even their best friends of the very character defects they themselves were trying to conceal. They always discovered that relief never came by confessing the sins of other people. Everybody had to confess his own.

p. 56

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One of the most time-consuming things is to have an enemy.
--E. B. White

Love your enemies. It will drive them nuts.
--Eleanor Doan

"A keen sense of humor helps us to overlook the unbecoming,
understand the unconventional, tolerate the unpleasant,

overcome the unexpected, and outlast the unbearable."
--Billy Graham

"We're still not where we're going, but we're not where we were."
--Natasha Jasefowitz

"Behavioral researcher Shad Helmstetter, in his book "Choice," says,
'When we meet someone who seems to have a good attitude about everything,
that really isn't the case. The person simply has made a lot of independent
choices to have a
good attitude about many individual things." Remember, a positive outlook is a
choice - and the decision is yours."
--Neil Eskelin


Father Leo's Daily Meditation


"Freedom is not enough. "
-- Lyndon B. Johnson

The gift of freedom requires the acknowledgment of the benefactor, God. To experience
freedom without realizing its source is to miss the point; freedom requires responsibility.

When I was drinking, I demanded freedom without responsibility and I suffered. I created
in freedom my own horror stories. I hurt others because I did not respect in them what I
demanded for myself and slowly, ever so slowly, freedom slipped away.

Today I believe that my spiritual program reinforces my responsibility for my life. God
has created me with free will and I need to respect this gift in others. If I do not respect
others, I will never receive it. Dignity is a two way street.

Thank You for the freedom to experience myself in my treatment of my neighbor.

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

Look to the Lord and his strength; seek His face always.
Psalm 105:4

Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy. He who goes out weeping,
carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with him.
Psalm 126:5-6

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Daily Inspiration

Be like a star and make your best even better. Lord, source of my joy, if I
am shining I will brighten the day for both myself and those around me.

There is a time for everything. Take time to pray, to sing, to laugh, to work
and to touch the hearts of others. Lord, help me be aware that today will never
return so that I will not misuse my time or waste it unwisely.

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

NA Just For Today

Page 289

"Our egos, once so large and dominant, now take a back seat because we are in harmony with a loving God. We find that we lead richer, happier, and much fuller lives when we lose self-will."

Basic Text, p.105

Addiction and self-will go hand in hand. The unmanageability that we admitted to in Step One was as much a product of our self-will as it was of our chronic drug abuse. And today, living on self-will can make our lives just as unmanageable as they were when we were using. When our ideas, our desires, our demands take first place in our lives, we find ourselves in constant conflict with everyone and everything around us.

Self-will reflects our reliance on ego. The only thing that will free us from self-will and the conflict it generates in our lives is to break our reliance on ego, coming to rely instead on the guidance and power offered us by a loving God.

We are taught to consult spiritual principles, not our selfish desires, in making our decisions. We are taught to seek guidance from a Higher Power, one with a larger vision of things than our own. In doing this, we find our lives meshing more and more easily with the order of things around us. No longer do we exclude ourselves from the flow of life; we become a part of it, and discover the fullness of what recovery has to offer.

Just for Today: I seek freedom from ego and the conflicts generated by self-will. I will try to improve my conscious contact with the God of my understanding, seeking the guidance and power I need to live in harmony with my world.

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

You are reading from the book Today's Gift.
How easy the breath that kills a flame,
How hard to kindle that light again.
Cold words kill and kind words kindle,
By words withheld a dream may dwindle.
--Joan Walsh Anglund
How we treat the people we live with affects the happiness of our family. Just as a breath can blow out a flame, a mean remark can cast a shadow across a brother or sister's heart. People of all ages have left dreams behind because no one encouraged them. They are like candles snuffed out.
On the other hand, if we see a friend or family member feeling good about something they have done, we can learn to be happy for them. If we notice their excitement and encourage them with kind and sincere words, it will help their candle burn brighter. Sharing the happiness of others will make our own candles burn brighter, and it always feels good when we receive kind words ourselves.
In what ways can I bring light and warmth with my words today?

You are reading from the book Touchstones.
You should not have your own idea when you listen to someone.... To have nothing in your mind is naturalness. Then you will understand what he says. --Shunryu Suzuki
A man who is mistrustful and self-centered has difficulty listening to someone else. Perhaps a woman we are close to wants to be understood by us. But we do not hear her on her own terms because we are so intensely involved with our own shame. So we react to our feelings of guilt rather than really hearing what she wants to say about her experience. Or we may be so worried about who has control that we fail to receive the information we are being given. Then we respond with "Yes, but..."
True learning comes - like true intimacy - when we have an open mind. As we detach ourselves, separate from our own ego, we hear the other person better and grow more intimate.
May I learn to set aside my own self-centeredness. Today, I will grow more if I set my ego aside when others are talking to me.

You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
Ambiguity means admitting more than one response to a situation and allowing yourself to be aware of those contradictory responses. You may want something and fear it at the same time. You may find it both beautiful and ugly. --Tristine Rainer
Flexibility is a goal worth the striving. It eases our relations with others, and it stretches our realm of awareness. Letting go of rigid adherence to what our perceptions were yesterday assures us of heightened understanding of life's variables and lessons.
Being torn between two decisions, feeling ambivalent about them, need not create consternation, though it often does. Hopefully, it will encourage us to pray for direction, and then to be responsive to the guidance. And we must keep in mind that no decision is ever wrong. It may lead us astray for a time, but it will also introduce us to uncharted territories, which offer many opportunities for flexibility.
Contradictory responses, our own and also ours in relations with others, keep us on our toes, lend an element of excitement to our lives, and push us to think creatively about our perceptions. Growth and change are guaranteed.
I will be in tune with myself today. I will let my perceptions guide me.

You are reading from the book The Language of Letting Go.
Getting Through the Discomfort
Surrender to the pain. Then learn to surrender to the good. It's there and more is on the way. --Beyond Codependency
Our goal in recovery is to make us feel comfortable, peaceful, and content. Happy. We want to be at peace with our environment and ourselves. Sometimes, to do that, we need to be willing to face, feel, and get through discomfort.
I am not talking here about being addicted to misery and pain. I am not talking about creating unnecessary pain. I'm talking about the legitimate discomfort we sometimes need to feel as we heal.
When we have surgery, the pain hurts most the day after the operation. When we do the kind of work we are facing in recovery, we are doing an emotional, mental, and spiritual surgery on ourselves. We're removing parts of us that are infected and inflamed.
Sometimes the process hurts. We are strong enough to survive discomfort and temporary feelings of emotional pain. Once we are willing to face and feel our discomfort and pain, we are almost to the point of release.
Today, I am willing to face my discomfort, trusting that healing and release are on the other side. Help me, God; be open to feeling whatever I need to feel to be healed and healthy. While I am doing this, I will trust I am cared for and protected by my friends, my Higher Power, the Universe, and myself.

I choose to be in places and situations and with people where I feel good about myself. I deserve to feel good and I trust that my heart will tell me where to go. --Ruth Fishel


Journey To The Heart
October 3
Finish Unfinished Business

Finish your business with people. Unfinished business with others is the highest block to an open heart, the biggest block to peace and joy.

The tangled cords that bind us to the past are easy to find. All we need do is become quiet and listen to the voice of our heart. Who do we resent? Who are we angry with? Hurt by? Who are the people we aren’t at peace with? That’s our unfinished business, the unfinished business of the heart.

Look deep inside. Find your secrets. Find your not-quite-finished pieces. Then discover what you need to finish. Often, the answer is only a breath away– a breath of fresh air, a breath of forgiveness, a breath of love. Take that breath. Let the past go. Let it go in peace, thankful for all you’ve learned along the way.

Tie up your loose ends. Heal your connection to others and your heart by finishing unfinished business. Then you’ll be free to move on. And you can go forward in peace.


more language of letting go
Be aware of your intentions

Your inner self is literal and does not understand ambiguity so whenever you direct it to manifest your desires, give it absolutely literal instructions... Your natural self is quite fond of accomplishing the tasks you give it. It loves to display its skills and perform for you and others, and can do nearly anything (within the realm of possibility and probability) that you can conceive.
--Enid Hoffman

Be clear on your intentions.

Intentions are more than mere wishes. An intention is will mixed with emotions and desire. For instance, I can sit here and wish the house were cleaner. When I put all else aside, take my frustration about the mess and channel it into energy and my desire for tidiness, I can say, "I will spend one hour straightening up."

Sometimes we make our intentions known to other people. For instance, we might start dating someone, and it's our intention to eventually marry. Intentions can turn into manipulation when we don't make them clear. They can also involve control, in the worse sense, when they involve changing the free will of someone else.

The best place to start is by making our intentions clear to ourselves. What do you want? In regards to your life situations, like work or finances, what are your intentions?

Sometimes our good intentions can run totally amok. For instance, you might intend to get a person sober, but they may have no desire to sober up. We can avoid a lot of painful manipulations, if we're clear about our intentions.

Watch yourself as you go through life encountering different situations. Do you have an agenda? Do you even know what it is? Sometimes our intentions are less than conscious, hidden right below the surface. For instance, we may have an intention to get married and have someone support us so we don't have to support ourselves. Are someone else's intentions influencing your own?

When you start any project, a new relationship, or just a new day, spend a moment and get quiet. Be clear with yourself and others on what your intentions are. Then surrender those intentions to God.

God, please help me align my intentions and desires with your highest good will for my life.


Fresh and Unfixed
There Is Only Now

It can be easy for us to walk through the world and our lives without really being present. While dwelling on the past and living for the future are common pastimes, it is physically impossible to live anywhere but the present moment. We cannot step out our front door and take a left turn to May of last year, any more than we can take a right turn to December 2015. Nevertheless, we can easily miss the future we are waiting for as it becomes the now we are too busy to pay attention to. We then spend the rest of our time playing “catch up” to the moment that we just let pass by. During moments like these, it is important to remember that there is only Now.

In order to feel more at home in the present moment, it is important to try to stay aware, open, and receptive. Being in the present moment requires our full attention so that we are fully awake to experience it. When we are fully present, our minds do not wander. We are focused on what is going on right now, rather than thinking about what just happened or worrying about what is going to happen next. Being present lets us experience each moment in our lives in a way that cannot be fully lived through memory or fantasy.

When we begin to corral our attention into the present moment, it can be almost overwhelming to be here. There is a state of stillness that has to happen that can take some getting used to, and the mind chatter that so often gets us into our heads and out of the present moment doesn’t have as much to do. We may feel a lack of control because we aren’t busy planning our next move, assessing our current situation, or anticipating the future. Instead, being present requires that we be flexible, creative, attentive, and spontaneous. Each present moment is completely new, and nothing like it has happened or will ever happen again. As you move through your day, remember to stay present in each moment. In doing so, you will live your life without having to wait for the future or yearn for the past. Life happens to us when we happen to life in the Now.


A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

I’ve learned in The Program that I’m wholly powerless over my addiction. At long last, I’ve conceded my powerlessness; as a result, my life has taken a 180-degree turn for the better. However, I do have a power, derived from God, to change my own life. I’ve learned that acceptance does not mean submission to an unpleasant or degrading situation. It means accepting the reality of the situation and then deciding what, if anything, I can and will do about it. Have I stopped trying to control the uncontrollable? Am I gaining the courage to change the things I can?

Today I Pray

I ask my Higher Power for direction as I learn to sort out the things I can change from the things I can’t, for that sorting process does, indeed, require God-given wisdom. May “the things I cannot change” not give me and excuse for inaction. May “the things I can” not include managing other people’s lives. May I start to understand my own reality.

Today I Will Remember

Acceptance is not inaction. Change is not domination.


One More Day

Most of all, we seek to help them rise to what for most is the supreme challenge of their lives, by developing and enjoying their unique personalities to the fullest.
– Bernie S. Siegel

Just living life, not enjoying it, is a tread-water posture some of us adopt in our lives. Afraid to get “too involved” in living, we wait for the sorts to occur. We look for a guide, a leader, to direct our path to physical and spiritual survival.

At first, we may be devastated when we realize that no one else can direct us, guide us, or lead us out of the maze of emotions that accompanies a chronic illness. Others can help, but only if we lead. Gradually we’re finding a unique strength within us, one we’d not known before, that enables us to direct our physical and spiritual programs with greater confidence.

I am on a continuing journey to accept the challenges of my life. Allowing my unique personality to surface is the beginning.


Food For Thought

Being Committed

Success comes with commitment. We cannot maintain abstinence, or a marriage, or a profession, or anything else without being committed to it. Genuine commitment is the attitude required of us if we are to benefit from OA. The program is not something we pick up and put down when we feel like it. If abstinence is not the most important thing in our lives, we will not be able to maintain it.

Sharing our commitment out loud, with another person, reinforces it. We need to stay in contact with our OA friends. It is during the busy times that we especially need to remember our priorities. A phone call plugs us in to the group strength, which sustains our individual efforts.

The physical, emotional, and spiritual benefits, which come to us every day as we abstain and work the Twelve Steps, are what nourish us. Being committed to the OA program is our strength and our recovery.

Make firm my commitment to Your way.


One Day At A Time


"The truth will set you free,
but first it will make you miserable."
James A. Garfield

After years of therapy, I thought I knew myself fairly well. I prided myself on my integrity, honesty and responsible nature; however, my morbid obesity and compulsive overeating reflected the exact opposite of these values. After breaking many resolutions to myself, starting and stopping countless diets, and continuing to have no control over my eating, I began to doubt my integrity. How could I keep a commitment to everyone I knew and yet break my promises to myself over and over again? It wasn't until in a moment of frustrated clarity I blurted out, "I'm acting like an addict!" Finally I experienced my own truth.

I am an addict. I am addicted to food. I use food to fill the gaping black hole within me. I use food to anesthetize my pain. As a compulsive overeater, I stuff my face rather than face my stuff.

Working the Steps allowed me to see that even though I thought I valued honesty, I was constantly lying to myself about my compulsive eating. Becoming abstinent from compulsive eating removed the veils of delusion and dishonesty that I had over my eyes. Living this program, one day at a time, freed me from compulsive lying to myself as well as compulsive eating. Telling the truth, while sometimes very difficult, has let me live happy, joyously, and free.

One day at a time...
I will work the Steps honestly, tell the truth about my life, and be the person of integrity my Higher Power always intended for me to be.
~ Bernadette B.


AA 'Big Book' - Quote

If we have been thorough about our personal inventory, we have written down a lot. We have listed and analyzed our resentments. We have begun to comprehend their futility and their fatality. We have commenced to see their terrible destructiveness. We have begun to learn tolerance, patience and good will toward all men, even our enemies, for we look on them as sick people. We have listed the people we have hurt by our conduct, and are willing to straighten out the past if we can. - Pg. 70 - How It Works

Hour To Hour - Book - Quote

Service to another addict/alcoholic or to our group can help calm us when the jitters get rough. Think of one other fellow recoverer who also seemed jittery at the last meeting or maybe didn't show up. You can get in touch with them today and ask if you can help.

God, as I understand You, give me the right words to comfort or to encourage a fellow recoverer.

Detaching With Love

I need to detach with love from those I care about who are still mired in this disease. When I detach with resentment, it is not detachment, it keeps me preoccupied and connected. When I amputate it is not detachment, I get phantom limb, I still hurt and am haunted by something missing. When I detach by ignoring, shoving or running, it is simply the other side of enmeshment and eventually I get hooked in again. Today I will detach with love. I am grateful to have found recovery. I will allow others the dignity of their own path. If I teach, it will be by example.

- Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor - Book - Quote

Stop looking for the differences. People who matter, don't mind; people who mind, don't matter.

No matter my age, race, religion or chemical, I am more alike my fellow addicts than different.

"Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book" - Book

A signpost, like a peer, only warns you about the road ahead. But a map, like a sponsor can show you how to get where you want to go.

Time for Joy - Book - Quote

Today I can wait until all negative and hostile feelings lose their power over me before I say or do anything.

I can take the time to breathe in peace and love, no matter what is going on in my life.

Alkiespeak - Book - Quote

I don't wish to become a member of any club which will have me as a member. - Groucho Marx.
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