DR – June 25, 2017

Daily Recovery Readings
June 25, 2017

Daily Reflection

A TWO-WAY STREET

If we ask, God will certainly forgive our derelictions. But in no case does He render us white as snow and keep us that way without our cooperation.

— TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 65

When I prayed, I used to omit a lot of things for which I needed to be forgiven. I thought that if I didn’t mention these things to God, He would never know about them. I did not know that if I had just forgiven myself for some of my past deeds, God would forgive me also. I was always taught to prepare for the journey through life, never realizing until I came to A.A. – when I honestly became willing to be taught forgiveness and forgiving – that life itself is the journey. The journey of life is a very happy one, as long as I am willing to accept change and responsibility.

From the book Daily Reflections
Copyright © 1990 by Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc.

Big Book Quote

“Henry Ford once made a wise remark to the effect that experience is the thing of supreme value in life. That is true only if one is willing to turn the past to good account. We grow by our willingness to face and rectify errors and convert them into assets. The alcoholic’s past thus becomes the principal asset of the family and frequently it is almost the only one!”

Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, The Family Afterward, pg. 124

Keep It Simple

When a man points a finger at someone else, he should remember that three of his fingers are pointing at himself.—Louis Nizer

It’s so easy to blame others. Others are always making mistakes we can hide behind. That’s what blame is—hiding. When we blame others for our mistakes, we’re trying to hide our character defects.

It’s nobody else’s fault that we act the way we do. It’s our fault. We’re responsible for our actions.

And with the help of our Higher Power, we can change. We can turn over our character defects. Over time, we’re not afraid to learn about ourselves—even the parts we don’t like—because we want to know ourselves better.

Prayer for the Day:
I pray for help in facing my character defects.

Action for the Day:
I’ll think about the past week. I’ll list times I’ve used blame to hide from reality.

Daily Horoscope – Cancer

Your fears have receded into invisible crevasses of your subconscious, motivating you to untangle complex emotional issues that resurrect memories from the past. You might try to keep everything light and breezy today, but intense feelings could suddenly pull you off balance. Rather than making a hasty retreat to a safe harbor, stand your ground. Although you may project your insecurities onto those around you, this is your fight to finish. Mooji said, “Face your fears and stop allowing the mind to hold you captive.”

DR – June 21, 2017

Daily Recovery Readings
June 21, 2017

Daily Reflection

FEAR AND FAITH

The achievement of freedom from fear is a lifetime undertaking, one that can never be wholly completed. When under heavy attack, acute illness, or in other conditions of serious insecurity, we shall all react to this emotion — well or badly, as he case may be. Only the self-deceived will claim perfect freedom from fear.

— AS BILL SEES IT, p. 263

Fear has caused suffering when I could have had more faith. There are times when fear suddenly tears me apart, just when I’m experiencing feelings of joy, happiness and a lightness of heart. Faith — and a feeling of self-worth toward a Higher Power — helps me endure tragedy and ecstasy. When I choose to give all of my fears over to my Higher Power, I will be free.

From the book Daily Reflections
Copyright © 1990 by Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc.

Big Book Quote

“We cannot be helpful to all people, but at least God will show us how to take a kindly and tolerant view of each and every one.”

~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, How It Works, pg. 67~

Keep It Simple

The future is much like the present, only longer.—Dan Quisenberry

In many way we don’t know what the future holds. But in terms of recovery, we know the future holds the Twelve steps. They will be with us for life.

We should never fall into the trap of thinking we “know” the program. We’ll never know all the truth and love the Steps hold for us. “Knowing the Steps” is a project we’ll never finish. As we change , the Steps change. As the seasons come and go, the same field or the same tree becomes a different picture.

Prayer for the Day:
Higher Power, I pray for Your help as I work the Steps and continue my recovery. Help me discover new treasures.

Action for the Day:
I will ask long-time members of my program how they keep the program fresh and alive.

Daily Horoscope – Cancer

You may be reconnecting with your personal power today, but you’re still experiencing pangs of self-doubt. You realize how much work is in front of you and are thankful that the radiant Sun is back in your sign, strengthening your vitality and shining a spotlight on your accomplishments. Fortunately, you’re fired up for whatever challenges you must face now. Acknowledge your current position; whatever is holding you back is fuel for your new growth. Change your assumptions and step into a more meaningful future.

Someone is Talking to You

Last week a co-worker confided in me he got a DUI.  He took an opportunity to pull me aside, knowing I am open with my recovery, stating, “Mike, I don’t believe in the 12-Step program but I can’t continue to live like this . . .” We had a good conversation of where he is now and, if he chooses to, what can be done to stop the insanity currently controlling his life. A couple days later, he contacted me asking if we could go to a meeting. Last night, I took him to a meeting where he lives (about an hour drive from me). The experience showed him how the program works.

We arrived at a small church in this small town proceeding downstairs to the basement. Immediately, as in AA fashion, people greeted us knowing we were “out of towners”.  Before the meeting, we chatted with others for a bit and between ourselves about the program. My intuition (my HP) was telling me this was going to be a good meeting.

After the typical Preamble, 12 Steps, 12 Traditions and Promises readings, a topic was decided – the importance of meetings. It couldn’t have been a better topic for the both of us! My friend didn’t know it at the time but I hadn’t been to a meeting myself in a couple of months.

At the tail end of the meeting, the chairperson asked, “Would the person from Binghamton like to speak?” I obliged by recounting how people who already spoke brought a message to me. Several people spoke about how they missed meetings and relapsed. They all had their own excuses, as I recounted mine saying, “I’m too busy and don’t have time.” I explained how a person with 10 years of sobriety, lost it in a minute due to lack of meetings. Another had seven days of sobriety after a recent relapse, again because of a lack of meetings. I too could be both those people – all because I didn’t go to meetings. “Someone is talking to me, my HP and I need to listen and do the right thing!”

Afterward, my friend and I went to Denny’s for dinner. I answered several questions but felt I was bombarding him with program information perhaps he wasn’t ready for right now. Instead, he was thankful for me driving all the way, taking him to a meeting and showing him how the program really works. I guess WE gave him a first good impression.

We have already talked about going to another meeting here in the next couple of days. We both have to find out what our schedules are at work and try to coordinate a good date and time. Meanwhile, he got a recent meeting list and I “suggested” he try to get to at least a meeting a day. However, if he couldn’t, for whatever reason, to call me or pull me aside at work. I would be more than willing to talk to him about events going on in his life.

So the ball is in his court. I have done my part. It is my hope he continues his journey.

 

 

Just Being in the Present

I haven’t written a personal entry in quite a while. I’m quite okay with nothing worthy to write about in my life right now. There are times when I’m content with where I am, what I’m doing with no worries in the world. I relish these days.

My old Sponsor is trying to contact me again. At first, it brought up a little anger. I wanted to reply, “The world doesn’t revolve around you . . . ” Instead I’ve simply replied, “I’m doing fine, thank you.” Simple, eloquent, end of story.

With unexpected expenses in April, I’m back at square one for moving closer to work. At first, it felt my dreams where ripped from me for no reason. But I came to the conclusion perhaps its not the best time. I was moving forward with such haste I wasn’t looking at the whole picture. Basically, I have to plan better and really do my research. There is another house for rent in Candor, actually right next to the trailer I was going to rent but fell through, so I’ve put in a call with no response. However, as summer approaches I’m sure my research and opportunities will get better. I just have to be patient and give it time.

Meanwhile, I’m content with where I am at today. My life may be dull at the moment but it gives me time to reflect on what I really want to do in the future. The weather is beginning to improve so I’m concentrating on doing something small but enjoyable, for myself on my days off. Most of the Winter I’ve been cooped up in this house glued to this computer. It’s time to clear the cobwebs from Winter. I need to get out, even if its just me, to enjoy the Spring and Summer.

DR – Apr 26, 2017

Daily Recovery Readings
April 26, 2017

Daily Reflection

HAPPINESS IS NOT THE POINT

I don’t think happiness or unhappiness is the point. How do we meet the problems we face? How do we best learn from them and transmit what we have learned to others, if they would receive the knowledge?
— AS BILL SEES IT, p. 306

In my search “to be happy,” I changed jobs, married and divorced, took geographical cures, and ran myself into debt—financially, emotionally and spiritually. In A.A., I’m learning to grow up. Instead of demanding that people, places and things make me happy, I can ask God for self-acceptance. When a problem overwhelms me, A.A.’s Twelve Steps will help me grow through the pain. The knowledge I gain can be a gift to others who suffer with the same problem. As Bill said, “When pain comes, we are expected to learn from it willingly, and help others to learn. When happiness comes, we accept it as a gift, and thank God for it.” (As Bill Sees It, p. 306)

From the book Daily Reflections
Copyright © 1990 by Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc.

Big Book Quote

“When we became alcoholics, crushed by a self imposed crisis we could not postpone or evade, we had to fearlessly face the proposition that either God is everything or else He is nothing. God either is or He isn’t.”

~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, We Agnostics, pg. 53~

Keep It Simple

Too many people miss the silver lining because they’re expecting gold.—Maurice Setter

Silver shines as bright as gold does. So often we forget this. So often we push, push, push. We forget to live for the moment. Trying too hard can be a defect of character. It can be a way we avoid life. Gratitude, being thankful, is key part of recovery. Not just gratitude for getting our self-respect back. Not just gratitude for having a Higher Power. But gratitude for the moment. We’re alive again. Let’s see each moment as a time to explore life..

Prayer for the Day:
Higher Power, thanks for helping me to enjoy each moment. I have gratitude for being alive.

Action for the Day:
I’ll list ten gifts of recovery for which I have gratitude.

Daily Horoscope – Cancer

Solid opportunities to build enduring relationships with your peers add richness to your world. The sensible Taurus New Moon highlights your 11th House of Groups, strengthening your social network and increasing your popularity. Nevertheless, it’s up to you to make the first move. Taking the lead and sharing your goals shifts the dynamics and turns a casual acquaintance into a lasting friendship. It may seem risky to initiate a conversation, but a well-intended overture to the right person could benefit you for a long time to come. If you don’t take a chance, you don’t stand a chance.

DR – Apr 19, 2017

Daily Recovery Readings
April 19, 2017

Daily Reflection

BROTHERS IN OUR DEFECTS

We recovered alcoholics are not so much brothers in virtue as we are brothers in our defects, and in our common strivings to overcome them.
— AS BILL SEES IT, p. 167

The identification that one alcoholic has with another is mysterious, spiritual—almost incomprehensible. But it is there. I “feel” it. Today I feel that I can help people and that they can help me.

It is a new and exciting feeling for me to care for someone; to care what they are feeling, hoping for, praying for; to know their sadness, joy, horror, sorrow, grief; to want to share those feelings so that someone can have relief. I never knew how to do this—or how to try. I never even cared. The Fellowship of A.A., and God, are teaching me how to care about others.

From the book Daily Reflections
Copyright © 1990 by Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc.

Big Book Quote

“The spiritual life is not a theory. We have to live it.”

~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, Into Action, pg. 83~

Keep It Simple

We give thanks for unknown blessings already on their way. ~~ Sacred ritual chant.

Good things keep happening to us. We are sober. We can think clearly. We can see progress on how we handle our problems. We have friends. We have love. We have hope.

We are starting to feel joy. Our fears are getting smaller. We are starting to trust our new way of life. Our new life brings good things to us. It brings blessings every day. We are beginning to expect them. But we’re still surprised at how good life can be. What a difference from the days before we entered our program!

Prayer for the Day:
Higher Power, thank-you for the blessings You keep on giving. And thanks for whatever today will bring.

Action for the Day:
One way to give thanks for my blessings is to share them with others. How can I share my recovery today?

Daily Horoscope – Cancer

Thankfully, you can already see how your life is improving in little ways, even if you don’t fully trust your observations now. The Sun’s shift into your 11th House of Hopes and Wishes shines a bright light on those things that make you happy. However, old fears may resurface to sabotage your current endeavors. Luckily, you no longer need to fight alone for the survival of your ideas; your friends are more than willing to stand up with you. Author Kiera Cass wrote, “Accepting help is its own kind of strength.”

Dr. Seuss’ Solution

Today I”m having one of those days, I just feel odd. I can’t exactly explain it. For some reason I only got a few hours sleep. After  going to bed around 3 a.m. I woke up just before the morning sun began glaring through my bedroom window. For some reason, I don’t know how or why a Dr. Seuss rhyme is now stuck in my head, “”From there to here, and here to there, funny things are everywhere.” – Dr. Seuss . Perhaps my Higher Power is trying to tell me, “Everything is okay!” Or perhaps it’s not?

A lot has been on my mind lately. Stressors at work have successfully twisted my head around like the scene out of the Exorcist. People, in general, all around are getting under my skin.  It’s frustrating. It’s an internal war raging inside me. But in reality, no one wins. I just have to accept it is what it is and I can’t do anything about it.

My interest of moving closer to work is going to be delayed, yet again. Another costly job on my aging car was taken care of for New York State inspection requirements.  My 2007 Toyota Corrolla is slowly climbing closer to 200,000 miles traveling 100+ miles per way each day. There are days I wish I could just twitch my nose and it all be over. I’ve always despised moving, yet it must be done.

To prepare for this move I need to get my home in order which is another monumental task. I’ve been living here for ten years accumulating junk. If I could I would just rent a commercial trash container parked out in front of my home and toss everything in it. In reality, I want to start over. A new place with a inflatable bed, some clothes, my computers and I”m good to go. But I feel guilty just leaving trash behind for my landlord, no matter how much he’s disgusted me in the past.

I just need to get out of this God forsaken town. The stupidity of people around me is unbearable at times. I can’t ell you how many traffic accidents I avoid on a daily basis.  Just attempting to get dinner at a local grocery store at 12:30 a.m. is a lesson in patience. There is limited parking already in front of my house. The disrespectful mechanic across the street double parks cars on the other side in a no parking zone. The city does nothing. Tow trucks dumping cars off facing the wrong way blocking close access to my own home forcing me to park at the local restaurant around the corner most nights. Again, the city won’t do anything because the cars are “legal”.

Perhaps I do need to keep Dr. Seuss in mind – just laugh at it all. What I need to do this weekend is watch a movie we’ve been running for our dementia residents at work, Patch Adams starring Robin Williams. Or I can put in The Sound of Music to sing along with Judy Andrews (terribly, I might add), The Hills are Alive with the Sound of Music. Then there is news, which I’ve ignored prior to the newly elected President but hear spurts here and there. The whole world is going insane. Perhaps I just need to join the rest of you?