DR – August 16, 2017

Daily Recovery Readings for August 16, 2017:

Daily Reflection

“I HAD DROPPED OUT”

We might next ask ourselves what we mean when we say that we have “harmed” other people. What kinds of “harm” do people do one another, anyway? To define the word “harm” in a practical way, we might call it the result of instincts in collision, which cause physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual damage to people.

— TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 80

I had been to Eighth Step meetings, always thinking, “I really haven’t harmed many people, mostly myself.” But the time came when I wrote my list out and it was not as short as I thought it would be. I either liked you, disliked you, or needed something from you—it was that simple. People hadn’t done what I wanted them to do and intimate relationships were out of hand because of my partners’ unreasonable demands. Were these “sins of omission”? Because of my drinking, I had “dropped out”—never sending cards, returning calls, being there for other people, or taking part in their lives. What a grace it has been to look at these relationships, to make my inventories in quiet, alone with the God of my understanding, and to go forth daily, with a willingness to be honest and forthright in my relationships.

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

Big Book Quote

“We are like men who have lost their legs; they never grow new ones. Neither does there appear to be any kind of treatment which will make alcoholics of our kind like other men. We have tried every imaginable remedy. In some instances there has been brief recovery, followed always by a still worse relapse. Physicians who are familiar with alcoholism agree there is no such thing as making a normal drinker out of an alcoholic. Science may one day accomplish this, but it hasn’t done so yet.”

~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, More About Alcoholism, pg. 30~

Keep It Simple

The strongest rebellion may be expressed in quiet, undramatic behavior.-–Benjamin Spock

In recovery, we each rebel against our disease. Each day we fight for the freedom to stay close to our Higher Power, friends and family.

It’s mainly a quiet battle. It’s fought daily. We fight and win by acting in a spiritual way. We fight and win every time we help a friend, go to meetings, or read about how to improve our lives

We move slowly but always forward. Rushing will only tire us out. Our battle will go on for life.

We are quiet fighters, but we’re strong, for we do not fight alone. And we know what waits for us if we lose.

Prayer for the Day:
Higher Power, help me stay free. When I want to give up, help me realize this is normal. Help me to keep fighting at these times.

Action for the Day:
Today, I’ll be a rebel. I will go to an extra meeting, or I’ll talk with my sponsor. I’ll find a way to help someone without the person knowing.

Daily Horoscope – Cancer

You’re more inclined to push past your fears today, and lay your feelings on the line. Nevertheless, you’re aware that people won’t necessarily agree with your heartfelt opinions. Honestly, you don’t mind a little dissension now, even if it contributes to your uncertainty. Thankfully, your confidence grows while optimistic Jupiter is in the picture, and you’re hopeful that everything will work out in your favor. Meanwhile, the reflective Moon is camped out in your 12th House of Spiritual Mystery, calling you to inquire within. Author John Gray wrote, “When you feel it, you can heal it.”

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DR – August 8, 2017

Daily Recovery Readings for August 8, 2017:

Daily Reflection

“MADE A LIST . . .”

Made a list of all persons we had harmed, . . .

— TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 77

When I approached the Eighth Step, I wondered how I could list all the things that I have done to other people since there were so many people, and some of them weren’t alive anymore. Some of the hurts I inflicted weren’t bad, but they really bothered me. The main thing to see in this Step was to become willing to do whatever I had to do to make these amends to the best of my ability at that particular time. Where there is a will, there’s a way, so if I want to feel better, I need to unload the guilt feelings I have. A peaceful mind has no room for feelings of guilt. With the help of my Higher Power, if I am honest with myself, I can cleanse my mind of these feelings.

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

Big Book Quote

“We realized that the people who wronged us were perhaps spiritually sick. Though we did not like their symptoms and the way these disturbed us, they, like ourselves, were sick too. We asked God to help us show them the same tolerance, pity, and patience that we would cheerfully grant a sick friend. When a person offended we said to ourselves, ‘This is a sick man. How can I be helpful to him? God save me from being angry. Thy will be done.'”

~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, How It Works, pg. 66~

Keep It Simple

Adventure is not outside a man; it is within.—David Grayson

Sobriety. It’s an exciting adventure. It’s a spiritual adventure. We look inward. We find where our Higher Power lives: within us. We then reach outward. We share our joy with others. Not with words and preaching, but by trying to help others. Sobriety is faith turned into action.

Sobriety. It’s an adventure in coming to know one’s self. At times, we’ll have to face our fears. But we’ll also find just how much love we have for life.

Sobriety. It’s as if we’re on a trip. Our Higher Power holds the map. Our job is to listen. And we go in the direction we’re told.

Prayer for the Day:
I pray to be an adventurer. Higher Power, I pray to follow Your direction.

Action for the Day:
I’ll ask some friends to tell me about an adventure their Higher Power has taken them on.

Daily Horoscope – Cancer

Although you might have a day packed with work-related activities, it’s imperative to find time to take care of yourself. The Moon’s current visit to your 8th House of Regeneration inspires you to revitalize your body, reinvigorate your routines and reinvent your life. However, none of these things will magically happen on their own. You need to step in with your intentions at the forefront of your activities. And, more than ever, you must find joy in the journey and passion in your purpose.

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DR – August 5, 2017

Daily Recovery Readings for August 5, 2017:

Daily Reflection

LISTENING DEEPLY

How persistently we claim the right to decide all by ourselves just what we shall think and just how we shall act. — TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 37

If I accept and act upon the advice of those who have made the program work for themselves, I have a chance to outgrow the limits of the past. Some problems will shrink to nothingness, while others may require patient, well-thought-out action. Listening deeply when others share can develop intuition in handling problems which arise unexpectedly. It is usually best for me to avoid impetuous action. Attending a meeting or calling a fellow A.A. member will usually reduce tension enough to bring relief to a desperate sufferer like me. Sharing problems at meetings with other alcoholics to whom I relate, or privately with my sponsor, can change aspects of the positions in which I find myself. Character defects are identified and I begin to see how they work against me. When I put my faith in the spiritual power of the program, when I trust others to teach me what I need to do to have a better life, I find that I can trust myself to do what is necessary.

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

Big Book Quote

“All these, and many others, have one symptom in common: they cannot start drinking without developing the phenomenon of craving. This phenomenon, as we have suggested, may be the manifestation of an allergy which differentiates these people, and sets them apart as a distinct entity. It has never been, by any treatment with which we are familiar, permanently eradicated. The only relief we have to suggest is entire abstinence.

This immediately precipitates us into a seething caldron of debate. Much has been written pro and con, but among physicians, the general opinion seems to be that most chronic alcoholics are doomed.”

~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, The Doctor’s Opinion, pg. xxx~

Keep It Simple

You’re only human, you’ve suppose to make mistakes.—Billy Joel

Listen to the kind voice inside. Listen to the voice that tells you you’re good enough. Listen to the voice that tells you it’s okay to make mistakes—you’ll learn from them. Listen to the voice that tells you to go to your meeting even though it’s cold outside and you’re tired. Listen and let this voice become more and more clear. Listen, and welcome it in your heart. Talk with the voice.

Ask it questions and seek it out when you need a friend. This voice is your Higher Power. Listen as your Higher Power speaks to you. Listen as your Higher Power tells you what a great person you are.

Prayer for the Day:
I pray to the gentle, loving voice that lives in me. Higher Power, You’ve always been kind to me. You’ve always loved me. Help me to remember You’re always there—inside me.

Action for the Day:
I will take time from my busy day to listen and talk with the loving voice that lives inside me.

Daily Horoscope – Cancer

It’s never any fun to feel as if you’re being pushed into a corner, but today you’re unwilling to let things go that far. You can’t help but see right through someone’s charm if they are operating with self-serving motives. Fortunately, you can nip the bud of control before it even flowers. A proactive strategy is better than waiting until a crisis develops. Just make sure that you’re not a victim of your own imagination now. Don’t end up fighting windmills like Don Quixote. Plato advised, “Take charge of your thoughts. You can do what you will with them.”

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DR – August 4, 2017

Daily Recovery Readings for August 4, 2017:

Daily Reflection

SEEDS OF FAITH

Faith, to be sure, is necessary, but faith alone can avail nothing. We can have faith, yet keep God out of our lives. ~TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 34

As a child I constantly questioned the existence of God. To a “scientific thinker” like me, no answer could withstand a thorough dissection, until a very patient woman finally said to me, “You must have faith.” With that simple statement, the seeds of my recovery were sown!

Today, as I practice my recovery — cutting back the weeds of alcoholism — slowly I am letting those early seeds of faith to grow and bloom. Each day of recovery, of ardent gardening, brings the Higher Power of my understanding more fully into my life. My God has always been with me through faith, but it is my responsibility to have the willingness to accept His presence.

I ask God to grant me the willingness to do His will.

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

Big Book Quote

“If we skip this vital step (5th Step), we may not overcome drinking. Time after time newcomers have tried to keep to themselves certain facts about their lives. Trying to avoid this humbling experience, they have turned to easier methods. Almost invariably they got drunk. Having persevered with the rest of the program, they wondered why they fell. We think the reason is that they never completed their housecleaning. They took inventory all right, but hung on to some of the worst items in stock. They only thought they had lost their egoism and fear; they only thought they had humbled themselves. But they had not learned enough of humility, fearlessness and honesty, in the sense we find it necessary, until they told someone else all their life story.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, Into Action, pg. 72~

Keep It Simple

Let him that would move the world, first move himself.—Socrates

Before recovery, most of us were big talkers. The Twelve Steps are for doers, not talkers. In the Steps we find action words: admitted, humbly asked, made direct amends, continued to take personal inventory. All these words speak of action, of doing. Recovery is about action. It’s for doers. An action may be very simple. Such as going to a meeting early to set up chairs. Or it could be helping a neighbor. The program teaches that spirituality active, we grow and change.

Prayer for the Day:
Higher Power, give me movement. Give me spiritual movement. Help me be a doer, not just a talker. Teach me to work my program.

Today’s Action:
Today, I’ll remember the words actions go together.

Daily Horoscope – Cancer

Oftentimes, you know what you want but are hesitant to reveal your preferences for fear of rejection. Unfortunately, a coworker or partner may step in today, filling the gap by telling you what he or she expects. Although you might be shocked by someone’s directness now, you could also feel angry because their approach leaves you with little choice but agreement. Instead of seething quietly while going along with the plan, stop this power play before things get out of control. Stand up for your rights; saying yes to happiness means learning to say no to people who stress you out.

NY Faerie Festival

During my late 20’s to early 30’s, when I was living in Southern California, I was involved in the Southern California Renaissance Faire (a.k.a. The Original Renaissance Pleasure Faire, as it’s called now). It was only a three-year stretch which I partook in the festivities helping a friend manage her small shop. I have always loved the Renaissance period in history, so I jumped at the opportunity. At the time, there was an expectation to be drunk for the whole weekend. I met that expectation with flying colors. However, since then I haven’t been to another festival.

After moving to New York, establishing some pagan friends, I was told there was the Sterling Rennasiance Faire. Over the years I wanted to go but either never found the time or didn’t have transportation to get there. However, over the years, my old pagan friends became distant and my new sober friends had no interest in such things.

A couple years ago I came across the NY Faerie Festival in Ouaquaga, NY, which wasn’t as much of a drive as Sterling, NY. But again, over the years, there was no interest of my new sober friends, neither did I have the time, funds or transportation. But that all changed when I got my car. Unfortunately, I didn’t want to go alone, thus year after year I didn’t.

That was until last weekend on July 2, 2017. A co-worker of mine posted an interest on Facebook. I was ecstatic! We decided to go despite the impending inclement weather. I drove up to Ithaca to her house, then we took the hour and a half ride to find it “in a hamlet of Ouaquaga, New York”. Amazingly, it was the perfect setting.

1

The festival was located in a small valley (for a lack of a better description) while parking was up top. The path down the hill led to the entrance, a castle gate. You were immediately greeted by magical creatures to set the atmosphere of what was to become. It was much smaller than the Rennaisance Faire, but again I was now living in a much smaller community.

But the involvement of those who visited and those participating in the Faire was amazing.

 

We had my friend’s two-year-old son with us.  She spent part of the previous night making a gnome costume for him. He is such a cutie!!  He wasn’t scared nor excited. He looked like he didn’t know what to do. We had him in a stroller, which he got tired of, so we got him out and let him walk around. There was mud everywhere, so when we got him back in the stroller or when I was holding him, it was inevitable we were going to get it on us. He was an adorable child to have with us. My friend is truly blessed!!

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We were there for approximately an hour and a half. Again, it’s not a large festival but we did take our leisure time. A majority of the Faire, if there wasn’t an activity going on (like the presentation of the Queen above), were vendors selling their “wares”. Most everything is crafted by themselves. There were food vendors there too. I admitted I wasn’t going to purchase anything because it can be quite expensive (i.e. a large cup of lemonade was $4.00 at one vendor). But on the way back to leave my friend eyed the “jerky cart” which had an assortment of “special” jerky. So she purchased alligator, ostrich, and buffalo (I think). I didn’t ask how much she paid ‘cus honestly I didn’t want to know – lol.

 

So we enjoyed ourselves immensely. So did Jr. He began to get cranky in the car ride home. We stopped in Whitney Point for lunch at Wendy’s. I ordered a chocolate shake to share with Jr but they didn’t have any spoons? Really? Afterward, we went through a severe thunderstorm and downpour when we arrived back in Ithaca, NY. It was a really pleasant day with the two of them.

I hope I can enjoy more summer days with them before summer ends!

Back to the Country

To those that live in the United States:

HAPPY 4TH OF JULY!!
THANK YOU TO ALL THE 
SERVICE MEN AND WOMEN
WHO MAKE THIS POSSIBLE!

July-4th-Quote

The last four days have been a little hectic, but I’m finally out of Binghamton, NY, and moved into my new home in Van Etten, NY.  It took only three car loads to get the rest of my stuff from Binghamton. I even had the chance to go to the NY Faerie Festival, A Midsummer’s Dream in Ouaquaga, NY which I’ll link to another post shortly. After my final trip in Binghamton, I got a call from work asking me to work four hours Monday evening. There are still a couple things I have to work on at my new home but in time I’ll get things completed since I have a lot more time to myself.

The old landlord, who was putting in new windows on the side of the house, didn’t even acknowledge my presence. Whatever! Good riddance to you too!! He wasn’t probably happy with me because I told his son that I was planning on leaving furniture I wasn’t able to move. At least I didn’t leave the place a mess. Oh, I wanted to but I’m not that kind of person. I even made a trip to the Salvation Army to drop off a donation of clothes and other things. I also went to the Broome County Library to donate all my hard copy of books which was painful for me. But I’m minimalizing and going electronic, so the relief afterward was more rewarding than the sadness of tossing a small library of hard copy books. But I know they will benefit the library and go to others who will enjoy them. The last trip comprised of all my computers and the stereo.

I even made a trip to the Salvation Army to drop off a donation of clothes and other things. I also went to the Broome County Library to donate all my hard copy of books which was painful for me. But I’m minimalizing and going electronic, so the relief afterward was more rewarding than the sadness of tossing a small library of hard copy books. But I know they will benefit the library and go to others who will enjoy them. The last trip comprised of all my computers and the stereo.

The last trip comprised of all my computers and the stereo. I didn’t realize I had ten computers and eight monitors stored in various places. My goal was to take those “shells”  and monitors that don’t work to the Broom County dump. Obviously, it didn’t happen like I planned. I was able to load everything in my car in one load. At approximately 2 p.m., I left Binghamton, for the last time.

While I was scheduled as four days off, I knew work would call asking me to come in because of short staff.  Surprisingly, they didn’t Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. But come Monday, when I was in Binghamton about to finally leave, they asked if I would be able to come in for four hours or more. I agreed since it was 2 p.m. and I was given the opportunity to come in anytime before 7 p.m. So when I got to my new home, I placed all the stuff in my front bedroom, showered and off to work I went. I just love the trip to work now, straight up NYS Highway 34 into Ithaca. It takes approximately 30 minutes to and from work. Loving it! I can’t wait to see the gas savings since my car gets more than 30 miles to a gallon.

I just love my new place. Across the street is a small farm, so I’m visited by the rooster and his eight hens every morning while I’m sitting on the porch by the front bedroom. They also take shade under the porch. There are times I come out to a sudden wave of chickens scattering everywhere – a little scary (**chuckle). There isn’t much traffic coming down the street either. It’s just quiet and serene. Just the way I have always dreamed.

There is still a lot of work to do, but things will happen at the right time.

Now off to work . . .

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.”