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Old 11-30-2016, 06:44 AM   #1
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Icon24 Even More Recovery Readings and Meditations - December

December 1

Step by Step

“Pity me the heart that is slow to learn
What the quick mind sees at every turn.“ – Edna St. Vincent Millay

“For a while …we can endure the intellect’s being ahead of the emotions, which is the import of Millay’s couplet. But as the years go by, the stretch becomes unbearable; and the man with the grown-up brain and the childish emotions – vanity, self-interest, false pride, jealousy, longing for social approval – becomes a prime candidate for alcohol. …(T)hat is a definition of alcoholism: a state of being in which the emotions have failed to grow to the stature of the intellect.” – Alcoholics Anonymous, 3rd Edition, 1976, “They Lost Nearly All,” Ch 11 (“He Who Loses His Life”), pp 534-35.

Today, alcoholism cannot be arrested by intellectual strategies and I must measure – honestly – my emotional state. Without healthy emotions, the quality of my sobriety will likely be little more than my being a dry drunk. Accepting that alcohol is “but a symptom” of our underlying condition, we are compelled to seek sobriety by doing more than abstaining. If today the number of 24 Hours since my last drink is days, months or years, a measure of the quality of my sobriety may be in asking if I still harbor the emotions that I felt when I was drinking. If so, I probably need to review and refine my program. Sobriety is more than not drinking and comes with physical, spiritual and emotional renewal. The 12 steps give us a road map to recovery. Today, I need to look honestly at my emotional affairs. I’ve already tried the intellectual route. It got me nowhere. And our common journey continues. Step by step. – Chris M.


~ EASY DOES IT ~ (A Book of Daily 12 Step Meditations) ~


Insanity is repeating the same mistake and expecting different results.

~ Anonymous ~

Our old world of an out-of-control self- will was strange and crazy. Everything was turned around: right was left, up was down, good was bad, white was black, night was day. We could trust in nothing, because nothing trusted us. We believed in nothing because nothing believed in us. We loved nothing because nothing loved us. We became cruel and mean spirited. We lived life always on the defensive.

The more we acted on the strength of our own ego, the smaller our world became. Finally, in desperation, we shut everyone and everything out. Then we were truly isolated, living m a make-believe world filled with dragons, monsters, and ghosts. Our ego had painted us into a corner and our lives had become unmanageable.

I learned the way to stop my craziness in my Second Step. My sanity has been restored.


~ WISDOM TO KNOW ~ (More Daily Meditations For Men) ~

Even if you are on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.

~ Will Rogers ~

No matter when we started walking this recovery path, we always need to return to the questions: What Step am I focusing on today? What lessons do I need to learn from these events in my life? There is a natural ebb and flow in the focus of our spiritual lives. Sometimes we awaken and become highly alert to our life development; other times we are sleepier about it. We cannot afford to go to sleep in our spiritual and character development.

It has been asked of people after they relapsed, what Step were you working just before you relapsed? Usually the true answer is no Step at all. They have fallen asleep on the path. There is no cure for addiction or codependency. It is a permanent condition. So we need to keep walking the Steps.

Today I will stay on track by renewing my focus on my growth.


~ A WOMAN’S SPIRIT ~ (More Meditations For Women) ~

What you praise you increase.

~ Catherine Ponder ~

Getting trapped in negativity is far too easy. When we get stuck, we soon are overwhelmed with shame. When we’re feeling miserable, we can be certain no one else is enjoying our company either.

It may feel impossible to break out of this painful cycle. Some of us may become complacent in it, yet we recognize that some women seem to experience much more peace and joy than ourselves. What do they do that’s different? Careful observation reveals how accepting they are of others. They can be serene because they aren’t invested in how someone else lives. This is the Serenity Prayer in action.

The easiest step in becoming like these women we admire is to begin praising what we do like in others. The more we praise their positive qualities, the less we’ll focus on those parts we’d like to change. The miracle is that our inattention to the negative qualities dissipates them.

I will praise, not criticize, everyone today. It’s a decision, nothing more. My friends will benefit, but I’ll benefit even more.


~ TODAY I WILL DO ONE THING ~ (Daily Readings for Awareness and Hope) ~

I am finding my strength

I am having a setback with my psychiatric illness. There is a storm in my brain. I am afraid. I am frustrated, furious, and exhausted. I go to group, do therapy, take my meds and still I feel hopeless and helpless.

Yet in my heart, I know I have a higher power who cares about me—my sponsor checked in with me twice yesterday and today I have an emergency appointment with my therapist. I know, too, how much progress I've made in recovery and I believe this setback is not my fault. My job now is to weather the storm.

I will ask my higher power for strength to stay with my daily recovery plan the best I can.


~ BODY, MIND, AND SPIRIT ~ (Inspiration and Support for Recovery) ~

The most wasted day of all is that on which we have not laughed.

~ Sebastien R. N. Chamfort ~

When we first started going to Twelve Step meetings we were often stunned to hear so much laughter. But we soon learned that a good hearty laugh or a joyful smile are as important to our recovery as all the serious issues we explore.

Learning to laugh is part of our growth. It recognizes our shared experiences and helps us feel closer to one another. It also reminds us we are able to smile again, and that a better perspective on life is returning.

We only have today to live, and we are getting better today, so why not smile and enjoy it? Why not open ourselves up to a good laugh and let it push our pain or sorrow out? Now that we are once again choosing how we feel, we have the power to opt for joy.

Today I am grateful for my ability to laugh and share laughter and fun.


~ MORNING LIGHT ~ (Meditations to Begin Your Day) ~

Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

~ Step Twelve ~

A prayer is a humble and heartfelt communication with a power greater than yourself. A prayer can admit a weakness, communicate a need, or convey praise and gratitude. Prayers can unburden your heart, give you strength and courage, and deepen your faith and trust in a Higher Power. Use the following prayer as you work on your understanding and acceptance of Step Twelve.

Step Twelve Prayer

Higher Power, you are always there for me. Your guidance has helped me undergo a profound spiritual awakening. Because of you, I am more confident in my recovery. The comfort and understanding you have given me is something I will pass on to others. I will extend my heart and my hand to those in need. I will be kind and respectful to those in the program and to others in my life.

Higher Power, I will pray to you each day so you can continue to guide me on the road to spiritual progress. I pray you will grant me the strength and wisdom to practice the principles of recovery in all that I do and say. Higher Power, thank you for listening to my prayer.


~ NIGHT LIGHT ~ (A Book Of Nighttime Meditations) ~

The woods are lovely, dark, and deep, But I have promises to keep, And miles to go before I sleep, And miles to go before I sleep.

~ Robert Frost ~

We made a promise to ourselves when we joined the program—to use the tools of the program, One Day at a Time, to stay on the road to recovery.

We need to remember that promise every day. Our program needs come first. After a long day at work or school, it is tempting to turn on the television or take a nap. Instead of calling someone we sponsor or our own sponsor, we may not feel like talking. We may come up with many excuses not to go to a meeting, like doing laundry or balancing the checkbook.

But all these things can wait while we take care of First Things First. It may take a lot of energy to stay alert in a meeting, but we'll be doing the best thing we can for ourselves: keeping our promise. Let's keep that promise, beginning tonight with prayer and meditation.

Have I spent time using my program today? What can I do to keep my promise to myself?


~ DAY BY DAY ~ (Daily Meditations for Recovering Addicts) ~

A rewarding way of life

Let us pause today and ask ourselves, Why have I chosen this new way of life? To the sick and weary, recovery seems a long, hard road to travel. We’d like an easier path, yet we know it wouldn’t satisfy us. Using mind- altering chemicals—taking the easy path- ceased to satisfy us. We had no recourse but to join the fellowship.

We come to realize that the only path to cleanness and sobriety is to reach an understanding of and to become one with our Higher Power. Yes, the way is sometimes hard, but the rewards are many and great.

Do I relish my new way of life?

Higher Power, may I not falter because the way is hard but rejoice because the rewards are great.

Today I will enjoy my new way of life by

God help me to stay clean and sober today!


~ IF YOU WANT WHAT WE HAVE ~ (Sponsorship Meditations) ~

What is a great spiritual practitioner? A person who lives always in the presence of his or her own true self, someone who has found and who uses continually the springs and sources of profound inspiration.



In meetings I hear the phrase "To thine own self be true." Does it mean that my true self isn't the part that's addicted?


Being true to myself means many things to me in recovery. The first layer of meaning includes restoring my sense of right and wrong, taking responsibility for my past actions, acting in the present in a way that allows me to hold up my head as a member of the community. The next layer has to do with discovering my preferences: what do I want my work to be, and with whom do I want close associations? A still deeper layer of being true to myself means coming to know my spirit through prayer and meditation, unclogging the channels, greeting my soul.

Recovery gives us the opportunity to begin to know ourselves, in all our aspects. I've come to know the self that craves addictive substances and behaviors and the self that craves recovery; both are aspects of me. Once you acknowledge your addictive self, you can begin to heal and to know all the rest of who you are.

Today, I know who I am and what I am here for. I am true to myself.



There will always be a difference of opinion as long as people have different interests, different prejudices and different mental capacities.

To expect people to disagree with you is only sensible and reasonable. If everybody agreed with you, everybody would be as smart as you and you wouldn't like that for a minute. The chances are you are both wrong anyhow, or you would not be required to defend your opinions. The right can defend itself without your help.


~ The 12 STEP PRAYER BOOK ~ (A Collection of Favorite 12 Step Prayers and Inspirational Readings) ~

Happy Days

My Creator, take me back to my childhood,
When I was carefree and innocent,
When my heart was filled with laughter and love,
When joy surrounded me,
When I had no responsibilities, no concerns.
I give thanks for those memories;
I cling to them.

For when my life is spinning out of control,
It may seem that way for only a moment,
Sometimes for a day, perhaps an entire week.

Thank You, God, for the memories of childhood.
I remember them; feel relaxed and relieved.
I remember I've known peace and joy before.
When all is spinning out of control,
I will know peace and joy again.


~ AROUND THE YEAR WITH EMMET FOX ~ (A Book of Daily Readings) ~


The practice of tithing has been a lifelong habit with many. They think of their own money as amounting to 90 percent of whatever their net income happens to be and they set aside the 10 percent that belongs to God. The unfailing result is that such people are always free from financial difficulties. Though they may have other problems, they ever remain in want.

Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in thine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it (Malachi 3:10).

And all the tithe of the land, whether the seed of the land, or of the fruit of the tree, is the Lord's: it is holy unto the Lord (Leviticus 27:30).

Honour the Lord with thy substance, and with the first-fruits of thine increase: So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine (Proverbs 3:9,10).

Jacob, after he had received the vision which told him that there is a mystical ladder reaching from earth to heaven—the ladder of scientific prayer and righteous activity—decided there and then to adopt the practice of tithing, realizing that God will be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat, and raiment to put on, so that I come again to my father's house in peace... (Genesis 28:20-21).


~ A DEEP BREATH OF LIFE ~ (365 Daily Inspirations for Heart-Centered Living) ~

Don’t Take It Personally

I am not a victim of the world I see.

~ A Course in Miracles ~

When I walked into my aviary to feed the parrots one morning, Yogi made mean faces at me and tried to bite me. My heart sank; my first reaction was, “I must have done something wrong to make him dislike me.” Yogi kept up this behavior over a period of weeks until I discovered that he had taken up courtship with one of the other birds, and he had gone into a protective mode stemming from his mating instincts. When I realized this, I felt relieved; it was just a genetically dictated “bird thing” and had nothing to do with me.

When someone is unkind or abusive toward you, don’t take it personally. Anger is more about the giver than the recipient. If you accept their attack as a statement about you, you will not see clearly, and the situation will be even more muddied. Do not accept their “gift,” and you will help them face their own issues.

Cultures, genders, and belief systems have unique properties that are statements about the giver, not the receiver. Just as my bird’s aggressive behavior was a bird thing, there are ethnic things, man things, woman things, and religion things. Do not confuse a programmed behavior with a statement about your own value or the person who is speaking.

My friend who had emigrated from Russia was very aggressive, and I often felt intimidated by her. Then I went to Russia and stood in a crowd at a department store. The only way I was able to catch the attention of the clerk was to literally push my way to the front of the mob. That experience gave me an important insight into my friend’s programming, and I was able to understand her behavior. No one is mean on purpose. Since love is our nature, anything unlike love is a statement of an individual’s history of pain. Unkindness is not an attack, but a call for love.

I pray to see myself as innocent, along with my brothers and sisters.

Through the eyes of love I behold only love.
"No matter what you have done up to this moment, you get 24 brand-new hours to spend every single day." --Brian Tracy
AA gives us an opportunity to recreate ourselves, with God's help, one day at a time. --Rufus K.
When you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on. --Franklin D. Roosevelt
We stay sober and clean together - one day at a time!
God says that each of us is worth loving.
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