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In Loving Memory of Vic

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Need to get to a meeting and speak to someone right away? Below is a list of online meetings and resources to help you find a meeting and fellowship.

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Daily Recovery Readings – April 8

Just For Today
April 8
Happiness

“We come to know happiness, joy and freedom.”
Basic Text p. 88

If someone stopped you on the street today and asked if you were happy, what would you say? “Well, gee, let’s see… I have a place to live, food in the refrigerator, a job, my car is running… Well, yes, I guess I’m happy” you might respond. These are outward examples of things that many of us have traditionally associated with happiness. We often forget, however, that happiness is a choice; no one can make us happy.

Happiness is what we find in our involvement with Narcotics Anonymous. The happiness we derive from a life focused on service to the addict who still suffers is great indeed. When we place service to others ahead of our own desires, we find that we take the focus off ourselves. As a result, we live a more contented, harmonious life. In being of service to others, we find our own needs more than fulfilled.

Happiness. What is it, really? We can think of happiness as contentment and satisfaction. Both of these states of mind seem to come to us when we least strive for them. As we live just for today, carrying the message to the addict who still suffers, we find contentment, happiness, and a deeply meaningful life.

Just for today: I am going to be happy. I will find my happiness by being of service to others.

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Daily Reflections
April 8
AN INSIDE LOOK

We want to find exactly how, when, and where our natural desires have warped us. We wish to look squarely at the unhappiness this has caused others and ourselves. By discovering what our emotional deformities are, we can move toward their correction
–TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p.43

Today I am no longer a slave to alcohol, yet in so many ways enslavement still threatens–my self, my desires, even my dreams. Yet without dreams I cannot exist; without dreams there is nothing to keep me moving forward. I must look inside myself, to free myself. I must call upon God’s power to face the person I’ve feared the most, the true me, the person God created me to be. Unless I can or until I do, I will always be running, and never be truly free. I ask God daily to show me such a freedom!

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day
April 8
A.A. Thought For The Day

Second, alcoholics recover their faith in a Power greater than themselves. They admit that they’re helpless by themselves and they call on that Higher Power for help.  They surrender their lives to God, as they understand Him.  They put their drink problem in God’s hands and leave it there. They recover their faith in a Higher Power that can help them. Have I recovered my faith?

Meditation For The Day

You must make a stand for God. Believers in God are considered by some as peculiar people. You must even be willing to be deemed a fool for the sake of your faith. You must be ready to stand aside and let the fashions and customs of the world go by, when God’s purposes are thereby forwarded. Be known by the marks that distinguish a believer in God. These are honesty, purity, unselfishness, love, gratitude, and humility.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may be ready to profess my belief in God before others. I pray that I may not be turned aside by the skepticism and cynicism of unbelievers.

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As Bill Sees It
April 8
Anger–Personal and Group Enemy, p. 98

“As the book ‘Alcoholics Anonymous’ puts it, ‘Resentment is the Number One offender.’ It is a primary cause of relapses into drinking. How well we of A.A. know that for us ‘To drink is eventually to go mad or die.’

“Much the same penalty overhangs every A.A. group. Given enough anger, both unity and purpose are lost. Given still more ‘righteous’ indignation, the group can disintegrate; it can actually die. This is why we avoid controversy. This is why we prescribe no punishments for any misbehavior, no matter how grievous. Indeed, no alcoholic can be deprived of his membership for any reason whatever.

“Punishment never heals. Only love can heal.”

Letter, 1966

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Walk in Dry Places
April 8
Keep it Simple, BUT not simple-minded
Working the Steps.

Dr. Bob Smith left little in the way of written material for AA’s future. His phrase “Keep it Simple,” however, is now a guiding slogan in the program. What did he really have in mind with this final piece of advice?

We can take it as certain that Dr. Bob…. A highly intelligent man… was not saying that we shouldn’t use our heads for real thinking and study. One of the blessings of sobriety, in fact, should be the ability to think clearly and effectively. It would be a mistake to believe that one must renounce a brainpower and education in order to stay sober.

The real aim of “keeping it simple” should be to stay mindful of the principles and essentials that are key to everybody else. Even the most difficult subject can usually be mattered by processes of simplification. The deepest book, for example, is still composed of only twenty-six letters.

We can “Keep it Simple” by building or lives around the principles of the Twelve Step program. When we discover new ideas, they’ll reinforce and expand what we’ve already learned. In this way, we should always be learning and growing… which is beautiful simple, but certainly not simple-minded.

I’ll be grateful today for the ability to think and to understand complicated subjects. With a strong foundation in the bedrock principles of AA, I can use my mind in constructive and progressive ways.

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Keep It Simple
April 8

It’s a simple formula: Do your best and somebody might like it.
–Dorothy Baker

Our program is a selfish program. It tells us to let go of what others think. We’re staying sober for ourselves, not for anyone else. Our body and our spirit are at stack. And we know what we need to do to stay sober.

If we fell shaky about going to a party, we don’t go—no matter who gets upset.

If our job makes it hard to stay sober, we get a different one—no mater who it upsets. It’s simple we must take good care of ourselves before we can be good to others. In doing this, we learn how to be a friend, a good parent, a good spouse. we have to care for ourselves to have good relationships. Do I believe it okay to be selfish when it comes to my program?

Prayer for the Day : Higher Power, help me do what is best for my recovery, no matter what others think.

Action for the Day: I will remind myself that staying sober is simple. I don’t use chemicals.  And I work the program.

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Each Day a New Beginning
April 8

Life is patchwork–here and there, scraps of pleasure and despair. Joined together, hit or miss.
–Anne Bronaugh

As you look ahead, to this day, you can count on unexpected experiences. You can count on moments of laughter. And you can count on twinges of fear. Life is seldom what we expect, but we can trust that we will survive the rough times. They will, in fact, soften our edges. Pleasure and pain share equally in the context of our lives.

We so easily forget that our growth comes through the challenges we label “problems.” We do have the tools at hand to reap the benefits inherent in the problems that may face us today. Let us move gently forward, take the program with us, and watch the barriers disappear.

There is no situation that a Step won’t help us with. Maybe we’ll need to “turn over” a dilemma today. Accepting powerlessness over our children, or spouse, or co-worker may free us of a burden today. Or perhaps amends will open the communication we seek with someone in our lives. The program will weave the events of our day together. It will give them meaning.

Today, well lived, will prepare me for both the pleasure and the pain of tomorrow.

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Alcoholics Anonymous
April 8
LISTENING TO THE WIND

– It took an “angel” to introduce this Native American woman to A.A. and recovery.

When I was fifteen years old, I arrived alone in San Francisco with a guitar, a small suitcase, and $30. I went to several taverns and coffeehouses in search of a job singing. I believed I could pursue a career as a performer. Three days later I found myself sleeping in a doorway to stay out of the rain that had fallen all day. I was broke and cold, and had nowhere else to go. The only thing I had left was my pride, which prevented me from trying to reach my brother by phone or finding my way back to the only people who ever really knew me.

pp. 458-459

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions
April 8

Step Four – “Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.”

Step Four is our vigorous and painstaking effort to discover what these liabilities in each of us have been, and are. We want to find exactly how, when, and where our natural desires have warped us. We wish to look squarely at the unhappiness this has caused others and ourselves. By discovering what our emotional deformities are, we can move toward their correction. Without a willing and persistent effort to do this, there can be little sobriety or contentment for us. Without a searching and fearless moral inventory, most of us have found that the faith which really works in daily living is still out of reach.

pp. 42-43

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Xtra Thoughts
April 8

I came to this program to save my butt and found out it was attached to my soul.
–Anonymous

Just beyond the night, another day is breaking, bringing hope to all.
–D. Hockaday

Newness opens eyes
Be in love, at peace with all
Travel to know joy
–Tara

“Change is simply a combination of growing up and gaining knowledge.”
–Jill Thomas

God, help me stay alert to the lessons of today.
-Melody Beattie

“If you’re not feeling God’s Presence, who moved?” God exists everywhere. Whenever we feel abandoned by God, remember, it is we who have moved. God is always fully present to us when we remember to open our hearts to that Presence.
–Mary Manin Morrissey

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation
April 8
LIES

“It takes a wise man to handle a lie; a fool had better remain honest.”
–Norman Douglas

As a drinking alcoholic I was telling so many lies to cover the lies I had previously told that I got lost in a maze of untruth! Most of the lies were stupid, irrelevant and harmless – but they were all aimed at building up my ego. Making me look good. Telling people I had more.  My memory could not keep up with my tongue and I became guilty, ashamed and embarrassed.

Today I need to remember that there is nothing any lie can give me that I need; there is nothing in the world of fabrication that I need; I have what I need.

Today I have a relationship with a God and Friend that I can understand and be vulnerable with; I don’t need to be perfect to be loved.

Help me to seek the good life in those things that are good.

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Bible Scriptures
April 8

“You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.”
–1 John 4:4

Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice
–Ephesians 4:31

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Daily Inspiration
April 8

There is no good enough reason to ever feel we are a failure. No matter how hard we fall, God is there to restore our spirit and forgive our past. Lord, help me to understand that it is this moment that counts, not the last one and with each new moment, I have a new beginning.

They are wise who depend on God. Lord, Your perfect law revives my soul. Keeping Your law makes me rich.

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A Day At A Time
April 8

Reflection For The Day

Time after time, we learn in The Program, newcomers try to keep to themselves “shoddy facts” about their lives.  Trying to avoid the humbling experience of the Fifth Step, they turn to a seemingly easier and softer way.  Almost invariably, they slip.  Having persevered with the rest of The Program, they then wonder why they fell.  The probable reasons is they they completed their housecleaning.  They took inventory all right, but hung on to some of the worst items in stock.  Have I admitted to God, to myself, and to another human being the exact nature of my wrongs?

Today I Pray

That I may include all of the sleaziness of my past, my cruelties and my dishonesty, in a complete moral inventory of myself.  May I hold back nothing out of shame or pride, for the “exact nature” of my wrongs means just that — a thorough and exact recounting of past mistakes and character flaws.  We have been provided with an appropriate “dumping-ground.”  May I use it as it was intended.  May all my throw-sways, the trash and outgrown  costumes of the past, be foundation “fill” on which to build a new life.

Today I Will Remember

Trash can be a foundation for treasures.

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One More Day
April 8

Believe me, every man has his secret sorrow, which the world knows not, and oftentimes we call a man col when he is only sad.
–  Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Let a person seem aloof or display a need to be apart from others, and we automatically assume we are getting a old shoulder.  yet none of us has any ideas of all the components of another person’s life and feelings.  We’re usually ignorant of others people’s personal characteristics.  Sadness, shyness, and fear are just a few traits which can be misinterpreted.

Little disappointments, large failures, loss of a dream or a loved one — these are all problems which any one of us can have, but few can share.  We can choose to overlook the real and imagined wrongs of others by reminding ourselves of how little we really know of each other.

My understanding of other people’s problems has been enhanced by my own illness, and I will not be so quick to judge.

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One Day At A Time
April 8
~ Willingness ~

I cannot change what I am unwilling to face.
–James Baldwin

Before I found this program I was locked in a battle with myself. I knew I was eating too much, and I couldn’t help myself. I tried to control my eating, and for a while, I was able to keep the upper hand. Then something would happen in my life, and I’d lose that control.

I couldn’t face the fact that I was a compulsive eater. I couldn’t bear to think that I had a disease that kept me in bondage to food. So during the time I was in denial about my eating, I continued sinking deeper into my disease of compulsion. I sought comfort in food, and did some serious damage to my body, to my self-esteem, and to my relationships.

It was only after I hit bottom that I realized that I had to face the facts. I had a disease that had me in a death grip, and there wasn’t one thing I could do about it. When I found this program, I found hope. I discovered a Higher Power who could help me do what I’d never been able to do before. I slowly began to see the changes I’d tried all my life to effect on my own. But it didn’t happen until I became willing to face the truth, until I became willing to ask God for help.

One Day at a Time . . .
I am willing to face my disease and let my Higher Power help me overcome it.

~ Jeff ~

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Elder’s Meditation of the Day – April 8

“The very dust under your feet responds more lovingly to our footsteps than to yours, because it is the ashes of our ancestors, and our bare feet are conscious of the sympathetic touch, for the soil is rich with the life of our kindred.”
–Chief Seattle, SUQUAMISH

If you respect something, it will respect you back. If your ancestors respected something, the future generations will be respected back. The Indian ancestors always showed great respect for the Earth. That’s why the Earth is so respectful to Indians today. Every Indian naturally feels connectedness to the Earth. We know the Earth holds our ancestors. If we continue to respect Mother Earth, our children will benefit and so will our grand- children. Today, we should think about and pray for our Mother Earth.

Grandmother, let me have strong feelings for our Earth today.

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Today’s Gift
April 8

Any time you sense you are getting overrun by outside influences and losing your feelings, put your attention inside your body. Relax. . ., let your breath sink low. . ., breathe in your abdomen. . . .
—ANNE KENT RUSH

When we are feeling as though all our energy is scattered throughout our bodies, we need to practice centering, or focusing this energy into one place. Our center may change from day to day, and each of us feels it differently.

When we’re walking, we may feel power coming from our hips and spreading through the body, heart, and mind. When we’re in a meditative mood, we may feel warm energy at the back of the head. At other times, we might feel a real centering place in the middle of the chest, right where our heart and arms and breathing come together. There is no one way to be at peace. Centering is a way for each of us to find and picture to ourselves our focused energy. When we can do this, we increase our power to bring about those things we want from life, those things we really do deserve.

Where is my energy right now?

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The Language of Letting Go
April 8
Self Care

I don’t precisely know what you need to do to take care of yourself. But I know you can figure it out.
–Beyond Codependency

Rest when you’re tired.

Take a drink of cold water when you’re thirsty.

Call a friend when you’re lonely.

Ask God to help when you feel overwhelmed.

Many of us have learned how to deprive and neglect ourselves. Many of us have learned to push ourselves hard, when the problem is that were already pushed too hard.

Many of us are afraid the work wont get done if we rest when were tired. The work will get done; it will be done better than work that emerges from tiredness of soul and spirit. Nurtured, nourished people, who love themselves and care for themselves, are the delight of the Universe.

They are well timed, efficient, and Divinely led.

Today, I will practice loving self-care.

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More Language Of Letting Go
April 8
Stop trapping yourself

“I found myself staying at home on weekends, not wandering far from home,” a woman said. “I was expecting myself to be there for my daughter whenever she wanted me, just like when she was a child. The problem was, she was in her mid-twenties and didn’t even live in the same city anymore.”

It’s easy to paint ourselves into a corner with what we’ve grown accustomed to expecting from ourselves. Sometimes we can work so hard to build that career, get that relationship, or become a certain way that we start living up to an image of ourselves that has become outdated.

Stop trapping yourself.

Those goals might have been what we wanted then, but they don’t work anymore. And just because we achieved them doesn’t mean we can’t go on and do something else. What do you expect from yourself? Have you taken a look? Do your expectations reflect the genuine desires of your heart, or do they reflect something else?

Are you grumbling and complaining about some aspect of your life– something you’re expected to do but resent? Maybe the only person expecting you to do that is yourself. Expectations can be subtle little things. Take them out and examine them. If some of them are outdated or useless, maybe it’s time to throw them away.

Can you feel the rush? Listen quietly. It’s there. It’s the sound of a life and spirit being set free.

God, help me aet myself free from ridiculous and unnecssary expectations.

Activity: If this were the last ten years of your life, what would you be doing? Where would you be living? What would you be doing for fun. work, friendship, and love? If the answer is different from where you currently are, maybe you should be someplace else.

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Touchstones Meditations For Men
April 8

I’m not into isms and asms. There isn’t a Catholic moon and a Baptist sun. I know the universal God is universal…. I feel that the same God force that is the mother and father of the pope is also the mother and father of the loneliest wino on the planet.
—Dick Gregory

In this program we seek conscious contact with God as we understand God. Some people understand God in very specific ways as a Jewish God, or a Christian God, or Moslem Allah. Others understand God in very general and unspecific ways. To some, God is the spirit of group relationships, the deeper consciousness of each man, or the whole of creation. When the word God is used in this program, it respects the different knowing of each person.

Whatever understanding a man has, this program includes his perspective. It dictates none. This is a spiritual program, not a religious one. We often see our Higher Power was with us as a helpful force, long before we knew about it.

Today, I am grateful for God’s care. May I learn to increase in trust and. knowledge of God.

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Journey To The Heart
April 8
Enjoy the Adventure

It was a cold night in Sedona, Arizona. An unexpected snowstorm had passed through the usually warm city, dumping several inches of snow in a short time. The electricity was off. The cabin I was staying in was freezing.

Great, I thought. I get to spend my last evening in Sedona fighting off hypothermia alone in the dark. I put on a heavy sweater, then wrapped myself in a blanket, trudged to a phone booth, and called a friend to complain.

“Change your perspective,” he said. “Pretend you’re four years old. Get your flashlight. Then make a tent in your bed out of all the pillows and blankets you can find. Enjoy the adventure.”

At first I balked, then I decided to try this idea. I made the tent. Bundled up. My complaints quickly turned to memories of what it was like to be a child, to play with life, to play with all the experiences life brings. Soon I fell asleep.

When I awoke in the morning, the heat was back on. The lights had returned. The snow had stopped falling. Capped in a frosty layer of white, the breathtaking city of rust-iron mesas looked like a wonderland. I had learned another lesson, practical and simple.

Change your perspective and enjoy the adventure. Let the child in you come out to play.

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Food for Thought
April 8
The Enemy Within

Why do we self-destruct? The problem of evil has been with us ever since the serpent tempted Eve to eat the apple. We often feel at war internally, one self-fighting another self.

There are forces that would have us abandon our program, and usually we find the temptation coming from within. We become careless, bored, lackadaisical in our efforts. Instead of disciplining ourselves to further spiritual growth, we rest on our oars and then wonder why we are drifting downstream!

There is nothing wrong with our bodily appetites, except when we allow them to take control. Then they will destroy us. Sane, healthy living requires that we acknowledge our spiritual needs. When our Higher Power is in control, we work for emotional and spiritual growth as well as physical satisfaction. Instead of being divided internally, we are integrated. The enemy within is subdued in the only way possible – by God’s power.

Defeat the enemy within me. Lord.

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Daily TAO
April 8
FAREWELL

We part at the crossroads,
You leave with your joys and problems,
I with mine. Alone, I look down the road.
Each one must walk one’s own path.

People’s paths come together all too briefly when sharing friendship, but that makes those times no less valuable. We must take advantage of support and sharing in a mutually beneficial way. Whenever we take from another, we should try to give back something. This is fundamental. No one should lean on another person, or expect another to carry them a long distance down the road. Friends should walk side by side for as long as their journey carries them, without becoming dependent on one another.

There should be no obligation. If I can help someone do something, then I should do so without any hesitation or expectation of reward or debt. If there is something that I need to learn and my companion can show it to me, then I should accept it in humility. No one “owns” knowledge. It should be freely shared.

Parting is inherent in all meeting. Nothing lasts forever.   Transience is what gives life poignancy. Every person is responsible for himself or herself. There is no road to walk but your own

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DailyZen
    April 8

Meditation will not carry you to another world, but it will reveal the most profound and awesome dimensions of the world in which you already live. Calmly contemplating these dimensions and bringing them into the service of compassion and kindness is the right way to make rapid gains in meditation as well as in life.

– Hsing Yun

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    Faith’s Check Book
    April 8
    Preserved to Work’s End

The Lord stood by him, and said, Be of good cheer, Paul: for as thou hast testified of me in Jerusalem, so must thou bear witness also at Rome.
–(Acts 23:11)

Are you a witness for the Lord, and are you just now in danger? Then remember that you are immortal till your work is done. If the Lord has more witness for you to bear, you will live to bear it. Who is he that can break the vessel which the Lord intends again to use?

If there is no more work for you to do for your Master, it cannot distress you that He is about to take you home and put you where you will be beyond the reach of adversaries. Your witness-bearing for Jesus is your chief concern, and you cannot be stopped in it till it is finished: therefore, be at peace. Cruel slander, wicked misrepresentation, desertion of friends, betrayal by the most trusted one, and whatever else may come cannot hinder the Lord’s purpose concerning you. The Lord stands by you in the night of your sorrow, and He says, “Thou must yet bear witness for me.” Be calm; be filled with joy in the Lord.

If you do not need this promise just now, you may very soon. Treasure it up. Remember also to pray for missionaries and all persecuted ones, that the Lord would preserve them even to the completion of their lifework.

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