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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.

+ Alcoholics Anonymous Online Meeting Finder
+ Overeaters Anonymous Meeting Finder
+ Narcotics Anonymous Meeting Finder
+ Al-Anon Online Meeting Finder

Daily Recovery Readings – August 6

Just For Today
August 6
The Joy Within

“Since the beginning of our recovery, we have found that joy doesn’t come from material things but from within ourselves.”
Basic Text, p.103

Some of us came to Narcotics Anonymous impoverished by our disease. Everything we’d owned had been lost to our addiction. Once we got clean, we put all our energy into recovering our material possessions, only to feel even more dissatisfied with our lives than before.

Other members have sought to ease their emotional pain with material things. A potential date has rejected us? Let’s buy something. The dog has died? Let’s go to the mall. Problem is, emotional fulfillment can’t be bought, not even on an easy installment plan.

There’s nothing inherently wrong with material things. They can make life more convenient or more luxurious, but they can’t fix us. Where, then, can true joy be found? We know; the answer is within ourselves.

When have we found joy? When we’ve offered ourselves in service to others, without expectation of reward. We’ve found true warmth in the fellowship of others-not only in NA, but in our families, our relationships, and our communities. And we’ve found the surest source of satisfaction in our conscious contact with our God. Inner peace, a sure sense of direction, and emotional security do not come from material things, but from within.

Just for today: True joy can’t be bought. I will seek my joy in service, in fellowship, in my Higher Power-I will seek within.

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Daily Reflections
August 6
DRIVEN

Driven by a hundred forms of fear, self-delusion, self-seeking and self-pity, we step on the toes of our fellows and they retaliate.
ALCOHOLIC ANONYMOUS , p. 62

My selfishness was the driving force behind my drinking. I drank to celebrate success and I drank to drown my sorrows. Humility is the answer. I learn to turn my will and my life over to the care of God. My sponsor tells me that service keeps me sober. Today I ask myself:  Have I sought knowledge of God’s will for me? Have I done service for my A. A. group?

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day
August 6
A.A. Thought For The Day

Psychologists are turning to religion because just knowing about ourselves is not enough. We need the added dynamic of faith in a power outside of ourselves on which we can rely. Books on psychology and psychiatric treatments are not enough without the strength that comes from faith in God. And clergy and rabbis are turning to psychology because faith is an act of the mind and will. Religion must be presented in psychological terms to some extent in order to satisfy the modern person. Faith must be built largely on our own psychological experience. Have I taken what I need from both psychology and religion when I live the A.A. way?

Meditation For The Day

Refilling with the spirit is something you need every day. For this refilling with the spirit, you need these times of quiet communion, away, alone, without noise, without activity. You need this dwelling apart, this shutting yourself away in the very secret place of your being, away alone with your Maker. >From these times of communion you come forth with new power. This refilling is the best preparation for effective work. When you are spiritually filled, there is no work too hard for you.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may be daily refilled with the right spirit. I pray that I may be full of the joy of true living.

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As Bill Sees It
August 6
Happy–When We’re Free, p. 218

For most normal folks, drinking means release from care, boredom, and worry. It means joyous intimacy with friends and a feeling that life is good.

But not so with us in those last days of heavy drinking. The old pleasures were gone. There was an insistent yearning to enjoy life as we once did and a heartbreaking delusion that some new miracle of control would enable us to do it. There was always one more attempt–and one more failure.

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

We are sure God would like to see us happy, joyous, and free.  Hence, we cannot subscribe to the belief that this life necessarily has to be a vale of tears, though it once was just that for many of us.  But it became clear that most of the time we had made our own misery.

Alcoholics Anonymous
1. p. 151
2. p. 133

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Walk In Dry Places
August 6
Am I Special?
Self-understanding

An early professional believed that alcoholics get into trouble because they thought they were SPECIAL. Thinking we’re special certainly creates all sorts of problems.

It’s true that every person is special in that no two people are exactly alike. But we’re also part of the human race, and we are bound by the general limitations that apply to everyone. We got into trouble partly because we thought we were special and could break universal commonsense rules.

When we stop thinking of ourselves as special, we also become more teachable. We learn more frm the experiences of others. Then we realize that we’re both special and generic, and we use his knowledge for self-improvement rather than self-destruction.

I’ll remember today that I’m special in certain ways, but that I’m also part of the human race and subject to things that apply to everyone.

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Keep It Simple
August 6

Fear of people and economic insecurity will leave you. . .
Alcoholics Anonymous

We don’t have to fear people. They can’t wreck our spirit. We don’t have to fear money problems. We won’t have to starve to death. Our Higher Power will lead us on a safe path through life.  Our Higher power wants us to be safe, happy, and wise. Our Higher power wants us to feel loved.

We’ll learn to trust our Higher Power. And we’ll learn to trust the happiness we find in our new way of life. People may still hurt us, but there will be much more love to carry us through.

Prayer For the Day: Higher Power, I know You protect me and care for me. Help me stop worrying.

Action for the Day: Today, I’ll list four fears I have. I will talk with my sponsor about how to turn these over to my Higher Power.

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Each Day a New Beginning
August 6

They sicken of the calm, who knew the storm.
—Dorothy Parker

Variety in experiences is necessary for our continued growth. We mistakenly think that the “untroubled” life would be forever welcome. It’s the deep waves of life that teach us to be better swimmers.

We don’t know how to appreciate the calm without the occasional storm that pushes us to new limits of ourselves. The calm following the storm offers us the time we need to become comfortable with our new growth. We are ever changing, refining our values, stepping gingerly into uncharted territories. We are forever in partnership in these new territories, let us not forget.

We long for challenge even in the midst of the calm that blesses us. Our inner selves understand the journey; a journey destined to carry us to new horizons; a journey that promises many stormy seasons. For to reach our destination, we must be willing to weather the storms. They are challenges, handpicked for us, designed to help us become all that we need to be in this earthly life.

The mixture of the calm with the storm is not haphazard. Quite the contrary. My growth is at the center of each. I will trust its message.

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions
August 6

Step Twelve – “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.”

Though the earning power of most A.A.’s is relatively high, we have some members who never seem to get on their feet moneywise, and still others who encounter heavy financial reverses. Ordinarily we see these situations met with fortitude and faith.

p. 114

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Xtra Thoughts
August 6

When you have read the Bible, you will know it is the word of God, because you will have found it the key to your own heart, your own happiness, and your own duty.
–Woodrow Wilson

Time is like a river – it flows by and doesn’t return.
–Chinese Proverb

We will be known forever by the tracks we leave.
–Native American Proverb

“People are lonely because they build walls instead of bridges.”
–Joseph F. Newton

“Find the seed at the bottom of your heart and bring forth a flower.”
-higenori Kameoka

“Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one getting burned.”
–Buddha

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation
August 6
LEARNING

“If the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.”
–(Matthew 15:14)

I need to understand before I can teach; I need to listen before I give advice; I need to associate myself with the “winners” to become a winner.

For years I sought advice and direction from those who did not understand. They tried to help but they did not understand. Today I understand that part of my denial and manipulation was choosing those who did not understand to help me. This way I could stay sick!

My spiritual journey involves seeking out those who have that “something” that I want — and being willing to follow their directions;  I surrender to live.

Teach me to develop the spiritual ego that is teachable.

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Bible Scriptures
August 6

But God commendeth his own love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
Romans 5:8

“Be strong in the Lord, and in the strength of His might.”
Ephesians 6:10

I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened.
Ephesians 1:18

Shout joyfully to the LORD, all the earth. Serve the LORD with gladness; come before Him with joyful singing.
Psalm 100:1-2

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Matthew 11:28-30

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.”
I Corinthians 1:3-4

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Daily Inspiration
August 6

Don’t miss a single chance to enrich your life or the lives of others. Lord, Your blessings are countless. May I always be aware of Your presence in my life, share my blessings, and use my blessings to be a blessing to others.

Keep your feet firmly planted in your faith and your eyes raised to the heavens. Lord, You are my strength, my encouragement and my source of all that is good.

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One Day At A Time
August 6
SELF-ESTEEM

“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”
–Eleanor Roosevelt

I always used to feel “less than” everyone else, so I’d eat and feel even worse.  Without true love for myself I was dead in the water. I would compare the facts I knew about myself against the impression I had of you. I never seemed to measure up. Without self-love, I was unable to ask for, expect or accept love from others.

When I love myself and treat myself lovingly, it Doesn’t matter what others think of me; what matters is that I do not think less of myself.

One day at a time …
I ask my Higher Power to show me little ways
to act lovingly toward myself and to know deep within
that I am worthy of being loved by others.

~ Melissa S.

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Elder’s Meditation of the Day – August 6  

“We have to have one mind for the Four Directions. Until we reach that one mind, we cannot be filled with understanding…. The Creator will not answer until you have just one mind, just like if you have one person.”
–Grandfather William Commanda, ALGONQUIN

The Elders have taught us to balance our lives emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually.
If I am out of control emotionally, I get angry, doubtful or erratic, I am out of balance.
If I trigger bad mental pictures of my brothers and sisters, I am out of balance.
If I get too hungry, angry, lonely, or tired, I am out of balance physically. If I don’t pray and talk to the Creator daily, I am out of balance spiritually.
To be centered, I must be in balance.
The Creator talks to me in the quiet and still place.
So if I get angry, what I should do first is to pause and get still so I can hear the guidance of the Grandfathers.

Oh Great Spirit whose voice I hear in the winds, protect and keep me safe today – hear my prayers.

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Journey To The Heart
August 6
Find Neutral Ground

There is a town in Idaho, Lava Hot Springs, that overflows with quiet inexpensive hostels offering hot mineral water soaks to all who pass through. Folklore has it that in days long past, warring tribes would put aside their differences when they came here to soak in the waters and heal. This sacred ground was neutral territory.

Although most of us are not at war with another tribe, or even another person, many of us have been at war with ourselves. I have spent years judging myself and my experiences. As I have opened up to my emotions, I have spent time and energy judging those,too. Often, I expend as much energy judging and labeling the experience or emotion, as I do living through it. I have run in terror from grief. I have attacked myself repeatedly for experiencing anger. I have put antagonistic labels on guilt and fear.

Now I am learning the power of neutrality. It speeds my growth process, the time it takes me to learn my lessons. If what I’m going through isn’t wrong, then I am free to have the experience and embrace its lessons. Neutrality brings peace and the freedom to learn.

As we continue our journey, the journey of the soul, we can learn to find the peace offered by neutral territory. We let ourselves have our experiences, the ones we have chosen, the ones we’ve created, the ones we’ve been given. We let each burst of energy we need to feel pass through without judgement. Good or bad? I don’t think so. Just energy. We learn to let others have their emotions and lessons,too.

Discover the power of neutral territory. It is sacred ground that can help you heal.

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Today’s Gift
August 6

What matters?…Only the flicker of light within the darkness, the feeling of warmth within the cold, the knowledge of love within the void.
—Joan Walsh Anglund

If we were lost at sea, surrounded by darkness pierced only by one distant blinking light, we would follow that light. As we followed it, it would become clearer and brighter until it brought us safely to land.

Sometimes when we’re depressed, we feel as though we’re lost on a dark sea. But there is always a flicker of light for us. It may be prayer, or the love of a special friend. When we see that light, we need to move toward it. Whatever brings us hope is like that flicker of light. The more we seek it, the clearer and brighter the light will become.

When we are cold and our bodies begin to numb, we must keep moving. Movement will keep us alive. When our emotions are numb, we need people or things or places that will warm our hearts. When no one else is around, hot baths or a favorite treat can bring the warmth of our own self-love into our lives when we need it the most.

How can I brighten my inner light today?

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The Language of Letting Go
August 6
Solving Problems

Problems are made to be solved!

Some of us spend more time reacting to the fact that we have a problem than we do solving the problem. “Why is this happening to me?” . . . “Isn’t life awful?” . . . “How come this had to happen?” . . . “Oh, dear. This is terrible.” . . . “Why is God (the Universe, an agency, a person, or life) picking on me?”

Problems are inevitable. Some problems can be anticipated. Some are surprises. But the idea that problems occur regularly need never be a surprise.

The good news is that for every problem, there’s a solution. Sometimes the solution is immediate. Sometimes, it takes awhile to discover. Sometimes, the solution involves letting go. Sometimes, the problem is ours to solve; sometimes it isn’t. Sometimes, there is something we can clearly do to solve the problem; other times, we need to struggle, flounder, do our part, and then trust our Higher Power for help.

Sometimes, the problem is just part of life. Sometimes, the problem is important because we are learning something through the problem and its solution. Sometimes, problems end up working out for good in our life. They get us headed in a direction that is superior to one we may otherwise have taken.

Sometimes, problems just are; sometimes they are a warning sign that we are on the wrong track.

We can learn to accept problems as an inevitable part of life. We can learn to solve problems. We can learn to trust our ability to solve problems. We can learn to identify which problems are trying to lead us in a new direction, and which simply ask for solving.

We can learn to focus on the solution rather than on the problem, and maintain a positive attitude toward life and the inevitable flow of problems and solutions.

Today, I will learn to trust solutions, rather than be victimized by problems. I will not use problems to prove I am helpless, picked on, or martyred. I will not point to my problems to prove how awful life is. I will learn to trust the flow of problems and solutions. God, help me solve the problems I can solve today. Help me let go of the rest. Help me believe in my ability to tackle and solve problems. Help me trust the flow. For each problem, there is a solution.

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More Language Of Letting Go
August 6
The lesson may be a test

Sometimes, problems and challenges come to move us to the next place in our lives. Sometimes, they come to challenge and reinforce what we already know and believe.

Maybe that problem in your life has come along to teach you something new.

Maybe it’s an opportunity to remember and practice what you already know to be true.

Push against the problem. Push your ideals and beliefs against what’s going on. Examine what you think, believe, and feel. Stay open to change. But remember that, sometimes, it’s not about changing what you believe. It’s an opportunity for you to validate yourself and your beliefs.

We’re not always learning something new. Sometimes, the lesson is to remember and trust what we already know.

God, help me to be open to change, help me also to stand fast by my beliefs when they are right.

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Touchstones Meditations For Men
August 6

God respects me when I work, but he loves me when I sing.
—Rabindranath Tagore

We seek balance in our lives. The greatest sign of unmanageability in our past was the unbalanced lives we led. This is no easy lesson to learn. We are inclined to grasp for a single answer, thinking we now have the key insight to a happier way of life. As men, many of us have pursued our happiness in work with little time for anything else. Perhaps, for some, the singing and playing we have done were part of our addiction or participating with someone else in their addiction. This makes it feel dangerous or frightening now to be playful in recovery.

We can find ways to have more balance in our lives. Spiritual vitality grows when we make room in our day for lighthearted play as well as the serious tasks.

I pray for guidance from my Higher Power to help me find a balance in my life today.

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Daily TAO
August 6
Ownership

      A small boy drives
      A hundred ducks to the lake
      With a tasseled stick:
            A most of excited white.

A small boy can command an entire flock of ducks with a slender stick. The ducks go contentedly down to the lake to play in the mud. In the end, of course, they end up as someone’s dinner.

They obey the stick because they respond to their conditioning. In truth, they don’t need to obey it. They don’t need to be someone’s meal. As for the boy, he is doing his job, but he does not own the ducks in an ultimate sense. He exercises his power over them, and they respond, yet neither realizes their bond is provisional.

Ownership of property is only an artificial construct as well. If can remember that ownership is something that exists only by definition, then we can give up possessiveness, defensiveness, and greed. What does it matter how much money on land you say you have? You cannot actually own it.

You don’t even own your own body. Ultimate ownership would mean total control. You would never age. You could make it as beautiful as you wanted. You would never suffer from accidents. But the fact is that we are all imprisoned in flesh that ages, decays, becomes diseased, and can be destroyed by some rather minor accidents. You don’t own your body. You live in a borrowed shell. Why not seek the truth that goes beyond the body?

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Food For Thought
August 6
Planting Seeds

The closer we walk with our Higher Power, the more effective our Twelfth Step work is. We always remember that the best thing we can do for other compulsive overeaters is to maintain our own abstinence. Beyond that, we are given opportunities to spread the word as we go about our daily activities.

Mentioning what OA is doing for us may open the door to a new life for one of our friends. It may be a casual acquaintance or even a stranger who needs to hear about the program. Our instincts can guide us as to the best time and place to share news of our recovery.

Often, we may not know what effect, if any; our witness has had on another person. We may be annoyed if we are unable to “sell” the program to someone we think should have it. The results of our Twelfth Step work are in the hands of our Higher Power, and positive effects may show up long after we have planted a seed.

Show me where I may plant seeds of recovery.

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Daily Zen
August 6

When you look, it is formless;
When you call, it echoes.
It is the great Dharma commander,
Transmitting the sutras
Through precepts of mind.

As saltiness in water,
Transparency in color,
Surely it is there,
But its form is invisible;
The Mind King is also thus,
Residing in the body.

– Master Ful (497-569)
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Faith’s Check Book
August 6
Go; Take Your Property

Behold, the Lord thy God hath set the land before thee: go up and possess it, as the Lord God of thy fathers hath said unto thee; fear not, neither be discouraged.
(Deuteronomy 1:21)

There is a heritage of grace which we ought to be bold enough to win for our possession. All that one believer has gained is free to another. We may be strong in faith, fervent in love, and abundant in labor; there is nothing to prevent it; let us go up and take possession. The sweetest experience and the brightest grace are as much for us as for any of our brethren; Jehovah has set it before us; no one can deny our right; let us go up and possess it in His name.

The world also lies before us to be conquered for the Lord Jesus. We are not to leave any country or corner of it unsubdued. That slum near our house is before us, not to baffle our endeavors, but to yield to them. We have only to summon courage enough to go forward, and we shall win dark homes and hard hearts for Jesus. Let us never leave the people in a lane or alley to die because we have not enough faith in Jesus and His gospel to go up and possess the land. No spot is too benighted, no person so profane as to be beyond the power of grace. Cowardice, begone! Faith marches to the conquest.

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This Morning’s Readings
August 6

“Watchman, what of the night?”
—Isaiah 21:11.

WHAT enemies are abroad? Errors are a numerous horde, and new ones appear every hour: against what heresy am I to be on my guard? Sins creep from their lurking places when the darkness reigns; I must myself mount the watch-tower, and watch unto prayer. Our heavenly Protector foresees all the attacks which are about to be made upon us, and when as yet the evil designed us is but in the desire of Satan, He prays for us that our faith fail not, when we are sifted as wheat. Continue O gracious Watchman, to forewarn us of our foes, and for Zion’s sake hold not thy peace.

“Watchman, what of the night?” What weather is coming for the Church? Are the clouds lowering, or is it all clear and fair overhead? We must care for the Church of God with anxious love; and now that Popery and infidelity are both threatening, let us observe the signs of the times and prepare for conflict.

“Watchman, what of the night?” What stars are visible? What precious promises suit our present case? You sound the alarm, give us the consolation also. Christ, the polestar, is ever fixed in His place, and all the stars are secure in the right hand of their Lord.

But watchman, when comes the morning? The Bridegroom tarries. Are there no signs of His coming forth as the Sun of Righteousness? Has not the morning star arisen as the pledge of day? When will the day dawn, and the shadows flee away? O Jesus, if Thou come not in person to Thy waiting Church this day, yet come in Spirit to my sighing heart, and make it sing for joy.

“Now all the earth is bright and glad
With the fresh morn;
But all my heart is cold, and dark and sad:
Sun of the soul, let me behold Thy dawn!
Come, Jesus, Lord,
O quickly come, according to Thy word.”

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This Evening’s Readings
August 6

“Let the whole earth be filled with His glory; Amen, and Amen.”
—Psalm 72:19.

THIS is a large petition. To intercede for a whole city needs a stretch of faith, and there are times when a prayer for one man is enough to stagger us. But how far-reaching was the psalmist’s dying intercession! How comprehensive! How sublime! “Let the whole earth be filled with His glory.” It doth not exempt a single country however crushed by the foot of superstition; it doth not exclude a single nation however barbarous. For the cannibal as well as for the civilized, for all climes and races this prayer is uttered: the whole circle of the earth it encompasses, and omits no son of Adam. We must be up and doing for our Master, or we cannot honestly offer such a prayer. The petition is not asked with a sincere heart unless we endeavour, as God shall help us, to extend the kingdom of our Master. Are there not some who neglect both to plead and to labour? Reader, is it your prayer? Turn your eyes to Calvary. Behold the Lord of Life nailed to a cross, with the thorn-crown about His brow, with bleeding head, and hands, and feet. What! can you look upon this miracle of miracles, the death of the Son of God, without feeling within your bosom a marvellous adoration that language never can express? And when you feel the blood applied to your conscience, and know that He has blotted out your sins, you are not a man unless you start from your knees and cry, “Let the whole earth be filled with His glory; Amen, and Amen.” Can you bow before the Crucified in loving homage, and not wish to see your Monarch master of the world? Out on you if you can pretend to love your Prince, and desire not to see Him the universal ruler. Your piety is worthless unless it leads you to wish that the same mercy which has been extended to you may bless the whole world. Lord, it is harvest-time, put in Thy sickle and reap.

 

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