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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 — December 24

Just For Today
December 24
The Group

“The Twelfth Step of our personal program also says that we carry the message to the addict who still suffers…. The group is the most powerful vehicle we have for carrying the message.”
Basic Text pg. 65

When we first come to Narcotics Anonymous meetings, we meet recovering addicts. We know they are addicts because they talk about the same experiences and feelings we’ve had. We know they are recovering because of their serenity – they’ve got something we want. We feel hope when other addicts share their recovery with us in NA meetings.

The atmosphere of recovery attracts us to the meetings. That atmosphere is created when group members make a commitment to work together. We try to enhance the atmosphere of recovery by helping set up for meetings, greeting newcomers, and talking with other addicts after the meeting. These demonstrations of our commitment make our meetings attractive and help our groups share their recovery.

Sharing experience in meetings is one way in which we help one another, and it’s often the foundation for our sense of belonging. We identify with other addicts, so we trust their message of hope. Many of us would not have stayed in Narcotics Anonymous without that sense of belonging and hope. When we share at group meetings, we support our personal recovery while helping others.

Just for today: I will reach out to another addict in my group and share my recovery.

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Daily Reflections
December 24
A “SANE AND HAPPY USEFULNESS”

We have come to believe He would like us to keep our heads in the clouds with Him, but that our feet ought to be firmly planted on earth. That is where our fellow travelers are, and that is where our work must be done. These are the realities for us. We have found nothing incompatible between a powerful spiritual experience and a life of sane and happy usefulness.
ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 130

All the prayer and meditation in the world will not help me unless they are accompanied by action.  Practicing the principles in all my affairs shows me the care that God takes in all parts of my life. God appears in my world when I move aside, and allow Him to step into it.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day
December 24
A.A. Thought For The Day

We have been given a new life, just because we happened to become alcoholics. We certainly don’t deserve the new life that has been given us. There is little in our past to warrant the life we have now. Many people live good lives from their youth on, not getting into serious trouble, being well adjusted to life, and yet they have not found all that we drunks have found. We had the good fortune to find Alcoholics Anonymous and with it a new life. We are among the lucky few in the world who have learned a new way of life.  Am I deeply grateful for the new life that I have learned in A.A.?

Meditation For The Day

A deep gratitude to the Higher Power for all the blessings which we have and which we don’t deserve has come to us. We thank God and mean it. Then comes service to our fellow men, out of gratitude for what we have received. This entails some sacrifice of ourselves and our own affairs. But we are glad to do it. Gratitude, service, and then sacrifice are the steps that lead to good A.A. work. They open the door to a new life for us.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may gladly serve others, out of deep gratitude for what I have received. I pray that I may keep a deep sense of obligation.

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As Bill Sees It
December 24
Individual Responsibilities, p.262

Let us emphasize that our reluctance to fight one another, or anybody else, is not counted as some special virtue which entitles us A.A.’s to feel superior to other people. Nor does this reluctance mean that the members of A.A. are going to back away from their individual responsibilities as citizens. Here they should feel free to act as they see the right upon the public issues of our times.

But when it comes to A.A. as a whole, that’s quite a different matter.  As a group we do not enter into public controversy, because we are sure that our Society will perish if we do.

12 & 12, p.177

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Walk In Dry Places
December 24
Jealousy toward loved ones
Feeling

Though resentment gets more attention in AA than jealousy, both of these ugly emotions can plague us in sobriety. Some of us can be very distressed and ashamed when the green demon of jealousy suddenly assaults us. Does this mean we’re not working our program?

No, because the purpose of our program is to bring honesty and healing into our lives, not denial of basic human emotions. It’s very understandable that we have pangs of jealousy even in sobriety. Quite often, this jealousy will be felt toward loved ones and close friends.

One young AA father disclosed he was jealous of his wife when their infant son seemed more responsive to her than to him. We can also experience jealousy when others close to us receive things we’d like to have. It’s even possible to be jealous of another’s standing in AA.

When such feelings arise, we always have the answer: We must discuss our feelings with certain AA friends and turn these problems over to our Higher Power. This, not denial, is always the solution.

If the green demon of envy and jealousy arises today, I’ll let the healing power of the Twelve Steps go to work on it.

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Keep It Simple
December 24

We must all hang together or we will hang separately.
—Ben Franklin

We didn’t get ourselves sober. And we don’t keep ourselves sober. Our program does this. That is why the Twelfth Step is important. We must be willing to give service to our program whenever it’s needed. When a friend calls and say he or she feels like using, we don’t say we’re sorry. We get our friend and take him or her to a meeting. Our survival depends on this kind of action. We are to carry the message. We carry the message by deeds, not words. We are part of a fellowship based on action. A fellowship guided by love. It is not words that keep us sober–it is action.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, help me be ready whenever there’s a need. Help me be ready to put my self-will aside. Give me strength.

Action for the Day: I will think of my group members. Who could use a supportive call or visit? I will call or visit those who need my help.

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Each Day a New Beginning
December 24

Follow your dream . . if you stumble, don’t stop and lose sight of your goal, press on to the top.  For only on top Can we see the whole view . . .
–Amanda Bradley

Today, we can, each of us, look back on our lives and get a glimmering of why something happened and how it fit into the larger mosaic of our lives. And this will continue to be true for us. We have stumbled. We will stumble. And we learn about ourselves, about what makes us stumble and about the methods of picking ourselves up.

Life is a process, a learning process that needs those stumbles to increase our awareness of the steps we need to take to find our dream at the top. None of us could realize the part our stumbling played in the past. But now we see. When we fall, we need to trust that, as before, our falls are “up,” not down.

I will see the whole view in time. I see part of it daily. My mosaic is right and good and needs my stumbles.

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Alcoholics Anonymous
December 24
ACCEPTANCE WAS THE ANSWER

– The physician wasn’t hooked, he thought–he just prescribed drugs medically indicated for his many ailments. Acceptance was his key to liberation.

Eventually the psychiatrist discharged me from the hospital, and Max and I began to go to meetings ourselves. Right from the start, I felt that they weren’t doing anything for me, but they sure were helping Max. We sat in the back and talked only to each other. It was precisely a year before I spoke at an A.A. meeting. Although we enjoyed the laughter in the early days, I heard a lot of things that I thought were stupid. I interpreted “sober” as meaning “drinking but not being drunk.” When a big, healthy-looking young fellow stood up there and said, “I’m a success today if I don’t drink today,” I thought, “Man, I’ve got a thousand things to do today before I can brag about not taking a drink, for God’s sake!” Of course, I was still drinking at the time. (Today there is absolutely nothing in the world more important to me than my keeping this alcoholic sober; not taking a drink is far by the most important thing I do each day.)

p. 415

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions
December 24

Tradition Eight – “Alcoholics Anonymous should remain forever nonprofessional, but our service centers may employ special workers.”

At the Foundation, the same story repeats itself. Eight tons of books and literature per month do not package and channel themselves all over the world. Sacks of letters on every conceivable A.A. problem ranging from a lonely-heart Eskimo to the growing pains of thousands of groups must be answered by people who know. Right contacts with the world outside have to be maintained. A.A.’s lifelines have to be tended. So we hire A.A. staff members. We pay them well, and they earn what they get. They are professional secretaries, * but they certainly are not professional A.A.’s.

* The work of present-day staff members has no counterpart among the job categories of commercial organizations. These A.A.’s bring a whole range of business and professional experience to their service at G.S.O.

p. 169

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Xtra Thoughts
December 24

Sharing our experiences with other people gives them hope.
–unknown

What I am is God’s gift to me.  What I make of myself is my gift to Him.
–unknown

“An apology is the superglue of life: it can repair just about anything.”
–Unknown

A man’s true wealth is the good he does in the world. Beauty is eternity gazing at itself in a mirror. But you are eternity and you are the mirror.
–Kahlil Gibran

“Joy is not in things; It is in us”
–Richard Wagner

“Christmas gift suggestions: To your enemy, forgiveness. To an opponent, tolerance. To a friend, your heart. To a customer, service. To all, charity. To every child, a good example. To yourself, respect.”
–Oren Arnold

“At this time of the year, we need to remind ourselves that what we give from deep within has a much greater worth than what we give from our wallets. Some attempt to impress others with their contributions, but the real acts of kindness are when we give our time, our talents, and gifts that are a reflection of our hearts.
-*Neil Eskelinn

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation
December 24
BROTHERHOOD

“I am a citizen, not of Athens or Greece, but of the world.”
— Socrates

My recovery has enabled me to see that I belong; I belong not simply to a race or nation but to the world. The freedom experienced in my recovery enables me to embrace different cultures, races and religions. Spirituality has brought harmony into my life.

Today I can go where I please. I can learn languages and communicate with people in foreign lands. I can listen to ideas and philosophies that enrich God “as I understand Him”. The healing that I have experienced in my recovery is more than discovering my choice around alcohol, it is discovering my choice around life. Today I am not content to exist in my life, I choose to live it. Welcome to my world!

May I always choose to see and appreciate the richness of my life.  

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Bible Scriptures
December 24

He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them his way. All the ways of the LORD are loving and faithful for those who keep the demands of his covenant.
Psalm 25 9-10

“Teach me to do your will, for you are my God; may your good Spirit lead me on level ground.”
Psalm 143:10

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Daily Inspiration
December 24

As you draw closer and closer to God, you won’t have to tell anyone because it will show in your face. Lord, teach me Your ways as I am ready and let Your love and peace flow through me even in my difficult moments.

When you live in the spirit of God you will always feel the love within you. Lord, may I seek peace in You and not from the outside world.

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A Day At A Time
December 24

Reflection For The Day

We came to The Program as supplicants, literally at the ends of our ropes. Sooner or later, by practicing the principles of the Twelve Steps, we discover within ourselves a very precious thing. We uncover something with which we can be comfortable in all places and situations. We gain strength and grow with the help of God as we understand Him, with the fellowship of The Program, and by applying the Twelve Steps to our lives. Can anyone take my new life from me?

Today I Pray

May my prayers of desperate supplication, which I brought to my Higher Power as a newcomer to The Program, change to a peaceful surrender to the will of God. Now that I have seen what can be done through the endless might of a Higher Power, may my gift to others be that strong conviction. I pray that those I love will have the faith to find their own spiritual experiences and the blessings of peace.

Today I Will Remember

Peace — inner and outer — is God’s greatest blessing.

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One More Day
December 24

I have been sick and I have found out, only then, how lonely I am. Is it too late?
– Eudora Welty

At one time, we may have thought in absolute terms. Either a person was our best friend or not. Things were right or wrong. We may have driven people from us — people we could have loved and who would have enriched our lives.

We have learned that if we are not happy, we need not accept things as they stand. The first step is always to admit there is a problem. Whether it’s loneliness, or we have been too brusque with others, or we need a spiritual change, we can admit it and do whatever is necessary to improve. We can turn to friends or even professionals for help if we need it. We can do this because it’s never too late.

Although the very thought of change is frightening, I will assess my life and begin anew today.

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One Day At A Time
December 24
REGRET

“Regret is an appalling waste of energy; you can’t build on it; it’s only good for wallowing in.”
–Katherine Mansfield

Before I came into the program, I allowed fear to rule my life and prevent me from trying new things. I was absent from my own life. I was emotionally unavailable to my children and I stayed stuck in a deep hole of self-pity. I never really heard beautiful music or gloried in the miracles of nature. Although I had what people might perceive as a pretty normal life, it was actually an empty shell and I merely existed. I feel so saddened now at the thought of all the wasted years. I cannot bring them back, but I can learn from them.

When I came into the program and read the Promises in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous, I realized that it was futile to regret the past or to shut the door on it. Those years and all the pain I went through are what made me the person I am today. I need to always remember where I came from, because if I don’t, I can just as easily go back there. I can also use my experience to help others on this wonderful road to recovery. I am able to give away what has been given to me so freely, because it’s only then that I can keep what I have.

One Day at a Time . . .
I must always remember where I came from so that I can help others in this program of recovery and keep myself from going back into the patterns of my past.

Sharon S.

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Elder’s Meditation of the Day – December 24

“Believing people can soar beyond ordinary life.”
–Fools Crow, LAKOTA

We are created by God to be vision people. First we set the goal and then we see. If we create within ourselves a picture or vision and we hold that picture or vision in our mind, whatever we picture will show up in our reality. If we can see ourselves being educated, then schools and teachers will show up in our lives. If we picture in our mind a positive, spiritual person to be in our lives, we will attract this type of person in our relationships. How big can our dreams be?

Great Spirit, let my visions today be Your vision. Put within me a vision of the being you would have me be. Then help me to keep the vision in my mind.

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Journey To The Heart
December 24
Heal Yourself

Infuse healing energy into yourself, into your being. For too long, we’ve been attracted to things that drain us, exhausting our body, depleting our soul. That time has passed.

The world is a spa, a nature retreat, a wealth of healing resources. Pour epsom salts and essential oils into your bath. Sit quietly by a tree or in a garden. Walk around the block in your neighborhood. Spend an afternoon in a nearby park or a day at the lake or beach. Throw stones into the river while you sit on the bank contemplating the eternal stream of life. Allow beautiful music to quietly imbue the stillness with healing instead of the pounding of your mind. Light a fire and awaken that darkened hearth to glowing flames and soothing warmth.

Rise from your bed early in the morning. Open the curtains. Watch the sunrise. Feel the sunrise. Let it infuse you with its message. Let it energize you, invigorate you, fill you with life. At day’s end return to the window. Or step outside. Watch the sun set. Absorb its changing colors spreading beyond the horizon. Feel how it changes the earth and all it touches.

Pet a puppy, stroke a piece of velvet, listen to a symphony. If you can’t slow down long enough to absorb the energy the first time, do it a second and a third. Absorb revitalizing energy until you can hear your voice, hear your heart tell you what would feel good, what would bring peace, what would bring stillness and joy. Before long, doing what brings healing and joy will become as natural as it used to be to do what drains, tires, depletes, and exhausts.

It isn’t enough to draw near to the light. Absorb it into you. Let it charge you and change you with its energy and its power. Healing is all around you. Wherever you are, whatever your resources, healing energy, and joy are there.

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The Language of Letting Go
December 24
Getting Through the Holidays

For some, the sights, signs, and smells of the holidays bring joy and a warm feeling. But, while others are joyously diving into the season, some of us are dipping into conflict, guilt, and a sense of loss.

We read articles on how to enjoy the holidays, we read about the Christmas blues, but many of us still can’t figure out how to get through the holiday season. We may not know what a joyous holiday would look and feel like.

Many of us are torn between what we want to do on the holiday, and what we feel we have to do. We may feel guilty because we don’t want to be with our families. We may feel a sense of loss because we don’t have the kind of family to be with that we want. Many of us, year after year, walk into the same dining room on the same holiday, expecting this year to be different. Then we leave, year after year, feeling let down, disappointed, and confused by it all.

Many of us have old, painful memories triggered by the holidays.

Many of us feel a great deal of relief when the holiday is ended.

One of the greatest gifts of recovery is learning that we are not alone. There are probably as many of us in conflict during the holidays than there are those who feel at peace. We’re learning, through trial and error, how to take care of ourselves a little better each holiday season.

Our first recovery task during the holidays is to accept ourselves, our situation, and our feelings about our situation. We accept our guilt, anger, and sense of loss. It’s all okay.

There is no right or perfect way to handle the holidays. Our strength can be found in doing the best we can, one year at a time.

This holiday season, I will give myself permission to take care of myself.

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More Language Of Letting Go
December 24
Let your family be

Timothy attended one of those seminars, the kind that talks about personal growth and encourages people to open their hearts. After the seminar, he was so moved by what he’d heard that he called his father on the phone. He hadn’t talked to his father for many years. They had a squabble years earlier when Timothy left home. Neither one wanted tp make the first move or to forgive the other person for the harsh words that had transpired. Timothy made the first move. He and his father have been close ever since.

Jessica had her share of troubled times with her mother,too. Over the years there had been times when they’d been close, times when they didn’t talk, and times when Jessica just did the minimum in the relationship, mostly out of a sense of obligation and guilt. As Jessica got older, she began feeling bad about her troubled relationship with her mother. She’d done her family of origin work. She knew her mother had been troubled; but after all, her mother was just a person. Why not forgive and forget? Jessica planned a big trip for the two of them to take, a mother-daughter vacation that would melt away the irritation and conflict from all the years. Jessica had so many hopes the day she met her mother at the airport. But when they got together in the same room for their two weeks of joy, Jessica realized she felt the same way she always had when she was around her mother: irritable, ashamed, and not good enough.

Clarence liked his dad when he was a boy. But the older he got, the more he wanted to leave home. His father had issues; Clarence did, too. After Clarence left home, he only spent a few minutes each year talking to his father. One day, when Clarence reached his thirties, he decided it was time for him and his father to be friends. He planned a trip to his father’s house. He couldn’t wait for the heart-to-heart talk they’d have. Clarence would talk about the struggles of being a man and growing up, and surely his father would identify with him. But when they got together, alone in the house, after Clarence poured out his heart, all his father had to say was, “Can you come outside and help me change the tire on the car?”

Families and parents come in all different kinds. Do your family of origin work. Be grateful for the good passed on to you from your ancestors and your heritage. Reach out, if that’s what your heart leads you to do. Be the best son or daughter you can, whatever that means to you. But don’t torture yourself if your relationship with your parents is not what you dreamed. Let each member of your family be who he or she is. Love them as much as you can. But if you never got along all that well before, you might not get along now, even after you open your heart.

Laugh. Smile. You don’t have to react. You know how to take care of yourself.

God, heal my heart toward all my family members. Help me accept each person for who he or she is. Then help me genuinely accept myself,too.

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Today’s Gift
December 24

 

 

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Touchstones Meditations For Men
December 24

Celebration is a forgetting in order to remember. A forgetting of ego, of problems, of difficulties. A letting go.
—Matthew Fox

A holiday presents us men with an opportunity to practice the letting go of this program. This is a special day to set aside our work and our routines, to put our problems and burdens on the shelf. Let us join with others who are also letting go on this day and celebrate. Maybe we can learn from them how they do it.

We may have been too compulsive on past holidays to celebrate. Or perhaps our holidays are clouded with painful memories. We might miss loved ones or we may recall disappointments or the chaos of earlier holidays. There is no need for perfection in our celebration. We can have some tension, or pain, and yet set it aside as we join with others for a special day.

Today, I will set my ego aside and let go of the usual things in my life in order to reach out to others and participate in celebration.

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Daily TAO
December 24
COLLECTIVITY

Ancient societies were tribal;
The group did the thinking.
Current society is splintered;
The individual must be complex.

People from old traditions were often less complicated because they had the advantage of a complete culture that did the thinking for them.  Everyone had a role that fit the whole. Individuals could concentrate on fulfilling their place, confident that the other needs would be met by the collective.

The specialization of modern times calls for individual roles that do not necessarily form a whole. We often lose sight even of what the whole is. We have commentators, we have critics, but we do not have leaders. We celebrate egalitarianism and consensus, but it is phony : a chaos of voices rather than a democracy; a populace of individuals pursuing their own ends rather than a collective.

The burden thus falls on the individual to fulfill a tremendous range of functions. We have to make more choices, be more informed, act in a wide variety of areas. We cannot simply concentrate on doing our part, because now our part is to compete with everyone else.

Spirituality is more difficult today. In the past, you could become a spiritual aspirant and the people would support you; a holy person was just as much a part of the collective as a farmer. Now, to be a holy aspirant you have to look for your own job and find new ways through a society that barely recognizes the spiritual.

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