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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 28

NA Just for Today
December 28
Depression

“We are no longer fighting fear anger guilt, self-pity, or depression.”
Basic Text pg. 26

As addicts, many of us experience depression from time to time. When we feel depressed, we may be tempted to isolate ourselves. However, if we do this, our depression may turn to despair. We can’t afford to let depression lead us back to using.

Instead, we try to go about the routine of our lives. We make meeting attendance and contact with our sponsor top priorities. Sharing with others about our feelings may let us know we aren’t the only ones who have been depressed in recovery. Working with a newcomer can work wonders for our own state of mind. And, most importantly, prayer and meditation can help us tap the power we need to survive depression.

We practice acceptance and remember that feelings like depression will unquestionably pass in time. Rather than struggle with our feelings, we accept them and ask for the strength to walk through them.

Just for today: I accept that my feelings of depression won’t last forever. I will talk openly about my feelings with my sponsor or another person who understands.

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Daily Reflections
December 28
SUIT UP AND SHOW UP

In A.A. we aim not only for sobriety – we try again to become citizens of the world that we rejected, and of the world that once rejected us. This is the ultimate demonstration toward which Twelfth Step work is the first but not the final step.
AS BILL SEES IT, p. 21

The old line says, “Suit up and show up.” That action is so important that I like to think of it as my motto.  I can choose each day to suit up and show up, or not.  Showing up at meetings starts me toward feeling a part of that meeting, I can talk with newcomers, and I can share my experience; that’s what credibility, honesty, and courtesy really are. Suiting up and showing up are the concrete actions I take in my ongoing return to normal living.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day
December 28
A.A. Thought For The Day

A.A. may be human in its organization, but it is divine in its purpose. The purpose is to point me toward God and the good life. My feet have been set upon the right path.  I feel it in the depths of my being. I am going in the right direction. The future can be safely left to God.  Whatever the future holds, it cannot be too much for me to bear. I have the Divine Power with me, to carry me through everything that may happen. Am I pointed toward God and the good life?

Meditation For The Day

Although unseen, the Lord is always near to those who believe in Him and trust Him and depend on Him for the strength to meet the challenges of life. Although veiled from mortal sight, the Higher Power is always available to us whenever we humbly ask for it. The feeling that God is with us should not depend on any passing mood of ours, but we should try to be always conscious of His power and love in the background of our lives.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that today I may feel that God is not too far away to depend on for help. I pray that I may feel confident of His readiness to give me the power that I need.

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As Bill Sees It
December 28
Alone No More, p.252

Alcoholism was a lonely business, even though we were surrounded by people who loved us. But when our self-will had driven everybody away and our isolation became complete, we commenced to play the big shot in cheap barrooms. Failing even in this, we had to fare forth alone on the street to depend upon the charity of passers-by.

We were trying to find emotional security either by dominating or by being dependent upon others. Even when our fortunes had not totally ebbed, we nevertheless found ourselves alone in the world. We still vainly tried to be secure by some unhealthy sort of domination or dependence.

For those of us who were like that, A.A. has a very special meaning. In this Fellowship we begin to learn right relations with people who understand us; we don’t have to be alone any more.

12 & 12, pp. 116-117

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Walk In Dry Places
December 28
Rehearing Rejection
Fortitude

The possibility of rejection exists with almost everything we do, if we are free to choose. We might not like rejection, but we want the same freedom to reject others. As freely choosing people, we need to turn down ideas or proposals we don’t like.

One thing we should never do, however, is rehearse rejections before they occur. If we do this, we may give up even before we have attempted what we hope to accomplish. In effect, we will be killing our hopes even before others have a chance to review them. This is always a ticket to failure.

Rejection is really a feedback mechanism that reports information we ought to have. It tells us either to change our approach or to seek acceptance elsewhere. It is not evidence that we’re completely unacceptable.

Our problem with any single rejection may be that it causes us to recall all the rejections we ever had. We can learn to see any rejection as a normal event that can be beneficial if we accept it properly.

I’ll not let any fear or visualization of rejection keep me from actions I ought to take today. I am an acceptable person, and there is a place for what I have to offer.

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Each Day a New Beginning
December 28

The human heart dares not stay away too long from that which hurt it most. There is a return journey to anguish that few of us are released from making.
–Lillian Smith

As the sore tooth draws our tongue, so do rejections, affronts, painful criticisms, both past and present draw our minds. We court self-pity, both loving and hating it. But we can change this pattern. First we must decide we are ready to do so. The program tells us we must become “entirely ready.” And then we must ask to have this shortcoming removed.

The desire to dwell on the injustices of our lives becomes habitual. It takes hours of our time. It influences our perceptions of all other experiences. We have to be willing to replace that time-consuming activity with one that’s good and healthy.

We must be prepared for all of life to change. Our overriding self-pity has so tarnished our perceptions that we may never have sensed all the good that life daily offers. How often we see the glass as half-empty rather than half-full!

A new set of experiences awaits me today. And I can perceive them unfettered by the memories of the painful past. Self-pity need not cage me, today.

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Keep It Simple
December 28

If You Walk With Lame Men You’ll soon Limp Yourself.
Seaman McManus

Before recovery, we kept company with people who were as sick as us, or worse. We got angry and made fun of people who were trying to improve their lives. They scared us. They were like mirrors that reflected how spiritually lost we were becoming. Now we walk in the crowd we avoided. Now we have values. We have spiritual beliefs. Living up to these values and beliefs can be hard. We need to be around people who live by their values. In recovery, we learn that we need others. Remember, the first word in Step One is we. We need good people in our lives. We need friends who will not tell us what we want to hear, but what we are doing wrong.

Prayer for the Day: Sometimes I act like I need no one. Help me pick my friends wisely, for my life is at stake.

Action for the Day: Today, I’ll pick one friend, and we’ll talk about how we can better help each other.

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Alcoholics Anonymous
December 28

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.

At last, acceptance proved to be the key to my drinking problem. After I had been around A.A. for seven months, tapering off alcohol and pills, not finding the program working very well, I was finally able to say, “Okay, God. It is true that I–of all people, strange as it may seem, and even though I didn’t give my permission–really, really am an alcoholic of sorts. And it’s all right with me. Now, what am I going to do about it?” When I stopped living in the problem and began living in the answer, the problem went away. From that moment on, I have not had a single compulsion to drink.

p. 416-417

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions
December 28

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

It is significant, now that almost no A.A. in our Fellowship breaks anonymity at the public level, that nearly all these fears have subsided. We see that we have no right or need to discourage A.A.’s who wish to work as individuals in these wider fields. It would be actually antisocial were we to forbid them. We cannot declare A.A. such a closed corporation that we keep our knowledge and experience top secret. If an A.A. member acting as a citizen can become a better researcher, educator, personnel officer, then why not? Everybody gains, and we have lost nothing. True, some of the projects to which A.A.’s have attached themselves have been ill-conceived, but that makes not the slightest difference with the principle involved.

p. 171

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Xtra Thoughts
December 28

“When it is dark enough, you can see the stars.”
–Charles A. Beard

“Learn from the negative as well as the positive, from the failures as well as the successes.”
–Jim Rohn

“Write it on your heart that every day is the best day of the year.”
–Ralph Waldo Emerson

“If you want to be listened to, you should put in time listening.”
–Marge Piercy

“In every crisis there is a message. Crises are nature’s way of forcing change–breaking down old structures, shaking loose negative habits so that something new and better can take their place.”
–Susan Taylor

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation
December 28
HUMOR

“Humor is an affirmation of dignity, a declaration of man’s superiority to all that befalls him.”
— Romain Gary

Today I laugh at myself. Today I need to laugh at myself in order to stay sane. Today I choose not to take myself too seriously.

When I tell jokes about the alcoholic, I am not belittling the person. I am making fun of the disease that nearly killed me. For me to live with the disease, I need to be able to laugh at the disease in this way I stop it from having power in my life.

Also I catch something of the symptoms of the disease in the jokes: the grandiosity, arrogance, manipulation, insanity, ego, selfishness and exaggeration. The joke allows me to face reality with a smile.

O God, thank You for the healing gift of humor.

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Bible Scriptures
December 28

“For you are my lamp, O Lord; the Lord shall enlighten my darkness.”
II Samuel 22:29

“Seek the Lord and His strength; seek His face evermore!”
1 Chronicles 16:11

See how great a love the Father has bestowed upon us, that we should be called children of God.
1 John 3:1

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”
Romans 15:13

“Then you will know that I am the LORD; those who hope in me will not be disappointed.”
Isaiah 49:23

“Beloved, let us love one another, because love is from God; everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.”
1 John 4:7

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Daily Inspiration
December 28

Do not run ahead of the Lord, but walk with Him, pray for His guidance and listen to His answers. Lord, let me put Your will first in my life.

Do what is right and good in the eyes of the Lord and receive the fullness of His blessings. Lord, I thank You for the gifts that I have received and ask forgiveness for all that I have done wrong.

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A Day At A Time
December 28
Reflection For The Day

The Program, for me, is not a place nor a philosophy, but a highway to freedom. The highway leads me toward the goal of a “spiritual awakening as the result of these Steps.” The highway doesn’t get me to the goal as quickly as I some wish, but I try to remember that God and I work from different timetables. But the goal is there, and I know that the Twelve Steps will help me reach it. Have I come to the realization that I — and anyone — can now do what I had always thought impossible?

Today I Pray

As I live The Program, may I realize more and more that it is a means to an end rather than an end in itself. May I keep in mind that the mind of spirituality it calls for is never complete, but is the essence of change and growth, a drawing nearer to an ideal state. May I be wary of setting time-oriented goals for myself to measure my spiritual progress.

Today I Will Remember

Timetables are human inventions.

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One More Day
December 28

Sadness flies away on the wings of time.
– Jean De La Fontaine

When we’re sad, it’s hard to believe that time will heal all our wounds. An old family-practice doctor used to call it the TOT Treatment — Tincture of Time.

Our sadness may be due to a change in living patterns or even in the weather. It might be due to loss of a loved one, of good health, or even of a cherished object. And our grief takes time.

Whatever the reason for our sadness, after a self-imposed period of time alone, we begin to venture out once again into our world. We work our way, ever so slowly, back into some pattern of normalcy. TOT has done it’s work once again. Laughter surfaces, and we know we have put enough time and space between us and our sadness. We are whole again.

A time of sadness is natural, just as natural as the rediscovered joy that follows it.

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One Day At A Time
December 28
~MEDITATION~

God is the mirror of silence in which all creation is reflected.
–Paramahansa Yogananda

The disease of compulsive overeating is a devious one. It tries to tell me that I’m not a worthwhile person. It tries to tell me that I’m never going to recover, so I may as well eat. The disease tries to make me feel like I’m the lowest of the low.

Fortunately, there are many things in this recovery program that counteract the disease. I can use a food plan to make sure I don’t eat what I’m not supposed to eat. I can read program literature to show me how to live triumphantly. I can work the Steps, do service, make outreach calls; there’s so much I can do which can bring recovery from compulsive overeating.

Another of the things I can do to counteract my disease is meditation. When I meditate, I come into conscious contact with my Higher Power. Meditation helps me to see that I am a worthwhile person, that God loves me just as I am. When I meditate I gain insights into the program literature I’m reading, I learn the things I need to do to further my recovery. I also learn the things that stifle my growth, so I can stop doing them. Meditation is very important to my recovery program.

One Day at a Time . . .
I remember the importance of meditation, and I meditate every day.

Jeff

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Elder’s Meditation of the Day – December 28

“I believe that being a medicine man, more than anything else, is a state of mind, a way of looking at and understanding this earth, a sense of what it is all about.”
–Lame Deer, LAKOTA

The Medicine Wheel explains different ways of looking at the world. The four directions are the East, the South, the West and the North. In the East is the view of the eagle-the eagle flies high and sees the earth from that point of view. The South is the direction of the mouse. Moving on the earth, the mouse will not see what the eagle sees. Both the eagle and the mouse see the truth. The West is the direction of the bear-the bear will see different from the mouse and the eagle. From the North comes the point of view of the bison. To be a Medicine Man you must journey through all points of view and develop the mind to see the interconnectedness of all four directions. This takes time, patience and an open mind. Eventually, you understand there is only love.

Great Spirit, today, allow my mind to stay open.

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Journey To The Heart
December 28
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 the 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 sunset. Absorb its changing colors spreading out 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
Decmeber 28
Panic

Don’t panic!

If panic strikes, we do not have to allow it to control our behaviors. Behaviors controlled by panic tend to be self-defeating. No matter what the situation or circumstance, panic is usually not a good foundation. No matter what the situation or circumstance, we usually have at least a moment to breathe deeply and restore our serenity and peace.

We don’t have to do more than we can reasonably do – ever! We don’t have to do something we absolutely cannot do or cannot learn to do!

This program, this healthy way of life we are seeking, is built on a foundation of peace and quiet confidence – in ourselves, in our Higher Power, in the recovery process.

Do not panic. That takes us away from the path. Relax. Breathe deeply. Let peace flow through our body and mind. From this base, our Source shall supply the necessary resources.

Today, I will treat panic as a separate issue that needs immediate attention. I will refuse to allow panicky thoughts and feelings to motivate me. Instead, I will let peace and trust motivate my feelings, thoughts, and behaviors.

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More Language Of Letting Go
December 28
Risk being alive

“I know nothing is going to lasr forever,” Charlie said. “But the key to life and being happy is acting as though it is.”

Many of us have had our illusions about security and permanency shattered. The longer we’re alive, the more it gets beat into us: nothing is forever. We can plan on many things, but the only thing we can plan on with any certainty is change.

At some time in our lives, we may have convinced ourselves otherwise. We surrendered ourselves to that job, that project, or that relationship with all our hearts, only to have it crash to an end.

Some of us may have decided, after enough cycles of beginnings, middles, and endings, that the way to deal with this was never to fully give our hearts to any person or circumstance, never to let ourselves fully be present and enjoy the moment.

If I don’t get in completely, I won’t get hurt when it ends, we think. Maybe. But you won’t experience the pleasure and joy, the rich, sweet full taste of those moments, either.

Okay, so you’re wiser now. You know nothing lasts forever. You know the moment something happens, the ending has already been written,too. People are born. They die. A job or project begins. Then it ends. But there’s an entire luscious middle waiting, inviting you to jump in fully and see how sweet life can be. Besides, when the ending does come, you’ll also have been given enough wisdom, courage, and grace to deal with that,too.

What are you waiting for?

Go ahead. Stop holding back. Jump in.

Live your life.

God, give me enough faith and a well of letting go so I can live each moment fully.

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Today’s Gift
December 28

I’ll walk where my own nature would be leading – It vexes me to choose another guide.
—Emily Bronte

We journey across many intersections in our lives. Some may point in two directions, while others lead off in several. Our choice of direction can be difficult, especially when our friends choose a road we know to be dangerous. When this happens, we can choose to go our own way without them. If they begin to tease and taunt us about our decisions, may we remember that they are as scared as we were about their friends’ reaction. We are not, after all, living for someone else. If we would be leaders, we can be assured that true leadership comes from following our own directions with confidence that it’s right for us, not from fear of losing others’ company.

We can let others live their own lives without us, if their direction is not for us. We can walk away with pride, satisfied in the knowledge that we refused to allow other people’s fears change our decisions.

How have I gone my own way recently?

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Touchstones Meditations For Men
December 28

He is a man whom it is impossible to please, because he is never pleased with himself.
—Goethe

Many of us grew up trying to please our fathers and feeling we never got the approval we needed. Perhaps our fathers couldn’t feel pleased with themselves. Now it is time to take stock of ourselves and ask whether we are perpetuating the pattern in our own lives. If we still feel unhappy with ourselves, we may never be satisfied with anyone else either. Spouses, children, bosses, even the parking lot attendant may receive the brunt of our self-disapproval. We don’t totally change these patterns in an instant. We change them one day at a time.

Today, we have before us a small piece of the future. We can begin by treating ourselves decently. Maybe we can’t feel a strong sense of personal approval yet, but we can give ourselves some basic respect. We can start by remembering we have the love of God. We can affirm at least one positive thing about ourselves. After some positive reflection, we will have more to give to others.

Today, I will give myself approval for at least one thing.

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Daily TAO
December 28
EMPTINESS

Dust cannot gather
If there is no mirror there.

Some people have compared a pure soul to the unsullied brightness of a perfect mirror.

Others have retorted that if there is no mirror there in the first place, then there cannot be anything to be sullied. The soul is empty.

We should not think of our souls as discrete and separate from the rest of creation. We are indeed one with everything, so there is no need to think of our souls as isolated entities. Thus, it is the concept of the soul as separate being that is empty.

It is impossible to live in this world and not be sullied by it. The red dust will settle on you no matter how often you clean. It is good to strive for purity, but if you conceive of purity as a fight against the filth and the dust of the world, you doom yourself to obsession and futility. The only way to achieve actual purity is to realize your essential oneness with all things. If you are one with everything, then even filth is pure. For this to happen, you must transcend all distinctions in yourself, resolve all contradictions. With this erasure, the mirror-bright soul and the dust are all dissolved in a single purity.

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