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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 – February 16

NA Just For Today
February 16
Faithful Feelings

“When we refuse to accept the reality of today we are denying faith in our Higher Power This can only bring more suffering.”
IP No. 8, “Just for Today”

Some days just aren’t the way we wish they would be. Our problems may be as simple as a broken shoelace or having to stand in line at the supermarket. Or we may experience something far more serious, such as the loss of a job, a home, or a loved one. Either way, we often end up looking for a way to avoid our feelings instead of simply acknowledging that those feelings are painful.

No one promises us that everything will go our way when we stop using. In fact, we can be sure that life will go on whether we’re using or not. We will face good days and bad days, comfortable feelings and painful feelings. But we don’t have to run from any of them any longer.

We can experience pain, grief, sadness, anger, frustration- all those feelings we once avoided with drugs. We find that we can get through those emotions clean. We won’t die and the world won’t come to an end just because we have uncomfortable feelings. We learn to trust that we can survive what each day brings.

Just for today: I will demonstrate my trust in God by experiencing this day just as it is.

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Daily Reflections
February 16
COMMITMENT

Understanding is the key to right principles and attitudes, and right action is the key to good living.
TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 125

There came a time in my program of recovery when the third stanza of the Serenity Prayer — “The wisdom to know the difference” — became indelibly imprinted in my mind. From that time on, I had to face the ever-present knowledge that my every action, word and thought was within, or outside, the principles of the program. I could no longer hide behind self-rationalization, nor behind the insanity of my disease. The only course open to me, if I was to attain a joyous life for myself (and subsequently for those I love), was one in which I imposed on myself an effort of commitment, discipline, and responsibility.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day
February 16
A.A. Thought For The Day

One drink started a train of thought that became an obsession, and from then on, we couldn’t stop drinking. We developed a mental compulsion to keep drinking until we got good and drunk. People generally make two mistakes about alcoholism. One mistake is that it can be cured by physical treatment only. The other mistake is that it can be cured by willpower only. Most alcoholics have tried both of these and have found that they don’t work. But we members of A.A. have found a way to arrest alcoholism. Have I got over my obsession by following the A.A. program?

Meditation For The Day

I will try to be unruffled, no matter what happens. I will keep my emotions in check, although others about me are letting theirs go. I will keep calm in the face of disturbance, keep that deep, inner calm through all the experiences of the day. In the rush of work and worry, the deep, inner silence is necessary to keep me on an even keel. I must learn to take the calm with me into the most hurried days.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may be still and commune with God.  I pray that I may learn patience, humility, and peace.

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As Bill Sees It
February 16
Seeing Is Believing, p. 47

The Wright Brothers’ almost childish faith that they could build a machine which would fly was the mainspring of their accomplishment.  Without that, nothing could have happened.

We agnostics and atheists were sticking to the idea that self-sufficiency would solve our problems. When others showed us that God-sufficiency worked with them, we began to feel like those who had insisted the Wrights would never fly. We were seeing another kind of flight, a spiritual liberation from this world, people who rose above their problems.

Alcoholics Anonymous, pp. 52-53

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Walk In Dry Places
February 16
Mental Arguments are bad Thinking
Serenity

Again and again we hear that bad thinking and drinking are linked together. Bad thinking is any line of thought that tends to be destructive. Mental arguments are in that class because they destroy peace of mind and self-control. We can avoid them by learning acceptance and maintaining serenity at all costs.

Sometimes we engage in mental arguments with those who seem to have defeated us or put us down. This only gives more life to the hurt we have been feeling: in effect, we cooperate in hurting ourselves repeatedly. Even the satisfaction of letting ourselves “win” the mental argument doesn’t really settle the matter.

We can maintain our serenity in all situations by accepting people as they are. We are not responsible for changing their opinions. We must also accept and dismiss past mistakes and failures, no matter who was at fault. We owe it to ourselves not to destroy another moment’s happiness with futile mental arguments that serve no good purpose in our lives.

Once we dismiss mental arguments, we can give our time and attention to things that really matter.

I will not waste a single second on any kid of mental argument. Anything another person said or did is forgiven and forgotten, and it has no power to hurt me a second time.

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Keep It Simple
February 16

Friendships, like marriages, are dependent on avoiding the unforgivable.
—John D. MacDonald

We need to remember that relationships are made up of people—people who are strong, but also fragile.

We don’t break easily, but we do break. We need to be aware of how fragile relationships are. Don’t say something that will hurt others even if it’s honest. It’s mean to be honest with someone, without showing that you care for the person’s feelings. We can learn to be honest without being cruel. The backbone of any relationship is this: we need to honor the rules and agreements we make. If we promise to be faithful to someone, we follow this rule. And we need to trust the other person to do the same. When we see that our agreements don’t work, we need to go to that person and talk about them.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, help me become a person who honors rules and agreements in my relationships.

Actions for the Day: I’ll make no promises today that I will not keep.

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Each Day a New Beginning
February 16

Within our dreams and aspirations we find our opportunities.
–Sue Atchley Ebaugh

Our dreams beckon us to new heights. All that we may need is the courage to move toward them, taking the necessary steps to realize those dreams. Trusting that we will be shown the steps, one at a time, patiently waiting for the right step and right time is all we need to do, today.

Our dreams, when they are for the good of ourselves and others, are invitations from God to spread our wings, to attempt new heights. Those dreams are part of the destiny designed for us. They are not happenstance. Our gifts are unique. Our contributions are ours alone. Our dreams reflect the contributions we are called on to make in this life.

Our opportunities for fulfillment are varied and not always recognized as for our good. Again and again we need to turn to God, be patient, and trust that we are being called to offer something very special to those around us. No one of us has escaped a special plan. And everyone of us is inspired in particular ways, with particular talents. Our recovery is clearing the way for us to burst forth with our talents.

I will be grateful for all that I am, for all that I have. And I will remember, what I give today to friends around me is mine only to give.

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Alcoholics Anonymous
February 16
MY BOTTLE, MY RESENTMENTS, AND ME

– From childhood trauma to skid row drunk, this hobo finally found a Higher Power, bringing sobriety and a long-lost family.

Because my father was unable to care for all nine of us, the family had to be split up. About a year later he remarried, and my oldest brother offered to take me in. He and his new wife tried to help me, but I was just so defensive there was little they or anyone else could do. Finally, I took a job after school sorting soda bottles in a grocery store, where I found I could forget if I worked hard enough. In addition, it was a good place to steal beer and be a big guy with the other kids in school. That’s the way my drinking began, as a way to make the pain go away.

p. 438

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions
February 16

Foreword

With the publication of the book “Alcoholics Anonymous” in 1939, the pioneering period ended and a prodigious chain reaction set in as the recovered alcoholics carried their message to still others. In the next years alcoholics flocked to A.A. by tens of thousands, largely as the result of excellent and continuous publicity freely given by magazines and newspapers throughout the world. Clergymen and doctors alike rallied to the new movement, giving it unstinted support and endorsement.

p. 17

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Xtra Thoughts
February 16

What you are is God’s Gift to you. What you become is your gift to God.
–unknown

Take time for solitude. How else can you contemplate the blessings of recovery.
–Abby Warman

In my pain I seek the comfort and guidance of my Higher Power. Grace and gratitude are the gifts I receive.
–Rose Casey

God does not require that we be successful, only that we be faithful.
–Mother Teresa

Spiritual experience is personal and individual.
–Veronica Ray

Like a loving parent, God prepares good things for us.
–Einar Ingvi Magnusson

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation
February 16
ENEMIES

“The Bible tells us to love our neighbors and also to love our enemies; probably because they are generally the same people.”
— G. K. Chesterton

The spiritual program that I embrace makes me look to where I am, rather than where I want to be. I must live in the now, rather than the never-never-land of tomorrow.

To love my world I need to seek to understand those people who live in my world. To love my world involves an acceptance of those who are different from me. I must seek to build bridges, rather than barriers. It is so easy for me to talk about loving and being concerned for the starving millions and forgetting to love and relate to the typist in my office or the neighbor down the street.

I have some experience of people who can be difficult because I lived with the addicted me for many years; I am the key to my enemies.

Teach me to accept in love those who, for today, I do not like.

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Bible Scriptures
February 16

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
1 Corinthians 1: 1-13

Show me Your ways, O LORD; Teach me Your paths. Lead me in Your truth and teach me, For You are the God of my salvation; On You I wait all the day.
Psalm 25:4-5

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Daily Inspiration
February 16

No troubles that we face are new to this world. Guide and protect me, Lord, and strengthen my faith and trust in You so that I will not falter.

God gives us power, love and self-discipline, not fear and timidness. Lord, I will not be afraid to proclaim that You are my God. All will see it in my actions.

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A Day At A Time
February 16

Reflection For The Day

What about “justifiable anger?”  If somebody cheats us or acts toward us in an outrageous manner, don’t we have the right to be furious?  The hard-learned experiences of countless others in The Program tell us that adventures in rage are usually extremely dangerous. So, while we must recognize anger enough to say “I am angry,” we must not allow the build-up of rage, however justifiable.  Can I accept the fact that if I am to live, I have to be free of anger?

Today I Pray

Even though I go out of the way to skirt them, may I be aware that there always will be certain situations or certain people who will make me angry.  When my anger doesn’t seem justifiable — with arguable reason behind it — I may deny it, even to myself.  May I recognize my anger, whether it is reasonable or not, before I bury it alive.

Today I Will Remember

It is alright to feel anger.

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One More Day
February 16

Every Soul is a melody which needs renewing.
–  Stephne  Mellarme

It may be difficult to admit how discordant our lives become at times — and even more difficult to restore a sense of peace.  We may plunge into self-improvement programs with the idea that we, and we alone, can fix ourselves and ease our emotional pain.  In doing this, we ignore the spiritual resources outside ourselves.

We better understand and accept our human flaws now and find it easier to ask God for help.  Occasionally we may feel inadequate or angry or frightened.  We question and doubt ourselves; we get lost in the maze of our own emotions.  But we know these feelings are only temporary and that the calming spiritual tempo of our lives is briefly being drowned out by the emotions of the moment.  It is comforting to know the melody is always there.

Today, I trust God to keep me in tune with the peace within.

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One Day At A Time
February 16
A TEENAGER’S PRAYER

“I felt as if angels were pushing.”
–Adolf Galland – on his first flight in a jet aircraft

Sometimes I feel I really can’t take anymore, I really can’t do it. I feel so alone. I feel no one cares. I just want to hide away and eat and eat until I am so sick I can’t eat anymore.

A minute at a time I got through my day, and it was so hard. Didn’t anyone understand how hard it is to get thru school with the teachers giving me a hard time. The other kids laughing at me in a corner, I know they are, I can feel them. They don’t know what it’s like to be me. And when I get home, I get even more of a hard time.

But sometimes I feel so bad and I come here on my computer and share or I go to an online meeting, and I know I’m not alone after all. Someone cares, they really do.

I feel heaps better and I suddenly realise that angels had pushed me through the day. And even though the day had been hard, I HAD got through it! I had a whole day of abstinence!

Suddenly I feel so much better about myself, about you and about the world in general.

One day at a time …
I will remember tonight. An angel walked with me today, and if I close my eyes and sleep, maybe, just maybe an angel will walk with me in my dreams.

Marl

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Elder’s Meditation of the Day February 16

“Because woman lives so close to our first mother, the Earth, she emanates the strength and harmonious nature of all things.”
–Larry P. Aitken, CHIPPEWA

At an Elders gathering, held in July 1991, we were told the Indian woman would play an instrumental part in leading the healing of Indian nations. The old people said we were to look up to her in a sacred manner. They said the Earth Mother would give the woman special gifts of love. The woman and the Earth Mother are connected in a special way. Women should pay attention to the lessons coming from the earth. Men should treat the women with respect, dignity and honor.

Grandfather, Grandmother, give the Indian woman Your strength to heal our earth.

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Journey to the Heart
February 16, 2012
The Answer May Be Right in Front of You

It was late at night. I had just pulled into Chimayo, New Mexico. The streets were poorly lit, addresses and signs were difficult to see. I had been driving around for what seemed like hours, looking for an address. Finally, in desperation. I stopped the car, got out, and flagged someone down. A man stopped, but said he couldn’t help me. I was at my wits end. I turned around, staring frantically at the mailbox in front of me. To my surprise, I was right where I wanted to go.

How often we wave our hands in panic and despair, certain the answer, the insight, the piece of information we need will never come. Yet often the answer we’re seeking is right in front of us.

There’s a part of us, our heart, that knows where we’re going, knows what we need, knows what the next step is. Our heart will lead us on. Our soul will move us forward. Our instincts will take us home like a radar signal beaming us to safety.

Feel your panic. Feel your frustration. But keep your eyes and your heart open. The answer may be closer than you think– maybe it’s right in front of you.

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Today’s Gift
February 16

Shame-filled people feel that something is wrong at their very core. It is a sense of being bad . . .
—Susan Kwiecien

Nobody is rotten to the core. Whenever we start to believe we are bad all the way through, we can picture good things we have done, days when someone else was happy to be with us, and see for ourselves that we have many good points that outweigh the bad.

If we have done something wrong, we must apologize and make amends. Making a mistake is not the same as being worthless. Mistakes are a natural part of living, not something to be ashamed of. Our freedom to make mistakes is one of our greatest assets, for this is the way we learn humility, persistence, courage to take risks, and better ways of doing things. All of us are valuable and lovable. How could we be otherwise? Since mistakes are natural aspects of growth, we can salute them in others and ourselves as signs of life and celebrate our ability to learn and to forgive.

What mistakes have helped me grow?

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The Language of Letting Go
February 16
Detachment

The concept of letting go can be confusing to many of us. When are we doing too much or trying too hard to control people and outcomes? When are we doing too little? When is what we’re doing an appropriate part of taking care of ourselves? What is our responsibility, and what isn’t?

These issues can challenge us whether we’ve been in recovery ten days or ten years. Sometimes, we may let go so much that we neglect responsibility to others or ourselves. Other times, we may cross the line from taking care of ourselves to controlling others and outcomes.

There is no rulebook. But we don’t have to make ourselves crazy; we don’t have to be so afraid. We don’t have to do recovery perfectly. If it feels like we need to do a particular action, we can do it. If no action feels timely or inspired, don’t act on it.

Having and setting healthy limits – healthy boundaries – isn’t a tidy process. We can give ourselves permission to experiment, to make mistakes, to learn, to grow.

We can talk to people, ask questions, and question ourselves. If there’s something we need to do or learn, it will become apparent. Lessons don’t go away. If we’re not taking care of ourselves enough, well see that. If we are being too controlling, we’ll grow to understand that too.

Things will work out. The way will become clear.

Today, I will take actions that appear appropriate. I will let go of the rest. I will strive for the balance between self-responsibility, responsibility to others, and letting go.

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More Language Of Letting Go
February 16
Joy is your destiny

Adam fell that man might be, and men are that they might have joy.
–Book of Mormon

In the garden, original man was perfect, unchanging, never knowing sickness or the sorrow of separation. It was only after the fall that we could learn the contrast between joy and sorrow and truly learn what joy is. More than the absence of sorrow, it is the embrace of life in all its turmoil. To live joyously means living with full awareness of how impermanent each life on earth is– how precious each moment, each conversation, each sunrise is.

Each day is the beginning of another new adventure, another opportunity to take a chance and live life to its fullest.

Look around you. Find the joy in your world.

After all, that’s why you’re here.

God, help me find and create true joy and peace in my world.

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Touchstones
February 16

Hatred is never anything but fear – if you feared no one, you would hate no one.
—Hugh Downs

On those occasions when we find the bigger man within, we are more generous in spirit toward others. But sometimes we think too much about what is wrong with others and how they ought to change. That is a form of hate. If we are searching for what we have power to change in our families, in our friendships, in the world, we can learn to be big enough to set aside our fears.

Do we bear ill will toward someone today? When we are honest with ourselves, do we feel a sense of fear in relation to this person? What are we really afraid of? Perhaps the same person fears us. When we can do something about our fear, the hatred melts with no further effort. Then we are in touch with the bigger man within.

I have the inner strength to face my fears today. I will not send them outward as hatred.

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Daily TAO
February 16
IMPERMANENCE

Tidal windstorm
Splits trees and rock,
Yet cannot last a day.
So much less, man’s work.

When a storm hits, an entire ocean of wind and rain is spent upon the land. Leaves are turned inside out, branches are torn, and even hard granite is worn away. But such gales seldom last and entire day. In spite of the tremendous amount of force that is released, the storm cannot last.

If heaven’s works cannot last a day, human works must be even less lasting. Governments barely survive from year to year, the rules of society are constantly being challenged, the family erodes, personal relationships decay, and one’s career topples. Even the monuments of the world are now being destroyed by air pollution and neglect. Nothing lasts. It is simple fact that no event set in motion by human beings lasts forever.

All our efforts are temporary. They borrow from preexisting forces, ride the current of natural events, and disappear according to the dictates of the situation. It is best to realize the transitory nature of things and work with it. Understanding the world’s ephemeral nature can be the biggest advantage of all.

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Food for Thought
February 16
Meetings

We have proved that we cannot control our eating alone. Through OA, we have found a way that works, provided we work the program. If we become careless about attending meetings, we are thrown back on our own weakness.

It is the OA meeting which gives us the hope and enthusiasm we need to continue in the program. The sharing and fellowship of the group provides strength and encouragement. In times of difficulty, most of us find that the more meetings we attend, the better able we are to cope.

When we don’t feel like going to a meeting, it may be because our old overeating habit is trying to surface. We are never cured of our disease and we never outgrow our need for the strength, fellowship, and love we receive from OA meetings.

I give thanks for OA.

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