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 22

Just For Today
February 22
God’s Will, Or Mine?

“We continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.”
Step Ten

In Narcotics Anonymous, we’ve found that the more we live in harmony with our Higher Power’s will for us, the greater the harmony in our lives. We use the Tenth Step to help us maintain that harmony. On a daily basis, we take time to look at our behavior. Some of us measure each action with a very simple question: “God’s will, or mine?”

In many cases, we find that our actions have been in tune with our Higher Power’s will for us, and we in turn have been in tune with the world around us. In some cases, however, we will discover inconsistencies between our behavior and our values. We’ve been acting on our own will, not God’s, and the result has been dissonance in our lives.

When we discover such inconsistencies, we admit we’ve been wrong and take corrective action. With greater awareness of what we believe God’s will for us to be in such situations, we are less likely to repeat those actions. And we are more likely to live in greater concord with our Higher Power’s will for us and with the world around us.

Just for today: I wish to live in harmony with my world. Today, I will examine my actions, asking, “God’s will, or mine?”


Daily Reflections
February 22

… this means a belief in a Creator who is all power, justice, and love; a God who intends for me a purpose, a meaning, and a destiny to grow, however… haltingly, toward His own likeness and image.

As I began to understand my own powerlessness and my dependence on God, as I understand Him, I began to see that there was a life which, if I could have it, I would have chosen for myself from the beginning. It is through the continuous work of the Steps and the life in the Fellowship that I’ve learned to see that there is truly a better way into which I am being guided.  As I come to know more about God, I am able to trust His ways and His plans for the development of His character in me. Quickly or not so quickly, I grow toward His image and likeness.


Twenty-Four Hours A Day
February 22
A.A. Thought For The Day

Now we can take an inventory of the good things that have come to us through A.A. To begin with, we’re sober today.  That’s the biggest asset on any alcoholic’s books.  Sobriety to us is like good-will in business. Everything else depends on that. Most of us have jobs, which we owe to our sobriety. We know we couldn’t hold these jobs if we were drinking, so our jobs depend on our sobriety.  Most of us have families, wives and children, which either we had lost or might have lost, if we hadn’t stopped drinking. We have friends in A.A., real friends who are always ready to help us. Do I realize that my job, my family and my real friends are dependent upon my sobriety?

Meditation For The Day

I must trust God to the best of my ability. This lesson has to be learned. My doubts and fears continually drive me back into the wilderness. Doubts lead me astray, because I am not trusting God. I must trust God’s love. It will never fail me, but I must learn not to fail it by my doubts and fears. We all have much to learn in turning out fear by faith. All our doubts arrest God’s work through us. I must not doubt. I must believe in God and continually work at strengthening my faith.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may live the way God wants me to live. I pray that I may get into that stream of goodness in the world.


As Bill Sees It
February 22
“Loners”–but Not Alone, p. 53

What can be said of many A.A. members who, for a variety of reasons, cannot have a family life? At first many of these feel lonely, hurt, and left out as they witness so much domestic happiness about them. If they cannot have this kind of happiness, can A.A. offer them satisfactions of similar worth and durability?

Yes– whenever they try hard to seek out these satisfactions.  Surrounded by so many A.A. friends, the so-called loners tell us they no longer feel alone. In partnership with others–women and men–they can devote themselves to any number of ideas, people, and constructive projects. They can participate in enterprises which would be denied to family men and women. We daily see such members render prodigies of service, and receive great joys in return.

12 & 12, p. 120


Walk In Dry Places
February 22
Staying on course
Power in purpose

When riding in an airplane on automatic pilot, I marvel at the way the aircraft stays on course even while bouncing and shaking through pockets of turbulence. Even more significant is the pilot’s calm indifference to these minor movements as he checks occasionally to make sure the plane continues on the right course.

Many things that happen to us each day are no more important than the routine turbulence and aircraft encounters. But as sick, compulsive people, we sometimes view every disturbance as a terrible storm and become panicky or enraged over things that are of little consequence in the long run. “I could accept a major calamity, but a broken fingernail ruined my day,” one speaker said at an AA meeting.

We can set our lives on “automatic pilot” by choosing continuing recovery as our major goal and letting all things fall in line with that. The turbulence of ordinary living cannot deflect us from our true course if we calmly accept it as natural, unavoidable, and non-threatening. Even if a real storm blows up and gives us anxious moments, we can stay on the recovery course we have chosen.

Disappointments and annoyances are part of the human condition. I will be cheerful and optimistic today even if I am bounced around a bit. There is within me an automatic pilot, through which my Higher Power leads me to continued recovery and true fulfillment as a person.


Keep It Simple
February 22

To thine own self be true.
–AA medallions

Sometimes we hear that we have a “selfish program.” Being “selfish” means that we ask for help when we need it. We only go to places that are safe for us, no matter what others are doing. Being selfish comes to mean safety for us.

Being selfish doesn’t mean we act like brats. We must act in ways that show respect and love—for ourselves and for others. being selfish means we do what is good for us. What is good for us? First, we have to save our lives by stopping our drinking and drugging. Next, we start working the Steps. We come to know a loving Higher Power. This is how we come to know our true self.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, help me be true to myself and my values. Help me be “selfish” about spending time to talk with You each day.

Action for the Day: I’ll list ten ways I need to be “selfish” in recovery. If I get stuck, I’ll be “selfish” and ask for help.


Each Day a New Beginning
February 22

Toleration is the greatest gift of the mind.
–Helen Keller

Facing conditions we would like to change, letting go of people we wish were different, takes growth, patience, tolerance. We’re so easily enticed into thinking we’d be happier, “If only he’d change,” or “If I had a better job,” or “If the kids would settle down.” Yet we carry the seed of happiness within us every moment. Learning tolerance for all conditions will nurture that seed.

Intolerance, impatience, depression, in fact, any negative attitude is habit-forming. Many of us in this recovery program continue to struggle with the habits we’ve formed. Bad habits must be replaced with new, good habits. We can develop a new behavior, one that pleases us, like smiling at every stranger in a checkout line. We can repeat it in every line. It becomes a habit and a good one.

Toleration of others opens many doors, for them and for us. It nurtures the soul, ours and theirs. It breeds happiness. Those of us sharing these Steps are truly blessed. We’re learning about love, how to give it and how to receive it.

There are so many eyes I’ll look into today that don’t know love. I will give some away with unconditional tolerance. It’s a gift–to myself and others.


Alcoholics Anonymous
February 22

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

By this time I was so wild-eyed and filthy, people would shy away from me. I hated the look of fear on their faces when they saw me. They looked at me as if I were not human, and maybe I wasn’t. In one large city I took to sleeping on the grates with a piece of plastic over me so I wouldn’t freeze. One night I found a clothing drop box I could get into; it made a nice warm place to sleep and I could get new clothes in the morning. In the middle of the night someone threw in more clothes. I opened the top, looked out and shouted, “Thanks!” That woman threw up her hands and ran away screaming, “Lordy, Lordy!” She jumped in her car and screeched off.

p. 441


Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions
February 22

Step One – “We admitted we were powerless over alcohol–that our lives had become unmanageable.”

But upon entering A.A. we soon take quite another view of this absolute humiliation. We perceive that only through utter defeat are we able to take our first steps toward liberation and strength. Our admissions of personal powerlessness finally turn out to be firm bedrock upon which happy and purposeful lives may be built.

p. 21


Xtra Thoughts
February 22

If you find a flaw in someone else it means that you first found the flaw in yourself, otherwise you would not have recognized it.

Forgiveness is the way to true health and happiness. By not judging, we release the past and let go of our fears of the future. In so doing, we come to see that everyone is our teacher and that every circumstance is an opportunity for growth in happiness, peace and love.
–Gerald G. Jampolsky

Whoever makes no mistakes is doing nothing.
–Dutch Proverb

Today, I will take time to smell the flowers.
Joy isn’t the absence of pain – it’s the presence of God.
Worry is like a rocking chair–it gives you something to do but it doesn’t get you anywhere.
–Dorothy Galyean

Stop worrying about the potholes in the road and celebrate the journey!
–Barbara Hoffman

God is making something wondrous of my life.
–Anita J. McIntosh

God calls us in the small choices of each day.
–John Covington


Father Leo’s Daily Meditation
February 22

“For us, patriotism is the same as the love of humanity.”
— Mohandas Gandhi

Today I am on the side of mankind. I am convinced that my welfare is generated by the peace and stability of the world. The love and joy that produces spiritual growth stems from my relationships in the world: we cannot exist alone.

Today I strive to bring the world and people together; we must not seek to be the same but rather rejoice in the richness of difference.

Drugs always divide, separate and isolate; spirituality unites. Today I am an optimist for mankind because of what has happened in my own life.

Thank You for a humanity that can be shared.


Bible Scriptures
February 22

Neither do men put new wine into old bottles: else the bottles break, and the wine runneth out, and the bottles perish: but they put new wine into new bottles, and both are preserved.
Matthew 9:17

“The commandments, You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet, and whatever other command there may be, are summed up in this one command: Love your neighbor as yourself. Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.”
Romans 13:9-10

Let the wise listen and add to their learning and let the discerning get guidance.
Proverbs 1 : 5

“Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him.”
Psalm 62:5

Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all you who wait on the Lord.
Psalm 31:24


Daily Inspiration
February 22

When you need to feel better about yourself, do something nice for someone else. Lord, help that I may make someone’s day a little happier.

To have courage, think courageous, act courageous, and pray to God for courage. Lord, You are full of love for all who come to You.


A Day At A Time
February 22

Reflection For The Day

When I came to The Program, I found people who knew exactly what I meant when I spoke finally of my fears. They had been where I had been; they understood. I’ve since learned that many of my fears have to do with projection. It’s normal, for example, to have a tiny “back-burner” fear that the person I love will leave me. But when the fear takes precedence over my present and very real relationship with the person I’m afraid of losing, then I’m in trouble. My responsibility to myself includes this: I must not fear things which do not exist. Am I changing from a fearful person into a fearless person?

Today I Pray

I ask God’s help in waving away my fears — those figments, fantasies, monstrous thoughts, projections of disaster which have no bearing on the present. May I narrow the focus of my imagination and concentrate on the here-and-now, for I tend to see the future through a magnifying glass.

Today I Will Remember

Projected fears, like shadows, are larger than life.


One More Day
February 22

The soul would have no rainbow
Had the eyes no tears.
– John Vance Cheney

That familiar tightening in the throat, the welling of tears behind the eyes, and deep emotional pain are all signs of an intense need to cry. Why do we try so hard to be “brave little soldiers” and not cry when our bodies are screaming for release?

If we hide behind false smiles and continue to keep the well of emotion untapped, eventually that well will go dry. Deprived of this natural outlet, our minds and bodies exhaust themselves as they battle tension and stress. We lose our ability to express ourselves emotionally. There may be no more opportunity for tears. Tears cleanse and allow other emotions to move in and take over until we need to cry again.

Crying releases me and gives me the freedom to experience my full range of feelings.


One Day At A Time
February 22

Anxiety is the rust of life, destroying its brightness and weakening its power.  A childlike and abiding trust in Providence is its best preventive and remedy.
–Tyron Edwards

Like so many of us in OA, I grew up as a little adult. My parents didn’t know better – treating me like an adult seemed a good way to them of both showing love to me and making their difficult post-war life easier. Providence was something that intervened once in a while, and in ways that were weighty and important. God was there – but God had to attend to serious matters.

There was little room in God’s and my parents’ life for the seemingly unimportant details of a child’s world. I had no trouble internalizing that message. I learned very soon that no-one was going to take care of my “little” problems and anxieties, that I had to shove them out of the way, and that I could do that very well by daydreaming, by making sure I was the little adult my parents were so proud of – and by eating.

The trouble was that there were times when these coping mechanisms didn’t work seamlessly and those anxieties would break through. Panic attacks were the result, and dogged attempts to do more of the insanity: more retreating from the world, more “adult” behaviour, more eating.

One of the things I’m learning in recovery is that paradoxically, in order to really grow up, I need to risk the vulnerability of being more childlike. I need to learn that my Higher Power is not too busy worrying about world peace to listen and deeply care about my little booboos. I need to, I WANT to develop an abiding trust that I am safe with and cared for by my Higher Power, like a baby in a mother’s arms.
One day at a time … I let go of the rust of anxiety so that like a child, I may marvel at and participate in the brightness and wonder of God’s world.

~ Isabella ~


Elder’s Meditation of the Day
February 22

“In the Indian way, we are connected to that flower if we understand its spirit, the essence of its life.”
–Larry P. Aitken, CHIPPEWA

Everything on our Earth is alive. Every rock, every plant, every animal, every tree, every bird, every thought is alive. This is true because everything is made by the Great Spirit and the Great Spirit is alive. We need to slow our lives down each day and realize, consciously, that this is true. First we need to realize it, second, we need to acknowledge it, third, we need to appreciate it and, finally, we need to go on.

Great Spirit, let me see life through Your eyes. Today let me be alive.


Journey to the Heart
February 22
Magic Is in the Air

I left Washington’s Hob Rain Forest, pausing near the moss-covered trees. My walk through Moses Park had indeed been a trip to an enchanted forest.

Centuries-old trees, trees covered with mossy hair, shared their stories with me. Felled trees lying on their backs beckoned me to touch, to sit, to rest a while. Sunlight glistened through the entangled underbrush. The air smelled of nature’s sawdust. The ground was warm, moist. Nature sprites danced and played along the path. The birds serenaded me with calls, whistles, and songs, like sounds emanating from a flute. Magic was in the air.

We can visit places that are magical to us, enchanted forests that remind us of life’s wonders. We can visit them knowing that when we leave, we take their magic with us.

We’ll see more and more of life’s wonders in ourselves, in others, in the world we live in. People will appear in our lives at just the right time, saying the very words we need to hear. A book will speak to us. A new way to earn money will be revealed. A loved one may leave to follow his or her own path, and a new love will come into our lives. Old issues will be resolved. Healers will show up on our path. Ideas will come to us, seemingly out of the blue. They’re gifts from the universe. We can have them whenever we want and wherever we go.

Come with me to the enchanted forest. Trust the magic in the air; it is real. Take it with you wherever you go, for the magic you feel and want is yours if you simply believe.


Today’s Gift
February 22

In spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart.
—Anne Frank

In the face of being hunted for extermination, Anne Frank could write this from her hiding place in an attic. Was she naive? No. She deeply believed in the goodness of creation and the goodness of all creatures, including those who persecuted and murdered her people.

Somehow, young as she was, Anne Frank knew a truth we sometimes lose – that it is not what people do that makes them good or evil. It is who they are. And for Anne Frank, all people are made in the image of God and therefore, deep down at their core, must be good. She was able to see through the brutality and hatred to that true creation of God.

We are left in awe at such faith and love. But we can draw from it too, and when our brother or sister or parent or child does something to hurt us, we can remember Anne Frank’s ability to see what is good. We can look beneath the hurtful actions and forgive.

Can I forgive someone who has hurt me today?


The Language of Letting Go
February 22
Solving Problems

I ask that You might help me work through all my problems, to Your Glory and Honor.
—Alcoholics Anonymous

Many of us lived in situations where it wasn’t okay to identify, have, or talk about problems. Denial became a way of life – our way of dealing with problems

In recovery, many of us still fear problems. We may spend more time reacting to a problem than we do to solving it. We miss the point; we miss the lesson; we miss the gift.  Problems are a part of life. So are solutions.

A problem doesn’t mean life is negative or horrible. Having a problem doesn’t mean a person is deficient. All people have problems to work through.

In recovery, we learn to focus on solving our problems. First, we make certain the problem is our problem. If it isn’t, our problem is establishing boundaries. Then we seek the best solution. This may mean setting a goal, asking for help, gathering more information, taking an action, or letting go.

Recovery does not mean immunity or exemption from problems; recovery means learning to face and solve problems, knowing they will appear regularly. We can trust our ability to solve problems, and know we’re not doing it alone. Having problems does not mean our Higher Power is picking on us. Some problems are part of life; others are ours to solve, and we’ll grow in necessary ways in the process.

Face and solve today’s problems. Don’t worry needlessly about tomorrow’s problems, because when they appear, we’ll have the resources necessary to solve them.

Facing and solving problems, working through problems with help from a Higher Power, means we’re living and growing and reaping benefits.

God, help me face and solve my problems today. Help me do my part and let the rest go. I can learn to be a problem solver.


More Language Of Letting Go
February 22
Stop throwing that blame around

“There are two kinds of people in the world,” a friend explained to me one day. “There are the ones who blame other people for everything that happens. And there are the ones who blame themselves.”

Have you ever watched a movie where one of the actors used a flamethrower? In a movie I watched one day, they called this instead a “blame thrower.” It’s a lit torch of fiery rage that we throw at either others or ourselves when situations don’t work out the way we planned.

Blaming can be a healthy stage of grieving or letting go. But staying too long in this stage can be unproductive. It can keep us from taking constructive action. Blaming ourselves too long can turn into self-contempt; blaming others can keep us heavy and dark with resentments, and fuel the victim within.

If you’re going through a loss, or if life has twisted on you, pick up your blame thrower– in the privacy of your own journal. Give yourself ten or twenty minutes to blame without censorship. Get it out. Write out everything you want to say, whether you’re throwing blame at someone else or at yourself.

It may take longer if the loss is larger, but the point is to give yourself a limited amount of time for a blame-throwing session, then cease fire. Stop. Move on to the next stage in living, which is letting go, accepting, and taking responsibility for yourself.

God, help me search myself to see if I’m holding on to blame for myself or someone else. If I am, help me get it out in the open, then help me let it go.


Touchstones Meditations For Men
February 22

It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare; it is because we do not dare that they are difficult.

When we reach a stressful time in our lives, our vision gets narrow. We fail to see the options and possibilities we have. If we give ourselves over to our worries and fears, our sight closes down even further. Finally, we reach the point of blindness to reality and to all the support around us. In our fearful blindness we say with conviction, “This is too difficult! There is nothing I can do.”

The spiritual man strives to keep one eye on the horizon, even in a worrisome situation. He breaths deeply so he does not tighten up or closes off his exchange with the world. He returns to the relationship he has with his Higher Power, trusting the process to carry him through, and he opens his eyes to quietly take in the possibilities before him.

Close to my Higher Power, I have a place of calm in the midst of difficulty and see the possibilities and dare to act upon them.


Daily TAO
February 22

Sleepless nights.
Diet, mind, conditions
Hold the possibility of correction.

Whenever you feel out of sorts, or cannot sleep, or find it hard to work and think, you are separated from Tao. If you want to get back in touch with it, ask yourself three questions : Am I eating right? Is my mind tamed? Is my world safe?

It is not facetious to look at the way you eat whenever you feel out of step with life. Many problems can be alleviated by feeling better physically, and even if this doesn’t remedy things, it will give you a good basis for coping. Eat a balanced diet rich in nutrients. Take the time to understand proper nutrition and eat a large variety of foods according to the seasons. The skillful use of foods is far superior to medicine.

Next is the difficult mind that seems to have its own interests, habits, and excesses. The only way to counter this is to guard against worry, stress, intellectualism, scheming, and desires. This can only happen through a strong philosophical grounding and by methodical meditation.

Finally, environmental factors such as weather, natural and man-made disasters, and socioeconomic problems can break our unity with Tao. To cope with this, gain as much control over your environment as possible. Keep your home a haven, have control over your work place, and be independent enough to face emergencies. It is inevitable that one will fall in and out of Tao. The wise arrange their lives so that they can always return to balance.


Daily Zen
February 22

Zen-sitting has nothing to do with the doctrine of “teaching, practice, and elucidation” or with the exercise of “commandments, contemplation, and wisdom.” You are like a fish with no particular design of remaining in the sea. Nor do you bother with sutras or ideas. To control and pacify the mind is the concern of lessor men. Still less can you hold an idea of Buddha and Dharma. If you attempt to do so, if you train improperly, you are like one who, intending to voyage west, moves east. You must not stray.
– Meiho (1277–1350)


Food for Thought
February 22

Ours is a program for living spiritually as well as physically. We have found that without daily spiritual nourishment we feel an emptiness, which no amount of material things can fill. We have also found that when we were overeating and were physically glutted, we were less receptive to spiritual food.

In Step Eleven, we seek to improve our conscious contact with God, as we understand Him. We do this through daily prayer and meditation. Our contact with our Higher Power is most effective and satisfying when we are carrying out the physical part of the program by maintaining abstinence.

When we came into OA, most of us wanted to eat less in order to lose weight. As we grow through the Twelve Steps, we gradually learn that eating less physical food enables us to make more spiritual progress. The rewards of working the OA program are far greater than we had imagined! The spiritual food, which we receive from our Higher Power, begins to satisfy the emptiness which we had foolishly tried to fill with excess calories. Not only do we maintain abstinence in order to control our weight, but we also maintain it in order to grow in spirituality.

May I remember to seek spiritual food.

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