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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 25

Just For Today
February 25
Sick As Our Secrets

“It would be tragic to write [out an inventory only to] shove it in a drawer These defects grow in the dark and die in the light of exposure.”
Basic Text, p. 31

How many times have we heard it said that we are only as sick as our secrets? While many members choose not to use meetings to share the intimate details of their lives, it is important that we each discover what works best for us. What about those behaviors we have carried into our recovery that, if discovered, would cause us shame? How much are we comfortable disclosing, and to whom? If we are uncomfortable sharing some details of our lives in meetings, to whom do we turn?

We have found the answer to these questions in sponsorship. Although a relationship with a sponsor takes time to build, it is important that we come to trust our sponsor enough to be completely honest. Our defects only have power as long as they stay hidden. If we want to be free of those defects, we must uncover them. Secrets are only secrets until we share them with another human being.

Just for today: I will uncover my secrets. I will practice being honest with my sponsor.

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Daily Reflections
February 25
THE CHALLENGE OF FAILURE

In God’s economy, nothing is wasted. Through failure, we learn a lesson in humility which is probably needed, painful though it is.
AS BILL SEES IT, p. 31

How thankful I am today, to know that all my past failures were necessary for me to be where I am now. Through much pain came experience and, in suffering, I became obedient. When I sought God, as I understand Him, He shared His treasured gifts. Through experience and obedience, growth started, followed by gratitude. Yes, then came peace of mind — living in and sharing sobriety.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day
February 25
A.A. Thought For The Day

Some people find it hard to believe in a Power greater than themselves.  But not to believe in such a Power forces us to atheism. It has been said that atheism is blind faith in the strange proposition that this universe originated in a cipher and aimlessly rushes nowhere. That’s practically impossible to believe. I think we all can agree that God is a power greater than ourselves. It certainly was in my case. I was helpless before the power of alcohol. Do I remember the things that happened to me because of the power of alcohol?

Meditation For The Day

The spiritual and moral will eventually overcome the material and unmoral. That is the purpose and destiny of the human race. Gradually the spiritual is overcoming the material in our minds. Gradually the moral is overcoming the unmoral. Faith, fellowship, and service are cures for most of the ills of the world. There is nothing in the field of personal relationships that they cannot do.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may do my share in making a better world. I pray that I may be part of the cure for the ills of the world.

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As Bill Sees It
February 25
Leadership In A.A., p. 224

No society can function well without able leadership at all its levels, and A.A. can be no exception. But we A.A.’s sometimes cherish the thought that we can do without much personal leadership at all. We are apt to warp the traditional idea of “principles before personalities” around to such a point that there would be no “personality” in a leadership whatever. This would imply rather faceless robots trying to please everybody.

A leader in A.A. service is a man (woman) who can personally put principles, plans, and policies into such dedicated and effective action that the rest of us naturally want to back him up and help him with his job. When a leader power-drives us badly, we rebel; but when he too meekly becomes an order-taker and he exercises no judgment of his own–well, he really isn’t a leader at all.

Twelve Concepts, pp. 38-39

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Walk In Dry Places
February 25
Malicious Gossip
Honest Motives

“Without really knowing what was happening, I said something bad today about a person I secretly resented. When it occurred to me that my remark could come back to hurt me, I had a moment of panic,” an AA member said. “With little reflection, however, I realized that the more serious problem was the dishonesty that caused me to belittle somebody behind hie back!”

We are growing up when we come to see that gossip feeds on our own insecurity and self-deception. When we are unwilling to part company with gossip, we devise subtle ways to keep it in our lives. We can gossip by steering the conversation to a topic that is likely to bring revealing comments. We also gossip by reveling in lurid accounts of others’ sins and failings. We should even ask ourselves if we are gossiping when we “discuss” another member who is not living up to our ideas of true Twelve Step standards. This is often prefaced by the remark, “I don’t want to take Joe’s inventory, but…..”

We cannot live freely and happily if we practice gossip in any form. The practice may be hidden, but it leaves us with guilt, fear, and shame. We cannot gossip and be completely trustworthy and reliable.

I will truly mind my own business today. Forgiving myself for past excursions into gossip, I will say nothing about others behind their backs. If somebody has gossip to share, I will politely move to another topic.

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Keep It Simple
February 25

Believe that life is worth living and your belief will help create the fact.
—William James

Step Two speaks of believing. For many years, we had given up believing in ourselves, in a Higher Power, and in others. We believed in getting high. Now our program tells us to believe in love. We are lovable, and we can love others without hurting them. Of course, believing is an important part of recovery.

To believe means to put aside our doubts. To believe means to have hope. Believing makes the road a little smoother. So, believing lets the healing happen a little faster. All of this is how we get ready to let in the care of our Higher Power.

Prayer for the Day: I pray for the courage to believe. I’ll not let doubt into my heart. I can recover. I can give myself totally to this simple program.

Action for the Day: I’ll list four times doubt got in my way. And I’ll think of what I can do to not let that happen again.

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Each Day a New Beginning
February 25

You need only claim the events of your life to make yourself yours.
—Florida Scott-Maxwell

The search is on. Everyone, everywhere, asks the question at some time, “Who am I?” Women like ourselves are fortunate to have this program. It shows us the way to self-discovery. It directs our steps to the celebration of self that is a gift of recovery. The events of our past may plague us, but they did contribute to the fullness we feel today. And for them, for their involvement in who we’ve become, we can be grateful.

Claiming ourselves, the good and the bad, is healing. It’s taking responsibility–for where we were and where we’re going. Claiming ourselves makes us the active participants in our lives. The choices are many and varied. Not actively participating in life is also a choice. Passivity may have been our dominant choice in years gone by. But now, today, we are choosing recovery. We are choosing action that is healing, and wholeness is the result.

Making myself mine, will exhilarate me. It will give me hope. It will prepare me for anything to come. I will know a new joy.

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Alcoholic’s Anonymous
February 25
EMPTY ON THE INSIDE

– She grew up around A.A. and had all the answers–except when it came to her own life.

While I was in treatment, my dad died, and I inherited almost enough money to kill myself. I got to drink the way I wanted for 2 1/2 years. I’m sure I got here faster because of it.

p. 516

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions
February 25

Step Five – “Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.”

Perhaps, though, your relation to him is such that you would care to reveal only a part of your story. If this is the situation, by all means do so, for you ought to make a beginning as soon as you can. It may turn out, however, that you’ll choose someone else for the more difficult and deeper revelations. This individual may be entirely outside of A.A.–for example, your clergyman or your doctor. For some of us, a complete stranger may prove the best bet.

p. 61

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Xtra Thoughts
February 25

Theory is splendid but until put into practice, it is valueless.
– James Cash Penney

Anything that is measured and watched, improves.
– Bob Parsons

The key to getting a reputation for being brilliant is actually being brilliant, not just acting like you are.
– Seth Godin

Fortunes are built during the down market and collected in the up market.
– Jason Calacanis

The world hates change, yet it is the only thing that has brought progress.
– Charles F. Kettering

To the user, the interface is the product.
– Aza Raskin

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation
February 25
AMBITION

“The child without ambition is like a watch with a broken spring.”
— R. W. Stockman

It is not wrong to have ambition. It is not wrong to want to be “somebody”. The tragedy is that this has to be said!

For too long we have played the tapes in our head that discouraged ambition and creative pride. We confused humility with timidity and self-abuse. We waited for things to happen, rather than made them happen.

Today I know that I am a creature of God — created to create. God is at work in my life. I am part of His miracle for the world.

O God, may I always have ambition for those things that are good and true.

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Bible Scriptures
February 25

“Keep on doing the things that you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you.”
Philippians 4:9

Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
Rom. 5:1-5

“So Jesus answered and said to them, Have faith in God.”
Mark 11:22

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Daily Inspiration
February 25

To receive the wonderful healing power of love, wish others well even when things aren’t going so well for you. Lord, I rejoice in You always because You are blessing me daily no matter what my circumstances may be.

We are judged by our actions, not by our intentions. Lord, may I show my love for You through charity and goodness toward others.

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A Day At A Time
February 25

Reflection For The Day

Before we came to The Program, fear ruled our lives.  Tyrannized by our addictions and obsessions, we feared everything and everybody.  We feared ourselves and, perhaps most of all, feared fear itself.  these days, when I am able to accept the help of my Higher Power, it makes me feel capable of doing anything I am called to do.  I am overcoming my fears and acquiring a comfortable new confidence.  Can I believe that “courage is fear that has said its prayers…”?

Today I Pray

God grant that through faith in Him I may overcome my obsessive fears.  I have been running scared for so long it has become a habit.  God help me to see that I may be purposely clinging to my fears to avoid making decisions, perhaps even to shirk the responsibility of success.

Today I Will Remember

Fear keeps me safe from risk-taking.

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One More Day
February 25

He who attempts to resist the wave is swept away, but he who bends before it abides.
–  Leviticus

Just as water transforms the definition of the shoreline, so can our changing health patterns alter the boundaries of our days.  What looked and felt normal before may be entirely alien now.

In various stages of life, we’ve repeatedly demonstrated our ability to adapt to new situations.  Marriage, children, new jobs all call for personal change.  Add to these everyday occurrences a chronic medical condition (physical or emotional) and we may feel we are drowning.  Perhaps at these times, we can disengage ourselves from the moment, reassess the past, and recall how well we’ve handled the changes life has demanded.  We have been adaptable, and we can continue to be.

Creating a new pattern of living is definitely within my reach.

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One Day At A Time
February 25
~ STARTING OVER ~

Vitality shows not only in the ability to persist, but in the ability to start over.
–F. Scott Fitzgerald

Before coming into this program I was, and probably still am to a certain extent, a perfectionist, so one of the things I really struggled with is being able make mistakes without feeling bad about myself. So when I came into the program, I decided that I was going to do this program perfectly, and proceeded to do just that. I followed a meal plan, lost weight and worked the steps, and I really thought I had it made. But I hadn’t counted on the fact that this is a disease, and it is both cunning, baffling and powerful. So when I had my first slip, I was devastated and felt a real failure.

Fortunately for me, with the help of many loving sponsors over the years, I have realised that I am not a failure if I slip, but I am only one if I fail to get up. This program has enabled me to learn that when I make a mistake, I am not that mistake, and that all I need to do is to pick myself up and start over. In the old days if I failed at a diet, I would never have been able to pick myself up so soon, and it would always be an excuse to carry on eating and start the diet again on Monday. Now I know that my abstinence can even start at the end of the day, rather than waiting till tomorrow, next week or even next month. I am slowly starting to let go of the guilt I feel when I slip, and am also learning to love myself even when I do flounder, because with the love and support I am given in this program, I know I can always start over.

One day at a time…
I will remember that I can start afresh any time I like, and don’t need to feel as if I have failed.

~ Sharon ~

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Elder’s Meditation of the Day
February 25

“The Creator was responsible for the existence of everything, a part of the Creator’s spirit exists in everything and thus all things are connected.”
–Larry P. Aitken, CHIPPEWA

The Creator designed nature, people, and all things as an interconnected system. Everything is connected to each other. This connection exists in the Unseen World. The same way our body parts are all port of the body – the parts are separate but also connected. If a part of our body is in pain, the rest of the body recognizes this pain as its own. In other words, the pain of one is the pain of all. This is also true of every interconnected system. Because we are connected, we should respect and take care of our Earth and each other.

Great Spirit, let me treat everyone, today, as if they were You.

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Journey to the Heart
February 25
Learn to Help Heal Yourself

I feel a heaviness in my lungs, almost a pain; the next day, I find myself crying, discharging old grief and sadness. On another occasion, I feel sharp pangs in my stomach; within days, denied rage begins to surface and the pain subsides. My head aches, pounds, throbs; hours later, I feel the fear I’ve been running from. I feel the energy in my body shifting, moving, taking new shape; over the next months, I’m led into a new cycle, a new season in my life.

Some of the pains and illnesses we suffer from are indications of acute physical problems. They’re signs that our body has broken down and we need medical attention. But many of the aches and pains we experience are symptoms of a deeper process– a process of healing and cleansing our heart and soul.

As we go through our daily experiences, circumstances will trigger this healing. Someone says something that makes us feel angry or afraid, which triggers a feeling similar to one we repressed years ago. Or a conversation causes us to remember something that hurt us long ago, and our body begins to release the pain of that old emotion. Sometimes, our aches and pains are signals that some emotion is ready to surface. We need to acknowledge the feeling, feel the energy. Let it pass through us, then watch for the lesson to appear and the pain to dissipate.

If we are committed to a path of spiritual growth, our bodies will soon begin to use everything that happens as a vehicle for healing. Trust yourself and listen, and you’ll know what to do. You’ll find healers and help that will support you as you continue to discover and trust your soul.

Remember to trust the simple everyday wisdom of your body. It’s a barometer for you soul.

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Today’s Gift
February 25

The most useless day of all is that in which we have not laughed.
—Sebastian R. N. Champort

We are told that laughter is sunshine filling a room. And where there is laughter, there also is life. They say that people who laugh a lot live longer than do the sour-faced. When we laugh together, gratitude comes more easily, companionship thrives, and all praise is sincere. Laughter brings us joy that cannot be bought. Such joy is with us throughout each day. To hoard joy, to hide it away deep within us away from others, will make us lonely misers. We cannot buy or trade for joy, but we can give or receive it as a gift.

Laughter’s joy celebrates the moment we are living right now. It is a gift we must share, or it will wither and die. Shared, it grows and thrives, and always returns to us when we need it most.

What can I find to laugh about right now?

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The Language of Letting Go
February 25
Accepting Imperfection

“Why do I do this to myself?” asked a woman who wanted to lose weight. “I went to my support group feeling so guilty and ashamed because I ate half a cookie that wasn’t on the diet. I found out that everyone cheats a little, and some people cheat a lot. I felt so ashamed before I came to the group, as though I were the only one not doing my diet perfectly. Now I know that I’m dieting as well as most, and better than some.”

Why do we do this to ourselves? I’m not talking strictly about dieting, I’m talking about life. Why do we punish ourselves by thinking that we’re inferior while believing that others are perfect – whether in relationships, recovery, or a specific task?

Whether we’re judging others or ourselves it’s two sides of the same coin: perfection. Neither expectation is valid.

It is far more accurate and beneficial to tell ourselves that who we are is okay and what we are doing is good enough. That doesn’t mean we won’t make mistakes that need correcting; doesn’t mean we won’t get off track from time to time; doesn’t mean we can’t improve. It means with all our mistakes and wandering, we’re basically on course. Encouraging and approving of ourselves is how we help ourselves stay on track.

Today, I will love and encourage myself. I will tell myself that what I’m doing is good enough, and I’ll let myself enjoy that feeling.

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More Language Of Letting Go
February 25
Let God and your intuition lead the way

I define synchronicity as an external event which triggers an internal knowing. It has to do with events that are significant coincidences, such as when you are trying to solve a problem and someone “just happens” to call. During the conversation the caller “just happens” to give a clue or answer to the difficulty.
–Nancy Rosanoff, Intuition Workout

I was talking to my friend Kyle one day. I was in the final stages of writing Playing It By Heart, but I didn’t know what the ending was. The book was an in-depth life review. I was astounded by the number of experiences I’ve had.

“I’ve been a pauper, a drug addict, a codepepndent, a mid-western housewife, a married woman, a single parent on welfare, a secretary, a journalist, a chemical dependency counselor, a book author, a bereaved parent, and a Californian. I’ve traveled to the Middle East, across the United States, ran a bookstore, and now, although I’ve taken the long hard road to get there, I live at the beach,” I said. “There’s nothing left for me to do.”

“I know one thing you want to do that you haven’t done yet,” Kyle said.

“What?” I asked. There was a long silence. I thought maybe he hung up.

“I know,” he said. “You’ve never jumped out of a plane.”

I forgot about the conversation. Within a few day, the phone rang. A man who had worked on my house about nine months before was on the line. He reintroduced himself. Then he explained why he called. He said he was a sky diver, and he asked if I’d like to go to the drop zone with him sometime, and maybe make a tandem jump.

A few months later, I went with him to Skydive Elsinore. I learned that day that jumping out of airplanes was something I very much wanted to do. And the skydiving experience was exactly the ending I needed for my book.

Trust your inner guidance. Our Higher Power works in mysterious ways. Listen to people, and watch for signs that trigger your inner knowing.

God, help me be open to all the ways you speak to me to help guide me along my path.

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Touchstones Meditations For Men
February 25

Every time I close the door on Reality, it comes in through the window.
—Ashleigh Brilliant

In the past, many of us closed the door on the reality of our abuse of others or ourselves. We gave explanations, but our words more often hid the truth than revealed it. The chaos in our lives was reality coming in the window. Many men have come into this program priding themselves on their honesty, but not aware of how dishonest they were with themselves.

Honesty is a pillar of spiritual awakening. There is no growth without it, and it begins with ourselves. We do not define the truth, we accept it, we surrender to it. The truth may not feel good; it can even be painful. This is the pain of birth – the rebirth of a real man. And the promise of this day is the reward of having our integrity and the peace of self-acceptance.

Today, I will surrender to the truth. I will accept the reality which presses for attention in my life.

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Daily TAO
February 25
MUTENESS

The more you dwell in the spirit,
The farther you are from common ways.
If you want to speak of Tao’s wonders,
Few will listen.

If you spend a long period of time in study and self-cultivation, you will enter Tao. By doing so, you also enter a world of extraordinary perceptions. You experience unimaginable things, receive thoughts and learning as if from nowhere, perceive things that could be classified as prescient. Yet if you try to communicate what you experience, there is no one to understand you, no one who will believe you. The more you walk this road, the farther you are from the ordinary ways of society. You may see the truth, but you will find that people would rather listen to politicians, performers, and charlatans.

If you are known as a follower of Tao, people may seek you out, but they are seldom the ones who will truly understand Tao. They are people who would exploit Tao as a crutch. To speak to them of the wonders you have seen is often to engage in a futile bout of miscommunication. That is why it is said that those who know do not speak.

Why not simply stay quiet? Enjoy Tao as you will. Let others think you are dumb. Inside yourself, you will know the joy of Tao’s mysteries. If you met someone who can profit by your experience, you should share. But if you are merely a wanderer in a crowd of strangers, it is wisdom to be silent.

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DailyZen
February 25

The superior students are unaware of the coming into the world of Buddhas or of the transmission of the non-transmittable by them: they eat when hungry, sleep when sleepy. Nor do they regard the world as themselves. Neither are they attached to enlightenment or illusion. Taking things as they come, they sit upright, making no idle distinctions.
– Meiho (1277–1350)

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Food for Thought
February 25
A New Place

After a slip, we do not go back and start again in the same place where we were before. Through the experience of making a mistake, we have reached a new place. Out of error, we can gain new knowledge and insight.

Often we find that wrong thinking got us into trouble. Perhaps we fell back into the old perception of ourself as the center of the universe. Perhaps we forgot to turn over whatever was troubling us and instead began to overeat. Perhaps we tried to depend on our own inadequate strength to get us through the day. Undoubtedly, we forgot that abstinence is the most important thing in our lives without exception.

Whatever the mistake, we can profit from it by growing in understanding and insight. We can mark a pitfall to be avoided in the future. We start again a few steps farther ahead, in a new place.

May I not be discouraged by mistakes.

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