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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.

+ Alcoholics Anonymous Online Meeting Finder
+ Overeaters Anonymous Meeting Finder
+ Narcotics Anonymous Meeting Finder
+ Al-Anon Online Meeting Finder

Daily Recovery Readings – February 5

Just For Today
February 5
Keep Coming Back!

“We are grateful that we were made so welcome at meetings that we felt comfortable.”
Basic Text p. 80

Remember how scared we were when we walked into our first NA meeting? Even if we walked in with a friend, most of us recall how difficult it was to attend that first meeting. What was it that kept us coming back? Most of us have grateful memories of the welcome we were given and how comfortable that made us feel. When we raised our hand as a newcomer, we opened the door for other members to approach us and welcome us.

Sometimes the difference between those addicts who walk back out the door of their first meeting, never to return to NA, and the addicts who stay to seek recovery is the simple hug of an NA member. When we have been clean awhile, it’s easy to step back from the procession of newcomers—after all, we’ve seen so many people come and go. But members with some clean time can make the difference between the addict who doesn’t return and the addict who keeps coming back. By offering our phone numbers, a hug, or just a warm welcome, we extend the hand of Narcotics Anonymous to the addict who still suffers.

Just for today: I remember the welcome I was given when I first came to NA. Today, I will express my gratitude by offering a hug to a newcomer.

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Daily Reflections
February 5
A GLORIOUS RELEASE

“The minute I stopped arguing, I could begin to see and feel. Right there, Step Two gently and very gradually began to infiltrate my life. I can’t say upon what occasion or upon what day I came to believe in a Power greater than myself, but I certainly have that belief now. To acquire it, I had to stop fighting and practice the rest of A.A.’s program as enthusiastically as I could.”
TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p.27

After years of indulging in a “self-will run riot,”Step Two became for me a glorious release from being all alone. Nothing is so painful or insurmountable in my journey now. Someone is always there to share life’s burdens with me. Step Two became a reinforcement with God, and I now realize that my insanity and ego were curiously linked. To rid myself of the former, I must give up the latter to One with far broader shoulders than my own.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day
February 5
A.A. Thought For The Day

One thing we learn in A.A. is to take a long view of drinking instead of a short view. When we were drinking we thought more about the pleasure or release that a drink would give us, than we did about the consequences which would result from our taking that drink. Liquor looks good from the short view. When we look in a package store window, we see liquor dressed up in its best wrappings, with fancy labels and decorations. They look swell. But have I learned that what’s inside those beautiful bottles is just plain poison to me?

Meditation For The Day

I believe that life is a school in which I must learn spiritual things. I must trust in God and He will teach me. I must listen to God and He will speak through my mind. I must commune with Him in spite of all opposition and every obstacle. There will be days when I will hear no voice in my mind and when there will come no intimate heart to heart communion. But if I persist, and make a life habit of schooling myself in spiritual things, God will reveal Himself to me in many ways.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may regularly go to school in things of the spirit. I pray that I may grow spiritually by making a practice of these things.

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As Bill Sees It
February 5
Humility First, p. 36

We found many in A.A. who once thought, as we did, that humility was another name for weakness. They helped us to get down to right size.  By their example they showed us that humility and intellect could be compatible, provided we placed humility first. When we began to do that, we received the gift of faith, a faith which works. This faith is for you, too.

<< << << >> >> >>

Where humility formerly stood for a forced feeding on humble pie, it now begins to mean the nourishing ingredient that can give us serenity.

12 & 12
1. p. 30
2. p. 74

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Walk In Dry Places
February 5
Is it really honesty?
Honesty

No matter how cruel the results, the need to criticize others can be a compulsion. Such criticism is sometimes justified by the defense “Well, I had to be honest” or “it was only the truth.”

But is it really honesty to gratuitously bring our a hurtful truth? Not when the critic’s real motives are to wound and humiliate someone, not to foster self-improvement and better behavior. Under those circumstances, the critic is really the dishonest person…. For not having detected the ugly personal motives that triggered the criticism.

Honesty is closely related to humility, and the truly honest person is usually humbly aware of person shortcomings in his or her own life. This alone makes the honest person reluctant to criticize and always careful to do it in ways that avoid inflicting pain or hurt.

Real honesty is rare, especially in people who hurt others under the guise of honesty.

With God’s help, I’ll look carefully at my motives today.

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Keep It Simple
February 5

Don’t bite at the bait of pleasure till you know there is no hook beneath it.
——Thomas Jefferson

Pleasure is important in recovery. But at times we think pleasure is the answer to life’s pains. Alcohol and other drugs were what we liked best. We need to watch out so we don’t switch to another addiction–such as gambling, food, sex, or work. The real answer to life’s pains is in having a strong spiritual center. It is also our best way to avoid another addiction. Recovery lets us turn our pain over to the care of our Higher Power. Our Higher Power can handle any problem we may have. Our program can help us with our problems too. Recovery is a three-way deal. Higher Power, program, and us.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, help me avoid another addiction. When I have problems, have me come to You and to my program before anything else.

Action for the Day: Today, I’ll set aside time and ask the question, “Am I headed for another addiction/” I’ll also ask my sponsor what he or she thinks.

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Each Day a New Beginning
February 5

Don’t compromise yourself. You are all you’ve got.
–Janis Joplin

When we don’t know who we are, it’s easy to compromise ourselves. When we don’t know where we stand on an issue, it’s easy to be swayed by a forceful voice. Values may be cloudy in our minds, or we may not be aware of them at all. It’s then that we are vulnerable to the persuasion of another. In this Twelve Step program, we are offered the way to know ourselves. We are supported in our efforts, and we realize we have friends who don’t want us to compromise ourselves–who value our struggle to know and to be true to ourselves.

One of recovery’s greatest gifts is discovering we can make decisions that represent us, our inner selves, and those decisions please us. We all are familiar with the tiny tug of shame that locates itself in our solar plexus. When we “go along,” when we “give in” on a personally important issue, we pay a consequence. We lose a bit of ourselves. Over the years we’ve lost many bits. We have a choice, however.

I will have a chance, soon, to act according to my wishes. I will take it.

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Alcoholics Anonymous
February 5
WINDOW OF OPPORTUNITY

– This young alcoholic stepped out a second-story window and into A.A.

After graduation I attended law school. I arrived to find an A.A. that was very different from that to which I had grown accustomed. I was sure I would get drunk because “those people weren’t doing it right!” My sponsor back at college, aware of my propensity for finding fault, assured me that if my new friends were not “doing it right,” it was my obligation to show them how. So I did. Driven by fear and conceit, I set out to remake A.A. in my image. I am certain that if membership had depended upon being liked, I would have been expelled.

pp. 429-430

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions
February 5

Tradition Twelve – “Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities.”

These experiences taught us that anonymity is real humility at work. It is an all-pervading spiritual quality which today keynotes A.A. life everywhere. Moved by the spirit of anonymity, we try to give up our natural desires for personal distinction as A.A. members both among fellow alcoholics and before the general public. As we lay aside these very human aspirations, we believe that each of us takes part in the weaving of a protective mantle which covers our whole Society and under which we may grow and work in unity.
We are sure that humility, expressed by anonymity, is the greatest safeguard that Alcoholics Anonymous can ever have.

p. 187

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Xtra Thoughts
February 5

I just sit down for a few minutes, do a little thinking, and God writes the songs for me.
–Hank Williams (1923 – 1953)

Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.
–Confucius

The task ahead of us is never as great as the Power behind us.

“You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.”
–Max Ehrmann

“Settle for nothing less than what you truly desire, and do not be afraid to ask for what you feel will bring you joy and fulfillment.”
–Emmanuel

“Experience is not what happens to a man. It is what a man does with what happens to him.”
–Aldous Huxley

“Our own rough edges become smooth as we help a friend smooth her edges.”
–Sue Atchley Ebaugh

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation
February 5
MONEY

“Capital, as such, is not evil; it is its wrong use that is evil.”
— Mohandas K. Gandhi

Today I am not afraid to say that I am concerned for my prosperity — not just in terms of health, friendship and employment but also concerning money. For years I was concerned to have the best, buy the best, own the best and not “shortchange” myself — yet I felt guilty in having such feelings. Today in my sobriety I truly believe that I deserve the best. In this way I am loving myself. Money, prosperity and capital are not “bad” in themselves; it is how we use them.

Today, as promised in my recovery, things are certainly getting better and I am able to invest and buy wisely. Some years ago I would squander money on my addiction. Today I am able to appreciate and share my monetary benefits. Family, friends and the “needy” can genuinely share my prosperity: the more I give away today, the more I get.

Thank You for all the many benefits You have showered upon me in my recovery, not least capital. May I always use it responsibly.

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Bible Scriptures
February 5

“I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.”
Galatians 5:16

“Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?”
1 Corinthians 3:16

“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!”
Philippians 4:4

“‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ says the Lord. ‘Plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you a good hope and a good future.'”
Jeremiah 29:11

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Daily Inspiration
February 5

Today do what you can and expect no more of yourself. Lord, I will feel joy in my accomplishments today and gratitude for the things I have to do tomorrow.

Do not act as though you are watching a parade because we are each one of the marchers. Lord, things change so quickly. Help me to celebrate the constant newness of my life.

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A Day At A Time
February 5

Reflection For The Day

If I am troubled, worried, exasperated or frustrated, do I tend to rationalize the situation and lay the blame on someone else?  When I am in such a state, is my conversation punctuated with, :Hey did..,”  “She said..,”  “They did..”?  Or can I honestly admit that perhaps I’m at fault.  My peace of mind depends on overcoming toward rationalization.  Will I try, day by day, to be rigorously honest with myself?

Today I Pray

May I catch myself as I talk in the third person, “He did…” or  “They promised…” or “She said shoe would…” and listen for the blaming that has become such a pattern for me and preserves delusion.  May I do a turnabout and face myself instead.

Today I Will Remember

Honesty is the only policy.

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One More Day
February 5

We have seen better days.
–  Shakespeare

It is quit difficult to define some of the components that help create what we interpret as a good day.  A general sense of well-being prevails, and we have a tendency to look at the world through rose-colored glasses.  Everything seems to go just right.

It is not the least bit hard, however, to define a bad day.  Nothing happens according to plan.  We feel out of sorts, not particularly well.   With the advent of health changes, we can inadvertently allow many days to become bad ones.

The only way we can stop having negative experiences is to change our expectations of what constitutes a good day.  We don’t have to lower our expectations, just make them more realistic for the situation at hand.  We will then find that most of our days can be good ones.

My life is and will always be a mixture of good and bad days.  I can influence my interactions and thereby influence the color of my days.

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One Day At A Time
February 5
~ SELF WORTH ~

Your worth is not established by teaching or learning.  Your worth is established by God.  Nothing you do or think or wish or make is necessary to establish your worth.
–Helen Schucman, scribe of “A Course in Miracles”

I have spent the last 30 years of my life wanting more, thinking that in proving myself I would be worthy of the love and affection I deserved and this would determine my value. I was always seeking the best path to take to show everyone what I could do and that I was worthy of more of their love and praises.

Turning my life and my will over to God has allowed me to see that, no matter what I may think, in God’s eyes I am worth plenty, and this has given me so much peace. I now know that what others say or think about me is not going to make me worthy or worthless. Allowing God to run the show and doing the next right thing is all I need to do. I don’t have to concern myself if I am of value to anyone; I am of value to God, and that is all that counts.

One Day at a Time . . .
I will continue to turn to God for my strength, knowing that I need not carry the burden of proof of what I’m worth.

~ Maureen ~

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Elder’s Meditation of the Day – February 5

“Let the person I serve express his thanks according to his own bringing up and his sense of humor.”
–Charles A. Eastman (Ohiyesa), SANTEE SIOUX

“It is better to give than receive.” But it doesn’t really matter if we are giving or receiving. There is an identical feeling associated with both. We get this feeling every time we receive. We can’t control when we receive gifts but we can control when we give gifts. Therefore, the more we give, the better we feel. When we are given gifts, or someone does something for us, it is the Indian way to honor this person.

Great Spirit, let me honor and be respectful to those who are good to me today.

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Journey To The Heart
February 5
Learn to Live with Unfinished Projects

Whether your project is sewing a dress, reading a book, writing a book, building a home, or learning a lesson on your journey, learn to live comfortably with unfinished work. Whatever you’re working on, whatever you’re in the midst of doesn’t need to be finished, in perfect order, with all the loose ends in place for you to be happy.

For too many years, we worried and fretted, denying ourselves happiness until we could see the whole picture, learn the entire lesson, cross every t and dot each i. That meant we spend a lot of stressful time waiting for that one moment when the project was complete.

Enjoy all the stages of the process you’re in. The first moments when the germ of the idea finds you. The time before you begin, when the seed lies dormant in the ground, getting ready to grow. The beginning, and all the days throughout the middle. Those bleak days, when it looks like you’re stuck and won’t break through. Those exciting days when the project, the lesson, the life you’re building takes shape and form.

Be happy now. Enjoy the creative process– the process of creating your life, yourself, and the project you’re working on–today. Don’t wait for those finishing moments to take pleasure in your work and your life. Find joy all along the way.

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Today’s Gift
February 5

Let there be spaces in your togetherness.
—Kahlil Gibran

Sometimes it is just as important to know when to leave others alone as it is to know when to talk with them. We all need to be alone at times – to think, to work out a problem, or just to be quiet with ourselves. This is especially true in families, where we’re often surrounded by others. If we tune in to our other family members, we can develop sensors that will let us know when they need some time alone. Part of good communication is knowing when not to talk, too.

Can I be sensitive to my family’s needs for privacy today?

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The Language of Letting Go
February 5
Financial Responsibility

We are responsible for ourselves financially.

What a frightening, grown up thought that is for many of us – taking responsibility for money and our financial affairs. For many of us, handing over responsibility for our financial affairs has been part of a codependent trade off in our relationships.

Some of our emotional dependency on others, on this tight tie that binds us to others, not in love, but in need and desperation, is directly related to financial dependency. Our fears and reluctance to take responsibility for our financial affairs can be a barrier to the freedom we’re seeking in recovery.

Financial responsibility is an attitude. Money goes out to pay for necessities and luxuries. Money must come in, in order to go out. How much needs to come in to equal that which is going out?

Taxes… savings plans…appropriate spending habits that demonstrate an attitude of financial responsibility…. Part of being alive means learning to handle money. Even if we have a healthy contract with someone that allows us to depend on him or her for money, we still need to understand how money works. We still need to adopt an attitude of financial responsibility for ourselves. Even if we have a contract with someone else to provide for our financial needs, we need to understand the workings of the money earned and spent in our life.

Self-esteem will increase when we increase our sense of being financially responsible for ourselves. We can start where we are, with what we have today.

God, help me become willing to let go of my fears and reluctance to face the necessary parts of handling money responsibly in my life. Show me the lessons I need to learn about money.

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More Language Of Letting Go
February 5
Stare in the face of your fears

Examine your fears.

Sometimes we’re afraid of specific things. Sometimes we fear the unknown. And sometimes we’re just afraid, because that’s the way we usually feel.

Are you nervous, anxious,upset? What’s scaring you right now?

Have a little talk with yourself. Take a look at what you fear. Are you starting a new relationship or job? What are the risks? What’s the worse that could possibly happen? Sometimes it helps to go through our fears, one by one. We don’t need to dwell on the negative, but we need to be certain that we’re willing to take responsibility for the risks involved.

Then look in the other direction, and see the entire positive potential there. What can you gain by taking that risk? Does the thrill of victory outweigh the potential loss?

We may emerge from the list saying, No, I choose not to risk that. Or, we may look at the risks and say, Yes, I’ve been through worse. I can handle this,too.

Someone once told me many years ago that fear was a good thing. “If you’re not feeling afraid, it means you’re not doing anything differently. You’re just repeating the same old thing.” If fear is haunting you, stare it in the face. See what’s making you feel afraid. Then either back off, or stare that fear down.

God, help me sort through my fears,one by one. Then guide me in deciding which risks I want to take. Help me not be foolhardy. But help me let go of timidity,too.

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Touchstones
February 5

The human animal needs a freedom seldom mentioned: freedom from intrusion. He needs a little privacy quite as much as he wants understanding or vitamins or exercise or praise.
—Phyllis McGinley

The boundaries between us in our families and our friendships often need to be reshaped in recovery. We need to know our feelings are private. We reveal them at our choosing, with whom we choose. We give up on mind reading or probing because it intrudes upon another’s privacy. We actively engage in our relationships by sharing ourselves and listening to each other.

A secret that makes a relationship dishonest is destructive and ought to be told. But we cannot force another person to be honest, or pry the truth from a loved one. We can only be honest ourselves and guard our own right to privacy. Intimacy is the bridge, which is built between two separate people. Only when we let others have their privacy and we take ours can our relationships be more intimate.

I will maintain the boundaries of my privacy today and respect the right of others to do the same.

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Daily TAO
February 5
VANTAGE

Distant ridges, far away clouds
All events come from a distance.
With a high vantage point,
Foretelling the future is elementary.

It is often superstitiously said that one who follows Tao knows magic. This is nonsense. Superiority is simply a matter of using the best of one’s abilities and being in the right position. For example, a wise person who lives high in the mountains and who is not blinded by wine, sensuality, intellectuality, poor health, or greed will be better able to see events in the distance that one who lives in a closed room, eyes on some obscure project.

A storm does not happen abruptly; it takes hours, sometimes days, to develop. Travelers do not arrive suddenly; they can be seen in the distance. Knowing things in advance is possible with a high vantage point. For this reason, the follower of Tao appears to know magic.

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Daily Zen
February 5

Two methods enable us to rectify the heart:
The first is study,
Enriching our mind through practice
And discipline; training, studying
Until an inner light begins to grow within.
This seed of consiousness,
The sages teach, should be nourished
And kept in silence.
The second is the cultivation of virtue.
A sincere student discovers the
Workings of Tao by overcoming all
Manner of temptation.
Hordes of riches are outweighed in
Merit by a single word, Virtue.

– Loy Ching-yuen 1879-1960’s)

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Food for Thought
February 5
Slumps

Most of us go through periods in our lives when nothing seems interesting, when our motivation and enthusiasm have deserted us. We feel dull and bored and depressed. Whether the slump lasts for an afternoon or for a month or for a year, the compulsive overeater tends to turn to food as a way out. For us, food has been exciting, and eating often used to be the most pleasurable activity we could imagine.

As most of us know all too well, eating is not a permanent solution to boredom. We may get a temporary high from food, but we invariably eat too much and end up feeling infinitely worse than before we started. Boredom is better than a binge. Food does not motivate nor does it generate enthusiasm. Overeating has just the opposite effect.

Joining OA does not ensure that we will never again experience boredom or have the blahs. What it does provide is a program of action to which we may turn when we are in a slump. Going to meetings, making phone calls, reading the literature, working the Steps – these are concrete actions we can take.

We have tried food and found that it eventually made things worse. Now let’s try the OA program.

Give me grace to act.

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In God’s Care
February 5

It is not true that life is one damn thing after another–it is one damn thing over and over.
~~Edna St. Vincent Millay

If there’s one thing you can say for addicted people, it’s that we’re hardheaded. It takes us a long time to be convinced that something is bad for us, particularly if it feels good momentarily. It’s also hard to convince us that something is good for us, even when we desperately want to stop feeling bad. As a result we’ve spent much of our life doing things over and over–spinning our wheels.

Luckily, there’s a cure for this. It’s called turning it over. We quit trying to figure out what is good or bad for us, or even what is in our best interest. We know that , on our own, there’s no sure way we can tell, Instead we ask a higher authority to handle it for us. That authority is God.

Instead of continually trying to control my life, I’ll continually turn it over to the care of God.

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