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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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+ Al-Anon Online Meeting Finder

Daily Recovery Readings – February 9

Just For Today
February 9
Self-acceptance

“When we accept ourselves, we can accept others into our lives, unconditionally probably for the first time.”
IP No. 19, “Self-Acceptance”

From our earliest memories, many of us felt like we never belonged. No matter how big the gathering, we always felt apart from the crowd. We had a hard time “fitting in.” Deep down, we believed that if we really let others get to know us, they would reject us. Perhaps our addiction began to germinate in this climate of self-centeredness.

Many of us hid the pain of our alienation with an attitude of defiance. In effect, we told the world, “You don’t need me? Well, I don’t need any of you, either. I’ve got my drugs and I can take care of myself!” The further our addiction progressed, the higher the walls we built around ourselves.

Those walls begin to fall when we start finding acceptance from other recovering addicts. With this acceptance from others, we begin to learn the important principle of self-acceptance. And when we start to accept ourselves, we can allow others to take part in our lives without fear of rejection.

Just for today: I am accepted in NA; I fit in. Today, it’s safe to start letting others into my life.

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Daily Reflections
February 9
GETTING THE “SPIRITUAL ANGLE”

How often do we sit in AA meetings and hear the speaker declare, “But I haven’t yet got the spiritual angle.” Prior to this statement, he had described a miracle of transformation which had occurred in him — not only his release from alcohol, but a complete change in his whole attitude toward life and the living of it. It is apparent to nearly everyone else present that he has received a great gift; ” . . . except that he doesn’t seem to know it yet!” We well know that this questioning individual will tell us six months or a year hence that he has found faith in God.
LANGUAGE OF THE HEART, p. 275

A spiritual experience can be the realization that a life which once seemed empty and devoid of meaning is now joyous and full. In my life today, daily prayer and meditation, coupled with living the Twelve Steps, has brought about an inner peace and feeling of belonging which was missing when I was drinking.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day
February 9
A.A. Thought For The Day

In the past, we kept right on drinking in spite of all the trouble we got into. We were foolish enough to believe that drinking could still be fun in spite of everything that happened to us. When we came into A.A., we found a lot of people who, like ourselves, had had fun with drinking, but who now admitted that liquor had become nothing but trouble for them. And when we found that this thing had happened to a lot of other people besides ourselves, we realized that perhaps we weren’t such odd ducks after all. Have I learned to admit that for me drinking has ceased to be fun and has become nothing but trouble?

Meditation For The Day

The lifeline, the line of rescue, is the line from the soul to God. On one end of the lifeline is our faith and on the other end is God’s power. It can be a strong line and no soul can be overwhelmed who is linked to God by it. I will trust in this lifeline and never be afraid. God will save me from doing wrong and from the cares and troubles of life. I will look to God for help and trust Him for aid when I am emotionally upset.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that no lack of trust or fearfulness will make me disloyal to God. I pray that I may keep a strong hold on the lifeline of faith.

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As Bill Sees It
February 9
Dealing with Resentments, p. 39

Resentment is the Number One offender. It destroys more alcoholics than anything else. From it stem all forms of spiritual disease, for we have been not only mentally and physically ill, we have also been spiritually ill. When our spiritual malady is overcome, we straighten out mentally and physically.

In dealing with our resentments, we set them on paper. We listed people, institutions, or principles with whom we were angry. We asked ourselves why we were angry. In most cases it was found that our self-esteem, our pocketbooks, our ambitions, our personal relationships (including sex) were hurt or threatened.

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

“The most heated bit of letter-writing can be a wonderful safety valve–providing the wastebasket is somewhere nearby.”

1. Alcoholics Anonymous, pp. 64-65
2. Letter, 1949

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Material Achievement, p. 40

No member of A.A. wants to deprecate material achievement. Nor do we enter into debate with the many who cling to the belief that to satisfy our basic natural desires is the main object of life. But we are sure that no class of people in the world ever made a worse mess of trying to live by this formula than alcoholics.

We demanded more than our share of security, prestige, and romance. When we seemed to be succeeding, we drank to dream still greater dreams. When we were frustrated, even in part, we drank for oblivion.

In all these strivings, so many of them well-intentioned, our crippling handicap was our lack of humility. We lacked the perspective to see that character-building and spiritual values had to come first, and that material satisfactions were simply by-products and not the chief aims of life.

12 & 12, p. 71

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Walk In Dry Places
February 9
Getting started Today
Responsible activity

For the recovering person, every assignment or day’s work can have a disagreeable moment.  The problem is getting started____ overcoming our fear of taking the plunge.

The real problem is deeper than the wish to avoid mere unpleasantness. Some of our resistance to getting started may be fear of failure.  It could also be a deep-seated desire to live in a problem free environment, where all of our needs can be met without effort on our part. It can even be a desire to return to the quest for constant excitement and stimulation.

We need to know that our answer is in guidance and acceptance.  If we have truly committed our will and lives to the care and keeping of our Higher Power, we will find the right path for each day’s work.  We can also accept any work or challenge that occurs, knowing it is part of a higher order for our lives.  Our current situation may be depressing or boring, but it can easily be a stepping stone to our long-term good.

I will meet today’s challenges and responsibilities with gratitude and confidence, knowing that God is guiding and directing my life.

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Keep It Simple
February 9

H.A.L.T.     –   AA Slogan

H.A.L.T. stands for Hungry, Angry, Lonely, and Tired. These feelings can be danger to us. They can lead us away from our program. We need to eat regular meals. When we get too hungry, we get cranky. Then we say and do things we regret.  We need to turn anger over to our Higher Power, or else our anger turns into rage. We need friends to help us in recovery. If we get to lonely, we may turn our addictive way for friendship. We don’t stay sober by ourselves. We need a clear mind to deal with life. If we get too tried, we tend to feel sorry for ourselves. Being tired get us into crazy thinking.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, remind me to H.A.L.T. Help me to not get too Hungry, Angry, Lonely, or Tired.

Action for the Day: Today, I’ll review the four parts of H.A.L.T. In which areas do I practice good self-care? In which areas do I not? How can I improve?

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Each Day a New Beginning
February 9

We have seen too much defeatism, too much pessimism, too much of a negative approach. The answer is simple: if you want something very badly, you can achieve it. It may take patience, very hard work, a real struggle, and a long time; but it can be done . . . faith is a prerequisite of any undertaking. . . .
—Margo Jones

How many dreams have we let die? How many projects did we start, only to leave them unfinished? How many times have we promised ourselves, “This time will be different,” but then didn’t work to make it so? Negativity breeds more negativity. Fortunately, its opposite does likewise. Our attitude will carry us a long way. And a positive attitude will make all things possible.

We are meant for good living. But we must seek it out and be open to its invitation, be willing to put forth the necessary effort. Our dreams are our invitations to move forward, to strive for a further goal. And having faith in our ability to achieve our dreams will make easier the necessary steps.

We have been blessed with dreams, all of us. They are gifts meant to stretch our capabilities.

I can trust my dreams and aspirations. They are mine, alone, and special to me. Achievement is possible; faith and a positive attitude will ease my efforts.

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Alcoholics Anonymous
February 9
WINDOW OF OPPORTUNITY

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

I was married shortly after my ninth anniversary to a loving woman. One week before my twelfth anniversary, our son was born. Through him I learned more about unconditional love, the value of wonder, and the sheer joy of being alive. I have a wonderful job that (most days) I appreciate. I am active in A.A. service work and have both a sponsor and several sponsees with whom it is a privilege to work. All of those are gifts from God. I express my gratitude by enjoying them.

p. 431

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions
February 9
Foreword

Though the essays which follow were written mainly for members, it is thought by many of A.A.’s friends that these pieces might arouse interest and find application outside A.A. itself.

p. 15

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Xtra Thoughts
February 9

Decision is the spark that ignites action. Until a decision is made, nothing happens.
–Wilfred A. Peterson

“You’ve got to do your own growing, no matter how tall your grandfather was.”
–Irish Proverb

“Don’t rent space to anyone in your head.”
–Anon.

I trust and believe God wants good things for me.
–Shelley

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life.
It turns what we have into enough, and more.
It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity.
It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.
Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.
–Melody Beattie

When we look around us with eyes of faith, we may see paradise.
–Scott Sawyer

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation
February 9
ENVIRONMENT

“Love your neighbor as thyself, but choose your neighbor.”
— Louise Beal

Part of my recovery and sobriety involves change. It is not enough to “put down the jug” to gain sobriety; I need to make substantial changes in my life.

Where I live, with whom I live, the friends I keep and the relationships  I make are crucial to my sobriety. Human beings imitate. They imitate clothes, hairstyles and mannerisms. Sobriety is also imitated.

As a recovering alcoholic, I can only be spiritually happy with those who are joyous and free; I need to find them.

God, You are to be found in Your creation. Let me seek You in a noble lifestyle.

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Bible Scriptures
February 9

“For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation.”
Ephesians 2:14

To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in His throne.
Revelation 3:21

“My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power.”
I Corinthians 2:4

“Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us.”
Psalm 62:8

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Daily Inspiration
February 9

When you feel down, look up. Lord, at all times and in the midst of all that is happening, You are there comforting, healing, and bringing peace to my life.

Know that you can do even if things are not always easy. Lord, in You I have the support of an unlimited power source and can accomplish great things because You strengthen me.

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A Day At A Time
February 9

Reflection For The Day

The slogan “Live and Let Live” can be extremely helpful when we are having trouble tolerating other people’s behavior.  We know for certain that nobody’s behavior — no matter how offensive, distasteful or vicious — is worth the price of a relapse.  Our own recovery is primary, and while we must be unafraid of walking away from people or situations that cause us discomfort, we must also make a special effort to try to understand other people — especially those who rub us the wrong way.  Can I accept the fat, in my recovery, that it is more important to understand than to be understood?

Today I Pray

When I run headlong into someone’s unpleasant behavior, may I first try my best to understand.  Then, if my own sobriety seems threatened, may I have the courage to remove myself from the situation.

Today I Will Remember

Live and Let Live

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One More Day
February 9

A chronic illness invades life.
–  Kathleen Lewis

Chronic illness means permanently changing our mindset to realize we can move only forward from this point in our life.  Chronic illness means pushing back the “front tears” in our mind so we can expand the frontiers of our days.  Being ill means sometimes laughing with tears trapped in our hearts, so we won’t have to be singled out as different from others.  Chronic illness is becoming used to how we look today, right now, and not wasting more time longing for lost yesterdays.

If we haven’t realized it yet, we will need more emotional support than perhaps at any other time in our experience.  Regardless of how strong and independent we may be, we need comfort and support from those who love us.

Longing for the “old days” and “old ways” won’t bring them back.  I am learning to accept changes.  They are not imposing upon my life — they are my life.

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One Day At A Time
February 9
~ BLESSINGS ~

There are no mistakes, no coincidences.  All events are blessings given to us to learn from.
–Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

I certainly never had a charmed life as a child, and when I was told to count my blessings, I never thought that I had that much to shout about. I was a shy and lonely child, always self-conscious about my shape and size, and everyone else seemed to be far better off than I was. When life started to deal out blows that were far more than I thought I could handle, I wondered why bad things always seemed to happen to me. I would hardly recover from one traumatic event when another one was upon me. I felt life was definitely unfair. Using food seemed to be the only way that I knew to cope.

I was looking for a solution, for some way to make my life a happier one. Fortunately, I was finally brought to my knees by the pain of my compulsive overeating. In working the Steps of this wonderful program, I have come to some amazing realizations. All the time I had railed against my misfortunes, I was being brought to some new understanding.

With the growing openness I now have, I can more clearly see why certain things in my life had to happen, and even why I became a compulsive overeater. Unlike the past, when I used to hate this disease, I now see it as a blessing, from which I can learn and grow. If it were not for this disease, I would not have needed to look at my life, nor would I have had to work at trying to make myself into a better person. I most certainly would not have needed to find a God of my understanding, nor would I have met so many wonderful new friends, who always love and support me.

One Day at a Time . . .
I will remember that the events in my life are not dealt out to me as a form of punishment, but rather as motivating factors in my life, that spur me on to grow and change as a person.

~ Sharon S. ~

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Elder’s Meditation of the Day – February 9

“It can be 100 degrees in the shade one afternoon and suddenly there comes a storm with hailstones as big as golf balls, the prairie is all white and your teeth chatter. That’s good-a reminder that you are just a small particle of nature, not so powerful as you think.”
–Lame Deer, LAKOTA

No event, no relationship, no joy, no sadness, no situation ever stays the same. Every setback is only temporary. Even setbacks change. Why? Because the Great Spirit designed the world to be constantly changing. We are not the center of the universe, we are but a small part. The whole is constantly changing, and we as humans are constantly participating in the change. We have two choices, to resist change or participate in the change. Every change can be resisted, and every change can be made in cooperation. What will I choose today, resistance or cooperation?

Great Spirit, teach me to make cooperative changes.

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Journey To The Heart
February 9
Keep Your Heart Open

Keep your heart open, even when you can’t have what you want.

It’s easy to keep our heart open to life’s magic and all its possibilities when we have what we want. It’s more of a challenge, and more necessary than ever, to keep our hearts open when we can’t have what we want.

Even on the best journey, things happen. Plans change. Things shift and move around. This shifting and moving causes doors to close, relationships to end, blocks and frustrations to appear on our path. For now, that is what we see. For now, what we know is disappointment. We can’t have what we want, and it hurts. When that happens, our tendency may be to shut down, close our hearts, forget all we’ve learned.

Keep your heart open anyway. Consciously choose to do that. Yes, you can go away, you can leave, you can shut down, but you don’t need to. Now is a turning point. If you choose to open your heart, even when you can’t have what you want, miracles will unfold.

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Today’s Gift
February 9

Leave yourself alone.
—Jenny Janacek

Three women were talking. One blamed herself for an unkind remark someone had made to her. Another blamed herself for not getting work done. The other compared her looks to those of the movie stars and thought she was ugly.

The women each noticed how the other two had put themselves down without being aware of it, and they began to laugh. Then they vowed to be as kind to themselves as they were to each other. Each time they caught themselves being mean to themselves, they imagined they were their own best friend, and were as understanding to themselves as they were to one another.

When we are kind to ourselves, only then can we be truly kind to others, and make ourselves a gift to those around us.

How have I been kind to myself lately?

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The Language of Letting Go
February 9
Letting Go in Love

When people with a compulsive disorder do whatever it is they are compelled to do, they are not saying they don’t love you – they are saying they don’t love themselves.
—Codependent No More

Gentle people, gentle souls, go in love.

Yes, at times we need to be firm, assertive: those times when we change, when we acquire a new behavior, when we need to convince others and ourselves we have rights.

Those times are not permanent. We may need to get angry to make a decision or set a boundary, but we can’t afford to stay resentful. It is difficult to have compassion for one who is victimizing us, but once we’ve removed ourselves as victims, we can find compassion.

Our path, our way, is a gentle one, walked in love – love for self, love for others. Set boundaries. Detach. Take care of ourselves. And as quickly as possible, do those things in love.

Today, and whenever possible. God let me be gentle with others and myself. Help me find the balance between assertive action taken in my own best interests, and love for others. Help me understand that at times those two ideas are one. Help me find the right path for me.

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More Language Of Letting Go
February 9
Get to know yourself

I opened the curtains in the King David Hotel overlooking the walled city in Jerusalem. This entire trip had been an adventure, but not the exciting kind. Nothing had gone as I planned. Usually on my excursions, I met people, connected with them, learned lessons, broke bread, and had fun. This trip had been different. I had barely spoken to anyone.

One night in the hotel restaurant, a woman motioned for me to join her for dinner. She spoke Hebrew. I spoke English. We sat and ate in silence. I had been to Egypt, the Sinai Peninsula. Now here. And that’s the closest I came to human contact on the entire trip.

The past week, I had traveled through Safad, a town in the Holy Land. It was the home of the kabbalah, the mystical sect of Judiasm, and one of the places where the purest, most intense form of meditation had been born. Although I had just wandered lightly through that land, something peculiar had happened to me, ever since I’d been there. I could hear my every thought. I was acutely aware of each emotion I felt.

It was as though my life had become a walking meditation.

But I was feeling lonely, and feeling bored.

“What’s wrong?” I asked. “Why haven’t I connected with anyone on this trip?”

“Yes, you have,” was the gentle answer I heard. “You’ve connected with yourself.”

Rays of light were streaming in through the window, in those first few colorful moments when the sun fills the sky. Music from a flute floated up from the courtyard below. Maybe even when we’re bored and lonely, all is well in the world.

Take some time on a regular basis to write in a journal, to meditate, or to do both. You’ll meet an interesting, exciting person. You’ll get to know yourself.

God, help me welcome those quiet spaces in my life as opportunities to connect with myself.

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Touchstones Meditations For Men
February 9

The sad truth is that most evil is done by people who never make up their minds to be either good or evil.
—Hannah Arendt

How often have we found ourselves in a predicament and innocently saying, “How did I get into this?” When someone has been injured by our actions because we failed to think about them, do we take the responsibility? If a friend is unfairly treated on the job, do we take a stand for him? When we know people are starving, what do we do about it? When our loved ones say they are lonely and wish we would talk to them, how do we respond?

In this program we have chosen to live by our values. We cannot sit passively and fail to live up to those values. Each situation is different, so we must think about what is called for. When we do not think about our reactions, we are in danger of adding to the evil in the world. When we act upon our principles, we feel more hopeful and wholesome.

Today, I will be alert to the difference between good and evil in my actions. I pray for the strength to take a stand.

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Daily TAO
February 9
SUBCONSCIOUS

Heaven and hell;
Our subconscious.

Meditation opens seldom glimpsed areas of our subconscious. When that happens, extraordinary thoughts and awareness come to us with seeming spontaneity. We realize truths that were opaque to us before; we perceive events that were previously too distant. But no one ever became superhuman because of meditation. They only opened their own latent potential. Everything is locked inside of us and need only be opened. That is why it is said that heaven is within us.

In the same way, the pains and the struggles of the past sometimes haunt us with astounding vehemence. Problems and conflicts are difficult to exorcise. Although we may practice spirituality and move on to new endeavors and relationships, past hurts still come back in our memories and dreams. These are not demons from another world, nor are they karmic manifestations of previous lives; they are scars in our subconscious. No matter how diligently we try to make progress, there still are pains that curse us day after day. This is why it is said that hell is within us.

We ourselves are the battleground for good and evil. There is no need to look beyond our world. Everything to be understood is within us. All that must be transcended — the pains and scars of the past — is within us. All the power of transcendence is also within us. Tap into it and you tap into the divine itself.

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Daily Zen
February 9

If you endeavor to embrace the Way through much learning, the Way will not be understood. If you observe the Way with simplicity of heart, great indeed is this Way.
– Sutra of Forty Two Chapters

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Food for Thought
February 9
You are not alone.

In the past, you may have fought a lonely battle with your inability to control your eating and the resultant weight problem. You may have thought that you were the only person who did such crazy, sneaky things in order to stuff yourself with food you did not need but could not stop eating. You may have lied to others about what you ate, and you may also have lied to yourself.

Family and friends probably tried to help. Despite the best intentions, it is difficult for one who is not a compulsive overeater to fully understand and help one who is.

In OA, you have been given a mutual support system. You have found people who understand you because they are like you. We all have the same problem, and together we are strong enough to solve it. Let’s use the help that the OA fellowship gives us and gain strength from the greater strength of the group.

May I contribute to the warmth and support of the OA fellowship.

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