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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 – January 16

Just For Today
January 16
Make That Call!

” We feared that if we ever revealed ourselves as we were, we would surely be rejected…. [But] our fellow members do understand us.”
Basic Text, p. 31

We need our fellow NA members-their experience, their friendship, their laughter, their guidance, and much, much more. Yet many of us hesitate to call our sponsor or visit our NA friends. We don’t want to impose on them. We think about phoning someone, but we don’t feel worthy of their time. We fear that if they ever got to know us-really know us-they’d surely reject us.

We forget that our fellow NA members are just like us. There’s nothing we’ve done, no place we’ve been, no feeling we’ve felt that other recovering addicts won’t be able to identify with. The more we let others get to know us, the more we’ll hear, “You’re in the right place. You’re among friends. You belong. Welcome!”

We also forget that, just as we need others, they need us. We’re not the only ones who want to feel like we belong, who want to experience the warmth of friendship, who want someone to share with. If we isolate ourselves from our fellow members, we deprive them of something they need, something only we can give them: our time, our company, our true selves.

In Narcotics Anonymous, recovering addicts care for one another. What waits at the other end of the telephone is not rejection, but the love, warmth, and identification of the NA Fellowship. Make that call!

Just for today: In NA, I am among friends. I will reach out to others, giving and receiving in fellowship.

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Daily Reflections
January 16
HITTING BOTTOM

Why all this insistence that every A.A. must hit bottom first? The answer is that few people will sincerely try to practice the A.A. program unless they have hit bottom. For practicing A.A.’s remaining eleven Steps means the adoption of attitudes and actions that almost no alcoholic who is still drinking can dream of taking.
TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 24

Hitting bottom opened my mind and I became willing to try something different. What I tried was A.A. My new life in the Fellowship was a little like learning how to ride a bike for the first time: A.A. became my training wheels and my supporting hand. It’s not that I wanted the help so much at the time; I simply did not want to hurt like that again. My desire to avoid hitting bottom again was more powerful than my desire to drink. In the beginning that was what kept me sober.  But after a while I found myself working the Steps to the best of my ability. I soon realized that my attitudes and actions were changing – if ever so slightly. One Day at a Time, I became comfortable with myself, and others, and my hurting started to heal.  Thank God for the training wheels and supporting hand that I choose to call Alcoholics Anonymous.

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

The A.A. program is more a way of building a new life than just a way of getting over drinking, because in A.A. we don’t just stop drinking. We did that plenty of times in the old days when we went “on the wagon.” And, of course, we always started to drink again, because we were only waiting for the time when we could fall off. Once we’ve gotten sober through the A.A. program, we start going uphill. In our drinking days, we were going downhill, getting worse and worse. We either go down or up. Am I going uphill, getting better and better?

Meditation For The Day

I will try to obey God’s will day in and day out, in the wilderness plains as well as on the mountaintops of experience. It is in the daily strivings that perseverance counts. I believe that God is Lord of little things, the Divine Controller of little happenings. I will persevere in this new way of life. I know that nothing in the day is too small to be a part of God’s scheme.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that the little stones which I put into the mosaic of my life may make a worthwhile pattern. I pray that I may persevere and so find harmony and beauty.

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As Bill Sees It
January 16
Never Again!, p. 16

“Most people feel more secure on the twenty-four-hour basis than they do in the resolution that they will never drink again. Most of them have broken too many resolutions. It’s really a matter of personal choice; every A.A. has the privilege of interpreting the program as he likes.

“Personally, I take the attitude that I intend never to drink again.  This is somewhat different from saying, ‘I will never drink again.’ The latter attitude sometimes gets people in trouble because it is undertaking on a personal basis to do what we alcoholics never could do. It is too much an act of will and leaves too little room for the idea that God will release us from the drink obsession provided we follow the A.A. program.”

Letter, 1949

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Walk In Dry Places
January 16
Material things matter
The Money Problem

Now and then we have heated discussions about the role of material things in sobriety. Someone is bound to say that money can’t buy happiness and that the spiritual has to come first.

But material things do matter in our lives, and we share with others the same desire to get ahead in life. We usually like good clothes, new cars, and steady pay checks. It is somewhat hypocritical to say that money and material things don’t matter when we obviously need money and would like to have more of it.

Our problem with money and material things occurred when we made a god of them, when we saw worldly success as the end-all and be-all of life. The proper function of money is to provide for smooth exchange of the goods and services we must use in order to live. Far from denouncing spiritual gifts that should be used properly, but not worshipped. More than likely, we can appreciate material things far more than we did while drinking, despite the exaggerated love we had then for worldly things.

I will neither despise material things nor make a god of them today. I will view them as part of God’s plan, as things to use.

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Keep It Simple
January 16

Fair play is primarily not blaming others for anything that is wrong with us.
—Eric Hoffer

It’s tempting to blame others for our problems. Recovery asks us to answer for our actions. Admitting we are powerless over our actions. Admitting we are powerless over our alcohol and other drugs is a start.

Each of the Twelve Steps asks us to answer for our actions in some way. And the program shows us how to do this. Over time, we see that being responsible for our actions is the best way to live. Our self-confidence grows as we become more responsible. We start to see just how much we can do. We have gone from being drunks to being responsible people. If we can do this, then we can do anything!

Prayer for the Day: I pray to remember that I’m responsible for my actions. Blaming puts distance between me and other people. Higher Power, help me to play fair.

Action for the Day: Today, I’ll list four times I’ve blamed someone else for a problem that was really my problem.

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Each Day a New Beginning
January 16

I feel we have picked each other from the crowd as fellow-travelers, for neither of us is to the other’s personality the end-all and the be-all.
–Joanna Field

We must look around at the people in our lives today, and know that we have something special to offer each of them, and they to us. We do travel separate paths together. We may need to learn tolerance; perhaps a friend’s behavior pushes us to be more tolerant. Impatience may be our nemesis, and everywhere we turn are lines, slow cash registers, traffic jams. Our experiences with others aren’t chance. Fellow travelers are carefully selected by the inner self, the spiritual guide who understands our needs in this life.

We are both the teachers and the pupils. We need both our friends and those we may label our enemies for what they can help us learn.

I will carefully look about me today with gladness at the travelers I’ve selected to learn from.

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Alcoholics Anonymous
January 16
WINDOW OF OPPORTUNITY

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

My drinking career was short and destructive, and my alcoholic progression was very fast. I got drunk for the first time in October. By November people were willing to wager money that I could not go one week without a drink. (I won and, in celebration, drank myself sick.) By January I was a daily dry drunk and by April a daily drug user as well. I didn’t last too long.

p. 423

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions
January 16

Tradition Eleven – “Our public relations policy is based on attraction rather than promotion; we need always maintain personal anonymity at the level of press, radio, and films.”

The inquiring voices are not all alcoholics or their families. Doctors read medical papers about Alcoholics Anonymous and call for more information. Clergymen see articles in their church journals and also make inquiries. Employers learn that great corporations have set their approval upon us, and wish to discover what can be done about alcoholism in their own firms.

p. 180

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Xtra Thoughts
January 16

“Standing in the middle of the road is very dangerous; you get knocked down by traffic from both sides.”
–Margaret Thatcher

“Sharing what you have is more important than what you have.”
–Albert M. Wells, Jr.

“Oh…I listen a lot and talk less. You can’t learn anything when you’re talking.”
–Bing Crosby

Since love grows within you, so beauty grows. For love is the beauty of the soul.
–Saint Augustine

The alcoholic is in no greater peril than when he takes sobriety for granted.

F E A R = Face Everything And Recover.

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation
January 16
PROCRASTINATION

“You cannot build a reputation on things you are going to do.”
— Mabel Newcomber

Procrastination is the addicts’ game. I will give up alcohol tomorrow.  Soon I will take an inventory of my eating habits. Later I will talk to him about my anger and pain. Tomorrow and tomorrow — but it never happens!

The tragedy is that we not only bring pain and problems into our lives but we keep them there. Recovery requires action; sobriety and the spiritual program demand movement.

Today I will talk about my pain.

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Bible Scriptures
January 16
The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down. Psalm 146:8

“So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Romans 10:17

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Daily Inspiration
January 16

When we hand over what we can’t handle to the One who can, miracles happen. Keep me free of stress, Lord, and in the best possible place to receive Your help.

There is no personal problem that you cannot solve. Lord, Your presence within me is all power. You are my help in every need.

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A Day At A Time
January 16

Reflection For The Day

When we first came to The Program, whether for ourselves or under pressure from others, some of us were all but sickened by the concept of “surrender.” To admit defeat flew in the face of our life-long beliefs. We thought of the immoral rallying cities of Churchill at Dunkirk, of FDR following the attack of Pearl Harbor. And so we secretly vowed at first, that the very idea of surrender was unthinkable. Here I truly come to believe that only through utter defeat am I able to take the first steps toward liberation and strength? Or do I still harbor reservations about the principle of “letting go and letting God…”?

Today I Pray

May I really believe that the complete surrender of my whole being to a Higher Power is the way to serenity. For I can be whole only in Him, who has the power to make me whole. May I do away with of any feelings of wanting to “hold out” and never admit defeat. May I unlearn the old adage which tells me that I must “never give up” and realize that such pridefullness could keep me from recovery.

Today I Will Remember

From Wholly His to Whole.

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One More Day
January 16

The future is an opaque mirror. Anyone who looks into it sees nothing but the dim outlines of an old and worried face.
– Jim Bishop

When we were young, our mirrors reflect our outer appearance. Later, mirrors seem to reflect also the inward self. Worry and joy can etch themselves into our facial expressions; anger or love can gaze out from our eyes. If we have refused to forgive, our bitterness stares back at us. If we have chosen to isolate ourselves, our loneliness is there. But if our choices have been openness, humor, and understanding — all of these clearly shine out for all to see.

Each day , without realizing it, we are making choices for behaviors and thoughts that will help create either a serene and joyful face or an old and worried one. The choice is ours.

Today, I choose healthy looks, actions and feelings.

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One Day At A Time
January 16
~ FORGIVENESS ~

Never does the human soul appear so strong as when it forgoes revenge and dares to forgive an injury.
–Edwin Hubbel Chapin

I want recovery from my disease of compulsive eating. Part of my program of recovery is asking forgiveness for past wrongs I’ve committed against other people. It isn’t enough for me to make amends just to others, though.

Another aspect of forgiveness is that of forgiving those around me. I need to forgive them for what they may have done to me. Many times people don’t know that they’ve hurt me and maybe triggered a binge, because I’ve covered up the pain with food. But if I forgive them, then I don’t have that pain that I thought could only be soothed with food.

Finally, I need to forgive myself. I can be my harshest critic, and many times I, myself, have been the trigger for my binge. Besides, if I can find it in my heart to forgive others, then surely I can extend the same courtesy to myself.

One day at a time…
I will practice forgiveness in all its forms.

Jeff

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Elder’s Meditation of the Day – January 16

“If people are going to get back into balance, one of the things they have to do is seek the truth. They have to start really speaking the truth themselves, and that’s a difficult thing to do. The way it is now in the world, we don’t mind lying.”
–John Peters (Slow Turtle), WAMPANOAG

Well everybody’s doing it. Do unto others before they do unto you. If it wasn’t for back luck I would have no luck at all. These are excuses and rationalizations for giving up accountability. Be true to yourself. Seek the truth, The Great Spirit is the truth. The truth shall set you free. This is the truth. We cannot be free if we are dishonest nor can we live a balanced life if we are dishonest. As we grow, we need to start taking stands. All warriors take stands. The warrior’s belief is constantly being aligned to truth. The warrior will always know where he/she stands.

Great Spirit, help me today to seek Your truth, not my truth.

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Journey To The Heart
January 16
See How Happy You Are

Most of us have very active imaginations. We have the power to visualize, to create in our minds what we cannot yet see with our eyes. The problem is that many of us use this power to visualize events we’d really rather not see. We conjure up all sorts of images about the bad, painful things that could happen. Maybe it’s time to use the potent, creative power of visualization to create picutres of all the good we would like to see in our lives.

What would you like to see happen in your life? Create a picture you can see. The more real you make it, the better it will be. See yourself in the picture. Try to involve all your senses. Visualize yourself touching, hearing, speaking, smelling, feeling. Charge your picture with as much emotional energy as you can. Use any spare moments– stretched out on the sofa, in bed before you fall asleep, driving in your car, soaking in the tub– to create positive pictures for your life.

Make a project out of it. Make a list, and keep it nearby. If you don’t know what to put on your list, ask yourself, ask God, ask the universe to help you, show you.

See yourself doing all the things you’d like to do. Take the time to use your creative power of visualization to create the life you’d like. But above all, take the time to see yourself being happy.

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Today’s Gift
January 16

When you do something you are proud of, dwell on it a little, praise yourself for it.
—Mildred Newman

Each one of us is very good at something. Maybe it’s baseball or tennis where we display talent. Maybe we’re good in math or at giving reports. A few people are talented at being good listeners or helpful friends. To recognize our own talents we may need help from others. It’s always so much easier to see our faults, or the ways we don’t meet our own expectations.

But the fact is we are all skilled in many areas of our lives. To accept praise–better yet, to quietly give it to ourselves–is a sign of healthy growth.

What things have I done well lately?

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The Language of Letting Go
January 16
Prayer

As a matter of fact, prayer is the only real action in the full sense of the word, because prayer is the only thing that changes one’s character. A change in character, or a change in soul, is a real change.
–Emmet Fox, The Sermon on the Mount

Erica Jong has said that we are spiritual beings who are human. Praying and meditating are ways we take care of our spirit. Prayer and meditation are disciplines suggested by the Eleventh Step of Twelve Step recovery programs: Al Anon, CoDa, Adult Children of Alcoholics, and others.

Prayer and meditation are not necessarily connected to organized religion. Prayer and meditation are ways to improve our personal relationship with a Higher Power to benefit our life, our growth, and us. Praying is how we connect with God. We don’t pray because we have to; we pray because we want to. It is how we link our soul to our Source.

We’re learning to take care of our emotions, our mind, and our physical needs. We’re learning to change our behaviors. But we’re also learning to take care of our spirit, our soul, because that is where all true change begins.

Each time we talk to God, we are transformed. Each time we connect with our Higher Power, we are heard, touched, and changed for the best.

Today, I will practice prayer and meditation. Whether I feel desperate, uneasy, or peaceful, I will make the effort to connect with my Higher Power, at least for a moment today.

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More Language Of Letting Go
January 16
Drop it

How do you let go? I just can’t let go? It’s impossible to let go of this. These are thoughts that may run through our minds when we worry, dwell, and obsess.

Pick up something around you. Pick up this book. Hold it tightly. Then just drop it. Release it. Let it fall right out of your hands.

That’s what you do with whatever you’re obsessing and dwelling about. If you pick it up again, drop it one more time. See! Letting go is a skill that anyone can acquire.

Passion and focus can lead us along our path and help us find our way. But obsession can mean we’ve crossed that line, again. We can be compassionate but firm with ourselves and others as we learn to release our tight grip and just let things go.

God, help me know that if I’m obsessing about a problem, it’s not because I have to. Dropping it is always a choice available to me.

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Touchstones Meditation For Men
January 16

What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.
—Ralph Waldo Emerson

What good qualities lie within us? How do we choose to use them today? These simple questions point our way. Yet, on some days it seems so easy to get swept along with thoughts of future pain. And when we are not worrying about the future, we may fall into regrets about the past. Either way, we are distracted from our only opportunity to make a real difference – to be the kind of men we want to be in this moment, to learn from today’s experiment in living.

On this day, I will walk a little slower and will listen closely to the messages within me.

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Daily TAO
January 16
ORDINARY

Umbrella, light, landscape, sky —
There is no language of the holy.
The sacred lies in the ordinary.

No one is able to describe the spiritual except by comparing it to ordinary things. One scripture describes the divine word as an “umbrella of protection.” Another says a god is light. Heaven is supposed to be in the sky, and even ascetics who have rejected sex use erotic images to describe enlightenment. People have to resort to metaphor to state the divine.

Even esoteric languages have been invented, and they mystify the outsider. Holy words always appear that way to the uninitiated. After one learns to read them, their message becomes assimilated. We no longer worry about the images, for we have found the truth that the words were indicating.

When you buy something that has assembly instructions, you follow the directions, but you do not then venerate the instructions. Spiritual attainment is no different. Once you’ve gained it, instructions become secondary. Spirituality gained is no different than the ball game you play, the work you do, the car you drive, the love you make. If you constantly regard Tao as extraordinary, then it remains unknown and outside yourself — a myth, a fantasy, an unnameable quantity. But once you know it, it is yours and part of your daily life.

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