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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 20

Just For Today
January 20

One Promise, Many Gifts

“Narcotics Anonymous offers only one promise, and that is freedom from active addiction … ”
—Basic Text, p. 102

Imagine how it might be if we had arrived at the doors of Narcotics Anonymous, desperate, wanting to stop using drugs, only to be met by a sales pitch: “If you just work the steps and don’t use drugs, you’ll get married, live in the suburbs, have 2.6 children, and start wearing polyester. You will become a responsible, productive member of society and be fit company for kings and presidents. You will be rich and have a dynamic career.” Most of us, greeted with such a heavy-handed spiel, would have shrieked and bolted for the door.

Instead of high-pressure nonsense and frightening predictions, we are greeted with a promise of hope: freedom from active addiction. We feel a blessed relief come over us when we hear that we never have to use drugs again. We aren’t going to be forced to become anything!

Of course, after some time in recovery, good things start happening in our lives. We are given gifts-spiritual gifts, material gifts, gifts that we’ve always dreamed of but never dared hope we’d get. These, however, are truly gifts-they are not promised to us just because we become NA members. All we are promised is freedom from addiction-and it’s more than enough!

Just for today: I have been promised freedom from active addiction. The gifts I receive are the benefits of recovery.

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Daily Reflections
January 20
“WE PAUSE … AND ASK”

As we go through the day we pause, when agitated or doubtful, and ask for the right thought or action.
ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p.87

Today I humbly ask my Higher Power for the grace to find the space between my impulse and my action; to let flow a cooling breeze when I would respond with heat; to interrupt fierceness with gentle peace; to accept the moment which allows judgment to become discernment; to defer to silence when my tongue would rush to attack or defend. I promise to watch for every opportunity to turn toward my Higher Power for guidance. I know where this power is: it resides within me, as clear as a mountain brook, hidden in the hills – it is the unsuspected Inner Resource. I thank my Higher Power for this world of light and truth I see when I allow it to direct my vision. I trust it today and hope it trusts me to make all effort to find the right thought or action today.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day
January 20
A.A. Thought For The Day

In A.A., we’re all through with lying, hangovers, remorse and wasted money. When we were drinking, we were only half alive. Now that we’re trying to live decent, honest, unselfish lives, we’re really alive. Life has a new meaning for us, so that we can really enjoy it. We feel that we’re some use in the world. We’re on the right side of the fence, instead of on the wrong side. We can look the world in the face instead of hiding in alleys.  We come into A.A. to get sober and if we stay long enough, we learn a new way of living. Am I convinced that no matter how much fun I got out of drinking, that life was never as good as the life I can build in A.A.?

Meditation For The Day

I want to be at one with the Divine Spirit of the  universe. I will set my deepest affections on things spiritual, not on things material. As we think, so we are. So I will think of and desire that which will help, not hinder, my spiritual growth. I will try to be at one with God. No human aspiration can reach higher than this.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may think love, and love will surround me. I pray that I may think health, and health will come to me.

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As Bill Sees It
January 20
Light From A Prayer, p. 20

“God grant us the serenity to accept the things we cannot change, the courage to change the things we can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”

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

We treasure our “Serenity Prayer” because it brings a new light to us that can dissipate our oldtime and nearly fatal habit of fooling ourselves.

In the radiance of this prayer we see that defeat, rightly accepted, need be no disaster. We now know that we do not have to run away, nor ought we again try to overcome adversity by still another bulldozing drive that can only push up obstacles before us faster than they can be taken down.

Grapevine, March 1962

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Walk In Dry Places
January 20
First things first
Order

Busy people often declare, with some exasperation, that they cannot do everything at once. People with emotional problems, a group that includes many alcoholics, often feel that they are trying to do everything at once. Quite often, this pressure means that we waste our time fretting about all the things facing us, becoming totally ineffective as a result.

The simple slogan “First things First” shows us how to set priorities in an orderly way. In every situation or problem, there is always one step we can take that is more important than the others. Following that, we find a step of second importance, another of third importance, and so on. Sometimes, a certain action comes first simply because other things depend on it.

By using “First things first” as a guiding principle in our lives, we can live in an orderly, disciplined manner. If we have to reduce our activities, we can decide which few ought to retain. Having made these decisions, we can be at peace about our choices. We cannot do everything at once and we need not feel guilty about it.

Knowing that order is Heaven’s first law, I’ll do things today in an orderly manner.

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Keep It Simple
January 20

SERVICE—A beautiful word fallen upon bad days.
—Claude McKay

Service is really a beautiful word. Service means respect. When we serve others we’re part of the human race. We all need to help each other. Service is a sure way to stay sober. Helping someone else stay sober helps us stay sober. And service frees us from self-will. It teaches us about how to care for ourselves and others. It teaches us that we’re worthwhile. It teaches us that we make a difference. Service keeps us feeling good. Am I quiet when the topic of service comes ap at meetings? If so, how can I change this?

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, show me where I can be of help. Give me the courage to make a difference. Give me the courage to really serve others in need.

Action for the Day: I’ll list five ways service has made or can make my life better.

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Each Day a New Beginning
January 20

The pain of leaving those you grow to love is only the prelude to understanding yourself and others.
–Shirley MacLaine

Life is a process of letting go, letting go of conditions we can’t control, letting go of people–watching them move out of our lives, letting go of times, places, experiences. Leaving behind anyone or anyplace we have loved may sadden us, but is also provides us opportunities for growth we hadn’t imagined. These experiences push us beyond our former selves to deeper understandings of ourselves and of others.

So often those experiences that sadden us, that trigger pain, are the best lessons life is able to offer. Experiencing the pain, surviving the pain that wrenches us emotionally, stretches us to new heights. Life is enriched by the pain. Our experiences with all other persons thereafter are deeper. Instead of dreading the ending of a time, the departure of a loved one, we must try to appreciate what we have gained already and know that life is fuller for it.

Today will bring both goodbyes and hellos. I can meet both with gladness.

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Alcoholics Anonymous
January 20
WINDOW OF OPPORTUNITY

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

I went back to the dean who had guided me into counseling and, for the first time, admitted to myself and to someone else that I had a problem with alcohol. I didn’t think I was an alcoholic. I wasn’t even sure what that was. But I knew my life was out of control. The dean allowed me to withdraw from the class the day before the final exam on one condition–I had to enter a treatment center. I agreed.

pp. 424-425

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions
January 20

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.”

Let’s see how these two contrasting ideas–attraction and promotion–work out. A political party wishes to win an election, so it advertises the virtues of its leadership to draw votes. A worthy charity wants to raise money; forthwith, its letterhead shows the name of every distinguished person who support can be obtained. Much of the political, economic, and religious life of the world is dependent upon publicized leadership. People who symbolize causes and ideas fill a deep human need. We of A.A. do not question that. But we do have to soberly face the fact that being in the public eye is hazardous, especially for us. By temperament, nearly every one of us had been an irrepressible promoter, and the prospect of a society composed almost entirely of promoters was frightening. Considering this explosive factor, we knew we had to exercise self-restraint.

p. 181

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Xtra Thoughts
January 20

I place my recovery in first place.
–Shelley

The majority of us lead quiet, unheralded lives as we pass through this world. There will most likely be no ticker tape parades for us, no monuments created in our honor. But that does not lessen our possible impact, for there are scores of people waiting for someone just like us to come along; people who will appreciate our compassion, our encouragement, who will need our unique talents. Someone who will live a happier life merely because we took the time to share what we had to give. Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. It’s overwhelming to consider the continuous opportunities there are to make our love felt.
–Leo Buscaglia

Today, help me God, to let go of my resistance to change. Help me to be open to the process. Help me believe that the place I will be dropped off will be better than the place I was picked up. Help me to surrender, trust and accept, even if I don’t understand.
–Melody Beattie

And we should not be discouraged because answers do not come immediately.

“You can read all the manuals on prayer and listen to other people pray, but until you begin to pray yourself you will never understand prayer. It’s like riding a bicycle or swimming: You learn by doing.”
–Evangelist Luis Palau

“There are prayers that help us last through the day, or endure the night. There are prayers of friends and strangers that give us strength for the journey. And there are prayers that yield our will to a will greater than our own.”
–President George W. Bush

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation
January 20
BELIEF

“One person with a belief is equal to a force of ninety-nine who have only interest.”
— John Stuart Mill

I believe in sobriety because it works for me. I believe in sobriety because it makes me feel good about myself. I believe in sobriety because it has enabled me to rejoin the human race; I was so tired of feeling lonely, ashamed and isolated.

Also this belief I have in me has rekindled a positive relationship with my higher power. Today God is a friend. Today I understand more about what He wants for me. Today I am broad enough in my thinking to find God in anything that is positive and creative — from music to hugs in the park!

Belief has developed with my spiritual program, and I am able to face the daily pains and conflicts of life. Today I know what it is to be a winner — and, thank God, it doesn’t mean I have to be perfect or in control. My total belief in God and self enables me to love me through my failings.

Master of the beliefs of all men, thank You for the gift of my believing in myself.

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Bible Scriptures
January 20

He heals the broken hearted and binds up their wounds.
Psalm 147:3

“This, then, is how you should pray: “`Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.
Matthew 6:9-13

“Jesus spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart.”
Luke 18:1

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Daily Inspiration
January 20

Each of us can change the world one person at a time. Lord, grant that I may be a positive influence on just one person today.

You have a responsibility to be the best that you can be. Lord, may I find a good balance in my life so that I neither neglect myself and my duties nor my responsibility to those that need or depend on me.

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A Day At A Time
January 20

Reflection For The Day

The first psychiatrist to recognize the work of Alcoholics Anonymous, Dr. Harry Tiebout, used many concepts of The Program in his own practice. Over many years, the doctor’s study of the conversion experience” led him to see, first, that it is the act of surrender which initiates the switch from negative to positive; sound, that the positive phase is really a state of surrender which initiates the switch from negative to positive; second, that the positive phase is really a state of surrender which follows the act of surrender; and third, that the state of surrender, if maintained, supplies an emotional tone to all thinking and feeling that insures healthy adjustment. Am I living in a constant state of surrender?

Today I Pray

May I understand that I do not have to “unlearn”: my respect for “self-reliance,” that trait of character which I heard praised so often from the time I was a tiny child. Only my understanding of the word must change. For as I come to know that “self” is part of god, that I am nothing except in His Being, there is no quarrel between self-reliance and God-reliance. May I rely upon that self which is God’s.

Today I Will Remember

Not part-god, but part of God.

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One More Day
January 20

Life is full of internal dramas … played to an audience of one.
– Anthony Powell

Our lives are filled with dramas. Some of them we were able to talk about to similarly involved people, and some, we found, had to remain private.

Heath changes can create hundreds of new dramas. In the beginning far too many of us made the mistake of telling our experiences to anyone who asked. We talked too often, too long, and too much.

We are learning that gently lesson of who, when, and how much to tell — selectivity. We discover that no one really wants to be always involved in our dramas, in each tiny success or failure. We can keep our own counsel and give ourselves private praise.

I can choose when — and when not — to share some of the dramas in my life.

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One Day At A Time
January 20
New Worlds

“Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born.”
–Anais Nin

Most of us are so compulsive at almost everything we do, that allowing people in to know our garbage of the past and present is unheard of.

You go to a meeting, find a new recovery friend, and that friend opens a new door. You and that friend step through and WOW, the world in that room looks great! Later at another meeting, you meet another recovery friend and another door is opened. You and your two new friends step through and you find an even better world view. This continues to happen meeting after meeting, Step after Step, room after room and your personal life begins to look much brighter and more beautiful. You find that there really is hope.

Funny how it’s still the same world, but friends, recovery and Higher Power make it a much better world view.

One Day at a Time …
I will never end this beautiful cycle of finding new worlds as long as I never lose sight of my Higher Power, my recovery friends and my recovery program.

~ Jeanette

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Elder’s Meditation of the Day – January 20

“The most important thing now is to reveal the inner temple of the soul with right thinking and right activity.”
–Willaru Huayta, QUECHUA NATION, PERU

The key to growing a strong tree is to have a good system of roots and to feed the roots with good medicine. If we put poison in the root system, it will affect the tree, and it will become obvious to the rest of the forest what is being fed to the roots. This is also true of the human being. We need to feed our roots with right thinking. If our thinking is right, it will become obvious to the rest of the people. We don’t need to tell people about ourselves with our mouth because our actions always tell them.

Great Spirit, direct my thinking today. Feed my roots.

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Journey To The Heart
January 20
Learn When It’s Time to Adapt

Life is constantly changing. So are we. With change comes the need to learn to adapt.

Some adaptation comes naturally. On my trip, I watched even the subtle changes in my body as I traveled from climate to climate. In the warm, dry climate of Arizona, I needed more water. My body needed lotion, my hair different shampoo and conditioner. In the higher mountain climates, I found myself breathing differently, needing to give myself more time to rest. People who live in different places and different cultures adapt to the climate and ways of the world around them.

We can learn to adapt to the situations in our life,too– to the constant evolution of the world around us. At home, at work, within our social groups, change is constantly taking place. Most of us are constantly on the move– meeting new people, being exposed to new situations, or needing to deal with situations that have themselves changed.

There are times when we can’t adapt to the changes around us. When no matter how hard we try, we cannot force ourselves into the new circumstance. Our body won’t allow it because this change isn’t right for us. We need to learn to adapt to change but we also need to learn to tell when a situation is wrong for us and not force ourselves to fit.

Be sensitive to this changes both subtle and dramatic around you– and in you. Give yourself time and freedom to adapt to these changes and figure out what they mean to you. Give yourself time to catch up. Be gentle with yourself. Listen to your needs. Let yourself adapt to the changes that are right for you.

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Today’s Gift
January 20

The power of a man’s virtue should not be measured by his special efforts, but by his ordinary doing.
—Blaise Pascal

The airplane kit is on the table in front of us. We have the glue, the little wooden pieces, and the instructions. We work for hours putting together each piece, step by step. A dab of glue here, a clamp there, maybe some rubber bands to hold the bigger pieces together. We work slowly, allowing the glue to set overnight, even though we want to see it fly right now.

We follow each step in order, even though we think we know how to do it on our own. Patience is the most important asset we bring to this activity–the willingness to allow each step its own time and proper place.

After we’ve done all the careful work and waited till the glue is firm, we take it out for a trial flight. It soars! So do we, when we allow ourselves time to learn each step of the way.

What part of my future am I assembling today?

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The Language of Letting Go
January 20
New Beginnings

Resentments are the blocks that hold us back from loving others and ourselves. Resentments do not punish the other person; they punish us. They become barriers to feeling good and enjoying life. They prevent us from being in harmony with the world. Resentments are hardened chunks of anger. They loosen up and dissolve with forgiveness and letting go.

Letting go of resentments does not mean we allow the other person to do anything to us that he or she wants. It means we accept what happened in the past, and we set boundaries for the future. We can let go of resentments and still have boundaries.

We try to see the good in the person or the good that ultimately evolved from whatever incident we feel resentful about. We try to see our part.

Then we put the incident to rest.

Praying for those we resent helps. Asking God to take our resentments from us helps too.

What better way to begin a New Year than by cleaning the slate of the past, and entering this one free of resentments.

Higher Power, help me become ready to let go of my resentments. Bring any resentment that is hidden within me, and blocking me, to the surface. Show me what I need to do to take care of my self by letting go of resentments, and then help me do that.

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More Language Of Letting Go
January 20
We can go only so far

There is no such thing as complete acceptance. When we can remember a loss with a little distance and much less pain, you have accepted the loss and mourned it fully. You accept that life is different now and move on.
–David Viscott, Emotionally Free

There are certain events that we may never accept fully. What can be accepted, though, is that we are required to live with these losses and find a way to go on.

Some people were horribly abused in childhood, beyond what anyone can be expected to endure. Some of us have experienced unthinkable losses later on in life. A spouse may have betrayed us. We may have lost our family through divorce. We may have lost our physical health through an accident or illness. A loved one may have died.

It’s okay to stop waiting for and expecting total acceptance of the unthinkable in your life. Instead, gently do one thing each day to demonstrate that you’re willing to move forward with your life.

God, grant me compassion for myself and others. Help me learn to be gentle with broken hearts, including my own.

Activity: Make a list of all the questions you have for God, the “why’s.” For instance, why did so-and-so have to die, why did I have to lose my family, why did this have to happen to me? Then, as much as possible, do not dwell on those questions. Trust you’ll get your answers possibly later, possibly when you can talk to your Higher Power face-to-face. For now, let those questions be the unsolved mysteries of life.

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Touchstones – Daily Meditation For Men
January 20

How good and how pleasant it is that brothers sit together.
—Psalm 133

Men are lonely and more vulnerable to addictions and codependency when they have no firm friendships with other men. Do we have one or two male friends who truly know us, know what really goes on in our lives, what we feel, and what our doubts are? If we do, these relationships are precious. We need to nourish them. If we do not, we need to find others who might become friends. We begin by taking small steps in the development of a friendship.

The joys of sharing with other men, finding humor in our mutual flaws, and joining in similar interests have no substitutes. Relationships develop when someone reaches out. It is easier for us to do this if we remember our friendship is a gift to someone else. We need friendships with both women and men in order to be whole. But understanding ourselves as men begins with closeness to other men.

I am grateful for precious friendships with men and women in my life. They help me grow. Today, can I strengthen my friendship with another man?

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Daily TAO
January 20
HAPPINESS

Let us now follow vulgar leaders
Who exploit the fear of death,
And promise the bliss of salvation.
If we are truly happy,
They have nothing to offer us.

Some leaders use threats to win adherents. They invoke death to force good behavior and herd people toward paradise.

Others woo with grand promises. If you have no satisfaction, they offer bliss. If you feel inadequate, they offer success. If you are lonely, they offer acceptance.

But if we do not fear death and are happy, what will such leaders have to offer? Spirituality is an organic part of daily life, not something dispensed by a professional. True spirituality is liberation, not just from the delusions of reality but from the delusions of religion as well. If we attain freedom from the fear of death, a sound way of health, and a path of understanding through life, there is happiness and no need for false leaders.

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