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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 – January 29

Just For Today
January 29
The First Step – An Action Step

” Do we understand that we have no real control over drugs?”
Basic Text p. 18

At first, many of us may have thought the First Step required no action-we just surrender and go on to Step Two. But Step One does require action!

The action we take in the First Step will be evident in the way we live, even from our first day clean. If we truly believe that we are powerless over our addiction, we will not choose to be around drugs. To continue to live with or associate with practicing addicts may indicate a reservation in our program. An absolute belief that the First Step applies to us will insure that we clear our homes of all drugs and paraphernalia.

As time goes on, we’ll not only continue with the basics but add new actions to our First Step repertoire. We’ll learn to feel our feelings rather than trying to control them. We’ll stop trying to be our own and only guides on our recovery journey; self-sponsorship will cease. We’ll begin looking to a Power greater than ourselves more and more for spiritual satisfaction rather than trying to fill that void with something else.

Surrender is only the beginning. Once we surrender, we need to learn how to live in the peace we have found.

Just for today: I will take all the action necessary to practice the First Step. I truly believe it applies to me.

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Daily Reflections
January 29
THE JOY OF SHARING

Life will take on new meaning. To watch people recover, to see them help others, to watch loneliness vanish, to see a fellowship grow up about you. to have a host of friends – this is an experience you must not miss. We know you will not want to miss it. Frequent contact with newcomers and with each other is the bright spot of our lives.
ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS , p. 89

To know that each newcomer with whom I share has the opportunity to experience the relief that I have found in this Fellowship fills me with joy and gratitude. I feel that all the things described in A.A. will come to pass for them, as they have for me, if they seize the opportunity and embrace the program fully.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day
January 29
A.A. Thought For The Day

What a load wasting money puts on your shoulders! They say that members of A.A. have paid the highest initiation fee of any club members in the world, because we’ve wasted so much money on liquor. We’ll never be able to figure out how much it was. We not only waste our own money, but also the money we should have spent on our families. When you come into A.A., that terrible load of wasted money falls off your shoulders. We alcoholics were getting round-shouldered from carrying all those loads that drinking put on our shoulders. But when we come into A.A., we get a wonderful feeling of release and freedom. Can I throw back my shoulders and look the whole world in the face again?

Meditation For The Day

I believe that the future is in the hands of God. He knows better than I what the future holds for me. I am not at the mercy of fate or buffeted about by life. I am being led in a very definite way, as I try to rebuild my life. I am the builder, but God is the architect. It is mine to build as best I can, under His guidance.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may depend on God, since He has planned my life. I pray that I may live my life as I believe God wants me to live it.

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As Bill Sees It
January 29
Alone No More, p.252

Alcoholism was a lonely business, even though we were surrounded by people who loved us. But when our self-will had driven everybody away and our isolation became complete, we commenced to play the big shot in cheap barrooms. Failing even in this, we had to fare forth alone on the street to depend upon the charity of passers-by.

We were trying to find emotional security either by dominating or by being dependent upon others. Even when our fortunes had not totally ebbed, we nevertheless found ourselves alone in the world. We still vainly tried to be secure by some unhealthy sort of domination or dependence.

For those of us who were like that, A.A. has a very special meaning. In this Fellowship we begin to learn right relations with people who understand us; we don’t have to be alone any more.

12 & 12, pp. 116-117

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Walk In Dry Places
January 29
Willingness is the Key
Strong Desire.

Although willpower alone does not work in overcoming alcoholism, there is a place for the will, or willingness, in the search for a happy sobriety. Things can happen if we are willing to let them happen. More important, progress often depends on our willingness to give up what stands in our way. It also requires our willingness to take that actions necessary for success.

This same willingness, so vital to finding sobriety, is also applicable in other areas of our lives. The pioneers of AA suggested that getting sober required being willing to go to any lengths. This is the key to other achievements and to the overcoming of problems besides alcohol.

We often have to put up with unpleasant conditions simply because we do not want to change them badly enough. For example, we may dislike the unpleasant coughing and risks of smoking, but lack the willingness to quit. We may brood over lost opportunities, but be unwilling to take advantage of the opportunities we have now.

The key to constructive change in our lives is willingness… and that applies to other matters as well as to alcohol.

I’ll try to be honest today about what I really want. I will remind myself that if I want something badly enough, willingness is they key to action and to success

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Keep It Simple
January 29

An alcoholic spends his life committing suicide on the installment plan.
–Laurence Peter

None of us woke up one morning and found we had suddenly turned into an addict. We got to be one by practice. And we practiced often. We ignored our families–we left work early–and went drinking and drugging. Daily, we chose chemicals over anything else. Likewise, getting sober is no accident. We work the program. At meetings, we’re reminded to help others. We all get sober on the installment plan. A day at a time. We got sick one day at a time; we recover one day at a time.

Prayer for the Day: Today, with my Higher Power’s help, I’ll be happier, more honest, more sober. Sobriety is like a good savings account. Higher Power, help me to put in more than I take out.

Action for the Day: I’ll go over my Step One to remind myself it’s no accident I’m an addict.

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Each Day a New Beginning
January 29

“I can’t help it” . . . that’s what we all say when we don’t want to exert ourselves.
–Eva Lathbury

Irresponsible behavior is not unfamiliar to us. Passivity is equally familiar. In the past, excusing ourselves of all responsibility prevented us from being blamed. We have learned that it also prevented us from feeling worthy, from fulfilling our potential, from feeling the excitement that comes with achievement.

Our fear of failure helped us to be irresponsible. We may still fear failure, but the program offers us an antidote. We can’t fail if we have turned our lives over to our higher power. We will be shown the way to proceed. Our fellow travelers have messages for us that will smooth our path.

I have chosen recovery. I have already said, “I can help it.” I will celebrate that I am taking responsibility for my life today.

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Alcoholics Anonymous
January 29
WINDOW OF OPPORTUNITY

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

My progress in A.A., however, was slow. I refused to go to meetings outside of my neighborhood, which meant that I went only Tuesday and Thursday nights. I always felt better after a meeting. I remember times when something upsetting would happen on a Friday and I would tell myself, “I wish it were Tuesday so I could go to the meeting.” No matter how many suggestions I heard and how many rides were offered, however, I simply would not go to meetings on those other nights.

p. 427

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions
January 29

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

As the A.A. groups multiplied, so did anonymity problems. Enthusiastic over the spectacular recovery of a brother alcoholic, we’d sometimes discuss those intimate and harrowing aspects of his case meant for his sponsor’s ear alone. The aggrieved victim would then rightly declare that his trust had been broken. When such stories got into circulation outside of A.A., the loss of confidence in our anonymity promise was severe. It frequently turned people from us. Clearly, every A.A. member’s name–and story, too—had to be confidential, if he wished. This was our first lesson in the practical application of anonymity.

p. 185

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Xtra Thoughts
January 29

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

“Let us open our natures, throw wide the doors of our hearts and let in the sunshine of good will and kindness.”
–O. S. Marden

Prayer of St. Theresa
May today there be peace within
May you trust your highest power that you are exactly where you are
meant to be….
May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith
May you use those gifts that you have received, and pass on the love
that has been given to you….
May you be content knowing you are a child of God….
Let this presence settle into our bones, and allow your soul the
freedom to sing, dance and to bask in the sun….
It is there for each and everyone of you….
–St. Teresa

When you love someone, don’t let a single thing become bigger than that love. It can destroy you both. Ask yourself, “Will this matter in 20 years?”
–unknown

The gift of Forgiveness is a gift you have given to yourself. The peaks and valleys of my life have become gentle rolling hills.
–unknown

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation
January 29
SUCCESS

“Success is a journey not a destination.”
— Ben Sweetland

So long as I am sober I know that I am successful. But I also know that my sobriety is more than keeping away from the first drink. My sobriety requires that I be a creative and successful human being in all areas of my life — in my relationships, at work, with my family, my business ventures and in my acts of charity. The road to success is exactly that –it is a “road” that I am traveling along, and I will be on it until the day I die. I suppose the danger is in thinking that I have arrived. Then I get complacent and apathetic, I slow down and the energy for recovery is diminished.

Today I know that I am successful so long as I keep moving along with my spiritual program.

Let me always be confident as I walk in my journey of life.

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Bible Scriptures
January 29

“The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple; the precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes.”
Psalm 19:7-8

“Now may the Lord of peace Himself give you peace always in every way. The Lord be with you all.”
2 Thessalonians 3:16

Guide me in Your truth and teach me, for You are God my Savior, and my hope is in You all day long.
Psalm 25:5

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Daily Inspiration
January 29

Call on God when you need a friend to make it through the day. Lord, may we share Your love and beauty so that our lives may not be lonely.

Holding on to hurts causes us to live the pain over and over. Lord, may I forgive so that I may heal.

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A Day At A Time
January 29

Reflection For The Day

I used to imagine my life as a grotesque abstract painting; a montage of crises framed by end-upon-end catastrophes. My days all were grey and my thoughts greyer still. I was haunted by dread and nameless fears. I was filled with self-loathing. I had no idea who I was, what I was, or why I was. I miss none of those feelings. Today, step by step, I am discovering myself and learning that I can be free to be me. Am I grateful for my new life? Have I taken the time to thank God today for the fact that I am clean and sober — and alive?

Today I Pray

May calm come to me after the turmoil and nightmares of the past. As my fears and self-hatred dissipate, may the things of the spirit replace them. For in the spiritual world, as in the material world, there is no empty space. May I be filled with the spirit of my Higher Power.

Today I Will Remember

Morning scatters nightmares.

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One More Day
January 29

There is one thing a man cannot change — his parents.
– David Ben-Gurion

Sometimes we carry anger for too long and may blame others for our problems. It’s time to let go if we have been harboring anger toward our parents or other adults. In our memory, in our perception, they may have harmed us. Regardless of what happened, whether it was imagined or real, we need to let go.

Unknowingly, we may have developed an attachment to this anger toward our parents, and it may take a professional therapist or a support group to help us break the dependency. We can take responsibility for ourselves and our own behaviors. By no longer blaming our inappropriate actions on anyone else, we can free ourselves of one unhealthy aspect of our lives.

I am attempting to own my life and not see it as an extension of others. Today, I can take responsibility for myself and my actions.

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One Day At A Time
January 29
~ GRATITUDE ~

Thankfulness is the beginning of gratitude.
Gratitude is the completion of thankfulness.
Thankfulness may consist merely of words.
Gratitude is shown in acts.
–David O. McKay

All the good I have ever been given in life, both before recovery and in recovery, has come from God. Even the ability to learn lessons from the bad has been one of His many gifts to me. I make gratitude lists and offer prayers of thanksgiving, but that is only the beginning. I only express true gratitude by sharing with others. I share it as experience, strength and hope at meetings. I share it by reaching out my hand to the compulsive overeater behind me and sponsoring them or befriending them. I share it by living a life that shows evidence of the realization of all that God has given me. I can only truly express my gratitude through action.

One day at a time…

I will show my true gratitude by giving away to others what God has so freely given to me.

~ Vicki B. ~

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Elder’s Meditation of the Day – January 29

“We grieve more because we have been disconnected from our earth, our first Mother, our spiritual Mother.”
–Larry P. Aitken, CHIPPEWA

Where does all life come from? The Earth. Where does everything return to? The Earth. Where do values come them? The Earth. Many people are lost because they don’t know the importance of connection to the Earth. They connect to money, to relationships, to success, to goals. When we are disconnected from the Earth, we have feelings of being sad or lost. When we are connected to the Earth, we feel warm and secure.

Great Spirit, help me to stay connected to the Mother Earth.

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Journey To The Heart
January 29
Seek Peace

I drove down the winding road into King’s Canyon, California, not knowing what to expect. The road took me past lavender hills and ended alongside a rushing river spilling over with whitewater froth. “Beware of Turbulent Waters,” the sign warned. I parked the car and stepped outside, taking in the scenery. Soon, I knew– I felt– where this road had led.

It led to peace.

Cultivate peace. Commit to peace. Insist on it. Don’t setlle for peace based on outward circumstances or a particular arrangement in your life. Drive down the winding road and find the peace that prevails amidst the mountains, now purple in the setting sun. Find the peace that prevails even when the turbulent waters of the river roar through your life.

This is the peace the universe offers. Settle for nothing less.

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Today’s Gift
January 29

Think in terms of depletion, not depression . . .. You can understand how a body can replenish itself, whereas it may be difficult to understand the way out of depression.
—Claire Weekes

Despair and depression may come over us suddenly, for no reason we can figure out. But if we stop and reflect, we may realize we are reacting to too much of something–too much work, too much excitement, too much fun. We may be having a letdown after holidays, after completing a project, or at the end of a school year. When we feel a letdown coming on, we must give ourselves time. We need to take some time off and do nothing, plan nothing. Then we can ask God to help us let go of the negative feelings that come along with a letdown. We can plan a small gift for ourselves–a walk by the lake, for instance. In our excitement with a rush of events, we often forget that we, like the infants we once were, need to take a rest and reenergize.

Do I need to do something just for myself today?

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The Language of Letting Go
January 29
Going to Meetings

I am still amazed, after years of recovering, at how easily I can begin to talk myself out of attending meetings. I am also still amazed at how good I feel when I go.
—Anonymous

We don’t have to stay stuck in our misery and discomfort. An immediate option is available that will help us feel better: go to a meeting, a Twelve Step support group.

Why resist what can help us feel better? Why sit in our obsession or depression when attending a meeting – even if that means an extra meeting – would help us feel better?

Too busy?
There are 168 hours in each week. Taking one or two hours a week for a meeting can maximize the potential of the remaining 166 hours. If we get into our “codependent stuff,” we can easily spend a majority of our waking hours obsessing, sitting and doing nothing, lying in bed and feeling depressed, or chasing after other people’s needs. Not taking those two hours for a meeting can cause us to waste the remaining hours.

Too tired?
There is nothing as invigorating as getting back on track. Going to a meeting can accomplish that.

Today, I will remember that going to meetings helps.

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More Language Of Letting Go
January 29
Protect yourself from negative influences

After a long rainstorm in the desert, I watched little drops of runoff splashing off of a rock face into little indentations in the rock. Each drop fell in exactly the same place as the drop before, and over the years, the procession had dug a tiny hole into the stone. I looked around at the other rocks in the area and saw that they,too, were pockmarked by the slow but steady effects of erosion over the years.

Poor relationships can be like that rain. We start out on a course of learning and self-improvement with the best of intentions, but little by little our efforts are undermined by the associations that we choose. We do have an advantage over those rocks though.

We can move.

Maybe you have allowed your efforts to be sabotaged by wrong friends, wrong thoughts, or negative input of some sort and kind. You have a choice. You can choose to stand in the rain of negativity and slowly be worn down by it, or you can find shelter, a support group of like-minded people, a good book or program, a minister or mentor, a helpful and positive friend.

Be aware of the negative rain in your life. If even a stone can be worn down over time by constant falling rain, how much more must we be aware of the influences in our lives. Seek out that which is edifying, and find shelter from that which can erode your resolve.

God, protect me from negative influences, which erode my beliefs. Help me protect myself. Surround me with that which is positive, edifying, and uplifting.

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Touchstones – Daily Meditation For Men
January 29

We grow in time to trust the future for our answers.
—Ruth Benedict

When we first started in recovery, we approached it as we did our codependent and addictive behaviors, wanting to possess it all – quickly and totally – and to do it right. Some of us thought we could learn all we needed to know about recovery in a few weeks. In living with this program, we begin to see we are engaged in a lifelong process. We are in a maturing process and this program is our guide. We can’t rush it or move on to the next stage too soon. An apple tree does not blossom in the fall, and we do not expect the newly forming apples to ripen before they’ve grown.

Our existence in this world is like walking through the woods on a rambling path. We can only see as far ahead as the next bend. We no longer seek some big moment when we finally get the outcome or a “cure” for life’s experiences. The experience along the way is all we need.

Today, I will think about the tasks and rewards of this day and trust the future for what is unanswered.

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Daily TAO
January 29
SCARS

Markings in dry clay disappear
Only when the clay is soft again.
Scars upon the self disappear
Only when one becomes soft within.

Throughout our life, but especially during our youth, many scars are inflicted upon us.  Some of them are the results of violence, abuse, rape, or warfare.  Others arise from bad education. A few come from humiliation and failure. Others are caused by our own misadventures. Unless we recover from these injuries, the scars mar us forever.

Classical scriptures urge us to withdraw from our own lusts and sins. But scars that have happened through no fault of our own may also bar us from spiritual success.  Unfortunately, it is often easier to give up a bad habit than to recover from the incisions of others’ violence. The only way is through self-cultivation.

Doctors and priests can only do so much. The true course of healing is up to us alone. To do this, we must acquire many methods, travel widely, struggle to overcome our personal phobias, and perhaps most importantly of all, try to acquire as few new problems as possible.  Unless we do, each one of them will bar us from true communion with Tao.

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