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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 31

Just For Today
January 31
Trust

“Just for today I will have faith in someone in NA who believes in me and wants to help me in my recovery.”
—Basic Text p. 90

Learning to trust is a risky proposition. Our past experience as using addicts has taught us that our companions could not be trusted. Most of all, we couldn’t trust ourselves.

Now that we’re in recovery, trust is essential. We need something to hang onto, believe in, and give us hope in our recovery. For some of us, the first thing we can trust is the words of other members sharing in meetings; we feel the truth in their words.

Finding someone we can trust makes it easier to ask for help. And as we grow to trust in their recovery, we learn to trust our own.

Just for today: I will decide to trust someone. I will act on that trust.

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Daily Reflections
January 31
OUR COMMON WELFARE COMES FIRST

The unity of Alcoholics Anonymous is the most cherished quality our Society has. . . . We stay whole, or A.A. dies.
TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 129

Our Traditions are key elements in the ego deflation process necessary to achieve and maintain sobriety in Alcoholics Anonymous. The First Tradition reminds me not to take credit, or authority, for my recovery.  Placing our common welfare first reminds me not to become a healer in this program; I am still one of the patients. Self-effacing elders built the ward.

Without it, I doubt I would be alive. Without the group, few alcoholics would recover. The active role in renewed surrender of will enables me to step aside from the need to dominate, the desire for recognition, both of which played so great a part in my active alcoholism. Deferring my personal desires for the greater good of group growth contributes toward A.A. unity that is central to all recovery. It helps me to remember that the whole is greater than the sum of all its parts.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day
January 31
A.A. Thought For The Day

Drinking cuts you off from God. No matter how you were brought up, no matter what your religion is, no matter if you say you believe in God, nevertheless you build up a wall between you and God by your drinking. You know you’re not living the way God wants you to. As a result, you have that terrible remorse. When you come into A.A., you begin to get right with other people and with God.  A sober life is a happy life, because by giving up drinking we’ve got rid of our loneliness and remorse. Do I have real fellowship with other people and with God?

Meditation For The Day

I believe that all sacrifice and all suffering is of value to me. When I am in pain, I am being tested. Can I trust God, no matter how I feel? Can I say Thy will be done, no matter how much I am defeated? If I can, my faith is real and practical. It works in bad times as well as in good times. The Divine Will is working in a way that is beyond my finite mind to understand, but I can still trust in it.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may take my suffering in my stride. I pray that I may accept pain and defeat as part of God’s plan for my spiritual growth.

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As Bill Sees It
January 31
In God’s Economy, p. 31

“In God’s economy, nothing is wasted. through failure, we learn a lesson in humility which is probably needed, painful though it is.”

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

We did not always come closer to wisdom by reason of our virtues; our better understanding is often rooted in the pains of our former follies.  Because this has been the essence of our individual experience, it is also the essence of our experience as a fellowship.

1. Letter, 1942
2. Grapevine, November 1961

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Walk In Dry Places
January 31
Open-mindedness Means Growth
Facing Change

While open-mindedness is supposedly virtuous, many of us have difficulty with it. In our drinking, we continued to suffer because we were unwilling to believe that anything could relieve us of our condition. We also feared that change would diminish us.

Our great liberation came in opening up our minds to new ideas. This same process might be needed to sober living. We may have an investment in old attitudes and ideas that are keeping us from constructive growth. Without giving up our attitudes immediately, we can at least give new ideas hones consideration and study.

True open-mindedness does not mean empty-mindedness. We still can have strong convictions, consistent values, and definite opinions. But in the spirit of open-mindedness, we should continuously reexamine our views and adopt new ideas for improvement and growth.

Open-mindedness helped bring us to sobriety. It can also open the doors to other blessings that will bring enrichment and happiness.

I will be open-minded and curious today. New ideas can bring wonderful benefits to me if I am willing to consider them.

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Keep It Simple
January 31

“Do not cut down the tree that gives you shade.”
—Arabian proverb

We need to remember what got us well. The Twelve Steps heal us. The meetings we attend heal us.

Reading and listening to program tapes heals us. Talking with our sponsors heals us. The time we spend with program friends heals us. Sometimes we’re pressed for time. As a result, we have to make choices about how to use our time. We may think we know enough about the program. We may feel like cutting down on meetings. These are danger signs. We only know how to stay sober One Day at a Time: by working the Steps. Let’s not forget them as we grow in this program. It may seem like we’ve been recovering a long time, but we’re all beginners.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, I’ve found You in the program. Help me find ways to stay a “beginner” in the program.

Action for the Day: Today, I’ll take time to read the Twelve Steps. I’ll meditate on how much these Steps have given me.

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Each Day a New Beginning
January 31

“Woman must not accept; she must challenge. She must not be awed by that which has been built up around her; she must reverence that woman in her which struggles for expression.”
–Margaret Sanger

Our desire to grow, to make a place for ourselves in the world of our friends, to know that we have counted in the lives of others, is healthy and necessary to our existence as whole women. The inner urging to move ahead, to try a new approach to an old problem, to go after a new job, to learn a new skill, is evidence of God’s eternal Spirit within.

Our meaning in this life is found through following the guidance that beckons us toward these new horizons, perhaps new friends, even new locations. We can trust the urge. We can reverence the urge. It will not lead us astray, provided we do not try to lead it. We each have a special gift to express in this life among those to whom we’ve been led.

For years, many of us quelled the inner urge out of fear; but, fortunately, it didn’t desert us. To be human is to have a constant desire to be more than we are. The fears still come, but as we move through them, with the support of other women, other friends, the program gives us the thrill of achievement. We know there is meaning in our existence.

The need to grow, to change, to affect the world around us is part of God’s plan for each of us. I will trust the urge; I will let it guide my steps.

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Alcoholics Anonymous
January 31
WINDOW OF OPPORTUNITY

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

With this resistance I plodded along for a few months. Whenever people asked me how I was doing, I would say, “Fine, just fine,” no matter how hard I was crying inside. Then I reached the crossroads. I was sober about six months, and I was not getting any better. I contemplated suicide almost every day. My emotions swung between paralyzing despair and murderous rage, often in the space of a single moment. I was not happy, joyous, or free. I was miserable, and I was sick of it.

p. 428

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions
January 31

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

This phenomenon of contrast really set us thinking. Squarely before us was the question “How anonymous should an A.A. member be?” Our growth made it plain that we couldn’t be a secret society, but it was equally plain that we couldn’t be a vaudeville circuit, either. The charting of a safe path between these extremes took a long time.

p. 185

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Xtra Thoughts
January 31

Half the worry in the world is caused by people trying to make decisions before they have sufficient knowledge on which to base a decision.
–Dean Hawkes

Joy isn’t the absence of pain – it’s the presence of God.
–unknown

Life is a mirror: If you frown at it, it frowns back; If you smile it returns the greeting.
–Thackeray

Today I get to try to be a good example of a good example. In the past all I could be was a good example of a bad example.
–unknown

The most important person in the room is sitting in my chair. The second most important person in the room is sitting in your chair.
–unknown

Right actions for the future are the best apologies for wrong ones in the past.
–unknown

Maintaining my spiritual condition is like building a spiritual bank account, upon which I can draw. The problem is, I never get a statement from the bank, so I have to be careful to keep putting in, or some dark day I’ll find myself overdrawn.
–unknown

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation
January 31
WAR

“We have the power to make this the best generation of mankind in the history of the world — or to make it the last.”
— John F. Kennedy

War is tragic because it always destroys; it kills creation itself.  People, buildings, relationships, trust, hope, culture, history, youth — they all disappear behind a puff of smoke. The immensity of war is such that it cannot be fully comprehended. Only isolated aspects can be understood: a child is maimed, a treaty is broken, a race is blamed, bullets are heard and a history that existed within a human life is ended in silence.

Addiction is a kind of war — a silent war that exists within an individual and family. People, trust, buildings, hope, culture, history and youth disappear behind a glass or a pill. Creation is attacked from the inside; God is forgotten in an act of destructive selfishness.

Teach me to make peace in my life.

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Bible Scriptures
January 31

“God is my strength and my power, and He makes my way perfect.”
2 Samuel 22:33

Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
Matthew 5:6

Let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to God. Matthews
5:16

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Daily Inspiration
January 31

Today can be your best day. This power is yours alone. Thank you, Lord, for this glorious day.

Greet all with gentleness and kindness so that all will know that you know Your God and will want to know Him too. Lord, may I be an instrument of Your peace.

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A Day At A Time
January 31

Reflection For The Day

One of the most constructive things I can do is to learn to listen to myself and get in touch with my true feelings. For years, I tuned myself out, going along, instead, with what others felt and said. Even today, it sometimes seem that they have it all together, while I’m still stumbling about. Thankfully, I’m beginning to understand that people-leasing takes many forms. Slowly but steadily, I’ve also begun to realize that it’s possible for me to change my old patterns. Will I encourage myself to tune in to the real me? Will I listen carefully to my own inner voice with the expectation that I’ll hear some wonderful things?

Today I Pray

I pray that I may respect myself enough to listen to my real feelings, those emotions which for so long I refused to hear or name or own, which festered in me like a poison. May I know that I need to stop often, look at my feelings, listen to the inner me.

Today I Will Remember

I will own my feelings.

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One More Day
January 31

I recommend you to take care of the minutes, for the hours will take care of themselves.
– Lord Chesterfield

When a lifelong job is over, when a health problem occurs or mobility becomes impaired, when family moves away, the days may become long and lonely. Then, more than ever, it’s important that we take care of our own needs. Some needs may be immediate, for we have far more time than we know how to fill. We may look toward the future, afraid of all the time that must be filled.

This is a perfect time to reach out into the community, to begin volunteer work. There are always people who need us, and by offering our help we will be helping ourselves as well. Each day is new and has new possibilities.

I refuse to worry about the future or the past. Instead, I’ll try to make a difference today.

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One Day At A Time
January 31
~ TOMORROW ~

Do not be anxious for tomorrow;  for tomorrow will care for itself.
–The Bible, book of Matthew

I’ve spent too much of my life worrying about the future. This was especially true with every diet I was ever on. I was always concerned about how much weight I was going to be able to lose in a certain amount of time. I always thought about tomorrow and what tomorrow would bring instead of staying in the present.

Today, my Higher Power is teaching me to keep my eyes on Him instead of on the calendar. I am more successful and more at peace when I remain in the present and follow my Higher Power’s will.

One day at a time . . .
I will keep my thoughts in the present, for my Higher Power will take care of tomorrow.

Gina

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Elder’s Meditation of the Day – January 31

“In sharing, in loving all and everything, one people naturally found a due portion of the thing they sought, while in fearing, the other found need of conquest.”
–Chief Luther Standing Bear, SIOUX

There are two systems of thought that are available for us to choose from. One is the love-thought system and the other is the fear- thought system. If we choose love, we will see the laws, principles and values of the Creator. If we choose fear, the results will be so paralyzing that it will cause us to take over and not rely on the Great Spirit. The fear-thought system will automatically cause attack, conflict, need to control over others. The love-thought system seeks peace of mind, unity and causes us to be love seekers.

Great Spirit, today let me see only love.

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Journey To The Heart
January 31
Value Your Connection to Truth

Trust what you know. Not what you think you know, but what you know in your heart.

We often know the truth long before we let ourselves see and believe it, long before we’re ready to acknowledge it. For many reasons– fear, timing, and a myriad of issues too long to list– we ignore and discount what we know in our heart. But the truth doesn’t go away. What’s true, what we know to be true, will nag us and haunt us. And even if we try to run from that truth, our experiences will ultimately lead us back to it.

Life may bring us many issues we want to run from, issues that are a challenge. But the real challenge we face is learning to trust ourselves and trust what we know to be true. Maybe someone once told us we couldn’t be trusted. That’s too bad. But what’s worse is that we began to believe it and started to tell ourselves that,too.

Your heart can be trusted. Don’t doubt it. It will inevitably connect you to what’s true. Love yourself enough to trust what you know. Then stay connected to truth.

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Today’s Gift
January 31

Thou shalt not should thyself.
—-Anonymous

When someone tells us we should do something, do we want to do it, or do we feel mad that someone else is telling us what we want to do? Sometimes we forget that these messages are not our own, but are the desires of others. It’s important to listen to what we tell ourselves, to be aware of which messages we’re giving ourselves and which come from others. We can make a list of all our shoulds and identify where they came from: parent, boss, friend, self. Then we can decide which shoulds are want to’s, and throw out the rest. Doing what we want to is very different from doing what we should, and we can usually do a better job of it.

Have I freed myself of shoulds today?

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The Language of Letting Go
January 31
Asking for What We Need

One evening, I was alone, weary, and exhausted. I was in the midst of extensive traveling, disconnected from friends and family. I had flown home for the evening, but it seemed like nobody noticed. People were used to me being gone.

It was late at night, and I began arguing with God.

“I’m out there working hard. I’m lonely. I need to know someone cares. You’ve told me to tell you what I need and tonight, God, I particularly need the presence of male energy. I need a friend, someone I can trust to care about me in a nonsexual, nonexploitive way. I need to be held. Now, where are you?”

I lay down on the couch and closed my eyes. I was too tired to do anything but let go.

The telephone rang minutes later. It was a former colleague who had since become my friend. “Hey, kid,” he said. “You sound really tired and needy. Stay right where you are. I’m going to drive out and give you a foot rub. It sounds exactly like what you need.”

Half an hour later, he knocked on my door. He brought a small bottle of oil with him, and gently massaged my feet, gave me a hug, told me how much he cared about me, then left.

I smiled. I had received exactly what I asked for.

It is safe to trust God.

Today, I will remember God cares about what I need, especially if I do.

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More Language Of Letting Go
January 31
Speak the language of letting go

Sometimes in our lives, we can let go in an instant. We recognize that we’re dwelling on or obsessing about a particular situation, and we just let go. We drop it. Or we run into someone who has a problem, and we instinctively adapt a hands-off posture, knowing that it’s not our responsibility to take care of other people. We say what we need to say, and we almost automatically let go and focus on taking care of ourselves.

Other times, it’s not so easy. We may be entangled in a situation that feels utterly impossible to let go of. We get enmeshed with a problem, or a person, that seems to compel us to hang on more tightly when letting go is the key.

We know we shoudn’t be obsessing, but we can’t seem to stop.

One day, many years ago, back in Stillwater, Minnesota, my son was hugging me tightly. He didn’t want to let go. I started tipping over. I lost my balance.

“Shane,” Nichole scolded, “there comes a time to let go.”

Sometimes letting go happens in stages. Sometimes it means becoming more aware. Sometimes it involves going deeply into the feelings hidden underneath our behavior. Learning to let go may involve gaining more confidence and self-esteem. Sometimes it means simply practicing gratitude for the way things are.

Be gentle with yourself and others as you learn to practice the language of letting go.

Sometimes, no matter how much we know, letting go takes time.

God, help me remember that letting go is a powerful behavior, one that can change my life and impact the lives of others. Help me be patient with others and myself as letting go becomes a way of life.

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Touchstones – Daily Meditation For Men
January 31

The body is the soul’s house. Shouldn’t we therefore take care of our house so that it doesn’t fall into ruin?
—Philo Judaeus

Some men think it is a mark of a strong man to abuse his body and pay no heed to his health. Have we done this through drug use or abuse of food? Have we misused our bodies by our sexual behavior? Have we neglected our physical condition or health because of addictions or obsessions with other people?

To end abusive cycles, we need to act in self-respecting ways – sometimes before we feel self-respecting. Recovery and spiritual awakening involve the body, mind, and spirit. We need nutrition, exercise, sleep, and health care. Treating ourselves as worthwhile men helps us feel worthwhile. Tuning in to how we feel physically may give us some direction. As we sense how we feel, do we get some physical messages to guide our recovery?

I will yield to the messages I get from myself so I can enjoy the physical pleasures of recovery and give my soul a better home.

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Daily TAO
January 31
ORIENTATION

Planets orbit the sun.
Forms orbit the mind.

Most of us embody disparate aspects in our personalities; these are our forms, the way we take shape. If we aren’t careful, we can become confused by such complexity. We should not deny any part of ourselves.  We should arrange them. All elements are valid — they must simply be placed in the right context.

Those who follow Tao understand that a diverse personality is problematic only if some aspects dominate to the exclusion of the others. This is unbalanced. If there is constant alteration between all aspects, then equilibrium is possible. Like the planets, feelings, instincts, and emotions must be kept in a constantly rotating order.  Then all things have their place and the problems of excess are avoided.

Just as the sun is at the center of our solar system, so too must the mind of wisdom be the center of our diverse personalities. If our minds are strong, then the various parts of our lives will be held firmly to their proper courses, and there will be no chance of deviation.

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