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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 – June 22

Just For Today
June 22
Accepting Life As It Is

“In our recovery, we find it essential to accept reality. Once we can do this, we do not find it necessary to use drugs in an attempt to change our perceptions.”
Basic Text, p. 87

Drugs used to buffer us from the full force of life. When we stop using drugs and enter recovery, we find ourselves confronted directly with life. We may experience disappointment, frustration, or anger. Events may not happen the way we want them to. The self-centeredness we cultivated in our addiction has distorted our perceptions of life; it is difficult to let go of our expectations and accept life as it is.

We learn to accept our lives by working the Twelve Steps of Narcotics Anonymous. We discover how to change our attitudes and let go of character defects. We no longer need to distort the truth or to run from situations. The more we practice the spiritual principles contained in the steps, the easier it becomes to accept life exactly as it comes to us.

Just for today: I will practice self-acceptance by practicing the Twelve Steps.

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Daily Reflections
June 22
TODAY, I’M FREE

This brought me to the good healthy realization that there were plenty of situations left in the world over which I had no personal power–that if I was so ready to admit that to be the case with alcohol, so I must make the same admission with respect to much else. I would have to be still and know that He, not I, was God.
AS BILL SEES IT, p. 114

I am learning to practice acceptance in all circumstances of my life, so that I may enjoy peace of mind. At one time life was a constant battle because I felt I had to go through each day fighting myself, and everyone else. Eventually, this became a losing battle. I ended up getting drunk and crying over my misery. When I began to let go and let God take over my life I began to have peace of mind. Today, I am free. I do not have to fight anybody or anything anymore.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day
June 22
A.A. Thought For The Day

If you have any doubt, just ask any of the older members of the A.A. group, and they will readily tell you that since they turned their lives over to the care of God as they understand Him, many of their problems have been banished into the forgotten yesterdays. When you allow yourself to be upset over one thing, you succeed only in opening the door to the coming of hundreds of other upsetting things. Am I allowing myself to be upset over little things?

Meditation For The Day

I would do well not to think of the Red Sea of difficulties that lies ahead. I am sure that when I come to that Red Sea, the waters will part and I will be given all the power I need to face and overcome many difficulties and meet what is in store for me with courage. I believe that I will pass through that Red Sea to the promised land, the land of the spirit where many souls meet in perfect comradeship. I believe that when that time comes, I will be freed of all the dross of material things and find peace.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may face the future with courage. I pray that I may be given strength to face both life and death fearlessly.

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As Bill Sees It
June 22
Roots of Reality, p. 173

We started upon a personal inventory, Step Four. A business which takes no regular inventory usually goes broke. Taking a commercial inventory is a fact-finding and a fact-facing process. It is an effort to discover the truth about the stock in trade. One object is to disclose damaged or unsalable goods, to get rid of them promptly and without regret. If the owner of the business is to be successful, he cannot fool himself about values.

We had to do exactly the same thing with our lives. We had to take stock honestly.

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

“Moments of perception can build into a lifetime of spiritual serenity, as I have excellent reason to know. Roots of reality, supplanting the neurotic underbrush, will hold fast despite the high winds of the forces which would destroy us, or which we would use to destroy ourselves.”

1. Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 64
2. Letter, 1949

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Keep It Simple
June 22

The confession of evil works is the first beginning of good works.
—St. Augustine.

We started recovering the minute we admitted we were powerless over our illness. We crossed over from dishonesty to honesty.

Often, we don’t see what power honestly has. Maybe we still aren’t sure that being honest is best for us. It is! This is why the authors of the Big Book ask us to be totally honest from the start.

Just as denial is what makes addiction work, honesty is what makes recovery work.

Honesty means self-respect. Honesty heals. Honesty let us look people in the eyes. What comfort we’ll feel as we deeper into our program.

Prayer for the Day: I pray that I’ll let go totally. I pray that I’ll keep no secrets that could put my sobriety at risk.

Action for the Day: Today, I’ll read the first three pages of “How It Works” in the Big Book.

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Each Day a New Beginning
June 22

I want to do it because I want to do it. Women must try to do things as men have tried. When they fail, their failure must be but a challenge to others.
—Amelia Earhart

Fear of failure plagues many women, not just those who get into trouble with drugs, alcohol, food. Those of us in this recovery program may still fear failure. Halting our addiction doesn’t solve all our problems, but it does allow us to realistically take stock of our assets. Knowing our assets and accepting them provides the confidence we need to attempt a project, to strive for a goal.

Another plus of this recovery program is the help available from our groups and our higher power. All things become possible when we understand we are not alone. Seeing other women strive and succeed or strive, fail, and strive again, undefeated, creates an energy flow that can spur us on, if we choose. Feeling good about others’ accomplishments can motivate each of us.

Today, I will pay particular attention to the accomplishments of other women, those close to me and those I read or hear about. I will believe their example and feel the forward push.

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Alcoholics Anonymous
June 22
The Vicious Cycle

How it finally broke a Southerner’s obstinacy and destined this salesman to start A.A. at Philadelphia.

The age-old question in A.A. which came first, the neurosis or the alcoholism. I like to think I was fairly normal before alcohol took over. My early life was spent in Baltimore where my father was a physician and a grain merchant. My family lived in very prosperous circumstances, and while both my parents drank, sometimes too much, neither was an alcoholic. Father was a very well-integrated person, and while mother was highstrung and a bit selfish and demanding, our home life was reasonably harmonious. There were four of us children, and although both of my brothers later became alcoholic–one died of alcoholism–my sister has never taken a drink in her life.

p. 221

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions
June 22

Step Ten – “Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.”

Now that we’re in A.A. and sober, and winning back the esteem of our friends and business associates, we find that we still need to exercise special vigilance. As an insurance against “big-shot-ism” we can often check ourselves by remembering that we are today sober only by the grace of God and that any success we may be having is far more His success than ours.

p. 92

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Xtra Thoughts
June 22

As you walk down the fairway of life you must smell the roses, for you only get to play one round.
–Ben Hogan

“Ordinary riches can be stolen, real riches cannot. In your soul are infinitely precious things that cannot be taken from you.”
–Oscar Wilde

When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you, till it seems as though you could not hang on a minute longer, never give up then, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.
–Harriet Beecher Stowe

My partnership with God is steady, strong and certain.
–SweetyZee

I let go of everything that is unkind and seek to enter the spirit of kindness, and compassion.
–SweetyZee

“The measure of our life is not whether others know our name, but whether we have touched the lives of others.”
–author unknown

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation
June 22
INDIVIDUALITY

“You’ll never really know what I mean and I’ll never really know exactly what you mean.”
–Mike Nichols

There is a certain loneliness in life with which we must all live;  perhaps this is the price of individuality. I am not always sure that I know what I am feeling or thinking and so I know I cannot be absolutely sure of what you are feeling or thinking. Today when I say “I know how you feel”, it is with this reservation.

Another problem I face daily is finding words to express what I feel — language seems so inadequate. Words, although bridges to meaning, are often barriers to understanding. What I mean by what I say is often misunderstood.

This awareness provides me with the stimulus to be more precise, explicit and creative in my methods of communication and understanding. Today I consider more seriously what the other person is trying to say, rather than just listening to the words. Because I am sensitive to my difficulties in being understood, I am becoming patient with my neighbor.

Teach us never to become victims of our language.

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Bible Scriptures
June 22

“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and ONLY Son, so that whoever would believe in Him would not perish, but have everlasting life.”
John 3:16

Your love, O LORD, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies. Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains, your justice like the great deep. O LORD, you preserve both man and beast. How priceless is your unfailing love! Both high and low among men find refuge in the shadow of your wings. They feast on the abundance of your house; you give them drink from your river of delights. For with you is the fountain of life; in your light we see light. Continue your love to those who know you, your righteousness to the upright in heart.
Psalms 36:5-10

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Daily Inspiration
June 22

We will live life fully only when we become aware of our own inner power which is our connection with God. Lord, the more I rely on You, the more I am able to accomplish.

When you need to calm your emotions, stop and turn to God. Lord, I know that You are my help right now and will show me simple answers to what seems complicated and impossible.

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A Day At A Time
June 22

Reflection For The Day

The minute we think about a twisted or broken relationship with another person, our emotions go on the defensive.  To avoid looking at the wrongs we’ve done another, we resentfully focus on the wrong he or she has done us.  With a sense of triumph, we seize upon his or her slightest misbehavior as perfect excuse for minimizing or forgetting our own.  We have to remember that we’re not the only ones plagued by sick emotions.  Often, we’re really dealing with fellow sufferers, including those whose woes we’re increased.  If I’m about to ask forgiveness for myself, why shouldn’t I start out by forgiving them?

Today I Pray

When I blame or fault-find, may my Higher Power tell me to look under the rug for my own feeling of guilt, which I have neatly swept under it.  May I recognize these behavior clues for what they really are.

Today I Will Remember

Resentment, inside-out, is guilt.

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One More Day
June 22

Disability usually puts a strain on a good marriage and exposes a bad one.
–  Robert Lovering

The strain on relationships of chronically ill people is clearly shown in the fact that their divorce rate is higher than the national average.  Perhaps this is not so strange, since any stressful situation only serves to point out any preexisting deficits.

Suffering is a personal and lonely state even though others have been where we are now.  We can share some of our pain with others.  We can perhaps be an inspiration to them because of how well we handle our suffering.  We still can choose our attitudes and our responses.  Even though there are some situations we can not control, there is always hope and help.  We can receive relief and understanding.

I will try to stay aware, in all my relationships, of the added stresses caused by illness.

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One Day At A Time
June 22
SUNLIGHT OF THE SPIRIT

“Trust God and buy broccoli.”
Author Unknown

I heard that quotation in an OA meeting years ago. “What an odd thing,” I thought. “Why does God care what I buy?” But as years have gone by and my abstinence continues one day at a time, I see the meaning of that phrase and have deep respect for its principle.

I can trust God ’til the cows come home, but there is work to be done. A more familiar quote is: “Trust God but continue to row toward shore.”

Abstinence for me is not only refraining from compulsive overeating, but abstaining from what I call my “alcoholic foods.” They block that beautiful contact between me and the Sunlight of the Spirit. It is my responsibility to purchase, prepare, weigh and measure the best foods for my peace of mind ~ and to open the channel to a Power Greater than Myself. Now I live this way, with thanks to the twelve steps.

One day at a time…
I will be grateful that food does not have power today.

~ Gerri

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Elder’s Meditation of the Day – June 22

“The one who wishes to be a true medicine person must be a person of faith, and they can only work successfully with those who also have faith.”
–Fools Crow, LAKOTA

Medicine People are spiritual beings who have made a decision to seek the Red Road. They sacrifice and seek the way of the Creator. After many years of dedication, the Grandfathers teach them about power, and about laws, and about how to use the medicine. The Medicine People develop tremendous faith in their medicine and in the Creator. When we go to the Medicine People, we too must have faith so they can help us. We can only be helped if we want to be helped. Because the Medicine People know how to help – that is only one half of it. The other half is up to us. We must have faith that the medicine has powers to help.

My Creator, faith is belief without evidence. Today, give me the faith. Let me trust that You are running my life. Let me know You are in charge of all things. Let my mind not wonder; let me stand strong on Your path today.

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Journey To The Heart
June 22
Forgive Your Inner Child for Being So Afraid

No matter how much work we’ve done on ourselves, no matter how committed we are to healing, there may be part of us that’s four years old when we deal with certain people. There may be a part of us that feels frozen, frightened, powerless, and abandoned when we face certain situations.

We may be all dressed up, look grown up, have our professional hat on. But the person wearing it is four. And scared. Afraid to speak up, relax, be who we are– a powerful, sensitive, creative, competent, intelligent, wise adult.

Watch for these four-year-olds. Be gentle, kind, compassionate. Forgive them for being so frightened. They have reasons that are valid, understandable, and sometimes noble. But their reasons come from a long time ago. This is now.

We’ve grown now. We’re strong. We’re free. We can walk away, speak up, laugh, say how we feel. And we can’t be abandoned anymore, because we know how to live on our own.

Watch for your four-year-old. This child may never completely leave you, but you don’t have to let him or her run the show.

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Today’s Gift
June 22

When fate hands us a lemon, let’s try to make lemonade.
—Dale Carnegie

Good fortune is built on misfortune. By losing a race we learn what mistakes to avoid next time we run. A burglar may make us install the lock that will keep out a murderer. Each time a toddler falls is a lesson in how to walk.

We can never assume that, because things are not going the way we want, they are not following a better plan. God is a better manager than we can hope to be. If things aren’t shaping up the way we like, let’s wait with curiosity to see that better things are in store for us. Let’s look for lights in the darkness and follow them to the bright day that always will follow. We will remember our lessons of misfortune with gratitude.

What can I learn from delay today?

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The Language of Letting Go
June 22
Work Histories

Just as we have relationship histories, most of us have work histories.

Just as we have a present circumstance to accept and deal with in our relationship life, we have a present circumstance to accept and deal with in our work life.

Just as we develop a healthy attitude toward our relationship history – one that will help us learn and move forward – we can develop a healthy attitude toward our work history.

I have worked many jobs in my life, since I was eleven years old. Just as I have learned many things about myself through my relationships, I have learned many lessons through my work. Often, these lessons run parallel to the lessons I’m learning in other areas of my life.

I have worked at jobs I hated but was temporarily dependent on. I have gotten stuck in jobs because I was afraid to strike out on my own and find my next set of circumstances.

I have been in some jobs to develop skills. Sometimes, I didn’t realize I was developing those skills until later on when they become an important part of the career of my choice.

I have worked at jobs where I felt victimized, where I gave and gave and received nothing in return. I have been in relationships where I manufactured similar feelings.

I have worked at some jobs that have taught me what I absolutely didn’t want; others sparked in me an idea of what I really did want and deserve in my career.

Some of my jobs have helped me develop character; others have helped me fine tune skills. They have all been a place to practice recovery behaviors.

Just as I have had to deal with my feelings and messages about myself in relationships, I have had to deal with my feelings and messages about myself, and what I believed I deserved at work.

I have been through two major career changes in my life. I learned that neither career was a mistake and no job was wasted time. I have learned something from each job, and my work history has helped create who I am.

I learned something else: there was a Plan, and I was being led. The more I trusted my instincts, what I wanted, and what felt right, the more I felt that I was being led.

The more I refused to lose my soul to a job and worked at it because I wanted to and not for the paycheck, the less victimized I felt by any career, even those jobs that paid a meager salary. The more I set goals and took responsibility for achieving the career I wanted, the more I could decide whether a particular job fit into that scheme of things. I could understand why I was working at a particular job and how that was going to benefit me.

There are times I have even panicked at work and about where I was in my employment history. Panic never helped. Trust and working my program did.

There were times I looked around and wondered why I was where I was. There were times people thought I should be someplace different. But when I looked into myself and at God, I knew I was in the right place, for the moment.

There were times I have had to quit a job and walk away in order to be true to myself. Sometimes, that was frightening. Sometimes, I felt like a failure. But I learned this: If I was working my program and true to myself, I never had to fear where I was being led.

There have been times I couldn’t survive on the small amount of money I was receiving. Instead of bringing that issue to a particular employer and making it his or her fault, I have had to learn to bring the issue to my Higher Power and myself. I’ve learned I’m responsible for setting my boundaries and establishing what I believe I deserve. I’ve also learned God, not a particular employer, is my source of guidance.

I’ve learned that I’m not stuck or trapped in a job no more than I am in a relationship. I have choices. I may not be able to see them clearly right now, but I do have choices. I’ve learned that if I really want to take care of myself in a particular way on a job, I will do that. And if I really want to be victimized by a job, I will allow that to happen too.

I am responsible for my choices, and I have choices.

Above all else, I’ve learned to accept and trust my present circumstances at work. That does not mean to submit; it does not mean to forego boundaries. It means to trust, accept, then take care of myself the best I’m able to on any given day.

God, help me bring my recovery behaviors to my career affairs.

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More Language Of Letting Go
June 22
Relaxing is how we heal

Stopping, calming, and resting are preconditions for healing. When animals in the forest are wounded they find a place to lie down and rest completely for many days… They just rest, and get the healing they need.
–Thich Nhat Hanh

We hurt. We suffer. We wrong our loved ones and they do wrong by us. Reaching desperately for an answer will not help us. Pretending we’re not hurt doesn’t help, either. When we are wounded, the wound needs rest in order to heal. So it is with our souls. If we poke at our hurt, pick at the sore, rub it in the dirt of others’ opinions, we do not allow it time to heal.

If you’ve been hurt, accept that. Feel the hurt. Be aware of it. Let it heal. Maybe it would be better if you didn’t talk to that person for a while. Maybe you need to let go of the relationship. Maybe you just need some quiet time. Whatever the answer is, find a safe place and allow yourself to heal.

If you’re feeling pain, be aware of it. Feel the pain, and then quit picking at the wound. Lie low. Quit fighting. Relax. Give your wounds time and enough rest to heal.

God, help me relax enough to stop, calm down, and heal.

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Touchstones Meditation For Men
June 22

My father didn’t tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it.
—Clarence Budinton Kelland

We learn much of what we need to know about being men from models we have in other men. Some of us have fond memories of being next to our fathers and imitating their ways. Many of us also have the feeling of a gap in our models. Perhaps our fathers weren’t around enough, or we may have rejected some of their habits and values, creating an uncertainty about masculine roles. We may feel unsure of ourselves, or we may berate ourselves for what we don’t know.

It is well to remember how much we have already learned in our adult years. It is never too late. No man ever reaches adulthood having learned everything from his father that he will need to know about masculinity. We can look around us for more models in the men we know. For a man to be our model, we first choose someone we admire and then get to know him well. In this way, we carry on the human tradition of one man learning from another.

I am continuing to grow, and I can learn from the men I know now.

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Daily TAO
June 22
Renunciation

Wine’s pleasure,
Love’s intoxication,
Work’s obsession,
Children’s involvement,
Age’s sorrow.
When will craving end?

Originally there was nothing. It is to nothing that we return. Differentiation came out of the interplay of cosmic opposites. Human life became mired in complexities, and this constant diversity is stressful and disruptive. We ourselves add to the problem with our own lusts and ambitions. We intoxicate ourselves, we indulge in sensual gratification, we strive for success in our careers, we commit decade to the raising of children. All this only to be caught in the closing jaws of old age, gradually hemmed in until there is not alternative other than sorrows, infirmities, and senility.

Duty is inevitable, but we need not saddle ourselves with extra responsibilities. Keep life simple. Give up as much as possible. Renounce unnecessary cravings and desires. Leave behind the trappings of wealth and success. Turn toward the divine. It satisfies, it brings knowledge, and it brings joy.

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In God’s Care
June 22

There is a certain relief in change, even though it be from bad to worse.
~~Washington Irving

It’s important to trust that change can be positive even when it looks otherwise. Change is part of God’s plan for our life. Change holds unexpected opportunities and spiritual lessons even though it may cause fear in us now.

We can look back to our using days for evidence of changes that we may have feared. For example, we may have lost jobs, or relationships may have ended and we struggled with being alone. But with time we’ve come to realize that nurturing relationships don’t end; new people come into our life, and we help each other grow. We can trust that God will provide opportunities in our life that enhance our growth, our recovery, and in particular, our spiritual development.

Change will occur and it is seldom easy. But we can be certain that all change will be beneficial to us in the future.

I’ll rely on the Third Step if I fear change today.  God is in charge and all is well.

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Day By Day
June 22
Overcoming loneliness

Chances are, we considered ourselves loners when we came into the program. Some of us had divided the world into the people who hated us and the people who didn’t like us very much. Some of us felt very alone even though we knew people liked us.

We never have to be alone again, however. By staying sober and clean, the walls we built around ourselves gradually come down.

Have I stopped being a loner?

Lord, help me to do what I need to do to never be alone again.

I will avoid loneliness today by…

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Food for Thought
June 22
God Is a Verb

We cannot contain our Higher Power at a fixed point or in a closed system. However we may understand God, our understanding is always limited. The Power that rescues us from compulsive overeating is an active force, which constantly beckons us to move on. What we were to do yesterday is past; a new day brings new challenges and opportunities.

Our compulsion had us trapped in a pattern of self-destructive repetition. We did the same dumb thing over and over again. When we turn our will and our lives over to the care of God, as we understand Him, we are linking up with the source of newness and creativity. God moves, and if we are linked with Him, we also move. His spirit changes us, and what we thought and did yesterday is not adequate to the demands of today.

Trusting our Higher Power means acting according to His promptings. We follow Him as He leads us into new tasks and activities and ideas. We learn from experience that He is always more than adequate for our needs.

May I follow where You lead.

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Daily Zen    
June 22

Believe nothing because a wise man said it.
Believe nothing because it is generally held.
Believe nothing because it is written.
Believe nothing because it is said to be divine
Believe nothing because someone else believes it.
But believe only what you yourself judge to be true.

– Buddha

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Faith’s Check Book
June 22
He with Us; We with Him

“The fear of the LORD prolongeth days: but the years of the wicked shall be shortened”
(Proverbs 10:27).

There is no doubt about it. The fear of the LORD leads to virtuous habits, and these prevent that waste of life which comes of sin and vice. The holy rest which springs out of faith in the LORD Jesus also greatly helps a man when he is ill. Every physician rejoices to have a patient whose mind is fully at ease. Worry kills, but confidence in God is like healing medicine.

We have therefore all the arrangements for long life, and if it be really for our good, we shall see a good old age and come to our graves as shocks of corn in their season. Let us not be overcome with sudden expectation of death the moment we have a finger-ache, but let us rather expect that we may have to work on through a considerable length of days.

And what if we should soon be called to the higher sphere? Certainly there would be nothing to deplore in such a summons but everything to rejoice in. Living or dying we are the LORD’s. If we live, Jesus will be with us; if we die, we shall be with Jesus.

The truest lengthening of life is to live while we live, wasting no time but using every hour for the highest ends. So be it this day.

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