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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 7

Just For Today
June 7
Someone Who Believes In Me

“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. 96

Not all of us arrive in NA and automatically stay clean. But if we keep coming back, we find in Narcotics Anonymous the support we need for our recovery. Staying clean is easier when we have someone who believes in us even when we don’t believe in ourselves.

Even the most frequent relapser in NA usually has one staunch supporter who is always there, no matter what. It is imperative that we find that one person or group of people who believes in us. When we ask them if we will ever get clean, they will always reply, “Yes, you can and you will. Just keep coming back!”

We all need someone who believes in us, especially when we can’t believe in ourselves. When we relapse, we undermine our already shattered self-confidence, sometimes so badly that we begin to feel utterly hopeless. At such times, we need the support of our loyal NA friends. They tell us that this can be our last relapse. They know from experience that if we keep coming to meetings, we will eventually get clean and stay clean.

It’s hard for many of us to believe in ourselves. But when someone loves us unconditionally, offering support no matter how many times we’ve relapsed, recovery in NA becomes a little more real for us.

Just for today: I will find someone who believes in me. I will believe in them.

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Daily Reflections
June 7
LONG-TERM HOPE

Since most of us are born with an abundance of natural desires, it isn’t strange that we often let these far exceed their intended purpose.  When they drive us blindly, or we willfully demand that they supply us with more satisfactions or pleasures than are possible or due us, that is the point at which we depart from the degree of perfection that God wishes for us here on earth. That is the measure of our character defects, or, if you wish, of our sins.
TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 65

This is where long-term hope is born and perspective is gained, both of the nature of my illness and the path of my recovery. The beauty of A.A. lies in knowing that my life, with God’s help, will improve. The A.A. journey becomes richer, the understanding becomes truth, the dreams become realities and today becomes forever.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day
June 7
A.A. Thought For The Day

Alcoholism is a progressive illness. We go through the three stages of social drinking, trouble drinking, and merry-go-round drinking. We land in hospitals and jails. We eventually lose our homes, our families, and our self-respect. Yes, alcoholism is a progressive illness and there are only three ends to it–the insane asylum, the morgue, or total abstinence. Will I choose not to take the first drink?

Meditation For The Day

You not only can live a new life but you also can grow in grace and power and beauty. Reach ever forward and upward after the things of the spirit. In the animal world, the very form of an animal changes to enable it to reach that upon which it delights to feed. Your whole character changes as you reach upward for the things of the spirit for beauty, for love, for honesty, for purity, and for unselfishness.  Reaching after these things of the spirit, your whole nature becomes changed so that you can best receive and delight in the wonders of the abundant life.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may reach forward and upward. I pray that my character may be changed by this reaching upward for the things of the spirit.

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As Bill Sees It
June 7
Tolerance in Practice, p. 158

“We found that the principles of tolerance and love had to be emphasized in actual practice. We can never say (or insinuate) to anyone that he must agree to our formula or be excommunicated. The atheist may stand up in an A.A. meeting still denying the Deity, yet reporting how vastly he has been changed in attitude and outlook. Much experience tells us he will presently change his mind about God, but nobody tells him he must do so.

“In order to carry the principles of inclusiveness and tolerance still further, we make no religious requirement of anyone. All people having an alcoholic problem who wish to get rid of it and so make a happy adjustment with the circumstances of their lives, become A.A. members by simply associating with us. Nothing but sincerity is needed. But we do not demand even this.

“In such an atmosphere the orthodox, the unorthodox, and the believer mix happily and usefully together. An opportunity for spiritual growth is open to all.”

Letter, 1940

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Walk in Dry Places
June 7
Deciding outcomes
Guidance

No matter how limited our opportunities may be, we always have choices and decisions to make. With any choice or decision, it’s only good sense to make the one that seems likely to have the best outcome.

If we’re following our program, however, we should not be dismayed when outcomes turn out to be unfavorable or take turns that disappoint us. We can see only dimly into the future, and we have no way of knowing what will eventually come about as a result of our choices.

We do know that the meeting of the first two AA members actually came about as a result of a business disappointment. We can always find other examples of disappointing outcomes that proved to be good breaks as time passed.

This is not an attempt to rationalize bad situations, if God is in charge of our lives, we need not fear what each outcome might be.

Though I will choose and decide as sensibly as possible, I’ll not be excessively concerned about outcomes. My long-term good is assured as I follow God’s plan in my life. “For those who love God, all things work together for good.”

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Keep It Simple
June 7

Forgiveness is the way to true health and happiness.
—Gerald Jampolsky

We can’t afford to hold grudges. We have all felt hurt by others at times. But when we stay angry at another person, it hurts us. It keeps our wounds open. It takes our energy away from healing.

We can forgive now. We know that living our program of honesty and love make us safe. We don’t have to be afraid. We don’t have to be angry. We don’t have to let old hurts stand in our way. We let them go. We empty the angers from the hearts to clear the way for love.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, help me forgive the people I’m still angry with. Help me see that each of those people taught me something about myself.

Action for the Day: Am I holding on to anger and resentment? If so, I’ll make a list today, and I’ll talk with my sponsor about ways to let go of them.

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Each Day a New Beginning
June 7

Without discipline, there’s no life at all.
—Katharine Hepburn

Procrastination is habitual. It’s perhaps a habit we’ve struggled with over the years, and not one that can be willed away. It eats at us, no doubt. How many times have we gone to bed at night depressed, discouraged, and angry with ourselves for not finishing a job we promised ourselves, or someone else, we’d do! Sometimes it feels hopeless. The tasks awaiting our attention pile up, seem impossible to complete. But there is hope. The program has offered us an easy solution.

We have only this day to concern ourselves with. We can break the spell of procrastination, lethargy, immobility, if we choose. We can pick a task that needs attention, any task, preferably a small one for today. Maybe it’s writing a letter, or fixing a hem, or making an appointment to see a doctor. Deciding to do something, and then doing it, breaks through the barriers that have caged us. Immediately we will sense the surge of freedom. In this moment we can always act. And any act will free us.

When procrastination blocks us, our senses are dead to the friends close to us. It’s as though we have stepped outside of the circle of life. The real gifts of sobriety are beyond our reach when we choose inaction.

I will get free. I will tackle a small task today. It will bless me in special ways.

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Alcoholics Anonymous
June 7
Our Southern Friend

Pioneer A.A., minister’s son, and southern farmer, he asked, “Who am I to say there is no God?”

It is the last day of the following October, a dark, rainy morning. I come to in a pile of hay in a barn. I look for liquor and can’t find any. I wander to a stable and drink five bottles of beer. I must get some liquor. Suddenly I feel hopeless, unable to go on. I go home. My wife is in the living room. She had looked for me last evening after I left the car and wandered off into the night. She had looked for me this morning. She has reached the end of her rope. There is no use trying any more, for there is nothing to try. “Don’t say anything,” I say to her. “I am going to do something.”

p. 213

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions
June 7

Step Nine – “Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.”

As soon as we begin to feel confident in our new way of life and have begun, by our behavior and example, to convince those about us that we are indeed changing for the better, it is usually safe to talk in complete frankness with those who have been seriously affected, even those who may be only a little or not at all aware of what we have done to them. The only exceptions we will make will be cases where our disclosure would cause actual harm. These conversations can begin in a casual or natural way. But if no such opportunity presents itself, at some point we will want to summon all our courage, head straight for the person concerned, and lay our cards on the table. We needn’t wallow in excessive remorse before those we have harmed, but amends at this level should always be forthright and generous.

pp. 85-86

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Xtra Thoughts
June 7

God’s gracious gifts can be experienced by all who believe, and we can fully enjoy its blessings without diminishing their enjoyment by others.  Knowing God and His limitless provisions, we are never deprived, even though others are drawing on them, too. Joy, assurance, peace and the awareness of God’s presence are just a few of the many benefits that are given without measure for everyone to enjoy. We need only accept our gifts. Remember, the well of God’s blessings will never run dry.
–Our Daily Bread

We must be the change we wish to see in the world.
–Mahatma Gandhi

Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.
–Confucius (551 – 479 B.C.) Philosopher

Beauty is not in the face; beauty is a light in the heart.
–Khalil Gibbon (1883 – 1931) Poet

Our greatest glory consists not in never falling but in rising every time we fall.
–Oliver Goldsmith

“We learn the magical lesson that making the most of what we have turns it into more.”
–Codependent No More

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation
June 7
GREED

“One of the weakness of our age is our apparent inability to distinguish our needs from our greeds.”
–Don Robinson

I was a greedy drunk. A greedy man. Spoiled, selfish and demanding. I felt that the world owed me a living and if I did not get my way, I sulked, cried or tried to hurt people. And this greedy attitude to life only made me sad, dull and boring. Greed, in this sense, could not work because what I was craving would never satisfy me.

Then I learned how to “let go”. Instead of demanding, I learned how to wait. Instead of consuming large amounts of alcohol, I practiced abstinence. Instead of expecting life on my terms, I went with the natural flow of life. I became happy, joyous and free. A miracle? Yes. I accepted my “needs” and with the acceptance came the satisfaction.

Lord, only when I accept my hunger for You am I truly satisfied.

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Bible Scriptures
June 7

Do all things without complaining and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain.
Philippians 2:14-16

“From the fullness of his grace we have all received one blessing after another.”
John 1:16

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Daily Inspiration
June 7

Your thoughts can be your worst enemy if you let them run away with you. Lord, free me to enjoy each moment of my day no matter what circumstances surround me.

Be honest with yourself in every situation. Lord, help me recognize that my needs, feelings and my being are important just as they are in all others.

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A Day At A Time
June 7

Reflection For The Day

Few of us are entirely free from a sense of guilt.  We may feel guilty because of our words or actions, or for things left undone.  We may even feel guilty because of irrational or false accusations by others.  When I’m troubled by a gnawing feeling of guilt, obviously I can’t put into my day all I’m capable of.  So I must rid myself of guilt — not by pushing it aside, or ignoring it, but by identifying it and correcting the cause.  Have I finally begun to learn to “keep it simple…”?

Today I Pray

May I learn not to let myself be “guilted,” made to feel guilty when I don’t consider that I am.  Since I doubtless have the dregs of guilt left over from my addictive behavior, I do not need the extra burden of unreasonable blame laid on me.  I count on God to help me sort out and get rid of these twinges and pangs of guilt, which whether justified or not, need to be recognized and unloaded.

Today I Will Remember

The verdict of guilty is not for life.

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One More Day
June 7

To know how to grow old is the master-work of wisdom, and one of the most difficult chapters in the great art of living.
—  Henri Frederic Amiel

We often strive to imitate people we admire — special teachers, our parents, or friends.  Many older people we choose to emulate have remained productive members of their communities and have found significant ways to help people.  If we can be active, busy, and helpful we will not only enhance our lives, we become the role models for those younger than we are.

There are some people who seem to age so gracefully that they have the ability to make everyone around them feel special.  We all appreciate friends like that, and we can become that way too.

I will live my life so well that I am a role model for young people.

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One Day At A Time
June 7, 2011
COMPASSION

“How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young,  compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving, and tolerant of the weak and the strong.  Because sometime in your life you will have been all of these.”
~ George Washington Carver

This Twelve Step program works wonders on many levels. But one of the most noticible changes I’ve seen in my life has been in the area of compassion.

Eating disorders can really mess a person up. All of us who have the disease of compulsive eating, in no matter what form, have been laughed at, discriminated against, or generally overlooked by those who don’t suffer from our disease. So, one would think that compulsive eaters would be more loving and understanding to their fellows. For the most part this is true. But I have seen compulsive eaters be just as cruel as our more normal-weight counterparts.

If we can mistreat each other, how can we ever expect others to treat us differently? We need to remember where we were in our disease, for there are others in that same situation. We need to see ourselves in the newcomers to our program, because we run the risk of returning to where they are now. “There but for the grace of God go I” takes on a whole new meaning when we apply that phrase to our situation.

Sometimes we see varying degrees of success in this program of recovery. We must each work our program, and allow our fellows to work their program. It’s not up to us to take someone else’s inventory concerning the success or failure of their program. We need only to keep our own side of the street clean, and to show compassion to those of our fellows who are struggling. After all, compassion was what prompted the founding of our fellowship in the first place.

One day at a time…
I will consciously practice compassion toward those who still suffer, because I remember where I came from on this path, and realize I could return there.

~ JAR

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Elder’s Meditation of the Day June 7

“If there is a shadow of a doubt someplace, that will cause a weakness.”
–Wallace Black Elk, LAKOTA

In the Spiritual World there is a spiritual Law. The Law says; like attracts like. This means whatever mental picture we hold inside our minds we will attract from the Universe. To make this Law work we must maintain a constant picture. If we picture or vision something, and along with this picture we have doubting thoughts, our vision will not happen and we will get EXACTLY what we picture or vision. The Law always works. A doubting vision will not materialize what we want. A vision without doubt will always happen. This is a spiritual Law.

My Maker, today, let my vision become strong.

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Journey To The Heart
June 7
Never Say Never

On my trip, I stayed at several parks. The lodging was usually fine, but the ambiance and setting often weren’t what I wanted. I needed smaller, quieter places. At one point in my journey I said, Never again will I stay in a state park. Shortly after, I found myself nestled in a room at Olympic Park in Washington. It was one of the finest, quietest, most healing places I had ever encountered. I laughed at myself. By saying never, I had nearly cheated myself out of this experience.

Please don’t say never. It sets up resistance. Challenges life. Challenges fate. And closes doors.

Never is dogmatic and judgemental. Never means limited thinking. And never usually means probably.

When we say never it is sometimes because we have prejudged a thing without experiencing it. Other times, we say never because in the past a particular experience with a place or person was unpleasant. To say never means we’re expecting all similar experiences to be unpleasant. It doesn’t leave room for change or new and different experiences.

Learn from the past. Trust yourself. Trust your experiences, even the ones that haven’t worked for you. But please don’t say never. Stay open to all the universe holds.

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Today’s Gift
June 7

The human brain forgets ninety percent of what goes on.
—Jan Milner

There were two women who shared a house and raised their daughters, two toddlers, together. Then one of the women got transferred to another city and moved with her daughter.

Ten years later, they had a reunion. The mothers asked their kids what they remembered about living together. Did they remember all the books? No. Did they remember a mom in the kitchen every morning, fixing eggs and toast? No.
What they remembered was playing in the pink bathtub for hours, pulling the pink shower curtain shut for privacy. And the morning the mothers sneaked in, turned off the lights, threw plastic cups and spoons over the curtain and cried, “It’s raining spoons!” They laughed and laughed.

We are lucky in this life – our minds think laughter is what’s worth remembering.

What laughter from yesterday can I remember today?

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The Language of Letting Go
June 7
Into Orbit

It doesn’t matter if they’re hurting themselves. It doesn’t matter that we could help them if they’d only listen to, and cooperate with, us. IT DOESN’T MATTER, DOESN’T MATTER, DOESN’T MATTER, DOESN’T MATTER.
—Codependent No More

I think I can change him. Nobody’s ever really loved him and appreciated him before. I’ll be the one to do that, and then he’ll change. . . . She’s never been with anybody trustworthy before. I’ll prove how trustworthy I am, and then she’ll be able to love. . . . Nobody’s been able to get to her, to conquer her, before. I’ll be the one to do that. . . . Nobody’s ever really given him a chance. . . . Nobody’s ever really believed in him before. . . .

These are warning signs. Red lights. Red flags. In fact, if we’re thinking these thoughts, they need to be stop signs.

If we have gotten hooked into believing that somehow we will be the one who will make the difference in someone’s life, if we are trying to prove how good we can be for someone, we may be in trouble.

This is a game. A deception. It won’t work. It’ll make us crazy. We can trust that. We’re not seeing things clearly. Something’s going on with us. t will be self-defeating.

We may be “the one” all right – the one to wind up victimized.

The whole thought pattern reeks of codependency, of not being responsible for oneself, and of victimization. Each person needs to do his or her own work.

Nobody in the past has really understood him. . . . Nobody has seen what I see in her. . . . It’s a set up. It sets us up to stop paying attention to ourselves while we focus too much on the other person. It takes us away from our path and often puts us in orbit.

Nobody has appreciated him enough. . . . Nobody has been good enough to her, or done for her what I can do. . . . It’s a rescue. It’s a game move, a game we don’t have to play. We don’t have to prove we’re the one. If we’re out to show people we’re the best thing that ever happened to them, it may be time to see if they’re the best thing that ever happened to us.

We have not been appointed as guardian angel, godmother, godfather, or “the one who will.”

The help, support, and encouragement that truly benefits others and ourselves emerges naturally. Let it.

God, help me let go of my need to meet dysfunctional challenges in my relationships.

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More Language Of Letting Go
June 7
You’ve got all the time you need

If we believe our relationships or jobs are finite situations, then it becomes easy to feel stressed if things don’t go the way we planned in the time frame that we expected. The promotion doesn’t come in time, and now our career plan is off track. And relationship problems become huge, dramatic monsters– a series of issues– that eat away every spare minute.

But if we believe that we are living in an infinite time frame, stress begins to dissipate. If I don’t get the promotion this week, maybe it will come next month and who knows, I may not even want it by then. Some of those big, monstrous relationship issues just sort themselves out if they’re not constantly held under a magnifying glass. And the moments spent with our loved ones become more enjoyable because we’re not continually working on the relationship.

When we behave on a finite scale, we can get so wrapped up in the details of a few moments that we cannot free ourselves to enjoy the next moment. When we start living on an infinite plane, it is easier to relax and let the universe carry us down the river, bringing us to all the lessons and joy that we need.

God, help me relax and know that if a situation doesn’t come to pass today, eventually it will work itself out. And I’ve got all the time I need.

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Touchstones Meditations For Men
June 7

A shortcut is often the quickest way to some place you weren’t going.
—Classic Crossword Puzzles

We try shortcuts when we are in a hurry. The founders of this program tell us many people tried to find an easier, softer way because this one seemed too hard and too slow. Shortcuts to growth lead to deadends and detours. Many men have experimented with shortcuts like “the geographical cure,” “controlled use,” “get rid of this partner and try someone else,” “abstinence without the spiritual part of recovery,” or “selecting some of the Steps and bypassing others.”

The shortest road to one’s own spirituality is the long road we see before us. We may wish for something more to our liking. But that is not an option for those of us who choose to grow toward full manhood. We deal with one day’s – or one hour’s – part of the road at a time. Maybe we see a job we have to do, a challenge to face, an unfinished talk with someone. Our task is to take this day and, in partnership with our Higher Power, see it in the light of our spiritual path.

I pray for faithfulness to this program. I will avoid shortcuts, allowing my spirituality to grow and deepen.

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Daily TAO
June 7
Dying

      Leaden blankets weigh her down,
      White hanks drape her leathery face.
      Caught in the numbness of narrowing time,
      Eyes blinded by gauze,
      Robotic sighs echo into her coma.
      Metallic hiss of breathing machine is the
      Strange violence of modern compassion.

What do we do when those we care deeply about are dying, while we go on living and working? We might be tempted to indulge in our own feeling of injustice, sadness, or fear, but we should think first of those who are dying. We have a responsibility to be with them.

Don’t let others die lonely. No matter how ironic your living may compare with their dying, act for them as they can no longer act. If they reach out for some way to cope with their impending end, you need not have flowery words. Merely being with them, perhaps reaching out to hold hands, is eloquence enough. Death may be near, but any amount of time before it comes is precious.

Life’s moments are not cheapened by death. Just to observe and affirm is good. After all, death waits for all of us. Only the value we place on each minute determines the quality of life. If we can embrace that, then no one’s life is ruined by death.

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