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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 8

Just For Today
June 8
The Only Requirement

“This program offers hope. All you have to bring with you is the desire to stop using and the willingness to try this new way of life.”
IP No. 16, “For the Newcomer”

From time to time we wonder if we’re “doing it right” in Narcotics Anonymous. Are we attending enough meetings? Are we using our sponsor, or working the steps, or speaking, or reading, or living the “right” way? We value the fellowship of recovering addicts – we don’t know what we’d do without it. What if the way we’re practicing our program is “wrong?” Does that make us “bad” NA members?

We can settle our insecurities by reviewing our Third Tradition, which assures us that “the only requirement for membership is a desire to stop using.” There aren’t any rules that say we’ve got to attend this many meetings or these particular meetings, or work the “steps” this way at this pace, or live our lives to suit these people in order to remain NA members in good standing.

It’s true that, if we want the kind of recovery we see in members we respect, well want to practice the kind of program that’s made their recovery possible. But NA is a fellowship of freedom; we work the program the best way for us, not for someone else. The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop using.

Just for today: I will look at the program I’m working in light of my own recovery. I will practice that program to the best of my ability.

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Daily Reflections
June 8
OPENING UP TO CHANGE

Self-searching is the means by which we bring new vision, action, and grace to bear upon the dark and negative side of our natures. With it comes the development of that kind of humility that makes it possible for us to receive God’s help. . . . we find that bit by bit we can discard the old life — the one that did not work — for a new life that can and does work under any conditions whatever.
AS BILL SEES IT, pp. 10, 8

I have been given a daily reprieve contingent upon my spiritual condition, provided I seek progress, not perfection. To become ready for change, I practice willingness, opening myself to possibilities of change. If I realize there are defects that hinder my usefulness in A.A. and toward others, I become ready by meditating and receiving direction. “Some of us have tried to hold on to our old ideas and the result was nil until we let go absolutely” (Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 58). To let go and let God, I need only surrender my old ways to Him;  I no longer fight nor do I try to control, but simply believe that, with God’s help, I am changed and affirming this belief makes me ready. I empty myself to be full of awareness, light, and love, and I am ready to face each day with hope.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day
June 8
A.A. Thought For The Day

Once an alcoholic, always an alcoholic. We always get worse, never better. We are never cured. Our alcoholism can only be arrested. No matter how long we have been sober, if we try liquor again, we’re as bad or worse than we ever were. There is no exception to this rule in the whole history of A.A. We can never recapture the good times of the past. They are gone forever. Will I try to recapture them?

Meditation For The Day

Your life has been given to you mainly for the purpose of training your soul. This life we live is not so much for the body as for the soul. We often choose the way of life that best suits the body, not the way that best suits the soul. God wants you to choose what suits the soul as well as the body. Accept this belief and a wonderful molding of character is the result. Reject it and God’s purpose for your life is frustrated, and your spiritual progress is delayed. Your soul is being trained by the good you choose. Thus the purpose of your life is being accomplished.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may choose what is good for my soul. I pray that I may realize God’s purpose for my life.

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As Bill Sees It
June 8
Between the Extremes, p. 159

“The real question is whether we can learn anything from our experiences upon which we may grow and help others to grow in the likeness and image of God.

“We know that if we rebel against doing that which is reasonably possible for us, then we will be penalized. And we will be equally penalized if we presume in ourselves a perfection that simply is not there.

“Apparently, the course of relative humility and progress will have to lie somewhere between these extremes. In our slow progress away from rebellion, true perfection is doubtless several millennia away.”

Letter, 1959

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Walk in Dry Places
June 8
Quality Of Sobriety
Self-Improvement

There is such a thing as length—or quantity—of sobriety, and there is also quality. It’s generally accepted that sobriety ought to be something more than the single process of staying free from alcohol or drugs.

We’re on shaky ground, however, when we begin passing judgment on another person’s quality of sobriety. We only have responsibility for the quality of our own sobriety, and it is not for us to decide how another should think or live.

We may not be able to avoid noticing others’ actions that we consider to be wrong, but we can keep our thoughts and opinions to ourselves. If we do wish to voice any opinions, it should be in terms of our own inventory—not the other person’s.

Some old-timers in Twelve Step programs develop crankiness that borders on resentment. Out of this crankiness come complaints about the way newcomers work the program. Our only responsibility is to treat these complaints with good humor and to avoid becoming cranky ourselves. Recovery alcoholics must continue to have the freedom to select any quality of sobriety they choose.

Today I’ll strive for a high-quality sobriety that includes cheerfulness, confidence, patience, and good humor. I won’t be responsible for monitoring another’s sobriety.

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Keep It Simple
June 8

It’s not enough to talk to plants, you also have to listen.
—David Bergman

Sometimes, we find ourselves doing all the talking. When this happens, we need to stop, think, and listen.

When we do all the talking, we’re trying to control what happens. But when we listen, we get better results. No one has to be in control. What a relief!

And we’re learning to listen better every day. It’s great—the care, love, and help we find—just by listening.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, help me learn the “give-and-take” of talking and listening.

Action for the Day: Today, I’ll focus on listening, not only to other people but to my Higher Power’s voice.

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Each Day a New Beginning
June 8

The process of living, for each of us, is pretty similar. For every gain there is a setback. For every success, a failure. For every moment of joy, a time of sadness. For every hope realized, one is dashed.
—Sue Atchley Ebaugh

The balance of events in our lives is much like the balance of nature. The pendulum swings; every extreme condition is offset by its opposite, and we learn to appreciate the gifts . . . of the bad times as well as the periods of rest.

On occasion we’ll discover that our course in life has changed direction. We need not be alarmed. Step Three has promised that we are in caring hands. Our every concern, every detail of our lives will be taken care of, in the right way, at the right time.

We can develop gratitude for all conditions, good or bad. Each has its necessary place in our development as healthy, happy women. We need the sorrows along with the joys if we are to gain new insights. Our failures keep us humble; they remind us of our need for the care and guidance of others. And for every hope dashed, we can remember, one will be realized.

Life is a process. I will accept the variations with gratitude. Each, in its own way, blesses me.

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Alcoholics Anonymous
June 8
Our Southern Friend

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

I am in the hospital for alcoholics. I am an alcoholic. The insane asylum lies ahead. Could I have myself locked up at home? One more foolish idea. I might go out West on a ranch where I couldn’t get anything to drink. I might do that. Another foolish idea. I wish I were dead, as I have often wished before. I am too yellow to kill myself.

p. 213

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions
June 8

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

There can only be one consideration which should qualify our desire for a complete disclosure of the damage we have done. That will arise in the occasional situation where to make a full revelation would seriously harm the one to whom we are making amends. Or–quite as important–other people. We cannot, for example, unload a detailed account of extramarital adventuring upon the shoulders of our unsuspecting wife or husband. And even in those cases where such a matter must be discussed, let’s try to avoid harming third parties, whoever they may be. It does not lighten our burden when we recklessly make the crosses of others heavier.

p. 86

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Xtra Thoughts
June 8

“Love does not measure; it just gives.”
–Mother Teresa

We do not let things change us, we change things.
–Joyce Meyer

Well done is better than well said.
–Benjamin Franklin

“Worry is rehearsing fear about a made-up, fabricated event in the future that most of the time never happens.”
–Jeff Alexander

“Forget regret, or life is yours to miss.”
–Jonathan Larson

“When a man points a finger at someone else, he should remember that four of his fingers are pointing at himself.”
–Louis Nizer

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation
June 8
DOUBT

“I respect faith but doubt is what gets you an education.”
–Wilson Mizner

It is okay to question things. It is okay to say that I do not agree.  Today I have the freedom to doubt opinions and attitudes.

In my childhood I was never allowed to do this. I had to accept the Bible because the preacher said it was God’s word. I had to accept that only Christians went to Heaven because Grandma said so! I had to believe that Jews and Blacks were “inferior” because family and friends said so – and to doubt them was to be different. I was dependent upon an attitude towards life that I was uncomfortable with. It brought me pain, anger, loneliness and guilt in later life.

Then I learned that growth comes to those who are prepared to doubt or disagree with an existing system. God is to be found in the questions. Spirituality is discovered in the shades of life.

O God, part of Your glory and splendor is Your unending mystery.

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Bible Scriptures
June 8

My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to accomplish His work.
John 4:34

My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.
James 1:19-20

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Daily Inspiration
June 8

Little acts of kindness throughout the day will make your life so much better and bring a little sunshine to others as well. Lord, may I make a habit of being gentle and loving with those around me.

Everything we need to deal with life’s problems lies within us. Our trials are tests to see if we can discover the solution. Lord, I call out Your name when I face my difficulties and together we will overcome them.

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A Day At A Time
June 8

Reflection For The Day

A friend in The Program taught me to look at excessive guilt in an entirely new way, suggesting that guilt was nothing but a sore of reverse pride.  A decent regret for what has happened is fine, he said.  But guilt, no.  I’ve since learned that condemning ourselves for mistakes we’ve made is just as bad as condemning others for theirs.  We’re not really equipped to make judgments, not even of ourselves.  Do I still sometimes “beat myself to death” when I appear to be failing?

Today I Pray

May I be wary of keeping my guilty role alive long after I should have left it behind.  May I know the difference between regret and guilt.  May I recognize that long-term guilt may infer an exaggerated idea of my own importance, as well as present self-righteousness.  May God alone be my judge.

Today I Will Remember

Guilt may be pride in reverse.

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One More Day
June 8

Sometimes what we think is so impossible turns out to be possible after all.
K. O’Brien

The pure joy of imagination is that it holds no bounds.  Even if we are tethered by poor health we can still believe there are better days ahead.  And in truth, we can find worthwhile ways to spend our precious time and energy if we wish.

Time spent lost in thought is not wasted, for these precious moments let us remember wonderful times gone by and allow us to rehearse our role in the future.  We should imagine ourselves as proud and fully capable.  This may, of course, not be true, but the more we try to the better we will be able to present ourselves in public.  The easier it is for us to be in public, the more often we will go out.

I am not wasting time when I daydream, for my dreams help me accept the changes in my life and allow me to practice for the future.

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One Day At A Time
June 8
TOGETHERNESS

“The Praying Hands – let them be your reminder, if you need one, that no one ever makes it alone.”
–Anonymous

“I don’t need a sponsor; God and I walk alone.”

“Why do I need to go to a meeting tonight? I’ll be OK; I’ve got other things I need to be doing.”

“I can’t sponsor, I haven’t worked enough of the Steps yet, and besides, I haven’t got time; it takes all my time to do MY program.”

When my thoughts drift in these directions, I am reminded of an old picture my grandfather had of “The Praying Hands” and of the story of two brothers, Albrecht and Albert Durer, both gifted in art.

The Durer family was poor and only one brother could go to art school, so they tossed a coin; Albrecht went to art school while Albert worked hard to pay his brother’s tuition at the Academy in Nuremburg.

After a few years, the artist, Albrecht, said to his brother Albert, “I can afford for you to go to art school now, so I will finance YOUR education.” But Albert, who had worked so hard in the dangerous mines, looked down at his work-worn, arthritic hands which had been smashed numerous times, and knew it was too late for him. He would never be an artist. So Albrecht painted his brother’s hands and they are the hands we now see in copies of the painting … two hands lifted up towards a Power Greater.

I know that I, too, have my Higher Power waiting to help me if only I seek the help I need. I am reminded of the friends I have found in the fellowship. I remember how it feels to hold the hand of a shaky newcomer at the end of their first meeting, or the hand of my sponsor who reaches out to give me comfort when I share a personal hurt.

One Day at a Time . . .
Alone I have proved again and again that I am defenseless over my disease, but together – TOGETHER – with my Higher Power and all of my fellows, I have a Power and Strength I never believed possible.

~ Marlene

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Elder’s Meditation of the Day June 8

“So we are connected to the moon. That gives us power, a connection to the Earth and the moon, men don’t know about.”
–Cecilia Mitchell, MOHAWK

The Elders tell us that the Woman has access to special powers. The Earth Mother gives her love in a special way to the Woman. The Moon also gives special powers to the Woman. She uses these powers to nurture, heal, and guide the people.

Great Spirit, today, give a special Blessing to our Women.

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Journey To The Heart
June 8
Be Gentle and Loving

As I drove into Utah, past Zion National Park. I began to feel the oddest sensation emanating from the earth, emanating from me. It was soft. Lovely Light. All evening, deer had been crossing my path, coming to me from out of the woods. That’s when I remembered. In the Medicine Cards, deer are the symbol for gentleness and love. The feeling coming from the ground, through the air was gentleness, kindness, and love.

The universe was reminding me of something. Iy was a place inside me, one I had discovered before, a place of gentleness and love. Somewhere along my life’s journey, with all its trials, moving about, business, and experiences, I had let the gentleness slip away. Now it was time to go there again. It was a reminder to be gentle and kind to others, be gentle and kind to myself.

Gentleness, kindness, and love are more than places to visit. They are places we can take with us wherever we go.

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Today’s Gift
June 8

Caring is everything; nothing matters but caring.
—Baron Friedrich Von Hugel

The caring we receive from someone we love when we’re sick can heal us just as much as the medicine we take. For children, Mom is usually the one who makes sure we get enough rest by having us stay in bed. By bringing us juice and aspirins she helps us keep our fevers down. She also lifts our spirits when she tells us a funny story.

Perhaps the next time a loved one is sick we can do the special and caring things. We can bring a favorite magazine or a cold glass of water, tell a joke, or just sit and be there for a while. Whether the sick person is a parent or a brother or sister, when we help care for another, we complete a circle of caring begun by a parent so long ago.

Does someone need my care today?

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The Language of Letting Go
June 8
Fun

Have some fun – with life, with the day.

Life is not drudgery; that is an old belief. Let go of it. We are on an adventure, a journey. Events will come to pass that we cannot now fathom.

Replace heaviness and weariness of spirit with joy. Surround yourself with people and things that bring lightness of spirit.

Become sensitive to lightness of spirit.

The journey can be an exciting adventure. Let yourself enjoy 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 8
Let go of judgements

We can’t relax when we’re being judgemental. As soon as we decide that a thing or situation is either good or bad, we place ourselves in the situation of having to do something about it. For example, if someone is good, we begin to compare ourselves to that person. Am I better or worse? What can I do to improve? If we decide that a thing is bad, then our conscience tells us that we must try to get rid of it.

Either way, we get so busy thinking about our judgements and allowing our minds to create scenarios that we cannot relax and enjoy things the way they are.

Drop your judgemental mind today and relax. If blessings or good people have come into your life, let them be. You do not have to be better or worse than they are.

If a thing is damaging or hurtful to you, you will know that and you can deal with it when the time comes.

Be aware of the people and things in your life. Relax and enjoy them without passing judgement on them.

God, help me learn to enjoy the people and experiences in my life.

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Touchstones Meditations For Men
June 8

Come, Love! Sing On! Let me hear you sing this song – sing for joy and laugh, for I the creator am truly subject to all creatures.
—Mechtild of Magdeburg

Recovery without joy and song and playfulness is incomplete. The beauty of music uplifts our spirits and shows us the face of our Creator. For many men, music is their means of meditation and conscious contact with their Higher Power. When we experience the creativity of a musical piece, as it speaks to us, we take a step beyond the practical world, into the profound level of creation.

Some people say, “How can you celebrate when there is so much suffering, so much to grieve about?” We have grieved; we continue to grieve alongside our joy. But we need not pour all our energies into the painful and sad. Life is also wonderful. Music and dance and the joy of good fellowship enrich our lives and strengthen us to go on.

Praise the spirit of our Creator for all that is given to us!

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Daily TAO
June 8
Writer

She withdrew into herself,
First writing just for one,
Then touching thousands.
She incarnated ghosts, hurt, and joy
Into paper-and-ink stories of wonder.

One author said, “I can get ride of anything by writing about it,” meaning the process of externalization could liberate him from the pain in his soul. That realization produced a delicious dichotomy: to free himself, or to hold on to both joys and tortures by remaining silent about them.

Writers write because they must: They need to express something from deep within themselves. They hear voices that others do not. They listen urgently, and they must communicate what they hear.

People feel the Spirit in the same way that writers feel something unique. In the process of listening for mysterious voices and expressing the wonder that comes is a magic akin to the perfection of the Spirit.

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