In Loving Memory of Vic

Find A Meeting

Need to get to a meeting and speak to someone right away? Below is a list of online meetings and resources to help you find a meeting and fellowship.

+ Alcoholics Anonymous Online Meeting Finder
+ Overeaters Anonymous Meeting Finder
+ Narcotics Anonymous Meeting Finder
+ Al-Anon Online Meeting Finder

Daily Recovery Readings – March 5

Just For Today
March 5
From Rude Awakening To Spiritual Awakening

“When a need arises for us to admit our powerlessness, we may first look for ways to exert power against it. After exhausting these ways, we begin sharing with others and find hope.”
Basic Text, p. 79

We’ve sometimes heard it said in our meetings that “rude awakenings lead to spiritual awakenings.” What kind of rude awakenings do we have in recovery? Such an awakening might occur when some undesirable bit of our behavior that we thought safely hidden away is suddenly revealed for all the world to see. Or our sponsor might provoke such an awakening by informing us that, just like everyone else, we have to work the steps if we expect to stay clean and recover.

Most of us hate to have our covers pulled; we don’t like being laid naked in full view. The experience delivers a strong dose of humility. Our first reaction to such a disclosure is usually shock and anger, yet we recognize the truth when we hear it. What we are having is a rude awakening.

Such awakenings often disclose barriers that block us from making spiritual progress in our recovery. Once those barriers are exposed, we can work the steps to begin removing them from our lives. We can begin experiencing the healing and serenity which are the preludes to a renewed awakening of the spirit.

Just for today: I will recognize the rude awakenings I have as opportunities to grow toward spiritual awakening.


Daily Reflections
March 5

“But just how, in these circumstances, does a fellow ‘take it easy?’  That’s what I want to know.”

I was never known for my patience. How many times have I asked, “Why should I wait, when I can have it all right now?” Indeed, when I was first presented the Twelve Steps, I was like the proverbial “kid in a candy store.” I couldn’t wait to get to Step Twelve; it was surely just a few months’ work, or so I thought! I realize now that living the Twelve Steps of A.A. is a lifelong undertaking.


Twenty-Four Hours A Day
March 5
A.A. Thought For The Day

Sometimes we try too hard to get this program. It is better to relax and accept it. It will be given to us, with no effort on our part, if we stop trying too hard to get it. Sobriety can be a free gift of God, which he gives us by His grace when He knows we are ready for it.  But we have to be ready. Then we must relax, take it easy, and accept the gift with gratitude and humility. We must put ourselves in God’s hands. We must say to God: “Here I am and here are all my troubles. I’ve made a mess of things and can’t do anything about it.  You take me and all my troubles and do anything you want with me.”  Do I believe that the grace of God can do for me what I could never do for myself?

Meditation For The Day

Fear is the curse of the world. Many are our fears. Fear is everywhere. I must fight fear as I would a plague. I must turn it out of my life. There is no room for fear in the heart in which God dwells. Fear cannot exist where true love is or where faith abides.  So I must have no fear. Fear is evil, but “perfect love casteth out all fear.” Fear destroys hope and hope is necessary for all of humanity.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may have no fear. I pray that I may cast all fear out of my life.


As Bill Sees It
March 5
Search For Motives, p. 64

Some of us clung to the claim that when drinking we never hurt anybody but ourselves. Our families didn’t suffer, because we always paid the bills and seldom drank at home. Our business associates didn’t suffer, because we were usually on the job. Our reputations didn’t suffer, because we were certain few knew of our drinking.  Those who did would sometimes assure us that, after all, a lively bender was only a good man’s fault. What real harm, therefore, had we done? No more, surely, than we could easily mend with a few casual apologies.

This attitude, of course, is the end result of purposeful forgetting. It is an attitude which can be changed only by a deep and honest search of our motives and actions.

12 & 12, p. 79


Walk in Dry Places
March 5
A vision for you
A Positive attitude

One of the methods that helps in recovery is to see yourself as a sober person living a clean life. This is the “vision for you” that society’s founders offered in AA’s early days, and it’s still powerful today.

While being careful to avoid self-will, we can use this method with great success in living each day. Along with seeing ourselves sober, we can see ourselves living and working according to the best principles we know. We can see a business relationship improving. We can see some long-standing problems being solved. We can see a brighter side to negative situations that have persisted in spite of our best efforts to change them.

One author also talked about “seeing God on both sides of the table in any business negotiation.” We desire success, of course, but it’s also important to know that any negotiation ought to be successful for both parties. If we’re really practicing spiritual principles in all our affairs, there should be no desire to outmaneuver another person in any negotiation. There is always a price that is fair and satisfactory for both parties, and there are always terms suitable for both sides.

I will go through this day visualizing it as I think it should be according to the highest and best principles I know. I will put aside self-will and see everybody benefiting fro any negotiations in which I am involved.


Keep It Simple
March 5

I am not afraid of tomorrow, for I have seen yesterday and I love today.
–William Allen White

Big changes are happening to us, but we can trust that changes will bring good things. After all, what have we got to lose? We have lived through the days and years of our addiction. Now, with the help of our Higher Power, the pain of those days has ended. We have no reason to worry.

Yet, recovery won’t make our lives perfect. Hard things still happened. But we never have to lose hope again. We never have to feel alone with our problems. What will come next? We don’t know the details, but we can be sure the future will be good if we stay on our path of recovery.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, I know life holds many new things for me. Help me and protect me as I live in Your care today.

Action for the Day: Today, I’ll trust that each day of my life will bring me good. I will share this idea with one friend.


Each Day a New Beginning
March 5

Loving, like prayer, is a power as well as a process. It’s curative. It is creative.
–Zona Gale

The expression of love softens us and the ones we love. It opens a channel between us. It invites an intimate response that closes the distance.

It feels good to express love, whether through a smile, a touch, or a prayer. It heightens our sense of being alive. Acknowledging another’s presence means that we, too, are acknowledged. Each of us is familiar with feeling forgotten, unnoticed, or taken for granted, and recognition assures us all that we haven’t been overlooked.

Knowing we are loved may be the key to our doing the things we fear. Love supports us to charge ahead, and we can support others to charge ahead. We know that if we fail, we have someone to turn to.

Love heals. It strengthens, making us courageous both when we receive it and when we give it. Knowing we are loved makes our existence special. It affirms that we count in another’s life. We need to honor our friends by assuring them of their specialness, too.

I need others. I need to strengthen my supports, my connections to others for the security, even success, of each of us. I can express my love today, and assure my loved ones that they are needed. Then, they and I will surge ahead with new life.


Alcoholics Anonymous


– “I had been preached to, analyzed, cursed, and counseled, but no one had ever said, ‘I identify with what’s going on with you. It happened to me and this is what I did about it.'”

On looking back at my life, I can’t see anything that would have warned me or my family of the devastation that alcoholism had in store for us. To our collective memory there was no drinking on either side of the family. We were from a long Southern Missionary Baptist tradition. My father was a minister, and I attended his church every Sunday with the rest of the family and, like them, was very active in religious work. My parents were also educators; my father was principal of the school I attended, and my mother taught there. They were both champions of community outreach and well respected. There was caring and togetherness among us. My maternal grandmother, herself a deeply religious woman who lived with us, helped raise me and was a living example of unconditional love.

p. 446


Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions
March 5

Step Two – “Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.”

The sponsor continues, “Take, for example, my own case. I had a scientific schooling. Naturally I respected, venerated, even worshipped science. As a matter of fact, I still do–all except the worship part. Time after time, my instructors held up to me the basic principle of all scientific progress: search and research, again and again, always with the open mind. When I first looked at A.A. my reaction was just like yours. This A.A. business, I thought, is totally unscientific. This I can’t swallow. I simply won’t consider such nonsense.

pp. 26-27


Xtra Thoughts
March 5

Today I will ignore “what might have been,” and concentrate on “what is…”

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

It is never too late to be what you might have been.
–George Eliot

God, help me welcome all the new experiences in my life. Give me the courage to calmly walk my path today, knowing I’m right where I need to be.
–Melody Beattie

When hate, anger, fear, attack, victimization is thrown at us, we find solace in returning to Spiritual sanity. These emotions only harm us if we embrace them, rather than embrace Gods love.

No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.
–Eleanor Roosevelt

The past and the future are great places to visit, but you don’t want to live there.
–Tom Payne


Father Leo’s Daily Meditation
March 5

“Without freedom, no one really has a name.”
— Milton Acorda

Part of my identity involves my disease. I am an alcoholic and my name is . . . And with this recognition of who I am comes the liberty and freedom to live and create in God’s world. Who I am involves what I am; in the fusion of the two is my spiritual identity.

For years I ran from myself because I wanted to be different. I felt that I would not be acceptable or good enough for you. In running from me, I lost my identity; the seed of low self-esteem was sown.

With the spiritual recognition that I can only be who I am came the freedom of existence and identity. I am what I am!

Lord, You said once, “I am who I am.” Well, so am I!


Bible Scriptures
March 5

Turn your ear to wisdom and apply your heart to understanding.
Proverbs 2 : 2

“But surely, God is my helper; the Lord is the upholder of my life.”
Psalm 54:4


Daily Inspiration
March 5

Shine and give praise and it will encourage others to do the same. Lord, may my actions show those in my life that I appreciate and love them.

When we give in to fears and worries they will take charge of our lives. Lord, I place my trust in You so that I may experience every opportunity and not miss in life that which is meant for me.


A Day At A Time
March 5

Reflection For The Day

Before I became sober in The Program, I blamed all my problems on other people, or on places and things. Now I’m learning to look squarely at each difficulty, not seeking whom to “blame,” but to discover how my attitude helped create my problem or aggravate it. I must also learn to face the consequences of my own actions and words, and to correct myself when I’m wrong. Do I practice the Tenth Step by continuing to take personal inventory? When I am wrong, do I promptly admit it?

Today I Pray

May I know the blessed relief and unburdening that comes when I admit I have done something wrong. May I learn — perhaps for the first time in my entire life — to take responsibility for my own actions and to face the consequences. May I learn again how to match actions with consequences.

Today I Will Remember

To take responsibility for my own actions.


One More Day
March 5

Our sweetest songs are those that tell of saddest thoughts.
– Percy Bysshe Shelley

Our inner messages are much like tuning a radio; we choose what we want to hear. With a turn of the radio dial, the music changes from mellow and happy to sad and lonely and back again.

The inner messages we choose to hear may fill our days with memories that are difficult to hear. But we can tune our minds to more positive thoughts, by noticing the beauty of our surroundings, by focusing on more pluses and on fewer minuses. We can, willingly, switch our minds to thoughts that are better for us and for our health.

Why should we listen to the sad, lonely sounds when we have other choices? We can choose a daily program to suit our goals and needs, one that enhances desires and improves general well-being.

Today, I will turn my personal dial to more positive messages.


One Day At A Time
March 5

“It is especially important not to make major life changes when you are guided by emotions. If you are emotionally excited (either in the positive or negative), wait until you calm down before taking action.”
–Rabbi Zelig Pliskin

When I first entered into recovery this was one of my main character defects. Since my life was out of control and spiraling downward, I acted impulsively and rarely did any thinking before acting. I wouldn’t even admit that my actions were impulsive. I would get so mad at people if they said I was impulsive.

Thanks to the steps I now have the tools that allow me to look at my actions in a new light – one of sanity and direction. Step One allowed me to admit that I was addicted to food and my life was unmanageable. Step Two allowed me to let others in to help with my problem. I was not in this alone. Step Three gave me a loving G-d to take care of growing me up and helping me with all my problems. Step Four brought things into perspective, Step Five brought healing from the shame of making those irreparable mistakes. Steps Six and Seven helped me look at what in me could be prayed about and improved. They taught me that this character defect was just a character asset being used improperly. Steps Eight and Nine brought me back into a right relationship with others. Step Ten keeps me focused in the now not the “what if’s” or “you need to’s” of the past. Sanity seemed to be coming from that awareness of living in today. Step Eleven gave me the gift of a G-d that is ever caring and always present to help me if I just do my side of the work. As a result I have a spirit of love today rather than a spirit of resentment and self-pity. Step Twelve might be the most important one because it is what keeps me in recovery and living a productive life.

Today I do not have to react immediately to every thing that happens, I can even go to my sponsor and ask for guidance. If my sponsor doesn’t have experience in that area I have a world full of people like me to go to who understand what I am experiencing. The tools give me a way to handle life on life’s terms.

One Day at a Time . . .
I will chose to live and recover in the 12 steps.

~ Judith ~


Elder’s Meditation of the Day March 5

“I have always searched for my place and my people.”
–Wendy Rose, HOPI/MIWOK

For every human being to feel connected, we must have the feeling of belonging. That is one of the values and benefits of a culture: it creates the feeling of belonging. If for some reason, while you were growing up, you did not develop the feeling of belonging, a search will be triggered and a restlessness will be present in your heart. You will have a hole inside you, something missing, until you find your place and your people. Remember, we can get this feeling of belonging when we realize we belong to the Great Spirit and that He really loves us a lot.

My Creator, today, I belong to You. Let me feel Your presence. Thank You.


Journey to the Heart
March 5
Operate from Desire, Not Will

There are times when we need to force ourselves to put one foot in front of the other and do what needs to be done. But when we operate that way for too long, we can be separated from our heart, separated from our desres, instincts, and healthy inclinations. Separated from that part of us that lives and loves naturally. Separated from joy.

After years of grieving the loss of my son, I needed to come back to life. To do that, I had to force myself through the motions of living, those acts that I knew would create a good life for myself and my daughter. I was operating from sheer will, and that will was struggling hard to overcome the desire to give up. After a time of doing that though, I noticed that forcing myself forward had come habitual. Somewhere along the journey, I had forgotten about relaxing, trusting my heart, trusting my desires to carry me through. I became tired. Tired of forcing myself. Tired of pushing through.

I realized something else. It was safe to let go of willing my way through life. I had climbed the mountain. I was over the top. I was coming alive again. I had survived the toughest time. It was okay to relax and trust the guidance and desires of my heart. It was safe to relax and enjoy life again, to celebrate being alive.

If you’ve been operating from will, that was probably what you needed to do at that point in your life. It helped you survive, learn the lessons, get to the place you are now. But it no longer fits, not on a journey of joy. Not on the journey to the heart.

Let desire and inclination replace will. Let your heart and soul lead you forward. Then trust that they will, and trust where they lead. Let living from your heart’s desires reconnect you to joy.


Today’s Gift
March 5

The farmer may only be planting a seed, but if he opens his eyes he is feeding the whole world.
—Omaha Bee

A traveler journeying through a small village came upon some workers building an impressive structure. “What are you doing?” he asked. The first worker, a young, impatient man, replied in disgust, “I am making three dollars an hour and I’m getting very tired!” The visitor asked another man the same question. “I’m mixing concrete, as you can plainly see,” came the sarcastic reply. Finally, a woman working nearby left her wheelbarrow full of bricks and approached the stranger. “We are building a hospital,” she said with pride. “Now we will be able to care for all the region’s people. Babies will be born here. Lives will be saved.”

The stranger looked at the woman with admiration and spoke directly to her. “I know, for this is my hospital. Only you hold the vision of what it is you are creating.” The wealthy benefactor then put the woman in charge of construction so his hospital would be built by one who truly understood.

Will I see the importance of even the small things I do today?


The Language of Letting Go
March 5
Be Who You Are

When I meet people or get in a new relationship, I start putting all these repressive restrictions on myself. I can’t have my feelings. Can’t have my wants and needs. Can’t have my history. Can’t do the things I want, feel the feelings I’m feeling, or say what I need to say. I turn into this repressed, perfectionistic robot, instead of being who I am: Me.

Sometimes, our instinctive reaction to being in a new situation is: Don’t be yourself.

Who else can we be? Who else would you want to be? We don’t need to be anyone else.

The greatest gift we can bring to any relationship wherever we go is being who we are.

We may think others won’t like us. We may be afraid that if we just relax and be ourselves, the other person will go away or shame us. We may worry about what the other person will think.

But, when we relax and accept ourselves, people often feel much better being around us than when we are rigid and repressed. We’re fun to be around.

If others don’t appreciate us, do we really want to be around them? Do we need to let the opinions of others control our behavior and us?

Giving ourselves permission to be who we are can have a healing influence on our relationships. The tone relaxes. We relax. The other person relaxes. Then everybody feels a little less shame, because they have learned the truth. Who we are is all we can be, all were meant to be, and it’s enough. It’s fine.

Our opinion of ourselves is truly all that matters. And we can give ourselves all the approval we want and need.

Today, I will relax and be who I am in my relationships. I will do this not in a demeaning or inappropriate way, but in a way that shows I accept myself and value who I am. Help me, God, let go of my fears about being myself.


More Language Of Letting Go
March 5
Don’t let anger run your life

Cheryl’s husband was a tyrant. His anger controlled most of her moves. He didn’t get angry often, but when he did, he exploded in a rage. He broke things; he carried on. His rage terrified her.

“I’ve never done well with anger,” Cheryl said, “either my own, or someone else’s. I spent my childhood walking on eggshells, trying not to annoy my dad. Then I married a man whom I allowed to completely control me by the mere threat of his rage.”

Whether we call them rageholics, tyrants, or bullies, a lot of people in our world get their way by being mean. We may find ourselves instinctively walking on eggshells around these people, praying to God we don’t set them off.

Anger is a powerful emotion. But we don’t have to let anybody else’s rage take control of our lives. If somebody you know or love is a bully or a tyrant, don’t take it on yourself. Stop walking on eggshells and letting their rage control your every step. Instead of taking on their problem, try something different. Give their problem with being a bully back to them.

How do you deal with anger? Does somebody in your life use anger as a way of controlling you? It may be time to let go of your fear of setting off people.

If you are in a dangerous situation, then by all means, get out. If you are just allowing yourself to be controlled by the fear of an emotional outburst, then learn to say whatever when someone spouts off.

God, please don’t let anyone’s anger, including my own, be the master of my life.


Touchstones Meditation For Men
March 5

If not for the beast within us we would be castrated angels.
—Hermann Hesse

Let’s not confuse the surrender, humility, and serenity of this program with the perfection of angels. Today we are more alive because we are no longer destroying ourselves, or numbing ourselves, or shaming ourselves. We are men with the strength we need to meet the problems and excitements of the day. We may also get ourselves into trouble by our shortsightedness or mistaken ideas. That is why we need to continue to take inventory of ourselves and continue to be accountable.

We are on a spiritual path that leads toward fuller manhood. We accept the beast within. More than that, we like him and take pleasure in him. He has the same source as our spiritual strength. As we get better acquainted with him, he brings a sense of awe and mystery about the untamed parts of ourselves. He instills us with zest and vitality that we release as explosions of energy and power. He is in the music we love and in our dancing. He comes out in our daydreams and night dreams – in our labor and sweat. And he is in our trickery and humor.

I am filled with gratitude for the beast within.


March 5

Bird song flies unfettered
Over blue sky and green fields.
Once you feel Tao run,
Give way, give way.

What is it like to feel Tao? It is an effortless flowing, a sweeping momentum. It is like bird song soaring and gliding over a vast landscape. You can feel this in your life : Events will take on a perfect momentum, a glorious cadence. You can feel it in your body : The energy will rise up in you in a thrilling crescendo, setting your very nerves aglow. You can feel it in your spirit : You will enter a state of such perfect grace that you will resound over the landscape of reality like ephemeral bird song.

When Tao comes to you in this way, ride it for all that you are worth. Don’t interfere. Don’t stop — that brings failure, alienation, and regret. Don’t try to direct it. Let it flow and follow it. When the Tao is with you, put aside all other concerns. As long as the song lasts, follow. Just follow


March 5

In the Ch’an perspective wisdom is a state
That is free from attachments,
Free from measurement,
Free from self-reference
And empty of vexation.

– Sheng Yen


Food for Thought
March 5
Old Tapes

In the recesses of our minds, each of us has old tapes stored away which tend to be played over and over again. These tapes may have been recorded so long ago that they have little if anything to do with our present situation.

The tapes, which are recordings of positive thoughts and experiences, can be helpful when replayed. Unfortunately, we each possess many tapes which are negative and self-destructive. They include resentments, fears, and hates. When one of these negative tapes begins to play, we may find ourselves opening the refrigerator or going out to buy food which we should not have. Often the tapes continue to play while we are eating.

Taking an inventory each day makes us increasingly aware of our negative emotions: anger, envy, irrational anxiety. Admitting mistakes and making amends relieves us of the guilt associated with our character defects.

By giving our lives to God and staying in contact with Him, we are able to turn off the negative tapes. We receive new thoughts and positive feelings: hope, faith, love.

I pray that my thoughts and feelings may be purified.


In God’s Care
March 5

The hardness of God is kinder than the softness of men, and his compulsion is our liberation.
~~C. S. Lewis

One reason it’s so hard for us to love others as God loves us is that we have no standard in our own experience to go by. The closest thing to a human satandard is the ideal love of a parent for a child. God’s love exceeds that. The kind of love that God offers us is beyond our comprehension. It is unconditional. We know this because of the innumerable times we have betrayed God, gone back on our own word, and cursed God–only to be welcomed back whenever we’re ready, and to find ourselves blessed and comforted.

Someone said, “God has to love us; it’s His job.” Our program has taught us our “job” is to love others unconditionally too, We don’t have to understand God’s love; it’s impossible. But if we are to find peace, we do have to try our best to imitate it.

Today I will try my best to love others unconditionally, as God does.


Faith’s Check Book
March 5
Home Blessings

He blesseth the habitation of the just. (Proverbs 3:33)

He fears the Lord, and therefore he comes under the divine protection even as to the roof which covers himself and his family. His home is an abode of love, a school of holy training, and a place of heavenly light. In it there is a family attar where the name of the Lord is daily had in reverence. Therefore the Lord blesses his habitation. It may be a humble cottage or a lordly mansion; but the Lord’s blessing comes because of the character of the inhabitant and not because of the size of the dwelling.

That house is most blest in which the master and mistress are Godfearing people; but a son or daughter or even a servant may bring a blessing on a whole household. The Lord often preserves, prospers, and provides for a family for the sake of one or two in it, who are “just” persons in His esteem, because His grace has made them so. Beloved, let us have Jesus for our constant guest even as the sisters of Bethany had, and then we shall be blessed indeed.

Let us look to it that in all things we are just—in our trade, in our judgment of others, in our treatment of neighbors, and in our own personal character. A just God cannot bless unjust transactions.


This Morning’s Meditation
March 5

“Let us not sleep, as do others.”
—1 Thessalonians 5:6.

HERE are many ways of promoting Christian wakefulness. Among the rest, let me strongly advise Christians to converse together concerning the ways of the Lord. Christian and Hopeful, as they journeyed towards the Celestial City, said to themselves, “To prevent drowsiness in this place, let us fall into good discourse.” Christian enquired, “Brother, where shall we begin?” And Hopeful answered, “Where God began with us.” Then Christian sang this song—

“When saints do sleepy grow, let them come hither,
And hear how these two pilgrims talk together;
Yea, let them learn of them, in any wise,
Thus to keep open their drowsy slumb’ring eyes.
Saints’ fellowship, if it be managed well,
Keeps them awake, and that in spite of hell.”

Christians who isolate themselves and walk alone, are very liable to grow drowsy. Hold Christian company, and you will be kept wakeful by it, and refreshed and encouraged to make quicker progress in the road to heaven. But as you thus take “sweet counsel” with others in the ways of God, take care that the theme of your converse is the Lord Jesus. Let the eye of faith be constantly looking unto Him; let your heart be full of Him; let your lips speak of His worth. Friend, live near to the cross, and thou wilt not sleep. Labour to impress thyself with a deep sense of the value of the place to which thou art going. If thou rememberest that thou art going to heaven, thou wilt not sleep on the road. If thou thinkest that hell is behind thee, and the devil pursuing thee, thou wilt not loiter. Would the manslayer sleep with the avenger of blood behind him, and the city of refuge before him? Christian, wilt thou sleep whilst the pearly gates are open—the songs of angels waiting for thee to join them—a crown of gold ready for thy brow? Ah! no; in holy fellowship continue to watch and pray that ye enter not into temptation.

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