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 – May 1

Just For Today
May 1, 2014
Self-Worth And Service

“Being involved in service makes me feel worthwhile.”
Basic Text, p. 212

When most of us arrived in Narcotics Anonymous, we had very little self-worth left to salvage. Many members say that they began to develop self-esteem through being of service early in their recovery. Something just short of a miracle occurs when we begin to have a positive impact on others’ lives through our service efforts.

Most of us don’t have a lot of experience, strength, or hope to share at thirty days clean. In fact, some members will tell us in no uncertain terms that what we can do best is listen. But at thirty days, we do offer something to that addict just coming into the rooms of NA, struggling to get twenty-four hours clean. The very newest NA member, the one with only the desire to stop using and none of the tools, can hardly imagine anyone staying clean for a year, or two years, or ten. But he or she can relate to those people with thirty days clean, picking up a keytag with a look of pride and disbelief emblazoned on their faces.

Service is something that is our unique gift—something that no one can take away from us. We give, and we get. Through service, many of us start on the sometimes long road back to becoming productive members of society.

Just for today: I will be grateful for the opportunity to be of service.


Daily Reflections
May 1

Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.

Since it is true that God comes to me through people, I can see that by keeping people at a distance I also keep God at a distance. God is nearer to me than I think and I can experience Him by loving people and allowing people to love me. But I can neither love nor be loved if I allow my secrets to get in the way.

It’s the side of myself that I refuse to look at that rules me. I must be willing to look at the dark side in order to heal my mind and heart because that is the road to freedom.  I must walk into darkness to find the light and walk into fear to find peace.

By revealing my secrets – and thereby ridding myself of guilt – I can actually change my thinking; by altering my thinking, I can change myself. My thoughts create my future. What I will be tomorrow is determined by what I think today.


Twenty-Four Hours A Day
May 1
A.A. Thought For The Day

The A.A. program is one of charity because the real meaning of the word charity is to care enough about other people to really want to help them. To get the full benefit of the program, we must try to help other alcoholics. We may try to help somebody and think we have failed, but the seed we have planted may bear fruit some time. We never know the results even a word of ours might have. But the main thing is to have charity for others, a real desire to help them, whether we succeed or not. Do I have real charity?

Meditation For The Day

All material things, the universe, the world, even our bodies, may be Eternal Thought expressed in time and space. The more the physicists and astronomers reduce matter, the more it becomes a mathematical formula, which is thought. In the final analysis, matter is thought. When Eternal Thought expresses itself within the framework of space and time, it becomes matter. Our thoughts, within the box of space and time, cannot know anything firsthand, except material things. But we can deduce that outside the box of space and time is Eternal Thought, which we can call God.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may be a true expression of Eternal Thought.  I pray that God’s thoughts may work through my thoughts.


As Bill Sees It
May 1
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


Walk in Dry Places
May 1
Accepting Equal Treatment
Growing Spiritually

One of our AA friends was a district judge in a northern community. On his way to speak at our meeting, he was given a speeding ticket by a state policeman.

“Didn’t you tell him you are a judge?” we wanted to know. Smiling sheepishly, he shook his head. It occurred to us, then, that acceptance of the speeding ticket without argument was also an exercise in principles for him. First, he was accepting the same laws he administered to others. Additionally, accepting the ticket was a working of the Tenth Step—“. . . and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.” Finally, he realized that the ticket may have been a disguised blessing to help him correct a tendency to speed.

As recovering alcoholic, we always function better when we accept such principles in our own lives. Every person is special, yet as part of the human race in general, we must accept the same treatment that is given to others. We can grow spiritually when we accept such equality without resentment or demands for special treatment.

As a human being, I know that today I’m subject to all the things that can happen to human beings. I will not demand or expect privileges that are not available on an equal basis to others.


Keep It Simple
May 1

Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
–Step Five

Step Five can be scary. we’re to take the wrongs we listed in our Fourth Srep and share them with God, ourselves, and another person. We may look for an easier, softer way. But Step Five stops us.

We’re to share the exact nature of our wrong. Why? So we can take a load off ourselves. So we won’t use again. By totally sharing our past wrongs, we can belong once more. We can heal. We start to forgive ourselves. We become more humble. When you share your Fifth Step, holding nothing back. You deserve the peace this Step will bring you.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, give me courage to tell it all. Give me courage to admit just how wrong I had become.

Action for the Day: Step Five teaches me that sharing is important. I will find a friend and share my wrongs with that friend. I will hold nothing back.


Each Day a New Beginning
May 1

Insight is cheap.
—Martha Roth

For years we kept ourselves in a split condition: With one part of our minds we looked at ourselves and said, “I do some self-destructive things because I don’t believe I deserve love.” When we became involved with unsuitable people or abused our bodies, we said, “I am punishing myself – I am expecting too much – I neglect my own needs.”

We may see clearly how and why we get in our own way. But unless we have faith in a power greater than ourselves, we won’t step aside. We won’t let go. We’ll do the same thing and “understand” ourselves in the same ways. We may even use our “insight” to keep ourselves stuck – to protect ourselves from the risk of change.

Now, having had a spiritual awakening, having come to believe that a higher power can restore us, we possess a gift more powerful than the keenest insight – faith in our ability to grow and change. We are children of God. All the creative power of the universe streams through us, if we don’t block it.

Today, I will have faith, and all will be well.


Alcoholics Anonymous
May 1

– “It’s been ten years since I retired, seven years since I joined A.A. Now I can truly say that I am a grateful alcoholic.

My early sixties saw me drunk every night and more and more frequently calling in sick or for personal leave. Life was pure and unadulterated hell! At work, I was often shaking so badly that I hesitated to give dictation because I would have to sign the letters. I made every possible excuse to meet someone for a “business luncheon” so that I could have a drink or two. As my alcoholism accelerated, my absenteeism increased and my productivity diminished. I bounced checks, pawned silver, mourned, and I continued my drinking.

pp. 537-538


Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions
May 1

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

Many a razor-edged question can arise in other departments of life where this same principle is involved. Suppose, for instance, that we have drunk up a good chunk of our firm’s money, whether by “borrowing” or on a heavily padded expense account. Suppose that this may continue to go undetected, if we say nothing. Do we instantly confess our irregularities to the firm, in the practical certainty that we will be fired and become unemployable? Are we going to be so rigidly righteous about making amends that we don’t care what happens to the family and home? Or do we first consult those who are to be gravely affected? Do we lay the matter before our sponsor or spiritual adviser, earnestly asking God’s help and guidance–meanwhile resolving to do the right thing when it becomes clear, cost what it may? Of course, there is no pat answer which can fit all such dilemmas. But all of them do require a complete willingness to make amends as fast and as far as may be possible in a given set of conditions.

pp. 86-87


Xtra Thoughts
May 1

The only real win, is the win of tapping into the spirit.
–Oprah Winfrey

Getting sober is like learning to ride a horse, if you fall off, get back on, you can’t learn to ride on the ground.
–Patricia D

“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
–Albert Einstein

“Success is living up to your potential. That’s all. Wake up with a smile and go after life … Live it, enjoy it, taste it, smell it, feel it.”
–Joe Kapp

“As a cure for worrying, work is better than whiskey.”
–Thomas A. Edison

I embrace the lightness I feel when I trust, and give all of me to God.

No matter the storm… when you’re with God there’s always a rainbow waiting. Remember, God answers knee-mail!

Men trip not on mountains! They trip on molehills.
–Chinese Proverb

Wish not so much to live long, as to live well.
–Benjamin Franklin


Father Leo’s Daily Meditation
May 1

“Nobody ever outgrows Scriptures; the book widens and deepens with our years.”
–Charles Haddan Spurgeon

Not so long ago I had a narrow and rigid religious outlook that was based solely on my narrow belief system. I was addicted to my religious approach and any alternative or variation was condemned before investigation. I was a religious bigot. I was a hypocrite. I hid behind my dogma and practiced ritual.

Today I have a comprehensive view of religion and God, thanks to the influence of recovering alcoholics and the discovery of a spiritual program. Today I am able to see the depth and richness of scripture, a living library of books and experiences. Today I am able to see beyond the printed word to the message of healing and love that comes with honesty and acceptance. Now I know that the bigoted side of me was fearful and afraid of change. I needed rules to keep people from discovering what a lonely and spiritually bereft person I was. The rules and dogmas formed my prison bars. I was drowning in religiosity. Today I am free to be different. Today I am free to be me.

O wind of Truth, continue to blow and inspire us through our differences.


Bible Scriptures
May 1

“O Lord, You are my God. I will exalt You, I will praise Your name, for You have done wonderful things; Your counsels of old are faithfulness and truth.”
Isaiah 25:1

Forgive your brother from your heart.
Matthew 18:35 NIV

“You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance.”
Psalm 32:7


Daily Inspiration
May 1

Do not allow yourself to be disappointed by any thing or any person, but rather have faith that in all things God is leading you to your ultimate good.

Shine brighter than the sun and liken your heart to the flight of a butterfly. Attitude makes a big difference. Lord, help me to change that which I can and appreciate the blessings which I already have received.


A Day At A Time 
May 1

Reflection For The Day

For those of us who have lost our faith, or who have alwways had to struggle along without it, it’s often helpful just to accept — blindly and with no reservations.  It’s not necessary for us to believe at first;  we need not be convinced.  If we can only accept, we find ourselves becoming gradually aware of a force for good that’s always there to help us.  Have I taken the way of faith?

Today I Pray

May I abandon my need to know the why’s and wherefore’s of my trust in a Higher Power.  May I not intellectualize about faith, since by its nature it precludes analysis.  May I know that “head-tripping” was a symptom of my disease, as I strung together — cleverly, I thought — alibi upon excuse upon rationale.  May I learn acceptance, and faith will follow.

Today I Will Remember

Faith follows Acceptance.


One More Day
May 1, 2013


One Day At A Time
May 1

” You leave home to seek your fortune and, when you get it, you go home and share it with your family.”
–Anita Baker

For much of my life I tried to be “Strong.” I kept silent about my own suffering and focused instead on others people’s needs and how I could help them. Though I could listen and offer advice, I lacked empathy and understanding.

When my stoic, stubborn, and silent avoidance of my own struggles finally made my life unmanageable, I entered recovery. By listening to stories shared by others, I have been blessed. I have found that none of us walk this path alone. We learn from each other and from the strength of traditions. I have found empathy.

I came to see that my silence was born from weakness, not from strength. It was shame, fear, and pride, which kept me hiding. Now I find great joy and freedom in sharing my story with others. I am particularly grateful to God for the way He used my story with my Dad.

My crisis not only drove me to seek help, but it freed my Dad to get help too. If I had remained silent, not only would I have been destroyed, but I would have robbed my Dad of the acceptance and freedom to admit and seek the help he needed ~ and that has so profoundly changed his life.

One day at a time …
I will recognize that my history and my current experiences are not to be hidden in silence. I will share my story with others.

~Lisa V.


Elder’s Meditation of the Day – May 1

“All living creatures and all plants derive their life from the sun. If it were not for the sun, there would be darkness and nothing could grow the earth would be without life.”

This is why we call the sun, Father Sun. Father Sun shines life on Mother Earth and from this Father and Mother all life forms exist and continue to reproduce. The Sun shines on all; it is not selective. We should not allow anything to block the Sun from shining on the Earth. We must not pollute the air because the pollutants block the light of life to the Earth. If the Earth cannot receive this light, then life will start to be affected. We must live in harmony with the Sun and Earth. Otherwise, we are harming ourselves.

My Creator, give me the wisdom to live in harmony with all things.


Journey to the Heart – May
May 1

Learn to Release Old Toxins

Just as splinters can get embedded in our body, old emotions and beliefs can act like toxins and become embedded in us,too. We may have picked up residue along the way– beliefs we didn’t consciously choose, feelings we weren’t safe enough to feel, toxins from the world around us.

Now is a time of cleansing. Now is the time to heal your body and emotions, your mind and soul.

What beliefs and emotions do you need to heal? Look around at your life right now. What are you thinking? What are you talking about? What issues are cropping up in your life? Who are you talking about? What are you remembering? Who has come back into your life? What hurts? Is the feeling familiar? When have you felt it before?

Once you’ve identified what you’re feeling and thinking, release it. Let the energy go. Let it leave your body. You can chatter all you want about what’s going on with you, but that doesn’t release the energy from your system anymore than talking about a splinter takes it out. Sometimes the process will sting just a bit when you pull out the splinter. But don’t worry. It won’t hurt for long. And soon you’ll feel better that you’ve felt in a long while.

Often the process of releasing old toxins can be as gentle and natural as the way a flower or tree grows with sunshine and rain, a bit of fertile soil, and a little pruning and weeding.

Growth can be gentle now. Growth can be fun. Breathe in new air. Breathe in new energy. Exhale the past, its feelings, beliefs, and toxins. Let it go. Let yourself be transformed.


Today’s Gift
May 1

Hold fast to dreams, For if dreams die, Life is a broken-winged bird That cannot fly
—Langston Hughes

Watching birds spread their wings and soar can remind us of the best in ourselves. In joyful moments we all feel our own desire to fly, to reach toward what we dream of doing.

Our dreams give us a direction to fly. Birds fly toward the light for joy, toward green leaves for shelter, to water and berries for food. In the same way, our dreams direct us to the course of our own joy, shelter, and nourishment.

Sometimes as we fly, we bump into disappointments. They may temporarily stun us or slow us down. But just like birds that are occasionally wounded, we can heal ourselves and fly again. We can choose to not let the hardships of life break our spirited wings. Rather, we can keep spreading our wings, soaring in the spirit of joy.

Am I flying today, or must I heal a wound first?


The Language of Letting Go
May 1
Recovery Prayer

This prayer is based on a section of the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous:

Thank you for keeping me straight yesterday. Please help me stay straight today.

For the next twenty-four hours, I pray for knowledge of Your will for me only, and the power to carry that through.

Please free my thinking of self-will, self-seeking, dishonesty, and wrong motives.

Send me the right thought, word, or action. Show me what my next step should be. In times of doubt and indecision, please send Your inspiration and guidance.

I ask that You might help me work through all my problems, to Your glory and honor.

This prayer is a recovery prayer. It can take us through any situation. In the days ahead, we’ll explore the ideas in it. If we pray this prayer, we can trust it has been answered with a yes.

Today, I will trust that God will do for me what I cannot do for myself. I will do my part – working the Twelve Steps and letting God do the rest.


More Language Of Letting Go
May 1
Learn to say when

Chip turned the rented four-wheel drive Chevy Blazer off the road and into an open field. The three of us, Chip, Andy, and myself, were in Florida on a spur-of-the-moment road trip. We had met Andy at the dop zone, where he’d been trying out for a skydiving team. Now the three of us were on our way to Orlando. It had rained the day before. We started to tear through the field, when the right wheels slipped into a ditch.

Chip rocked the truck, backward and forward. The right wheels sunk deeper. Andy hopped out of the truck, looked around, and then climbed back in. “We’re stuck,” he said.

“I’ve got my cell phone,” I said. “I’ll call for help….”

Chip and Andy stared at me.

“You said you wanted an adventure,” Chip said. “Well, this is it.”

We all got out of the Blazer. The right wheels were entrenched in a ravine, and a large log was jammed into the underside of the vehicle. Andy had a plan. We’d each go try to find boards or wood that could be placed under the wheels. We returned twenty minutes later. The guys popped the wood under the tires. Chip got in the truck. The engine revved. The wheels spun. Mud sprayed. The truck didn’t move.

“I could call a tow truck,” I offered again.

About one-quarter mile away from the field was an intersection that promised, at least eventually, some passersby. We tromped to the intersection and waited. Before long, we flagged down an old Cadillac with a man and a young woman in it.

The man promised to return in a few minutes with his truck and his brother.

About fifteen minutes later, the two men and the woman appeared in a truck. They hooked a chain to the Blazer. Then they got in their truck and drove slowly away. They revved their engine. Mud sprayed. Then snap, the chain broke.

We looked at their truck. We looked at the stuck, muddy Blazer. We looked at the broken chain.

“Sorry,” the two men said.

“Thanks for trying,” we said. “Try calling a towing place,” the taller of the two men said. “They’ll come and get you out.”

Andy, Chip, and I got back into the stuck truck.

“Well,” I said. “Are you ready to call a tow truck now?”

The truck arrived. The professional tower had us out in fifteen minutes, and we were on our way to Orlando. We had been stuck for more than six hours. The entire time, we all knew what we had to do to get out: call the tow truck. For a variety of reasons, we didn’t want to do that until we got tired of being stuck.

Sometimes, getting stuck is the adventure at hand. We might not know what to do to move forward. Or we may be enjoying the drama of being stuck. We may be stuck at a plateau in our career. We may be stuck in our spiritual growth. We may have at one time liked and wanted to be where we’ve found ourselves, but now it’s time to move on.

Learning to say when– whether it’s when we want something more, or something else, or when we’ve had enough– is an important part of using in the language of letting go.

God, help me remember that I have the power to say when.


Touchstones Meditation For Men
May 1

Gardening is an active participation in the deepest mysteries of the universe.
—Thomas Berry

We grow in our spirituality by participating in activities that convey a sense of awe and mystery. Tending growing plants does this for some of us. Playing and listening to music, appreciating and creating art and literature do it for others. Hiking in the wilderness, camping, fishing, hunting, or photography have the same value. Membership in a religious group and attending services are other important ways. Engaging in the loving feelings in relationships does this for many of us.

As men in recovery, we need active ways to move beyond the boundaries of our own skins. We need to know we are part of a larger whole, which has mysteries we cannot fully solve. When we identify our own ways of being spiritual, we can give them more respect. Perhaps we can also explore some other ways we have not developed.

Today, I will participate in the mysteries and beauties of life.


May 1

Golden light skims azure bay,
Dense air heavy with laurel.
Windless dusk smears to night,
Sonorous pool in a sheltered grove.

Though this world is turbulent, there are still days and places where we can be afforded some tranquility. When this happens, it is right to rest from the tribulations and striving of being in the world and to take advantage of what is offered. Sometimes it will be the peaceful feeling of sunset, when the blazing sun becomes reconciled with the horizon and a sense of acceptance lingers in the air. At other times, it will be the chance encounter with a secret place — perhaps a grove of trees that promises a mysterious comfort.

In such private places, we can often find peace. Such stillness can even be precious, as when we notice the deep voice of a stream which we were always too busy to hear before. Indeed, sometimes we are so worn out by our daily activities that we forget to notice our need for recharging.

    Renewal is a profound tonic. With sanctuary and rest, we can prepare to go forth again.


Daily Zen
May 1

The real way circulates everywhere;
how could it require practice or enlightenment?
The essential teaching is fully available;
how could effort by necessary?
Furthermore, the entire mirror is free of dust;
why take steps to polish it?
Nothing is separate from this very place;
why journey away?

– Dogen 1227


Food for Thought
May 1
We Are Insatiable

Those of us who overeat compulsively can never be satisfied with food, no matter how much we eat. As we work the program, we discover (if we had not known it before) that we are insatiable in other areas, too. No amount of anything satisfies us for long; we soon need more.

We are each created with a spiritual longing which is not filled by anything temporal. What St. Augustine said hundreds of years ago – that our hearts are restless until they find their rest in God – is equally true today. Spiritual food is required to satisfy our spiritual hunger. The fruits of this world are good in their proper place, but when we idolize them we sell ourselves short. Created things in and of themselves are not enough; our hearts can accept nothing less than communion with the Creator.

We are children of God, and the things of this world do not fully satisfy us.

May we find our true rest and satisfaction in You.


In God’s Care
    May 1

Loving can cost a lot, not loving always costs more.
~~Merle Shain

We are invited to choose and express loving thoughts throughout every day. This often means surrendering our opinions or desires for the moment. It means, quite frequently, honoring another’s needs above our own. In this way it costs us. And yet, giving up the struggle for the winning opinion or relinquishing our desire to control plans brings rewards. We will feel peaceful with surrender. We will know that God has entered our consciousness.

If we never surrender, if we never give in to love, we are kept distant from our true selves and the people we yearn to be close to. Our loneliness in the midst of our friends will bring much more pain than the momentary pinch of surrender – a pinch that in reality promises peace.

    I will choose surrender over control, love over self-satisfaction with my friends today.


Day By Day
May 1
Loving ourselves

Our fellowship tells us to take care of ourselves first. It tells us that life and our Twelve Step program come before anyone or anything else. But what if we get too self-centered about this? Taking care of ourselves does not mean being selfish or maliciously hurting others to meet our own needs. What it means is that we learn to love and mature ourselves, becuse we are important. We are truly closest to ourselves. If we don’t love ourselves, who will?

The famous psychologist Erich Fromm says that if people can love productively, then they can also love themselves; if they can love only others, then they cannot love at all. This means that, to be able to love others, we need the capacity to love and care for ourselves.

Am I learning to love myself?

Higher Power, help me to love myself so that I may better love you and others.

Today I will work on how feel about myself by…


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