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 – May 19

Just For Today
May 19
A Growth Inventory

“We review our past performance and our present behavior to see what we want to keep and what we want to discard.”
Basic Text, p. 29

As each day winds to a close, many of us reflect on the past twenty-four hours and consider how we can live differently in the future. It’s easy for our thoughts to remain trapped in the mundane: change the oil in the car, keep the living room clean, or empty the litter box. Sometimes it takes a special effort to jog our thinking out of the daily rut and onto a higher track.

One simple question can put us on the high road: What do we think our Higher Power wants for us tomorrow? Maybe we need to improve our flagging conscious contact with the God of our understanding. Perhaps we’ve been uncomfortable in our job or our relationship, holding on only out of fear. We might be hiding some troubling defect of character, afraid to share it with our sponsor. The question is, in what parts of our lives do we really want to grow?

As each day ends, we find it beneficial to take some moments to spend time with our Higher Power. We can begin to reflect on what will benefit our program of spiritual growth most in the coming day. We think about the areas in which we have grown recently, and target areas that still require work. What more fitting way to end the day?

Just for today: I will set aside some time at the end of the day to commune with my Higher Power. I will review the past day, meditating on what stands between me and my Higher Power’s will for my life.

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Daily Reflections
May 19

And he well knows that his own life has been made richer, as an extra dividend of giving to another without any demand for a return.

The concept of giving without strings was hard to understand when I first came into the program. I was suspicious when others wanted to help me. I thought, “What do they want in return?” But I soon learned the joy of helping another alcoholic and I understood why they were there for me in the beginning. My attitudes changed and I wanted to help others. Sometimes I became anxious, as I wanted them to know the joys of sobriety, that life can be beautiful. When my life is full of a loving God of my understanding and I give that love to my fellow alcoholic, I feel a special richness that is hard to explain

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day
May 19
A.A. Thought For The Day

Fellowship is a big part of staying sober. The doctors call it group therapy. We never go to an A.A. meeting without taking something out of it. Sometimes we don’t feel like going to a meeting and we think of excuses for not going. But we usually end up by going anyway and we always get some lift out of every meeting. Meetings are part of keeping sober. And we get more out of a meeting if we try to contribute something to it. Am I contributing my share at meetings?

Meditation For The Day

“He brought me up out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock and established my goings.” The first part, “He brought me up out of a horrible pit,” means that by turning to God and putting my problems in His hands, I am able to overcome my sins and temptations. “He set my feet upon a rock” means that when I trust God in all things, I have true security. “He established my goings” means that if I honestly try to live the way God wants me to live, I will have God’s guidance in my daily living.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that my feet may be set upon a rock. I pray that I may rely on God to guide my comings and goings.

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As Bill Sees It
May 19
Spot-Checking, p. 132

A spot-check inventory taken in the midst of disturbances can be of very great help in quieting stormy emotions. Today’s spot check finds its chief application to situations which arise in each day’s march. The consideration of long-standing difficulties had better be postponed, when possible, to times deliberately set aside for that purpose.

The quick inventory is aimed at our daily ups and downs, especially those where people or new events throw us off balance and tempt us to make mistakes.

12 & 12, pp. 90-91

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Walk in Dry Places
May 19
Principles are Enduring
Problem Solving

We often emphasize -Principles before personalities– in Twelve Step programs, sometimes without fully understanding what’s involved. The real message of this slogan is that we should treat people equality while following certain guidelines in our own actions.

While we are influenced by strong personalities, we cannot rely on them for complete guidance and direction. People can betray us or simply fail us through no fault of their own. Principles, on the other hand, are enduring and will be with us long after personal relationships wither away.

One unfailing principle for living is to live each day remembering that God is guiding and directing all actions and outcomes. While we will be grateful for the assistance and cooperation of others, we will not hold them responsible for our successor failures.

I’ll live today with the belief that God’s good plan is working gin all people’s lives. I will not expect too much or too little of others, but rather will deal wit them fairly and decently.

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Keep It Simple
May 19

The art of living is more like wrestling than dancing.
—Marcus Aurelius

The struggles of life teach us a lot. They challenge our beliefs. As we struggle, we come to believe that our friends, family, and Higher Power will be there for us in hard times. But we must do our part. We need to call and honestly let people know how we are doing. We need to pray and ask our Higher Power for help. If we do these things, we’ll come to respect and learn from hard times.

Prayer for the Day: I pray for the wisdom to see that struggles are part of live. Higher Power, I pray for Your help in not taking struggles too personally.

Action for the Day: I’ll list four times I’ve struggled and what I learned from each struggle. I’ll share this with a friend.

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Each Day a New Beginning
May 19

. . . if we are suffering illness, poverty, or misfortune, we think we shall be satisfied on the day it ceases. But there too, we know it is false, so soon as one has got used to not suffering, one wants something else.
—Simone Weil

Perhaps it’s the human condition never to be satisfied and yet always to think, “If only . . .” However, the more we look within for wholeness, the greater will be our acceptance of all things, at all times.

So frequently we hear that happiness is within. But what does that mean when we may have just lost the job that supported us and our children? Or when the car won’t start and funds are low? Or when we are feeling really scared and don’t know whom to talk to or where to go? “Happiness is within” is such a grand platitude at those times.

Nevertheless, our security in any situation is within, if we but know how to tap it. It is within because that is where the strength we are blessed with resides, the strength given us from the power greater than ourselves. “Going within” takes, first, a decision. Next, it takes stillness, and then, patience. But peace will come.

We will quit wanting when we have learned how to turn to our inner strength. We will find serenity rather than suffering.

I will go within whenever I feel the rumblings of dissatisfaction today. I will look there for my joy and sense of well-being and know that divine order is in charge.

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition
May 19
Women Suffer Too

Despite great opportunities, alcohol nearly ended her life. Early member, she spread the word among women in our pioneering period.

An active member of A.A. since 1939, I feel myself a useful member of the human race at last. I have something to contribute to humanity, since I am peculiarly qualified, as a fellow-sufferer, to give aid and comfort to those who have stumbled and fallen over this business of meeting life. I get my greatest thrill of accomplishment from the knowledge that I have played a part in the new happiness achieved by countless others like myself. The fact that I can work again and earn my living, is important, but secondary. I believe that my once over-weening self-will has finally found its proper place, for I can say many times daily, “Thy will be done, not mine” . . . and mean it.

p. 207

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions
May 19

Step Eight – “Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.”

Steps Eight and Nine are concerned with personal relations. First, we take a look backward and try to discover where we have been at fault; next we make a vigorous attempt to repair the damage we have done; and third, having thus cleaned away the debris of the past, we consider how, with our newfound knowledge of ourselves, we may develop the best possible relations with every human being we know.

p. 77

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Xtra Thoughts
May 19

An old timer had shared in the meeting about praying for something, and that God had answered her request. Someone asked her, “How do you know it was God who granted your request?”  She replied…”I didn’t ask anyone else.”

“When someone does something well, applaud! You will make two people happy.”
–Samuel Goldwyn

“Take time for solitude. How else can you contemplate the blessings of recovery.”
–Abby Warman

Be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind. Talk health, happiness, and prosperity to every person you meet. Make all your friends feel there is something special in them. Look at the sunny side of everything. Think only of the best, work only for the best, and expect only the best. Be as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own. Forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future. Give everyone a smile.  Spend so much time improving yourself that you have no time left to criticize others. Be too big for worry and too noble for anger.
–Christian D. Larsen

Try to enjoy everything you do, Life is too short not to.

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation
May 19

“Money is the symbol of duty. It is the sacrament of having done for mankind that which mankind wanted.”
–Samuel Butler

St. Paul said, “The laborer is worthy of his hire.” In one sense money – how people pay us for the services we have performed – is symbolic of our value in the community. Of course, this is not always true and people can make money by dishonest and destructive methods.

However, in our society money is also a force behind much creativity and job satisfaction. The danger is to become a “snob”. Thinking that we are better than others because we earn more money.

Spirituality is about discovering the “oneness” of mankind and incorporating our creative “difference” – we can all learn from each other. Pretentiousness is indicative of insecurities that need to be dealt within our recovery program.

O Lord, let my gratitude be seen in my relationship with others.

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Bible Scriptures
May 19

“To you, O Lord, I called; to the Lord I cried for mercy: ‘What gain is there in my destruction, in my going down to the pit? Will the dust praise you? Will it proclaim your faithfulness? Hear, O Lord, and be merciful to me; O Lord, be my help.’ You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing to you and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give you thanks forever.”
Psalm 30:8-12

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Daily Inspiration
May 19

It is far better to feel fulfilled than to feel important because you have taken on too much. Lord, help me eliminate the unnecessary demands in my life which only cause stress.

We are powerless to change our past, but we can change how we look at it. Lord, help me to realize that my past has made me a stronger person and show me that these experiences have taught me valuable life lessons.

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A Day At A Time 
May 19

Reflection For The Day

“When I was driven to my knees by alcohol, I was made ready to ask for the gift of faith,” wrote AA co-founder Bill W.  “And all was changed.  Never again, my pains and problems notwithstanding, would I experience my former desolation.  I saw the universe to be lighted by God’s love;  I was alone no more.”  Am I convinced that my new life is real and that it will last so long as I continue doing what The Program and Twelve Steps suggest that I do?

Today I Pray

May God be the ever-present third party in my relationships with others, whether they are casual or involve a deep emotional commitment.  May I be aware that if there is real friendship or love between human beings, God’s spirit is always present.  May I feel His spirit in all my human relationships.

Today I Will Remember

God is The Divine Third.

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   One More Day
    May 19

The thought of suicide is a great consolation: by means of it one gets successfully through many a bad night.
— Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

Many of us pretend that the thought of suicide has never crossed our minds, but our thoughts may occasionally become morbid — and we may be frightened.

These thoughts may seem harmful, but they may actually be helpful. Thoughts of suicide can force us to recognize how much we value living.

As we contemplate the moment at which our life would end, we struggle and notice our desire for life, although we may no understand why we have this desire. What’s important is that we gave ourselves the choice of death and did not choose it. As we feel the joy of that decision we can think more of ourselves and of our worth. We really do want to live and are strong enough to know that suicide is not an acceptable solution to our problems

    I feel joy from knowing I can choose life.

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One Day At A Time
May 19

The ability to delude yourself may be an important survival tool.
–Jane Wagner

I had many delusions when I entered the Twelve Step program. One by one they have shattered, but only when I was able to handle the truth.

Still, I have looked back at the things I was in denial about during my sickness, and I blamed myself for not seeing the truth sooner, for not seeking recovery sooner. On the good days, which are becoming more and more common for me, I see that my denial was indeed a survival tool.

I spent 33 years with eating disorders without ever consciously knowing about them. Subconsciously, I was very interested in books and movies about anorexia and bulimia, and was fascinated to learn about compulsive overeating. I can only believe I was unknowingly preparing myself for the day when I would be able to face my addiction and still survive.

One day at a time…
I will remind myself that many things are in our lives for a reason,
even denial.

~ Rhonda H. ~

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Elder’s Meditation of the Day May 19

“To be able to greet the sun with the sounds from all of Nature is a great blessing, and it helps us to remember Who is the real provider of all of our benefits.”
–Thomas Yellowtail, CROW

The Elders say we should pray to the East every morning. Just try it! Get up early in the morning, watch the sun and listen to the morning sounds, the birds, the winds; smell the air, feel the breeze and the warmth of the sun. Your mind will expand and you will experience oneness with the Great Spirit. You’ll realize who is really in charge. You’ll realize interconnectedness. You’ll realize how much the Creator loves you! Just try it!

Great Spirit, today, let me feel the Earth, the Father Sun and your presence.

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Journey to the Heart
May 19
Don’t Be Afraid of Making Mistakes

Don’t be afraid of making a mistake. That energy can create more mistakes. It can stop us from enjoying what we’re doing. It can block us from creating freely and making something beautiful.

Sometimes it’s necessary and important to make mistakes, to fumble around and do something poorly so we can learn to do it better next time. No matter what we’re doing or what we’re learning, we have to start somewhere. Look back at the past. We learned by trying, stumbling, falling, getting back up, and trying again. But we wouldn’t be where we’re at if we hadn’t begun where we were.

Jump in, begin, and do the task as best you can. Stop worrying about mistakes, and let yourself do it as well as you can right now. If you do it wrong or poorly, you can do it over again. And when you do it in an attitude of love, you won’t fail. You’ll learn something new about yourself, life, and the task.

Love yourself enough to try. Let yourself make mistakes. Tell yourself you don’t have to do it perfectly. Let yourself have fun while you’re learning. Start where you are, and do what you can. Learning and getting better will happen from there.

You may not always know the best way in the beginning, but if you keep trying, you’ll quickly learn to tell when you’re on track.

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Today’s Gift
May 19

As we learn we always change, and so our perception. This changed perception then becomes a new Teacher inside each of us.
—Hyemeyohsts Storm

Hyemeyohsts Storm’s book, Seven Arrows, tells the stories of one of the Indian tribes in this country before most of its members were killed. They believed that change was important for growth. Change is sometimes frightening. We usually prefer the familiar, no matter how uncomfortable, over taking a chance on the unknown.

When fear gets in the way of making healthy changes, we talk to fear, inviting it along with us on our course of action. Getting to know fear allows us to ask it for a gift: the courage to walk with fear by our side and learn from it as we go. It allows us to learn which fear is blocking our progress and which fear is healthy – cautioning us against actions that might be harmful.

What fear might I make a friend of today?

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The Language of Letting Go
May 19
Solving Problems

“Shame is the first feeling that strikes me whenever I, or someone I love, has a problem,” said one recovering woman.

Many of us were raised with the belief that having a problem is something to be ashamed of.

This belief can do many damaging things to us. It can stop us from identifying our problems; it can make us feel alienated and inferior when we have, or someone we love has, a problem. Shame can block us from solving a problem and finding the gift from the problem.

Problems are a part of life. So are solutions. People have problems, but we, and our self-esteem, are separate from our problems.

I’ve yet to meet a person who didn’t have problems to solve, but I’ve met many who felt shamed to talk about the problems they actually had solved!

We are more than our problems. Even if our problem is our own behavior, the problem is not who we are – it’s what we did.

It’s okay to have problems. It’s okay to talk about problems at appropriate times, and with safe people. It’s okay to solve problems.

And we’re okay, even when we have, or someone we love has, a problem. We don’t have to forfeit our personal power or our self-esteem. We have solved exactly the problems we’ve needed to solve to become who we are.

Today, I will let go of my shame about problems.

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More language of letting go
May 19
Tell yourself how long you’ll wait

Use deadlines as a tool.

Sometimes, we find ourselves in an uncomfortable situation. We don’t know what to do next. We don’t know how to solve the problem. We don’t know the course that’s going to unfold. Maybe we’re seeing someone, and the relationship isn’t gaining momentum, but it’s not time to push the issue. Maybe all we need to do is give the other person a little space and time to work through his or her stuff. Maybe the business that we’re pursuing isn’t gaining any momentum, but things may change course. Part of us, the obsessive part, says, “I need to know right now.” But the other part of us, the serene, wise part, says, “Relax. It’s not time. You don’t have all the information yet.”

Create a deadline, a private one, with yourself. Tell yourself you’ll give it six weeks or three months or maybe a year to change course. Then you’ll evaluate the data and make a decision about what to do next.

Sometiimes, setting a deadline is all we need to do to help ourselves relax. We know we’re not trapped. We’re not being a victim. We’re making a conscious decision to let go and let things unfold.

God, grant me the serenity to not try to force outcomes and solutions too soon.

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Touchstones Meditation For Men
May 19

The world is full of people looking for spectacular happiness while they snub contentment
—Doug Larson

We are men on a quest. We seek the serenity of being friendly toward the world and toward ourselves. The spiritual practices we follow are personal and quiet, not spectacular or dazzling. We have been part of the throng seeking stimulating highs. Some of us know the excitement and escape of saving others from their own troubles or drowning ourselves in activity and work. We may know the mellowness of a drug or food binge. Perhaps we know the heart-pounding intensity of shoplifting, gambling, or sexual pursuit.

The way of life suggested by this simple program changes us deeply if we fully surrender to it. This spiritual quest changes us slowly over time, and our reward is contentment. It produces a joy, a feeling of well-being, which is far richer than the momentary pleasures we sought in the past.

Today, I am grateful for a way of life, which leads me toward a contentment I can rely on.

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May 19

Wall of flames, bridge of tears.
Snowflake on newly forged links.

For a marriage to last, a couple must go through great travails and hardships. It is like a process of forging steel links together. The iron must be heated to a high degree and then plunged into cold water. A marriage alternates between the heat of passion and love and the chilling times of tragedy, conflict, and adversity. An enduring marriage becomes like tempered steel.

It is difficult to go through life alone. We all need support and the sense of belonging that comes from working toward goals shared with another. For such a relationship to work, there must be a basic compatibility of values, outlook, and purpose. It is an inadequate cliché that husband and wife must be friends as well as lovers. Two mates can know a loyalty found in no other type of relationship. Yet even in the face of such strength, Tao reminds us of the need for moderation.

Ultimately, all relationships are temporary. False attachment to another can become an addiction, a voluntary bondage detrimental to clear perception. We should not bind another to ourselves, should not define ourselves by our marriage, should not force another to stay with us. But if chance allows us to walk together, who is anyone to challenge our choice of walking companions?

When it is time to part, then it is time to part. There should be no regrets. The beauty of marriage is like the fleeting perfection of a snowflake.

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