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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 – May 21

Just For Today
May 21
Keep Coming Back!

“Meetings keep us in touch with where we’ve been, but more importantly with where we could go in our recovery.”
Basic Text, p. 54

In many ways, addicts are different. When we came to Narcotics Anonymous we found others like ourselves, people who understood us and whom we could understand. No longer did we feel like aliens, strangers wherever we went. We were at home in NA meetings, among friends.

We don’t stop being addicts after we’ve been clean awhile. We still need to identify with other addicts. We continue coming to NA meetings to keep in touch with who we are, where we’ve come from, and where we’re going. Every meeting reminds us that we can never use drugs successfully. Every meeting reminds us that we’ll never be cured, but that by practicing the principles of the program we can recover. And every meeting offers us the experience and example of other addicts in ongoing recovery.

At meetings, we see how different people work their program, and the results are apparent in their lives. If we want the lives we see others living, we can find out what they’ve done to get where they are. Narcotics Anonymous meetings offer us identification with where we’ve been and where we can go — identification we can’t do without and can’t get anywhere else. That keeps us coming back.

Just for today: I will attend an NA meeting to remind myself of who I am, where I’ve come from, and where I can go in my recovery.

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Daily Reflections
May 21
A LIST OF BLESSINGS

One exercise that I practice is to try for a full inventory of my blessings . . .
AS BILL SEES IT, p. 37

What did I have to be grateful for? I shut myself up and started listing the blessings for which I was in no way responsible, beginning with having been born of sound mind and body. I went through seventy-four years of living right up to the present moment. The list ran to two pages, and took two hours to compile; I included health, family, money, A.A.– the whole gamut. Every day in my prayers, I ask God to help me remember my list, and to be grateful for it throughout the day. When I remember my gratitude list, it’s very hard to conclude that God is picking on me.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day
May 21
A.A. Thought For The Day

One of the finest things about A.A. is the sharing. Sharing is a wonderful thing because the more you share the more you have. in our old drinking days, we didn’t do much sharing. We used to keep things to ourselves, partly because we were ashamed, but mostly because we were selfish. And we were very lonely because we didn’t share. When we came into A.A., the first thing we found was sharing. We heard other alcoholics frankly sharing their experiences with hospitals, jails, and all the usual mess that goes with drinking. Am I sharing?

Meditation For The Day

Character is developed by the daily discipline of duties done. Be obedient to the heavenly vision and take the straight way. Do not fall into the error of calling “Lord, Lord,” and doing not the things that should be done. You need a life of prayer and meditation, but you must still do your work in the busy ways of life. The busy person is wise to rest and wait patiently for God’s guidance. If you are obedient to the heavenly vision, you can be at peace.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may be obedient to the heavenly vision. I pray if I fall, I will pick myself up and go on.

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As Bill Sees It
May 21
“Restore Us to Sanity”, p. 141

Few indeed are the practicing alcoholics who have any idea how irrational they are, or, seeing their irrationality, can bear to face it.  For example, some will be willing to term themselves “problem drinkers,” but cannot endure the suggestion that they are in fact mentally ill.

They are abetted in this blindness by a world which does not understand the difference between sane drinking and alcoholism.  “Sanity” is defined as “soundness of mind.” Yet no alcoholic, soberly analyzing his destructive behavior, whether the destruction fell on the dining-room furniture or his own moral fiber, can claim “soundness of mind” for himself.

12 & 12, pp. 32-33

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Walk in Dry Places
May 21
What is a disappointment?
Handling My Outlook

Try as we will for success and achievement, we still must face a number of disappointments in our lives. We may be disappointed by a sales presentation that failed, a repair project that became a nightmare, or a vacation plan that turned sour. How can we handle such disappointments in the spirit of the Twelve Step program?

We must remember not to be too hard on ourselves when disappointments occur. Disappoints are part of the human experience, not misfortunes that come only to certain individuals. If we’ve done our best in any situation, we are not responsible if it did not work out.

Even more important, we should use every disappointment as a learning experience. It’s always possible that one disappointment will provide kernels of truth that will help us succeed in our next effort. Many people point to specific disappointments or setbacks as times when they are able to find new direction.

There are even times when disappointment in a lesser enterprise clears the way for success in a larger one. Whatever the outcome, no disappointment need be final—- nor should we take it as proof that we’re somehow inadequate and unworthy.

I will be positive in my outlook, expecting every effort to be effective and successful. If disappointment comes, however, I will take it in stride, knowing that it’s only a temporary detour in my successful life.

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Keep It Simple
May 21

Be not afraid of growing slowing, be afraid only of standing still.
—Chinese proverb

All of us are a little afraid of growth. We wonder how growth will change our lives. Who will we be? Will our friend still love us? Can’t we grow up and get in over with? Why does it take so long?

All of us have a need to keep growing. There is no age when we’re “all grown up” and all done learning. But we don’t need to rush our growth. Like a child on a too-big bicycle, at times we’ll find ourselves out of control. We’ll tip over. We can grow at our own pace, but we must grow. We must make changes. Or else, like an athlete on a too-small bicycle, we won’t get far. We’ll tip over too!

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition
May 21
Our Southern Friend

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

Father is an Episcopal minister and his work takes him over long drives on bad roads. His parishioners are limited in number, but his friends are many, for him to race, creed, or social position makes no difference. It is not before he drives up in the buggy. Both he and old Maud are glad to get home. The drive home was long and cold but he was thankful for the hot bricks that some thoughtful person had given him for his feet. Soon supper is on the table. Father says grace, which delays my attack on the buckwheat cakes and sausages.

p. 208

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions
May 21

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

These obstacles, however, are very real. The first, and one of the most difficult, has to do with forgiveness. The moment we ponder a twisted or broken relationship with another person, our emotions go on the defensive. To escape looking at the wrongs we have done another, we resentfully focus on the wrong he has done us. This is especially true if he has, in fact, behaved badly at all. Triumphantly we seize upon his misbehavior as the perfect excuse for minimizing or forgetting our own.

p. 78

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Xtra Thoughts
May 21

“If you do what you have always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten.”
–Anon.

May today there be peace within.  May you trust your Highest Power that you are exactly where you are meant to be.  May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith.  May you use those gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you.  May you be content knowing you are a child of God.  Let this presence settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, and to bask in the sun.
–unknown

It comes down to a moment-to-moment choice to serve the highest good. It is not enough to do it just once today and figure that is it.  Keep choosing the highest good.
–John Morton

“The love that is real is the love that lies at the heart of all relationships. That is the love of God, and it doesn’t change with form or circumstance.”
–Marianne Williamson

“One seeks God in books; one finds him in prayer.”
–Padre Pio

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation
May 21
ART

“Art flourishes where there is a sense of adventure.”
–A. N. Whitehead

Today I enjoy and am sustained by the adventure of life. The adventure of living. The adventure of living my life. For years I spent my time avoiding situations, avoiding people, avoiding me. Now in my daily recovery I need to participate and experience my spiritual energy. I want to meet new people. I want to travel. I want to work productively and earn money. I want to add something to this beautiful world.

I am discovering in my recovery that experiencing my creative spirituality makes me an artist. God is found in the hugs I give and the early morning “hellos” I shout to strangers. Today I am not afraid anymore. Today I am alive.

God, may I seek and find You in the small and mundane things of life; let me find You where I am.

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Bible Scriptures
May 21

Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.  No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and His love is made complete in us. We know that we live in Him and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit.
1 John 4:11-13

And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love.  Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him.
1 John 4:16

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Daily Inspiration
May 21

Strengthen your character by knowing which things in life are nonnegotiable to you. Lord, I pray for the strength to say no when saying yes would go against that in which I believe.

Forgiveness frees the heart and moves us from the victim to the one who is in control of our lives. Lord, forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.

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Each Day a New Beginning
May 21

Our friends were not unearthly beautiful, Nor spoke with tongues of gold; our lovers blundered now and again when we most sought perfection . . .
—Adrienne Rich

So often our expectations exceed reality. We want more than we have; our homes, our loved ones, perhaps our jobs seem not to measure up. “If only. . .” we say to ourselves. The time has come to quit saying “if only” and be glad, instead, for what is.

We are recovering. We do have friends and family who care about us. We do have exactly what we need at this moment.

We each can make a contribution today for the good of someone else and thus for ourselves. And in the act of looking to this day–to giving something to another human being – we will sense the inner perfection we mistakenly long for in our outer selves.

I can look around me today and be thankful. I will tell someone close that I’m glad we share one another’s world.

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A Day At A Time
May 21

Reflection For The Day

“The language of friendship is not words, but meanings,” wrote Thoreau.  Life indeed takes on new menaings, as well as new meaning in The Program.  To watch people recover, to see them help others, to watch loneliness vanish, to see a fellowship grow up about you, to have a host of friends — this is an experience not to be missed.  Can I recall my inital reactions when I came to The Program?  Do I believe that I’ve finally come home?

Today I Pray

As The Program has given life new meanings for me, may I pass along to others that same chance to re-evaluate their lives in the light of sobriety, commonj purpose, friendhips and spiritual expansion.  Prasie God for my new vision of human life.  Praise Him for restoring for me the value and purpose of living.

Today I Will Remember

I value my Life.

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One More Day
May 21

Out of a sense of duty and a desire to protect a loved one, a vicious cycle of misinterpretation, guesswork, silence, and isolation is initiated.
— Neil A. Fiore

For a while we may have tried to protect our loved ones by not talking about our illness. We may have even secretly hoped that it would go away if we didn’t talk about it. We learned, however, that this would never be and that problems often escalate if they are not dealt with.

We see more clearly now that we can’t protect our family members or our friends. Trying to protect them meant denying our own feelings and ignoring theirs. We’ve discovered that our loved one don’t need to be — and often don’t want to be — protected. And when we don’t protect them, we’ve found that we and the people we love are growing and becoming stronger.

I can be honest with my loved ones about my feelings and needs.

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One Day At A Time
May 21
THOUGHTS

“The universe is transformation; our lives are what our thoughts make it.”
–Marcus Aurelius Antoninus

The power of our thoughts is astounding, and my negative thoughts kept me in chains for many years. I was constantly thinking of what was not right, what I didn’t do right, what needs of mine went unmet. My life was miserable by my own making. My own thoughts kept me in a prison of negativity. The only person who had the key was me. For many years I stayed locked in, not knowing the key was in my possession..

When I came to the program I learned that I had responsibility for my “side of the street.” I finally came to understand that I was able to change my thinking, one day at a time. It was a slow process. It took a life-time to learn negative thinking patterns, and it took years to learn positive thinking patterns. Using the tools of the program was the key to re-educating my mind. At meetings I heard positive statements that others made about themselves and me. Reading program literature was always a positive experience. As I chose nurturing, loving sponsors, they affirmed me and my baby steps toward wholeness and healing. All of these, and other tools, worked slowly to bring about an awareness that I held the key to my own prison door and gave me the courage to take the key and free myself from negativity..

One day at a time…
I will choose positive thoughts and actions that bring me freedom.

~ Carolyn H.

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Elder’s Meditation of the Day May 21

“A vision could put you on a path you don’t want to follow.”
–Archie Fire Lame Deer, LAKOTA

There is a saying, “You move toward and become like that which you think about.” If we keep thinking about a bad thing, we will move in that direction. If we think about fear in some area of our life, we will probably experience this fear. We move toward and become like that which we think about. If we think about secret things, these secret things will come to pass. Our visions are very powerful. Visions determine our direction, our lives. If you think about lustful things, it’s a matter of time before you’ll be wrestling with it. We should think about our visions to make sure they include the Great Spirit in every area.

Great Spirit, today, give me Your vision to follow.

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Journey to the Heart
May 21
Listen for the Music

The woman at the campground in Olympic National Forest extended an invitation to me. “Some evenings when the soaking pools are closed and the guests are in their cabins, the members of the staff build a campfire, gather round, and sing. Listen for the music. You’re welcome to join us. You’ll have a great time.”

The universe has invited us to join in,too. How often have we heard the music and for some reason been fearful to join in? We don’t have to stand in the shadows, watching others make music, watching others laugh and have a good time Whether it’s a group of friends doing karaoke or simply a good time of love and laughter, when we hear the music in our lives, it’s okay to join in. Some of the best times in my life were spent around a piano making music with the people I love. Some of the most memorable times have been when I forgot my fears and self-consciousness enough to relax and have fun with the people I was with.

Music is all around us. Listen for it. Seek it out. Know you’re welcome to join in. Don’t worry about how well you carry a tune or whether you know all the words. You’ve been invited to the campfire. Come. Sing along. You’ll have the time of your life.

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Today’s Gift
May 21

Who will tell whether one happy moment of love or the joy of breathing or walking on a bright morning and smelling the fresh air, is not worth all the suffering and effort which life implies. . . .
—Erich Fromm

A robin comes alive by breaking out of its shell. The small bird struggles to break out of the safety of the blue egg. Once out, it struggles to grow, slowly learning how to eat, walk, and fly.

We, too, struggle as we grow. There is brokenness in all of our lives – broken hearts and broken dreams. Yet these experiences open our way to a world of growing. We find comfort in the presence of a Power greater than ourselves in the same way a baby bird finds warmth near the body of its mother. We, too, can grow stronger every day, learning to take in nourishment and trying out our new wings.

What struggles have made me as strong as I am today?

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The Language of Letting Go
May 21, 2011
Getting Needs Met

I want to change careers . . . I need a friend . . .I’m ready to be in a relationship . . .

Regularly, we become aware of new needs. We may need to change our behavior with our children. We may need a new couch, love and nurturing, a dollar, or help.

Do not be afraid to recognize a want or need. The birth of a want or need, the temporary frustration from acknowledging a need before it’s met, is the start of the cycle of receiving what we want. We follow this by letting go, then receiving that which we want and need. Identifying our needs is preparation for good things to come.

Acknowledging our needs means we are being prepared and drawn to that which will meet them. We can have faith to stand in that place in between.

Today, I will let go of my belief that my needs never get met. I will acknowledge my wants and needs, and then turn them over to my Higher Power. My Higher Power cares, sometimes about the silliest little things, if I do. My wants and needs are not an accident. God created me and all my desires.

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More language of letting go
May 21
Say when it’s either/or

A deadline is different from an ultimatum. Deadlines involve the ue of time to get something done. Ultimatums use power.

Ultimatums involve two ideas: an either and an or. Use ultimatums sparingly in your life. Sometimes, however, ultimatum is the only way to get a person’s attention.

Here are some examples: “Either you get sober and stop using drugs, or I’m going to put you in prison.” “Either you start working and stop drinking, or I’m going to take the children and leave.” “Either you show up for work on time, or I’m going to find someone else to do your job.”

Ideally, an ultimatum is not used to control the other person. It is an expression of limits– a powerful way of indicating to the other person that we’re on the verge of screaming when.

Sometimes people use ultimatums as power plays. They use them to play on our fears, particularly our fear of abandonment: “Either you do what I want, or I’ll go away.” “Either you keep quiet and don’t confront my behavior, or I’ll get angry and punish you by being mad.” This may work for a while, but ultimately, it can backfire.

Don’t use ultimatums as power plays, or devices to control the people around you. Don’t let other people use ultimatums to control or manipulate you. Use them as last-ditch warning notices that you’re about to say when.

God, help me be aware of ultimatums, both the ones I dish out and the ones other people use on me.

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Touchstones Meditation For Men
May 21

Everyone is a bore to someone. That is unimportant. The thing to avoid is being a bore to oneself.
—Gerald Brenan

As teenagers most of us were very self-conscious and concerned about how we looked to others. That was a normal stage in development. But, for many of us, our addictions began at that age, or the addictions of others affected us. Our emotional development stopped. We didn’t develop an inner reference point, a relationship with our Higher Power that influenced us and helped us weigh other people’s opinions.

In recovery, we resumed our emotional and spiritual development where it had stopped. It is liberating to know that how we feel about something is important. We can follow our interests and pursue our commitments. We need not be ruled by others’ feelings. With our regular pattern of taking our inventory, praying, and meditating, we are developing a relationship with ourselves, which builds character and maturity.

Today, I will give importance to how I feel, what I believe, and what is interesting to me.

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DailyTAO
May 21
WRINKLES

Lines on the face, tattoos of aging.
Life is proved upon the body
Like needle-jabs from a blind machine.

The older one gets, the more one is conscious of aging. We can barely remember childhood innocence and exuberance. We are surprised by the youthful vitality and unmarked face when we see earlier photos of ourselves. When we look in the mirror, we reluctantly acknowledge the aging mask. It seems that there is no escaping the marks of life.

Every experience that we have, everything that we do and think is registered upon us as surely as the steady embroidery of a tattoo artist. But to a large degree, the pattern and picture that will emerge is up to us. If we go to a tattoo artist, it is we who select the picture. In life, it is we who select what we will become by the actions we perform. There is no reason to go through life thoughtlessly, to let accident shape us. That is like allowing oneself to be tattooed by a blind man. How can you help but turn out old and ugly?

Whether we emerge beautiful or ugly is our sole responsibility.

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