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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 22

Just For Today
May 22
Symptoms Of A Spiritual Awakening

“The steps lead to an awakening of a spiritual nature. This awakening is evidenced by changes in our lives.”
Basic Text, p. 48

We know how to recognize the disease of addiction. Its symptoms are indisputable. Besides an uncontrollable appetite for drugs, those suffering exhibit self-centered, self-seeking behavior. When our addiction was at its peak of activity, we were obviously in a great deal of pain. We relentlessly judged ourselves and others, and spent most of our time worrying or trying to control outcomes.

Just as the disease of addiction is evidenced by definite symptoms, so is a spiritual awakening made manifest by certain obvious signs in a recovering addict. We may observe a tendency to think and act spontaneously, a loss of interest in judging or interpreting the actions of anyone else, an unmistakable ability to enjoy each moment, and frequent attacks of smiling.

If we see someone exhibiting symptoms of a spiritual awakening, we should be aware that such awakenings are contagious. Our best course of action is to get close to these people. As we begin having frequent, overwhelming episodes of gratitude, an increased receptiveness to the love extended by our fellow members, and an uncontrollable urge to return this love, we’ll realize that we, too, have had a spiritual awakening.

Just for today: My strongest desire is to have a spiritual awakening. I will watch for its symptoms and rejoice when I discover them.

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Daily Reflections
May 22
STEP ONE

Quote:WE . . . (The first word of the First Step)
TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 21

When I was drinking all I could ever think about was “I, I, I,” or “Me, Me, Me.” Such painful obsessions of self, such soul sickness, such spiritual selfishness bound me to the bottle for more than half my life. The journey to find God and to do His will one day at a time began with the first word of the First Step . . . “We.” There was power in numbers, there was strength in numbers, there was safety in numbers, and for an alcoholic like me, there was life in numbers, If I had tried to recover alone I probably would have died. With God and another alcoholic I have a divine purpose in my life . . . I have become a channel for God’s healing love.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day
May 22
A.A. Thought For The Day

What impresses us most at an A.A. meeting is the willingness to share, without holding anything back. And pretty soon we find ourselves sharing also. We start telling our own experiences and by so doing we help the other person. And when we’ve got these things off our chest, we feel a lot better. It does us a lot of good to share with some other poor unfortunate person who’s in the same box that we were in. And the more we share, the more we have left for ourselves. Do I know that the more I share, the better chance I’ll have to stay sober?

Meditations For Today

Constantly claim God’s strength. Once convinced of the right of a course of action, once reasonably sure of God’s guidance, claim that strength now. You can claim all the strength you need to meet any situation. You can claim a new supply when your own supply is exhausted. You have a right to claim it and you should use your right. A beggar supplicates, a child appropriates. When you supplicate, you are often kept waiting, but when you appropriate God’s strength in a good cause, you have it at once.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may claim God’s strength whenever I need it. I pray that I may try to live as a child of God.

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As Bill Sees It
May 22
God-Given Instincts, p. 142

Creation gave us instincts for a purpose. Without them we wouldn’t be complete human beings. If men and women didn’t exert themselves to be secure in their persons, made no effort to harvest food or construct shelter, there would be no survival. If they didn’t reproduce, the earth wouldn’t be populated. If there were no social instinct, there would be no society.

Yet these instincts, so necessary for our existence, often far exceed their proper functions. Powerfully, blindly, many times subtly, they drive us, dominate us, and insist upon ruling our lives.

<< << << >> >> >>

We tried to shape a sane ideal for our future sex life. We subjected each relation to this test: Was it selfish or not? We asked God to mold our ideals and help us to live up to them. We remembered always that our sex powers were God-given and therefore good, neither to be used lightly or selfishly nor to be despised and loathed.

1. 12 & 12, p. 42
2. Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 69

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Walk in Dry Places
May 22
Emotional sobriety may be elusive
Serenity

It is easy to know when one is maintaining sobriety as far as alcohol is concerned. Emotional sobriety is more difficult to measure, because is it usually gauged by our behavior and feelings in response to people and situations.

If we lack emotional sobriety, we are likely to end up in “dry drunks”. This means we lose emotional control under pressure or when threatened. We may think we have this control, yet find ourselves falling apart when seemingly small problems come up.

Maybe we have to accept that we will never have all the emotional control that we admire in others. This emotional sensitivity may even be part of our alcoholism. Most important, we must ensure that emotional binges do not become binges involving real booze.

Nor should wed judge ourselves too harshly when we undergo another emotional binge, or “dry drunk.” Such judgmental attitudes, even toward ourselves, may be a form of false pride.

Today I’ll seek all the serenity I can find. If I lose my cool temporarily, I’ll accept it as part of my general problem and get back to orderly thinking as quickly as possible.

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Keep It Simple
May 22

Showing up is 80 percent of life.
—Woody Allen

Life is full of things we don’t want to do. Yet when all parts of us( mind, body, spirit) show up, things go okay. By being there, we can learn about ourselves and help others.

Showing up means we care about our program. It means we speak up at meetings. It means we care about our family, our friends, the world. It means we listen when a friend has a bad day. It means seeing ourselves in others. It means we talk to someone who bothers us. Showing up means we laugh when something seems funny. It means we cry when we feel sad. We’re important, and we need to bring our mind, body, and spirit with us—wherever we go. Have I learned to show up, all of me?

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, help me show up for my life. Help me show up to do my part in Your plan today.

Today’s Action: As I go through my day, I’ll think about how I’m showing up for my life. I’ll be proud of myself for doing my part.

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Each Day a New Beginning
May 22

The change of one simple behavior can affect other behaviors and thus change many things.
—Jean Baer

Our behavior tells others and ourselves, who we are. Frequently, we find ourselves behaving in ways that keep us stuck or embarrass us. Or we may feel deep shame for our behavior in a certain instance. Our behavior will never totally please us. But deciding we want to change some behavior and using the program to help us, is a first step.

Remember, imperfections are human and very acceptable. However, changing a particular behavior, maybe deciding to take a walk every morning rather than sleeping 30 extra minutes, will change how we feel about ourselves. And a minor change such as this can have a remarkable effect on our outlook, our attitudes.

The dilemma for many of us for so long was the fear we couldn’t change. But we can. And we can help each other change, too.

One small change today – a smile at the first person I meet – meditation before dinner – a few minutes of exercise – will help me chart a new course. I will encourage another woman to join me in this effort too, and I will be on my way.

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition
May 22
Our Southern Friend

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

Bed-time comes. I climb to my room in the attic. It is cold so there is no delay. I crawl under a pile of blankets and blow out the candle. The wind is rising and howls around the house. But I am safe and warm. I fall into a dreamless sleep.
I am in church. Father is delivering his sermon. A wasp is crawling up the back of the lady in front of me. I wonder if it will reach her neck. Shucks! It has flown away. Ho, hum, maybe the watermelons are ripe in Mr. Jones patch. That’s an idea! Benny will know, but Mr. Jones will not know what happened to some of them, if they are. At last! The message has been delivered.
“Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works-.” I hunt for my nickel to drop in the plate so that mine will be seen.
Father comes forward in the chancel of the church. “The peace of God which passes all understanding, keep your hearts and minds.” Hurray! Just a hymn and then church will be over until next week!

p. 208

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions
May 22

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

Right here we need to fetch ourselves up sharply. It doesn’t make much sense when a real tosspot calls a kettle black. Let’s remember that alcoholics are not the only ones bedeviled by sick emotions. Moreover, it is usually a fact that our behavior when drinking has aggravated the defects of others. We’ve repeatedly strained the patience of our best friends to a snapping point, and have brought out the very worst in those who didn’t think much of us to begin with. In many instances we are really dealing with fellow sufferers, people whose woes we have increased. If we are now about to ask forgiveness for ourselves, why shouldn’t we start out by forgiving them, one and all?

p. 78

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Xtra Thoughts
May 22

You don’t stop laughing because you grow old, you grow old because you stopped laughing.
–unknown

God cannot help those who do not seize opportunities.
–Chinese Proverb

Help yourself and God will help you.
–Dutch Proverb

“No one grows old by living, only by losing interest in living.”
–Marie Beynon Ray

“There is just one life for each of us: our own.”
–Euripides

Too often we under estimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.
–Leo Buscaglia

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation
May 22
EARTH

“This could be such a beautiful world.”
–Rosalind Welcher

The beauty that I see in the world also reveals a sadness – a sadness in knowing that it could be a much more loving and accepting place for everybody. If only we would get together in our difference instead of demanding sameness.

We destroy so much God–given beauty by our desire to control, understand and arrogantly pursue a philosophy of selfishness – and we all lose.

But my spiritual hope for tomorrow comes in the creative choices I make today.

Let me be a good steward in Your world because it is Your gift to me.

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Bible Scriptures
May 22

“I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.”
John 12:24-26

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Daily Inspiration
May 22

To be happy, we must live in the present. Living in the past often brings painful memories and living in the future can bring worry and fear. Lord, when my thoughts slip away, help me quickly return my attention to where I am at this moment.

God is always at work in your life. Notice His light on the events of your day. Lord, I sometimes look without really seeing. Help me to pause and notice.

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A Day At A Time 
May 22

Reflection For The Day

When I first listened to people in The Program talking freely and honestly about themselves, I was stunned.  Their stories of their own addictive escapades, of their own secret fears, and of their own gnawing loneliness were literally mind-blowing for me.  I discovered — and hardly dared believe it at first — that I’m not alone.  I’m not all that different from everybody else and, in fact, we’re all very much the same.  I began to sense that I do belong somewhere, and my loneliness began to leave me.  Do I try to give to others what has been given freely to me?

Today I Pray

May I begin to see, as the life stories of my friends in The Program unfold for me, that our similarities are far more startling than our differences.  As I listen to their accounts of addition and recovery, may I experience often that small shock of recognition, a “hey-that’s-me!” feeling that is quick to chase away my separateness.  May I become a wholehearted member of the group, giving and taking in equal parts.

Today I Will Remember

Sameness, not Differences.

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    One More Day
    May 22

Happiness is like time and space — we make and measure it ourselves; it is as fancy, as big, as little, as you please; just a thing of contrasts and comparisons.
— George du Marier

Happiness is a reference point, a relative state of mind to which we compare other emotions. Being happy is one of our ultimate goals. How we get there or if we get there often depends on how we live and how we treat other people.

When we were children, many of our needs were taken care of by others. Now, it is more often we who must create our own happiness. We are no longer children dependent on others for our dreams and joys. We are adults, free to make our happiness in any form or shape we wish.

    My happiness depends on me, not on others.

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One Day At A Time
May 22
~ FAITH ~

The inability of the materialistic mind to grasp the idea of the Life Eternal is no proof of the non-existence of that life.
–‘Abdu’l-Baha

I grew up in a family where there was no belief in the existence of God, although we were told that it was up to us to decide where to put our faith.

I struggled through various addictions and disorders, but never forgot that one special time as a child, where I spontaneously went down on my knees one night to pray to God, who for a few moments had suddenly become very real.

As an adult, my belief in a Higher Power came and went like the breeze, so that some days I was an atheist, others an agnostic, and at other times filled with an awareness that God is in all things.

I am grateful that my addiction to overeating has brought me to this Twelve Step program. Every day I come to believe that a Power greater than myself can restore my sense of balance, and I make sure that I put in effort to maintain my conscious connection with God.

One Day at a Time . . .
I pray that my spiritual faculties and aspirations will daily increase, and that I will never allow the material senses to veil my eyes from the light of my Higher Power.

~ John M. ~

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Elder’s Meditation of the Day May 22

“The earth was created by the assistance of the sun, and it should be left as it was… The country was made without lines of demarcation, and it is no man’s business to divide it…”
–Chief Joseph, NEZ PERCE

There is danger when we start to draw lines and boundaries. This is true whether outside ourselves or inside ourselves. The danger is losing sight of the interconnectedness. When we lose sight of interconnectedness, separation, possessiveness (this is mine, I can do what I want) and infighting results. Even at an individual level, if we don’t believe we are connected to all things we get self-centered and have self-seeking motives. We must think in harmony, balance and integrity. We must see our relationship to the great whole and conduct ourselves accordingly.

Great Spirit, today, let me think beyond boundaries.

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Journey to the Heart
May 22
Learn the Art of Joyful Living

Let’s pretend for a moment we have a friend who’s with us much of the time. This friend watches us, watches our lives and circumstances, and comments: Oh, that’s too bad. That’s terrible. That’s awful. You could be doing better. You’re not doing very well. What’s wrong with you? Why did you do that? This friend isn’t very pleasant, but many of us have brought such a friend with us through much of our journey.

Now, let’s imagine something different. Let’s imagine a friend, a constant companion, who laughs a lot. This friend laughs at traffic, laughs at delays, laughs at long lines. Even laughs at setbacks. Of course, this friend doesn’t mock us or laugh at us when we’re in pain. This friend is compassionate and gentle, and has an open heart. But he or she helps us laugh, even when we hurt.

This friend has learned the art of joy, the art of living, and the art of living joyfully.

Let’s bring along the friend who knows the art of joyful living to help us learn the same.

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Today’s Gift
May 22

If it’s sanity you’re after, there’s no recipe like laughter.
—Henry Rutherford Elliot

A smile is the earliest form of communication. A human infant smiles in the first few weeks of life. As the child grows, it learns how to turn the smile into a laugh – a joyous response reflecting pleasure.

A sense of humor, a feeling of fun, and an ability to laugh are all signs of emotional maturity. Healthy laughter frees us; it is the sunshine that makes life’s shadows interesting. When we develop the ability to see the humor in a situation, we gain the ability to handle it.

We were born with smiles. They are as much a part of us as our teeth and hair. Polished and cared for, our smiles can grow into a sense of humor that will help us through the painful times.

How can I turn troubles into smiles today?

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The Language of Letting Go
May 22, 2011
Times of Reprogramming

Do not ask for love unless you’re ready to be healed enough to give and receive love.

Do not ask for joy unless you’re ready to feel and release your pain, so you can feel joy.

Do not ask for success unless you’re ready to conquer the behaviors that would sabotage success.

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could imagine ourselves having or becoming – and then immediately receiving – what we wanted? We can have and be the good things we want. All good things are ours for the asking. But first, groundwork – preparation work – must be done.

A gardener would not plant seeds unless the ground was adequately prepared to nurture and nourish those seeds. The planting would be wasted effort. It would be wasted effort for us to get what we wanted before we were ready.

First, we need to become aware of our need or desire. This may not be easy! Many of us have become accustomed to shutting off the inner voice of our wants, needs, and desires. Sometimes, life has to work hard to get our attention.

Next we let go of the old programming: the behavior and beliefs that interfere with nurturing and nourishing the good. Many of us have strong sabotaging programs, learned from childhood, that need to be released. We may need to act as if for a while until the belief that we deserve the good becomes real.

We combine this process with much letting go, while we are being changed at the core.

There is naturalness to this process, but it can be intense. Things take time.

Good things are ours for the asking, if we are willing to participate in the work of groundbreaking. Work and wait.

Today, God, give me the courage to identify the good I want in my life and to ask for it. Give me also the faith and stamina I need to go through the work that must be accomplished first.

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More language of letting go
May 22
Say when the price is too high

The cost of a thing is the amount of what I call life which is required to be exchanged for it, immediately or in the long run.
–Henry David Thoreau

Consider the young man who was doing great in his high school studies, then suddenly started to fall behind. One day a teacher pulled the young man aside and asked him what happened. The student told him that he had asked his father for a car, and the father told him that if he earned the money, he could have one. The student, being industrious and hard working, went out, got a job, saved the money, and bought the car. But then the car needed insurance, gas, and maintenance, so the student kept the job to keep up the car. The job took up more and more of his time, until finally he began to fall behind in his studies.

“Why don’t you just get rid of the car?” asked the teacher.

“Get rid of the car?” came the reply, “but how would I get to my job?”

How often we feel that if we just get that new car, that new boyfriend or girlfriend, that promotion, or the condo in the good neighborhood, we will find happiness and contentment– only to discover that the thing just brings with it more pain, more costs, and more bother than it’s worth. The new sports car runs only half the time, the new partner needs more care than your dog, the promotion eats up your weekends, and the new condo won’t allow pets.

Things don’t bring true happiness. Instead, they often sap your strength and leave you emptier than you were before. Think about the true cost of a thing before you pursue it– in time, lifestyle changes, energy, maintanence, and money. Can you really afford the amount of life that the thing will take from you in return for the happiness it brings? Are you willing to pay the price?

God, help me be aware of the true cost of the things in my life.

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Touchstones Meditation For Men
May 22

If you do not express your own original ideas, if you do not listen to your own being, you will have betrayed yourself.
—Rollo May

Those of us who go around trying to be right and do everything right are likely to betray ourselves. We stifle our impulses and control our intuition because we can’t be certain that we are correct. As a spiritual exercise, we could stop now and listen to our inner selves and state our own ideas. What comes out may break the illusion of perfection and free us to proceed with life.

We all have original ideas if we just notice them. What images come to mind while listening to music? What do our dreams tell us? New insights sometimes come by physical activity. Conversation with a friend can help lead us to our wisdom. Our growing strength as recovering men requires that we listen to our own messages and then take some risks to express them.

Today, I will take risks by stating my ideas. I will stand up for myself by listening to my intuition.

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DailyTAO
May 22
LEISURE

Birds chirp, vanguard for coming rain,
Dog bark skitters through twilight village.
Smoke raises a column through the pines,
Contented families dine in golden windows.

Life’s pulse is gauged in the hollows, the intervals between events. If you want to see Tao, you must discern these spaces. This requires leisure, the chance to sit and contemplate, and the opportunity to respond to inner urgings.

If you can find a place to retreat, you can make a life where Tao will flood into you. Out in the woods, or in the mountains, or even in small villages where the times are slow paced and the people sensitive to nature, there is the possibility of knowing the deep and the profound. Only when you have the time to accumulate an unshakable belief and faith can you glimpse the Tao in which there is restfulness and a natural sense of what is right.

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