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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 31

Just For Today
May 31
Keep It Simple

“We live a day at a time but also from moment to moment. When we stop living in the here and now, our problems become magnified unreasonably.”
Basic Text, p. 96

Life often seems too complicated to understand, especially for those of us who’ve dodged it for so long. When we stopped using drugs, many of us came face to face with a world that was confusing, even terrifying. Looking at life and all its details, all at once, may be overwhelming. We think that maybe we can’t handle life after all and that it’s useless to try. These thoughts feed themselves, and pretty soon we’re paralyzed by the imagined complexity of life.

Happily, we don’t have to fix everything at once. Solving a single problem seems possible, so we take them one at a time. We take care of each moment as it comes, and then take care of the next moment as it comes. We learn to stay clean just for today, and we approach our problems the same way. When we live life in each moment, it’s not such a terrifying prospect. One breath at a time, we can stay clean and learn to live.

Just for today: I will take comfort in my conscious contact with a Higher Power. I am never alone.

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Daily Reflections
May 31
READINESS TO SERVE OTHERS

. . . our Society has concluded that it has but one high mission–to carry the A.A. message to those who don’t know there’s a way out.
TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 151

The “Light” to freedom shines bright on my fellow alcoholics as each one of us challenges the other to grow. The “Steps” to self- improvement have small beginnings, but each Step builds the “ladder” out of the pit of despair to new hope. Honesty becomes my “tool” to unfurl the “chains” which bound me. A sponsor, who is a caring listener, can help me to truly hear the message guiding me to freedom.

I ask God for the courage to live in such a way that the Fellowship may be a testimony to His favor. This mission frees me to share my gifts of wellness through a spirit of readiness to serve others.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day
May 31
A.A. Thought For The Day

I shall not wait to be drafted for service to A.A. I Shall volunteer. I shall be loyal in my attendance, generous in my giving, kind in my criticism, creative in my suggestions, loving in my attitudes. I shall give to A.A. my interest, my enthusiasm, my devotion, and most of all, myself. Do I also accept this as my AA. credo?

Meditation For The Day

Prayer is of many kinds, but of whatever kind, prayer is the linking up of the soul and mind to God. So, if prayer is only a glance of faith, a look or a word of love, or just a feeling of confidence in the goodness and purpose in the universe, still the result of that prayer is added strength to meet all temptations and to overcome them. Even if no supplication is expressed, all the supply of strength that is necessary is secured, because the soul, being linked and united to God, receives from Him all spiritual help needed. The soul, when in its human body, still needs the things belonging to its heavenly habitation.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may be taught how to pray. I pray that I may be linked through prayer to the mind and will of God.

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As Bill Sees It
May 31
Start by Forgiving, p. 151

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. Triumphantly we seize upon his slightest misbehavior as the perfect excuse for minimizing or forgetting our own.

Right here we need to fetch ourselves up sharply. Let’s remember that alcoholics are not the only ones bedeviled by sick emotions. In many instances we are really dealing with fellow sufferers, people whose woes we have increased.

If we are about to ask forgiveness for ourselves, why shouldn’t we start out by forgiving them, one and all?

12 & 12, p. 78

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Walk in Dry Places
May 31
Are Sobriety Dates Important?
Practical Thinking

Observing anniversaries of getting sober has become a time-honored custom in AA. Many group name lists include the individual members’ sobriety dates. It’s also customary in many groups to celebrate anniversaries with cakes and to award coins with numerals denoting years of sobriety.

To outsiders, this custom may seem frivolous. What is the benefit in celebrating the day one too the last drink or in adding up the number of sober years?

These celebrations of sobriety dates actually underscore the important goal of staying continuously sober. We may know alcoholics who “went back out” from time to time, and then failed to come back at all. Members who slip and do come back to tell us that it was an agonizing experience, and that they feared they wouldn’t have another chance to lead a sober life. We also hear people say: “I may have another drunk in me, but I’m not sure I can find another sobering up.”

The message is clear: Get sober mark that date, and continue to build on it. We stress the importance of sobriety when we acknowledge the importance of sobriety dates.

I’ll stay sober today. Whatever my length of sobriety, I want to honor it and build on it.

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Keep It Simple
May 31

You grow up the day you have your first real laugh at yourself.
—Ethel Barrymore

There was a time when we wouldn’t let anyone laugh at us—even ourselves. We had to much shame. We had to much pain. We took the world too seriously. If we laughed it was at others—not at ourselves. Over time , real honest laughter returns to us. Laughter is a way of accepting ourselves as human. To be human means we can make mistakes. It means we can lighten up. It also means growing up. And growing up means being happy with all of who we are—even parts of us that may seem odd or funny. If we can’t laugh at ourselves, we shut ourselves off from the world. We shut ourselves off from the parts of us we need to accept. Am I willing to accept the fact that I’m human.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, You made laughter. Help me us it to make my life easier. Help me accept all of me a funny mistake I’ve made.

Action for the Day: Today, I’ll share with someone close to me a funny mistake I’ve made.

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Each Day a New Beginning
May 31

That reality of life and living – movement from one place to another either in a project or in a state of mind – does not conform with what we imagine or expect or think we deserve so we often leave things hanging unfinished or unstarted.
–Sandra Edwards

Being dissatisfied, discontented, with the experiences life gives us forever hampers our growth. Reality is not our bane but our gift. The particular reality perceived by any one of us is of special significance because in that reality are our lessons – the very lessons that will awaken us to the awareness that what life offers is just what we deserve, and more.

It’s our interpretation of life’s realities that is at fault. But as we grow, spiritually, the clouds will disappear. We’ll come to understand the interplay between our realities. And we’ll willingly move ahead, fulfilling our part in life’s bigger picture.

Sometimes all I can do is trust that all is well, even though it’s not as I had hoped. On bad days I need only to reflect on the past to know that I am moving in the right direction

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Alcoholics Anonymous
May 31
Our Southern Friend

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

Well-well-look who’s here! Good old Charlie! It’s great to see him. How’s the boy? A drink? You bet your life! We buy a gallon of “corn” because it is so cheap. Yet I am fairly steady when I go to bed.

Morning comes. I feel horribly. A little drink will put me on my feet. But it takes others to keep me there.

p. 211

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions
May 31

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

Whenever our pencil falters, we can fortify and cheer ourselves by remembering what A.A. experience in this Step has meant to others. It is the beginning of the end of isolation from our fellows and from God.

p. 82

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Xtra Thoughts
May 31

How can we possibly describe feeling the Presence of God? It is the difference between being a child left alone in an empty house at night and a child who knows that her mother is in the next room. Even though she can’t see or hear her mother, she feels comforted by her warm, loving, protective presence. And while a human parent can’t always be with us, our spiritual parent will never abandon us.
–Mary Manin Morrissey

“A good love relationship can reinforce self-esteem, but it cannot create it. Many people carry a lot of unfinished business from childhood into relationships, and look to their partners to fulfill their unmet needs. So you get immature, dependency-type relationships that tend not to work.

The more you can complete unfinished business from childhood, the better your chance in relationships as an adult.”
–Nathaniel Branden, The Art of Living Consciously

Life’s lessons are not taught in classrooms.
–unknown

Forgiveness is an inner correction that lightens the heart. It is for our peace of mind first. Being at peace, we will now have peace to give to others, and this is the most permanent and valuable gift we can possibly give.”
–Gerald Jampolsky

“Character is defined by what we are willing to do when the spotlight is turned off, when the applause has died down, and no one is around to give us credit.”
–Unknown

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation
May 31
AMBITION

“Show me a thoroughly satisfied man – and I will show you a failure.”
–Thomas Alva Edison

I need to strive for new things in my life. I need to push out into new areas and discover the richness of God’s world. I need to explore the varied creativity of creation.

There is so much that I have not done because of the wasted years of my addiction. So much that I have not seen, countries that I have not visited, languages that I have not learned and experiences that I have missed. My compulsive and obsessive behavior left me a prisoner of self – and also a victim of self.

The spiritual recovery I enjoy today says it is okay for me to have things, enjoy things and do things.

Help me to realize the energy and ambition You have created within me.

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Bible Scriptures
May 31

While we have opportunity, let us do good to all men, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.
Galatians 6:10

“Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you.  Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.”
I Corinthians 15:58

“Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD.”
Psalm 27:14

“I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in his word I put my hope.”
Psalm 130:5

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Daily Inspiration
May 31

To feel good about yourself, do things that really matter to you. Lord, help me to know my priorities and act in a manner that will fulfill them.

Loneliness happens when you build walls instead of bridges. Lord, bless me with a welcoming spirit for those that might need me today.

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A Day At A Time 
May 31

Reflection For The Day

Giving love is a fulfillment in itself.  It must not matter whether love is returned or not.  If I give love only to get a respons3e on my terms, my live is cancelled out by my motives.  If i have the capacity to give love, then any return I get for it is a special bonus.  It is through giving love, freely and without expectation of return, that we find ourselves and build ourselves spiritually.  Have I begun to believe, in the words of Goethe, that “Love does not dominate; it cultivates?

Today I Pray

May I, the inveterate people-leaser and approval-seeker, know that the only real love does not ask for love back.  May God be patient as I try to practice this principle.  May I rid myself of pride that throws itself in the way of love.  May I discard my silly cat-and-mouse games that have no place in real love.

Today I Will Remember

I will not give love to get love.

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 One More Day
    May 31

Laughter is a tranquilizer with no side effects.
— Arnold Glasow

Good friends laughing together can warm the heart of even a casual onlooker. Unlike medicine, laughter cost us nothing and can be partaken of as often as we see fit.

When illness clouds our lives, it’s nice to know that one thing stays the same — we can still laugh. At ourselves. With friends. At a funny television program.

A good healthy laugh is therapy for our minds and bodies. Mirthful laughter can cause a remarkable feeling of well-being and joy. Laughter loosens all the cares and woes of the day and makes them somehow easier to bear.

    Laughing openly and spontaneously will always make me feel better.

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One Day At A Time
May 31
THE TITANIC

“Men at some time are masters of their fates.”
–William Shakespeare

Our early days in OA can be compared to being a passenger on the Titanic. As we took our beloved and wonderfully-powerful first three steps, we were taking a voyage. In Step One we realized we were on the Titanic and that we were doomed. In Step Two we spotted a lifeboat. And in Step Three we took our seats in the lifeboat.

My voyage began with Step One when I realized the connection between the weight I was carrying and some health issues I had last year. I had developed “pitting edema” in both ankles. That was a sign of congestive heart failure. I was on the Titanic! In addition to my physical health condition, I discovered that my inner-health was also challenged. I had lived my life filled with resentments and negative thinking which ate at my very being. I had lost much of my spiritual strength and was in need of spiritual renewal. I was indeed a passenger on my own personal Titanic.

My voyage continued with Step Two. I can’t even remember how I found The Recovery Group online, but I know that my Higher Power must have brought me here. Though I didn’t believe at that time what the fellowship said in the meetings, I “acted as if” I believed my Higher Power could relieve me of these horrible compulsions to overeat and to live in resentment and negativity. That was all it took. I had spotted the lifeboat and was “acting as if” I believed it had come for me.

I was being changed. My early days of abstinence were difficult, but achievable. I had gotten into the lifeboat. I will always remember where I was when I suddenly realized that God had relieved me of the compulsion to eat between meals and at night. That realization had a huge impact on me. That day I took my seat on the lifeboat. I have been blessed with so much recovery. The ride I am on in this lifeboat isn’t a free ride; it requires that I work this program on a daily basis. But when I consider the alternative, I love the ride I am on and I truly cherish the passengers with whom I am sharing this boat!

One day at a time…
I will cherish the lifeboat that this program has given me.

~ Karen A.

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Elder’s Meditation of the Day May 31

“Sell a country? Why not sell the air, the great sea, as well as the Earth? Did not the Great Spirit make them all for the use of his children?”
–Tecumseh, SHAWNEE

The White Man’s way is to possess, control, and divide. It has always been difficult for Indian people to understand this. There are certain things we cannot own that must be shared. The Land is one of these things. We need to re-look at what we are doing to the Earth. We are digging in her veins and foolishly diminishing the natural resources. We are not living in balance. We do not own the Earth; the Earth owns us. Today, let us ponder the true relationship between the Earth and ourselves.

Great Spirit, today, let me see the Earth as you would have me see Her.

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Journey to the Heart
May 31
Let Yourself Be Alive

In Sedona, as I drove from the sweat lodge back to the room I was renting. I felt exhilarated. My excitement wasn’t only about the experience I had just been through. For so long I had limited my choices, limited my freedom. I was thrilled that I was finally giving myself permission to live more fully.

Have you been limiting your choices, telling yourself there are only a few options available? Have you been limiting your choices, saying you’ve seen and done everything you can in this world? Have you been limiting yourself and your life, then wondering why life is so limiting?

Set yourself free. Give yourself permission to experience and taste more of life. You are here to live your life– fully, richly, passionately. The journey has been about more than cleansing, healing, and spiritual growth. You have a body, emotions, passion, and thought. You are here to bring all parts to life, to connect the parts, and to fully live your life.

Partake of the abundance of the universe. You’re sitting at a banquet table. Let yourself feast. Move on from monitoring, watching, limiting. Experience all of life that you can.

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Today’s Gift
May 31

It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.
–Antoine de St. Exupery

A tuning fork is a small tool that is used to tune musical instruments. It is tapped softly and then set down. As it vibrates, it gives off a musical tone. When its vibrations perfectly match the vibrations of the note played on the instrument, the instrument is in tune. When the note matches the tuning fork, this can be both felt and heard.

Our hearts work like a tuning fork. When the heart feels completely in tune with a decision or thought or action in our lives, then we know it is the right one for us. We can actually feel the harmony inside our bodies.

Sometimes what we know deep in our hearts gets clouded over by doubts and questions and other people’s opinions and judgments. We need to clear away such clouds and listen to our hearts, for our hearts carry the wisdom of God.

Am I in tune with my heart today?

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The Language of Letting Go
May 31, 2011
What If?

I was talking to a friend one day about something I planned to do. Actually, I was worrying about how one particular person might react to what I intended to do.

“What if he doesn’t handle it very well?” I asked.

“Then,” my friend replied, “you’re going to have to handle it well.”

What if’s can make us crazy. They put control over our life in someone else’s hands. What if’s are a sign that we have reverted to thinking that people have to react in a particular way for us to continue on our course.

What if’s are also a clue that we may be wondering whether we can trust ourselves and our Higher Power to do what’s best for us. These are shreds of codependent ways of thinking, feeling, and behaving, and they signal fear.

The reactions, feelings, likes or dislikes of others don’t have to control our behaviors, feelings, and direction. We don’t need to control how others react to our choices. We can trust ourselves, with help from a Higher Power, to handle any outcome – even the most uncomfortable. And, my friend, we can trust ourselves to handle it well.

Today, I will not worry about other people’s reactions or events outside of my control. Instead, I will focus on my reactions. I will handle my life well today and trust that, tomorrow, I can do the same.

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More language of letting go
May 31
Let go of timing

“Melody, it just isn’t time yet,” my friend Virginia said to me one day. “You wouldn’t be out on your lawn trying to pull the blades of the grass up, forcing them to grow.”

“Yes, I would,” I said, “if I thought it would help.”

Persistence, determination, clarity, and commitment can be our greatest assets. We gather energy, we use our determination to get things done– whether it’s cleaning our house, visiting a therapist for help with an issue that’s become more than we can handle alone, looking for a new job, or beginning a relationship.

Goals are good. Setting our sights on the task ahead is helpful.

So is letting go, and working with the seasons of our lives.

We are one with everything that is. The same energy and spirit that permeates the ocean, the mountains, the forest, and the creatures also permeates us. Who are we to think that we don’t have our rhythms, seasons, and cycles.

Who are we not to trust the rhythms of life?

Plant the seeds. Water them, if there’s a drought. But let it go. The grass will grow itself.

God, help me let go of impatience. Help me align myself with the natural cycles of my life. Help me trust your timing in my life.

Activity: Pick one segment of nature and study it. Maybe you’ll choose the sunrise and the sunset. Or choose a favorite park. Or the ocean. Even a lake will do. Don’t just think about it. Actually do it, for your meditation time today. Spend ten minutes to half an hour just sitting with and contemplating a segment of nature that speaks to you.

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Touchstones Meditation For Men
May 31

Compassion is the ultimate and most meaningful embodiment of emotional maturity. It is through compassion that a person achieves the highest peak and deepest reach in his or her search for self-fulfillment.
–Arthur Jersild

Being compassionate is similar to what we call support in this program. We get outside our own self-centered egos and care about someone beyond ourselves. In the process we are helped and changed – perhaps more than the person we are helping.

As we mature, we learn that not all help is beneficial. It is more helpful to confront a friend in his delusion than to accept his misguided actions. Such tough honesty supports his strength and his ability to work the Steps. Sometimes it is hard to be a friend to a man in great pain. We might prefer to pull away rather than be with him as he suffers, but we can be more compassionate if we accept our powerlessness to cure his pain. Compassion has a reverberating effect in relationships. Not only do we give it and grow from the experience, we also become the receivers of what we send out.

Today, I will practice compassion in my relationships.

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DailyTAO
May 31
ACTUAL

The actual
Is only actual
In one place
And one time.

When one listens to a barking dog, one might imagine emotion, pain, reaction, anxiety, and self-identification, but actually there is nothing there — just sound from a long and deep corridor, channeled out of nothingness and fading into nothingness again.

Like that dog, we may all strive, but there is truly nothing to be done. If we look deeply into our lives, there is only a thin veneer of self-generated meaning over an immense ocean of nothingness.

What we do only has meaning in the here and now. It will not remain in the next instant. Just do what you can for the present, and leave everything else to happen naturally. Work. Wash. Meditate. Eat. Study. Urinate. Sleep. Exercise. Talk. Listen. Touch. Die each night. Be born again each morning.

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