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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 5

Just For Today
May 5
Any Lengths

“…I was ready to go to any lengths to stay clean.”
Basic Text, p. 217

“Any lengths?” newcomers ask. “What do you mean, any lengths?” Looking back at our active addiction and the lengths we were willing to go to in order to stay high can help to explain. Were we willing to drive many miles to get drugs? Yes, we usually were. Then it makes sense that, if we are as concerned about staying clean as we were about using, we will try anything to find a ride to a meeting.

In our addiction, didn’t we often do crazy, insane things or use unknown substances at the direction of others? Then why do we often find it so hard to take direction in recovery, especially when the direction is designed to help us grow? And when we used, didn’t we often, in desperation, turn to our Higher Power, saying, “Please, just get me out of this one!” Then why do we find it so hard to ask for God’s help in our recovery?

When we used, we usually had an open mind when it came to finding ways and means to get more drugs. If we can apply this same principle of open-mindedness to our recovery, we may surprise ourselves by how easily we begin to grasp the NA program. Our best thinking, it is often said, got us into the rooms of Narcotics Anonymous. If we are willing to go to any lengths, follow directions, and stay open-minded, we can stay clean.

Just for today: I am willing to go to any lengths to stay clean. I will become as open-minded and ready to take direction as I need to be.

Daily Reflections
May 5
THE FOREST AND THE TREES

. . . . what comes to us alone may be garbled by our own rationalization and wishful thinking. The benefit of talking to another person is that we can get his direct comment and counsel on our situation. . . . .
TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 60

I cannot count the times when I have been angry and frustrated and said to myself, “I can’t see the forest for the trees!” I finally realized that what I needed when I was in such pain was someone who could guide me in separating the forest and the trees; who could suggest a better path to follow; who could assist me in putting out fires; and help me avoid the rocks and pitfalls.

I ask God, when I’m in the forest, to give me the courage to call upon a member of A.A.

Twenty-Four Hours A Day
May 5
A.A. Thought For The Day

I had to show off and boast so that people would think I amounted to something, when, of course, both they and I knew that I really didn’t amount to anything. I didn’t fool anybody.  Although I’ve been sober for quite a while, the old habit of building myself up is still with me. I still have a tendency to think too well of myself and to pretend to be more than I really am. Am I always in danger of becoming conceited just because I’m sober?

Meditation For The Day

I cannot ascertain the spiritual with my intellect. I can only do it by my own faith and spiritual faculties. I must think of God more with my heart than with my head. I can breathe in God’s very spirit in the life around me. I can keep my eyes turned toward the good things in the world. I am shut up in a box of space and time, but I can open a window in that box by faith.  I can empty my mind of all the limitations of material things.  I can sense the Eternal.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that whatever is good I may have. I pray that I may leave to God the choice of what good will come to me.

As Bill Sees It
May 5
Look Beyond The Horizon, p. 125

My workshop stands on a hill back of our home. Looking over the valley, I see the village community house where our local group meets. Beyond the circle of my horizon lies the whole world of A.A.

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

The unity of A.A. is the most cherished quality our Society has. Our lives, the lives of all to come, depend squarely upon it. Without unity, the heart of A.A. would cease to beat; our world arteries would no longer carry the life-giving grace of God.

1. A.A. Today, p. 7
2. 12 & 12, p. 129

Walk in Dry Places
May 5
Tough Honesty?
Honesty

The term tough love came into use to describe an attitude that aims to correct bad behavior by refusing to indulge or enable it. In the same way, we must recognize that there’s such a thing as tough honesty when situations require us to deal with unpleasant facts.

One employer liked to compliment his subordinates even for work that he actually considered substandard. Later on, however, he would express his real opinions to an intermediate supervisor, who would then be forced to convey the bad news to the workers involved. The employer thought he was being kind, when he was actually being deceptive and treacherous simply because he wanted to be liked.

We have a moral obligation to practice though honesty whenever it is required, if something unacceptable needs to be dealt with, we must do so in a timely manner….. Taking care to be as reasonable and fair as possible in stating our case.

Being honest in this way with others is also a reminder that we should always be honest with ourselves.

Today I’ll face the need for real honest whenever it’s required. I’ll be upfront with myself and others about anything that must be faced and dealt with. I will not use supposed kindness as an excuse for bearing false witness.

Keep It Simple
May 5

Forgiveness is all-powerful. Forgiveness heals all ills.
—Catherine Ponder

We need to forgive so we can heal. Forgiveness means not wanting to get even. Forgiveness means letting go of self-will. Anger and hate are forms of self-will take up room in our heart. Yet, a still, small voice inside of us wants to forgive. Just as others have forgiven us, we need to forgive them. When we forgive, we give our will to our Higher Power. When we forgive, we make room in our heart for our Higher Power. By giving up our anger and our hate, we let that still, small voice come through a little louder. This is how we heal. This is why forgiving is so powerful for us.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, help me let go of self-will. Help me forgive people.

Action for the Day: I will list any anger or hate I have. I will think about how this gets in my way, and I’ll pray to have this removed.

Each Day a New Beginning
May 5

. . . it is a peaceful thing to be one succeeding.
–Gertrude Stein

Success is at hand. While we read these words, we are experiencing it. At this very instant, our commitment to recovery is a sign of success, and we feel peace each time we let go of our struggle, turning to another for help, for direction. Because we strive only for perfection, we recognize nothing less; we block our awareness of the ordinary successes that are ours again and again. Thus, the serenity the program promises us eludes us. But we are succeeding. Every day that we are abstinent, we succeed.

We can think of the times–perhaps only yesterday–when we listened to a friend in need, or finished a task that was nagging at us. Maybe we made an appointment to begin a project we’ve been putting off. Success is taking positive action, nothing more.

Many of us, in our youth, were taught that success only came in certain shapes and sizes. And we felt like failures. We need new definitions; it’s time to discard the old. Luckily for us, the program offers us new ones.

Every person, every situation, can add to my success today. My attitude can help someone else succeed, too.

Alcoholics Anonymous
May 5
LISTENING TO THE WIND

– It took an “angel” to introduce this Native American woman to A.A. and recovery.

“Where would you be without them?” she asked. “What are the alternatives? You got any better ideas for yourself? How many Indians do you know who are going to help you sober up?” At the time, I couldn’t think of any. I surrendered behind the tears of no answers and decided to do it their way. I found the Power greater than myself to be the magic above the heads of the people in the meetings. I chose to call that magic Great Spirit.

p. 467

Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions
May 5

Step Four – “Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.”

But it is from our twisted relations with family, friends, and society at large that many of us have suffered the most. We have been especially stupid and stubborn about them. The primary fact that we fail to recognize is our total inability to form a true partnership with another human being. Our egomania digs two disastrous pitfalls. Either we insist upon dominating the people we know, or we depend upon them far too much. If we lean too heavily on people, they will sooner or later fail us, for they are human, too, and cannot possibly meet our incessant demands. In this way our insecurity grows and festers. When we habitually try to manipulate others to our own willful desires, they revolt, and resist us heavily. Then we develop hurt feelings, a sense of persecution, and a desire to retaliate. As we redouble our efforts at control, and continue to fail, our suffering becomes acute and constant. We have not once sought to be one in a family, to be a friend among friends, to be a worker among workers, to be a useful member of society. Always we tried to struggle to the top of the heap, or to hide underneath it. This self-centered behavior blocked a partnership relation with any one of those about us. Of true brotherhood we had small comprehension.

p. 53

Xtra Thoughts
May 5

“‘I always remember the friendliness and kindness and closeness we all felt. Later, I could go anyplace in the whole United States and find a friend in A.A.'”
–Henrietta D.

“Gratitude is the heart’s memory.”
–French Proverb

For all my good intentions, there are days when things go wrong or I fall into old habits. When things are not going well, when I’m grumpy or mad, I’ll realize that I’ve not been paying attention to my soul and I’ve not been following my best routine.
–Robert Fulghum

The best gifts to give:
To your friend – loyalty;
To your enemy – forgiveness;
To your boss – service;
To a child – a good example;
To your parents – gratitude and devotion;
To your mate – love and faithfulness;
To all men and women – love;
To God – your life.
–Author Unknown

“Everyone is a house with four rooms, a physical, a mental, an emotional and a spiritual. Most of us tend to live in one room most of the time, but unless we go into every room every day, even if only to keep it aired, we are not a complete person.”

Father Leo’s Daily Meditation
May 5
HOPE

“Hope is the pillar that holds up the world. Hope is the dream of the working man.”
–Pliny the Elder

I look at the world and I discover an order, a pattern to life, a balance within the system. I do not believe in a God of chaos. I find a spiritual stability in creation. Night follows day; people, regardless of culture or creed, are remarkably similar in feelings and needs; death makes way for life. The God who created this world has given the seeds of hope within the living of life. I am the key to the understanding of the universe.

In this observation I find hope. If I continue to go with the flow of life, I will find peace and stability. It is only when I fight the system that I experience pain.

May the God of order and stability continue to bring balance into my life by the spiritual changes I continue to make.

Bible Scriptures
May 5

“Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”
Philippians 3:13-14

“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!”
Philippians 4:4

“Come near to God and he will come near to you.”
James 4:8a

“To You, O LORD, I lift up my soul. O my God, I trust in You; Let me not be ashamed; Let not my enemies triumph over me.”
Psalm 25:1-2

“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”
Galatians 2:20

Daily Inspiration
May 5

To become more efficient and happier, daily spend some quiet time with God and with yourself. Lord, what joy it is to know that You will listen.

What we endure in this life is nothing compared to the glory that God has in store for us in heaven. Lord, take every moment of my life as a prayer to praise and glorify Your holy name.

A Day At A Time
May 5

Reflection For The Day

I knew I had to have a new beginning, and the beginning had to be here.  I couldn’t start anywhere else.  I had to let go of the past and forget the futrue.  As long as I held on to the past with one hand and grabbed at the future with the other hand, I had nothing with which to grasp today.  So I had to begin here, now.  Do I practice the Eleventh Step, praying only for knowledge of God’s will for me, and the Power to carry that out?

Today I Pray

May I not worry about verbalizing my wants and needs in my prayers to a Higher Power.  May I not fret over the language of my prayers, for God needds no language and communication with Him is beyond speech.  May the Eleventh Step guide me in my prayers at all times.

Today I Will Remember

God’s will be done.

One More Day
May 5

Learn to like what you are, for you take yourself with you wherever you go.
— K. O’Brien

A change in physical or mental health can lower our self-esteem. One of the hardest tasks we have to face is learning to accept who we are right now, not what we wanted to be.

Every day we have the right to assure ourselves that we are doing the very best job that we can do. Acceptance of ourselves allow us a serenity we’ve not known before. This doesn’t mean giving up; in fact, it provides a base from which we can grow. Accepting where we are and who we are today gives us the honesty to admit our deficits. It give us the confidence to really move forward. We can be proud that we are succeeding, even with this new and unwanted burden.

My illness has not changed who I am. The course of my life has been changed, but my direction remains the same — forward.

One Day At A Time
May 5
CHOOSE HAPPINESS

“Some cause happiness wherever they go; others whenever they go.”
–Oscar Wilde

If happiness were to be found on a coin, anger and frustration would be on the other side of that coin, for they are all the children of expectation. As adults, we try to recapture those special moments and feelings of our childhood by recreating them. We use them as a model for happiness, only this time we are the adults and operating the controls. Unfortunately, our expectations are not grounded in reality. Reaching that level of childhood bliss is usually either impossible or fleeting. How can you as an adult compete with the happiness of being a child?

My experience is that we usually have a set-point for happiness. And though we can feel joy and sadness, we return to that same level of happiness afterward. There are things, however, that can help change that set-point. We can come to believe that a power greater than ourselves can feed our spirit, help keep us living in the moment, and enjoying the kind of peace and wisdom that only our Higher Power can provide. It helps ground us in the truth and gets rid of unrealistic expectations. It helps to relax us as opposed to letting our mind bounce back and forth from past to future and pain to fantasy. We learn to accept our life – just as it is. Today. Now

What choices have I been making to choose happiness? I choose to go to meetings and give shares. I choose to abstain from compulsive overeating. I choose to set time for myself every day where I can organize my affairs, and help ward off stressful situations. I also try to spend time with myself in ways that will feed my soul and spirit, not just keep myself entertained until I go to bed. I give to service to others, but remember that I need to take care of myself, for when I am not strong; I have no strength to give.

One day at a time …
Today I will choose happiness.

~ Marilyn S.

Elder’s Meditation of the Day May 5

“There are many things to be shared with the four colors of man in our common destiny as one family upon our Mother the Earth.”
—- Traditional Circle of Elders, NORTHERN CHEYENNE

The Elders tell us the time will come when the four colors of Man will unite into one family. According to prophecies, we were told this would happen when the Sun was blocked in the Seventh Moon. There was an eclipse of the Sun in July, 1991. We are now in a new Springtime called the Coming Together Time. Each of the four colors of man has knowledge that the other colors need to heal their families. Let us all be willing to sit in a circle and respect our differences.

Creator, let me be willing to have an open mind.

Journey to the Heart
May 5
Value the Power of Clear Thought

Value your mind, and the power of conscious, clear thought. All this talk about opening the heart has not been to discount or devalue the power of conscious clear thought, or of opening our minds and expanding our consciousness. A gift, a benefit, from opening our heart is increased clarity of mind and thought.

As we clear the pathway to the heart by feeling, expressing and releasing old emotions, we will clear the path to the mind. Just as the body is connected to the mind, so is the heart. A cramped body can cause fuzzy thinking, but so can a clogged heart. To attempt to think clearly and consciously with the heart closed may not work. It may even prove frustrating and difficult.

“Don’t think so hard,” the wise old man gently instructed me. “You’re hurting your head and your thinking isn’t becoming clear. Relax. Stop trying so hard. Open your heart. Then your thinking will clear. The mind,” he reminded me, ” is connected to the heart.”

If you’re feeling cloudy and confused and can’t get answers, stop trying so hard. Move your body and clear your physical energy. Then try opening your heart. You may see a delightful result. Without trying or forcing, your thinking clears. And it becomes clear without the frustration of trying to force thoughts, ideas, or thought patterns. It happens almost magically, and quite naturally.

The mind is connected to the heart. Value the power of conscious clear thought. Value your mind, and its power, by valuing the power and wisdom of an open heart.

Today’s Gift
May 5

I have spread my dreams under your feet;  Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.
—William Butler Yeats

When we hold a piece of crystal to the light, it paints rainbows on the wall. When we tap it lightly with a spoon, it sings like a bell. But when we drop it, it shatters in colorless, silent pieces on the floor.

Human beings, sometimes to our amazement, can be as fragile as glass. It’s especially easy to forget what makes people we live with or have known for a long time shine or sing. We take for granted the very qualities that made us love them in the first place.

When we forget how to see and hear the people we love, how to appreciate them, we grow careless. Too often, from sheer neglect, the relationship between us grows dull and silent, then slips, falls, and shatters. Paying attention to other people’s needs and feelings can prevent this.

Whose presence can I appreciate today?

The Language of Letting Go
May 5
Control

Many of us have been trying to keep the whole world in orbit with sheer and forceful application of mental energy.

What happens if we let go, if we stop trying to keep the world orbiting and just let it whirl? It’ll keep right on whirling. It’ll stay right on track with no help from us. And we’ll be free and relaxed enough to enjoy our place on it.

Control is an illusion, especially the kind of control we’ve been trying to exert. In fact, controlling gives other people, events, and diseases, such as alcoholism, control over us. Whatever we try to control does have control over our life and us.

I have given this control to many things and people in my life. I have never gotten the results I wanted from controlling or trying to control people. What I received for my efforts is an unmanageable life, whether that unmanageability was inside me or in external events.

In recovery, we make a trade off. We trade a life that we have tried to control, and we receive in return something better – a life that is manageable.

Today, I will exchange a controlled life for one that is manageable.

More Language Of Letting Go
May 5
Learn when to say no and yes

Read the following sentences out loud.

“No.”

“No, this doesn’t work for me.”

“No, thank you. This doesn’t feel right to me.”

“No, this isn’t right for me at this time.”

Now try this.

“I have to think about that first, before I can decide, I’ll get back to you later.”

“I’ve thought about it, and the answer is no.”

Now, read this.

“I know I said yes and that this was what I wanted. But I’ve changed my mind. This isn’t working out for me. It’s not right for me anymore. I’m sorry for any inconvenience I might have caused you.”

Now,this.

“Go away and don’t call anymore.”

See, you can say all those things you thought you couldn’t.

Now, read these sentences out loud.

“Maybe.”

“Maybe, but I’m leaning toward no.”

“Maybe. It sounds interesting, but I’m not sure.”

“Yes. That would be nice.”

“Yes, I like that idea. When?”

“Yes, I’d love to.”

“Yes, but the time isn’t right for me now.”

Those are your basic choices, with a few variations. Learn them. Memorize them. Then ask yourself when each answer applies.

Learn to honestly tell people what your real answer is. Look into your heart to decide when a thing is, or isn’t, right for you.

God, help me trust myself about when it’s right to say no, maybe, and yes. Then help me express myself in an honest, loving way.

Activity: Do you have a difficult time expressing yourself? What is the most difficult thing for you to tell people– no or yes? Try giving yourself permission by writing yourself a permission slip, then carrying it around in your purse or wallet. It might read something like this: Dorothy has permission to say no whenever she wants. Or it might read: I have permission to say no ten times this week, and yes five times. Then sign the slip, and let it be a reminder to you to own your power by saying no, yes, or maybe whenever each of those answers is right for you.

Touchstones Meditation For Men
May 5

Living itself, [is] a task of such immediacy, variety, beauty, and excitement that one is powerless to resist its wild embrace.
—E. B. White

Our First Step in this program introduces us to a radical idea – that accepting our powerlessness is beneficial. Yielding to life’s embrace takes us in wonderful directions. The experience of meeting this still unformed day, defining how we will live today, making contact with our Higher Power, accepting the variety and the beauty that is here for us – far exceeds our individual power. Yet in surrendering to life as it unfolds, we find ourselves on an adventure. This is like reading a good story or unraveling an exciting mystery.

Anyone, whether he has our affliction or not, who tries to take control of what cannot be controlled, brings trouble to himself. Today let us engage with life.

I will accept both the embrace and the insecurity of not being in charge.

DailyTAO
May 5
RESOLVE

Banish uncertainty.
Affirm strength.
Hold resolve.
Expect death.

Make your stand today. On this spot. On this day. Make your actions count; do not falter in your determination to fulfill your destiny. Don’t follow the destiny outlined in some mystical book : Create your own.

Your resolve to tread the path of life is your best asset. Without it, you die. Death is unavoidable, but let it not be from loss of will but because your time is over. As long as you can keep going, use your imagination to cope with the travails of life. Overcome your obstacles and realize what you envision.

You will know unexpected happiness. You will know the sorrow of seeing what is dearest to you cut down before your eyes. Accept that. That is the nature of human existence, and you have no time to buffer this fact with fairy tales and illogical explanations.

Each day, your life grows shorter by twenty-four hours. The time to make achievements becomes more precious. You must fulfill everything you want in life and then release your will upon the moment of death. Your life is a creation that dies when you die. Release it, give up your individuality, and in so doing, finally merge completely with Tao.

Until that moment, create the poetry of your life with toughness and determination.

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