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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 – November 27

November 27
Daily Reflections

THE PERILS OF THE LIMELIGHT

In the beginning, the press could not understand our refusal of all personal publicity. They were genuinely baffled by our insistence upon anonymity. Then they got the point. Here was something rare in the world — a society which said it wished to publicize its principles and its work, but not its individual members. The press was delighted with this attitude. Ever since, these friends have reported A.A. with an enthusiasm which the most ardent members would find hard to match.
TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 182

It is essential for my personal survival and that of the Fellowship that I not use A.A. to put myself in the limelight. Anonymity is a way for me to work on my humility. Since pride is one of my most dangerous shortcomings, practicing
humility is one of the best ways to overcome it. The Fellowship of A.A. gains worldwide recognition by its various methods of publicizing its principles and its work, not by its individual members advertising themselves. The attraction created by my changing attitudes and my altruism contributes much more to the welfare of A.A. than self-promotion.

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

The way of A.A. is the way of sobriety, fellowship, service and faith. Let us take up each one of these things and see if our feet are truly on the way. The first and greatest to us is sobriety. The others are built on sobriety as a foundation. We could not have the others if we did not have sobriety. We all come to A.A. to get sober, and we stay to help others get sober. We are looking for sobriety first, last and all the time. We cannot build any kind of decent life unless we stay sober. Am I on the A.A. way?

Meditation For The Day

To truly desire to do God’s will, therein lies happiness for a human being. We start out wanting our own way. We want our wills to be satisfied. We take and we do not give. Gradually we find that we are not happy when we are selfish, so we begin to make allowances for other peoples’ wills. But this again does not give us full happiness, and we begin to see that the only way to be truly happy is to try to do God’s will. In these times of meditation, we seek to get guidance so that we can find God’s will for us.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may subordinate my will to the will of God.
I pray that I may be guided today to find His will for me.

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As Bill Sees It
Do It Our Way?, p. 329

In praying, our immediate temptation will be to ask for specific solutions to specific problems, and for the ability to help other people as we have already thought they should be helped. In that case, we are asking God to do it our way. Therefore, we ought to consider each request carefully to see what its real merit is.

Even so, when making specific requests, it will be well to add to each one of them this qualification: “. . . if it be Thy will.”

12 & 12, p. 102

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Walk In Dry Places

Nobody “OD’s” on AA.
Balance
Do people really need daily AA meetings, perhaps even two or three a day? Frequent meeting attendance is usually considered beneficial in AA, but non-members may frown on the practice, especially if a person is neglecting other responsibilities in the meantime.
One thing to remember is that nobody can really “OD” on AA. The worst that can happen from attending so many meetings would be eventual boredom from too much of the same thing. But no harm can come form too much of what is essentially a good practice.
If a person is attending lots of meetings, this schedule may eventually be cut back to allow time for other activities. It’s better, especially in early recovery, to attend too many meetings than too few. We also have to let each person decide how many meetings are required at any stage in his or her recovery.
I know that everyone needs a balanced life, but that cannot happen without secure recovery. Meetings are may best way of staying active in the fellowship.

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Keep It Simple

Life is not lost by dying; life is lost by minute, day by day, in all the thousands, small, uncaring ways.— Stephen V. Benet
Our Twelve Step program promises us a new way of life. But most of us won’t just wake up one day with a new attitude. We only gain this new way of life if we get involved.
The Twelve Step are tools to build a new life. The more we use a tool, the easier it is to use. The same goes for the Twelve Steps, just as carpenters depend on their tools. If we only wait for the new way of life, it’ll never come. The quicker we get involved, the quicker we’ll get fixed.
Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, help me get involved. Help me build a new way of life.
Action for the Day: Today, I’ll look for ways to use the Twelve Steps. If I have a problem, I’ll first stop and think of how the Twelve Steps can help me solve it.

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Each Day a New Beginning

Limited expectations yield only limited results. –Susan Laurson Willig

Schoolchildren perform according to the expectations their teachers have of them. Likewise, what we women achieve depends greatly on what we believe about ourselves, and too many of us have too little belief in ourselves. Perhaps we grew up in a negative household or had a non-supportive marriage. But we contributed, too, in our negative self-assessment. The good news is that it no longer needs to control us.
We can boost our own performance by lifting our own expectations, even in the absence of support from others. It may not be easy, but each of us is capable of changing a negative self-image to a positive one. It takes commitment to the program, a serious relationship with our higher power, and the development of positive, healthy relationships with others.
It’s true, we can’t control other people in our lives. And we can’t absolutely control the outcome of any particular situation. But we can control our own attitudes. Interestingly, when we’ve begun tagging ourselves competent and capable, instead of inadequate, we find that other people and other situations become more to our liking, too.
I will be fair with myself. I can do what I need to do wherever I am today. Only I can hold myself down.

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition
Chapter 9 – The Family Afterward

Whether the family goes on a spiritual basis or not, the alcoholic member has to if he would recover. The others must be convinced of his new status beyond the shadow of a doubt. Seeing is believing to most families who have lived with a drinker.
Here is a case in point: One of our friends is a heavy smoker and coffee drinker. There was no doubt he over-indulged. Seeing this, and meaning to be helpful, his wife commenced to admonish him about it. He admitted he was overdosing these things, but frankly said that he was not ready to stop. His wife is one of those persons who really feels there is something rather sinful about these commodities, so she nagged, and her intolerance finally threw him into a fit of anger. He got drunk.
Of course our friend was wrong—dead wrong. He had to painfully admit that and mend his spiritual fences. Though he is now a most effective member of Alcoholics Anonymous, he still smokes and drinks coffee, but neither his wife nor anyone else stands in judgment. She sees she was wrong to make a burning issue out of such a matter when his more serious ailments were being rapidly cured.

p. 135

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories
It Might Have Been Worse

Alcohol was a looming cloud in this banker’s bright sky. With rare foresight he realized it could become a tornado.

My drinking did not start until after I was thirty-five and a fairly successful career had been established. But success brought increased social activities, and I realized that many of my social friends enjoyed a social drink with no apparent harm to themselves or others. I disliked being different so, ultimately, I began to join them occasionally.

p. 349

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Step Twelve – “Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.”

Then perhaps life, as it has a way of doing, suddenly hands us a great big lump that we can’t begin to swallow, let alone digest. We fail to get a worked-for promotion. We lose that good job. Maybe there are serious domestic or romantic difficulties, or perhaps that boy we thought God was looking after becomes a military casualty.
What then? Have we alcoholics in A.A. got, or can we get, the resources to meet these calamities which come to so many? These were problems of life which we could never face up to. Can we now, with the help of God as we understand Him, handle them as well and as bravely as our nonalcoholic friends often do? Can we transform these calamities into assets, sources of growth and comfort to ourselves and those about us? Well, we surely have a chance if we switch from “two-stepping” to “twelve-stepping,” if we are willing to receive that grace of God which can sustain and strengthen us in any catastrophe.

p. 113

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“Each day is a new life. Seize it. Live it.”
–David Guy Powers

No man or woman of the humblest sort can really be strong, gentle and good, without
the world being better for it, without somebody being helped and comforted by the
very existence of that goodness.
–Alan Alda

“What appears to be your biggest problem in life may disguise your greatest
opportunity.”
–Brian Tracy

Money is not required to buy one necessity of the soul.
–Henry David Thoreau

“Take your problems to God, then take God to your problems.”
–unknown

“Nothing changes if nothing changes.”
–unknown

“Attitudes are contagious. Is yours worth catching?”
–unknown

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation
PREVARICATION

“Whenever science makes a
discovery, the devil grabs it
while the angels are debating
the best way to use it.”
— Alan Valentine

Sometimes we can spend so long deciding what to do that we miss an opportunity. We can prevaricate to the point of impotence. Nowhere is this more true than in the science of relationships. We see somebody that we like and we go home thinking about what we could have said or done. We create happenings in our mind that never happened in fact. We miss the spiritual opportunity of risk.

For years I used to be like this. I always thought that I was not good enough, not important, less than other people: the syndrome of low self-esteem.

Today it is getting better. Part of my spiritual growth is reaching out to other people. Today I make a point of saying “hello”. Today I will ask for a telephone number, invite people to dinner, risk a relationship.

Let me not debate myself into sickness and isolation.

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Set me free from my prison that I may praise your Name. Then the righteous will
gather around me, because of Your goodness to me.
Psalm 142:7

Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering
produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does
not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit,
whom he has given us.
Romans 3:3-5

For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of
yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, that
no one should boast.
Ephesians 2:8-9

Yet the LORD longs to be gracious to you; he rises to show you compassion. For the
LORD is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him!
Isaiah 30:18

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Daily Inspiration

To be truly successful, put your heart and soul into even the smallest of your tasks. Lord, help me live my life in different ways and by different means, but always with enthusiasm and commitment.

We are the only ones who can change how we think or how we act. Lord, help me make positive decisions so that life doesn’t just happen to me.

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NA Just For Today
Seeking God’s Help

“At times during our recovery, the decision to ask for God’s help is our greatest source of strength and courage.”
Basic Text pg. 26

When we take the Third Step, we decide to allow a loving Higher Power to guide us and care for us in our daily lives. We make the decision to allow this guidance and care into our lives. Some of us believe that, once we’ve made the Third Step decision, God leads us; from that point on, it’s just a matter of paying attention to where we are led.

The Third Step decision is an act of faith, and asking for God’s help is a way of renewing that act of faith. Putting faith to work in our daily lives gives us all the courage and strength we need, because we know we have the help of a loving Higher Power. We trust that our needs will be met. We can tap into that faith and trust just by asking.

Just for today: I will remind myself that I’m not alone by asking my Higher Power for help each step of the way.

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Today’s Gift.

The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science. –Albert Einstein

Albert Einstein knew in his heart that the source of all his knowledge was not himself, but a mystery–something or someone outside himself. And it left him in awe and wonder. He knew also that while genius may be ninety percent hard work and only ten percent inspiration, all the hard work in the world amounts to nothing without that outside, mysterious inspiration.
He was right. We can work hard and play hard. We can paint and draw and write and develop formulas all our lives, but none of it will be new or different unless we are open to inspiration from some power outside ourselves that also, somehow, is deep within us. To be really good at anything, whether it’s playing baseball, designing fashion clothing, fixing an engine, or cooking, we must believe in some creative force that helps us excel. When we see that force at work, we stand in awe at the wonderful and mysterious gift we have been given.
How have I been inspired to discover something?

Touchstones.

The simplest questions are the most profound. Where were you born? Where is your home? Where are you going? What are you doing? –Richard Bach

As we examine our personal answers to these simple questions, we find profound truths about ourselves. We may have been born in more places than the place of our biological birth. Some of us might say, “I truly was born the day I first felt the nurturing love of another person in my life,” or “My life began on the day I stood up to my father.” Most of us began new lives when we walked into our first meeting to begin recovery.
If we think about where our home is or where we are going and what we are doing as spiritual questions, we may find some comforting answers. Perhaps the place where we find rest, peace, and comfort is our home. That may be in a moment of meditation rather than in a physical place. If we are headed toward a manhood of self-respect, the problems of today are only challenges along the way. As we simplify our lives and let the truth be on the surface, we find profound meaning.
Today, I will keep my attention on the basics in my life.

Each Day a New Beginning.

Limited expectations yield only limited results. –Susan Laurson Willig

Schoolchildren perform according to the expectations their teachers have of them. Likewise, what we women achieve depends greatly on what we believe about ourselves, and too many of us have too little belief in ourselves. Perhaps we grew up in a negative household or had a non-supportive marriage. But we contributed, too, in our negative self-assessment. The good news is that it no longer needs to control us.
We can boost our own performance by lifting our own expectations, even in the absence of support from others. It may not be easy, but each of us is capable of changing a negative self-image to a positive one. It takes commitment to the program, a serious relationship with our higher power, and the development of positive, healthy relationships with others.
It’s true, we can’t control other people in our lives. And we can’t absolutely control the outcome of any particular situation. But we can control our own attitudes. Interestingly, when we’ve begun tagging ourselves competent and capable, instead of inadequate, we find that other people and other situations become more to our liking, too.
I will be fair with myself. I can do what I need to do wherever I am today. Only I can hold myself down.

The Language of Letting Go.
We can Trust Ourselves

For many of us, the issue is not whether we can trust another person again; it’s whether we can trust our own judgment again.
“The last mistake I made almost cost me my sanity,” said one recovering woman who married a sex addict. “I can’t afford to make another mistake like that.”
Many of us have trusted people, who went on to deceive, abuse, manipulate, or otherwise exploit us because we trusted them. We may have found these people charming, kind, and decent. There may have been a small voice that said, “No – something’s wrong.” Or we may have been comfortable with trusting that person and shocked when we found our instincts were wrong.
The issue may then reverberate through our life for years. Our trust in others may have been shaken, but our trust in ourselves may have been shattered worse.
How could something feel so right, flow so well, and be such a total mistake? We may wonder. How can I ever trust my selection process again, when it showed itself to be so faulty?
We may never have the answers. I believe I needed to make certain “mistakes” to learn critical lessons I’m not certain I would have otherwise learned. We cannot let our past interfere with our ability to trust ourselves. We cannot afford to function with fear.
If we are always making the wrong decision in business or in love, we may need to learn why we insist on defeating ourselves.
But most of us do improve. We learn. We grow from our mistakes. Slowly, in increments, our relationships improve. Our business choices improve. Our decisions about how to handle situations with friends or children improve. We benefit from our mistakes. We benefit from our past. And if we have made mistakes, we needed to make them in order to learn along the way.
Today, I will let go of my fears about trusting myself because I have made mistakes in the past. I understand that these fears only serve to impair my judgment today. I will give my past, even my mistakes, validity by accepting and being grateful for it all. I will strive to see what I’ve gained from my mistakes. I will try to look at all my good decisions too. I will keep a watchful eye for improvement, for overall progress, in my life.

Today I choose to stay in the reality of my life and feel all there is to feel. I am willing to feel the pain so that I can feel the joy.
–Ruth Fishel

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Journey to the Heart
Forgiveness Isn’t too Much to Ask

Is your heart blocked? Are you experiencing a barricade you can’t get around in a particular relationship? Forgiveness is a delicate, sometimes difficult subject, but once in a while that’s what we need to ask for.

Part of being clear, and one of our powers, is the ability and ask for what we need from others, from the universe, from God, even from ourselves. We may be extremely skilled at identifying when we need more time with someone, more money, more attention, or a different type of communication. But as proficient as we may have become at asking for some of what we need, we may still find it difficult to ask for forgiveness.

It is one thing to tell a person we’re sorry. It is another to be intimate and bold enough to recognize the damage that comes when forgiveness hasn’t occured. Being unforgiven can block the kindest and warmest heart. It can destroy the most precious, beautiful, passionate, spiritual relationship. It can keep guilt lingering in the air. It can cause people to go away from each other.

Muster your forces. Prepare yourself if you must. Then take a risk, one of the greatest risks you’ll be asked to take. Put your cards on the table. Say you’re sorry, say it from the heart. Then don’t get defensive, ruffle your feathers, or get mad. Ask for forgiveness.

Forgiveness is not too much to ask for, if forgiveness is what you need.

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More Language Of Letting Go
Flex your wings

Walking in the hills of Southern California, I came across a high meadow bursting with the movement of hundreds of moths. I stood for a few moments and drank in the scene, watching them dance lightly around me. There were so many of them I could actually hear their wings beating in the still air.

I walked further along and saw a caterpillar crawling along the ground. I looked more closely and saw that the tiny creature had two small but useless wings protruding from its back. At first I thought that it must have been a deformity, that this poor worm would be forced to spend its days crawling, never able to fly, but all the while having wings. Then as I walked further along, I saw another caterpillar– this one with slightly larger wings. It was slowly flexing its new appendages, looking anxiously at the sky. These moths grew their wings gradually, without the aid of a cocoon to protect them throughout the transformation. They just sprouted their wings right out there for the whole world to see.

We each have different levels of freedom. What I think of as a box might be unthinkable freedom for you today. In the future, when you look back at your life, you may be amazed at the levels of freedom into which you have naturally grown. Perhaps you are looking around today at the freedom of others in awe and envy. “I could never do that,” you might say.

Yes, you can.

And you might.

Feel those wings on your back? They’re there. And they’re growing every day– whether you’re flying yet or not.

Robert Thurman wrote, “The great thing about the horizon of infinity is that there is no limit to how amazing you can become.”

God, help me flex my wings. Teach me how amazing I can become.

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One of a Kind
The Black Sheep by Madisyn Taylor

When we move beyond comparisons and accept our differences, we appreciate the significance of our upbringing and socialization in each of our unique life’s journey.

Many of us have had an experience in which we felt like the lone black sheep in a vast sea of white sheep. For some of us, however, this sense of not belonging runs more deeply and spans a period of many years. It is possible to feel like the black sheep in families and peer groups that are supportive, as well as in those that are not. Even if we receive no overt criticism regarding our values, there will likely be times when it seems that relatives and friends are humoring us or waiting for us to grow out of a phase. Sometimes we may even think we have been adopted because we are so different from our family members. These feelings are not a sign that we have failed in some way to connect with others. Rather, they should be perceived as the natural result of our willingness to articulate our individuality.

Many black sheep respond to the separateness they feel by pulling back from the very people to whom they might otherwise feel closest and embracing a different group with whom they enjoy a greater degree of commonality. But if you feel that your very nature has set you apart from your peers and relatives, consider that you chose long ago to be raised by a specific family and to come together with specific people so that you could have certain experiences that would contribute to your ongoing evolution. You may be much more sensitive than the people around you or more artistic, aware, spiritual, or imaginative. The disparate temperament of your values and those of your family or peers need not be a catalyst for interpersonal conflict. If you can move beyond comparisons and accept these differences, you will come to appreciate the significant role your upbringing and socialization have played in your life’s unique journey.

In time, most black sheep learn to embrace their differences and be thankful for those aspects of their individuality that set them apart from others. We cannot expect that our peers and relatives will suddenly choose to embrace our values and offer us the precise form of support we need. But we can acknowledge the importance of these individuals by devoting a portion of our energy to keeping these relationships healthy while continuing to define our own identities apart from them. Published with permission from Daily OM

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A Day At A Time
Reflection For The Day

The Program shows us how to transform the pipe-dreams of our past into reality and a true sense of purpose, together with a growing consciousness of the power of God in our lives. It’s alright to keep our head in the clouds with Him, we’re taught, but our feet should remain firmly planted here on earth. Here’s where other people are; here’s where our work must be accomplished. Do I see anything incompatible between spirituality and a useful life in the here and now?

Today I Pray

May my new “reality” include not only the nuts and bolts and pots and pans of daily lviing, but also my spiritual realty, my growing knowledge of the presence of God. May this new reality have room, too, for my dreams — not the drug-induced, mind-drifting fantasies of the past or the presents of my delusions — but the products of a healthy imagination. May I respect these dreams, anchor them in earth’s possibilities and turn them into useful creativity.

Today I Will Remember

Heaven has a place in the here-and-now.

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One More Day

Bitterness imprisons life; love releases it.
– Harry Emerson Fosdick

We sometimes waste far too much energy licking old wounds, nursing old hurts. Harboring bitterness only causes us pain. It folds all our feelings into a tight little package and keeps them hidden from sight.

Moving from bitter to loving feelings doesn’t happen overnight, but it does happen when we nurture ourselves and open ourselves to others. Letting friends and family help is one way to begin. Soon we will remember how wonderful and unthreatening love feels. Outgoing, warm, and trusting feelings flow through us toward others. We can harness our love and use it for emotional recovery. Eventually, we are freed of unnecessary pain. We are learning once again to love kin an unqualified way — and to love ourselves.

I do not need to be imprisoned by bitterness. I can set myself free.

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One Day At A Time

~ NEW BEGINNINGS ~
There will come a time when you believe everything is finished.
That will be the beginning.
Louis L’Amour

During my life I’ve always found it hard to start anything. I don’t know whether it comes from being a compulsive overeater, but I do know that I took my time in starting a recovery program. Maybe it was a fear that, if I didn’t succeed, I could never start over.

Luckily, this is a very forgiving program. If I slip, I can get up and start over. I don’t have to stay down. In fact, I can be down, but I can never be counted out, because all I need to do is begin again. My Higher Power helps me stay on track, and it comforts me to know that, if I fall, I can be picked up and allowed to continue my journey to recovery.

One day at a time . . .
I will remain “higher powered” and start over if I need to.
Jeff

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