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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 – October 18

Just For Today
October 18
We All Belong

Quote:“Although ‘politics makes strange bedfellows,’ as the old saying goes, addiction makes us one of a kind.”
Basic Text, p.84

What a mixture of folks we have in Narcotics Anonymous! In any given meeting on any given night, we’ll find a variety of people that probably never would have sat down in a room together if it weren’t for the disease of addiction.

A member who is a physician described his unwillingness to identify at his first meeting by refusing to go into “that room full of junkies.” Another member with an extensive background in jails and institutions shared a similar story, except that her shock and surprise stemmed from the realization that “there were nice people there – wearing suits, yet!” These two friends recently celebrated their seventh wedding anniversary.

The most unlikely people form friendships, sponsor each other, and do service work together. We meet in the rooms of recovery together, sharing the bonds of past suffering and hope for the future. We meet on mutual ground with our focus on the two things we all have in common – addiction and recovery.

Just for today: No matter what my personal circumstances, I belong.

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Daily Reflections
October 18
AN OPEN MIND

Quote:True humility and an open mind can lead us to faith . . .
TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 33

My alcoholic thinking led me to believe that I could control my drinking, but I couldn’t. When I came to A.A., I realized that God was speaking to me through my group. My mind was open just enough to know that I needed His help. A real, honest acceptance of A.A. took more time, but with it came humility. I know how insane I was, and I am extremely grateful to have my sanity restored to me and to be a sober alcoholic. The new, sober me is a much better person than I ever could have been without A.A.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day
October 18
A.A. Thought For The Day

Have I got over most of my sensitiveness, my feelings which are too easily hurt, and my just plain laziness and self-satisfaction? Am I willing to go all out for A.A. at no matter what cost to my precious self? Is my own comfort more important to me than doing the things that need to be done? Have I got to the point where what happens to me is not so important? Can I face up to things that are embarrassing or uncomfortable if they are the right things to do for the good of A.A.? Have I given A.A. just a small piece of myself? Am I willing to give all of myself whenever necessary?

Meditation For The Day

Not until you have failed can you learn true humility. Humility arises from a deep sense of gratitude to God for giving you the strength to rise above past failures. Humility is not inconsistent with self-respect. The true person has self-respect and the respect of others and yet is humble. The humble person is tolerant of others failings, and does not have a critical attitude toward the foibles of others. Humble people are hard on themselves and easy on others.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may be truly humble and yet have self-respect. I pray that I may see the good in myself as well as the bad.

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As Bill Sees It
October 18
WHEN CONFLICTS MOUNT, p. 289

Sometimes I would be forced to look at situations where I was doing badly. Right away, the search for excuses would become frantic.

“These,” I would exclaim, “are really a good man’s faults.” When that pet gadget broke apart, I would think, “Well, if those people would only treat me right, I wouldn’t have to behave the way I do.” Next was this: “God well knows that I do have awful compulsions. I just can’t get over this one. So He will have to release me.” At last came the time when I would shout, “This, I positively will not do! I won’t even try.”

Of course, my conflicts went right on mounting, because I was simply loaded with excuses, refusals, and outright rebellion.

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Walk In Dry Places
October 18
Those who want it, Not those who need it.
Honest Desire

In the first bloom of sobriety, many recovering people confront drinking companions who also “need” the program. They’re often surprised and disillusion when efforts to help their friends are rejected… sometimes curtly.

We’re truly limited to helping those who desire recovery, not those who we think need it. Though intervention methods can be effective, we’re still largely helpless to assist those who don’t desire recovery.

We regret that we really have no answers for the millions who perish from alcoholism, unaware of their problem. We also can hold out little hope that any future recovery attempts will succeed without the individual alcoholic’s cooperation.

Desire….. a personal determination and decision…. is necessary for almost any kind of change. We have the freedom to choose in many areas of our lives, and alcoholics must eventually choose recovery in order to find and maintain it.

Though I’d love to see others recover, I must accept the fact that their personal desire and choice is necessary. I’ll remember this if any opportunities arise today to carry the message.

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Keep It Simple
October 18

Quote:When people bother you in any way, it is because their souls are trying to get your divine attention and your blessing.
–Catherine Ponder

We are in constant communication with one another and with God in the spiritual realm. No matter how singular our particular course may appear, our path is running parallel to many paths. And all paths will intersect when the need is present. The point of intersection is the moment when another soul seeks our attention. We can be attentive and loving to the people seeking our attention. Their growth and ours is at stake,

We can be grateful for our involvement with other lives. We can be mindful that our particular blessing is like no one else’s and that we all need input from the many significant persons in our lives. There is no insignificant encounter in our passage through life. Each juncture with someone else is part of the destiny of both participants.

I will look carefully and lovingly at the people around me today and bless them, one and all. They are in my life because they need to be. I, likewise, need them.

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Alcoholics Anonymous
October 18
THE PERPETUAL QUEST

– This lawyer tried psychiatrists. biofeedback, relaxation exercises, and a host of other techniques to control her drinking. She finally found a solution, uniquely tailored, in the Twelve Steps.

I thought I had found part of the answer when I stumbled into a private controlled-drinking program, which helped me, during the initial thirty-day mandatory period of abstinence, to hook a very large rug, row by row, well into many late nights. “One more row!” I kept saying, gritting my teeth against a drink. My period of abstinence also helped me get a better job in the corporate world, away from all those hard-drinking criminal lawyers, and a new three-story, four-bedroom house. Just what every single woman needs! It helped me to quit the psychiatrist. During this abstinence, I also got out of a sick relationship, which reproduced the violence of my childhood.

p. 391

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions
October 18

Quote:Tradition Three – “The only requirement for A.A. membership is a desire to stop drinking.”

This Tradition is packed with meaning. For A.A. is really saying to every serious drinker, “You are an A.A. member if you say so. You can declare yourself in; nobody can keep you out. No matter who you are, no matter how low you’ve gone, no matter how grave your emotional complications – even your crimes – we still can’t deny you A.A. We don’t want to keep you out. We aren’t a bit afraid you’ll harm us, never mind how twisted or violent you may be. We just want to be sure that you get the same great chance for sobriety that we’ve had. So you’re an A.A. member the minute you declare yourself.”

p. 139

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Xtra Thoughts
October 18

“To make mistakes is human; to stumble is commonplace; to be able to laugh at yourself is maturity.”
–William A. Ward

To remain young while growing old is the highest blessing.
–German Proverb

“Make rest a necessity, not an objective.”
–Jim Rohn

“Action may not always bring happiness; but there is no happiness without action.”
–Benjamin Disraeli

“The past is a guidepost, not a hitching post.”
–L. Thomas Holdcroft

“Once you say you are going to settle for second, that’s what happens to you.”
–John F. Kennedy

Friends are the sunshine of life.
–John Hay

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation
October 18
WORSHIP

Quote:“Our concern is not how to worship in the catacombs but how to remain human in the skyscrapers.”
— Abraham Heschel

Worship requires the discovery of “true worth” in my own life. True worship is not only historical and traditional but also contemporary. I need to discover not only the God of yesterday, but also the God of the modern city.

My past addiction to fantasy often made me place God in an unreal world. I was happy talking about the Jews, Roman and Philistines but I missed God in Las Vegas, on freeways and in local politics.

God is alive in His world, and it is tragic to make Him a prisoner of history.

Let me find You in the place where I live.

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Bible Scriptures
October 18

He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed. They were glad when it grew calm and He guided them to their desired haven.
Psalm 107:29-30

“You shall not be afraid of the terror by night, Nor of the arrow that flies by day, Nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness, Nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday.”
Psalm 91:5-6

“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will know what God wants you to do, and you will know how good and pleasing and perfect His will really is.”
Romans 12:2

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Daily Inspiration
October 18

It is hard to be upset with yourself when you are being nice to someone else. Lord, bless me with a giving spirit be I know that all I give comes back to shine on me in many different ways.

With our blessings come responsibilities. Much is required of those to whom much has been given. Lord, may I use my blessings to be a blessing to others.

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Elder’s Meditation of the Day – October 18

Quote:“But we have to stick by the wisdom of our ancestors…”
–Paula Weasel Head, BLOOD

A long time ago the Elders and our ancestors learned to walk on the Earth and to live in harmony. They were taught the Laws which govern everything, and they were taught traditional values. This wisdom should be made available to the younger generations. We need to speak to the Elders and learn from them. We need to do this so we can pass the knowledge on to our children.

My Creator, help me learn the wisdom of my ancestors.

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Journey To The Heart
October 18
Trust the Morning

I arrived in Sedona late at night, after ten o’clock. Motel offices were closed everywhere I went. The signs flashed “No Vacancy.” I hung around the convenience store for a while, trying to figure out what to do, having second thoughts about spontaneity and trusting the universe. I regretted not having an itinerary. I was too tired to drive much longer. I no longer cared if my journey was magical; it was back to basics. I wanted to sleep in a bed that night.

I bought the local paper and spotted an ad for a lodge. I called the number, but no luck. I got in my car, wondering what to do.

On the edge of town, I saw a motel with lights in the office and a person behind the desk. I went inside and pestered the girl behind the desk for help. She finally relented, telling me of a little known hotel about an hour away. She lived close by, she said. I could follow her there. An hour later, I gratefully checked into a room. I couldn’t find the heat, but I did have a bed, pillow, and blanket.

The next morning, I discovered I was staying on the edge of a dry, dusty golf course. The area was surrounded by low, barren hills barely covered with shrubs. I headed the car to Sedona, still tired, still wondering why I was there.

My car rounded a curve. Suddenly I was surrounded by spiraling red mesas shaped by nature into forms of bells, cathedrals, and carved towers reaching to the sky. The sunlight danced on the rusty red sculptures, lighting them with an orange-yellow glow. I smiled at the breathtaking view, grateful the experience had unfolded as it had.

Sometimes, the darkness and loneliness of night make the color and beauty of the sunrise and the new day all that much more beautiful. Contrast is an important part of creativity. Our Creator knows that. So does our heart.

Things look different in the morning. Trust that the morning will come.

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A Day At A Time
October 18

Reflection For The Day

Not in my wildest dreams could I have imagined the rewards that would be mine when I first contemplated turning my life and will over to the care of God as I understand Him. Now I can rejoice in the blessing of my own recovery, as well as the recoveries of countless others who have found hope and a new way of life in The Program. After all the years of waste and terror, I realize today that God has always been on my side and at my side. Isn’t my clearer understanding of God’s will one of the best things that has happened to me?

Today I Pray

May I be thankful for the blessed contrast between the way my life used to be (Part 1) and the way it is now (Part II). In Part I, I was the practicing addict, adrift among my fears and delusions. In Part II, I am the recovering addict, rediscovering my emotions, accepting my responsibilities, learning what the real world has to offer, growing close to my Higher Power. Without the contrast, I could never feel the joy I know today or sense the peaceful nearness of my Higher Power.

Today I Will Remember

I am grateful for such contrast.

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One More Day
October 18

Quote:He that can’t endure the bad, will not live to see the good.
— Yiddish Proverb

Maturity means taking thee bitter with the sweet. Wisdom is the realization that sometimes the two are interrelated. An we might have been bitter because quality of our lives was changed.

Now, with a clearer perspective and greater maturity, we realize that many of the sweeter aspects of our lives today have grown out of our learning to cope with chronic illness. We live more in the moment, rather than always pursuing some distant goal. Our values reflect a stronger sense of self; they emphasize people over things. For many of us, the growth, the joy, and the self-esteem that now sweeten our lives come from the bitter experiences of chronic illness.

I accept that my life experiences will be both good and bad. Although my illness is unwanted. I have been strengthen by it.

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One Day At A Time
October 18
Looking for Love

Quote:“The most important thing in life is to learn how to give out love, and to let it come in.”
–Morrie Schwartz

As a compulsive overeater I was always looking outside of myself for love, yet I was terrified of letting it in. “What if it hurts me once I let it in?” I was just as afraid of giving out love. “What if I lost myself or was taken advantage of?” My life was ruled by fear, and at a very young age I discovered the false security of food. I used food as a source of companionship and as a way to numb out my pain. It became a substitute for love.

As the disease gained control, the more I ate and the more shut down I became. I built huge walls around myself. As the weight came on, I was convinced that this was the reason people didn’t love me the way that I wanted to be loved. I believed that “if only I was thin enough” I would get what I wanted. It never occurred to me that I was already so full of the food that there was no room inside to receive anything else.

When I came into program and began to put down the food, I slowly discovered that this love that I was searching for was within me all along. My Higher Power is love and dwells within and all around me. In recovery I am graced with the freedom to act out of love and therefore be with my Higher Power.

One day at a time…
I will choose to act out of love and to keep my heart open to the love that my Higher Power brings into my life. If I just open my eyes, my ears and my heart, it is everywhere.

~ Jessica M.

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Today’s Gift
October 18

Quote:One will rarely err if extreme actions be ascribed to vanity, ordinary actions to habit, and mean actions to fear.
—Friedrich Nietzsche

Sometimes we begin to believe someone close to us is being mean deliberately. This may happen when a good friend suddenly stops inviting us to her house. She may be scared to have others over because her parents are having problems, or for some other reason that has nothing to do with us.

But we often fear that it is because of something we said or did. We find ourselves becoming scared and pulling away. If we ask for God’s help in turning our fear around, we can overcome it and ask our friend why she stopped inviting us over. Most times we will find that our friend had no idea her actions affected us the way they did. We can then laugh at ourselves for our fears and applaud ourselves for overcoming them.

What treasure might I find beneath my fear today?

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The Language Of Letting Go
October 18
Throwing Out the Rule Book

Many of us feel like we need a rulebook, a microscope, and a warranty to get through life. We feel uncertain, frightened. We want the security of knowing what’s going to happen, and how we shall act.

We don’t trust life or ourselves.

We don’t trust the Plan.

We want to be in control.

“I’ve made terrible mistakes about my choices, mistakes that nearly destroyed me. Life has really shocked me. How can I trust myself? How can I trust life, and my instincts, after where I’ve been?” asked one woman.

It is understandable that we fear being crushed again, considering the way many of us were when we bottomed out on our codependency. We don’t have to be fearful. We can trust our self, our path, and our instincts.

Yes, we want to avoid making the same mistakes again. We are not the same people we were yesterday or last year. We’ve learned, grown, changed. We did what we needed to do then. If we made a mistake, we cannot let that stop us from living and fully experiencing today.

We have arrived at the understanding that we needed our experiences – even our mistakes – to get to where we are today. Do we know that we needed our life to unfold exactly as it did to find ourselves, our Higher Power, and this new way of life? Or is part of us still calling our past a mistake?

We can let go of our past and trust ourselves now. We do not have to punish ourselves with our past. We don’t need a rulebook, a microscope, a warranty. All we really need is a mirror. We can look into the mirror and say, “I trust you. No matter what happens, you can take care of yourself. And what happens will continue to be good, better than you think.”

Today, I will stop clinging to the painful lessons of the past. I will open myself to the positive lessons today and tomorrow hold for me. I trust that I can and will take care of myself now. I trust that the Plan is good, even when I don’t know what it is.

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More Language Of Letting Go
October 18
Take another look

Quote:It’s amazing the difference
A bit of sky can make.
__Shel Sivertstein

We spend mornings at the Blue Sky Lodge drinking coffee on the back porch watching the world wake up. One morning, after grabbing my cup, I walked out back to find Frank, a skydiving friend staying at the lodge while visiting from the United Kingdom, busily snapping pictures of the surrounding terrain.

“Frank, why are you taking pictures of this?” I asked. “If you want, we can take you to some of the more scenic areas around here.”

“No way,” he replied. “No one back home will believe that I got to spend my time in a place with a view like this.”

I looked around and tried to see the view through his eyes. The rolling hills of southern California were bathed in golden early morning sunlight, while a light marine layer curled over the ridgeline of the Ortega Mountains just three miles to the west. San Jacinto rose high in the eastern sky, a pale silhouette in the morning sun.

I smiled and for the first time in a while took in the sheer beauty of the view. Lately all I had been seeing were the piles of leaves and construction materials scattered around the yard or the cars driving along the road in the valley below us. I had been surrounded with beauty and yet had grown so accustomed to it that I didn’t even notice it anymore.

Many times what we need isn’t a change of scenery, but a renewed vision of what’s already there. Take another look at your life– where you live, your friends, your work– all your gifts. Maybe the view in your life is better than you think.

God, renew my spirit. Help me look at my life with a fresh vision. If I don’t like what I see, help me look again.

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Touchstones Meditation For Men
October 18

Quote:Thou art everywhere, but I worship you here;
Thou art without form, but I worship you in these forms;
Thou neediest no praise, yet I offer you these prayers and salutations.
—Hindu prayer

The history of the Twelve Steps tells us that in the first small A.A. group there was controversy about the word God. For some of the men, God was known in traditional religious ways; other members were agnostic. This first group followed their group conscience. The resolution they achieved has inspired many new Twelve Step members ever since. They were guided through their disagreement to a new expression of their spiritual relationship. They began to speak of a “Power greater than ourselves” and of “God, as we understood Him.”

Today we turn to God, as we understand God, because our definitions are restricted by human limitations. We know from our own experiences and from the stories of thousands of men and women who have preceded us, that this spiritual program is very practical and simple. It works. It restores our lives.

To a Power greater than myself, I am filled with gratitude.

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Daily TAO
October 18
PROGRESSION

When meditation stales,
Change methods quickly.

For those who follow Tao, there is no such thing as just one meditation that you practice for the rest of your life. All of Tao changes and flows, so too should meditation. It is not a static discipline but rather a progressive means of spiritual living. Beginners have their meditation, advanced students have theirs. Simple people hav simple meditations, complicated people must have meditations that engage them fully.

No matter what kind of person you are, there are times when you will exhaust all the potential of a certain contemplative method. After all, a method is only an arbitrary structure, whereas the subconscious that you are trying to master is infinite, changeable, elusive. Therefore, when a method is exhausted, you have to change to another one. Sometimes, it is enough to switch back and forth between methods; at other times, you will need to go to a higher stage of meditation.

As long as you feel restless, it is a sign that you have not yet become fully mature on the spiritual path. The ultimate levels of meditation deal with a complete stillness of the mind. In this state, one feels nothing, thinks of nothing, worries about nothing. When meditation becomes stale, there is a preoccupation that will prevent you from attaining this stillness. That is why you change, until the day when restlessness naturally recedes and stillness is all that remains.

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