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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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+ Overeaters Anonymous Meeting Finder
+ Narcotics Anonymous Meeting Finder
+ Al-Anon Online Meeting Finder

Daily Recovery Readings – October 28

Just For Today
October 28
Attitudes

“We can also use the steps to improve our attitudes.”
Basic Text, p.53

Ever have a day when everything seems to be working against you? Do you go through periods when you are so busy taking people’s inventories you can barely stand yourself? What about when you find yourself snapping at your co-worker or loved one for no reason? When we find ourselves in this bleak frame of mind, we need to take action.

At any point in the day, we can set aside a few moments and take a “spot inventory.” We examine how we are reacting to outside situations and other people. When we do, we may find that we are suffering from a plain old “bad attitude.” A negative outlook can hurt our relationship with our Higher Power and the people in our lives. When we are honest with ourselves, we frequently find that the problem lies with us and our attitude.

We have no control over the challenges life gives us. What we can control is how we react to those challenges. At any point in time, we can change our attitude. The only thing that really changes in Narcotics Anonymous is us. The Twelve Steps give use the tools to move out of the problem and into the solution.

Just for today: Throughout the day, I will check my attitude. I will apply the steps to improve it.

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Daily Reflections
October 28
AN UNBROKEN TRADITION

We conceive the survival and spread of Alcoholics Anonymous to be something of far greater importance than the weight we could collectively throw back of any other cause.
TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 177

How much it means to me that an unbroken tradition of more than half a century is a thread that connects me to Bill W. and Dr. Bob. How much more grounded I feel to be in a Fellowship whose aims are constant and unflagging. I am grateful that the energies of A.A. have never been scattered, but focused instead on our members and on individual sobriety. My beliefs are what make me human; I am free to hold any opinion, but A.A.’s purpose — so clearly stated fifty years ago — is for me to keep sober. That purpose has promoted round-the-clock meeting schedules, and the thousands of intergroup and central service offices, with their thousands of volunteers. Like the sun focused through a magnifying glass, A.A.’s single vision has lit a fire of faith in sobriety in millions of hearts, including mine.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day
October 28
A.A. Thought For The Day

What other rewards have come to me as a result of my new way of living? Each one of us can answer this question in many ways. My relationship with my husband or my wife is on an entirely new plane. The total selfishness is gone and more cooperation has taken its place. My home is a home again. Understanding has taken the place of misunderstanding recriminations, bickering, and resentment. A new companionship has developed which bodes well for the future. “There are homes where fires burn and there is bread, lamps are lit and prayers are said. Though people falter through the dark and nations grope, with God Himself back of these little homes, we still can hope.” Have I come home?

Meditation For The Day

We can bow to God’s will in anticipation of the thing happening which will, in the long run, be the best for all concerned. It may not always seem the best thing at the present time, but we cannot see as far ahead as God can. We do not know how His plans are laid, we only need to believe that if we trust Him and accept whatever happens as His will in a spirit of faith, everything will work out for the best in the end.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may not ask to see the distant scene. I pray that one step may be enough for me.

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As Bill Sees It
October 28
Anonymity and Sobriety, p. 299

As the A.A. groups multiplied, so did anonymity problems.  Enthusiastic over the spectacular recovery of a brother alcoholic, we’d sometimes discuss those intimate and harrowing aspects of his case meant for his sponsor’s ear alone. The aggrieved victim would then rightly declare that his trust had been broken.

When such stories got into circulation outside of A.A., the loss of confidence in our anonymity promise was severe. It frequently turned people from us. Clearly, every A.A. member’s name–and story, too–had to be confidential, if he wished.

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

We now fully realize that 100 per cent personal anonymity before the public is just as vital to the life of A.A. as 100 per cent sobriety is to the life of each and every member. This is not counsel of fear; it is the prudent voice of long experience.

1. 12 & 12, p. 185
2. A.A. Comes Of Age, p. 293

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Walk In Dry Places
October 28
The new problems in sobriety
Fortitude

Sometimes sobriety turns up problems that were never apparent during one’s drinking days. Some people, for example, encounter marriage problems that lead to divorce. It almost appears that some things were better when we were drinking.

But there are good reasons why sobriety brings new problems. One is that we become aware of problems that were there all the time, although not acknowledged. It’s possible, too, that sobriety brings more responsibility, along with risks of failure. At the same time, we might be more sensitive to the real problems of living.

We should never use such problems as an excuse for drinking. It is true, as many people say, that drinking can only make matters worse. Nothing can be improved by a return to drinking.

I must remember today that sobriety means living on a new basis. This includes facing problems and dealing with them… not running from them as I did in the past.

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Keep It Simple
October 28

I wish you the courage to be warm when the world would prefer you to be cool.
–Robert A. Ward

Our program and the Steps have warmed us from the inside out. Just as a bonfire warms those who stand around it, the Steps take away the chill we have felt for so long.

At Times, we’ll be tempted to move away from the Steps. At times, we’ll get tired of looking at our behavior and attitudes. We are by nature, controlling people. We’ll want to

“prove our point” about something when our program tells us to let it go. We need to stay close to the Steps and the warmth they hold. Remember the chill of our disease.

Prayer for the Day: I need to member that the Steps and the fellowship of the program keep me sober, not me alone.

Action for the Day: Today, I’ll thank about what the Steps have done for me. I will think of how they have kept me warm.

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Each Day a New Beginning
October 28

The most elusive knowledge of all is self-knowledge.
–Mirra Komarovsky

Discovering who we are is an adventure, one that will thrill and sometimes trouble us and will frequently occupy our thoughtful reflections. We are growing and changing as a result of our commitment to the program. And it’s that process of commitment that heightens our self-awareness.

We learn who we are by listening to others, by sensing their perceptions of us, by taking an honest, careful inventory of our own behavior. The inner conversations that haunt us while we’re interacting with others are poignant guidelines to self-knowledge, self-definition. Just when we think we’ve figured out who we are and how to handle our flaws, a new challenge will enter our realm of experiences, shaking up all the understandings that have given us guidance heretofore.

It is not an easy task to discover who we really are. It’s an even harder job to love and accept the woman we discover. But too many years went by while we avoided or denied or, worse yet, denounced the only person we knew how to be. The program offers us the way to learn about and love fully the person within. Nor will we find the way easy every day. But there’s time enough to let the process ease our investigation.

I will be soft and deliberate today as I listen to others and myself.

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Alcoholics Anonymous
October 28

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.

Late that night at home, there was a presence in the room with me, even though I lived alone. The next morning I knew I didn’t have to drink. That night I went to a Step meeting where they discussed Step Two, “Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity,” and I actually talked about God, the one who had abandoned me when I was very little, very frightened, and very hurt. In the weeks and months that followed, I did everything that was suggested to me. I went to a meeting every day, read the books and literature, and got a sponsor who told me to have quiet time every morning and to pray and meditate or at least sit still for a few minutes, before racing off for the day. Since I prided myself on adhering to the intellectual principle of not having contempt for anything prior to investigation, I tried to keep an open mind no matter what anyone said and how stupid I thought it was. That probably saved my life.

pp. 394-395

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions
October 28

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

Not long after the man with the double stigma knocked for admission, A.A.’s other group received into its membership a salesman we shall call Ed. A power driver, this one, and brash as any salesman could possibly be. He had at least and idea a minute on how to improves A.A. These ideas he sold to fellow members with the same burning enthusiasm with which he distributed automobile polish. But he had one idea that wasn’t so salable. Ed was an atheist. His pet obsession was that A.A. could get along better without its “God nonsense.” He browbeat everybody, and everybody expected that he’d soon get drunk – for at the time, you see, A.A. was on the pious side. There must be a heavy penalty, it was thought, for blasphemy. Distressingly enough, Ed proceeded to stay sober.

p. 143

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Xtra Thoughts
October 28

As long as a man stands in his own way, everything seems to be in his way.
–Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803 -1882)

Although we have been made to believe that if we let go we will end up with nothing, life itself reveals again and again the opposite; that letting go is the path to real freedom.
–Sogyai Rinpoche

This above all else: to your own self be true.
–unknown

Outstanding leaders go out of the way to boost the self-esteem of their personnel. If people believe in themselves, it’s amazing what they can accomplish.
–Sam Walton

The deeds you do today may be the only sermon some people will hear today.
–St. Francis of Assisi

Make big decisions in the calm.
–Dwight D. Eisenhower

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation
October 28
ORATORY

“The finest eloquence is that which get things done.”
— David Lloyd George

I know how to talk. I know how to sound good. I know how to convince a person of my good intentions — indeed that was part of my manipulation for years.

Today I try to walk the talk. I try to demonstrate what I say in the behavior I exhibit.  The bottom line is action. Talking never stopped me from drinking — my physical refusal of the first drink was the start of my recovery.

God is to be discovered not merely in pious sentiments, as attractive as they may sound, but rather in the small steps of altered behavior.

Am I doing what I am saying? Lord give me the courage to live my words.

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Bible Scriptures
October 28

God blesses the people who patiently endure testing.
James 1:12

Teach me your way, O LORD, and I will walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart.
Psalm 86:11

“Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. And be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.”
Ephesians 4:31-32

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Daily Inspiration
October 28

It is usually easier to start a project than to finish it. Lord, help me spend less time thinking about what I want to do, so that I can have the time to feel the gratification of completing what I started.

Pray even when your heart has no words rather than to pray words with no heart. Lord, You faithfully answer all prayers. I will trust in Your answers and never take Your love for granted.

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A Day At A Time
October 28

Reflection For The Day

“Pride, like a magnet, constantly points to one object, self;  unlike the magnet, it has no attractive pole, but at all points repels.”  Colton.

When the earliest members of The Program discovered just how spiritually prideful they could be, they admonished one another to avoid “instant sainthood.”  That old-time warning could be taken as an alibi to excuse us from doing our best, but it’s really The Program’s way of warning against “pride blindness” and the imaginary perfections we don’t possess.  Am I beginning to understand the difference between pride and humility?

Today I Pray

May God, who is His mercy has saved our lives, keep us from setting ourselves up as the saints and prophets of The Program.  May we recognize the value of our experiences for others without getting smug about it.  May we remember with humility and love the thousands of other “old hands” who are equally well-versed in its principles.

Today I Will Remember

I Will avoid “instant sainthood.”

 

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One More Day
October 28

Yesterday is not ours to recover, but tomorrow is ours to win or lose.
—  Lyndon B. Johnson

We can cherish our yesterdays or even regret them, but we can never live them again.  The past is behind us;  the future lies ahead.  We may sometimes be saddened by the thought that the furture might be shorter than our past, but we find comfort in remembering that the future is real and promising;  the past is neither.

To  find only positives in the past and negatives in the future robs us of one of our greatest gifts — time — and time is what the past can’t give us.  Yesterday’s gifts to us are memories, and an occasional backward glance to what once was is natural.  But we grow mentally and spiritually by living in this day and planning for tomorrow.

I accept the gifts of yesterday’s memories, today’s reality, and tomorrow’s dreams.

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One Day At A Time
October 28
Home

“My home is not a place, it is people.”
–Lois McMaster Bujold

I’ve spent most of my adult life feeling very alone in the world. My disease of compulsive overeating separated me from others due to my isolation, embarrassment and shame. I was always the outsider looking in at others.

It wasn’t until I walked into a twelve step meeting that I found a home for myself. Here these people knew me, heck they WERE me. Whatever I thought, whatever I felt, and whatever I had done in my life, so had others in OA. I am accepted in my totality. OA is the only place where I feel truly safe and at home. I am not alone anymore. The entire twelve step fellowship is on my side ~ and what a great feeling that is!

One day at a time…
I will make OA my home.

~ Cindi L.

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Elder’s Meditation of the Day – October 28

“Our religion seems foolish to you, but so does yours to me.  The Baptists and Methodists and Presbyterians and the Catholics all have a different God. Why cannot we have one of our own?”
–Sitting Bull, HUNKPAPA LAKOTA

The Creator gave each culture a path to God.

To the Indian people, he revealed that the Creator is in everything. Everything is alive with the Spirit of God.
The water is alive.
The trees are alive.
The woods are alive.
The mountains are alive.
The wind is alive.
The Great Spirit’s breath is in everything and that’s why it’s alive. All of nature is our church, we eat with our families in church, we go to sleep in church.

My Creator, let us leave people to worship You in the way You have taught them.

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Journey To The Heart
October 28
Let Yourself Take Side Trips

“You’re on a journey,” the Native American shaman from Sedona said, “but it’s not what you think. Don’t be like the deer, who looks straight ahead and sees only the destination. Let yourself take all the side trips you can. Travel the back roads, take your time. Talk to people and touch the trees. See all you’ve come here to see.”

Sometimes we need to make side trips– side trips into experiences, emotions, situations that take us off center and somewhere new. Sometimes that’s where our greatest learning and growth occur.

If a side trip is beckoning, perhaps there’s a lesson there: an old feeling to be felt, healed, and cleared; a new attitude or belief to be acquired, a revelation, a surprise. Remember this: a side trip, with all it’s emotions, isn’t about another person. It’s about you and your journey to healing, freedom, and joy. Ignoring a situation that can take you off center won’t take you to the next place. Going more deeply into your own growth process, going more deeply into your soul is what will further your journey.

Everything that happens to you can be used, felt, shaped and transformed to further your journey. This process of growth, of side trips and healing, is your destiny, the magical journey of your soul.

To get to the next place, we need to leave the comfortable main road we’ve been traveling. Sometimes a side trip is exactly what we need to make.

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Today’s Gift
October 28

I feel no need for any other faith than my faith in human beings.
—Pearl S. Buck

We owe each other respect. We cannot expect to be respected if we don’t respect others around us. When we respect others, we respect their property and personal belongings as well as their self-esteem and their right to voice an opinion. Respect is a way of cooperating with each other.

We can imagine a submarine where crewmembers did not respect each other’s personal belongings or their ability to do the job. The ship would soon stop functioning because of the chaos. In a family we live in close quarters, like a submarine crew. Respect for each other is one of the things, which keep chaos from breaking out. When we grow in respect for each other’s property, abilities, and self-esteem, we soon see how valuable each member of our crew really is.

How can I show respect to those around me today?

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The Language Of Letting Go
October 28
Meditation and Prayer

The Eleventh Step asks us to meditate as a route to improving our conscious contact with God.

Meditation is different than obsessing or worrying. Obsession and worrying are fear connections. Meditation means opening our mind and our spiritual energy to the God connection.

To connect with God, we need to relax as best we can and open our conscious and subconscious mind to a Higher Consciousness – one that is available to each of us.

In the busyness of our day and life, it may seem like a waste of time to slow down, to stop what we’re doing, and take this kind of break. It is no more a waste of time than stopping to put gas in our car when the tank is almost empty. It is necessary, it is beneficial, and it saves time. In fact, meditation can create more time and energy than the moments we take to do it.

Meditation and prayer are powerful recovery behaviors that work. We need to be patient. It is not reasonable to expect immediate answers, insight, or inspiration.

But solutions are coming. They are already on the way, if we have done our part – meditate and pray – and then let the rest go.

Whether we pray and meditate first thing in the morning, during a coffee break, or in the evening is our choice.

When our conscious contact with God improves, our subconscious contact will too. We will find ourselves increasingly tuned in to God’s harmony and will for us. We will find and maintain that soul connection, the God connection.

Today, I will take a moment for meditation and prayer. I will decide when and how long to do it. I am a child and creation of God – a Higher Power who loves to listen and talk to me. God, help me let go of my fears about whether or not You hear and care. Help me know that You are there and that I am able to tap into the spiritual consciousness.

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More Language Of Letting Go
October 28
Let enlightenment come

Sometimes, the harder we try to see a lesson, the more lost and confused we become. “What does it mean?” we ask, squinting at the problem.

Relax. Let go of your expectations and your interpretations. Quit trying so hard to see.

Sometimes the lesson may be a simple reminder to see the sacred in your ordinary life or to practice compassion for yourself as well as for others. Sometimes what we’re going through is part of a larger lesson, one that may take us years to complete and comprehend. It’s easy to fall into the false belief that there’s some lesson that we have tp push and struggle to learn. There isn’t.

We only have to see what we see and know what we know right now.

Experience your life.

More shall be revealed when it’s time.

Practice seeing without squinting.

God, help me be present to the situations in my life without trying to read too deeply into them. Help me trust that my lessons will become clear when it’s time.

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Touchstones Meditation For Men
October 28

Often our trust is not full. We are not certain that God hears us because we consider ourselves worthless and as nothing. This is ridiculous and the very cause of our weakness. I have felt this way myself.
—Julian of Norwich

Many men do not think they are worthy of recovery. Some of us even fight against our own progress. We can’t seem to reconcile our low self-image with all the benefits recovery brings. This is not surprising when we see how many years we lived in self-abusive addictions. We had lifestyles in which we were treated badly by others, we abused ourselves, and we used and abused others. In our insanity, this sometimes felt masculine. Such a life does not prepare us to feel worthy of the good things in recovery. It is ridiculous to continue such pain simply because it’s what we have known.

To turn this pattern around, we have to accept our Higher Power’s view of us. Our Higher Power accepts us and sees us as deserving the benefits of recovery. We can get out of the way of our recovery by letting go of our unworthy feelings.

Today, I will be open to the benefits of recovery.

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Daily TAO
October 28
ONENESS

If I break down the walls,
I will be surrounded by the garden.
If I break the levee, water will inundate me.
Meditation is not to be separated from life.

The task of following Tao is to cease all distinctions between the self and the outside world. It is only a matter of convenience that we label things inside and outside, subjective and objective. Indeed, it is only at elementary stages that we should talk of a Tao to follow. For true enlightenment is the realization not that there is a Tao to follow but that we ourselves are Tao.

That understanding comes after a simple breaking down of a wall, a shattering of the mistaken notion that there is something inherent in this life that divides us from Tao. Once the wall is broken, we are inundated by Tao. We are Tao.

Do we continue to meditate once we come to this understanding? We still do, but it is no longer a solitary and isolated activity. It is a part of life, as natural as breathing. When you can bring yourself to the understanding that there is no difference between you and Tao and that there is no difference between meditation and “ordinary” activities, then you are well on your way to being one with Tao.

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