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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 30

NA Just For Today
October 30
Courage

“Our newly found faith serves as a firm foundation for courage in the future.”
Basic Text, p.93

Narcotics Anonymous is no place for the faint of heart! Facing life on life’s terms without the use of drugs isn’t always easy. Recovery requires more than hard work; it requires a liberal dose of courage.

What is courage, anyway? A quick look at a dictionary will tell us. We have courage when we face and deal with anything that we think of as difficult, dangerous, or painful, rather than withdrawing from it. Courage means being brave; having a purpose; having spirit. So what is courage, really? Courage is an attitude, one of perseverance.

That’s what an addict in recovery really needs – perseverance. We make that commitment to stick with our program, to avoid using, no matter what happens. A courageous addict is one who doesn’t use, one day at a time, no matter what. And what gives us courage? A relationship with a Higher Power gives us the strength and the courage to stay clean. We know that, so long as we are in our God’s care, we will have the power we need to face life on its own terms.

Just for today: I have a Higher Power who cares for me, no matter what. Knowing that, I will strive to have an attitude of courage today.

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Daily Reflections
October 30
LIVE AND LET LIVE

Never since it began has Alcoholics Anonymous been divided by a major controversial issue. Nor has our Fellowship ever publicly taken sides on any question in an embattled world. This, however, has been no earned virtue. It could almost be said that we were born with it. . . . “So long as we don’t argue these matters privately, it’s a cinch we never shall publicly. ”
TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 176

Do I remember that I have a right to my opinion but that others don’t have to share it?  That’s the spirit of “Live and Let Live.” The Serenity Prayer reminds me, with God’s help, to “Accept the things I cannot change.” Am I still trying to change others? When it comes to “Courage to change the things I can,” do I remember that my opinions are mine, and yours are yours? Am I still afraid to be me? When it comes to “Wisdom to know the difference,” do I remember that my opinions come from my experience?  If I have a know-it-all attitude, aren’t I being deliberately controversial?

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day
October 30
A.A. Thought For The Day

I have real friends, where I had none before. My drinking companions could hardly be called my real friends, though when drunk we seemed to have the closest kind of friendship. My idea of friendship has changed. Friends are no longer people whom I can use for my own pleasure or profit. Friends are now people who understand me and I them, whom I can help and who can help me to live a better life. I have learned not to hold back and wait for friends to come to me, but to go half way and to be met half way, openly and freely. Does friendship have new meaning for me?

Meditation For The Day

There is a time for everything. We should learn to wait patiently until the right time comes. Easy does it. We waste our energies in trying to get things before we are ready to have them, before we have earned the right to receive them. A great lesson we have to learn is how to wait with patience. We can believe that all our life is a preparation for something better to come when we have earned the right to it. We can believe that God has a plan for our lives and that this plan will work out in the fullness of time.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may learn the lesson of waiting patiently. I pray that I may not expect things until I have earned the right to have them.

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As Bill Sees It
October 30
To Rebuild Security, p. 301

In our behavior respecting financial and emotional security, fear. greed. possessiveness, and pride have too often done their worst.  Surveying his business or employment record, almost any alcoholic can ask questions like these: In addition to my drinking problem, what character defects contributed to my financial instability? Did fear and inferiority about my fitness for my job destroy my confidence and fill me with conflict? Or did I overvalue myself and play the big shot?

Businesswomen in A.A. will find that these questions often apply to them, too, and the alcoholic housewife can also make the family financially insecure. Indeed, all alcoholics need to cross-examine themselves ruthlessly to determine how their own personality defects have demolished their security.

12 & 12, pp. 51-52

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Walk In Dry Places
October 30
Who is a winner?
Staying Sober

Newcomers in AA are urged to “stick with the winners.” But who is a winner?

A winner in AA is one who finds sobriety and represents principles that help others find and maintain sobriety. Any person who can help others is a winner.

The losers are people who don’t make enough of a commitment to find and maintain sobriety. It may not be their fault. On the other hand, some losers eventually become winners.

It is not our purpose to apply ratings to various individuals, whether they’re winner or losers. We must know, however, that we cannot benefit from the suggestions of people who do not stay sober. We are looking for the path of recovery, not the road to ruin. The winners are people who can help us in our recovery.

I’ll spend as much time as possible with people who want to stay sober. I have no intention of joining anyone on the road to ruin.

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Keep It Simple
October 30

The universe is full of magical things waiting for our wits to grow sharper.
—Eden Phillpots

How nice to have the fog lifted! Sobriety lets our wits grow sharper. We can go after our dreams and ideas. We can listen to music and sing. We are part of the magic of the universe. At times we may not feel very magical, but we are. Our spirits hold much magic. Sobriety is magic. We work at making the world a better place. In doing so, we get magical powers. Power that heals and comfort others. Power that heals and comforts others. Powers to understand things that before we could not. Powers that let us see the world as we’ve never seen it. Enjoy the magic and use your powers wisely!

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, let Your magic enter and fill my heart.

Action for the Day: I’ll list four magical powers I have from being sober.

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Each Day a New Beginning
October 30

Intuition is a spiritual faculty and does not explain, but simply points the way.
–Florence Scovel Shinn

Should we make this move? Should we change jobs? Should we talk to others about our feelings? We are seldom short on prayers when we’re filled with fear and indecision. We are, however, short on answers. Our worries block them out.

No prayer ever goes unanswered. Of this we can be certain. On the other hand, the answer may not be what we’d hoped for. In fact, we may not recognize it as the answer because we are expecting something quite different. It takes willingness on our part to be free of our preconceptions–free to accept whatever answers are offered.

Our answers come unexpectedly, a chance meeting on the street, a passage in a book or newspaper, a nagging feeling within. God speaks to each of us throughout the day. Our prayers are answered, our problems find solutions, and our worries are eased, if we but attune ourselves to the messages. They are all around.

I will be attentive to all the signs from God today. Whatever answer I seek is finding its way to me.

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Alcoholics Anonymous
October 30
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 had a lot of problems in those early days, but no matter what the problem, I was repeatedly told to seek more spiritual development, something that did not interest me. I was also told that my purpose here on earth was to be of maximum service to God and the people around me, and that didn’t interest me too much either. However, I said nothing, listened, and kept going to meetings, mostly Step discussions, where I heard people talk about how they practiced the Steps and about Big Book, our selfishness, and helping others. Sometimes, I thought they were nuts, those meetings; often I thought they were boring, but I kept listening and tried to relate.

pp. 395-396

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions
October 30

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

The elders led Ed aside. They said firmly, “You can’t talk like this around here. You’ll have to quit it or get out.” With great sarcasm Ed came back at them. “Now do tell! Is that so?” He reached over to a bookshelf and took up a sheaf of papers. On top of them lay the foreword to the book “Alcoholics Anonymous,” then under preparation.  He read aloud, “The only requirement for A.A. membership is a desire to stop drinking.” Relentlessly, Ed went on, “When you guys wrote that sentence, did you mean it, or didn’t you?”  Dismayed, the elders looked at one another, for they knew he had them cold. So Ed stayed.

pp. 143-144

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Xtra Thoughts 
October 30

“Wherever you may be, look when there is apparently nothing to see, listen when all is seemingly quiet.”
–unknown

“There is no investment you can make which will pay you so well as the effort to scatter sunshine and good cheer through your establishment.”
–Orison Swett Marden

God seldom becomes a reality until God becomes a necessity.
–unknown

G I F T = God Is Forever There.

Humility is not thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less.
–unknown

A well-spent day brings happy sleep.
–Leonardo da Vinci

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation
October 30
FOOD

“Seeing is deceiving. It’s eating that’s believing.”
— James Thurber

It may seem strange to many but for years my belief system revolved around my eating. I believed that if I could eat I would be okay. Food for me was both the pleasure and escape. I lived to eat. Feelings, good and bad, were surrounded and stuffed down with food. Some people drank to hide, used cocaine to escape — I ate to avoid the problems in my life.

Seeing was deceiving for me because I refused to accept the reality of my eating. I covered myself with clothes, avoided the beach, rarely looked at my body. I saw only what I wanted to see — and I was dying. Now I choose to face reality. This for me is the meaning of spirituality. I choose to show my love for me by loving my food, making choices around what I eat and eating slowly. Today I choose to talk about my problems, rather than eat them.

God, help me to accept my daily bread with gratitude and abstinence.

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Bible Scriptures
October 30

And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light.
Colossians 1:10-12

For mortals it is impossible, but not for God; for God all things are possible.
Mark 10:27

Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.
Luke 6:27-28

Do not expect that your decision to forgive will result in major changes in the other persons. Instead, pray for them.
Matthew 5:44

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Daily Inspiration
October 30

Be inspired to try something new and much of what you dream can become your life. Lord, thank you for giving me the freedom of choice, and grant me the courage to experience my opportunities and create new ones.

Worse than being a quitter is the one who is afraid to begin. Lord, grant me the courage to believe in myself and the ability to focus on what I can do, not what I can’t do.

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A Day At A Time
October 30

Reflection For The Day

When I’m motivated by pride — by bondage of self — I become partly or even wholly blind to my liabilities and shortcomings.  At that point,m the last thing I need is comfort.  Instead, I  need an understanding friend in The Program — one who knows “where I’m at” — a friend who’ll unhesitatingly chop a hole through the wall my ego has built so that the light of reason can once again shine through.  Do I take time to review my progress, to spot-check myself on a daily basis, and to promptly try to remedy my wrongs?

Today I Pray

God I pray that the group — or just one friend — will be honest enough to see my slippery  manifestations of pride and brave enough to tell me about them.  My self-esteem was starved for so long, than with my first successes in The Program, it may swell to the gross proportions of self-satisfaction.  May a view from outside myself give me a true picture of how I am handling the triumph of my sobriety — with humility or with pride.

Today I Will Remember

Self-esteem or self-satisfaction?

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One More Day
October 30

We can have a hand in our own daily miracle of health.
—  Lewis F. Presnall

Some things we cannot change or control, and one of those most certainly is the limiting nature of illnesses.  But we’re not alone.  We have surely learned by now that all people have to deal with handicaps or limitations — physical, psychological, or emotional.  Like all other people, we are challenged to live a fulfilling life within the limitations placed upon us.

What matters most is that even through we may have a long-term health problem, we can learn to dwell on wellness, not on illness.  Limitations certainly afect how we live our lives, but they need not alter the quality of who we are.  It’s up to us to choose whether we will be all we are intended to be.

There are large areas which I can still control in my life, and that gives me hope.

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One Day At A Time    
October 30
Truth

“The truth that makes men free is for the most part the truth which men prefer not to hear.”
–Herbert Agar

I spent thirty-five years of my adult life running from the truth. It wasn’t until I came to OA and began to work through the Twelve Steps that I had enough emotional support to turn and face the truth. What is my truth? I am a food addict.

Once I was able to face and accept that truth, surrender to my Higher Power was immediate. At long last I was free of cravings, free of bingeing, and free of obsessive food thoughts. That freedom allowed me to work toward the goal of becoming the person I had always wanted to be.

The way I see it, I can be an addict in recovery or I can be an addict in hell. I choose recovery.

One day at a time…
I will seek the truth in my life by working the program of recovery.

~ Cindi L.

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Elder’s Meditation of the Day – October 30  

“My children, you have forgotten the customs and traditions of your forefathers. …
You have bought guns, knives, kettles, and blankets from the white man until you can no longer do without them; and what is worse you have drunk the poison firewater, which turns you into fools. Fling all these things away; live as your forefathers did before you.”
–Pontiac, ODOWA

We need to think as our forefathers did.
They knew the culture and the customs.
The culture taught them how to live in harmony with each other.
We need to think like this again.
We must be God-reliant.

We don’t need the firewater. This liquid is very destructive to our native people. It kills our spirit. Our Indian people are happiest when we are spiritual. When we depend on anyone or anything else, we get off track. We need to talk to the Elders and find out what the old ways were. We need to ask them to teach us the culture, the tradition, and the customs. This will help us become whole again.

My Maker, guide my path as you did my ancestors.

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Journey To The Heart
October 30
Honor the Seasons of Your Soul

There are seasons and cycles in our lives, just as there are seasons and cycles to nature, to all of life. We move imperceptibly from one to the other– learning, growing, laughing, and crying along the way.

We accept with joy the seasons of nature. We honor them. We wouldn’t think of pulling at the tiny blades of grass in early spring to force their growth. Neither would we chastise them for growing too slowly or wilting with the first frost of autumn.

We can learn to recognize and honor the seasons and cycles in ourselves. The answers will come– small glimpses at first, like the first tender shoots of grass. We get an idea, a clue, a hint, of what we’re about to learn. Then comes a series of experiences. Sometimes we immediately see the connection. Sometimes we don’t. We go about the business of living our lives.

Then one day we see. That tiny shoot has become a fully-grown blade of grass, a rolling lawn covering the landscape. We see the connections, the lessons– and we’ll honor all the feelings that we had along the way. We’re different. We’re changed. We’re new. A new season has arrived.

And just when we think that the way it is now is the way it will be forever, another season begins. As naturally, as imperceptibly as the last. It,too, will build on what has already happened and create something new.

There are seasons and cycles in us, just as there are in nature. Learn to recognize and honor the seasons and cycles of the soul.

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Today’s Gift
October 30

You have three choices: keep on fighting, ignore each other, or make up and be friends.
—John Knoblauch

Once there were four sixth-graders – two boys and two girls – who started to fight even though they’d been friends for years. One morning at the bus stop, the boys started playing keep-away with the girls’ shoes and wouldn’t give them back. One of the mothers called the school.

Later that day, the counselor called them in and asked them what the fight was all about. They said they didn’t really know.

“Well,” said the counselor, “it doesn’t really matter why you started fighting. Right now, you’ve got three choices: keep on fighting, ignore each other, or make up.”

The group chose to ignore each other, after discussing it among themselves. They were happy to be able to stop fighting. About the time of winter vacation, they decided to be friends again.

What conflicts can I resolve by letting them be?

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The Language Of Letting Go
October 30

We have a real life of our own. Yes, we do.

That empty feeling, that sense that everyone except us has a life – an important life, a valuable life, a better life – is a remnant from the past. It is also a self-defeating belief that is inaccurate.

We are real. So is our life. Jump into it, and we’ll see.

Today, I will live my life and treasure it as mine.

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More Language Of Letting Go
October 30
God’s aware of you

Dear God,
Are you really invisible or is that just a trick?
–Children’s Letters to God

Sometimes we cannot see more than a few feet in front of us along the path. The path is still there. All we have to do is keep walking it until we’re out of the darkness and into the Light. Just take one small step at a time.

Surrender to the circumstances in your life. Feel your feelings. Be aware of your pain and your suffering, if that’s what you’re going through. But remember that even when you can’t see God, God can see you.

And God cares.

God, help me feel your active presence and love in my life today.

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Touchstones Meditation For Men
October 30

That which is lacking in the present world is a profound knowledge of the nature of things.
—Frithjof Schuon

Most of us have very narrow, limited ways of understanding what happens to us. We are generally practical men, and if something goes wrong we immediately begin to think of how to fix it. We take a cause-and-effect approach to understand the events around us rather than a circular or symbolic approach. Perhaps we turn quickly to blaming instead of asking what is the meaning or the message in what is happening. We see our own experience as the center of events. We forget that our lives are only today’s expression in a line of generations before us.

We become too self-satisfied with our ways of understanding the world. It may be comforting to think we understand what is going on. When we let go of that comfort and open ourselves to a more profound awareness, we enter the spiritual realm. Here we learn that facts are not enough to achieve truth. We begin to understand that love – in the form of connections with all of creation – is where we find the most profound meaning.

I am a part of the whole universe, and my relationship with my Higher Power will open me to profound knowledge.

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Daily TAO
October 30
AGING

Mist and snow blot out the world.
Bony trees are thinly fleshed with ice.
A couple laughs below a stone monument,
But behind a bristled hedge,
A cloaked woman sings a dirge.
Old age is lonely.
Dreams of those I’ve buried haunt me.
Was I ever ready to shoulder this mantle?
It smothered a carefree youth.
Now neither parent, lover, nor friends have I,
And great fame is as distant as spring’s leaves.

Dear youth, do you ever think of getting old? If you did, then you might value your time even more. Dear oldster, do you ever think of your past? Of course you do. You wonder if you did the right things.

How ironic this life is! What a tremendous bind we are born into!  When young, we do not understand the dreariness of old age. When we are old, we are not permitted to go back in time. When vitality flows freely, we haven’t enough wisdom. When we have gained wisdom, fate has made us too weak to take action.

Oh, I know. The purpose of following Tao is to be well adjusted. The secret of Tao is to know how to pass into old age gracefully. Yes, I know. But may I not still reflect on the poignancy of it all?

To be fully human is to know resignation.

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