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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 4, 2014

Just For Today
October 4
Thirty-Day Wonder

“When we first begin to enjoy relief from our addiction, we run the risk of assuming control of our lives again. We forget the agony and pain that we have known.”
Basic Text p.48

Many of us have been “thirty-day wonders.” We were desperate and dying when we showed up at our first NA meeting. We identified with the addicts we met there and the message they shared. With their support, we were finally able to stop using and catch a free breath. For the first time in a long, long time, we felt at home. Overnight, our lives were transformed; we walked, talked, ate, drank, slept, and dreamed Narcotics Anonymous.

Then, Narcotics Anonymous lost its novelty. Meetings that had been a thrill became monotonous. Our wonderful NA friends became bores; their uplifting NA talk, drivel. When our former friends called, inviting us back for some of the old fun, we kissed our recovery goodbye.

Sooner or later, we made our way back to the rooms of Narcotics Anonymous. Nothing had changed out there, we’d discovered – not us, not our friends, not the drugs, not anything. If anything, it had gotten worse than ever. True, NA meetings may not be a laugh riot, and our NA friends may not be spiritual giants. But there’s a power in the meetings, a common bond among the members, a life to the program that we cant do without. Today, our recovery is more than just a fad – it’s a way of life. We’re going to practice living our program like our lives depend on it, because they do.

Just for today: I’m no “thirty-day wonder.” The NA way is my way of life, and I’m here for the duration.

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Daily Reflections
October 4
A NECESSARY PRUNING

. . . . we know that the pains of drinking had to come before sobriety, and emotional turmoil before serenity.
TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 94

I love spending time in my garden feeding and pruning my beautiful flowers. One day, as I was busily snipping away, a neighbor stopped by. She commented, “Oh! Your plants are so beautiful, it seems such a shame to cut them back.” I replied, “I know how you feel, but the excess must be removed so they can grow stronger and healthier.” Later I thought that perhaps my plants feel pain, but God and I know it’s part of the plan and I’ve seen the results. I was quickly reminded of my precious A.A. program and how we all grow through pain. I ask God to prune me when it’s time, so I can grow.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day
October 4
A.A. Thought For The Day

Am I critical of other members of A.A. or of new prospects?  Do I ever say about other members: “I don’t think they’re sincere, I think they’re bluffing, or I think they’re taking a few drinks on the quiet?” Do I realize that my doubtful and skeptical attitude is hurting those members, if only in my attitude toward them, which they cannot help sensing? Do I say about new prospects: “They’ll never make the program,” or do I say: “They’ll only last a few months?” If I take this attitude, I am unconsciously hurting those prospects’ chances. Is my attitude always constructive and never destructive?

Meditation For The Day

To be attracted toward God and a better life, you must be spirit-guided. There is wonderful illumination of thought given to those who are spirit-guided. To those who are material-guided, there is nothing in God or a finer life to appeal to them or to attract them. But to those who are spirit-guided there is strength and peace and calm to be found in communion with an Unseen Lord. To those who believe in this God they cannot see but whose power they can feel, life has a meaning and purpose. They are children of the Unseen Lord, and all human beings are their brothers and sisters.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may be spirit-guided.  I pray that I may feel God’s presence and power in my life.

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As Bill Sees It
October 4
Recovery Through Giving, p.275

For a new prospect, outline the program of action, explaining how you made a self-appraisal, how you straightened out your past, and why you are now endeavoring to be helpful to him. It is important for him to realize that your attempt to pass this on to him plays a vital part in your own recovery. Actually, he may be helping you more than you are helping him. Make it plain that he is under no obligation to you.

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

In the first six months of my own sobriety, I worked hard with many alcoholics. Not a one responded. Yet this work kept me sober. It wasn’t a question of those alcoholics giving me anything.  My stability came out of trying to give, not out of demanding that I receive.

1. Alcoholics Anonymous, p.94
2. Grapevine, January 1958

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Walk In Dry Places
October 4
Deserving Success
Achievements

It’s said that alcoholics sometimes snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.  Some of us, deep down inside, don’t really think we deserve success. We might be discouraged by feelings of guilt or low self-esteem, or perhaps we don’t want to become targets of envy or competitive attacks.

We need to practice acceptance of our current situation, always believing that we do have a right to achievements that match our talents and experience, indeed, such achievements may only be possible now that we’re sober and thinking rightly.

Some people think that our occupations and our program are separate matters.  But the very last idea in the 12 Steps is to practice our principles “in all our affairs.”

If we take the view that any useful work is a form of service, we’ll find opportunities to be beneficial to everyone. With that attitude, we will also realize that we deserve success.

I ‘ll know today that I have a right to do well in any legitimate activity for which I am qualified.

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Keep It Simple
October 4

Your three best doctors are faith, time, and patience.
—From a fortune cookie

Only a short time ago, we were very sick. Getting sober made us so much better.  At first, when we stopped drinking and using other drugs, we thought we were fixed.  Then we began to see that we were not all that well.

No doctor can fix us. To get well, we need to keep living by the Twelve Steps and the slogans of our program. We need to keep on trusting that our Higher Power will heal us. One Day at a Time, day after day, we get stronger and happier.

And it never has to stop. Each day, we know ourselves a little better.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, You are my best doctor. Help me remember that.

Action for the Day: Today, I’ll do what the “doctor” suggests. I will talk with my sponsor about Step Ten today.

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Each Day a New Beginning
October 4

Ambiguity means admitting more than one response to a situation and allowing yourself to be aware of those contradictory responses. You may want something and fear it at the same time. You may find it both beautiful and ugly.
–Tristine Rainer

Flexibility is a goal worth the striving. It eases our relations with others, and it stretches our realm of awareness. Letting go of rigid adherence to what our perceptions were yesterday assures us of heightened understanding of life’s variables and lessons.

Being torn between two decisions, feeling ambivalent about them, need not create consternation, though it often does. Hopefully, it will encourage us to pray for direction, and then to be responsive to the guidance. And we must keep in mind that no decision is ever wrong. It may lead us astray for a time, but it will also introduce us to uncharted territories, which offer many opportunities for flexibility.

Contradictory responses, our own and also ours in relations with others, keep us on our toes, lend an element of excitement to our lives, and push us to think creatively about our perceptions. Growth and change are guaranteed.

I will be in tune with myself today. I will let my perceptions guide me.

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Alcoholics Anonymous
October 4
ME AN ALCOHOLIC?

– Alcohol’s wringer squeezed this author–but he escaped quite whole.

“There’s nothing I can do,” he said, “and nothing medicine can do.  However, I’ve heard of an organization called Alcoholics Anonymous that has had some success with people like you. They make no guarantees and are not always successful. But if you want to, you’re free to try them.  It might work.”

p. 386

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions
October 4

Tradition One – “Our common welfare should come first; personal recovery depends upon A.A. Unity.”

Countless times, in as many cities and hamlets, we reenacted the story of Eddie Rickenbacker and his courageous company when their plane crashed in the Pacific. Like us, they had suddenly found themselves saved from death, but still floating upon a perilous sea. How well they saw that their common welfare came first. None might become selfish of water or bread. Each needed to consider the others, and in abiding faith they knew they must find their real strength. And as they did find, in measure to transcend all the defects of their frail craft, every test of uncertainty, pain, fear, and despair, and even the death of one.

p. 131

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Xtra Thoughts
October 4

Yesterday is history, tomorrow, but a mystery…Today is a gift, that’s why we call it the present.

Like an ability or a muscle, hearing your inner wisdom is strengthened by doing it.
–Robbie Gass

“If the eyes are looked upon as the windows to the soul…then a smile must be the doorway the heart.”
–unknown

“Listen or thy tongue will keep thee deaf.”
–American Indian Proverb

When someone intentionally hurts me, I know, they are also hurting themselves, probably more. Let go, and love them anyway.
–Shelley

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation
October 4
LIFE

“I am not afraid of tomorrow, for I have seen yesterday and I love today.”
– William Allen White

Today I have confidence in my life and I am experiencing consistency in my behavior and attitude. In recovery, things follow a natural progression and life is more like a series of curves than sharp peaks. As an addict, my life was forever going up and down, ecstasy followed by gloom; the “best ever” followed by depression; always black and white — no grays.

Today I have some balance and consistency. Things are connected and grow in the process of change. Sudden happenings and quick changes scare me because they are symptomatic of yesterday’s disease and are not consistent with the spiritual life I seek.  Today I have the peace of knowing that tomorrow will be something like today — and I am happy.

Thank You for the spiritual gift of consistency.

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Bible Scriptures
October 4

Give thanks to the Lord for He is good; His love endures forever.
Psalm 106:1

Give ear to my words, O LORD, consider my sighing. Listen to my cry for help, my King and my God, for to you I pray. In the morning, O LORD, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation.
Psalm 5:1-3

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Daily Inspiration
October 4

When you lose your temper, you lose. Lord, help me to be patient with those around me, but most of all, help me be patient with myself.

Apply God’s promises to your daily lives and speak to Him from the depths of your heart.  Lord, the more time I spend with You, the stronger You make my faith and the more blessings You place in my life.

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A Day At A Time
October 4

Reflection For The Day

We are powerless over our addictions;  that admission brought us to The Program, where we learn through unconditional surrender that there is victory in defeat.  After a time, we learn in Twelfth Step work that we’re not only powerless over our own addiction, but over the addictions of others.  We cannot will another person to sobriety, for example, any more than we can hold back the sunset.  We may minister to another person’s physical needs;  we may share with him, pray with him, and take him to meetings.  But we cannot get inside his head and push some sort of magic button that will make him — or her — take the all-important First Step.  Do I still sometimes try to play God?

Today I Pray

may I understand my all-too-human need to be the boss, have the upper hand, be the final authority — even in the humbling business of my own addiction.  May I see how easy it would be to become a big-shot Twelfth Stepper.  May I also see that, no matter how much I care and want to help, I have no control over another’s addiction — any more than someone else has control over mine.

Today I Will Remember

I cannot engineer another’s sobriety.

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One More Day
October 4

The bitter and the sweet come from the outside, the hard from within, from one’s own efforts.
–  Albert Einstein

Too often we expect to have lives in which only happy events occur and no one is ever hurt.  Instead of tears and sadness, we expect only happiness.  In doing this, we do not face life realistically.  By ignoring all the problems around us — our own and others’ as well — we skim the surface of life.

When we face reality, we begin our real journey.  A life well lived is not one of constant happiness and joy.  More often, it is the life as lived by someone who has known intense pain and extreme disappointment.  Our negative experiences give us that opportunity to be strengthened within.

All my experiences give me a chance to grow.

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One Day At A Time
October 4
SHAME

”It is not the criminal things that are hardest to confess, but the ridiculous and the shameful.”
–Jean Jacques Rousseau

I had a very strange childhood filled with lots of emotional and physical neglect. Combine that with moving about once a year and being deemed as “unacceptable” by each new community we moved into, and how could I help but feel a great sense of shame about everything about me?

As an adult I left home and became a well-respected part of a new community. I have lived in the same nice house, with a beautiful yard, and had well kept-children. In spite of all the evidence to the contrary, internally I was still that “unacceptable” child. I had not told anyone about my childhood because I felt it to be a shameful secret. I thought that much of my adult unhappiness was deserved because I truly believed that even though no one knew the truth about me, deep down I really was still unacceptable.

Since coming to TRG, I have been releasing something far more important than the 60 pounds of weight I have lost. I have begun to release the shame, the sense of being unacceptable, and the sense of being unworthy and unlovable. I have shared my secrets with wonderfully-loving, accepting people. By sharing my secrets I am releasing my pain. My request that my name not be revealed at the end of this meditation, though, clearly states that I still have work to do. TRG, the program, and the steps are offering me the means to recovery and I will gratefully accept the offer!

One day at a time…
I will remember that the old false self-perceptions are no longer relevant in my life. I am learning new ways of self-acceptance and new ways of self-nurturing that will serve me far better.

~ Karen A.

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Elder’s Meditation of the Day – October 4

“Search for the truth. Indian values teach the holistic approach to the use of technology for mankind’s good.”
–Al Qoyawayma, HOPI

The Great Spirit had given us certain values to live by. If we learn to think in harmony with these values such as respect, love, patience, tolerance, commitment, trust, etc., we cannot get off track. No matter what we do, we will always be in harmony. For example, if we are respectful, then we will respect the earth, our children, our women, our men and ourselves. Indian values help us walk under the guidance of the Great Spirit.

My Creator, today I search for the truth, Your truth. Please let me see it.

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Journey To The Heart
October 4
Let the Miracle of Acceptance Find You

I found this miracle in a small church in New Mexico. The Sanctuario do Chimayo is famous for its healing powers and miracles. The ground under the church, some say, is particularly holy and powerful. Crutches– evidence of the healing miracles people experienced there– line the walls of the church’s back room.

Four years ago, a friend had sent me to the Sanctuario to find my miracle. It was three months after my son died. I didn’t know what miracle could possibly fix my situation. Now, sitting in the back of the chapel, I knew. I didn’t have any crutches to hang on the wall, but the miracle of acceptance had healed my heart and changed my life.

We may search for miracles that change our situation so we don’t have to deal with the loss or feel the pain. Sometimes we get that miracle. Our circumstances change. But sometimes the miracle we get changes us. If the situation is too difficult, the loss to painful to accept in one leap, take smaller steps. Accept what you’re feeling today. Accept who you are today. Accept what you think today.

Look for your miracles. Hope for the best. But when you can’t change what you’re going through, let the simple, quiet, daily miracle of acceptance find you.

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Today’s Gift
October 4

The reason why birds can fly and we can’t is simply that they have perfect faith, for to have faith is to have wings.
—James M. Barrie

As children, we are taught to act and think with confidence. If we have faith that something wonderful can happen, it will bring us joy. Confidence gives us the will to succeed. Without faith, we invite despair. Faith lets us win by teaming us with love and hope. When things are going well, faith encourages growth. During hard times, faith falls upon trust for added strength and inspiration. It takes such a small amount of material things to have faith. Once, a four-year-old girl found a penny and showed it proudly to a stranger. The man scoffed, “What do you expect to buy with a penny?” The child with faith replied, “I can buy a wonderful wish at a wishing well with it.”

What can I have faith in today?

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The Language Of Letting Go
October 4
Faith and Money

Sometimes, there is not enough money to make ends meet, much less afford any luxuries.

People may tell us to do a budget, and we chuckle. The expenses we need to pay for survival surpass the income.

We look at the situation; shake our heads, and say, “No way.”

Many of us have had to live through these situations. This is not the time to panic; this is not the time to despair.

Panic and desperation will lead to bad judgment and desperate moves. This is the time to substitute faith for fear. This is the time to trust God to meet our needs.

Take life one day and one need at a time. Use your survival skills positively. Know your possibilities are not limited by the past or by your present circumstances.

Examine any blocks that might be stopping the flow of money in your life. Do you have an attitude, an issue, a lesson that might be yours to change or learn?

Maybe the lesson is a simple one of faith. In Biblical times, it is said that Jesus walked on the water. It is said His followers could, too, but the moment they let fear take over, they sank.

During financial hard times, we can learn to “walk on water” with money issues. If we make out a budget, and there’s not enough money to survive and pay legitimate expenses, do your best, then let go. Trust your Source to supply your needs. If an emergency arises, and there is no cash to meet the need, look beyond your wallet. Look to your Source. Claim a Divine supply, an unlimited supply, for all that you need.

Do your part. Strive for an attitude of financial responsibility in thought and action. Ask for Divine Wisdom. Listen to God’s leadings. Then let go of your fears and your need to control.

We know that money is a necessary part of being alive and living; so does our Higher Power.

God, bring any blocks and barriers within me concerning money to the surface. Help me take care of myself financially. If money is tight, I will dispel fear and learn to “walk on water” concerning finance issues. I will not use this attitude to justify irresponsibility. I will do my part, including letting go of fear and trusting you to do the rest.

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More Language Of Letting Go
October 4
Value your dreams

I always wanted to be a writer. Long ago I talked to God about it, then asked God to bring it to pass if that dream was from Him. Or Her. Within twenty-four hours, I had my first writing assignment from a community newspaper. I got paid five dollars a story, and I’ve been writing ever since.

Sometimes, we get a vision of ourselves doing something. We might get an inkling or even have a dream where we see ourselves doing something in the future. We might get a feeling that we’re about to become pregnant. Or we might have a dream in which we see ourselves moving into a new home. We might be driving by a nieghborhood one day and get a special feeling that it would be right for us to live here.

We might get a hunch about a career-oriented event.

Some people think these little hunches or dreams are our soul’s way of remembering what it came here to do.

We see a flash: a dream, vision, or special feeling of what’s coming next. Maybe your dreams about what you want and what you’d like are more important than you think.

God, show me what you want me to do and experience in life. Then give me enough consciousness to relax and see what you’re pointing out.

Activity: Have an I see page in your journal. As you go about the days ahead, pay special attention to the dreams that pop into your head. Nighttime dreams are important. It’s good to write in your journal about those, too. Often they give us clues. But what I’m talking about here are our day-time dreams and feelings– those things we think we want or can see ourselves doing. Have you buried any dreams from childhood or adulthood, things you really wanted to pursue but forgot along the way? Tell yourself it’s time to remember. Then let it go. Pay attention to what pops up into sight. Write it down, even if it’s just a sentence or two. Then let the dream go again. Don’t try to control the future. It will happen of its accord.

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Touchstones Meditation For Men
October 4

Anxiety is that range of distress, which attends willing what cannot be willed.
—Leslie H. Farber

There are hundreds of ways in which men try to will things that cannot be willed. We will to sleep; we will to have others like us; we will to have sexual virility. In all these things, the force of our will does not work because what we want is not controllable. They come to us as an outcome of many factors – when the situation is right – when we have become ready for them.

When we could not let go, when we did not know how to turn our life and our will over to the care of God, we became more and more anxious. Then we turned to our addictive or codependent escapes from anxiety and willfulness. It is the folly of our age to try to take charge of everything. We are following a more peaceful and more successful way. We are doing our part and receiving the benefits that come to us.

The will of my Higher Power has a loving purpose and is far wiser than I.

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Daily TAO
October 4
WHOLE

I hate the way this chicken comes
All bagged in plastic
Without head or feet;
Neck, heart, liver, and gizzard
Stuck into its cavity.
No wonder people feel unconnected.

Traditional people like to see the whole animal when they shop for their meals. In cultures where personal contacts are more meaningful and closeness to the earth is a way of life, it is no surprise that people are interested in a complete relationship to their food. They buy it or raise it, they harvest it, they clean it, and they cook it — all before they eat it in gratitude. They don’t become sentimental over their food — practicality is to understand that we kill to survive — but they do give thanks for what has died to sustain them.

Today we have a very incomplete relationship to our food. We don’t see where something grows, we eat foods out of season, we buy prepared foods made by someone we don’t even know. There is a great power in knowing your food, knowing where it came from, preparing it with your own hands. This food, whether vegetable or animal, died for us. The least we can do is partake of it thoroughly and with respect.

Nowadays it is quite common for people to feel isolated. They lament not having friends, not having genuine experiences, not having a sense of who they are. If even the food that we eat and the way that we eat is lacking in wholeness, then how will we feel completion in the rest of our lives?

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