In Loving Memory of Vic

Find A Meeting

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.

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

Daily Recovery Readings – September 17

Just For Today
September 17
Going Beyond Step Five

“We may think that we have done enough by writing about our past. We cannot afford this mistake.”
Basic Text p.32

Some of us aren’t too keen on writing out our Fourth Step; others take it to an obsessive extreme. To our sponsor’s growing dismay, we inventory ourselves again and again. We discover everything there is to know about why we were the way we were. We have the idea that thinking, writing, and talking about our past is enough. We hear none of our sponsor’s suggestions to become entirely ready to have our defects removed or make amends for the harm we’ve caused. We simply write more about those defects and delightedly share our fresh insights. Finally, our worn-out sponsor withdraws from us in self-defense.

Extreme as this scenario may seem, many of us have found ourselves in just such a situation. Thinking, writing, and talking about what was wrong with us made us feel like we had it all under control. Sooner or later, however, we realized we were stuck in our problems, the solutions nowhere in sight. We knew that, if we wanted to live differently, we would have to move on beyond Step Five in our program. We began to seek the willingness to have a Higher Power remove the character defects of which we’d become so intensely aware. We made amends for the destruction we had caused others in acting out on those defects. Only then did we begin to experience the freedom of an awakening spirit. Today, we’re no longer victims; we are free to move on in our recovery.

Just for today: Although necessary, Steps Four and Five alone will not bring about emotional and spiritual recovery. I will take them, and then I will act on them.


Daily Reflections
September 17

When, with God’s help, we calmly accepted our lot, then we found we could live at peace with ourselves and show others who still suffered the same fears that they could get over them, too. We found that freedom from fear was more important than freedom from want.

Material values ruled my life for many years during my active alcoholism. I believed that all of my possessions would make me happy, yet I still felt bankrupt after I obtained them. When I first came into A. A., I found out about a new way of living.  As a result of learning to trust others, I began to believe in a power greater than myself. Having faith freed me from the bondage of self. As material gains were replaced by the gifts of the spirit, my life became manageable. I then chose to share my experiences with other alcoholics.


Twenty-Four Hours A Day
September 17
A.A. Thought For The Day

Step One is, “We admitted we were powerless over alcohol–that our lives had become unmanageable.”

This step states the membership requirement of A.A.  We must admit that our lives are disturbed. We must accept the fact that we are helpless before the power of alcohol. We must admit that we are licked as far as drinking is concerned and that we need help. We must be willing to accept the bitter fact that we cannot drink like normal people. And we must make, as gracefully as possible, a surrender to the inevitable fact that we just stop drinking. Is it difficult for me to admit that I am different from normal drinkers?

Meditation For The Day

“Show us the way, O Lord, and let us walk in Thy paths.”  There seems to be a right way to live and a wrong way.  You can make a practical test. When you live the right way, things seem to work out well for you. When you live the wrong way, things seem to work out badly for you.  You seem to take out of life about what you put into it.  If you disobey the laws of nature, the chances are that you will be unhealthy. If you disobey the spiritual and moral laws, the chances are that you will be unhappy.  By following the laws of nature, and the spiritual laws of honesty, purity, unselfishness, and love, you can expect to be reasonably healthy and happy.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may try to live the right way.  I pray that I may follow the path that leads to a better life.


As Bill Sees It
September 17
Servant, Not Master, p.259

In A.A., we found that it did not matter too much what our material condition was, but it mattered greatly what our spiritual condition was. As we improved our spiritual outlook, money gradually became our servant and not our master. It became a means of exchanging love and services with those about us.


One of A.A.’s Loners is an Austrian sheepman who lives two thousand miles from the nearest town, where yearly he sells his wool. In order to be paid the best prices he has to get to town during a certain month. But when he heard that a big regional A.A. meeting was to be held at a later date when wool prices would have fallen, he gladly took heavy financial loss in order to make his journey then. That’s how much an A.A. meeting means to him.

1. 12 & 12, p.122
2. A.A. Comes Of Age, p.31


Walk In Dry Places
September 17
The world will recover

If our recovery program is working properly, an amazing thing can happen. Instead of being the bad actors of society, we become people who can be considered solid citizens in every way.. So square that we might even have sharp corners.

We might then start becoming critical of the world in general. “I’ve recovered, so why does the rest of the world have to be the way it is?” A person might say. “Why don’t other people do something about their resentments and fears, just as I have?”

In asking such a question, we’re already in danger of becoming self-righteous. We can remember, however, that our Higher Power has the same concern for others that was shown to us. By the grace of God, and in God’s own good time, the world can and will recover.

I’ll remember today that God is in charge of the world and will set all things straight, just as I was brought to recovery.


Keep It Simple
September 17

It is better to be wanted too much than not a all.

It may seem that so many people want our time and love. Parents say we don’t call often enough. Children demand our time. Our partners say we’re gone to much. Our sponsor tells us to check in more often.

When we feel off balance by all these people, we need to stop and rest. We need to remember how lonely we were when we were using. No one wanted our time and love then! Now we’re important to others again.

You can handle all this by giving people what they need and ask for, within reason—not what you think they need, which may be way too much. Maybe you need Al-Anon, to learn to love others while taking care of yourself.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, help me put my time and energy to best use today. Help me find the balance I need between work, play, loving others, and self-care.

Action for the Day: When I feel I have to give too much today, I’ll stop and ask my Higher Power for guidance.


Each Day a New Beginning
September 17

Desire and longing are the whips of God.
………..Anna Wickham

Our dreams and desires inspire us to reach beyond our present stopping-place. That which we can achieve will draw our attention, and with certainty, a partner is on hand to help us chart the steps for realizing the goal.

Before our introduction to the Twelve Steps, we experienced desires and set many goals. Some we attained. What we often lacked was confidence, and then our commitment wavered. The program is helping us realize that all pure desires are attainable when we invite the program’s structure into our daily planning.

Our lives are purposeful. Each of us is fulfilling a necessary role. The longings that tug at us, longings that bring no harm to ourselves or others, push us to realize our full potential.

Courage and strength, ability and resourcefulness are never lacking when we follow the guidance within and trust in its direction. All the wisdom necessary for succeeding at any task, completing any goal, charting any desire, is as close as our attention is to God.

I will pay heed to my desires today. I Will pray for the wisdom to fulfill them. All doors will open and my steps will be guided, when the desire is spiritually sound.


Alcoholics Anonymous
September 17
He Sold Himself Short

But he found there was a Higher Power that had more faith in him than he had to himself. Thus, A.A. was born in Chicago.

Here was a man with essentially the same outlook on life, except that he had done something about it. He was happy, getting a kick out of life and people, and beginning to get his medical practice back again. As I look back on that first evening, I realize that I began to hope, then, for the first time, and I felt that if he could regain these things, perhaps it would be possible for me too.

p. 261


Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions
September 17

Tradition Two – “For our group purpose, there is but one ultimate authority – a loving God as He may express Himself in our group conscience.”

When A.A. was only three years old, an event occurred demonstrating this principle. One of the first members of A.A., entirely contrary to his own desires, was obliged to conform to group opinion.

Here is the story in his words. “One day I was doing a Twelfth Step job at a hospital in New York. The proprietor, Charlie, summoned me to his office. `Bill,’ he said, `I think it’s a shame that you are financially so hard up. All around you these drunks are getting well and making money. But you’re giving this work full time, and you’re broke. It isn’t fair.’ Charlie fished in his desk and came up with and old financial statement. Handing it to me, he continued, `This shows the kind of money the hospital used to make back in the 1920′s. Thousands of dollars a month. It should be doing just as well now, and it would – if only you’d help me. so why don’t you move your work in here? I’ll give you and office, a decent drawing account, and a very healthy slice of the profits. Three years ago, when my head doctor, Silkworth, began to tell me of the idea of helping drunks by spirituality, I thought it was crackpot stuff, but I’ve changed my mind. some day this bunch of ex-drunks of yours will fill Madison Square Garden, and I don’t see why you should starve meanwhile. What I propose is perfectly ethical. You can become a lay therapist, and more successful than anybody in the business.’

pp. 135-136


Xtra Thoughts
September 17

“Beauty is not in the face; beauty is a light in the heart.”
–Kahlil Gibran

Yesterday is a canceled check,
tomorrow is a promissory note,
today is cash in the bank.

Yesterday is history,
Tomorrow’s a mystery,
Live just for today.

Today is a gift that is why they call it the present.

When special feelings come your way,
let them flow into your heart.
When miracles try to find you, don’t hide.
When special people come along,
let them know what a blessing they are.
Let your smiles begin way down, deep inside.
–Collin McCarthy

“I can do nothing to change the past except stop repeating it in the present.”
–Courage to Change


Father Leo’s Daily Meditation
September 17

“I cannot give you the formula for success, but I can give you the formula for failure, which is try to please everybody.”
– Herbert Bayard Swope

Part of my recovery is not that I never “people-please” but that I know when I am doing it . . . and I am doing it less!

My low self-esteem was revealed in the way I would say what I felt you wanted to hear, do what you wanted to do, go where you wanted to go — and for years I missed me. For years I missed my life because I was preoccupied with other people. And I wasn’t honest. I hated being that way but I wouldn’t admit it. Now I see that my guilt around my addiction led me into this sick cycle, and recovery is taking me out of it. Today I say “I don’t want to go.” “I don’t agree with what you are saying.” “I refuse to do that.”

My dignity is being discovered in my straight forwardness.

God, may I have the courage to share my true feelings.


Bible Scriptures
September 17

“Lead me in your truth, and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all day long.”
Psalm 25:5

“Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”
Philippians 3:12-14


Daily Inspiration
September 17

When something threatens your peace, do not give it an importance it doesn’t have by allowing it to fester in your mind. Lord, there is no situation beyond Your ability to correct.

Use the power of positive images in your mind to bring about good experiences. Lord, I will let my faith in You nourish my thoughts so that I can develop a healthy and joyful reality.


A Day At A Time
September 17

Reflection For The Day

In a letter to a friend, AA co-founder Bill W. wrote, “I don’t think happiness or unhappiness is the point.  How do we meet the problems we face?  How do we best learn from them and transmit what we have learned to others, if they would receive the knowledge?   In my  view, we of this owrld are pupils in a great school of life.  It is intended that we try to grow, and that we try to help our fellow travelers to grow in the kind of love that makes no demands…When pain comes, we are expected to learn from it willingly, and help others to learn.  When happiness comes, we accept it as a gift, and thank God for it.”  Can I accept both pain and happiness willingly?

Today I Pray

God, please help me remember that everything that happens to me has its worth, including the misery of addiction.  May I believe that even my dependency was part of God’s Grand Scheme to bring me to Him.

Today I Will Remember

All that I am is all that has happened to me.


One More Day
September 17

Fight one more round.  When your feet are so tired you have to shuffle back to the center of the ring, fight one more round.
–  James J. Corbett

One of the problems we most frequently hear about when a person is ill, whether it be mentally or physically, is exhaustion.  We tell our doctors, our friends, anyone who will lend a willing ear, “I’m just so very tired.”

To live in the fullest sense of the word, we have to, first of all, take care of ourselves.  If what we feel is physical exhaustion, then we must allow ourselves the needed rest.  We don’t have to take on additional projects or commitments to prove ourselves.   If, however, our tiredness has an emotional base, we may have to push ourselves — for just one more hour, for just one more day — trusting that the energy will come.

I will take care of myself this day.  I am getting stronger, emotionally and spiritually.


One Day At A Time
September 17

“We turn, not older with years, but newer every day.”
–Emily Dickinson

Until I found Program, I used to think that being young was good and that being old was undignified. But working the 12 Steps helped me find the natural wisdom that comes from living over time without practicing addiction.

Now that I’m middle-aged, I feel a power, wisdom and dignity I’ve never felt before. Youth was good. This is good, too. For me, in fact, it’s better. I know myself at last. I have so many more resources inside me. I am grateful to be in my middle years.

As I get older, I seem to be getting more innocent. I no longer need to fit in, please others, or do things just because everyone else is doing them.

Somehow this has cleared my vision and it is easier for me to see and appreciate things the way they really are.

In the end, it is easier every day to see myself for who I really am and to accept and love myself.

One day at a time…
I am willing to be innocent and new; to go wherever my Higher Power leads me next.

~ Juno V.


Elder’s Meditation of the Day – September 17

“The old people must start talking and the young people must start listening.”
–Thomas Banyacya, HOPI

We are at a critical time in transferring cultural knowledge, spiritual ways. During the last few years the young people have not been interested in learning the old ways. The only place this knowledge is found is among the Elders. We must encourage the young to visit with the Elders. The adults need to think also about learning the culture. The Elders are getting old and soon will go to the other side. Each of us must pause and think about our individual responsibility to learn the culture and teach this to our young.

Great Spirit, help us to learn and remember the old ways.


Journey To The Heart
September 17
Don’t Hurry

Don’t worry and fuss about what you’re going to do tomorrow, or how tomorrow’s answers will come. The way to get through a task, a day, a life is to stay in the present moment.

Racing, pushing, trying to force things forward doesn’t work. Not anymore. Hurrying will not speed up the process, or the journey. In fact, if you race ahead of yourself, you may find you need to go back, return to the parts you skipped over, and go through it again fully present.

Yes, there are times we need to press on, times we need tp push a bit more. But hurrying won’t speed up the process. It will just keep us tense, out of step. To speed up the process, we need to fully immerse ourselves in the moment and then focus our energy, our presence, our emotions, our thoughts, and our heart.

Stay in the present moment. Listen to your heart right now. Be gentle and loving with yourself right now. Be open to the guidance around you right now, guidance that will make the present moment come alive.

If you stay in your heart, stay with yourself, stay in the present, tomorrow’s answers will come just as today’s did– naturally, gently, and on time.


Today’s Gift
September 17

Hope is the thing with feathers
that perches in the soul
And sings the tune without the words
And never stops at all.
—Emily Dickinson

We often hum and sing to ourselves because it makes us feel content. It is the melody itself that makes us feel good – words and thoughts do not matter.

Having hope for ourselves and for our universe is like having a melody always moving inside us. The melody may be calm or exciting, but most of all it brings with it beauty and a sense of peace. Hope can overcome the need for words and thoughts and promises. Hope is the melody that keeps us going, the hum that continues even when there are no words to the song. Hope is not a melody we think about – it must come when we believe in the goodness of our world. If we have faith in a power greater than ourselves, we will be able to find the melody of hope inside us at all times.

What is my hope for today?


The Language of Letting Go
September 17
New Relationship Behaviors

We talk much about new relationship behaviors in recovery: allowing others to be themselves without over reacting and taking it personally, and owning our power to take care of ourselves. We talk about letting go of our need to control, focusing on self-responsibility, and not setting ourselves up to be victims by focusing on the other person while neglecting ourselves. We talk about having and setting healthy boundaries, talking directly, and taking responsibility for what we want and need.

While these behaviors certainly help us deal with addicted people, these are not behaviors intended only for use in what we call “dysfunctional relationships.”

These behaviors are our new relationship behaviors. They help us in stressful relationships. They can help us get through times of stress in healthy relationships.

The recovery behaviors we are learning are tools – healthy relationship skills – that help us improve the quality of all our relationships.

Recovery means self-care – learning to take care of ourselves and love ourselves – with people. The healthier we become, the healthier our relationships will become. And we’ll never outgrow our need for healthy behaviors.

Today, I will remember to apply my recovery behaviors in all my relationships – with friends and co-workers, as well as in any special love relationship. I will work hard at taking care of myself in the troublesome relationships, figuring out which skill might best apply. I will also consider ways that my healthy relationships might benefit from my new relationship skills.


More Language Of Letting Go
September 17
Refresh yourself

There’s a “refresh” button you can click on the computer when you’re on-line. It makes the computer operate more efficiently.

Sometimes we get a little sluggish,too. We’ve been pushing too hard. Mulling the same thoughts over and over. Doing the same things over and over. Sometimes we need a change of scenery. Sometimes we need to refresh our thoughts with prayer, meditation, a few words from a friend, or spending some time with a good book.

Maybe it’s our bodies that need refreshing. We need a cold beverage, a brisk walk, a nap, or a hot shower.

Maybe we need a bigger refreshment, a weekend at a spa, a vacation. Even if our budget is low, we can pitch a tent in a park and take in the refreshing beauty of the world around us.

Look around. The world abounds with refreshments. The next time you get bogged down, stop pushing so hard. Do what you need to do to become efficient and operate with ease.

Refresh yourself.

God, help me understand the power of taking the time to refresh myself. Then help me stop thinking about it and actually do it.

Touchstones Meditations For Men
September 17

Self-love, my liege, is not so vile a sin as self-neglecting.
—William Shakespeare

An important part of our lives is simply tending to our basic needs – sitting down daily to share a meal with loved ones, getting enough sleep, setting time aside for haircuts and polishing shoes, spending leisure time with friends. Paying attention to these things only when they become crises makes our lives unbalanced and crisis oriented. Many men have neglected themselves because they felt it was the mark of a tough guy. Others have been so lost in an addiction or so codependent that a respectful self-caring life was not possible.

As we regain our sanity, we find balance in the basics. Self-love allows us to be responsible for our care, and it puts us in a stronger position to help others, to be creative, and to assert our right to recovery.

Today, I will look after the essentials of my personal care and my family’s care before I take on other things.


Daily TAO
September 17

Sex, coffee, liquor, and cigarettes
Are the totems of today.
Stimulation has replaced feeling.

In today’s world, these are the unfortunate equations :

Do you want intimacy? Have sex.
Do you want to be energetic? Drink coffee.
Do you want freedom from inhibitions? Drink wine.
Do you want a fashionable prop? Smoke cigarettes.

Why is it that these things have replaced what should naturally be done?
Because people have lost the knowledge of how to do these things without
artificial stimulation. Why not seek intimacy through sensitivity? Energy
through good health? If we overcome our obstacles, we won’t need inhibition.
Pretension will fall away. Only then will there be a blossoming of Tao.


Daily Zen
September 17

Today she is Buddhist Nun Ru,
Yesterday she was Teacher Wang.
Although born to wear silken gauze,
She now wears only the roughest hemp.
Mouths that open and spew out lofty talk
Have no interest in becoming buddhas.
Leap out of the cauldron of right and wrong,
Cut off completely the road of life and death,
Then enter tiger’s lair and demon’s palace
With a heart that feels not the slightest fear.

– Zhenru


Food For Thought
September 17
God Is Here

The Power, which restores us to sanity, is not something remote and abstract, which we must search for by reading books and performing great feats. Our Higher Power is with us constantly and is involved in the minute details of every day. We do not have to wait and work to become acceptable to God. He accepts us now, just as we are.

What gets in the way of our awareness of God is self. If we are narrowly focused on the concerns of ego and self-will, we ignore the presence of a Higher Power. Then we become weak and confused in our aloneness.

To be aware of the presence of God in our lives every day, all we need is the willingness to be open to Him. We find that He is indeed “closer than breathing and nearer than hands and feet.” What we may have spent years searching for or denying turns out to be the ground of our existence and the Power that sustains us every minute.

Increase my awareness of You, I pray.


Faiths Checkbook
September 17
Like Palm and Cedar

The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree: he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon.
(Psalm 92:12)

These trees are not trained and pruned by man: palms and cedars are “trees of the Lord,” and it is by His care that they flourish. Even so it is with the saints of the Lord: they are His own care. These trees are evergreen and are beautiful objects at all seasons of the year. Believers are not sometimes holy and sometimes ungodly: they stand in the beauty of the Lord under all weathers. Everywhere these trees are noteworthy: no one can gaze upon a landscape in which there are either palms or cedars without his attention being fixed upon these royal growths. The followers of Jesus are the observed of all observers: like a city set on a hill, they cannot be hid.

The child of God flourishes like a palm tree, which pushes all its strength upward in one erect column without a single branch. It is a pillar with a glorious capital. It has no growth to the right or to the left but sends all its force heavenward and bears its fruit as near the sky as possible. Lord, fulfill this type in me.

The cedar braves all storms and grows near the eternal snows, the Lord Himself filling it with a sap which keeps its heart warm and its bough strong. Lord, so let it be with me, I pray Thee. Amen.


This Mornings Reading
September 17

“Bring him unto me.”
—Mark 9:19.

ESPAIRINGLY the poor disappointed father turned away from the disciples to their Master. His son was in the worst possible condition, and all means had failed, but the miserable child was soon delivered from the evil one when the parent in faith obeyed the Lord Jesus’ word, “Bring him unto me.” Children are a precious gift from God, but much anxiety comes with them. They may be a great joy or a great bitterness to their parents; they may be filled with the Spirit of God, or possessed with the spirit of evil. In all cases, the Word of God gives us one receipt for the curing of all their ills, “Bring him unto me.” O for more agonizing prayer on their behalf while they are yet babes! Sin is there, let our prayers begin to attack it. Our cries for our offspring should precede those cries which betoken their actual advent into a world of sin. In the days of their youth we shall see sad tokens of that dumb and deaf spirit which will neither pray aright, nor hear the voice of God in the soul, but Jesus still commands, “Bring them unto me.” When they are grown up they may wallow in sin and foam with enmity against God; then when our hearts are breaking we should remember the great Physician’s words, “Bring them unto me.” Never must we cease to pray until they cease to breathe. No case is hopeless while Jesus lives.
The Lord sometimes suffers His people to be driven into a corner that they may experimentally know how necessary He is to them. Ungodly children, when they show us our own powerlessness against the depravity of their hearts, drive us to flee to the strong for strength, and this is a great blessing to us. Whatever our morning’s need may be, let it like a strong current bear us to the ocean of divine love. Jesus can soon remove our sorrow, He delights to comfort us. Let us hasten to Him while He waits to meet us.


This Evenings Reading
September 17

“Encourage him.”
—Deuteronomy 1:38.

OD employs His people to encourage one another. He did not say to an angel, “Gabriel, my servant Joshua is about to lead my people into Canaan—go, encourage him.” God never works needless miracles; if His purposes can be accomplished by ordinary means, He will not use miraculous agency. Gabriel would not have been half so well fitted for the work as Moses. A brother’s sympathy is more precious than an angel’s embassy. The angel, swift of wing, had better known the Master’s bidding than the people’s temper. An angel had never experienced the hardness of the road, nor seen the fiery serpents, nor had he led the stiff-necked multitude in the wilderness as Moses had done. We should be glad that God usually works for man by man. It forms a bond of brotherhood, and being mutually dependent on one another, we are fused more completely into one family. Brethren, take the text as God’s message to you. Labour to help others, and especially strive to encourage them. Talk cheerily to the young and anxious enquirer, lovingly try to remove stumblingblocks out of his way. When you find a spark of grace in the heart, kneel down and blow it into a flame. Leave the young believer to discover the roughness of the road by degrees, but tell him of the strength which dwells in God, of the sureness of the promise, and of the charms of communion with Christ. Aim to comfort the sorrowful, and to animate the desponding. Speak a word in season to him that is weary, and encourage those who are fearful to go on their way with gladness. God encourages you by His promises; Christ encourages you as He points to the heaven He has won for you, and the spirit encourages you as He works in you to will and to do of His own will and pleasure. Imitate divine wisdom, and encourage others, according to the word of this evening.

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