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 30

Just For Today
September 30
Being Ourselves

“Our real value is in being ourselves.”
Basic Text, p.101

Over and over, we have tried to live up to the expectations of those around us. We may have been raised believing that we were okay if we earned good grades in school, cleaned our rooms, or dressed a certain way. Always wanting to belong and be loved, many of us spent a lot of time trying to fit in – yet we never quite seemed to measure up.

Now, in recovery, we are accepted as we are. Our real value to others is in being ourselves. As we work the steps, we learn to accept ourselves just as we are. Once this happens, we gain the freedom to become who we want to be.

We each have many good qualities we can share with others. Our experiences, honestly shared, help others find the level of identification they need to begin their recovery. We discover that we all have special gifts to offer those around us.

Just for today: My experience in recovery is the greatest gift I can give another addict. I will share myself honestly with others.


Daily Reflections
September 30

The circle stands for the whole world of A.A., and the triangle stands for A.A.’s Three Legacies of Recovery, Unity, and Service.  Within our wonderful new world, we have found freedom from our fatal obsession.
A.A. COMES OF AGE, p. 139

Early in my A.A. life, I became employed in its services and I found the explanation of our society’s logo to be very appropriate. First, a circle of love and service with a well-balanced triangle inside, the base of which represents our Recovery through the Twelve Steps. Then the other two sides, representing Unity and Service, respectively. The three sides of the triangle are equal. As I grew in A.A. I soon identified myself with this symbol. I am the circle, and the sides of the triangle represent three aspects of my personality: physical, emotional sanity, spirituality, the latter forming the symbol’s base. Taken together, all three aspects of my personality translate into a sober and happy life.


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

There are no leaders in A.A., except as they volunteer to accept responsibility. The work of carrying on A.A.–leading group meetings, serving on committees, speaking before other groups, doing twelfth-step work, spreading A.A. among the alcoholics of the community–all these things are done on a volunteer basis. If I don’t volunteer to do something concrete for A.A., the movement is that much less effective. I must do my fair share to carry the load. A.A. depends on all its members to keep it alive and to keep it growing. Am I doing my share for A.A.?

Meditation For The Day

When you look to God for strength to face responsibility and are quiet before Him, His healing touch causes the Divine Quiet to flow into your very being. When in weakness you cry to God, His touch brings healing, the renewal of your courage, and the power to meet every situation and be victorious. When you faint by the way or are distracted by feelings of inferiority, then rely on the touch of God’s spirit to support you on your way.  Then arise and go forth with confidence.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may lay myself open today to the healing touch of God.  I pray that I may not falter or faint by the wayside, but renew my courage through prayer.


As Bill Sees It
September 30
A.A. In Two Words, p.271

“All A.A. progress can be reckoned in terms of just two words: humility and responsibility. Our whole spiritual development can be accurately measured by our degree of adherence to these magnificent standards.

“Ever deepening humility, accompanied by an ever greater willingness to accept and to act upon clear-cut obligations–these are truly our touchstones for all growth in the life of the spirit. They hold up to us the very essence of right being and right doing. It is by them that we are enabled to find and to do God’s will.”  Talk, 1965 (Printed In Grapevine, January 1966)


Walk In Dry Places
September 30
How do we communicate?
Carrying the message.

What we are always carries a stronger message than what we say. This is why we’re sometimes turned off by people who seek to overwhelm us with charm. It’s also why we can sometimes be drawn to people who are quiet and unassuming.

However it works, there is a powerful message in one’s unspoken thoughts and feelings. We can usually sense, for example, the mood of people in a room, even when little is being said. If we spend any time with others, they will soon know much about us even if we say little.

This silent communication may be the great secret of AA’s success in reaching those who still suffer. If we are living sober and want to help others, that’s he message we give out. That’s also a form of carrying the message.

I’ll communicate today by maintaining a warm and friendly attitude toward every person I meet, knowing that thoughts and feelings speak louder than words.


Keep It Simple
September 30

If we follow the Twelve Steps, we’ll leave failure behind. We may have tried and tired to be sober, good people, but failed if we were doing it our way. Now is the time to stop listening to ourselves and start listening to pros, those who have gone before us.

When we follow their lead, exciting changes happen. First we stay sober. We regain self-respect. We meet people we respect and become friends. Our families start to trust us again. And why? Because we gave up doing it our way and listened. We listened to the experts.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, allow me to become an expert listener.

Action for the Day: Today, I’ll find someone I respect and ask how they work their program. I’ll ask them to share their wisdom.


Each Day a New Beginning
September 30

Birds sing after a storm; why shouldn’t people feel as free to delight in whatever remains to them?
—Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy

We choose the lives we lead. We choose sadness or happiness; success for failure; dread or excited anticipation. Whether or not we are conscious of our choices, we are making them every moment.

Accepting full responsibility for our actions is one of the requirements of maturity. Not always the easiest thing to do, but necessary to our further development. An unexpected benefit of accepting our responsibility is that it heightens our awareness of personal power. Our well being is within our power. Happiness is within our power. Our attitude about any condition, present or future, is within our power, if we take it.

Life is “doing unto us” only what we allow. And it will favor us with whatever we choose. If we look for excitement, we’ll find it. We can search out the positive in any experience. All situations present seeds of new understanding, if we are open to them. Our responses to the events around us determine whatever meaning life offers. We are in control of our outlook. And our outlook decides our future.

This day is mine, fully, to delight in – or to dread. The decision is always mine.


Alcoholics Anonymous
September 30
He Sold Himself Short

A few months after I made my original trip to Akron, I was feeling pretty cocky, and I didn’t think my wife was treating me with proper respect, now that I was an outstanding citizen. So I set out to get drunk deliberately, just to teach her what she was missing. A week later I had to get an old friend from Akron to spend two days sobering me up. That was my lesson, that one could not take the moral inventory and then file it away; that the alcoholic has to continue to take inventory every day if he expects to get well and stay well. That was my only slip. It taught me a valuable lesson. In the summer of 1938, almost a year from the time I made my original contact with Akron, the man for whom I was working, and who knew about the program, approached me and asked if i could do anything about one of his salesmen who was drinking very heavily. I went to the sanitarium where this chap was incarcerated and found to my surprise that he was interested. He had been wanting to do something about his drinking for a long time but did know how. I spent several days with him, but I did not feel adequate to pass the program on to him by myself. So I suggested that he take a trip to Akron for a couple of weeks, which he did, living with one of the A.A. families there. When he returned, we had practically daily meetings from that time on.

pp. 264-265


Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions
September 30

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

At first the elders could look only at the objections. “We deal,” they said, “with alcoholics only. Shouldn’t we sacrifice this one for the sake of the many?” So went the discussions while the newcomer’s fate hung in the balance. Then one of the three spoke in a very different voice. “What we are really afraid of,” he said, “is our reputation. We are much more afraid of what people might say than the trouble this strange alcoholic might bring. As we’ve been talking, five short words have been running through my mind. Something keeps repeating to me, “What would the Master do?” “Not another word was said. What more indeed could be said?

p. 142


Xtra Thoughts
September 30

Practicing the program, I learned to trust God, not just believe in Him.
–Ron C.

Let your ears hear what your mouth says.
–Jewish Proverb

The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and the lightning bug.
–Mark Twain

“Seek first to understand, then to be understood.”
–Stephen Covey

“Truly, it is in darkness that one finds the light, so when we are in sorrow, then this light is nearest to all of us.”
–Meister Eckhart


Father Leo’s Daily Meditation
September 30

“Prayer of the modern American: ‘Dear God, I pray for patience. And I want it right now!’”
– Oren Arnold

How I appreciate those times when I experience the gift of patience in my life, not as often as I would like. That is an interesting point: I am impatient about having patience!

Seriously, patience is when I recognize the need to “back off” — allow God into the driver’s seat, resting in the knowledge that things happen in God’s time. This does not mean that I am not involved, but it allows for God’s comprehensive plan for His world. I can experience patience usually when I get in touch with gratitude. Once I stop giving energy to the “I wants”, the joy of serenity breathes through my life and I can rest. Sometimes I need to “stop” and say a loud and resonant “thank you”.

Lord, let me breathe these words into my life: “Thy will be done.”


Bible Scriptures
September 30

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.”
Matthew 6:19-20

“Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another–and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”
Hebrews 10:25


Daily Inspiration
September 30

Change yourself and those around you will change too. Lord, help me to be my best so that I can bring out the best in others.

Peace comes not from having no problems, but from being able to deal with them. Lord, bless me with the confidence and wisdom to grow from life’s challenges.


A Day At A Time
September 30

Reflection For The Day

No matter what other people do or don’t do, we have to remain sober and free from other addictions for ourselves.  When our program of recovery becomes contingent on the actions or inaction of another person — especially someone with whom we’re emotionally involved — the results are invariably disastrous.  We need to also remember that intense dislike is as much an emotional involvement as new found romantic love.  In short, we have to cool any risky emotional involvements in the first few months of our recovery, trying to accept the fact that our feelings could change quickly and dramatically.  Our watch word must be “First Things First,” concentrating on our number one problem before anything else.  Am I building a firm foundation while steering a firm foundation while steering clear of slippery emotional areas?

Today I Pray

May I always remember that healthy relationships with  people are necessary for my recovery.  But — that substituting an obsession with either a love or hate object is as dangerous to my well-being as any other addiction.

Today I Will Remember

A dependency is a dependency is a dependency.


One More Day
September 30

There is no failure except in no longer trying.
–  Elbert Hubbard

It would be tragic to live our lives without direction, to never try to fulfill any dreams.  Perhaps we have felt we do not have direction in our lives any longer, or that we can’t fulfill the lifelong dreams we had.  By setting new goals and priorities in terms of today’s reality, we can still have dreams and see them come true.

We might be tempted to resign ourselves to being failures, to set ourselves no new challenges, and to think of ourselves as victims.  If we don’t become fatigued with thoughts of resignation and failure, we will have the necessary energy to pursue new goals.

I am setting new goals that are realistic, and I will invest my energy in them.


One Day At A Time
September 30

“A single sunbeam is enough to drive away many shadows.”
–St. Francis of Assisi

There are many tools I use to maintain my abstinence, but none of them is as important to me as service. I do a lot of service, but it’s not for fame or glory: I do service in order to keep my program strong. I came into program for the first time back in college, and got there only because someone offered to give me a ride.

When we first walk into these rooms, we often feel lost and alone in the dark world of addiction. But at that very first meeting we hear people talk about their experience and strength, and a small glow of light comes into our view. All it takes is that “single sunbeam” and we have hope again and our world seems brighter.

As we keep coming back and working the Steps, we encounter lots of different sunbeams, and slowly the shadows in our lives are cast away and the world becomes bright again. It is then our responsibility to let our own light shine. One of the beauties of this program is that everyone can find a way to give service. Whether it be on the group or Intergroup level, whether by sponsoring or just making a call, whether by serving as secretary, treasurer, or just by helping to put chairs away after a meeting, there is a job for everyone.
No one should feel “unimportant.” I’m sure that the lady who gave me a ride to my first few meetings didn’t feel like she was doing anything special, but she was the first sunbeam in my life. All these years later, her act of giving has ignited in me a burning desire to give back to others the miracle of this program.

One Day at a Time . . .
I will be unafraid to let my light shine.  Any act of service that I can give will not only help another, but will ensure that my own light does not burn out.

~ Laurel


Elder’s Meditation of the Day – September 30

“Don’t be afraid to cry. It will free your mind of sorrowful thoughts.”
–Don Talayesva, HOPI

Human beings function from choice. We can choose to stuff things, or we can choose to let go of things. If we choose to stuff things, then we will feel a heaviness, or sorrow, self pity or fear. Sometimes we feel the need to cry. Sometimes we are taught it is not okay to cry. The creator designed the human being to cry. Crying is a release. This release allows us to let go of thoughts that are not helping us so we can open to new thoughts that will help. Crying is natural for women and men.

Grandfather, if I need to cry, let me realize it’s a natural process and help me to let go.


Journey To The Heart
September 30
You’re a Healer

The healing you give to the world can happen as gracefully and naturally as the pine trees touch and heal with their life, their presence. Arousing your senses, they fill you with their fragrance. Their presence changes your energy, calms your fears, let you know all is well.

Know you can stand tall, joyfully be who you are, and grow where you are. You have the ability to touch those around you in a way that heals them without hurting or draining you. One of your gifts to yourself and to the world is that of a healer. You don’t have to force it, strive to make it happen. It happens gently and naturally when you love and accept who you are.

Open to your healing powers, your ability to heal yourself and those around you. Receive this gift with joy, share it freely with all you meet. Open to your healing powers and you will cherish your past, all you have gone through and done.

Who you are is love. What love does is heal.


Today’s Gift
September 30

The house, the stars, the desert–what gives them their beauty is something that is invisible.
—Antoine de Saint Exupery

What makes our home special? Is it the shape of it, or whether or not we have carpeting? Probably not.

More likely, what makes us love a place is how we feel when we are there. Home is the familiarity of pleasant smells, activities, and special people.

And when we are caught by the beauty of the stars, isn’t it something that happens inside us – the breathtaking feeling of joy that is so hard to describe? The beauty of a day or a special person in our lives cannot be captured, but it can fill and warm our hearts.

Can I measure beauty today by what I feel inside?


The Language of Letting Go
September 30
Not a Victim

You are not a victim.

How deeply ingrained our self-image as a victim can be! How habitual our feelings of misery and helplessness! Victimization can be like a gray cloak that surrounds us, both attracting that which will victimize us and causing us to generate the feelings of victimization.

Victimization can be so habitual that we may feel victimized even by the good things that happen to us!

Got a new car? Yes, we sigh, but it doesn’t run as well as I expected, and after all, it cost so much. . . .

You’ve got such a nice family! Yes, we sigh, but there are problems. And we’ve had such hard times. . . .

Well, your career certainly is going well! Ah, we sigh, but there is such a price to pay for success. All that extra paperwork. . . .

I have learned that, if we set our mind to it, we have an incredible, almost awesome ability to find misery in any situation, even the most wonderful of circumstances.

Shoulders bent, head down, we shuffle through life taking our blows.

Be done with it. Take off the gray cloak of despair, negativity, and victimization. Hurl it; let it blow away in the wind.

We are not victims. We may have been victimized. We may have allowed ourselves to be victimized. We may have sought out, created, or re created situations that victimized us. But we are not victims.

We can stand in our power. We do not have to allow ourselves to be victimized. We do not have to let others victimize us. We do not have to seek out misery in either the most miserable or the best situations.

We are free to stand in the glow of self-responsibility.

Set a boundary! Deal with the anger! Tell someone no, or stop that! Walk away from a relationship! Ask for what you need! Make choices and take responsibility for them. Explore options. Give yourself what you need! Stand up straight, head up, and claim your power. Claim responsibility for yourself!

And learn to enjoy what’s good.

Today, I will refuse to think, talk, speak, or act like a victim. Instead, I will joyfully claim responsibility for myself and focus on what’s good and right in my life.


More Language Of Letting Go
September 30
Own your power

I was in an airplane on the way up. I was doing my fidgeting thing, as usual. Brady Michaels, a stunt man and skydiver I had come to know and respect was sitting across the aisle from me.

“How are you doing, Melody,” he asked in a gentle way, like he really wanted to know.

“I’m scared,” I said.

“Do you believe in God?” he asked.

“Yes,” I said.

“Well then walk to that door, jump, and pull your rip cord when it’s time,” he said. “And don’t forget to have some fun,too.”

Owning our power can be one of the most illusive issues we face in recovery. How much is my part? When do I do it? How much is God’s part? Which parts of my life am I responsible for, and which parts are destiny?

You can spend years in therapy talking about feelings, but that isn’t the same as releasing your feelings and fears and moving forward in your life. You can go to college and train to do the thing you want to do in life. You can sleep every night with your wish list underneath your pillow. But that’s different from stepping up to the plate and doing it, whether that means writing a romance novel, starting your own business, learning to bake a cake, or buying an easel and painting a picture. You can read all the travel books in the library– but that’s different from getting on an airplane and taking a trip to someplace you’ve always wanted to see.

We can go to a million Twelve Step meetings, but that’s different from actually working each of the Steps.

As my favorite skydiving instructor Andy told me, there’s three things to remember.

Gravity always works. The earth won’t move out of your way. And God won’t pull your rip cord.

We’ve surrendered our lives and will to the care of God. Now, it’s time to learn what it means to align with and own our power.

God, help me own my power to take care of myself. Help me learn to do the job well.


Touchstones Meditations For Men
September 30

The man who never alters his opinion is like standing water, and breeds reptiles of the mind.
—William Blake

We seek the answer. Sometimes we think we have found a central truth and later learn that beneath it is another truth. Or what seemed so crucial as a guiding principle for our lives last year is still true but not as crucial. It is like trying to take a snapshot of a changing world while the camera itself is changing.

Some of us in our hunger for security grab for “absolute” truths, which are not absolute. We must continue forever to be eager learners. In stepping across a stream from one floating log to another, we must resist the temptation to become overcommitted to staying in an especially secure looking place, or we will never reach the opposite shore. Even the Twelve Steps of this program are given to us as a “suggested” program of recovery. It is a program that works because it takes us out of our rigid ways. We are continually made new. That is the vitality of the spiritual life.

God, help me to be open to new opinions – to things I had never thought of on my own.


Daily TAO
September 30

Three subtle energy currents:
Twin helixes around a jade pillar.
This glowing presence
Is the force of life itself.

Deep in meditation, it is possible to become aware of the life-force itself. You can see it if you learn how to look within. To describe it as electricity, or power, or light, or consciousness is all somewhat correct. But such descriptions are inadequate. You have to see it for yourself. You have to feel it for yourself. You have to know it for yourself.

To be in its presence is like being in front of something primeval, basic, mysterious, shamanistic, and profound. To be in its presence makes all references mute and all senses slack, leaving only deep awe.  One is drawn to it in utter fascination. It is the mighty flame to our mothlike consciousness.

This column of energy that coils around itself holds all the stages of our growth. It is our soul; it is the force that animates us and gives us awareness. If you want to engage your life completely, it is essential for you to come to terms with this inner power. Once you harmonize with it you can blend with the dynamics of being human.


Daily Zen
September 30

I watch a teacher lecture on the sutras
His eloquence flows like running water.
Expounding on the five stages
And the eight categories,
He explains them with unequaled cleverness.
They proclaim themselves masters
And others believe it.
However, question them about the essence of Zen
And they have no useful answer.

– Ryokan (1758-1831)


Food For Thought
September 30

When our vision was clouded by self-will, our perspective was narrow and subjective. We saw people and events only as they fostered or frustrated our egotistical concerns. The world was a frightening place, since we thought that our welfare was entirely dependent on our own efforts.

Coming to believe in a Higher Power gives us a new, broader perspective. We learn the security of trusting eternal values and moral principles. When we pray only for knowledge of God’s will for us and the power to carry that out, we begin to see ourselves as serving rather than surviving. Particular acts may or may not be successful from our point of view, but we can move on in confidence, knowing that our past, present, and future is in His hands.

The new perspective, which comes to us as we work the OA program, enables us to accept defeats as well as successes and irritations as well as satisfactions. All experience is for our growth and development.

Create in us a new perspective.


Faiths Checkbook
September 30
Needs to Open Our Mouths

Open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it.
(Psalm 81:10)

What an encouragement to pray! Our human notions would lead us to ask small things because our deservings are so small; but the Lord would have us request great blessings. Prayer should be as simple a matter as the opening of the mouth; it should be a natural, unconstrained utterance. When a man is earnest he opens his mouth wide, and our text urges us to be fervent in our supplications.

Yet it also means that we may make bold with God and ask many and large blessings at His hands, Read the whole verse, and see the argument: “I am Jehovah, thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt: open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it.” Because the Lord has given us so much He invites us to ask for more, yea, to expect more.

See how the little birds in their nests seem to be all mouth when the mother comes to feed them. Let it be the same with us. Let us take in grace at every door. Let us drink it in as a sponge sucks up the water in which it lies. God is ready to fill us if we are only ready to be filled. Let our needs make us open our mouths; let our faintness cause us to open our mouths and pant; yea, let our alarm make us open our mouths with a child’s cry. The opened mouth shall be filled by the Lord Himself. So be it unto us, O Lord, this day.


This Mornings Reading
September 30

“Sing forth the honour of His name, make His praise glorious.”
—Psalm 66:2.

IT is not left to our own option whether we shall praise God or not. Praise is God’s most righteous due, and every Christian, as the recipient of His grace, is bound to praise God from day to day. It is true we have no authoritative rubric for daily praise; we have no commandment prescribing certain hours of song and thanksgiving: but the law written upon the heart teaches us that it is right to praise God; and the unwritten mandate comes to us with as much force as if it had been recorded on the tables of stone, or handed to us from the top of thundering Sinai. Yes, it is the Christian’s duty to praise God. It is not only a pleasurable exercise, but it is the absolute obligation of his life. Think not ye who are always mourning, that ye are guiltless in this respect, or imagine that ye can discharge your duty to your God without songs of praise. You are bound by the bonds of His love to bless His name so long as you live, and His praise should continually be in your mouth, for you are blessed, in order that you may bless Him; “this people have I formed for myself, they shall show forth my praise”; and if you do not praise God, you are not bringing forth the fruit which He, as the Divine Husbandman, has a right to expect at your hands. Let not your harp then hang upon the willows, but take it down, and strive, with a grateful heart, to bring forth its loudest music. Arise and chant His praise. With every morning’s dawn, lift up your notes of thanksgiving, and let every setting sun be followed with your song. Girdle the earth with your praises; surround it with an atmosphere of melody, and God Himself will hearken from heaven and accept your music.

“E’en so I love Thee, and will love,
And in Thy praise will sing,
Because Thou art my loving God,
And my redeeming King.”


This Evenings Reading
September 30

“A living dog is better than a dead lion.”
—Ecclesiastes 9:4.

LIFE is a precious thing, and in its humblest form it is superior to death. This truth is eminently certain in spiritual things. It is better to be the least in the kingdom of heaven than the greatest out of it. The lowest degree of grace is superior to the noblest development of unregenerate nature. Where the Holy Ghost implants divine life in the soul, there is a precious deposit which none of the refinements of education can equal. The thief on the cross excels Caesar on his throne; Lazarus among the dogs is better than Cicero among the senators; and the most unlettered Christian is in the sight of God superior to Plato. Life is the badge of nobility in the realm of spiritual things, and men without it are only coarser or finer specimens of the same lifeless material, needing to be quickened, for they are dead in trespasses and sins.
A living, loving, gospel sermon, however unlearned in matter and uncouth in style, is better than the finest discourse devoid of unction and power. A living dog keeps better watch than a dead lion, and is of more service to his master; and so the poorest spiritual preacher is infinitely to be preferred to the exquisite orator who has no wisdom but that of words, no energy but that of sound. The like holds good of our prayers and other religious exercises; if we are quickened in them by the Holy Spirit, they are acceptable to God through Jesus Christ, though we may think them to be worthless things; while our grand performances in which our hearts were absent, like dead lions, are mere carrion in the sight of the living God. O for living groans, living sighs, living despondencies, rather than lifeless songs and dead calms. Better anything than death. The snarlings of the dog of hell will at least keep us awake, but dead faith and dead profession, what greater curses can a man have? Quicken us, quicken us, O Lord!

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