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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 – September 9

Just For Today
September 9
Feet Of Clay

“One of the biggest stumbling blocks to recovery seems to be placing unrealistic expectations on… others.”
Basic Text p.78

Many of us come into Narcotics Anonymous feeling pretty poorly about ourselves. By comparison, the recovering addicts we meet at meetings may seem almost superhumanly serene. These wise, loving people have many months, even years of living in accordance with spiritual principles, giving of themselves to others without expecting anything back. We trust them, allowing them to love us until we can love ourselves. We expect them to make everything alright again.

Then the glow of early recovery begins to fade, and we start to see the human side of our NA friends and sponsor. Perhaps a fellow member of our home group stands us up for a coffee date, or we see two old-timers bickering at a committee meeting, or we realize our sponsor has a defect of character or two. We’re crushed, disillusioned-these recovering addicts aren’t perfect after all! How can we possibly trust them anymore?

Somewhere between “the heroes of recovery” and “the lousy NA bums” lies the truth: Our fellow addicts are neither completely bad nor completely good. After all, if they were perfect, they wouldn’t need this program. Our friends and sponsor are ordinary recovering addicts, just like we are. We can relate to their ordinary recovery experience and use it in our own program.

Just for today: My friends and my sponsor are human, just like me-and I trust their experience all the more for that.

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Daily Reflections
September 9
OPENING NEW DOORS

They [the Promises] are being fulfilled among us – sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly.
ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 84

The Promises talked about in this passage are slowly coming to life for me. What has given me hope is putting Step Nine into action. The Step has allowed me to see and set goals for myself in recovery. Old habits and behaviors die hard. Working Step Nine enables me to close the door on the drunk I was, and to open new avenues for myself as a sober alcoholic. Making direct amends is crucial for me. As I repair relationships and behavior of the past, I am better able to live a sober life! Although I have some years of sobriety, there are times when the “old stuff” from the past needs to be taken care of, and Step Nine always works, when I work it.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day
September 9
A.A. Thought For The Day

When an alcoholic is offered a life of sobriety by following the A.A. program, he will look at the prospect of living without alcohol and he will ask: “Am I to be consigned to a life where I shall be stupid, boring and glum, like some of the righteous people I see? I know I must get along without liquor, but how can I? Have you a sufficient substitute?” Have I found a more than sufficient substitute for drinking?

Meditation For The Day

In God’s strength you conquer life. Your conquering power is the grace of God. There can be no complete failure with God. Do you want to make the best of life? Then live as near as possible to God, the Master and Giver of all life. Your regard for depending on God’s strength will be sure. Sometimes the reward will be renewed power to face life, sometimes wrong thinking overcome, sometimes people brought to a new way of living. Whatever success comes will not be all your own doing, but largely the working out of the grace of God.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may try to rely more fully on the grace of God. I pray that I may live a victorious life.

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As Bill Sees It
September 9
Face the Music, p.251

“Don’t be too discouraged about that slip. Practically always, we drunks learn the hard way.

“Your idea of moving on to somewhere else may be good, or it may not. Perhaps you have got into an emotional or economic jam that can’t be well handled where you are. But maybe you are doing just what all of us have done, at one time or another: Maybe you are running away. Why don’t you try to think that through again carefully?

“Are you really placing recovery first, or are you making it contingent upon other people, places, or circumstances? You may find it ever so much better to face the music right where you are now, and, with the help of the A.A. program, win through. Before you make a decision, weigh it in these terms.”

Letter, 1949

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Keep It Simple
September 9

One of the best ways to persuade others is with your ears—by listening to them.
—Dean Rusk

We hate being told what to think. We like to make up our own minds. It helps to talk things out with another person who, listens to us. Someone who care what we think.

We can give this respect to others. We can listen their point of view. We can try to understand them and care about what they think.

When we do this, others start to care what we think too. We share ideas. The ideas get a little more clear. They change a little. We get a little closer to agreement. We both feel good.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, help me know when to listen and when to talk today. Work for me and though me. Thanks.

Action for the Day: Today, I’ll look for chances to listen to others when I really want to talk. I’ll say, “Tell me more about that.” And I’ll listen.

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Each Day a New Beginning
September 9

I do not want to die . . . until I have faithfully made the most of my talent and cultivated the seed that was placed in me until the last small twig has grown.
—Kathe Kollwitz

There’s so much to do before we rest . . . so much to do. We each are gifted with talents, similar in some respects to others’ talents, but unique in how we’ll be able to use them. Do we realize our talents? We need only to dare to dream, and there they’ll be.

It’s so easy to fall into the trap of self-pity, thinking we have no purpose, fearing we’ll take life nowhere, dreading others’ expectations of us. But we can turn our thinking around at any moment. The choice is ours. We can simply decide to discover our talents, and nurture them and enrich the lives of others. The benefits will be many. So will the joys.

We have a very important part to play, today, in the lives we touch. We can expect adventure, and we’ll find it. We can look for our purpose; it’s at hand. We can remember – we aren’t alone. We are in partnership every moment. Our talents are God-given, and guidance for their full use is part of the gift.

I will have a dream today. In my dream is my direction.

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Alcoholics Anonymous
September 9
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.

After I left school, I went to work in Akron, living at home with my parents. Home life was again a restraining influence. When I drank, I hid it from my folks out of respect for their feelings. This continued until was twenty-seven. Then I started traveling, with the the United States and Canada as my territory and with so much freedom and with an unlimited expense account, I was soon drinking every night and kidding myself that it was all part of the job. I know now that 60 percent of the time I drank alone without benefit of customers.

p. 258

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions
September 9

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
September 9

Today, help me, God, to let go of my resistance to change. Help me to be open to the process. Help me believe that the place I’ll be dropped off will be better than the place where I was picked up. Help me surrender, trust, and accept, even if I don’t understand.
–Melody Beattie

We must be the change we wish to see in the world.
–Mahatma Gandhi

Today I will spend some time putting my own needs aside to help someone else. It is so good to know that I can be filled with such good feelings and I get so much when I give of myself.
–Ruth Fishel

God loves all of us, whether we walk away pain-free or not. Keep taking care of yourself, no matter what. God, transform my pain into compassion for others and myself.
–Melody Beattie

Never look down on anybody unless you’re helping them up.
–Jesse Jackson

My philosophy is that not only are you responsible for your life, but doing the best at this moment puts you in the best place for the next moment.
–Oprah Winfrey

“If you love somebody, let them go, for if they return, they were always yours. And if they don’t, they never were.”
–Kahlil Gibran, “The Prophet”

Don’t wait for your ship to come in, swim out to meet it…
–unknown

The task before you is never greater than the power behind you…
–unknown

Always, He will watch over us and comfort us.
–Ernest Holmes

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation
September 9
RELIGION

“Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind.”
– Albert Einstein

In the field of addiction we need to work together and listen to the professionalism we all bring: the answer will be in “the many”.

So often we divide ourselves up into “ghettos” of learning and miss what “the others” are saying — and the disease wins! This is reminiscent of the old days in the church when science was seen as the enemy, the world was flat and the earth was the center of the universe. Pride and ego kept people sick, isolated and afraid — and thousands suffered and died. However, people began to listen to each other and the world benefited from the shared wisdom.

As addictionologists and recovering people we need to listen to each other.

Help me to see You in the honest experience of every man.

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Bible Scriptures
September 9

Help me, O LORD my God; save me in accordance with your love.  Let them know that it is your hand, that you, O LORD, have done it.
Psalm 109:26-27

With my mouth I will greatly extol the LORD; in the great throng I will praise him. For he stands at the right hand of the needy one, to save his life from those who condemn him.
Psalm 109:30-31

Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.
James 1:2-3

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Daily Inspiration
September 9

If a part of your past continues to haunt you and rob you of your joy, forgive. Lord, I can not undo the past, but with Your help, I can let go by forgiving myself and everyone else that has hurt me.

Do not let yourself be judged by others or ruled by approval or disapproval. Lord, may I always trust in myself and You and live each day accordingly.

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A Day At A Time
September 9

Reflection For The Day

The longer I’m in The Program and the longer I try to practice its principles in all my affairs, the less frequently I become morose and depressed.  Perhaps, too, there’s something to that cynical old saying, “Blessed is he that expect nothing, for he shall not be disappointment.”  If such a person is in The Program, he or she shall not be disappointed, but instead will be delighted daily by new and fresh evidence of the love of God and the friendliness of men and women.  Does someone, somewhere,need me today?  Will I look for that person and try to share what I’ve been given in The Program?

Today I Pray

May I be utterly grateful for God for lifting my depression.  May I know that my depression will always lighten if I do not expect too much.  May I know that the warmth of friends can fill the cold hollow of despair.  May I give my warmth to someone else.

Today I Will Remember

To look for someone to share with.

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One More Day
September 9

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.
–  The Serenity Prayer

The Serenity Prayer has comforted millions of people who strive to cope with change, disappointments, chemical dependency, and all sorts of other problems.  This prayer can comfort us as we deal with the realities of chronic illness.

When we’re overcome with pain or disappointed about slow or little progress, this prayer can help us put our lives into focus.  It helps us see if we’re wasting time and energy on things we can’t change, such as the chronic conditions we live with, how others feel, and the past.  And just as important, this prayer points us toward the things that we can control — our attitude, our willingness to change, and the outcome of this day.

I pray for the wisdom to recognize the difference between things I can and cannot change.

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Elder’s Meditation of the Day – September 9

“…Wisdom comes only when you stop looking for it and start truly living the life the Creator intended for you.”
–Lelia Fisher, HOH

There are many things that block us from wisdom such as; selfishness, secrets, hate, anger, jealousy and judgments. Another thing that can block us from wisdom is trying too hard or wishing something would happen.
Wishing implies doubt and trying implies control. We need to let go of these things. We need to abandon ourselves to the Creator. As soon as we surrender everything, the wisdom starts to flow. The Elders know how to help us with this. Just ask them.

My Great Spirit, today I surrender my life and my will to Your care.

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Journey To The Heart
September 9
Take Time to Be Pleased

Take time to be pleased with all the beauty in this world. Do more than drive by and casually notice a particularly beautiful stretch of scenery. Stop the car. Get out. Take it in. See it, smell it, touch it if possible. Absorb and feel the beauty you see. Then thank the universe for giving this moment to you.

Take time to be pleased with your creations too- your work, your life, yourself. Look around. Then look again. Take time to see the beauty in your own life. Take time to absorb and be pleased with the beauty you see.

Then take this gift to others,too. Take time to notice and really see all that is beautiful in the people you know. Then tell them about what they mean to you, and how beautiful you think they are.

Opening up to ourselves and the world means learning to recognize and absorb its beauty. Allow yourself to grow, to define and redefine what true beauty means and feels like to you. You may have deprived yourself of noticing beautiful sights too long. It’s time to take those dark glasses off. Appreciate the beauty around you.

Our soul is nurtured and fed by taking pleasure in the beauty in this world.

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Today’s Gift
September 9

A terrace nine stories high begins with a pile of earth.
—Lao-tzu

Imagine yourself with a pile of dirt in front of you and building plans for a one-story structure. It would be easy to think, “Oh, this is impossible – it will never get done.”

But the architect hires people to help. A foundation is built, and then the frame. From there, step-by-step, the rest is filled in. We have all watched a building take shape and become a finished product.

Building plans are like the goals we all have. We want to be a better person or friend, a better artist or athlete. Reaching a goal is like putting up a building. Once we have a goal, we need a strong foundation to support us. All of us need the help of others to reach our goals.

What small step can I take toward a goal today?

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The Language of Letting Go
September 9
Perspective

Too often, we try to gain a clear perspective before it is time.

That will make us crazy.

We do not always know why things are happening the way they are. We do not always know how a particular relationship will work out. We do not always understand the source of our feelings, why we’ve been led down a particular path, what is being worked out in us, what we are learning, why we needed to recycle, why we had to wait, why we needed to go through a time of discipline, or why a door closed. How our present circumstances will work into the larger scheme of events is not always clear to us. That is how it needs to be.

Perspective will come in retrospect.

We could strain for hours today for the meaning of something that may come in an instant next year.

Let it go. We can let go of our need to figure things out, to feel in control.

Now is the time to be. To feel. To go through it. To allow things to happen. To learn. To let whatever is being worked out in us take its course.

In hindsight, we will know. It will become clear. For today, being is enough. We have been told that all things shall work out for good in our life. We can trust that to happen, even if we cannot see the place today’s events will hold in the larger picture.

Today, I will let things happen without trying to figure everything out. If clarity is not available to me today, I will trust it to come later, in retrospect. I will put simple trust in the truth that all is well, events are unfolding as they should, and all will work out for good in my life – better than I can imagine.

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More Language Of Letting Go
September 9
Discover what works for you

“Enroll in this weight loss program and you’ll lose thirty pounds in five days!” “Come to this free seminar and after spending one hundred dollars on books you’ll be a millionaire!”

There is no quick fix, no panacea that will work for every person. Success rarely happens overnight or in five days. Even the Twelve Steps are only suggestions. Although proven to work, the details and decisions about how we apply those Steps in our lives are left to each one of us.

And few things happen overnight, except the beginning of a new day.

Listen to your mentors. Examine what’s been tried and true, and has worked and helped countless others along their paths. The Twelve Steps are one of those approaches. But don’t be taken in by false claims of overnight success and instant enlightenment along your path.

True change takes time and effort, especially when we’re changing and tackling big issues. We can often get exactly the help we need at times from a therapist, book, or seminar– the best things in life really are free and available to each one of us. The Twelve Steps, again, qualify in this area.

Discover what works for you.

Trust that you’ll be guided along your path and receive exactly the help and guidance you need. Then give it time.

There really isn’t an easier, softer way.

God, give me permission to tackle my problems.

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Touchstones Meditations For Men
September 9

Don’t let life discourage you; everyone who got where he is had to begin where he was.
—R. L. Evans

Feelings of discouragement are to be expected as part of life. We will have our times of greater energy and hope and our times of feeling depleted and lost. As we mature we learn to see many peaks and valleys across the landscape.

Giving ourselves over to feelings of discouragement is self-indulgent and saps our strength. We cannot see into the future. The dailiness of our lives isn’t always dramatic and doesn’t usually offer great changes. But we are part of an unfolding process. Looking back over just a week or a month, we can recall troubled times that now seem insignificant. We see other’ people and their progress, and we know they too grew just one day at a time and couldn’t see what the future would bring them. So we continue – knowing that our process is hopeful – even though we cannot foresee the details of our future.

I have the strength to live through the peaks and valleys and to stay faithful to my recovery.

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Daily TAO
September 9
DESERVING

Prostrate before the altar.
Are you worthy of your deity?
Can you eliminate profanity,
And strive for constant adoration?

It is not easy to worship. Simply going to a temple once a week to have a priest intercede on your behalf is not enough. True worship is a daily act of humbling yourself before your deity and offering a pure heart and holy words.

A great holy leader came to my city once. He initiated 5,000 people into a simple practice of chanting. Since that time, it has been a struggle to keep up 108 chants a night. There is no prospect of stopping, no chance of “finishing.”

In the same way, all scriptures must be recited. That means daily devotion. Once you begin, you cannot stop for the rest of your life. There is no room for laziness. Your body and mouth must be clean, you must be in a good frame of mind, and you cannot have uttered or done profane things. We must be worthy of our deities.

It doesn’t matter if we are “getting anything out of it.” Whether there is a response is secondary. The mere act of devotion is its own reward. It brings transformation.

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Daily Zen
September 9

Light from the moon of clear mind
Drinks up everything in the world.
When mind and light disappear,
What…is…this…?

– Kyong Ho (1849-1912)

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Food For Thought
September 9
Amends to Others

The people most affected by our disease were undoubtedly the members of our own family. Then came our closest friends, if we had any when we were overeating. These people were directly affected by our negative moods and by our withdrawal away from them into overeating. They also may have been affected by not getting food which should have been theirs, but which we had eaten. Some of us stole money to buy food that we did not need but had to have. Some of us stole food.

Making amends is sometimes embarrassing and often difficult. It involves much pride swallowing. A simple, sincere apology may be all that is necessary. There may be concrete acts, which we can perform. As with making amends to ourselves, the best way we can make up for the hurt we have caused to family and friends is by abstaining from compulsive overeating. As we abstain, we reach out to those around us instead of withdrawing. Our own sanity is the best gift we can give to others.

May I have the courage to make amends.

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Faiths Checkbook
September 9
Fear Has Its Place

Happy is the man that feareth alway.
(Proverbs 28:14)

The fear of the Lord is the beginning and the foundation of all true religion. Without a solemn awe and reverence of God there is no foothold for the more brilliant virtues. He whose soul does not worship will never live in holiness.

He is happy who feels a jealous fear of doing wrong. Holy fear looks not only before it leaps, but even before it moves. It is afraid of error, afraid of neglecting duty, afraid of committing sin. It fears ill company, loose talk, and questionable policy, This does not make a man wretched, but it brings him happiness. The watchful sentinel is happier than the soldier who sleeps at his post. He who foreseeth evil and escapes it is happier than he who walks carelessly on and is destroyed.

Fear of God is a quiet grace which leads a man along a choice road, of which it is written, “No lion shall be there, neither shall any ravenous beast go up thereon.” Fear of the very appearance of evil is a purifying principle, which enables a man, through the power of the Holy Spirit, to keep his garments unspotted from the world. Solomon had tried both worldliness and holy fear: in the one he found vanity, in the other happiness. Let us not repeat his trial but abide by his verdict.

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This Mornings Reading
September 9

“I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things which thou knowest not.”
—Jeremiah 33:3.

THERE are different translations of these words. One version renders it, “I will shew thee great and fortified things.” Another, “Great and reserved things.” Now, there are reserved and special things in Christian experience: all the developments of spiritual life are not alike easy of attainment. There are the common frames and feelings of repentance, and faith, and joy, and hope, which are enjoyed by the entire family; but there is an upper realm of rapture, of communion, and conscious union with Christ, which is far from being the common dwelling-place of believers. We have not all the high privilege of John, to lean upon Jesus’ bosom; nor of Paul, to be caught up into the third heaven. There are heights in experimental knowledge of the things of God which the eagle’s eye of acumen and philosophic thought hath never seen: God alone can bear us there; but the chariot in which He takes us up, and the fiery steeds with which that chariot is dragged, are prevailing prayers. Prevailing prayer is victorious over the God of mercy, “By his strength he had power with God: yea, he had power over the angel, and prevailed: he wept, and made supplication unto Him: he found Him in Beth-el, and there He spake with us.” Prevailing prayer takes the Christian to Carmel, and enables him to cover heaven with clouds of blessing, and earth with floods of mercy. Prevailing prayer bears the Christian aloft to Pisgah, and shows him the inheritance reserved; it elevates us to Tabor and transfigures us, till in the likeness of his Lord, as He is, so are we also in this world. If you would reach to something higher than ordinary grovelling experience, look to the Rock that is higher than you, and gaze with the eye of faith through the window of importunate prayer. When you open the window on your side, it will not be bolted on the other.

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This Evenings Reading
September 9

“And round about the throne were four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment.”
—Revelation 4:4.

THESE representatives of the saints in heaven are said to be around the throne. In the passage in Canticles, where Solomon sings of the King sitting at his table, some render it “a round table.” From this, some expositors, I think, without straining the text, have said, “There is an equality among the saints.” That idea is conveyed by the equal nearness of the four and twenty elders. The condition of glorified spirits in heaven is that of nearness to Christ, clear vision of His glory, constant access to His court, and familiar fellowship with His person: nor is there any difference in this respect between one saint and another, but all the people of God, apostles, martyrs, ministers, or private and obscure Christians, shall all be seated near the throne, where they shall for ever gaze upon their exalted Lord, and be satisfied with His love. They shall all be near to Christ, all ravished with His love, all eating and drinking at the same table with Him, all equally beloved as His favourites and friends even if not all equally rewarded as servants.

Let believers on earth imitate the saints in heaven in their nearness to Christ. Let us on earth be as the elders are in heaven, sitting around the throne. May Christ be the object of our thoughts, the centre of our lives. How can we endure to live at such a distance from our Beloved? Lord Jesu, draw us nearer to Thyself. Say unto us, “Abide in Me, and I in you”; and permit us to sing, “His left hand is under my head, and His right hand doth embrace me.”

O lift me higher, nearer Thee, And as I rise more pure and meet, O let my soul’s humility Make me lie lower at Thy feet; Less trusting self, the more I prove The blessed comfort of Thy love.

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