DR – May 26, 2019

Daily Recovery Readings
May 26, 2019


Daily Reflection

TURNING NEGATIVE TO POSITIVE

Our spiritual and emotional growth in A.A. does not depend so deeply upon success as it does upon our failures and setbacks. If you will bear this in mind, I think that your slip will have the effect of kicking you upstairs, instead of down.”

— AS BILL SEES IT, p. 184

In keeping with the pain and adversity which our founders encountered and overcame in establishing A.A., Bill W. sent us a clear message: a relapse can provide a positive experience toward abstinence and a lifetime of recovery. A relapse brings truth to what we hear repeatedly in meetings – “Don’t take that first drink!” It reinforces the belief in the progressive nature of the disease, and it drives home the need for, and beauty of, humility in our spiritual program. Simple truths come in complicated ways to me when I become ego driven.

From the book Daily Reflections
Copyright © 1990 by Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc.


Big Book Quote

“Abandon yourself to God as you understand God. Admit your faults to Him and to your fellows. Clear away the wreckage of your past. Give freely of what you find and join us. We shall be with you in the Fellowship of the Spirit, and you will surely meet some of us as you trudge the Road of Happy Destiny.”

~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, A Vision For You, pg. 164


24 Hours a Day – The Little Black Book

Thought for the Day

In twelfth step work, the fourth thing is conversion. Conversion means change. Prospects must learn to change their way of thinking. Until now, everything they’ve done has been connected with drinking. Now they must face a new kind of life, without liquor. They must see and admit that they cannot overcome drinking by their own willpower, so they must turn to a Higher Power for help. They must start each day by asking this Higher Power for the strength to stay sober. This conversion to belief in a Higher Power comes gradually, as they try it and find that it works. Do I care enough about other alcoholics to help them to make this conversion?

Meditation for the Day

Discipline of yourself is absolutely necessary before the power of God is given to you. When you see others manifesting the power of God, you probably have not seen the discipline that went before. They made themselves ready. All your life is a preparation for more good to be accomplished when God knows that you are ready for it. So keep disciplining your self in the spiritual life every day. Learn so much of the spiritual laws that your life cannot again be a failure. Others will see the outward manifestation of the inward discipline in your daily living.

Prayer for the Day

I pray that I may manifest God’s power in my daily living. I pray that I may discipline myself so as to be ready to meet every opportunity.


The Language of Letting Go – Codependency

Gossip

Intimacy is that warm gift of feeling connected to others and enjoying our connection to them.

As we grow in recovery, we find that gift in many, sometimes surprising, places. We may discover we’ve developed intimate relationships with people at work, with friends, with people in our support groups – sometimes with family members. Many of us are discovering intimacy in a special love relationship.

Intimacy is not sex, although sex can be intimate. Intimacy means mutually honest, warm, caring, safe relationships – relationships where the other person can be who he or she is and we can be who we are – and both people are valued.

Sometimes there are conflicts. Conflict is inevitable. Sometimes there are troublesome feelings to work through. Sometimes the boundaries or parameters of relationships change. But there is a bond – one of love and trust.

There are many blocks to intimacy and intimate relationships. Addictions and abuse block intimacy. Unresolved family of origin issues prevents intimacy. Controlling blocks intimacy. Off balance relationships, where there is too great a discrepancy in power, prevent intimacy. Caretaking can block intimacy. Nagging, withdrawing, and shutting down can hurt intimacy. So can a simple behavior like gossip — for example, gossiping about another for motives of diminishing him or her in order to build up ourselves or to judge the person. To discuss another person’s issues, shortcomings, or failures with someone else will have a predictable negative impact on the relationship.

We deserve to enjoy intimacy in as many of our relationships as possible. We deserve relationships that have not been sabotaged. That does not mean we walk around with our heads in the clouds; it means we strive to keep our motives clean when it comes to discussing other people.

If we have a serious issue with someone, the best way to resolve it is to bring the issue to that person.

Direct, clean conversation clears the air and paves the way for intimacy, for good feelings about ourselves and our relationships with others.

Today, God, help me let go of my fear of intimacy. Help me strive to keep my communications with others clean and free from malicious gossip. Help me work toward intimacy in my relationships. Help me deal as directly as possible with my feelings.


Touchstone – Men’s Meditation

“A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.”

—Antoine de Saint Exupery

Images cost nothing and can be so enriching. Every man has some form of rock pile in his life. One has a problem within a relationship, another is burdened with the daily routine of living, someone else has a perplexing job, and another has too much time on his hands.

We can open ourselves to images of what might be. Let us dream of other possibilities. We know it takes many years to build a cathedral, but each cathedral began as an image in someone’s mind. What would we like to grow toward in our relationships? What can we do within ourselves today to carry us in that direction? Do we envision ourselves as successful in our work? What small steps will carry us toward the visions we cherish?

Today, I am grateful for my imagination. I will be open to having faith in possibilities.


Elder’s Meditation

“The man who sat on the ground in his tipi meditating on life and its meaning, accepting the kinship of all creatures, and acknowledging unity with the universe of things, was infusing into his being the true essence of civilization.”

–Luther Standing Bear, OGLALA SIOUX

There is a concept that says you move toward and become that which you think about. If we think about everything as interconnected and interrelated, we will begin to accept the greater whole and that there is a power who is in charge. If we see the cycles of life, if we see the inner powers, if we see the interdependence of the universe, then we will participate in a harmonious way. We all need to pray and meditate on this. We need to understand the property of unity.


Daily Horoscope – Cancer

A sudden spike in your sensitivity level today prompts you to feel on edge or inexplicably unsettled. Words and environmental factors alike seem unusually influential, and it may be nearly impossible to ignore much about either. Your tendency toward hyper-responsiveness does more to amplify the drama than to tamp it down. Stop and find your center whenever your emotions take over. Honor your process but don’t get stuck in it. Carl Jung wrote, “The capacity for inner dialogue is a touchstone for outer objectivity.”

DR – May 25, 2019

Daily Recovery Readings
May 25, 2019


Daily Reflection

PROGRESSIVE GRATITUDE

“Gratitude should go forward, rather than backward.”

— AS BILL SEES IT, p. 29

‘I am very grateful that my Higher Power has given me a second chance to live a worthwhile life. Through Alcoholics Anonymous, I have been restored to sanity. The promises are being fulfilled in my life. I am grateful to be free from the slavery of alcohol. I am grateful for peace of mind and the opportunity to grow, but my gratitude should go forward rather than backward. I cannot stay sober on yesterday’s meetings or past Twelfth-Step calls; I need to put my gratitude into action today. Our co-founder said our gratitude can best be shown by carrying the message to others. Without action, my gratitude is just a pleasant emotion. I need to put it into action by working Step Twelve, by carrying the message and practicing the principles in all my affairs. I am grateful for the chance to carry the message today!

From the book Daily Reflections
Copyright © 1990 by Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc.


Big Book Quote

“Reminding ourselves that we have decided to go to any lengths to find a spiritual experience, we ask that we be given strength and direction to do the right thing, no matter what the personal consequences may be.”

~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, Into Action, pg. 79~


24 Hours a Day – The Little Black Book

Thought for the Day

In twelfth step work, the third thing is conviction. Prospects must be convinced that they honestly want to stop drinking. They must see and admit that their life is unmanageable. They must face the fact that they must do something about their drinking. They must be absolutely honest with themselves and face themselves as they really are. They must be convinced that they must give up drinking and they must see that their whole life depends on this conviction. Do I care enough about other alcoholics to help them reach this conviction?

Meditation for the Day

There is no limit to what you can accomplish in helping others. Keep that thought always. Never relinquish any work or give up the thought of any accomplishment because it seems beyond your power. God will help you in all good work. Only give it up if you feel that it’s not God’s will for you. In helping others, think of the tiny seed under the dark, hard ground. There is no certainty that, when it has forced its way up to the surface, sunlight and warmth will greet it. Often a task seems beyond your power, but there is no limit to what you can accomplish with God’s help.

Prayer for the Day

I pray that I may never become discouraged in helping others. I pray that I may always rely on the power of God to help me.


The Language of Letting Go – Codependency

Loving Ourselves Unconditionally

Love yourself into health and a good life of your own.

Love yourself into relationships that work for you and the other person. Love yourself into peace, happiness, joy, success, and contentment.

Love yourself into all that you always wanted. We can stop treating ourselves the way others treated us, if they behaved in a less than healthy, desirable way. If we have learned to see ourselves critically, conditionally, and in a diminishing and punishing way, it’s time to stop. Other people treated us that way, but it’s even worse to treat ourselves that way now.

Loving ourselves may seem foreign, even foolish at times. People may accuse us of being selfish. We don’t have to believe them.

People who love themselves are truly able to love others and let others love them. People who love themselves and hold themselves in high esteem are those who give the most, contribute the most, and love the most.

How do we love ourselves? By forcing it at first. By faking it, if necessary. By acting as if. By working as hard at loving and liking ourselves as we have at not liking ourselves.

Explore what it means to love yourself.

Do things for yourself that reflect compassionate, nurturing, self love.

Embrace and love all of yourself – past, present, and future. Forgive yourself quickly and as often as necessary. Encourage yourself. Tell yourself good things about yourself.

If we think and believe negative ideas, get them out in the open quickly and honestly, so we can replace those beliefs with better ones.

Pat yourself on the back when necessary. Discipline yourself when necessary. Ask for help, for time; ask for what you need.

Sometimes, give yourself treats. Do not treat yourself like a pack mule, always pushing and driving harder. Learn to be good to yourself. Choose behaviors with preferable consequences – treating yourself well is one.

Learn to stop your pain, even when that means making difficult decisions. Do not unnecessarily deprive yourself. Sometimes, give yourself what you want, just because you want it.

Stop explaining and justifying yourself. When you make mistakes, let them go. We learn, we grow, and we learn some more. And through it all, we love ourselves.

We work at it, and then work at it some more. One day we’ll wake up, look in the mirror, and find that loving ourselves has become habitual. We’re now living with a person who gives and receives love, because that person loves him or herself. Self-love will take hold and become a guiding force in our life.

Today, I will work at loving myself. I will work as hard at loving myself as I have at not liking myself. Help me let go of self-hate and behaviors that reflect not liking myself. Help me replace those with behaviors that reflect self-love. Today, God, help me hold myself in high self-esteem. Help me know I’m lovable and capable of giving and receiving love.


Touchstone – Men’s Meditation

For him who confesses, shams are over and realities have begun; he has exteriorized his rottenness. If he has not actually got rid of it, he at least no longer smears it over with a hypocritical show of virtue.

—William James

On the path we are following, confession is a frequent part of our experience. We admit our powerlessness; we make a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves and admit our wrongs; we make amends to people we have harmed; and we continue with personal inventory, promptly admitting our wrongs. With each of these Steps we grow spiritually. By expressing on the outside what we privately know inside, we feel relief and gain self-respect.

Sometimes we have harbored and protected a real rottenness inside that needed to be exposed so we could change. Other times, what we felt was rottenness turned out – under the light of confession – to be only a human foible in need of airing. In either case, we grew stronger as we drew closer to reality and gave up the show of virtue by admitting our mistakes.

I will walk the path of recovery today by confessing my wrongs promptly.


Elder’s Meditation

“If you listen close at night, you will hear the creatures of the dark, all of them sacred – the owls, the crickets, the frogs, the night birds – and you will hear beautiful songs, songs you have never heard before. Listen with your heart. Never stop listening.”

–Henery Quick Bear, LAKOTA

The night time is full of life, full of song, and full of beauty. Have you ever gone outside at night and listened? One has access to serenity and peace. At night all our senses change their roles. Because we can’t see, our hearing is much stronger, our smell is even more enhanced, our sight is different. We are able to join nature through sounds and smells, through the songs of the night birds, and through the night winds. We can close our eyes and experience interconnectedness in a different way. Try it tonight and experience oneness with the Creator.

Great Spirit, allow me to listen to the teachers of the night.


Daily Horoscope – Cancer

Unleashing your curiosity can regenerate tired or stale areas of your thinking today. Explore what makes a loved one tick by studying the many clues in their behavior. Initiate an upbeat conversation with someone if you’re interested in an updated status report. A free exchange of thoughts, ideas, and opinions automatically rouses fresh psychic energy. Renew your pursuit for the truth and increase your knowledge base. Bill Nye said, “Everyone you will ever meet knows something you don’t.”

More work is needed

It’s been nine days since I had a cigarette, until now. Yes, I caved in. After yesterday, it showed me I have yet a lot of work to do on myself.

Yesterday I did what I needed not to smoke. But at the end of the day I didn’t like who I was becoming. I was scared, “mad at the world”, bitchy, complaining and a complete and utter asshole. Oh, how I was.

But I’m not going sit on the pity pot because I failed. I could blame myself, others for not supporting me, etc. I’m not. At a very minimum I tried; I gave it the best attempt I could. Perhaps in time, I’ll reach a place.

All day I was looking for answers. Why am I like this? What am I missing? Here I have gone through a comprehensive program from alcoholism and nicotine is now kicking my ass. Isn’t it all the same? Why…why…why?

Perhaps I just answered my own question – stop fighting and trust in the process?

So be it. It happened. I take responsibility for it.

You’re only as sick as your secrets you keep.

DR – May 24, 2019

Daily Recovery Readings
May 24, 2019


Daily Reflection

“HAPPY, JOYOUS, AND FREE”

“We are sure God wants us to be happy, joyous, and free. We cannot subscribe to the belief that this life is a vale of tears, though it once was just that for many of us. But it is clear that we made our own misery. God didn’t do it. Avoid then, the deliberate manufacture of misery, but if trouble comes, cheerfully capitalize it as an opportunity to demonstrate His omnipotence.”

— ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 133

For years I believed in a punishing God and blamed Him for my misery. I have learned that I must lay down the “weapons” of self in order to pick up the “tools” of the A.A. program. I do not struggle with the program because it is a gift and I have never struggled when receiving a gift. If I sometimes keep on struggling, it is because I’m still hanging onto my old ideas and “. . . the results are nil.”

From the book Daily Reflections
Copyright © 1990 by Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc.


Big Book Quote

“When we became alcoholics, crushed by a self-imposed crisis we could not postpone or evade, we had to fearlessly face the proposition that either God is everything or else He is nothing. God either is or He isn’t.”

~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, We Agnostics, pg. 53~


24 Hours a Day – The Little Black Book

Thought for the Day

In twelfth step work, the second thing is confession. By frankly sharing with prospects, we get them talking about their own experiences. They will open up and confess things to us that they haven’t been able to tell other people. And they feel better when this confession has been made. It’s a great load off their minds to get these things out into the open. It’s the things that are kept hidden that weigh on the mind. They feel a sense of release and freedom when they have opened up their hearts to us. Do I care enough about other alcoholics to help them to make a confession?

Meditation of the Day

I should help others all I can. Every troubled soul that God puts in my path is the one for me to help. As I sincerely try to help, a supply of strength will flow into me from God. My circle of helpfulness will widen more and more. God hands out the spiritual food to me and I pass it on to others. I must never say that I have only enough strength for my own need. The more I give away, the more I will keep. That which I keep to myself, I will lose in the end.

Prayer for the Day

I pray that I may have a sincere willingness to give. I pray that I may not hold back the strength I have received for myself alone.


The Language of Letting Go – Codependency

Letting the Cycles Flow

Life is cyclical, not static. Our relationships benefit when we allow them to follow their own natural cycles.

Like the tide ebbs and flows, so do the cycles in relationships. We have periods of closeness and periods of distance. We have times of coming together and times of separating to work on individual issues.

We have times of love and joy, and times of anger.

Sometimes, the dimensions of relationships change as we go through changes. Sometimes, life brings us new friends or a new loved one to teach us the next lesson.

That does not mean the old friend disappears forever. It means we have entered a new cycle.

We do not have to control the course of our relationships, whether these be friendships or love relationships. We do not have to satisfy our need to control by imposing a static form on relationships.

Let it flow. Be open to the cycles. Love will not disappear. The bond between friends will not sever. Things do not remain the same forever, especially when we are growing and changing at such a rapid pace.

Trust the flow. Take care of yourself, but be willing to let people go. Hanging on to them too tightly will make them disappear.

The old adage about love still holds true: If it’s meant to be, it will be. And if you love someone, let them go. If they come back to you, the love is yours.

Today, I accept the cyclical nature of life and relationships. I will strive to go with the flow. I will strive for harmony with my own needs and the needs of the other person.


Touchstone – Men’s Meditation

Edith Bunker: I was just thinking. In all the years we been married, you never once said you was sorry.
Archie Bunker: Edith, I’ll gladly say that I’m sorry – if I ever do anything wrong.

—Norman Lear

We can laugh at Archie because we see a part of ourselves in him. We have lived in a cloud of denial, blind to our faults. If we weren’t actually blind to them, perhaps we just refused to admit them because we did not dare. Changing this pattern takes time and determination. We make progress in recovery when we stop focusing on what is wrong with others and start being accountable for ourselves. We grow when we are willing to amend our lives and accept forgiveness for our mistakes.

A feeling of self-respect flows into us when we stand up and say “I did something wrong.” This statement also says, “I have the strength to face my responsibilities and repair my mistakes.” It is surprisingly helpful to our self-esteem, and it improves our relationships.

Today, I will be accountable for my actions and will admit my mistakes.


Elder’s Meditation

“…in Tunkashila, there is no time. Everything moves in the blink of an eye. It’s as fast as thought. So there is no speed there. There is no time in between.”

–Wallace Black Elk, LAKOTA

There is a relationship between thought and reality. Every thought is alive, and as soon as you think it, a result occurs immediately. However, to make something happen it may take a series of one thousand thoughts before you can actually see it with your eyes. This occurs because the Laws of the Great Spirit act immediately. When you tell a lie, you immediately experience fear. When you tell the truth, you immediately experience freedom. To the Creator, there is no time. For us to experience the meaning of this requires us to act on faith. Faith is belief without evidence.


Daily Horoscope – Cancer

Sharing a secret may feel like a bold move today. Only you fully know the courage it takes for you to be so open. But if your objective is to invite a deeper level of connectivity into a relationship, your emotional vulnerability could hit the mark. The intimacy of communication that draws two people closer can generate power and momentum of its own. Regardless of the response received, it’s liberating to set free what’s in your heart. It takes guts to be honest.

Where I’m at..right now

Today, I am trying my hardest to stay sober and not smoke. Thus far, this is the hardest day I have had in the week and a couple days after I quit smoking. It’s my short-fused temper. People know – they are looking at me saying, “Mike, you looked pissed off. What going on?” True statement. Now what do I do about it?

It’s only been three hours since I woke up. I was awaken by a knock at the door from a person I sponsor. Again, he had a run in with his roommate telling me all about it. He did good by not getting physical and letting staff worry about the other person. I’m glad for him. But for some reason, it just set me off on this piss ass mood.

Then I had to attend treatment group. Of course, the group topic had to be hope, forgiveness and relationships. Right now, I don’t have much hope – I’m struggling. When asked to talk even the counselor recognized my mood, “Something is bothering you Mike.” So I simply said, “Forgive me for my mood today. I’ll just pass.” There was complete silence because typically I always share. To make matters worse, when I did try to share people were having side conversations and being rude, so I just shut down.

Come home to find my front yard covered, literally, in bread crumbs. My other roommate was sitting on the porch, “Oh that was me. I’m sorry. Mike, you don’t look like you’re in a good mood.” My response, “I’m not” as I had to bite my tongue before I told him what I really thought.

At this point in time it is taking me all my strength not to lash out at everyone. I have no reason to be angry with anyone or even myself. However, every conversation I have had this morning, my temper just starts to bubble out of control. I just don’t like it – I don’t like it at all.

I have a coffee commitment at 11:30 a.m. before the noon meeting. Then another appointment after the meeting. Of course part of me just wants to take a walk saying, “F**k the meeting”. But today, I firmly remember what happened the last times this happened. All the little shit turned into a big resentment and off the the races I went – I drank.

To help myself at this point, I think I’m just going to listen for the rest of the day. I have to remind myself about “tolerance, pity and patience’. Acceptance rings in my head – accepting people, places and things as they are right now. Perhaps I need to practice, say and truly believe in gratitude right now. I feel like I’m fishing for answers with no bait on the end of the hook.

I’m uncomfortable. I don’t like where I’m at. It’s bugging the shit out of me. I need to take a long walk after all this is said and done. It’s then I can be connected with my Higher Power and ask for relief from this insanity. Perhaps this is all in the grand scheme of things – to remind myself, I’m no different from anyone else. We all have good days and bad days. It’s our actions of what we do with it.

As hard as that may be right now, I can’t forget where I’ve been. I really do need to get out of myself. There is a small glimmer of hope “this too, shall pass”.

I’m committed not to drink and not to smoking just for today.

DR – May 23, 2019

Daily Recovery Readings
May 23, 2019


Daily Reflection

SPIRITUAL HEALTH

“When the spiritual malady is overcome, we straighten out mentally and physically.”

— ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 64

It is very difficult for me to come to terms with my spiritual illness because of my great pride, disguised by my material successes and my intellectual power. Intelligence is not incompatible with humility, provided I place humility first. To seek prestige and wealth is the ultimate goal for many in the modern world. To be fashionable and to seem better than I really am is a spiritual illness.

To recognize and to admit my weaknesses is the beginning of good spiritual health. It is a sign of spiritual health to be able to ask God every day to enlighten me, to recognize His will, and to have the strength to execute it. My spiritual health is excellent when I realize that the better I get, the more I discover how much help I need from others.

From the book Daily Reflections
Copyright © 1990 by Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc.


Big Book Quote

“First of all, we had to quit playing God. It didn’t work.”

~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, How It Works, pg. 62~


24 Hours a Day – The Little Black Book

Thought for the Day

The Twelfth Step of A.A., working with others, can be subdivided into five parts, five words beginning with the letter C confidence, confession, conviction, con version, and continuance. The first thing in trying to help other alcoholics is to get their confidence. We do this by telling them our own experiences with drinking, so that they see that we know what we’re talking about. If we share our experiences frankly, they will know that we are sincerely trying to help them. They will realize that they’re not alone and that others have had experiences as bad or worse than theirs. This gives them confidence that they can be helped. Do I care enough about other alcoholics to get their confidence?

Meditation for the Day

I fail not so much when tragedy happens as I did be fore the happening, by all the little things I might have done, but did not do. I must prepare for the future by doing the right thing at the right time now. If a thing should be done, I should deal with that thing today and get it righted with God before I allow myself to undertake any new duty. I should look upon myself as performing God’s errands and then coming back to Him to tell Him in quiet communion that the message has been delivered or the task done.

Prayer for the Day

I pray that I may seek no credit for the results of what I do. I pray that I may leave the outcome of my actions to God.


The Language of Letting Go – Codependency

Enjoyment

Life is not to be endured; life is to be enjoyed and embraced.

The belief that we must square our shoulders and get through a meager, deprived existence for far off rewards in Heaven is a codependent belief.

Yes, most of us still have times when life will be stressful and challenge our endurance skills. But in recovery, we’re learning to live, to enjoy our life, and handle situations as they come.

Our survival skills have served us well. They have gotten us through difficult times – as children and adults. Our ability to freeze feelings, deny problems, deprive ourselves, and cope with stress has helped us get where we are today. But we’re safe now. We’re learning to do more than survive. We can let go of unhealthy survival behaviors. We’re learning new, better ways to protect and care for ourselves. We’re free to feel our feelings, identify and solve problems, and give ourselves the best. We’re free to open up and come alive.

Today, I will let go of my unhealthy endurance and survival skills. I will choose a new mode of living, one that allows me to be alive and enjoy the adventure.


Touchstone – Men’s Meditation

“You see, I just can’t stop! Or tie myself to any one. I have affairs that last as long as a year, a year and a half, months and months of love, both tender and voluptuous, but in the end – it is as inevitable as death – time marches on and lust peters out.”

—Philip Roth

Fears of intimacy, of learning about ourselves in a committed relationship, have kept many of us lonely. Focusing on the need for a sexual high helps us avoid the intimacy we fear. Whether we are in a long-term relationship or not, thinking that sex is love limits our chances for a comfortable intimacy. Sex is an expression of an intimacy that already exists, rather than a way to become intimate.

Many of us fear closeness beyond the romantic stage. Others of us have pursued closeness, but when we met our own emptiness we said that wasn’t the right person for us and ran in search of another excitement. The problem for us isn’t the choice between singleness and marriage, but between letting someone truly know us or not.

I will set aside my fears and learn the pleasure of intimacy.


Elder’s Meditation

“To me, if you’re Indian, you’re Indian. You don’t have to put on your buckskin, beads, and feathers, and stuff like that.”

–Cecilia Mitchell, MOHAWK

The most important thing that determines who we are is on our insides, not our outsides. If we are Indian inside, that’s all that matters. Being Indian means to think right, to be spiritual, and to pray. Feathers and beads don’t make us Indian. Being Indian means to have a good heart and a good mind.

Great Spirit, today, let me think Indian.


Daily Horoscope – Cancer

Old habits die hard. It’s only natural to assume an obstacle that has been blocking the road for a long time is still there, and for you to carry on with business as usual. But double-check today and you may be in for a pleasant surprise. If you find the path is wide open, move in a new direction while the getting is good. You can progress with the greatest of ease when you are operating with an optimistic mindset. Cast aside all preconceived notions and ignore all distractions. The race is on and all eyes are on you.

One Day at A Time

As I look at my past ten years of sobriety, then my relapse, I have to look at what didn’t work. I had a good program going until I started to do what I wanted, when I wanted and how I wanted to do things in my life. Since I restarted my journey in sobriety, I only concentrate on “One Day at a Time” literally. I’ve developed a daily schedule, simple yet effective, which helps me to stay sober and allows for peace and serenity in my life.

At the ten year mark, I was in my own place, where I wanted to be, doing what I wanted. There wasn’t a thought I had my alcoholism “licked” because I knew better. It was waiting patiently, waiting for the right time to come back and kick my arse. That it did! Hence, the saying, “..cunning, baffling and powerful”. It wasn’t like drinking my first beer ever in life. I started right back from where I left off ten years ago: one beer the first day, three the next but the end of the week a 12pk, next week I was drinking a good 30 pack a day AGAIN. Remember its a progressive, chronic disease. It never stops until we are DEAD!

When I walk through the doors this time around, I made a commitment LIVE ONE DAY AT A TIME. Honestly, I had reservations whether I was going to stay sober until I walked into my first AA meeting – I was home again. So the first thing I do daily is practice gratitude:

  • I’m grateful for my Higher Power for waking me up (I’m alive)
  • I’m grateful to be start another day sober
  • I’m grateful to be a member of Alcoholics Anonymous

If you’re reading this, you know the second thing I do daily to keep myself sober – I take the time to post my daily readings. Why? My sponsor the first time I was sober told me to write each Step down. If we write things down, we have to face them. I do this process with my readings. Instead of just reading them, I actually type them out here. It helps me to remember, perhaps, those things I can work on for my sobriety today.

For instance, as you know I have codependent behaviors, hence the Language of Letting Go readings. These principles are vital in my sobriety. Just like my alcoholism, I must practice these principles daily. One of my roommates takes something out and doesn’t put it back where it belongs. He wakes up in the middle of the night, makes himself a snack leaving the peanut butter jar open with the knife on top. He habitually leaves not one but multiple glasses laying around the house empty after drinking its contents. Deep down it infuriates me. He’s a f**king slob. However, it is NOT my job to clean up after him. Even after multiple times of asking (politely) to clean up his own messes, he just doesn’t want to change. So, daily I remind him, “Mr. X please put X in the sink to be washed.” I can’t change him; he has to be willing to change himself. I have no control over what he does or doesn’t do. The point is I’m not going to “save or take care of” him. I have to practice acceptance, tolerance and pity (an AA principle) – meet him where he’s at, keep my calm and recognize he’s just sicker than me.

The Three
AA Legacies

I recognize from my own past when I am not involved in Alcoholics Anonymous in any way, shape or form I’m walking toward my next drink. No matter what my mood, no matter who may or may not show up, no matter how much I may despise people, how they share their non-existence of experience in meetings or what the weather is outside, I have to attend meetings. I also have commitments; I have responsibilities to show up, not only for myself, but for others. Every meeting I attend, I hear a message I can learn and apply in my own life. Luckily for me, there are at least two meetings a day I can attend to help me stay sober no matter what is going on in my life. Again, this is a vital “action” needed for recovery – going to meetings on a regular basis.

I’m grateful for the residential program where I currently reside because honestly I’m not sure if I could stay sober without the continued support I receive on a daily basis. At times, I may despise this program. For instance, a staff member just came into the house. He didn’t knock or say, “Hello! Is anyone home?” He just came in, ignored me, walked around the house, then proceeds to tell me, “Please sweep the floor” as he’s walking out of the house. I would never just walk into someone’s house. When I worked in the chemical dependency field, we practiced respect for our clients. Again, I have to recognize, my values may not be the same as others and this is a temporary situation. For my sobriety I just bite my tongue, take a breath and move on.

Despite small inconveniences throughout the day, I manage to live a simple yet meaningful life. I may not have a job, my own home, money in my pocket, etc. But I am sober and enjoying life today. It reminds me of the 9th Step promises:

“We will suddenly realize that God is doing for us what we could not do for ourselves. Are these extravagant promises? We think not. They are being fulfilled among us sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly. They will materialize if we work for them.”  

Alcoholics Anonymous Big Book, pg. 83 and 84