Living Life on Life’s Terms

Today I woke after three to four hours of sleep last night. Why a lack of sleep lately? I’m working on it; I simply don’t know. However, days like this I get in these philosophical moods. I tend to write, write and write some very lengthy responses to simple questions. Whatever is going on in my brain gets written on paper or computer screen without thinking of formatting, tone, and all that other writer’s mish mash. So bare with me as I try to get this out.

When I first became sober, I heard this in a meeting and had absolutely no clue what they were all talking about. To this day, I have trouble doing this and I see those with long term sobriety struggle with this sometimes. We are not perfect human beings. In my experience, life tends to throw me curve balls at the most inappropriate time in my life. But today, I have learned to deal with – its called acceptance.

Acceptance in human psychology is a person’s assent to the reality of a situation, recognizing a process or condition (often a negative or uncomfortable situation) without attempting to change it or protest it.

Wikipedia – Acceptance (forgive me, not the best source)

For instance, almost on a daily basis, I almost get hit by a motor vehicle. I will be standing at a crosswalk, clearly marked with yellow arrows, enter the crosswalk when its clear, yet have a car zoom by me or honk because I’m impeding their way. Technically the motor vehicle law in New York says, “When there is no traffic control signal, drivers must yield the right-of-way to pedestrians in the crosswalk. (Sec. 1151). ” Old me – flip the bird, yell obscenities, throw something at the passing car. Today, I just take a deep breath and accept the ignorance of other people.

We don’t have a sophisticated system like this with lights,
but its clearly marked on the road with GIANT yellow signs as above.

A few weeks ago, I had just gotten half way through a crosswalk like above when a car with an elderly lady literally grazed me turning left at the intersection. At the time, to make matters worse, I was wearing a bright yellow “Traffic Control” jacket a friend had given me for the winter. Right at the moment, all I could do is feel sorry for the woman who probably had no clue I was even there! Even city cops don’t stop, most of the time!

SIDE NOTE: I can’t stop laughing, as this JUST happened.

I went to smoke a cigarette, so I have to walk up and across the street where this crosswalk is. As I come back across the crosswalk, I’m halfway through when a car passes me behind my back and BAM, sirens go off. A New York State Trooper just gave a driver a ticket for NOT stopping until I was clear of the crosswalk. Well that is my hope anyway.

While this may be something I try to practice on a daily basis , I am not perfect. I still have a short fuse when it comes to ignorance and stupidity. However, I have learned when I did my 4th Step:

We asked God to help us show them the same tolerance, pity, and patience that we would cheerfully grant a sick friend.

Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous, How It Works, p.67

Things are going to happen in our lives, we can not control. I gave up that control in my 3rd Step. I am no longer the Director; my Higher Power is my Director. I simply do what is asked of me to the best of my ability, “One Day at a Time”.

Someone is probably saying, “Enough already!” That’s okay. I’m actuallly cutting this short because I have a “Nooner” meeting to attend. So everyone have a great day. My goal is to finish another post, still a draft, about my Easter weekend.

DR – April 24, 2019

Daily Recovery Readings
April 24, 2019


Daily Reflection

LEARNING TO LOVE OURSELVES

“Alcoholism was a lonely business, even though we were surrounded by people who loved us. . . . We were trying to find emotional security either by dominating or by being dependent upon others. . . . We still vainly tried to be secure by some unhealthy sort of domination or dependence.”

— AS BILL SEES IT, p. 252

When I did my personal inventory I found that I had unhealthy relationships with most people in my life—my friends and family, for example. I always felt isolated and lonely. I drank to dull emotional pain.

It was through staying sober, having a good sponsor and working the Twelve Steps that I was able to build up my low self-esteem. First the Twelve Steps taught me to become my own best friend, and then, when I was able to love myself, I could reach out and love others.

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


Big Book Quote

“We have begun to comprehend their futility and their fatality. We have commenced to see their terrible destructiveness. We have begun to learn tolerance, patience and good will toward all men, even our enemies, for we look on them as sick people.”

~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, How It Works, Pg. 70~


24 Hours a Day – The Little Black Book

Thought for the Day

It’s been proved that we alcoholics can’t get sober by our willpower. We’ve failed again and again. Therefore I believe there must be a Higher Power, which helps me. I think of that power as the grace of God. And I pray to God every morning for the strength to stay sober today. I know that Power is there because it never fails to help me. Do I believe that A.A. works through the grace of God?

Meditation for the Day

Once I am “born of the spirit,” that is my life’s breath. Within me is the life of life, so that I can never perish. The life that down the ages has kept God’s children through peril, adversity, and sorrow. I must try never to doubt or worry, but follow where the life of the spirit leads. How often, when little I know it, God goes before me to prepare the way, to soften a heart, or to overrule a resentment. As the life of the spirit grows, natural wants become less important.

Prayer for the Day

I pray that my life may become centered in God more than in self. I pray that my will may be directed towards doing His will.


The Language of Letting Go – Codependency

Lessons on the Job

Often, the spiritual and recovery lessons we’re learning at work reflect the lessons we’re learning in other areas of our life.

Often, the systems we’re attracted to in our working life are similar to the systems in which we find ourselves living and loving. Those are the systems that reflect our issues and can help us learn our lessons.

Are we slowly learning to trust ourselves at work? How about at home? Are we slowly learning to take care of ourselves at work? How about at home? Are we slowly learning boundaries and self-esteem, overcoming fear, and dealing with feelings?

If we search back over our work history, we will probably see that it is a mirror of our issues, our growth. It most likely is now too.

For today, we can believe that we are right where we need to be – at home and at work.

Today, I will accept my present circumstances on the job. I will reflect on how what I am learning in my life applies to what I’m learning at work. If I don’t know, I will surrender to the experience until that becomes clear. God, help me accept the work I have been given to do today. Help me be open to and learn what I need to be learning. Help me trust that it can and will be good.


Touchstone – Men’s Meditation

“I shall tell you a great secret, my friend. Do not wait for the last judgment. It takes place every day.”

—Albert Camus

We live our program in one-day portions – and our actions today have immediate consequences. For instance, if we listen to a brother or a sister in the program, we may be enriched and the other person strengthened for today’s challenge. We don’t have to confront every temptation of life on this day – only the portion we can handle. Our old insanity would have us predict the entire story of our future from today’s limited viewpoint. But our spiritual orientation guides us to restrain ourselves. We simply live in this moment.

The rewards of recovery are granted every day. We begin with the gift of a new day and new possibilities. We now have relationships that sustain us through difficulty and give us reason to celebrate. We have a new feeling of self-respect and hope.

I am grateful for the rewards of each day in my spiritual awakening.


Elder’s Meditation

“Each person’s prayers can help everyone.”

–Thomas Yellowtail, CROW

Prayer is our entrance into the Unseen World. It is by prayer we can call upon the powers and laws of the Great Spirit. The Spirit World has powers and laws that are different from the Physical World. The spiritual laws allow healing to take place; they allow forgiveness to occur; they cause miracles to happen; they cause hate to disappear; they heal broken relationships; they guide every moment of our lives; they allow us to love even when it’s hard. Prayer allows us access to the Spirit World.

Creator, teach me to pray.


Daily Horoscope – Cancer

Complicated relationship dynamics come into high-definition focus today. Flaws and blemishes are magnified, along with passion, amplifying the thrills and excitement in your world. While topics of trust and commitment flit through your mind, this might not feel like the time to grapple with them outright. Although you will know when you’re ready, it’s easy enough to be satisfied with complex simplicity for now. The mysteries of the heart can’t be solved overnight.

DR – April 23, 2019

Daily Recovery Readings
April 23, 2019


Daily Reflection

A.A. IS NOT A CURE-ALL

“It would be a product of false pride to claim that A.A. is a cure-all, even for alcoholism.”

— AS BILL SEES IT, p. 285

In my early years of sobriety I was full of pride, thinking that A.A. was the only source of treatment for a good and happy life. It certainly was the basic ingredient for my sobriety and even today, with over twelve years in the program, I am very involved in meetings, sponsorship and service. During the first four years of my recovery, I found it necessary to seek professional help, since my emotional health was extremely poor. There are those folks too, who have found sobriety and happiness in other organizations. A.A. taught me that I had a choice: to go to any lengths to enhance my sobriety. A.A. may not be a cure-all for everything, but it is the center of my sober living.

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


Big Book Quote

“Although financial recovery is on the way for many of us, we found we could not place money first. For us, material well being always followed spiritual progress; it never preceded.”

~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, The Family Afterward, pg. 127~


24 Hours a Day – The Little Black Book

Thought for the Day

Men and women keep coming into A.A., licked by alcohol, often given up by doctors as hopeless cases, they themselves admitting they’re helpless to stop drinking. When I see these men and women get sober and stay sober over a period of months and years, I know that A.A. works. The change I see in people who come into A.A. not only convinces me that A.A. works, but it also convinces me that there must be a Power greater than ourselves which helps us to make that change. Am I convinced that a Higher Power can help me to change?

Meditation for the Day

Cooperation with God is the great necessity for our lives. All else follows naturally. Cooperation with God is the result of our consciousness of His presence. Guidance is bound to come to us as we live more and more with God, as our consciousness becomes more and more attuned to the great Consciousness of the universe. We must have many quiet times when we not so much ask to be shown and led by God, as to feel and realize His presence. New spiritual growth comes naturally from cooperation with God.

Prayer for the Day

I pray that God may supply me with strength and show me the direction in which He wants me to grow. I pray that these things may come naturally from my cooperation with Him.


The Language of Letting Go – Codependency

Opening Ourselves to Love

Allowing ourselves to receive love is one of the greatest challenges we face in recovery.

Many of us have blocked ourselves from receiving love. We may have lived with people who used love to control us. They would be there for us, but at the high price of our freedom. Love was given, or withheld, to control us and have power over us. It was not safe for us to receive love from these people. We may have gotten accustomed to not receiving love, not acknowledging our need for love, because we lived with people who had no real love to give.

At some point in recovery, we acknowledge that we, too, want and need to be loved. We may feel awkward with this need. Where do we go with it? What do we do? Who can give us love? How can we determine who is safe and who isn’t? How can we let others care for us without feeling trapped, abused, frightened, and unable to care for ourselves?

We will learn. The starting point is surrendering to our desire to be loved, our need to be nurtured and loved. We will grow confident in our ability to take care of ourselves with people. We will feel safe enough to let people care for us; we will grow to trust our ability to choose people who are safe and who can give us love.

We may need to get angry first – angry that our needs have not been met. Later, we can become grateful to those people who have shown us what we don’t want, the ones who have assisted us in the process of believing we deserve love, and the ones who come into our life to love us.

We are opening up like flowers. Sometimes it hurts as the petals push open. Be glad. Our heart is opening up to the love that is and will continue to be there for us.

Surrender to the love that is there for us, to the love that people, the Universe, and our Higher Power send our way.

Surrender to love, without allowing people to control us or keep us from caring for ourselves. Start by surrendering to love for yourself.

Today, I will open myself to the love that is here for me. I will let myself receive love that is safe, knowing I can take care of myself with people. I will be grateful to all the people from my past who have assisted me in my process of opening up to love. I claim, accept, and am grateful for the love that is coming to me.


Touchstone – Men’s Meditation

“Friendship with oneself is all-important, because without it one cannot be friends with anyone else in the world.”

—Eleanor Roosevelt

In recovery, perhaps first we make peace with ourselves, and not until later do we become our own friends. We have been at war with ourselves and in turmoil with our families, even while feeling like victims. This program lays out Twelve Steps we can follow to become friends with ourselves. In recovery we may still feel self-hate when we constantly monitor our every action, when we react to our mistakes by berating ourselves, and when we dwell on past offenses. Would we put a friend through that?

A true friend will accept you as you are. He doesn’t put you down or call you derogatory names. He’ll give you honest feedback and won’t put on a false front. He’ll support you when you’re in trouble. Being our own friend means doing these things for ourselves. Perhaps we can even embrace and be kind to the part of ourselves that is addicted and codependent.

Today, I will be a friend to my whole self – even the parts of me I have rejected.


Elder’s Meditation

“The real meaning of life is your family, the love that you have, the respect, the traditional ways, and carrying on with them.”

–Ethel Wilson, COWICHAN

The family is the seed of the future. The family is the key to the transfer of cultural information. We should really take a look at how we are looking at our families. Are we treating each family member with respect? Are we passing on the traditional ways? Are we teaching the old songs? Are we participating in the ceremonies? Are we showing the family members how to pray? Are we encouraging each family member to be spiritual? Think about these things today.

My Creator, today, let me show respect to each family member.


Daily Horoscope – Cancer

Your sensitivity to the feelings of others is nearly boundless, as is your empathy. In business, you can keep your inner world private by being courteous but firm, and sticking to rules when they’re fair and square. However, it is in your personal life that emotions run the show. Being there by offering a listening ear or useful assistance when a loved one reaches out is where you most want to be now. Model Liya Kebede said, “Helping others isn’t a chore; it is one of the greatest gifts there is.”

DR – April 22, 2019

Daily Recovery Readings
April 22, 2019


Daily Reflection

NEW SOIL . . . NEW ROOTS

“Moments of perception can build into a lifetime of spiritual serenity, as I have excellent reason to know. Roots of reality, supplanting the neurotic underbrush, will hold fast despite the high winds of the forces which would destroy us, or which we would use to destroy ourselves.”

— AS BILL SEES IT, p. 173

I came to A.A. green—a seedling quivering with exposed taproots. It was for survival but it was a beginning. I stretched, developed, twisted, but with the help of others, my spirit eventually burst up from the roots. I was free. I acted, withered, went inside, prayed, acted again, understood anew, as one moment of perception struck. Up from my roots, spirit-arms lengthened into strong, green shoots: high-springing servants stepping skyward.

Here on earth God unconditionally continues the legacy of higher love. My A.A. life put me “on a different footing . . . [my] roots grasped a new soil” ( Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 12).

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


Big Book Quote

“More than most people the alcoholic leads a double life. He is very much the actor. To the outer world he presents his stage character. This is the one he likes his fellows to see. He wants to enjoy a certain reputation but knows in his heart he doesn’t deserve it.”

~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, Into Action, pg. 73~


24 Hours a Day – The Little Black Book

Thought for the Day

People believe in A.A. when they see it work. An actual demonstration is what convinces them. What they read in books, what they hear people say doesn’t always convince them. But when they see a real honest to goodness change take place in a person, a change from a drunkard to a sober, useful citizen, that’s something they can believe because they can see it. There’s really only one thing that proves to me that A.A. works. Have I seen the change in people who come into A.A.?

Meditation for the Day

Divine control and unquestioning obedience to God are the only conditions necessary for a spiritual life. Divine control means absolute faith and trust in God, a belief that God is the Divine Principle in the universe and that He is the Intelligence and the Love that controls the universe. Unquestioning obedience to God means living each day the way you believe God wants you to live, constantly seeking the guidance of God in every situation and being willing to do the right thing at all times.

Prayer for the Day

I pray that I may always be under Divine Control and always practice unquestioning obedience to God. I pray that I may be always ready to serve Him.


The Language of Letting Go – Codependency

Coping With Stress

Inevitably, there are times of stress in our lives, no matter how long we’ve been in recovery.

Sometimes, the stress is outside or around us. We’re feeling balanced, but our circumstances are stressful. Sometimes, the stress is within; we feel out of balance.

When the stress is external and internal, we experience our most difficult times.

During stressful times, we can rely more heavily on our support systems. Our friends and groups can help us feel more balanced and peaceful in spite of our stressful conditions.

Affirming that the events taking place are a temporarily uncomfortable part of a good, solid plan can help. We can assure ourselves that we will get through. We won’t be destroyed. We won’t crumple or go under.

It helps to go back to the basics to focus on detachment, dealing with feelings, and taking life one day at a time.

Our most important focus during times of stress is taking care of ourselves. We are better able to cope with the most irregular circumstances; we are better able to be there for others, if we’re caring for ourselves. We can ask ourselves regularly: What do we need to do to take care of ourselves? What might help us feel better or more comfortable?

Self-care may not come as easily during times of stress. Self-neglect may feel more comfortable. But taking care of us always works.

Today, I will remember that there is no situation that can’t be benefited by taking care of myself.


Touchstone – Men’s Meditation

“The first springs of great events, like those of great rivers, are often mean and little.”

—Jonathan Swift

Our lives are like streams which flow through time. Looking at the flow of our whole lives, we see the interconnections of many days that seemed minor. Each day contributes to the stream of goals and faith and relationships. As we look at the flow of a whole river, we see at its beginning a little trickle of water here, joining another trickle there, slowly gathering together a stream that develops force and direction.

We may look for intensity in our lives and ignore the quiet. Much of our lives may have been lived on a roller coaster of major crises. As terrible as it seemed, it was not dull. Today may seem rather boring. But in recovery we learn to appreciate the more subtle trickle that a good day can be. Simply continuing with the flow – of our program, of faithfulness to our values, of being emotionally present in our relationships – adds up to a rich life.

May I see the continuity of my life in the simple moments of this day.


Elder’s Meditation

“Each creature has a medicine, so there are many medicines. Because they are so close to the Creator, they are to communicate that medicine. Then they bring help and health.”

–Wallace Black Elk, LAKOTA

The Elders say everything has a purpose and everything has a will. We should never interfere with purpose or the will of everything. Every plant, creature, animal, insect, and human being has a purpose to be here on the Earth. Each has a special medicine to contribute for the good of all things. Each person also has good medicine, a special talent, a special gift. These medicines are to help others or to help make us healthy. What is your special medicine?

Creator, today, help me discover and use my medicine to serve a greater good.


Daily Horoscope – Cancer

You’re onto something big, but making more time to spend with someone or to work on a revived project may require you to modify your schedule. It’s necessary to take inventory as soon as you realize that you’re juggling too much at once. You know best what your priorities are and why. Keep those personal facts in mind when introducing change into a familiar routine. How you direct your energy can evolve as naturally as form follows function. Let your meaningful intentions shape your everyday choices.

DR – April 21, 2019

Daily Recovery Readings
April 21, 2019


Daily Reflection

CULTIVATING FAITH

“I don’t think we can do anything very well in this world unless we practice it. And I don’t believe we do A.A. too well unless we practice it. . . . We should practice . . . acquiring the spirit of service. We should attempt to acquire some faith, which isn’t easily done, especially for the person who has always been very materialistic, following the standards of society today. But I think faith can be acquired; it can be acquired slowly; it has to be cultivated. That was not easy for me, and I assume that it is difficult for everyone else. . . .”

— DR. BOB AND THE GOOD OLDTIMERS, pp. 307-08

Fear is often the force that prevents me from acquiring and cultivating the power of faith. Fear blocks my appreciation of beauty, tolerance, forgiveness, service, and serenity.
From the book Daily Reflections

Copyright © 1990 by Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc.


Big Book Quote

3rd Step Prayer:

“God, I offer myself to Thee to build with me and to do with me as Thou wilt. Relieve me of the bondage of self, that I may better do Thy will. Take away my difficulties, that victory over them may bear witness to those I would help of Thy Power, Thy Love, and Thy Way of life. May I do Thy will always!”

~Alcoholic`s Anonymous, 4th Edition, How It Works, pg. 63~


24 Hours a Day – The Little Black Book

Thought for the Day

After we’ve been in A.A. for a while, we find out that if we’re going to stay sober, we have to be humble people. The men and women in A.A. who have achieved sobriety are all humble people. When I stop to think that but for the grace of God I might be drunk right now, I can’t help feeling humble. Gratitude to God for His grace makes me humble. When I think of the kind of person I was not so long ago, when I think of the person I left behind me, I have nothing to be proud of. Am I grateful and humble?

Meditation for the Day

I must arise from the death of sin and selfishness and put on a new life of integrity. All the old sins and temptations must be laid in the grave and a new existence rise from the ashes. Yesterday is gone. All my sins are forgiven if I am honestly trying to do God’s will today. Today is here, the time of resurrection and renewal. I must start now, today, to build a new life of complete faith and trust in God and a determination to do His will in all things.

Prayer for the Day

I pray that I may share in making the world a better place to live in. I pray that I may do what I can to bring goodness a little nearer to the earth.


The Language of Letting Go – Codependency

Waiting

Wait. If the time is not right, the way is not clear, the answer or decision not consistent, wait.

We may feel a sense of urgency. We may want to resolve the issue by doing something – anything now, but that action is not in our best interest.

Living with confusion or unsolved problems is difficult. It is easier to resolve things. But making a decision too soon, doing something before it’s time, means we may have to go back and redo it.

If the time is not right, wait. If the way is not clear, do not plunge forward. If the answer or decision feels muddy, wait.

In this new way of life, there is a Guiding Force. We do not ever have to move too soon or move out of harmony. Waiting is an action – a positive, forceful action.

Often, waiting is a God-guided action, one with as much power as a decision, and more power than an urgent, ill-timed decision.

We do not have to pressure ourselves by insisting that we do or know something before it’s time. When it is time, we will know. We will move into that time naturally and harmoniously. We will have peace and consistency. We will feel empowered in a way we do not feel today.

Deal with the panic, the urgency, and the fear; do not let them control or dictate decisions.

Waiting isn’t easy. It isn’t fun. But waiting is often necessary to get what we want. It is not dead time; it is not downtime. The answer will come. The power will come. The time will come. And it will be right.

Today, I will wait, if waiting is the action I need in order to take care of myself. I will know that I am taking a positive, forceful action by waiting until the time is right. God, help me let go of my fear, urgency, and panic. Help me learn the art of waiting until the time is right. Help me learn timing.


Touchstone – Men’s Meditation

“The first skill needed for the Inner Game is called “letting it happen.” This means gradually building a trust in the innate ability of your body to learn and to perform.”

—W. Timothy Gallwey

A strange and intriguing mystery confronts us in the Twelve Steps. We are mending our ways; we are becoming accountable; we are striving to do what is right, yet we are learning to let go. This seems like a contradiction of logic, but it leads us to a spiritual awakening.

We are becoming like the accomplished tennis player who has practiced diligently to develop every detail of his skill. Yet when he is playing the game, he cannot focus on control. He must get his ego out of the way and let himself go. It is in letting go that he rises to his highest level of fulfillment. Today we will do what we must. We can make the choices we are faced with. Then we allow ourselves to be carried along by our Higher Power to complete and fulfill the process.

I will look for opportunities to let it happen today.


Elder’s Meditation

“Conciliation is the key to survival. Peace is the goal.”

–Haida Gwaii, Traditional Circle of Elders

When we make decisions or experience conflict we need to look at the greater whole. The end result we want to accomplish is peace of mind. If we keep this goal in mind, we will, overall, live a happy and fulfilling life. Everything in the world is constantly changing so we should not resist this change. A good question to ask ourselves is, “would I rather be right or happy?”. If we would rather be happy, then it is easier to let the little things go. If we would rather be right, we tend to look for the WIN/LOSE.

Great Spirit, today, give me the tools to seek peace of mind.


Daily Horoscope – Cancer

The typical rhythm of your day may be flipped by surprise or by design. Ordinarily, work comes before play but it seems that playtime is top priority today. A delightful conversation, adventure, or brunch with family or friends could prove to be as relaxing as it is entertaining. However, you are likely to be found tackling chores, poring over paperwork, or taking care of other responsibilities in the evening hours. But even as you toil, pleasant vibes from the morning happily linger in your mind. Katharine Hepburn said, “If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun.”

DR – April 20, 2019

Daily Recovery Readings
April 20, 2019


Daily Reflection

SELF-EXAMINATION

“. . . we ask God to direct our thinking, especially asking that it be divorced from self-pity, dishonest or self-seeking motives.”

— ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 86

When said sincerely, this prayer teaches me to be truly unselfish and humble, for even in doing good deeds I often used to seek approval and glory for myself. By examining my motives in all that I do, I can be of service to God and others, helping them do what they want to do. When I put God in charge of my thinking, much needless worry is eliminated and I believe He guides me throughout the day. When I eliminate thoughts of self-pity, dishonesty and self-centeredness as soon as they enter my mind, I find peace with God, my neighbor and myself.

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


Big Book Quote

“We have found much of heaven and we have been rocketed into a fourth dimension of existence of which we had not even dreamed.”

~Alcoholics Anonymous, 3rd Edition, There Is A Solution, pg. 25~


24 Hours a Day – The Little Black Book

Thought for the Day

The satisfaction you get out of living a sober life is made up of a lot of little things, but they add up to a satisfactory and happy life. You take out of life what you put into it. So I’d say to people coming into A.A.: “Don’t worry about what life will be like without liquor. Just hang in there and a lot of good things will happen to you. And you’ll have that feeling of quiet satisfaction and peace and serenity and gratitude for the grace of God.” Is my life becoming really worth living?

Meditation for the Day

There are two paths, one up and one down. We have been given free will to choose either path. We are captains of our souls to this extent only. We can choose the good or the bad. Once we have chosen the wrong path, we go down and down, eventually to death. But if we choose the right path, we go up and up, until we come to the resurrection day. On the wrong path, we have no power for good because we do not choose to ask for it. But on the right path, we are on the side of good and we have all the power of God’s spirit behind us.

Prayer for the Day

I pray that I may be in the stream of goodness. I pray that I may be on the right side, on the side of all good in the universe.


The Language of Letting Go – Codependency

Deadlines

“I don’t know whether I want in or out of this relationship. I’ve been struggling with it for months now. It’s not appropriate to let it hang indefinitely. I will give myself two months to make a decision.”

—Anonymous

Sometimes, it helps to set a deadline.

This can be true when we face unsolved problems, are struggling with a tough decision, have been sitting on the fence for a while, or have been floundering in confusion about a particular issue for a time.

That does not mean a deadline is written in stone. It means that we are establishing a time frame to help ourselves not feel so helpless and to help bring a solution into focus. Setting deadlines can free our energy to set the problem or issue aside, to let go, and allow the Universe, our Higher Power, and ourselves to begin to move toward a solution.

We don’t always need to tell people we’ve got a deadline. Sometimes, it’s better to be silent, or else they may feel we are trying to control them and may rebel against our deadline. Sometimes, it is appropriate to share our deadlines with others.

Deadlines are primarily a tool to help ourselves. They need to be reasonable and appropriate to each individual situation. Used properly, deadlines can be a beneficial tool to help us get through difficult problems and situations without feeling trapped and helpless. They can help us let go of worrying and obsessing, so we can focus our energies in more constructive directions. Setting a deadline can help move us out of that uncomfortable spot of feeling victimized by a person or a problem we can’t solve.

Deadlines can help us detach and move forward.

Today, I will consider whether a deadline might be helpful in some areas in my life. I claim Divine Wisdom and Guidance in setting appropriate deadlines for any problems or relationship issues that may be lingering.


Touchstone – Men’s Meditation

“I wasn’t exactly brought up in one of those Norman Rockwell paintings you used to see on the cover of the Saturday Evening Post.”

—Reggie Jackson

We have many myths about other people’s lives. When we compare ourselves to these stories, we come up short. We have the TV families of Father Knows Best or The Walton’s in our minds. We may have stories our father told about his moment of glory and how he met his challenges. Any of these images selects part of the truth and highlights it, creating a myth that might be worthwhile if we don’t take it too literally.

Living real life never feels as serene as our fantasies. A myth lifts us up, carries us away to other possibilities, but we should always take it with a grain of salt. A father’s recollections or a Norman Rockwell painting romanticizes a piece of reality by omitting the drudgery and confusion of life. Myths are meant as inspirations, not as measurements of our lives.

The difficulties and confusion I feel may just be part of real life. Serenity comes when I accept the mixture that real life is.


Elder’s Meditation

‘You must be prepared and know the reason why you dance.”

–Thomas Yellowtail, CROW

Inside every human being is a need to dance. We dance to music. Have you even wondered why people are moved when they hear an Indian Drum? The drum is the heartbeat of the Mother Earth. Every Indian dance is for a purpose and a reason. Every Song is for a reason. The beat of the drum makes our bodies, minds, and spirits join together in harmony. It allows us to connect to Mother Earth and to each other. The dance aligns our minds to think spiritual thoughts. Dancing to the drum is healthy.

Great Spirit, today, I dance to honor you.


Daily Horoscope – Cancer

The allure of what’s pure, organic, and a product of Mother Earth is super powerful now. You may have an inborn affinity for foods that are nourishing of the body and a natural attraction to environments that are healthful for the soul. A gathering or conversation excites your thinking about all of these topics today, inspiring you to want to learn even more. Enjoy the lively social or romantic vibes floating in the mix. Positive thinking can be a magnet for illuminating experiences.

DR – April 19, 2019

Daily Recovery Readings
April 19, 2019


Daily Reflection

BROTHERS IN OUR DEFECTS

“We recovered alcoholics are not so much brothers in virtue as we are brothers in our defects, and in our common strivings to overcome them.”

— AS BILL SEES IT, p. 167

The identification that one alcoholic has with another is mysterious, spiritual—almost incomprehensible. But it is there. I “feel” it. Today I feel that I can help people and that they can help me.

It is a new and exciting feeling for me to care for someone; to care what they are feeling, hoping for, praying for; to know their sadness, joy, horror, sorrow, grief; to want to share those feelings so that someone can have relief. I never knew how to do this—or how to try. I never even cared. The Fellowship of A.A., and God, are teaching me how to care about others.

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


Big Book Quote

“The spiritual life is not a theory. We have to live it.”

~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, Into Action, pg. 83~


24 Hours a Day – The Little Black Book

Thought for the Day

Since I’ve been putting sobriety into my life, I’ve been taking out a lot of good things. I can describe it best as a kind of quiet satisfaction. I feel good. I feel right with the world, on the right side of the fence. As long as I put sobriety into my life, almost everything I take out is good. The satisfaction you get out of living a sober life is made up of a lot of little things. You have the ambition to do things you didn’t feel like doing when you were drinking. Am I getting satisfaction out of living a sober life?

Meditation for the Day

It is a glorious way – the upward way. There are wonderful discoveries in the realm of the spirit. There are tender intimacies in the quiet times of communion with God. There is an amazing, almost incomprehensible understanding of the other person. On the upward way, you can have all the strength you need from that Higher Power. You cannot make too many demands on Him for strength. He gives you all the power you need, as long as you are moving along the upward way.

Prayer for the Day

I pray that I may see the beautiful horizons ahead on the upward way. I pray that I may keep going forward to the more abundant life.


The Language of Letting Go – Codependency

Accepting Change

The winds of change blow through our life, sometimes gently, sometimes like a tropical storm. Yes, we have resting places – time to adjust to another level of living, time to get our balance, time to enjoy the rewards. We have time to catch our breath.

But change is inevitable and desirable.

Sometimes, when the winds of change begin to rustle, we’re not certain the change is for the better. We may call it stress or a temporary condition, certain we’ll be restored to normal. Sometimes, we resist. We tuck our head down and buck the wind, hoping that things will quickly calm down, get back to the way things were. Is it possible we’re being prepared for a new normal?

Change will sweep through our life, as needed, to take us where we’re going. We can trust that our Higher Power has a plan in mind, even when we don’t know where the changes are leading.

We can trust that the change-taking place is good. The wind will take us where we need to go.

Today, help me, God, to let go of my resistance to change. Help me 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.


Touchstone – Men’s Meditation

“Some of us, observing that ideals are rarely achieved, proceed to the error of considering them worthless. Such an error is greatly harmful. True North cannot be reached either, since it is an abstraction, but it is of enormous importance, as all the world’s travelers can attest.”

—Steve Allen

How many of us, seeing others who failed to live fully by their ideals, cried, “Hypocrite!” Perhaps we even pointed to others’ shortcomings to excuse our own. Now, in this program, we may be tempted to swing like a pendulum to the other extreme. We may hold to our values and principles so tightly that we are perfectionistic.

The idea that True North cannot ever be reached is very useful. If we don’t achieve True North, even though we establish it as our standard, we will generally be heading in the right direction. Although we never perfectly achieve our ideals, they remain our standards today for orienting our lives.

I do accept standards for my life. I will not beat on myself for my imperfections.


Elder’s Meditation

“We all come from the same root, but the leaves are all different.”

–John Fire Lame Deer, LAKOTA

We all come from one Great Spirit but we are all different and unique. Nothing in the Great Creation has a twin that is identical. Even children that are twins are different. Every single person is extremely special and unique. Each person has a purpose and reason why they are on the Earth. Just like every leaf on a tree is different, each one is needed to make the tree look like it does. No leaf is better or worse than the other all leaves are of equal worth and belong on the tree. It is the same with human beings. We each belong here and do things that will affect the great whole.

Great Spirit, today, let me see myself as a valuable contributor to the whole.


Daily Horoscope – Cancer

It may appear as if there are not enough hours in the day to fit in all you want to do. Nevertheless, there’s so much magic in the air and determination in your attitude that anything seems possible. You are feeling the heat of your heartfelt commitments as the Libra Full Moon rattles your 4th House of Home and Family. Take big satisfaction from the security you’re building in your world. Eckhart Tolle wrote, “Acknowledging the good you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance.”