An Alcoholic Mind: The End of the World

As we grow spiritually, following our own paths of recovery, we have to remember we still have alcoholic minds. I know I do; I can, at times, still think like an alcoholic. While I may be recovered from the obsession of the drink, there are areas of my life still needing attentiveness on a daily basis. By using spiritual tools in Alcoholics Anonymous I can get through the day, despite how bleak I may make my own outlook in life.

Yesterday, after getting some very good rest, I woke up ready to tackle the day ahead of me. One thing was wrong – my computer was off. What? Oh no, no, no. I always leave my computer on because its on its last leg, it has to stay running. After pressing the power button, I notice the computer manufacturer splash screen displays for a split second. Oh Gods no, this is not good! The screen goes blank. But all is not lost. The fan and computer itself is still humming. I’ve run across enough of these “black screen” problems, so I did in my experience and begin to work on the problem.

Nothing works. I have tried several different series of key combinations. Each time I’ve shut it down completely, disconnected the battery, drained the remaining power, waiting the appropriate time and restarted it. Black screen. My mind – No computer? You no longer have a life. What are you going to do? The World is coming to an end.”

My mind begins to fill with thoughts of all kinds. Slowly I’m returning to insanity – did I do this, did I do that, try it again, and again. Suddenly, the owner of the place I volunteer, a cat rescue/adoption center, asks if I can come in. I immediately stop what I’m doing and start walking. However, all they way there my mind is still spinning about my computer.

The owner is there profusely thanking me for coming in to help. We begin the rituals to clean up the shop and cat area from the day before. As I’m concluding my activities, saying goodbye to the various kittens, younglings and adults (‘cus that is what I do when I leave – they have feelings too!), the owner asks a word of me. For the next thirty minutes we talk about addiction and recovery – how I got here, how I’m doing and my plans for the future.

She tells me about her past – her experiences with people both in recovery and active addiction. I get a sense of regret from her she couldn’t or can’t do more. I explain to her by giving us the opportunity to work here, she is doing more than she knows, so I explain what just happened in the morning. After our in depth discussion she was going to look at some old laptops she had sitting in the closet, “..because I have no idea why there are still there.”

Later in the afternoon, I remembered my roommate just purchased a used monitor gaming system. His old monitor was sitting on my dresser, so I borrowed it for a brief moment. After plugging in the HDMI cable and switching to an external monitor the computer functions properly.

The point here is my alcoholic mind can twist and turn things into an unbelievable nightmare of a day, if I choose to let it. Yet when I use the spiritual tools of Alcoholics Anonymous, particularly a belief in a Higher Power, things tend to work out just fine – if I let them!

This is how Alcoholics Anonymous works in my life.

DR – September 18, 2019

Daily Recovery Readings
September 18, 2019


Daily Reflection

LOVED BACK TO RECOVERY

Our whole treasured philosophy of self-sufficiency had to be cast aside. This had not been done with old-fashioned willpower; it was instead a matter of developing the willingness to accept these new facts of living. We neither ran nor fought. But accept we did. And then we were free.

— BEST OF THE GRAPEVINE, Vol. I, p. 198

I can be free of my old enslaving self. After a while I recognize, and believe in, the good within myself. I see that I have been loved back to recovery by my Higher Power, who envelops me. My Higher Power becomes that source of love and strength that is performing a continuing miracle in me. I am sober . . . and I am grateful.

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


Big Book Quote

“…we then look at Step Six. We have emphasized willingness as being indispensable. Are we now ready to let God remove from us all the things which we have admitted are objectionable? Can He now take them all-every one? If we still cling to something we will not let go, we ask God to help us be willing.”

~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, Into Action, pg. 76~


24 Hours a Day – The Little Black Book

Thought for the Day

Step Two is, “Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.” Step Three is, “Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.” Step Eleven is, “Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God, as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.” The fundamental basis of A.A. is a belief in some Power greater than ourselves. Let us not take this lightly. We cannot fully get the program without this venture of belief. Have I made the venture of belief in a Power greater than my own?

Meditation for the Day

“He that dwelleth in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.” Dwell for a moment each day in a secret place, the place of communion with God, apart from the world, and thence receive strength to face the world. Material things cannot intrude upon this secret place, they cannot ever find it, because it is outside the realm of material things. When you abide in this secret place, you are under the shadow of the Almighty. God is close to you in this quiet place of communion. Each day, dwell for a while in this secret place.

Prayer for the Day

I pray that I may renew my strength in quiet.


The Language of Letting Go – Codependency

Letting the Good Stuff Happen

Before recovery, my relationships were lousy. I didn’t do very well on my job. I was enmeshed in my dysfunctional family. But at least I knew what to expect!

—Anonymous

I want the second half of my life to be as good as the first half was miserable. Sometimes, I’m afraid it won’t be. Sometimes, I’m frightened it might be.

The good stuff can scare us. Change, even good change, can be frightening. In some ways, good changes can be more frightening than the hard times.

The past, particularly before recovery, may have become comfortably familiar. We knew what to expect in our relationships. They were predictable. They were repeats of the same pattern – the same behaviors, the same pain, over and over again. They may not have been what we wanted, but we knew what was going to happen.

This is not so when we change patterns and begins recovering.

We may have been fairly good at predicting events in most areas of our life. Relationships would be painful. We’d be deprived.

Each year would be almost a repeat of the last. Sometimes it got a little worse, sometimes a little better, but the change wasn’t drastic. Not until the moment when we began recovery.

Then things changed. And the further we progress in this miraculous program, the more we and or circumstances change. We begin to explore uncharted territory.

Things get good. They do get better all the time. We begin to become successful in love, in work, in life. One day at a time, the good stuff begins to happen and the misery dissipates.

We no longer want to be a victim of life. We’ve learned to avoid unnecessary crisis and trauma.

Life gets good.

“How do I handle the good stuff?” asked one woman. It’s harder and more foreign than the pain and tragedy.”

“The same way we handled the difficult and the painful experiences,” I replied. “One day at a time.”

Today, God, help me let go of my need to be in pain and crisis. Help me move as swiftly as possible through sad feelings and problems. Help me find my base and balance in peace, joy, and gratitude. Help me work as hard at accepting what’s good, as I have worked in the past at accepting the painful and the difficult.


Touchstone – Men’s Meditation

Grace strikes us when we are in great pain and restlessness. It strikes us when we walk through the dark valley of a meaningless and empty life.

—Paul Tillich

We are men who know the consequences of alcoholism, codependency, and addiction. We have walked dark valleys. We have felt meaningless and empty in our lives. Each of us has a story. The harder we worked to overcome those feelings by our individual efforts, the worse the feelings got. This program suggested we try something radically new – something we couldn’t think up on our own.

Grace is the love and generosity of God, which comes through no effort of our own. Not until we felt defeated would we open ourselves to this gift of help from our Higher Power. Grace comes in many forms. It is in the hope we feel in the morning after a night of rest, and it’s in the good feeling we get attending our meetings. Before this program, most of us were trying so hard to control our lives we couldn’t notice any gifts that came from outside our efforts. These Twelve Steps train us for becoming receptive to the healing grace of God.

The grace of God surrounds me – even in difficult times. Returning to that message renews my strength.


Elder’s Meditation

“I walk in and out of many worlds.”

–Joy Harjo, CREEK/CHEROKEE

In my mind are many dwellings. Each of the dwellings we create ourselves – the house of anger, the house of despair, the house of self pity, the house of indifference, the house of negative, the house of positive, the house of hope, the house of joy, the house of peace, the house of enthusiasm, the house of cooperation, the house of giving. Each of these houses we visit each day. We can stay in any house for as long as we want. We can leave these mental houses any time we wish. We create the dwelling, we stay in the dwelling, we leave the dwelling whenever we wish. We can create new rooms, new houses. Whenever we enter these dwellings, this becomes our world until we leave for another. What world will we live in today?

Creator, no one can determine which dwelling I choose to enter. No one has the power to do so, only me. Let me choose wisely today.


Daily Horoscope – Cancer

Setting limits is required when those around you test your boundaries. You can’t fault anyone for trying to cross the line when people are often too hooked into their own needs to think about yours. Be clear about your priorities; you only have yourself to blame if you’re not pushing back when things grow out of hand. You can thank strict Saturn for turning direct in your 7th House of Companions today, shining a light on where you must assert your edges. Otherwise, you could run yourself ragged placating others with little time left over to pursue your dreams. Claim your power and stand your ground.

DR – September 17, 2019

Daily Recovery Readings
September 17, 2019


Daily Reflection

FREEDOM FROM FEAR

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

— TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 122

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

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


Big Book Quote

“Your job now is to be at the place where you may be of maximum helpfulness to others, so never hesitate to go anywhere if you can be helpful. You should not hesitate to visit the most sordid spot on earth on such an errand. Keep on the firing line of life with these motives and God will keep you unharmed.”

~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, Working With Others, pg. 102~


24 Hours a Day – The Little Black Book

Thought for the Day

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

Meditation for the Day

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

Prayer for the Day

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


The Language of Letting Go – Codependency

New Relationship Behaviors

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

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

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

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

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

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


Touchstone – Men’s Meditation

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

—William Shakespeare

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

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

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


Elder’s Meditation

“The old people must start talking and the young people must start listening.”

–Thomas Banyacya, HOPI

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

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


Daily Horoscope – Cancer

Mending a small tear in a friendship today prevents a bigger tear tomorrow. Some of your close pals might feel like family, so conflicts with them can be deeply troubling. Acting swiftly to address a rift not only puts your mind at ease, but lets your friend know how much you value your connection. Stick to talking about your own feelings rather than blaming anyone else for failing to meet your expectations. The more you’re willing to share and listen, the faster you both can heal. Honest communication enables a relationship to endure through its ups and downs.

DR – September 16, 2019

Daily Recovery Readings
September 16, 2019


Daily Reflection

WE STAND—OR FALL—TOGETHER

“. . . no society of men and women ever had a more urgent need for continuous effectiveness and permanent unity. We alcoholics see that we must work together and hang together, else most of us will finally die alone.”

— ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 561

Just as the Twelve Steps of A.A. are written in a specific sequence for a reason, so it is with the Twelve Traditions. The First Step and the First Tradition attempt to instill in me enough humility to allow me a chance at survival. Together they are the basic foundation upon which the Steps and Traditions that follow are built. It is a process of ego deflation which allows me to grow as an individual through the Steps, and as a contributing member of a group through the Traditions. Full acceptance of the First Tradition allows me to set aside personal ambitions, fears and anger when they are in conflict with the common good, thus permitting me to work with others for our mutual survival. Without Tradition One I stand little chance of maintaining the unity required to work with others effectively, and I also stand to lose the remaining Traditions, the Fellowship, and my life.

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


Big Book Quote

“If a mere code of morals or a better philosophy of life were sufficient to overcome alcoholism, many of us would have recovered long ago.. But we found that such codes and philosophies did not save us, no matter how much we tried. We could wish to be moral, we could wish to be philosophically comforted, in fact, we could will these things with all our might, but the needed power wasnt there. Our human resources, as marshalled by the will, were not sufficient, they failed utterly.”

~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, We Agnostics, pg. 44~


24 Hours a Day – The Little Black Book

Thought for the Day

Today, let us begin a short study of The Twelve Suggested Steps of A.A. These Twelve Suggested Steps seem to embody five principles. The first step is the membership requirement step. The second, third, and eleventh steps are the spiritual steps of the program. The fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh and tenth steps are the personal inventory steps. The eighth and ninth steps are the restitution steps. The twelfth step is the passing on of the program, or helping others, step. So the five principles are membership requirement, spiritual basis, personal inventory, restitution, and helping others. Have I made all these steps a part of me?

Meditation for the Day

We seem to live not only in time but also in eternity. If we abide with God and He abides with us, we may bring forth spiritual fruit, which will last for eternity. If we live with God, our lives can flow as some calm river through the dry land of earth. It can cause the trees and flowers of the spiritual life – love and service – to spring forth and yield abundantly. Spiritual work may be done for eternity, not just for now. Even here on earth we can live as though our real lives were eternal.

Prayer for the Day

I pray that I may try to make my life like a cool river in a thirsty land. I pray that I may give freely to all who ask my help.


The Language of Letting Go – Codependency

Revenge

No matter how long we’ve been recovering, no matter how solid our spiritual ground, we may still feel an overwhelming desire at times to punish, or get even, with another person.

We want revenge.

We want to see the other person hurt the way he or she has hurt us. We want to see life deal that person just rewards. In fact, we would like to help life out.

Those are normal feelings, but we do not have to act on them. These feelings are part of our anger but it’s not our job to deal justice.

We can allow ourselves to feel the anger. It is helpful to go one step deeper and let ourselves feel the other feelings – the hurt, the pain, the anguish. But our goal is to release the feelings, and be finished with them.

We can hold the other person accountable. We can hold the other person responsible. But it is not our responsibility to be judge and jury. Actively seeking revenge will not help us. It will block us and hold us back.

Walk away. Stop playing the game. Unhook. Learn your lesson. Thank the other person for having taught you something valuable. And be finished with it. Put it behind, with the lesson intact.

Acceptance helps. So does forgiveness – not the kind that invites that person to use us again, but a forgiveness that releases the other person and sets him or her free to walk a separate path, while releasing our anger and resentments. That sets us free to walk our own path.

Today, I will be as angry as I need to be, with a goal of finishing my business with others. Once I have released my hurt and anger, I will strive for healthy forgiveness – forgiveness with boundaries. I understand that boundaries, coupled with forgiveness and compassion, will move me forward.


Touchstone – Men’s Meditation

Sit loosely in the saddle of life.

—Robert Louis Stevenson

Sitting loosely in the saddle is an image of detachment for us. Detachment doesn’t mean we stop caring. It means we have an inner wisdom telling us what we can control and what we cannot. When we go to meetings and hear fellow members struggling with temptations to return to old behaviors, we need to detach. When family members or friends are engaged in an addiction, we need to sit loosely in the saddle by caring, but not protecting them from the results of their behavior. Sometimes close friends will be “off base” in the way they talk to us. We practice detachment by not being reactive to the person but being responsive to the inner message of what kind of men we wish to be.

We can’t control another person’s behavior toward us. Our inner security will never come from how someone else behaves. The most helpful thing we can do for someone is to listen and care; then we need to be ready to let go of the outcome.

I will accept the limits of my control over others. I will care and let go.


Elder’s Meditation

To me, the wisdom the Elders have to manifest is in teaching people how to live in harmony and balance with each other and the Earth.”

–Sun Bear, CHIPPEWA

You cannot give away what you don’t have. You need to give away what you have in order to keep it. Our Elders have lived their lives with a lot of trial and error. They have experienced how to do things well and they have experienced what didn’t work for them as they grew old. They know things about living that we don’t know. So, through the years the Elders have gained wisdom. They usually have a whole different point of view because of all their experiences. There are two ways to learn. Someone tells us what they did and we do the same thing or someone tells us what they did and we choose not to do it. Both of these paths will help us to live.

My Creator, teach me about choices and decisions and consequences. Put an Elder in my life to guide me.


Daily Horoscope – Cancer

Greet everyone you encounter without judgment. However, someone new in your life might remind you of another individual who once hurt or disappointed you. But you’re likely a very different person with altered circumstances now. Nevertheless, you can accept the help you need if you are willing to change your mind, especially with respect to your profession. A closed fist must open up to receive gifts, and your heart will benefit from the same practice. Be unguarded and claim the support you deserve. Natural mystic Bob Marley wrote, “Being vulnerable is the only way to allow your heart to feel true pleasure.”

Milestone: One Year of Sobriety

After ten years of sobriety and in a throngs of a powerful relapse, I knew there was only one solution. All those years of knowledge and understanding of what could be were begging me to surrender. But I just couldn’t do it alone. Either I was going to die a drunk or I was going to live by getting back to Alcoholics Anonymous. I wanted to live; I feared death.

When I finally got honest with myself, I knew I had enough. Despite one of my drunken stupors, I made a quick decision at 4 a.m. to walk to Elmira, New York from Van Etten, NY to seek shelter and help for my alcoholism. I had no plan – I just packed a bag and began to walking unknown of my future.

Eight hours later after traveling back roads in Chemung County, NY, for more than twenty miles I ended up at Catholic Charities. They couldn’t promise me a bed at the shelter for the night, but recommended I see a chemical dependency program, Trinity of Chemung County. I did what I was told beginning another walk across town.

When I arrived at Trinity, I had no appointment. The lady behind the counter looked at me simply saying, “We’ll get the help you need. Just have a seat”. I spent most of the day there, talking to their staff. They started putting calls in to inpatient treatment centers but didn’t get any quick replies. I spent the night in a shelter and was driven back home by a Peer Advocate the next day, whom I’m in contact with today.

The following week, I was coming back from the gas station after purchasing a 12 pack of Budweiser. I was stopped in my tracks at the crossing of a small river. “You can’t do this. You’re killing yourself. Be done with it.” I remember those words distinctly but didn’t know where they came from – or did I and I actually listened? I took that twelve pack a threw it in the river. When I got home I had a call from Dick Van Dyke (DVD) Addiction Treatment Center in Ovid, NY, they had a bed for me – the next day.

I entered the doors of DVD on September 14, 2018.

What’s the last year been like?

As I experienced with my first sobriety – my whole life has changed. I’m no longer the hopeless soul wandering through life not knowing who I am, where I’m going or my purpose in life. But how did I achieve this?

1.) One Day At A Time

In early sobriety, just not drinking one day was something I struggled with – we all do! Drinking destroyed my life and everything around me. I was on a progressive suicide mission to death every single day. I have to remind myself how I got to where I am today. When I didn’t drink one day at a time, little things got better at first – no hang over, I didn’t have 100 voices talking in my head, I wasn’t alone. I started to appreciate all the little things in my life – I am living life. But that was only a start.

My alcoholism is a disease – there is no cure. While I have not had a drink in a while, it’s just locked up, arrested, and in solitary confinement in the back of my brain just waiting to get back out. Hence, the wording “cunning, baffling and powerful”. If I’m not doing something every day for my sobriety, then I’m in trouble. When I was drinking did anything else matter – weather, my job, friends, family, transportation, etc.? I did want I needed to do, hurt anyone I needed to hurt to get my alcohol. Today, my sobriety comes first in all matters. From my own experience, if I don’t, I’m going to repeat my past which leads back to point one – don’t forget how I got here!

2.) We can’t do this alone! Get involved in your sobriety.

When I came into Alcoholics Anonymous I was hard headed. I didn’t want people to TELL ME what to do. Sometimes I still am a stubborn ass! When people made me go to an AA meeting, I didn’t know what to expect. They told me to come to another after – I still wasn’t sure this whole thing was going to work. But after going to meeting after meeting, I did see something tangible in the rooms – people are happy without drinking? HOW?

I had to listen. Today, I still have to listen to each and every word each person says at a meeting. There is a message for me somewhere – there always is. When I heard “How It Works” over and over, the 12 Steps over and over, and finally the Promises over and over I got a small glimpse of what things could be.

I had to do what they said to do – without question. They said, “Go to meetings, get a Sponsor, go through the Steps and help another alcoholic”, “This is a program of action”, “You have to work for it!”. So I followed their instructions: went to meetings, got a home group, got a coffee commitment, got a Sponsor, went through the Steps and now I’m helping other alcoholics achieve sobriety. It’s truly an amazing life.

3.) Honesty, open-mindedness and willingness

These three words were drilled in me by my first Sponsor. First, you have to be honest with yourself. Do you want to live or do you want to die? We all have two choices – life or death. But also become honest with those around you. If you want to drink, say it. If you’re having a bad day, let someone know. If you’re not honest with the people around you and yourself, how is anyone going to help you? Remember – we can’t do it alone!

If you want to live we have to change what we do. How are we going to change what we do unless we listen to how people other people have changed their lives? Meetings accomplish this as we share our experience, strength and hope with others. It’s a reminder, every day, of where I could go if I drink or where I could be if I don’t drink. We don’t tell people what to do but its heavily “suggested” based on our own experiences. Now the had part.

Actually doing what someone told me, against every fiber in my body, was the hardest thing. But something different happened. It wasn’t as hard as I thought it was going to be. Often many times when I did what someone else told me to do – it worked! I began to experience the same things they described.

As typical my posts never stay on topic . . . oh well. I could just go on and on – perhaps another day. I hope you can see my enthusiasm in my own sobriety.

A new way of life is possible. Try it!

DR – September 15, 2019

Daily Recovery Readings
September 15, 2019


Daily Reflection

A NEW LIFE

Yes, there is a substitute and it is vastly more than that. It is a fellowship in Alcoholics Anonymous. . . . Life will mean something at last.

— ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 152

Life is better without alcohol. A.A. and the presence of a Higher Power keeps me sober, but the grace of God does even better; it brings service into my life. Contact with the A.A. program teaches me a new and greater understanding of what Alcoholics Anonymous is and what it does, but most importantly, it helps to show me who I am: an alcoholic who needs the constant experience of the Alcoholics Anonymous program so that I may live a life given to me by my Higher Power.


Big Book Quote

“As we go through the day we pause, when agitated or doubtful, and ask for the right thought or action.”

~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, Into Action, pg. 87~


24 Hours a Day – The Little Black Book

Thought for the Day

“We all realize that we know only a little. God will constantly disclose more to all of us. Ask Him in your morning meditations what you can do today for the person who is still sick. The answers will come, if your own house is in order. See to it that your relationship with God is right and great events will come to pass for you and countless others. Give freely of what you find in A.A. But obviously, you cannot transmit something, which you haven’t got. So make a life study of A.A.” Am I always looking for ways of presenting the A.A. program?

Meditation for the Day

“In quietness and confidence shall be your strength.” Confidence means to have faith in something. We could not live without confidence in others. When you have confidence in God’s grace, you can face whatever comes. When you have confidence in God’s love, you can be serene and at peace. You can rest in the faith that God will take care of you. Try to rest in God’s presence until His life power flows through you. Be still and in that stillness the still, small Voice will come. It speaks in quietness to the human mind that is attuned to its influence.

Prayer for the Day

I pray that I may find strength today in quietness. I pray that I may be content today that God will take care of me.


The Language of Letting Go – Codependency

Getting Through Hard Times

We are sturdy beings. But in many ways, we are fragile. We can accept change and loss, but this comes at our own pace and in our own way. And only God and we can determine the timing.

—Codependent No More

Hard times, stressful times, are not all there is to life, but they are part of life, growth, and moving forward.

What we do with hard times, or hard energy, is our choice.

We can use the energy of hard times to work out, and work through, our issues. We can use it to fine-tune our skills and our spirituality. Or we can go through these situations suffering, storing up bitterness, and refusing to grow or change.

Hard times can motivate and mold us to bring out our best. We can use these times to move forward and upward to higher levels of living, loving, and growth.

The choice is ours. Will we let ourselves feel? Will we take a spiritual approach, including gratitude, toward the event? Will we question life and our Higher Power by asking what we’re supposed to be learning and doing? Or will we use the incident to prove old, negative beliefs? Will we say, “Nothing good ever happens to me… I’m just a victim… People can’t be trusted… Life isn’t worth living”?

We do not always require hard energy, or stress, to motivate us to grow and change. We do not have to create stress, seek it, or attract it. But if it’s there, we can learn to channel it into growth and use it for achieving what’s good in life.

God, let my hard times be healing times.


Touchstone – Men’s Meditation

When people are loving, brave, truthful, charitable, God is present.

—Harold Kushner

For many of us, our spiritual awakening began when we first heard our Higher Power might be our group. We learned that God may exist in the connections between people in our group just as well as within each individual. As we members exchange care and help with each other, as each struggles to achieve complete honesty and wrestles bravely with old temptations, God is truly in our midst. Closeness flourishes because we felt so alone but then found friends who suffered in similar ways. It is an expression of a spirit beyond our rational control.

When we ask another member to listen to us, we contribute to the strength of this spirit. When we give someone a ride to a meeting or spread the word about this program to other suffering men and women, we make a contribution and receive its benefits. Even now, if we need a renewal of confidence in God’s presence in our lives, we can telephone another member and just talk. We will quickly sense the spirit.

Today, I am grateful to feel God’s presence in my life and within the people around me.


Elder’s Meditation

“Knowledge is a beautiful thing, but the use of knowledge in a good way is what makes for wisdom. Learning how to use knowledge in a sacred manner, that’s wisdom to me. And to me, that’s what a true Elder is.”

–Sun Bear, CHIPPEWA

We grow in wisdom by developing ourselves according to the four directions of the Medicine Wheel – emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually. Let’s say we started drinking and drugging in our teenage years. Our emotional development will stop, but we will grow older physically. We could then develop into an immature adult. As adults we might be acting like we were teenagers. Once we stop drinking or drugging, our emotional development will begin again. We need to grow and nurture ourselves in all four directions. We need to involve the Great Spirit’s guidance in our development. That’s the only way we become wise individuals and live our lives in harmony and in a sacred way.

Oh Great Spirit, guide my thinking today. Let me walk in a sacred way on the Red Road. Let me be a learner of lessons and give me Your greatest gift – wisdom!


Daily Horoscope – Cancer

You might care too much about what others think now, especially regarding your career. It’s invaluable to be respected by those you serve and support. But you’re swerving off track if you’re performing for praise, high traffic on your social media, or a golden seal of approval from someone you admire. The best kind of reward is the appreciation you earn for giving your most sincere effort and raising the bar of excellence. At the end of the day, the person who must be most pleased with your work is you.

DR – September 14, 2019

Daily Recovery Readings
September 14, 2019


Daily Reflection

PEACE OF MIND

Do we lay the matter before our sponsor or spiritual adviser, earnestly asking God’s help and guidance — meanwhile resolving to do the right thing when it becomes clear, cost what it may?

— TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, pp. 86-87

My belief in a Higher Power is an essential part of my work on Step Nine; forgiveness, timing, and right motives are the other ingredients. My willingness to do the Step is a growing experience that opens the door for new and honest relationships with the people I have harmed. My responsible action brings me closer to the spiritual principles of the program — love and service. Peace of mind, serenity, and a stronger faith are sure to follow.

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


Big Book Quote

“Helping others is the foundation stone of your recovery. A kindly act once in a while isnt enough. You have to act the Good Samaritan every day, if need be.”

~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, Working With Others, pg. 97~


24 Hours a Day – The Little Black Book

Thought for the Day

“How does A.A. grow? Some of us sell A.A. as we go about. Little clusters of twos and threes and fives keep springing up in different communities, through contact with the larger centers. Those of us who travel drop in at other groups as often as we can. This practice enables us to lend a hand to new groups, which are springing up all over the land. New groups are being started each month. A.A. is even spreading outside the United States and is slowly becoming worldwide. Thus we grow.” Am I doing all I can to spread A.A. wherever I go?

Meditation for the Day

“Lord we believe. Help Thou our unbelief.” This cry of the human heart is an expression of human frailty. It signifies the soul’s sincere desire for progress. As a person feels the existence of God and His power, that person believes in Him more and more. At the same time, a person is more conscious of his falling short of absolute trust in God. The soul’s progress is an increasing belief, then a cry for more faith, a plea to conquer all unbelief, all lack of trust. We can believe that that cry is heard by God and that prayer is answered in due time. And so our faith grows, little by little, day by day.

Prayer for the Day

I pray that with more power in my life will come more faith. I pray that I may come to trust God more each day.


The Language of Letting Go – Codependency

What’s Good for Me?

When we are soul searching, be it for the smaller or larger decisions we face during the day, we can learn to ask, is this good for me?… Is this what I really want?… Is this what I need?…Does this direction feel right for me?…or am I succumbing to the control and influence that I sometimes allow others to have over me?

It is not unhealthy selfishness to question if something is good for us. That is an old way of thinking. To ask if something is good for us is a healthy behavior, not to be ashamed of, and will probably work out in the other person’s best interests too.

We shall not wander down a selfish path of self-indulgence by asking if a thing is good for us. We shall not stray from God’s intended plan, God’s highest good, by asking if a thing is good for us. By asking ourselves this simple question, we participate in directing our life toward the highest good and purpose; we own our power to hold ourselves in self-esteem.

Today, I will begin acting in my best interests. I will do this with the understanding that, on occasion, my choices will not please everyone around me. I will do this with the understanding that asking if a thing is good for me will ultimately help me take true responsibility for my life and my choices.


Touchstone – Men’s Meditation

When a person drowns himself in negative thinking he is committing an unspeakable crime against himself.

—Maxwell Maltz

Negative thoughts can rule our lives as compulsively as an addiction. The feelings of power we get from holding a dismal and gloomy outlook deprive us of the positive and pleasant parts of life. Some of us have said, “If I expect the worst, I won’t be disappointed. If I think the worst about myself, no one else can cut me down.” It is like taking a driving trip and looking only for trash and garbage in the ditches, ignoring the beauty beyond. Indeed, what we see may be real, but it is a very limited piece of the picture.

When we have relied on negative thinking, it feels risky to give it up. We cannot do it in one day. We can begin by imagining ourselves with a more open attitude toward the world and ourselves. Then we can try it out as an experiment in little ways, with no commitment. Finally we reach the point where we can take a risk and entrust our Higher Power with the outcome.

Today, I will experiment with hopeful and positive thoughts about what happens.


Elder’s Meditation

“Follow the Old One’s advise.”

–Tom Porter, MOHAWK

The Old One is called by many different names – Grandfather, The Four directions, Father Sky, Mother Earth. We should seek the advice of the Old One to help us build our vision. He will put inside of our mind and heart the vision that we are to follow. This vision is recognizable by the feeling that it has with it. This feeling is hard to describe. It feels right, it feels calm, it feels joyful, it feels warm, it feels sacred. The Old One has a way of letting us know it really is His advice. Listen carefully!

Grandfather, I’m listening.


Daily Horoscope – Cancer

Polishing your expertise and knowledge nets positive results. The Pisces Full Moon brightens your 9th House of Higher Learning, motivating you to enroll in a class or catch up on materials in your field. Keying in on the details, whether through reviewing actual case studies or creating your own scenarios, empowers your ability to apply your newfound wisdom in practical ways. The more information you have at your fingertips, the more others will call on you and your skills.