DR – January 10, 2019

Daily Recovery Readings
January 10, 2019

Daily Reflection

UNITED WE STAND

We learned that we had to fully concede to our innermost selves that we were alcoholics. This is the first step in recovery. The delusion that we are like other people, or presently may be, has to be smashed.

— ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 30

I came to Alcoholics Anonymous because I was no longer able to control my drinking. It was either my wife’s complaining about my drinking, or maybe the sheriff forced me to go to A.A. meetings, or perhaps I knew, deep down inside, that I couldn’t drink like others, but I was unwilling to admit it because the alternative terrified me. Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women united against a common, fatal disease. Each one of our lives is linked to every other, much like the survivors on a life raft at sea. If we all work together, we can get safely to shore.

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

Big Book Quote

“If we are painstaking about this phase of our development, we will be amazed before we are half way through. We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness. We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it. We will comprehend the word serenity and we will know peace. No matter how far down the scale we have gone, we will see how our experience can benefit others. That feeling of uselessness and self-pity will disappear. We will lose interest in selfish things and gain interest in our fellows. Self-seeking will slip away. Our whole attitude and outlook upon life will change. Fear of people and of economic insecurity will leave us. We will intuitively know how to handle situations which used to baffle us. We will suddenly realize that God is doing for us what we could not do for ourselves.”

~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, Into Action, Page 83~

The Language of Letting Go – CoDependency

Fear

Do not be too timid and squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better. What if they are a little coarse, and. you may get your coat soiled or torn? What if you do fail, and get fairly rolled in the dirt once or twice? Up again; you shall never be so afraid of a tumble.

—Ralph Waldo Emerson

Fear can be a big stopper for many of us: fear of fragility, fear of failure, fear of making a mistake, fear of what others might think, fear of success. We may second-guess our next action or word until we talk ourselves out of participating in life.

“But I failed before!” “I can’t do it good enough!” “Look at what happened last time!” “What if.. .?” These statements may disguise fear. Sometimes the fear is disguising shame.

After I finished the first two chapters of a book I was writing, I read them and grimaced. “No good,” I thought. “Can’t do it.” I was ready to pitch the chapters, and my writing career, out the window. A writer friend called, and I told her about my problem. She listened and told me: “those chapters are fine. Stop being afraid. Stop criticizing yourself. And keep on writing.”

I followed her advice. The book I almost threw away became a New York Times best seller.

Relax. Our best is good enough. It may be better than we think. Even our failures may turn out to be important learning experiences that lead directly to – and are necessary for – an upcoming success.

Feel the fear, and then let it go. Jump in and do it – whatever it is. If our instincts and path have led us there, it’s where we need to be.

Today, I will participate in life to the best of my ability. Regardless of the outcome, that makes me a winner.

Touchstone – Men’s Meditation

If you don’t take chances, you can’t do anything in life. —Michael Spinks

Many of us have done things that, in looking back, seem insane or dangerous. We may have had friends or family members who got into serious trouble and frightened us by their risky behavior. Out of fear, we may have become too cautious about everything.

Our dilemma is that growth is a risk, too. If we avoid all risk, we become stagnant. Life thrives on possibilities and options. Of course, risk means the outcome is unsure. We may not get the result we desire. But not all risk taking is as self-destructive as it was in our past. Now we have our relationship with our Higher Power and ourselves. Now taking a chance may help us grow, even when we don’t get what we want.

Today let me see possibilities, and guide my inner sense of when to take a chance for growth.

Elder’s Meditation

“We cannot escape remembering the important things that have happened, and we cannot escape the awareness of the important things that have not happened.”

–Ralph Salisbury, CHEROKEE

There is a Master Plan. There are Natural Laws that run the universe. Everything on the earth has a purpose. Change is constant. That which is built is constantly being destroyed. That which is loose is being used to build new things. Nothing can be destroyed, only rearranged. Change will happen and every setback is only temporary. In other words, the Creator is in charge. We are not in charge. He designed the universe. He runs the universe and He will change what needs to be changed. As humans, it is easier for us to participate in all of this if we are spiritual. We need to be tuned in. Therefore, God gave us the spiritual concept of acceptance. When things change, we can change ourselves through the principle of acceptance.

Great Spirit, let me live today in acceptance of Your will. Today let us do it Your way.

Daily Horoscope – Cancer

Look for messages that come from the divine today. It might be something as complex as a book or as simple as a meme. The food for thought or inspiration derived from it lingers to trigger your intuition. Let it dance through your mind as often as it wants. Your higher mind often speaks through the voice of what resonates. If it is trying to tell you something, it’s certainly worth hearing. Good thoughts translate into kindness, and kindness into enlightenment.

DR – January 9, 2019

Daily Recovery Readings
January 9, 2019

Daily Reflection
AN ACT OF PROVIDENCE

It is truly awful to admit that, glass in hand, we have warped our minds into such an obsession for destructive drinking that only an act of Providence can remove it from us.

— TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 21

My act of Providence, (a manifestation of divine care and direction), came as I experienced the total bankruptcy of active alcoholism—everything meaningful in my life was gone. I telephoned Alcoholics Anonymous and, from that instant, my life has never been the same. When I reflect on that very special moment, I know that God was working in my life long before I was able to acknowledge and accept spiritual concepts. The glass was put down through this one act of Providence and my journey into sobriety began. My life continues to unfold with divine care and direction. Step One, in which I admitted I was powerless over alcohol, that my life had become unmanageable, takes on more meaning for me—one day at a time—in the life-saving, life-giving Fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous.

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

Big Book Quote

“We feel we are on the Broad Highway, walking hand in hand with the Spirit of the Universe.”

~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, Into Action, Page 75~

The Language of Letting Go – CoDependency

Responsibility for Ourselves

We have been doing the wrong things for the right reasons.

—CODEPENDENT NO MORE

Caretaking: the act of taking responsibility for other people while neglecting responsibility for ourselves. When we instinctively feel responsible for the feelings, thoughts, choices, problems, comfort, and destiny of others, we are caretakers. We may believe, at an unconscious level, that others are responsible for our happiness, just as we’re responsible for theirs.

It’s a worthy goal to be a considerate, loving, nurturing person. But caretaking is neglecting us to the point of feeling victimized. Caretaking involves caring for others in ways that hamper them in learning to take responsibility for themselves.

Caretaking doesn’t work. It hurts other people; it hurts us. People get angry. They feel hurt, used, and victimized. So do we.

The kindest and most generous behavior we can choose is taking responsibility for ourselves – for what we think, feel, want, and need. The most beneficial act we can perform is to be true to ourselves, and let others take responsibility for themselves.

Today, I will pay attention to my actual responsibilities to myself. I will let others do the same. If I am in doubt about what my actual responsibilities are, I will take an inventory.

Touchstone – Men’s Meditation

Fear is an emotion indispensable for survival.

—Hannah Arendt

We men face fear many times in life. Sometimes it’s an inner voice, warning us of danger. Some fears remain from the paranoia caused by our former abuses and excesses. In recovery, we feel many new emotions, and we’re afraid because we don’t understand them. Any normal feeling can seem abnormal and frightening to a man who is feeling it for the first few times. We may think it isn’t manly to be afraid, so we become afraid of our fear! At these times, we need to turn to our Higher Power for guidance.

We have friends we can talk to. When we simply say, “I am afraid” to a trusted friend, the fear may vanish. Sometimes it’s not that easy, and we have to talk in detail about our fear. In the end, when we submit our lives to the care of our Higher Power, we know that whatever happens, nothing can separate us from the love of God.

In my fear, help me remember the comfort of my closeness to my Higher Power and my loved ones. I can reach out, and I am never alone.

Elder’s Meditation

“So, with the Native way, it’s not whether people find out about what you’ve done or not… that’s not nearly as strong as having your source of morality within you, having your morality arise out of an inner perception of what is wrong, ridiculous, or shameful. You are your own judge.”

— Eunice Baumann-Nelson, Ph.D., PENOBSCOT

Inside each of us is a voice. It is a quiet voice. It is a guiding voice. If we listen for it, it will guide us, and help us avoid disaster. It is especially active when we are afraid, when we are in doubt, when we are scared, when we need help, and when we get angry. If we are excited emotionally, it is hard to hear this voice. If we are angry, it’s hard to hear this voice because it is usually quiet. The best thing we can do is to practice getting quiet. If we don’t get quiet, there is another voice called the judge. It tells us to attack or say bad things to other people or to judge ourselves. This voice is loud and usually gets us into trouble.

Creator, Great Mystery, help me listen for the quiet voice. Let me know this voice of Yours.Your ways are gentle. Guide me with this voice. Thank you.

Daily Horoscope – Cancer

There’s not a lot that’s conventional about what is on your mind today. Whatever the topic, activity, or task, you have your own unique spin on it. The more variety you can cram into your schedule now, the happier you are and the faster the day hums along. Some say success is a simple matter of doing what you love on your own terms. The mood you’re presently in heartily agrees. In fact, following your dreams is a philosophy that is worthy of your standing ovation.

DR – January 8, 2019

Daily Recovery Readings
January 8, 2019

Daily Reflection

DO I HAVE A CHOICE?

The fact is that most alcoholics, for reasons yet obscure, have lost the power of choice in drink. Our so-called will power becomes practically nonexistent.

— ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 24

My powerlessness over alcohol does not cease when I quit drinking. In sobriety I still have no choice — I can’t drink.

The choice I do have is to pick up and use the “kit of spiritual tools” (Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 25). When I do that, my Higher Power relieves me of my lack of choice—and keeps me sober one more day. If I could choose not to pick up a drink today, where then would be my need for A.A. or a Higher Power?

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

Big Book Quote

“We found that God does not make too hard terms with those who seek Him. To us, the Realm of Spirit is broad, roomy, all inclusive; never exclusive or forbidding to those who earnestly seek. It is open, we believe, to all men.”

~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, We Agnostics, Page 46~

The Language of Letting Go – CoDependency

Vulnerability

Some of us may have made a decision that no one was ever going to hurt us again. We may automatically go on “feelings freeze mode” when faced with emotional pain. Or, we may terminate a relationship the first time we feel hurt. Hurt feelings are a part of life, relationships, and recovery. It is understandable that we don’t want to feel any more pain. Many of us have had more than our share, in fact, at some time in our life, we may have been overwhelmed, crushed, or stopped in our tracks by the amount of pain we felt. We may not have had the resources to cope with our pain or take care of ourselves.

That was yesterday. Today, we don’t have to be so frightened of pain. It does not have to overwhelm us. We are becoming strong enough to deal with hurt feelings. And we don’t have to become martyrs, claiming that hurt feelings and suffering are all there is to life.

We need only allow ourselves to feel vulnerable enough to feel hurt, when that’s appropriate, and take responsibility for our feelings, behaviors, and what we need to do to take care of ourselves. We don’t have to analyze or justify our feelings. We need to feel them, and try not to let them control our behavior.

Maybe our pain is showing us we need to set a boundary; maybe it’s showing us we’re going in a wrong direction; maybe it’s triggering a deep healing process.

It’s okay to feel hurt; it’s okay to cry; it’s okay to heal; it’s okay to move on to the next feeling, when it’s time. Our willingness and capacity to feel joy will eventually match our willingness and capacity to feel hurt.

Being in recovery does not mean immunity from pain; it means learning to take loving care of ourselves when we are in pain.

Today, I will not strike out at those who cause me pain. I will feel my emotions and take responsibility for them. I will accept hurt feelings as part of being in relationships. l am willing to surrender to the pain as well as the joy in life.

Touchstone – Men’s Meditation

In wildness is the preservation of the world. —Henry David Thoreau

Nature confronts us with its beauty in a flower or a furry animal. The awesomeness of nature is in a lightning bolt or a majestic mountain. Every variety of tree has its own uniquely textured bark. Each annual ring in a tree trunk is a natural record of the growing conditions in each year it grew. These things remind us we are not in charge, and we are moved by the experience.

This wildness is everywhere around us, and we are renewed by it when we interact with it. At night, in the city, we look up and see the ancient moon. When we live with a pet, it reminds us we are creatures too. We are part of this larger whole. We don’t just appreciate nature – we are nature. When we open our eyes and learn to be a part of it, it renews and lifts our spirits.

Today, I will notice my relationship with the sun and moon, with the plants and animals in my world.

Elder’s Meditation

“Native Americans are essentially calling for righteousness. By this they mean a shared ideology developed by all people using their purest and most unselfish minds.” — Lorraine Canoe/Tom Porter, MOHAWK

The Native way is to first focus on decisions that will be good for the people and then for yourself. Righteousness means “to think right.” Our way is to consider the good of all first. This helps our minds to be unselfish and pure. This it he spiritual way. This can be very hard to do because the world we live in says to take care of yourself first. A man of God cannot be taken advantage of unless it is the will of the Creator. The Creator really controls everything. To have a good future, the people must gather in a circle and pray for the highest good for the people.

Great Mystery, today let me love instead of being loved. Let me be giving instead of receiving. Show me the advantages of having a giving heart.

Daily Horoscope – Cancer

Assume a psychological posture like that of your zodiacal counterpart in nature, the Crab. Be ready to duck, dodge, sidestep, back-up, or scurry forward, all with equal dexterity. The instincts that can help you best navigate today are so deeply seated that you need give them nary a thought and they’ll work for you. Protect your position, your reputation, and recent progress by staying tuned into the demands of the moment at hand. Trust your instinctive responsiveness to steer you in the right direction.

DR – January 7, 2019

Daily Recovery Readings
January 7, 2019

Daily Reflection

AT THE TURNING POINT

Half measures availed us nothing. We stood at the turning point. We asked His protection and care with complete abandon.

— ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 59

Every day I stand at turning points. My thoughts and actions can propel me toward growth or turn me down the road to old habits and to booze. Sometimes turning points are beginnings, as when I decide to start praising, instead of condemning someone. Or when I begin to ask for help instead of going it alone. At other times turning points are endings, such as when I see clearly the need to stop festering resentments or crippling self-seeking. Many shortcomings tempt me daily; therefore, I also have daily opportunities to become aware of them. In one form or another, many of my character defects appear daily: self-condemnation, anger, running away, being prideful, wanting to get even, or acting out of grandiosity.

Attempting half measures to eliminate these defects merely paralyzes my efforts to change. It is only when I ask God for help, with complete abandon, that I become willing—and able—to change.

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

Big Book Quote

“The delusion that we are like other people, or presently may be, has to be smashed.”

~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, More About Alcoholism, Page 30~

The Language of Letting Go – CoDependency

Dealing with Painful Feelings

Feelings of hurt or anger can be some of the most difficult to face. We can feel so vulnerable, frightened, and powerless when these feelings appear. And these feelings may trigger memories of other, similar times when we felt powerless.

Sometimes, to gain a sense of control, we may punish the people around us, whether they are people we blame for these feelings or innocent bystanders. We may try to “get even,” or we may manipulate behind people’s backs to gain a sense of power over the situation.

These actions may give us a temporary feeling of satisfaction, but they only postpone facing our pain.

Feeling hurt does not have to be so frightening. We do not have to work so hard to avoid it. While hurt feelings aren’t as much fun as feeling happy, they are, still, just feelings.

We can surrender to them, feel them, and go on. That does not mean we have to seek out hurt feelings or dwell unnecessarily on them. Emotional pain does not have to devastate us. We can sit still, feel the pain, figure out if there’s something we need to do to take care of ourselves, and then go on with our life.

We do not have to act in haste; we do not have to punish others to get control over our feelings. We can begin sharing our hurt feelings with others. That brings relief and often healing to them and to us.

Eventually, we learn the lesson that real power comes from allowing ourselves to be vulnerable enough to feel hurt. Real power comes from knowing we can take care of ourselves, even when we feel emotional pain. Real power comes when we stop holding others responsible for our pain, and we take responsibility for all our feelings.

Today, I will surrender to my feelings, even the emotionally painful ones. Instead of acting in haste, or attempting to punish someone, I will be vulnerable enough to feel my feelings.

Touchstone – Men’s Meditation

To be happy one must risk unhappiness; to live fully one must risk death and accept its ultimate decision.

—Judd Manner

All of us, in confronting our powerlessness, have felt the truth of this paradox. If we truly admitted how far out of control our drinking was, would we be able to survive without alcohol? If we stopped caretaking, would we have any place in our relationships? If we let go of our food obsessions, would there be any pleasure left in life? Yet, we can see much of our behavior was destroying us. We had to let go of it to begin learning a better way of living.

We can face our powerlessness in very specific ways. Let us look at today’s concerns as spiritual issues with lessons for us. Does an opportunity seem like a problem because of the risk involved? Are we frustrated because we cannot accept the limits of our control? We will face our powerlessness today in ways we cannot fully anticipate. When we are honest with ourselves and face it directly, we can take the risk of letting go.

Let me not be so tied to what I have or to what I want that I cannot lean on God’s love and take a risk for growth.

Elder’s Meditation

“When we become hollow bones there is no limit to what the Higher Powers can do in and through us in spiritual things.”

–Frank Fools Crow, LAKOTA

If we want to be of maximum use to the Creator, we must ready ourselves to do so. if we are to become a channel for His purposes, we must prepare ourselves to do so. If we have resentment, fear, selfishness, or anger, we are not hollow bones. We must be rid of these things. We must change ourselves. We must ask for forgiveness for ourselves and forgive our brothers and sisters. We must keep our insides clean. We cannot use our power in a good way when we have blockages such as hate, judgement, and envy. When we are free of these things the Higher Powers can use us beyond our wildest imagination. Then we can really help ourselves and help our people. Only when we are hollow bones can we have an effect on the world.

Oh Great Spirit, remove from me the things that block my usefulness to You. Remove from my day all thinking that is out of harmony with Your ways. Grant me Your peace and allow me to function as a hollow bone.

Daily Horoscope – Cancer

The more that’s on your to-do list today, the more tempting it is to stop and smell the roses. Sure, this might be a lovely form of procrastination, but there’s another, healthier possibility, too. Although it seems counter intuitive, there are many benefits to slowing down and lightening up. Spirits are refreshed by occasionally pausing long enough to share a laugh with a friend or appreciate the beauty of a flower. If it’s just avoidance, it’s a no-no. But if it’s a bonafide way to recharge enthusiasm, it’s a yes-yes. Life is short; find joy in the ordinary.

DR – January 6, 2019

Daily Recovery Readings
January 6, 2019

Daily Reflection

THE VICTORY OF SURRENDER

We perceive that only through utter defeat are we able to take our first steps toward liberation and strength. Our admissions of personal powerlessness finally turn out to be firm bedrock upon which happy and purposeful lives may be built.

— TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 21

When alcohol influenced every facet of my life, when bottles became the symbol of all my self indulgence and permissiveness, when I came to realize that, by myself, I could do nothing to overcome the power of alcohol, I realized I had no recourse except surrender. In surrender I found victory—victory over my selfish self-indulgence, victory over my stubborn resistance to life as it was given to me. When I stopped fighting anybody or anything, I started on the path to sobriety, serenity and peace.

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

“Faith without works is dead.”

~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, Into Action, Page 76~

The Language of Letting Go – CoDependency

Relationships

If we are unhappy without a relationship, we’ll probably be unhappy with one as well. A relationship doesn’t begin our life; a relationship doesn’t become our life. A relationship is a continuation of life.

— Beyond Codependency

Relationships are the blessing and bane of recovery. Relationships are where we take our recovery show on the road.

Each day, we are faced with the prospect of functioning in several different relationships. Sometimes, we choose these relationships; sometimes, we don’t. The one choice we usually have in our relationships concerns our own behavior. In recovery from codependency, our goal is to behave in ways that demonstrate responsibility for us.

We’re learning to acknowledge our power to take care of ourselves in our relationships. We’re learning to be intimate with people when possible.

Do we need to detach from someone who we’ve been trying to control? Is there someone we need to talk to, even though what we have to say may be uncomfortable? Is there someone we’ve been avoiding because we’re afraid to take care of ourselves with that person? Do we need to make an amend? Is there someone we need to reach out to, or show love?

Recovery is not done apart from our relationships. Recovery is done by learning to own our power and to take care of ourselves in relationships.

Today, I will participate in my relationships to the best of my ability. I will make myself available for closeness and sharing with people I trust. I will ask for what I need and give what feels right.

Touchstone – Men’s Meditation

Being human is difficult. Becoming human is a lifelong process. To be truly human is a gift.

—Abraham Heschel

The processes of becoming more human, becoming a real person, and finding spiritual enlightenment are very similar. They require slow growth over time. We can only follow these paths in small steps, one day or one hour at a time. Many of us grew up in families with an addicted parent. We, too, went to great excesses and have been abusive to others and ourselves. Because of these problems, we developed a distorted outlook on life. Now we still demand quick and complete fixes for recovery.

Our program says, “Look to this day.” It is a difficult path to learn, but we only take it in small steps. There are no instant fixes for any human being. Yet, when we surrender to the reality of life, we are given the gift of true humanity. We feel like real people, we love others, and we enjoy the pleasure of true contact with them.

I am grateful I can be a part of the process. Help me give up my drive to control it.

Elder’s Meditation

“When we’re through with this earth and all these problems, we don’t have to come back. But as long as we’re here we have a job to do and a purpose to fulfill, and that means dealing with the circumstances around us.”

–Rolling Thunder, CHEROKEE

We are put on the earth to participate in life. We have a beautiful mind, we have the ability to pray, we have the ability to change, we have the ability to accept, and we have choices. All things God created are constantly changing. This constant change causes our circumstances to change. Sometimes we say life is difficult. During these times we need to use our tools: the tools of prayer, and the tools of meditation. We are designed to change and live joyfully on this earth. The only requirement for living joyfully is to live according to the laws, principles, and values given to us by the Creator.

Daily Horoscope – Cancer

Your future is calling today, and you can’t think about anything else. Even if you’re not yet ready to talk about it with others, you’re feeling motivated to explore options related to furthering your education, changing your occupational direction, or taking a significant step into the arena of politics. The presence of radical Uranus in your 10th House of Career has you toying with a myriad of possibilities. There are plenty of variables to be considered and maybe this is just a passing mood. It certainly is fun to dream but it’s even more satisfying to make your dreams come true.

DR – January 5, 2018

Daily Recovery Readings
January 5, 2019

Daily Reflection

TOTAL ACCEPTANCE

He cannot picture life without alcohol. Some day he will be unable to imagine life either with alcohol or without it. Then he will know loneliness such as few do. He will be at the jumping-off place. He will wish for the end.

— ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 152

Only an alcoholic can understand the exact meaning of a statement like this one. The double standard that held me captive as an active alcoholic also filled me with terror and confusion: “If I don’t get a drink I’m going to die,” competed with “If I continue drinking it’s going to kill me.” Both compulsive thoughts pushed me ever closer to the bottom. That bottom produced a total acceptance of my alcoholism—with no reservations whatsoever—and one that was absolutely essential for my recovery. It was a dilemma unlike anything I had ever faced, but as I found out later on, a necessary one if I was to succeed in this program.

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

Big Book Quote

“We represent no particular faith or denomination. We are dealing only with general principles common to most denominations.”

~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, Working With Others, Page 93~

The Language of Letting Go – CoDependency

Accepting Help

Some of us have felt so alienated that we’ve forgotten we’re not alone. We’ve come to believe that we have to do it ourselves. Some of us have been abandoned. Some have gone without love. Some of us have gotten used to people never being there for us. Some of us have struggled, had hard lessons to learn.

God’s there, always ready to help. There is an ample supply of people to care about us too. We will, if we want it, receive love and support, comfort and nurturing. If we take the risk to ask for it, help is there. We can draw on the strength of our recovery group and allow ourselves to be helped and supported by our Higher Power. Friends will come, good friends.

We aren’t alone. And we don’t have to do it ourselves. We’re not doing it ourselves. There is no shortage of love. Not anymore.

Today, God, help me let go of my need to do it alone and my belief that I am alone. Help me tap into Your Divine Power and Presence, and your resources for love, support, and friendship. Open my eyes and heart so I can see the love, help, and support that’s there for me. Help me know I am loved.

Touchstone – Men’s Meditation

Be able to be alone. Lose not the advantage of solitude. —Sir Thomas Browne

Loneliness and solitude are very different things. When we’re lonely, we feel sad about being alone. But when we’re in solitude, we have ourselves and can be at peace. Many of us have had so much pain in our relationships that we often feel lonely. Or we may have been so frightened of being alone that now we avoid it like poison. All of us have known the pain of loneliness, even while we were surrounded by people.

Through solitude we can become more fully acquainted with ourselves, develop greater honesty, and deepen our spiritual development. Each day, as we spend time alone in meditation, we make conscious contact with God and join other men in spirit who also walk this path. Even in our solitude we are not alone.

In this quiet time, I reestablish peace within and find the spirit of my fellow men and women on a similar path.

Elder’s Meditation

“But first, let us join hands and pray.”  –Starleaf, SHINNECOCK

Where two or more human beings joined together for a common cause, the helpers and the Grandfathers will show up to help. When our Indian people come together, the Elders say, “Always pray first, do a ceremony and ask the Creator to be with us and to help us. We can never pray enough.” The Elders also say, “pray in a circle because the Creator made things in circles. When we stand in a circle and pray together, a sacred hoop will form above the people. This is the spiritual way.”

Oh Great Spirit, through my prayers I can find Your guidance. I pray You guide my path today. Touch my life with Your holy breath.

Daily Horoscope – Cancer

You’re acutely aware of what you’re looking for from another today, in friendship, in romance, or even in an everyday interaction. Since you are perfectly willing to uphold your end of the accepted social protocol in nearly any given situation, you expect others to perform the same courtesy. The Capricorn New Moon Eclipse energizes your 7th House of Relationships, making you hyper-alert to the subtle dynamics of interpersonal give-and-take. It’s proper balance that you’re after and you are unwilling to settle for anything less.

DR – January 4, 2019

Daily Recovery Readings
January 4, 2019

Daily Reflection

BEGIN WHERE YOU ARE

We feel that elimination of our drinking is but a beginning. A much more important demonstration of our principles lies before us in our respective homes, occupations and affairs.

— ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 19

It’s usually pretty easy for me to be pleasant to the people in an A.A. setting. While I’m working to stay sober, I’m celebrating with my fellow A.A.s our common release from the hell of drinking. It’s often not so hard to spread glad tidings to my old and new friends in the program.

At home or at work, though, it can be a different story. It is in situations arising in both of those areas that the little day-to-day frustrations are most evident, and where it can be tough to smile or reach out with a kind word or an attentive ear. It’s outside of the A.A. rooms that I face the real test of the effectiveness of my walk through A.A.’s Twelve Steps.

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

Big Book Quote

“To be doomed to an alcoholic death or to live on a spiritual basis are not always easy  alternatives to face.”

~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, We Agnostics, Page 44~

The Language of Letting Go – Codependency

Separating from Family Issues

We can draw a healthy line, a healthy boundary, between our nuclear family and ourselves. We can separate ourselves from their issues.

Some of us may have family members who are addicted to alcohol and other drugs and who are not in recovery from their addiction.

Some of us may have family members who have unresolved codependency issues. Family members may be addicted to misery, pain, suffering, martyrdom, and victimization. We may have family members who have unresolved abuse issues or unresolved family of origin issues.

We may have family members who are addicted to work, eating, or sex. Our family may be completely enmeshed, or we may have a disconnected family in which the members have little contact.

We may be like our family. We may love our family. But we are separate human beings with individual rights and issues. One of our primary rights is to begin feeling better and recovering, whether or not others in the family choose to do the same.

We do not have to feel guilty about finding happiness and a life that works. And we do not have to take on our family’s issues as our own to be loyal and to show we love them.

Often when we begin taking care of ourselves, family members will reverberate with overt and covert attempts to pull us back into the old system and roles. We do not have to go. Their attempts to pull us back are their issues. Taking care of ourselves and becoming healthy and happy does not mean we do not love them. It means we’re addressing our issues.

We do not have to judge them because they have issues; nor do we have to allow them to do anything they would like to us just because they are family.

We are free now, free to take care of ourselves with family members. Our freedom starts when we stop denying then issues, and politely, but assertively, hand their stuff back to them – where it belongs – and deal with our own issues.

Today, I will separate myself from family members, I am a separate human being, even though I belong to a unit called a family. I have a right to my own issues and growth; my family members have a right to their issues and a right to choose where and when they will deal with these issues. I can learn to detach in love from my family members and their issues. I am willing to work through all necessary feelings in order to accomplish this.

Touchstone – Men’s Meditation

There is no method or discipline or system of any kind that can ever command the spirit to  be present. —Tom Sampon

A man in the process of growth and recovery asks the question, “How shall I develop a relationship with my Higher Power?” The first answer is usually, “You can decide to be open to the spiritual messages that come your way.” Some experiences in life can be mastered and directed, as in performing a task or going on a trip. We can have other experiences only by being receptive. They come our way, as in the growing of a friendship or the unpredictable events on a trip.

To be receptive, we must not be so busy with what we can control that we fail to notice all the experiences, which are there for us. Our senses need to be open to see what is around us and hear what is in the air. We must breathe in the beauty and pain of life. When there is a message in our experiences, let us read it and not demand it fit our narrow, logical minds.

Today, I pray that I will be open to receive the spirit on its own terms.

Elder’s Meditation

“Our circle is timeless, flowing, it is a new life emerging from death-life winning out over death.” — Lame Deer, LAKOTA

When we look at the world in the manner which the Great Spirit designed it, we can see why it makes sense to live in harmony with it: the trees grow and bear fruit, the fruit has seeds, the seeds fall to the ground, the ground grows new trees, old trees die to make way for the young. Any time we think we can interrupt this cycle or change it we will experience turmoil and confusion. The Human Cycle exists as the baby becomes the youth, the youth becomes the adult, the adult has children, the adult becomes the Elder, and the Elder teaches the youth. Elders go on to the Spirit World. Spirit comes into babies to produce new life. Flow into the flow. Be the path of least resistance.

My Creator and my Maker, today, teach me to just flow with the river of life.

Daily Horoscope – Cancer

Don’t underestimate your own role in shaping the course of events today. You may choose to play it low key or assert your will loudly and proudly — it’s really up to you. Whatever your choices, be fully aware of your creative power. Whether in business matters or personal negotiations, be a champion for the outcome you hope to see manifest. It might very well be your intuition that gives you the winning edge. Set your sixth sense loose to blaze a path you can see in the dark.