DR – April 15, 2019

Daily Recovery Readings
April 15, 2019


Daily Reflection

THE BONDAGE OF RESENTMENTS

“. . . harboring resentment is infinitely grave. For then we shut ourselves off from the sunlight of the spirit.”

— AS BILL SEES IT, p. 5

It has been said, “Anger is a luxury I cannot afford.” Does this suggest I ignore this human emotion? I believe not. Before I learned of the A.A. program, I was a slave to the behavior patterns of alcoholism. I was chained to negativity, with no hope of cutting loose.

The Steps offered me an alternative. Step Four was the beginning of the end of my bondage. The process of “letting go” started with an inventory. I needed not be frightened, for the previous Steps assured me I was not alone. My Higher Power led me to this door and gave me the gift of choice. Today I can choose to open the door to freedom and rejoice in the sunlight of the Steps, as they cleanse the spirit within me.

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


Big Book Quote

“The tremendous fact for everyone of us is that we have discovered a common solution. We have a way out on which we can absolutely agree, and upon which we can join in brotherly and harmonious action. This is the great news this book carries to those who suffer from alcoholism.”

Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, p. 17


24 Hours a Day – The Little Black Book

Thought for the Day

Terrible things could have happened to any one of us. We never will know what might have happened to us when we were drunk. We usually thought: “That couldn’t happen to me.” But any one of us could have killed somebody or have been killed ourselves, if we were drunk enough. But fear of these things never kept us from drinking. Do I believe that in A.A. we have something more effective than fear?

Meditation for the Day

I must keep calm and unmoved in the vicissitudes of life. I must go back into the silence of communion with God to recover this calm when it is lost even for one moment. I will accomplish more by this calmness than by all the activities of a long day. At all cost I will keep calm. I can solve nothing when I am agitated. I should keep away from things that are up setting emotionally. I should run on an even keel and not get tipped over by emotional upsets. I should seek for things that are calm and good and true and stick to those things.

Prayer for the Day

I pray that I may not argue nor contend, but merely state calmly what I believe to be true. I pray that I may keep myself in that state of calmness that comes from faith in God’s purpose for the world.


The Language of Letting Go – Codependency

Communication

Part of owning our power is learning to communicate clearly, directly, and assertively. We don’t have to beat around the bush in our conversations to control the reactions of others. Guilt-producing comments only produce guilt. We don’t have to fix or take care of people with our words; we can’t expect others to take care of us with words either. We can settle for being heard and accepted. And we can respectfully listen to what others have to say.

Hinting at what we need doesn’t work. Others can’t read our mind, and they’re likely to resent our indirectness. The best way to take responsibility for what we want is to ask for it directly. And, we can insist on directness from others. If we need to say no to a particular request, we can. If someone is trying to control us through a conversation, we can refuse to participate.

Acknowledging feelings such as disappointment or anger directly, instead of making others guess at our feelings or having our feelings come out in other ways, is part of responsible communication. If we don’t know what we want to say, we can say that too.

We can ask for information and use words to forge a closer connection, but we don’t have to take people around the block with our conversations. We don’t have to listen to, or participate in, nonsense. We can say what we want and stop when we’re done.

Today, I will communicate clearly and directly in my conversations with others. I will strive to avoid manipulative, indirect, or guilt producing statements. I can be tactful and gentle whenever possible. And I can be assertive if necessary.


Touchstone – Men’s Meditation

“Just be what you are and speak from your guts and heart – it’s all a man has.”

—Hubert Humphrey

Some of us have doubted our inner voice so completely that we abandoned it totally. Many of us have discovered in recovery that by our denial we had violated our inner voice with lies, even to ourselves. Now we question whether we can trust our instincts, and we may not know what we feel.

Masculine spiritual recovery is a return to our guts and our heart. Standing up and speaking from our hearts may be difficult at times, but our self-respect rises as we do. That is where we go for our final decision-making. We develop better reception for the inner voice as we live this program. We accept that we are never absolutely right. We continue with humility, knowing we may be wrong and listening to others and our Higher Power. Yet we must live with our choices.

I will seek the courage to be faithful to my own instincts.


Elder’s Meditation

“When people live far from the scenes of the Great Spirit’s making, it’s easy for them to forget his laws.”

–Walking Buffalo, STONEY

Society today is way off track. Unfortunately, many Indian people are caught up in these modern times. The Elders are telling us we must wake up! We must come back to the culture because this is where His laws are. If we don’t follow these laws, we will be unhappy. We cannot do things just because everybody is doing them. This does not make it right. We must follow what the Great Spirit says we must do. We need to pray hard for the courage to come back and live according to the culture. It will be difficult at first but worth it in the end. We must teach our children the culture.

Great Spirit, today, let me listen to the warnings of the Elders.


Daily Horoscope – Cancer

Repetition can be useful as a learning tool, but once you master the routine, you’re eager to experiment. You’re willing to venture off the beaten track if you suspect that’s where the creative action is, but only if doing so suits the practical requirements of the job at hand. You’re all about business first, playtime after. But when the two can be successfully blended, they produce a delightfully incendiary mix. Your unique talent casts a brilliant glow.

DR – April 13, 2019

Daily Recovery Readings
April 13, 2019


Daily Reflection

THE FALSE COMFORT OF SELF-PITY

“Self-pity is one of the most unhappy and consuming defects that we know. It is a bar to all spiritual progress and can cut off all effective communication with our fellows because of its inordinate demands for attention and sympathy. It is a maudlin form of martyrdom, which we can ill afford.”

— AS BILL SEES IT, p. 238

The false comfort of self-pity screens me from reality only momentarily and then demands, like a drug, that I take an ever bigger dose. If I succumb to this it could lead to a relapse into drinking. What can I do? One certain antidote is to turn my attention, however slightly at first, toward others who are genuinely less fortunate than I, preferably other alcoholics. In the same degree that I actively demonstrate my empathy with them, I will lessen my own exaggerated suffering.

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


Big Book Quote

“An alcoholic in his cups is an unlovely creature.”

~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, Bill’s Story, pg. 16~


24 Hours a Day – The Little Black Book

Thought for the Day

Having found my way into this new world by the grace of God and the help of A.A., am I going to take that first drink, when I know that just one drink will change my whole world? Am I deliberately going back to the suffering of that alcoholic world? Or am I going to hang onto the happiness of this sober world? Is there any doubt about the answer? With God’s help, am I going to hang onto A.A. with both hands?

Meditation for the Day

I will try to make the world better and happier by my presence in it. I will try to help other people find the way God wants them to live. I will try to be on the side of good, in the stream of righteousness, where all things work for good. I will do my duty persistently and faithfully, not sparing myself. I will be gentle with all people. I will try to see other people’s difficulty and help them to correct it. I will always pray to God to act as interpreter between me and the other person.

Prayer for the Day

I pray that I may live in the spirit of prayer. I pray that I may depend on God for the strength I need to help me to do my part in making the world a better place.


The Language of Letting Go – Codependency

Enjoyment

One of the prohibitions many of us learned in childhood is the unspoken rule — don’t have fun and enjoy life. This rule creates martyrs — people who will not let themselves embrace the pleasures of day-to-day living.

Many of us associated suffering with some sort of sainthood. . Now, we associate it with codependency. We can go through the day making ourselves feel anxious, guilty, miserable, and deprived. Or we can allow ourselves to go through that same day feeling good. In recovery, we eventually learn the choice is ours.

There is much to be enjoyed each day, and it is okay to feel good. We can let ourselves enjoy our tasks. We can learn to relax without guilt. We can even learn to have fun.

Work at learning to have fun. Apply yourself with dedication to learning enjoyment. Work as hard at learning to have fun as you did at feeling miserable.

Our work will pay off. Fun will become fun. Life will become worth living. And each day, well find many pleasures to be enjoyed.

Today, I will let myself enjoy life as I go through my day.


Touchstone – Men’s Meditation

“Are you willing to be sponged out, erased,/ cancelled,/made nothing?/Are you willing to be made nothing?/dipped into oblivion?/If not, you will never really change.”

—D. H. Lawrence

Many men have a self-centered attitude about change. They say, “Lift yourselves up by your bootstraps! Take charge! Be aggressive!” They have only a beginner’s understanding of what real change is. When we try to change ourselves by our own methods, we simply give rebirth to our already limited controlling ideas. We recycle and intensify our problems.

This program has given us a profound possibility for change. We discover we are able to move beyond our compulsion to control by surrendering. The promises for recovery are clear and bright, if we yield to this program totally – but they do not come on our timetable. We yield. We allow ourselves to be helped. We allow change to overtake us. We earnestly seek to do our part. And change comes! It comes – not when we say, “Now I deserve, it,” but when we are ready to accept it.

Today, I surrender again. Each day I learn to surrender and grow deeper.


Elder’s Meditation

“Once you make a friend, a friend never leaves you, even to death. So a friend is really hard to find.”

–Wallace Black Elk, LAKOTA

Once, an Elder told me he made a decision to be my friend. He said this friendship wasn’t based on my behavior or how I acted; he said the friendship was based on his decision. He decided to be my friend. This friendship has happened like he said. Even if I don’t see him for a long time, or if I get mad at him, he has never changed his decision. This is true friendship.

Great Spirit, I’m glad you are this kind of Friend.


Daily Horoscope – Cancer

Diplomacy can be a valuable tool today. Even those who don’t agree on much can usually find at least one film, song, or book on which they can concur. It could be a giant contribution to familial peace if you and a few like-minded cohorts launch a search for simple intersections between the tastes of opposites who most certainly do not attract. Their relationship might never morph into magical kismet, but maybe it can settle into something mildly pleasant. Sometimes creating harmony is an amazing victory in itself.

DR – April 12, 2019

Daily Recovery Readings
April 12, 2019


Daily Reflection

GIVING UP INSANITY

“. . . where alcohol has been involved, we have been strangely insane.”

— ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 38

Alcoholism required me to drink, whether I wanted to or not. Insanity dominated my life and was the essence of my disease. It robbed me of the freedom of choice over drinking and, therefore, robbed me of all other choices. When I drank, I was unable to make effective choices in any part of my life and life became unmanageable.

I ask God to help me understand and accept the full meaning of the disease of alcoholism.

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


Big Book Quote

“We think it no concern of ours what religious bodies our members identify themselves with as individuals. This should be an entirely personal affair which each one decides for himself in the light of past associations, or his present choice.”

~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, There Is A Solution, pg. 28~


24 Hours a Day – The Little Black Book

Thought for the Day

This sober world is a pleasant place for an alcoholic to live in. Once you’ve got out of your alcoholic fog, you find that the world looks good. You find real friends in A.A. You get a job. You feel good in the morning. You eat a good breakfast and you do a good day’s work at home or outside. And your family loves you and welcomes you because you’re sober. Am I convinced that this sober world is a pleasant place for an alcoholic to live in?

Meditation for the Day

Our need is God’s opportunity. First we must recognize our need. Often this means helplessness before some weakness or sickness and an admission of our need for help. Next comes faith in the power of God’s spirit, available to us to meet that need. Before any need can be met, our faith must find expression. That expression of faith is all God needs to manifest His power in our lives. Faith is the key that unlocks the storehouse of God’s resources.

Prayer for the Day

I pray that I may first admit my needs. I pray that then I may have faith that God will meet those needs, in the way, which is best for me.


The Language of Letting Go – Codependency

Letting Go of Fear

Picture yourself swimming floating – peacefully down a gentle stream. All you need to do is breathe, relax, and go with the flow.

Suddenly, you become conscious of your situation. Frightened, overwhelmed with “what if’s?” your body tenses. You begin to thrash around, frantically looking for something to grab on to.

You panic so hard you start to go under. Then you remember – you’re working too hard at this. You don’t need to panic. All you need to do is breathe, relax, and go with the flow. You won’t drown.

Panic is our great enemy.

We don’t need to become desperate. If overwhelming problems appear in our life, we need to stop struggling. We can tread water for a bit, until our equilibrium returns. Then we can go back to floating peacefully down the gentle stream. It is our stream. It is a safe stream. Our course has been charted. All is well.

Today, I will relax, breathe, and go with the flow.


Touchstone – Men’s Meditation

“Anyone who lives art knows that psychoanalysis has no monopoly on the power to heal…. Art and poetry have always been altering our ways of sensing and feeling – that is to say, altering the human body.”

—Norman 0. Brown

A man can lead a healing life on many levels. On one level, many of us have turned to healing professionals for help. That may strengthen our program and be very beneficial for many of our problems.

Relationships heal when they are loving, affirming, reliable, committed, and loyal. Nature heals: a tree, a walk through tall grass, a dry seedpod, or a potted plant gives life when we turn in its direction. Beauty heals: music, a poem, a novel, or a picture may move us to another plane and teach us about life. Meditation heals: solitude, quiet relaxation, prayer, and cosmic consciousness bring an inner peace. Laughter heals. Physical activity heals. Doing something for others helps us. At the basic level, accepting ourselves as lovable men, just as we are, is the foundation for all healing.

The forces for renewal and wholeness are varied. May I reach out to them and be healed by them.


Elder’s Meditation

“Dissimilar things were fitted together to make something beautiful and whole.”

–Nippawanock, ARAPAHOE

Sometimes we look at something close up and it appears to be ugly; but then we drop back and look at it as a whole and it is beautiful. If we look at an insect close up, it may be ugly, but if we drop back and look at the whole insect it becomes beautiful. We can drop back even more and observe what its role and purpose is, and the insect becomes even more beautiful and whole. How are we looking at ourselves? Are we focused on something ugly about ourselves, or are we dropping back and looking at ourselves as a whole? We all have purpose, and we are all beautiful.

Grandfather, today, let me see the beauty of the whole.


Daily Horoscope – Cancer

Changes spotted here and there from the corner of your eye are early evidence that a logjam is soon to break. Your immediate task now just might be to make smart preparations for the rush of new responsibilities or events that are likely on the horizon. Set the pace and others in your sphere will be amenable to joining in. Let your actions demonstrate that you believe growth is not just possible, but that it’s welcome. Your positive attitude is a prerequisite for transformation.

DR – April 11, 2019

Daily Recovery Readings
April 11, 2019


Daily Reflection

A WORD TO DROP: “BLAME”

“To see how erratic emotions victimized us often took a long time. We could perceive them quickly in others, but only slowly in ourselves. First of all, we had to admit that we had many of these defects, even though such disclosures were painful and humiliating. Where other people were concerned, we had to drop the word “blame” from our speech and thought.”

— TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 47

When I did my Fourth Step, following the Big Book guidelines, I noticed that my grudge list was filled with my prejudices and my blaming others for my not being able to succeed and to live up to my potential. I also discovered I felt different because I was black. As I continued to work on the Step, I learned that I always had drunk to rid myself of those feelings. It was only when I sobered up and worked on my inventory, that I could no longer blame anyone.

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


Big Book Quote

“We have seen the truth demonstrated again and again. Once an alcoholic, always an alcoholic. Commencing to drink after a period of sobriety, we are in a short time as bad as ever.”

~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, More About Alcoholism, pg. 33~


24 Hours a Day – The Little Black Book

In that alcoholic world, one drink always leads to another and you can’t stop till you’re paralyzed. And the next morning it begins all over again. You eventually land in a hospital or jail. You lose your job. Your home is broken up. You’re always in a mess. You’re on the merry go round and you can’t get off. You’re in a squirrel cage and you can’t get out. Am I convinced that the alcoholic world is not a pleasant place for me to live in?

Meditation for the Day

I must learn to accept self-discipline. I must try never to yield one point that I have already won. I must not let myself go in resentments, hates, fears, pride, lust, or gossip. Even if the discipline keeps me separated from some people who are without discipline, nevertheless I will carry on. I may have different ways and a different standard of living than some others. I may be actuated by different motives than some people. But I will try to live the way I believe God wants me to live, no matter what others say.

Prayer for the Day

I pray that I may be an example to others of a better way of living. I pray that I may carry on in spite of hindrances.


The Language of Letting Go – Codependency

Financial Goals

Taking responsibility for our financial affairs will improve our self-esteem and lessen anxiety.

Each of us, today, has a present set of financial circumstances. We have a certain amount of money in hand, and money due to us. We have a pile of bills that we owe. We have taxes to pay. Those are our present financial circumstances. No matter what the details are, acceptance, gratitude, and self-responsibility will lessen the stress.

Each of us, today, has a financial future. There are few future aspects of our life we can control, but one part we can play to assist our future is setting goals.

We don’t have to obsess about our goals. We don’t have to constantly watch and mark our progress toward them. But it is beneficial to think about our goals and write them down. What do we want to happen in our financial future? What financial problems would we like to solve? What bills would we like to be rid of? What would we like to be earning at the end of this year? The end of next year? Five years from now?

Are we willing to work for our goals and trust our Higher Power to guide us?

Pay bills on time. Contact creditors. Make arrangements. Do your best, today, to take responsibility for your finances. Set goals for the future. Then, let go of money and concentrate on loving. Taking responsibility for our financial affairs does not mean making money our focus. Taking responsibility for our finances enables us to take our focus off money. It frees us to do our work and live the life we want.

We deserve to have the self-esteem and peace that accompanies financial responsibility.

Today, I will take the time necessary to be responsible for myself financially. If it is time to pay bills or talk to creditors, I will do that. If it is time to set goals, I will do that. Once I have done my part, I will let the rest go.


Touchstone – Men’s Meditation

“I have learned this: it is not what one does that is wrong, but what one becomes as a consequence of it.”

—Oscar Wilde

There are countless ways to take shortcuts in life or to grab for pleasures. We could cheat on our income taxes, excuse a food binge, or lie to a loved one about where we’ve been. We say, “It won’t hurt anyone!” “I wouldn’t do it if it weren’t for the other guy.” Or, “Everyone does it.” But if we are to like and respect ourselves, we need to live by the rules we believe in. Whether we get caught or not isn’t the point. We cannot hold values and then repeatedly justify breaking them.

What does it do to us if we constantly fudge on our values? It undermines our self-esteem and damages the faith we have in ourselves. We do not expect to be perfect, but we must be accountable. If we are honest with ourselves, we admit our wrongs and reestablish our self-respect.

Today, I will take care to make choices that match my values.


Elder’s Meditation

“Spiritual matters are difficult to explain because you must live with them in order to fully understand them.”

–Thomas Yellowtail, CROW

To know something we must become one with it. We cannot know what a flower smells like until we actually smell it. Close your eyes and experience the fragrance. The Elders say there are two worlds, the Seen World and the Unseen World. To experience the Seen World we need to physically pick the flower and smell it. To experience the Unseen World we need to know about principles, laws and values; and no matter what our mind or our physical senses tell us, we must decide and act on these principles. If someone does wrong to us, we must pray for that person or persons to have peace, happiness and joy in their life. We must not get even or retaliate in any way. Only by doing this can we understand spiritual matters.

Great Spirit, give me your power whenever my weakness shows so I can live by spiritual decisions.


Daily Horoscope – Cancer

It’s far different to wear your heart on your sleeve by choice than by accident. There can be some very good reasons for showing the world exactly how you feel today. You are likely motivated by the anticipation of soaring liberation that goes hand in hand with transparency. But if you prefer to keep some of your emotional reactions private, be vigilant about what you’re communicating not only in words, but with body language and attitude, too. Behavior can be an open book and you can be its conscientious author. Actions speak louder than words.

DR – April 10, 2019

Daily Recovery Readings
April 10, 2019


Daily Reflection

GROWING UP

“The essence of all growth is a willingness to change for the better and then an unremitting willingness to shoulder whatever responsibility this entails.”

— AS BILL SEES IT, p. 115

Sometimes when I’ve become willing to do what I should have been doing all along, I want praise and recognition. I don’t realize that the more I’m willing to act differently, the more exciting my life is. The more I am willing to help others, the more rewards I receive. That’s what practicing the principles means to me. Fun and benefits for me are in the willingness to do the actions, not to get immediate results. Being a little kinder, a little slower to anger, a little more loving makes my life better day by day.

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


Big Book Quote

“It is plain that a life which includes deep resentment leads only to futility and unhappiness. To the precise extent that we permit these, do we squander the hours that might have been worth while.”

~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, How It Works, pg. 66~


24 Hours a Day – The Little Black Book

Thought for the Day

When I came into A.A., I came into a new world. A sober world. A world of sobriety, peace, serenity, and happiness. But I know that if I take just one drink, I’ll go right back into that old world. That alcoholic world. That world of drunkenness, conflict, and misery. That alcoholic world is not a pleasant place for an alcoholic to live in. Looking at the world through the bottom of a whiskey glass is no fun after you’ve become an alcoholic. Do I want to go back to that alcoholic world?

Meditation for the Day

Pride stands sentinel at the door of the heart and shuts out the love of God. God can only dwell with the humble and the obedient. Obedience to God’s will is the key unlocking the door to God’s kingdom. You cannot obey God to the best of your ability without in time realizing God’s love and responding to that love. The rough stone steps of obedience lead up to where the mosaic floor of love and joy is laid. Where God’s spirit is, there is your home. There is heaven for you.

Prayer for the Day

I pray that God may make His home in my humble and obedient heart. I pray that I may obey his guidance to the best of my ability.


The Language of Letting Go – Codependency

Using Others to Stop Our Pain

Our happiness is not a present someone else holds in his or her hands. Our well-being is not held by another to be given or withheld at whim. If we reach out and try to force someone to give us what we believe he or she holds, we will be disappointed. We will discover that it is an illusion. The person didn’t hold it. He or she never shall. That beautifully wrapped box with the ribbon on it that we believed contained our happiness that someone was holding – it’s an illusion!

In those moments when we are trying to reach out and force someone to stop our pain and create our joy, if we can find the courage to stop flailing about and instead stand still and deal with our issues, we will find our happiness.

Yes, it is true that if someone steps on our foot, he or she is hurting us and therefore holds the power to stop our pain by removing his or her foot. But the pain is still ours. And so is the responsibility to tell someone to stop stepping on our feet.

Healing will come when we’re aware of how we attempt to use others to stop our pain and create our happiness. We will heal from the past. We will receive insights that can change the course of our relationships.

We will see that, all along, our happiness and our well-being have been in our hands. We have held that box. The contents are ours for the opening.

God, help me remember that I hold the key to my own happiness. Give me the courage to stand still and deal with my own feelings. Give me the insights I need to improve my relationships. Help me stop doing the codependent dance and start doing the dance of recovery.


Touchstone – Men’s Meditation

“Chaos demands to be recognized and experienced before letting itself be converted into a new order.”

—Hermann Hesse

The forces of chaos and forces of order are always at work in the world. While many things are being built up, many are wearing down. It is a good thing because life would be very boring in an unchanging state. But the chaos we met in our lives was often extreme and unusually destructive. We had to recognize it and feel the pain of it before we could build a new order. Looking back we can see that our First Step was just such an event.

All people have small chaotic events in their lives every day. If we take a moment and reflect on our present lives, we can certainly become aware of some ways in which things are in disarray. By simply letting ourselves know it in this moment, we get ready for the new order to begin.

I pray for courage and honesty to see the chaos, which exists today. Help me become ready for the new order to evolve.


Elder’s Meditation

“Together we can end the Holocaust against the environment.”

–Haida Gwaii, Traditional Circle of Elders

We are all familiar with the Holocaust against the people. When this happens we feel bad and we vow never to let it happen again. We need to seriously examine what human beings are doing to the Earth and the environment. Many species are extinct and many more will become extinct during the next 10 years. We are methodically eliminating life that will never return again. Today, we should take time to pray real hard so we wake up before it is too late.

Great Spirit, today, I pray for us to awaken to what we are doing.


Daily Horoscope – Cancer

One peek behind the scenes whets your appetite for more today. A recent interest in the mechanics of how a device works increases or, perhaps, the many moving parts of how an enterprise comes together amplifies your creativity. You may allow a similar inquisitiveness to spill over into your personal life. Fascination with what makes someone tick adds sparkle to your day, especially if you discover that the feeling is mutual. Let your imagination roam to unfamiliar places and see if your heart follows.

DR – April 9, 2019

Daily Recovery Readings
April 9, 2019


Daily Reflection

FREEDOM FROM “KING ALCOHOL”

“. . . let us not suppose even for an instant that we are not under constraint. . . . Our former tyrant, King Alcohol, always stands ready again to clutch us to him. Therefore, freedom from alcohol is the great “must” that has to be achieved, else we go mad or die.”

— AS BILL SEES IT, p. 134

When drinking, I lived in spiritual, emotional, and sometimes, physical confinement. I had constructed my prison with bars of self-will and self-indulgence, from which I could not escape. Occasional dry spells that seemed to promise freedom would turn out to be little more than hopes of a reprieve. True escape required a willingness to follow whatever right actions were needed to turn the lock. With that willingness and action, both the lock and the bars themselves opened for me. Continued willingness and action keep me free—in a kind of extended daily probation—that need never end.

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


Big Book Quote

“Lack of power, that was our dilemma. We had to find a power by which we could live, and it had to be a Power greater than ourselves. Obviously. But where and how were we to find this Power?

Well, thats exactly what this book is about.”

Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, We Agnostics, pg. 45


24 Hours a Day – The Little Black Book

Thought for the Day

Third, alcoholics recover their proper relationship with other people. They think less about themselves and more about others. They try to help other alcoholics. They make new friends so that they’re no longer lonely. They try to live a life of service instead of selfishness. All their relationships with other people are improved. They solve their personality problems by recovering their personal integrity, their faith in a Higher Power, and their way of fellowship and service to others. Is my drink problem solved as long as my personality problem is solved?

Meditation for the Day

All that depresses you, all that you fear, is really powerless to harm you. These things are but phantoms. So arise from earth’s bonds, from depression, distrust, fear, and all that hinders your new life. Arise to beauty, joy, peace, and work inspired by love. Rise from death to life. You do not even need to fear death. All past sins are forgiven if you live and love and work with God. Let nothing hinder your new life. Seek to know more and more of that new way of living.

Prayer for the Day

I pray that I may let God live in me as I work for Him. I pray that I may go out into the sunlight and work with God.


The Language of Letting Go – Codependency

Giving

Learning to be a healthy giver can be a challenge. Many of us got caught up in compulsive giving – charitable acts motivated by uncharitable feelings of guilt, shame, obligations, pity, and moral superiority.

We now understand that catering and compulsive giving don’t work. They backfire.

Care-taking keeps us feeling victimized.

Many of us gave too much, thinking we were doing things right; then we became confused because our life and relationships weren’t working. Many of us gave so much for so long, thinking we were doing God’s will; then in recovery, we refused to give, care, or love for a time.

That’s okay. Perhaps we needed a rest. But healthy giving is part of healthy living. The goal in recovery is balance – caring that is motivated by a true desire to give, with an underlying attitude of respect for others and ourselves.

The goal in recovery is to choose what we want to give, to whom, when, and how much. The goal in recovery is to give and not feel victimized by our giving.

Are we giving because we want to, because it’s our responsibility? Or are we giving because we feel obligated, guilty, ashamed, or superior? Are we giving because we feel afraid to say no?

Are the ways we try to assist people helpful, or do they prevent others from facing their true responsibilities?

Are we giving so that people will like us or feel obligated to us? Are we giving to prove we’re worthy? Or are we giving because we want to give and it feels right?

Recovery includes a cycle of giving and receiving. It keeps healthy energy flowing among our Higher Power, others, and us. It takes time to learn how to give in healthy ways. It takes time to learn to receive. Be patient. Balance will come.

God, please guide my giving and my motives today.


Touchstone – Men’s Meditation

It is the greatest of all mistakes to do nothing because you can only do a little. Do what you can.

—SYDNEY SMITH

We are capable of far more than we think. The task before us sometimes seems mountainous, but we don’t have to do it all in one day. We can do only a little, although we want to accomplish the whole job at once. We must not let our desire for complete change all at once discourage us from doing what we can. We may need to look for a new job, or face the loneliness of ending a hurtful relationship, or hold firmly to our wisest fathering role with our children, or deal with an illness in ourselves or a loved one.

We do not have to face the tasks that challenge us by ourselves. We are all members of a large, quiet network of spiritual support for each other. We have our Twelve Step program, the loving strength of our Higher Power, and the companionship of other men and women in our group. With help, we can do what must be done. We only need to faithfully do a little at a time.

Today, I will remember that I am not alone. I have help in many forms, and I will do what I can.


Elder’s Meditation

“Everything really is equal. The Creator doesn’t look at me any better than He looks at the trees. We’re all the same.”

–Janice Sundown Hattet, SENECA

Sometimes humans think we are the center of the Universe. Sometimes we think we are above or better than other people or things. The Great Spirit made a set of Laws and Principles by which all things should live. Everybody and everything lives by the same Laws. We are all made of atoms just like the trees. The life force in the middle of the atom is the life force of the Great Mystery. It is the same for everything. We are all equal in the eyes of the Creator.

Great Spirit, today, I will respect your handiwork.


Daily Horoscope – Cancer

There is no question that you have all the right moves, but it takes consistent creative vision to guide them to fruition. Set your inner artist free and it is possible to do whatever is most productive, at precisely the time it’s most needed. Avoid overthinking; instead, trust that the very best of your instincts won’t let you down in the clutch. Staying aware of your feelings is one way that your soul supports you in the grand task of self-actualization. Keep your head in the clouds and your feet on the ground.

DR – April 8, 2019

Daily Recovery Readings
April 8, 2019


Daily Reflection

AN INSIDE LOOK

“We want to find exactly how, when, and where our natural desires have warped us. We wish to look squarely at the unhappiness this has caused others and ourselves. By discovering what our emotional deformities are, we can move toward their correction.”

— TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 43

Today I am no longer a slave to alcohol, yet in so many ways enslavement still threatens—my self, my desires, even my dreams. Yet without dreams I cannot exist; without dreams there is nothing to keep me moving forward.

I must look inside myself, to free myself. I must call upon God’s power to face the person I’ve feared the most, the true me, the person God created me to be. Unless I can or until I do, I will always be running, and never be truly free. I ask God daily to show me such a freedom!

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


Big Book Quote

“Neither could we reduce our self centerdness much by wishing or trying on our own power. We had to have God’s help.”

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


24 Hours a Day – The Little Black Book

Thought for the Day

Second, alcoholics recover their faith in a Power greater than themselves. They admit that they’re helpless by themselves and they call on that Higher Power for help. They surrender their lives to God, as they understand Him. They put their drink problem in God’s hands and leave it there. They recover their faith in a Higher Power that can help them. Have I recovered my faith?

Meditation for the Day

You must make a stand for God. Believers in God are considered by some as peculiar people. You must even be willing to be deemed a fool for the sake of your faith. You must be ready to stand aside and let the fashions and customs of the world go by, when God’s purposes are thereby forwarded. Be known by the marks that distinguish a believer in God. These are honesty, purity, unselfishness, love, gratitude, and humility.

Prayer for the Day

I pray that I may be ready to profess my belief in God before others. I pray that I may not be turned aside by the skepticism and cynicism of unbelievers.


The Language of Letting Go – Codependency

Self Care

“I don’t precisely know what you need to do to take care of yourself. But I know you can figure it out.”

—Beyond Codependency

Rest when you’re tired.

Take a drink of cold water when you’re thirsty.

Call a friend when you’re lonely.

Ask God to help when you feel overwhelmed.

Many of us have learned how to deprive and neglect ourselves. Many of us have learned to push ourselves hard, when the problem is that were already pushed too hard.

Many of us are afraid the work wont get done if we rest when were tired. The work will get done; it will be done better than work that emerges from tiredness of soul and spirit. Nurtured, nourished people, who love themselves and care for themselves, are the delight of the Universe.

They are well timed, efficient, and Divinely led.

Today, I will practice loving self-care.


Touchstone – Men’s Meditation

“I’m not into isms and asms. There isn’t a Catholic moon and a Baptist sun. I know the universal God is universal…. I feel that the same God force that is the mother and father of the pope is also the mother and father of the loneliest wino on the planet.”

—Dick Gregory

In this program we seek conscious contact with God as we understand God. Some people understand God in very specific ways as a Jewish God, or a Christian God, or Moslem Allah. Others understand God in very general and unspecific ways. To some, God is the spirit of group relationships, the deeper consciousness of each man, or the whole of creation. When the word God is used in this program, it respects the different knowing of each person.

Whatever understanding a man has, this program includes his perspective. It dictates none. This is a spiritual program, not a religious one. We often see our Higher Power was with us as a helpful force, long before we knew about it.

Today, I am grateful for God’s care. May I learn to increase in trust and knowledge of God.


Elder’s Meditation

“The very dust under your feet responds more lovingly to our footsteps than to yours, because it is the ashes of our ancestors, and our bare feet are conscious of the sympathetic touch, for the soil is rich with the life of our kindred.”

–Chief Seattle, SUQUAMISH

If you respect something, it will respect you back. If your ancestors respected something, the future generations will be respected back. The Indian ancestors always showed great respect for the Earth. That’s why the Earth is so respectful to Indians today. Every Indian naturally feels connectedness to the Earth. We know the Earth holds our ancestors. If we continue to respect Mother Earth, our children will benefit and so will our grand- children. Today, we should think about and pray for our Mother Earth.

Grandmother, let me have strong feelings for our Earth today.


Daily Horoscope – Cancer

Outrageous demands won’t squelch your affinity for the beauty of nature and the joy of your loving relationships now. Your mature sense of responsibility enables you to be fully attentive to your work and the practical chores of daily living. Simultaneously, your innate sensitivity absorbs maximum positivity from the world around you, wherever it can be found. Healing, hope, and optimism thrive upon your adaptability. Your spirit is indefatigable; your inner life is powerful and rich. Paradoxically, sharing your wealth only increases it.