DR – October 14, 2019

Daily Recovery Readings
October 14, 2019


Daily Reflection

A PROGRAM FOR LIVING

When we retire at night, we constructively review our day. . . . On awakening let us think about the twenty-four hours ahead. . . . Before we begin, we ask God to direct our thinking, especially asking that it be divorced from self-pity, dishonest or self-seeking motives.

— ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 86

I lacked serenity. With more to do than seemed possible, I fell further behind, no matter how hard I tried. Worries about things not done yesterday and fear of tomorrow’s deadlines denied me the calm I needed to be effective each day. Before taking Steps Ten and Eleven, I began to read passages like the one cited above. I tried to focus on God’s will, not my problems, and to trust that He would manage my day. It worked! Slowly, but it worked!


Big Book Quote

Nearly every modern employer feels a moral responsibility for the well-being of his help, and he tries to meet these responsibilities. That he has not always done so for the alcoholic is easily understood. To him the alcoholic has often seemed a fool of the first magnitude. Because of the employees special ability, or of his own strong personal attachment to him, the employer has sometimes kept such a man at work long beyond a reasonable period. Some employers have tried every known remedy. In only a few instances has there been a lack of patience and tolerance. And we, who have imposed on the best of employers, can scarcely blame them if they have been short with us.

~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, To Employers, pg. 137~


24 Hours a Day – The Little Black Book

Thought for the Day

How big a part of my life is A.A.? Is it just one of my activities and a small one at that? Do I only go to A.A. meetings now and then and sometimes never go at all? Do I think of A.A. only occasionally? Am I reticent about mentioning the subject of A.A. to people who might need help? Or does A.A. fill a large part of my life? Is it the foundation of my whole life? Where would I be without A.A.? Does everything I have and do depend on my A.A. foundation? Is A.A. the foundation on which I build my life?

Meditation for the Day

Lay upon God your failures and mistakes and shortcomings. Do not dwell upon your failures, upon the fact that in the past you have been nearer a beast than an angel. You have a mediator between you and God – your growing faith -, which can lift you up from the mire and point you toward the heavens. You can still be reconciled with the spirit of God. You can still regain your harmony with the Divine Principle of the universe.

Prayer for the Day

I pray that I may not let the beast in me hold me back from my spiritual destiny. I pray that I may rise and walk upright.


The Language of Letting Go – Codependency

Controlling Versus Trust

There was a time in my life when I felt so afraid of and overwhelmed by the very act of living that I actually wanted to make out a schedule for each day of my life for the next five years. I wanted to include all the chores I had to do, when I would do them, even when I would schedule relaxation. I wanted to get some order into what felt overwhelming. I wanted to feel like I was in control.

—Anonymous

Controlling is a direct response to our fear, panic, and sense of helplessness. It is a direct response to feeling overwhelmed, and to distrust.

We may not trust ourselves, our Higher Power, the Plan, the Universe, or the process of life. Instead of trusting, we revert to control.

We can approach this need to control by dealing with our fear. We deal with fear by trusting – ourselves, our Higher Power, the love and support of the Universe, the Plan, and this process we call life and recovery.

We can trust that when things don’t work out the way we want, God has something better planned.

We can trust ourselves to get where we need to go, say what we need to say, do what we need to do, know what we need to know, be who we need to be, and become all we can become, when we are intended to do that, when we are ready, and when the time is right.

We can trust our Higher Power and the Universe to give us all the direction we need.

We can trust ourselves to listen, and respond, accordingly.

We can trust that all we need on this journey shall come to us. We will not get all we need for the entire journey today. We shall receive today’s supplies today, and tomorrow’s supplies tomorrow. We were never intended to carry supplies for the entire journey. The burden would be too heavy, and the way was intended to be light.

Trust in yourself. We do not have to plan, control, and schedule all things. The schedule and plan have been written. All we need to do is show up.

The way will become clear and the supplies will be amply and clearly provided, one day at a time.

Trust, my friend, in today.

Today, I will trust that I will receive all I need to get me through today. I will trust that the same shall happen tomorrow.


Touchstone – Men’s Meditation

No man is more cheated than the selfish man.

—Henry Ward Beecher

When we’re selfish, we close off the channels of exchange with others. Not only are we grabbing and holding all the goods or attention we can get, but we are denying others the possibility of sharing with us in the benefits. We may be selfish in material goods, but there are many other ways too. Some of us expect our spouses to meet our needs while we make little effort to meet theirs. Some of us discover our selfishness as we drive, refusing to yield a position to another car or getting furious if we lose a place in heavy traffic.

By contrast, our generosity and welcoming responses nourish the spirit within us and create a good environment for our growth. Sometimes giving does not come easily. We have a more generous spirit when we are in touch with our ultimate vulnerability. All of life is fragile, and we need each other to have a good life. We can truly hold onto nothing but ourselves. Giving what we can of our time, our energy, and our goods, helps create the kind of world we want to live in.

Today, I will look for ways to be generous with those I share this world with.


Elder’s Meditation

“Each soul must meet the morning sun, the new sweet earth and the Great Silence alone!”

–Ohiyesa (Dr. Charles A. Eastman), SANTEE SIOUX

The most important thing we can do during the course of the day is pray in the morning. There is a special time in the morning that has great power. This is the exact time the sun is rising. During the rising of the sun, everything on the Earth is waking up. Animals, plants, birds, and humans will be blessed at the rising of the sun. This is a special time to help us prepare for the day. During this time we ask the Creator to bless our day. We ask Him to guide us, to protect us and to give us courage to overcome the day’s obstacles. Doing this everyday will give us knowledge of God’s will for us.

Grandfather, Grandmother, guide my path. Let my thinking be guided by You.


Daily Horoscope – Cancer

You may believe that you are absolutely right in a disagreement with a loved one, but making them wrong is only counterproductive. A struggle for dominance with a family member over a touchy subject can end quickly if you act with humility rather than self-righteousness today. The tough square between the egotistical Sun and controlling Pluto suggests that both of you might prefer to be right rather than kind. Resolving this dilemma starts by engaging in a civil conversation to build bridges. Emphasize your similarities instead of your differences. Love grows when hearts are open to change.

DR – October 13, 2019

Daily Recovery Readings
October 13, 2019


Daily Reflection

UNREMITTING INVENTORIES

Continue to watch for selfishness, dishonesty, resentment, and fear. When these crop up, we ask God at once to remove them. We discuss them with someone immediately and make amends quickly if we have harmed anyone. Then we resolutely turn our thoughts to someone we can help.

— ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 84

The immediate admission of wrong thoughts or actions is a tough task for most human beings, but for recovering alcoholics like me it is difficult because of my propensity toward ego, fear and pride. The freedom the A.A. program offers me becomes more abundant when, through unremitting inventories of myself, I admit, acknowledge and accept responsibility for my wrong-doing. It is possible then for me to grow into a deeper and better understanding of humility. My willingness to admit when the fault is mine facilitates the progression of my growth and helps me to become more understanding and helpful to others.


Big Book Quote

“Now we try to put spiritual principles to work in every department of our lives. When we do that, we find it solves our problems too; the ensuing lack of fear, worry and hurt feelings is a wonderful thing.”

~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, To Wives, pg. 116~


24 Hours a Day – The Little Black Book

A.A. Thought for the Day

A.A. work is one hundred percent voluntary. It depends on each and every one of our members to volunteer to do his or her share. Newcomers can sit on the sidelines until they have got over their nervousness and confusion. They have a right to be helped by all, until they can stand on their own feet. But the time inevitably comes when they have to speak up and volunteer to do their share in meetings and in twelfth-step work. Until that time comes, they are only in the process of being assimilated. Has my time come to volunteer?

Meditation for the Day

God’s kingdom on earth is growing slowly, like a seed in the ground. In the growth of His kingdom there is always progress among the few who are out ahead of the crowd. Keep striving for something better and there can be no stagnation in your life. Eternal life, abundant life, is yours for the seeking. Do not misspend time over past failures. Count the lessons learned from failures as rungs upon the ladder of progress. Press onward toward the goal.

Prayer for the Day

I pray that I may be willing to grow. I pray that I may keep stepping up on the rungs of the ladder of life.


The Language of Letting Go – Codependency

Substance over Form

I’m learning that for a variety of reasons, I’ve spent much of my life focusing on form rather than substance. My focus has been on having my hair done perfectly, wearing the right clothes, having my makeup applied perfectly, living in the right place, furnishing it with the right furniture, working at the right job, and having the right man. Form, rather than substance, has controlled my behavior in many areas of my life. Now, I’m finally getting to the truth. It’s substance that counts.

—Anonymous

There is nothing wrong in wanting to look our best. Whether we are striving to create a self, a relationship, or a life, we need to have some solid ideas about what we want that to look like.

Form gives us a place to begin. But for many of us, form has been a substitute for substance. We may have focused on form to compensate for feeling afraid or feeling inferior. We may have focused on form because we didn’t know how to focus on substance.

Form is the outline; substance is what fills it in. We fill in the outline of ourselves by being authentic; we fill in the outline of our life by showing up for life and participating to the best of our ability.

Now, in recovery, we’re learning to pay attention to how things work and feel, not just to what they look like.

Today, I will focus on substance in my life. I will fill in the lines of myself with a real person – me. I will concentrate on the substance of my relationships, rather than what they look like. I will focus on the real working of my life, instead of the trappings.


Touchstone – Men’s Meditation

I can sing a prayer as well as say it.

—Baal Shem Tov

Lightness of spirit, song, and liberation are the products of a hearty spirituality. There is never a moment we don’t have reason to fret or mourn. If we need to grieve, our recovery helps and supports us. But more than that, we are freed in this new life to be men of song and humor. We can sing although life is painful, because we are part of a group of recovering people. We’re part of an unfolding mystery. We have love and it is beautiful.

Each time we let go of a secret or an old guilt or a worry about the future, our spirit is lightened. Maybe we experience this at its fullest while spending time with friends who take us just as we are. Perhaps we find it by seeing a funny movie or singing with a group. In the wisdom of the Steps, we are asked to do difficult and painful tasks, which lead to our spiritual awakening. A light spirit celebrates the outcome of our hard work.

I will remember that my laughter and song are also ways of praying.


Elder’s Meditation

“So unbelievable things like that happen. But you have to believe it first. Not wait until you see it first, then touch it, then believe it… You have to say it from the heart.”

–Wallace Black Elk, LAKOTA

The power of our belief system is incredible. The power of faith is a very natural power. How do we have faith? Inside of our minds we form a mental picture with our self talk. Self talk is recorded in our minds in three dimensions – words that trigger a picture, which has a feeling or an emotion attached to it. Once we get the words and the picture, it is the emotion that makes the idea turn into a belief. You get the right emotion by saying things from the heart. The heart is the source of emotions which can cause unbelievable things to happen.

Great Spirit, with You everything is possible.


Daily Horoscope – Cancer

You might as well look and do your best since you’re likely to be the center of attention today, whether you want to be or not. The bold Aries Full Moon lands in your 10th House of Career, allowing your reputation to shine. Deliver a presentation or run for office; you’re bound to be noticed and leave an impression. What makes you remarkable is that you’re content to be your natural self without putting on any airs. Just stay attuned to your authenticity, and you may discover your desired future comes to you more easily than if you try to chase it down. Don’t just look at the stars, be one.

DR – October 12, 2019

Daily Recovery Readings
October 12, 2019


Daily Reflection

CURBING RASHNESS

When we speak or act hastily or rashly, the ability to be fair-minded and tolerant evaporates on the spot.

— TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 91

Being fair-minded and tolerant is a goal toward which I must work daily. I ask God, as I understand Him, to help me to be loving and tolerant to my loved ones, and to those with whom I am in close contact. I ask for guidance to curb my speech when I am agitated, and I take a moment to reflect on the emotional upheaval my words may cause, not only to someone else, but also to myself. Prayer, meditation and inventories are the key to sound thinking and positive action for me.

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


Big Book Quote

On awakening let us think about the twenty-four hours ahead. We consider our plans for the day. Before we begin, we ask God to direct our thinking, especially asking that it be divorced from self- pity, dishonest or self-seeking motives. Under these conditions we can employ our mental faculties with assurance, for after all God gave us brains to use. Our thought-life will be placed on a much higher plane when our thinking is cleared of wrong motives.

~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, Into Action, pg. 86~


24 Hours a Day – The Little Black Book

Thought for the Day

Am I still on a “free ride” in A.A.? Am I all get and no give? Do I go to meetings and always sit in the back row and let the others do all the work? Do I think it’s enough just because I’m sober and can rest on my laurels? If so, I haven’t gone very far in the program, nor am I getting nearly enough of what it has to offer. I will be a weak member until I get in there and help carry the load. I must eventually get off the bench and get into the game. I’m not just a spectator: I’m supposed to be one of the team. Do I go in there and carry the ball?

Meditation for the Day

Try to be thankful for whatever vision you have. Try to perform, in the little things, faithful service to God and others. Do your small part every day in a spirit of service to God. Be a doer of God’s word, not a hearer only. In your daily life try to keep faith with God. Every day brings a new opportunity to be of some use. Even when you are tempted to rest or let things go or to evade the issue, make it a habit to meet the issue squarely as a challenge and not to hold back.

Prayer for the Day

I pray that I may perform each task faithfully. I pray that I may meet each issue of life squarely and not hold back.


The Language of Letting Go – Codependency

During Times of Grief

The process of adapting to change and loss takes energy. Grief is draining, sometimes exhausting. Some people need to “cocoon for transformation,” in Pat Carnes’s words, while going through grief.

We may feel more tired than usual. Our ability to function well in other areas of our life may be reduced, temporarily. We may want to hide out in the safety of our bedroom.

Grief is heavy. It can wear us down.

It’s okay to be gentle with ourselves when we’re gong through change and grief. Yes, we want to maintain the disciplines of recovery. But we can be compassionate with ourselves. We do not have to expect more from ourselves than we can deliver during this time. We do not even have to expect as much from ourselves as we would normally and reasonably expect.

We may need more rest, more sleep, more comfort. We may be more needy and have less to give. It is okay to accept ourselves, and our changed needs, during times of grief, stress, and change.

It is okay to allow ourselves to cocoon during times of transformation. We can surrender to the process, and trust that a new, exciting energy is being created within us.

Before long, we will take wings and fly.

God, help me accept my changed needs during times of grief, change, and loss.


Touchstone – Men’s Meditation

I resolve to meet evil courageously, but when even a small temptation cometh, I am in sore straits. That which seemeth trifling sometimes giveth rise to a grievous temptation.

—Thomas a’ Kempis

Even in recovery, we know we are vulnerable men, always subject to a return to old patterns. Sometimes we can understand the triggering event; other times there is no apparent reason for temptation to reappear. Perhaps it comes when we least expect it, when our guard is lowest. We may be tempted simply because we are addicts or codependents. Our powerlessness reminds us of our need for faithfulness to the program.

When we think we have moved beyond the draw of old behaviors, we veer away from our path of recovery. In saying we have grown out of our powerlessness, or that our resolve can now protect us, we are heading back into old troubles. Admitting the truth is unsettling. It also makes us more honest, more accessible, more spiritual, and more ready to deal with threats to our recovery.

I live with my powerlessness every day. Help me admit it to myself.


Elder’s Meditation

“The greatest obstacle to the internal nature is the mind. If it relies on logic the domain of the inner nature is inaccessible. The simple fact is a man does not challenge the wisdom of the Holy Mystery.”

–Turtleheart, TETON SIOUX

Why is it we need to analyze and understand everything? The Great Mystery has designed certain areas of creation to be a mystery because humans usually misuse it. We use the Great Mystery and see it unfold only under the direction of the Great Spirit. The Creator is in charge.

Great Spirit, let me realize You are in charge. I’m to do what You want.


Daily Horoscope – Cancer

You might be fortunate enough to be a pioneer in your field or to reach a milestone that no one in your inner circle has accomplished. However, standing out from the crowd may not feel as good as you or others imagined. Perhaps you don’t receive the affirmation and validation you expected today. You can choose to see yourself as set apart either as a hermit or an exile. The real question is do you want to be a leader or a follower. Assume that you can blaze a trail for others to eventually join you rather than believe you’re operating all alone. Being a maverick is a lonely but admirable job.

DR – October 11, 2019

Daily Recovery Readings
October 11, 2019


Daily Reflection

SELF-RESTRAINT

Our first objective will be the development of self-restraint.

— TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 91

My drive to work provides me with an opportunity for self-examination. One day while making this trip, I began to review my progress in sobriety, and was not happy with what I saw. I hoped that, as the work day progressed, I would forget these troublesome thoughts, but as one disappointment after another kept coming, my discontent only increased, and the pressures within me kept mounting.

I retreated to an isolated table in the lounge, and asked myself how I could make the most of the rest of the day. In the past, when things went wrong, I instinctively wanted to fight back. But during the short time I had been trying to live the A.A. program I had learned to step back and take a look at myself. I recognized that, although I was not the person I wanted to be, I had learned to not react in my old ways. Those old patterns of behavior only brought sorrow and hurt, to me and to others. I returned to my work station, determined to make the day a productive one, thanking God for the chance to make progress that day.

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


Big Book Quote

We have three little mottoes which are apropos.
Here they are:

First Things First
Live and Let Live
Easy Does It
.

~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, The Family Afterward, pg. 135~


24 Hours a Day – The Little Black Book

Thought for the Day

How good a sponsor am I? When I bring new members to a meeting, do I feel that my responsibility has ended? Or do I make it my job to stay with them until they have either become good members of A.A. or have found another sponsor? If they don’t show up for a meeting, do I say to myself: “Well they’ve had it put up to them, so if they don’t want it, there’s nothing more I can do?” Or do I look them up and find out whether there is a reason for their absences or that they don’t want A.A.? Do I go out of my way to find out if there is anything more I can do to help? Am I a good sponsor?

Meditation for the Day

“First be reconciled to your brother and then come and offer your gift to God.” First I must get right with other people and then I can get right with God. If I hold resentment against someone, which I find it very difficult to overcome, I should try to put something else constructive into my mind. I should pray for the one against whom I hold the resentment. I should put that person in God’s hands and let God show him or her the way to live. “If a man say: ‘I love God’ and hateth his brother, he is a liar, for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?”

Prayer for the Day

I pray that I may see something good in every person, even one I dislike, and that I may let God develop the good in that person.


The Language of Letting Go – Codependency

Recovery

How easy it is to blame our problems on others. “Look at what he’s doing.” . . . “Look how long I’ve waited.” . . . “Why doesn’t she call?” . . . “If only he’d change then I’d be happy.” . . .

Often, our accusations are justified. We probably are feeling hurt and frustrated. In those moments, we may begin to believe that the solution to our pain and frustration is getting the other person to do what we want, or having the outcome we desire. But these self-defeating illusions put the power and control of our life in other people’s hands. We call this codependency.

The solution to our pain and frustration, however valid is to acknowledge our own feelings. We feel the anger, the grief; then we let go of the feelings and find peace – within ourselves. We know our happiness isn’t controlled by another person, even though we may have convinced ourselves it is. We call this acceptance.

Then we decide that although we’d like our situation to be different, maybe our life is happening this way for a reason. Maybe there is a higher purpose and plan in play, one that’s better than we could have orchestrated. We call this faith.

Then we decide what we need to do, what is within our power to do to take care of ourselves. That’s called recovery.

It’s easy to point our finger at another, but it’s more rewarding to gently point it at ourselves.

Today, I will live with my pain and frustration by dealing with my own feelings.


Touchstone – Men’s Meditation

What is most beautiful in virile men is something feminine; what is most beautiful in feminine women is something masculine.

—Susan Sontag

In recovery, we grow in many ways and become more comfortable with the many subtle colors in our personalities. We have a greater range of all human qualities available to us now. We are more light and playful at times and more serious at others. We can cuddle up like a dependent child, or we can be the one who is responsible under pressure. We can be tough and virile, and we can be soft and gentle. One musical tone playing in harmony with another makes a song more beautiful. Because we have made peace within ourselves, our masculinity is not threatened.

As we discover many new feelings and reactions, it is natural to wonder if they are normal. When we talk with others about the ways we have changed, we learn they have similar feelings. As we become more at peace with ourselves, the various sides of our personalities complement each other, and we appreciate the harmony within us and in our friends.

Today, I am grateful for the richness and variety within myself.


Elder’s Meditation

“Men and women have an equal responsibility to restore the strength of the family, which is the foundation of all cultures.”

–Haida Gwaii Traditional Circle of Elders

The family is the heartbeat of strength of the culture. The grandfathers and grandmothers taught their children; they in turn had children who taught their children. If the family isn’t taught the culture, then the children become adults, and the adults become the grandfathers and grandmothers, and the result is the culture becomes lost. This is how language is lost; this is how dances are lost; this is how knowledge is lost. We need to listen to our Elders, today, before it’s too late.

Great Spirit, teach me the culture so I can teach the children.


Daily Horoscope – Cancer

You could experience a renewed interest in a topic that once triggered a strong response from you. For instance, you might be a person who’s never liked horror films, only to hear about one with an interesting twist that captures your imagination. The snooping sextile between the perceptive Pisces Moon and ponderous Pluto piques your curiosity today. It’s often scary to venture into dark parts of the psyche that’s crowded with your fears and storied taboos, but now you can release anxieties that keep you from growing. You need only be brave enough to look. Mythologist Joseph Campbell wrote, “The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek.”

DR – October 10, 2019

Daily Recovery Readings
October 10, 2019


Daily Reflection

FIXING ME, NOT YOU

If somebody hurts us and we are sore, we are in the wrong also.

— TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 90

What a freedom I felt when this passage was pointed out to me! Suddenly I saw that I could do something about my anger, I could fix me, instead of trying to fix them. I believe that there are no exceptions to the axiom. When I am angry, my anger is always self-centered. I must keep reminding myself that I am human, that I am doing the best I can, even when that best is sometimes poor. So I ask God to remove my anger and truly set me free.


Big Book Quote

For most normal folks, drinking means conviviality, companionship and colorful imagination.

It means release from care, boredom and worry. It is joyous intimacy with friends and a feeling that life is good. But not so with us in those last days of heavy drinking. The old pleasures were gone. They were but memories. Never could we recapture the great moments of the past. There was an insistent yearning to enjoy life as we once did and a heartbreaking obsession that some new miracle of control would enable us to do it. There was always one more attempt and one more failure.

~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, A Vision For You, pg. 151~


24 Hours a Day – The Little Black Book

Thought for the Day

When new members come into my A.A. group, do I make a special effort to make them feel at home? Do I put myself out to listen to them, even if their ideas of A.A. are vague? Do I make it a habit to talk to all new members myself, or do I often leave that to someone else? I may not be able to help them, but then again it may be something that I might say that would put them on the right track. When I see any members sitting alone, do I put myself out to be nice to them, or do I stay among my own special group of friends and leave them out in the cold? Are all new A.A. s my responsibility?

Meditation for the Day

You are God’s servant. Serve Him cheerfully and readily. Nobody likes a servant who avoids extra work, who complains about being called from one task to do one less enjoyable. A master would feel ill served by such a servant. But is that not how you so often serve God? View your day’s work in this light. Try to do your day’s work the way you believe God wants you to do it, never shirking any responsibility and often going out of your way to be of service.

Prayer for the Day

I pray that I may be a good servant. I pray that I may be willing to go out of my way to be of service.


The Language of Letting Go – Codependency

Payoffs from Destructive Relationships

Sometimes it helps to understand that we may be receiving a payoff from relationships that cause us distress.

The relationship may be feeding into our helplessness or our martyr role.

Maybe the relationships feeds our need to be needed, enhancing our self-esteem by allowing us to feel in control or morally superior to the other person.

Some of us feel alleviated from financial or other kinds of responsibility by staying in a particular relationship.

“My father sexually abused me when I was a child,” said one woman. “I went on to spend the next twenty years blackmailing him emotionally and financially on this. I could get money from him whenever I wanted, and I never had to take financial responsibility for myself.”

Realizing that we may have gotten a codependent payoff from a relationship is not a cause for shame. It means we are searching out the blocks in ourselves that may be stopping our growth.

We can take responsibility for the part we may have played in keeping ourselves victimized. When we are willing to look honestly and fearlessly at the payoff and let it go, we will find the healing we’ve been seeking. We’ll also be ready to receive the positive, healthy payoffs available in relationships, the payoffs we really want and need.

Today, I will be open to looking at the payoffs I may have received from staying in unhealthy relationships, or from keeping destructive systems operating. I will become ready to let go of my need to stay in unhealthy systems; I am ready to face myself.


Touchstone – Men’s Meditation

The last of the human freedoms is to choose one’s attitudes.

—Victor Frankl

When we stand and look at a mountain, it looks awesome, majestic, and perhaps intimidating. To climb the mountain we will need to select a route. Which approach will give us success? Which will provide a beautiful view? Which is safest? What are the rewards and trade offs among the paths available?

In our lives, we usually cannot choose the mountains that face us, but we can choose the best paths to approach them. One path may be a very negative attitude. It may feel safe like a narrow, protected passageway. It is predictable, but it keeps us cut off from others. Another path may be filled with too many self-indulgent pleasures and never progress in any direction. Another path may be hard and include some risks, but it allows us to be in contact with others and to appreciate the beauty along the way. When we make positive choices about our attitudes, although the mountain is challenging, we are liberated to become the kind of men we’re meant to be.

Today, I will choose friendly attitudes toward myself that will help me on my journey.


Elder’s Meditation

“I think that’s what unity is – knowing one another,coming together, and working with no conflict.”

–Chief Alan Wilson, HAIDA

When we are aligned with spiritual values, we cannot be in fear or conflict. When we are aligned to spiritual values, we have the Creator whispering solutions in our ears. Unity is one of the spiritual values. When we value unity we value solutions. If we think this way, then we have no conflict within ourselves.

Great Spirit, let me see through Your eyes.


Daily Horoscope – Cancer

Speculating about multiple possibilities available to you now might leave you overwhelmed with emotion. It’s hard to discern real opportunities from baseless options as surreal Neptune floods the porous Pisces Moon in your 9th House of Expansion. However, your heightened feelings also hold the key for how you can move forward. Pay attention to what excites and thrills you now. You’re likely uncovering long-buried inspirations for growth. As they breathe in the fresh air of your attention, listen to the desires that clamor loudest from your core. Never apologize for trusting your intuition.

DR – October 9, 2019

Daily Recovery Readings
October 9, 2019


Daily Reflection

A SPIRITUAL AXIOM

It is a spiritual axiom that every time we are disturbed, no matter what the cause, there is something wrong with us.

— TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 90

I never truly understood the Tenth Step’s spiritual axiom until I had the following experience. I was sitting in my bedroom, reading into the wee hours, when suddenly I heard my dogs barking in the back yard. My neighbors frown on this kind of disturbance so, with mixed feelings of anger and shame, as well as fear of my neighbors’ disapproval, I immediately called in my dogs. Several weeks later the exact situation repeated itself but this time, because I was feeling more at peace with myself, I was able to accept the situation—dogs will bark—and I calmly called in the dogs. Both incidents taught me that when a person experiences nearly identical events and reacts two different ways, then it is not the event which is of prime importance, but the person’s spiritual condition. Feelings come from inside,not from outward circumstances. When my spiritual condition is positive, I react positively.

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


Big Book Quote

“We agnostically inclined would not feel satisfied with a proposal which does not lend itself to reasonable approach and interpretation. Hence we are at pains to tell why we think our present faith is reasonable, why we think it more sane and logical to believe than not to believe, why we say our former thinking was soft and mushy when we threw up our hands in doubt and said, ‘We don’t know.'”

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


24 Hours a Day – The Little Black Book

Thought for the Day

Am I willing to be bored sometimes at meetings? Am I willing to listen to much repetition of A.A. principles? Am I willing to hear the same thing over and over again? Am I willing to listen to long-winded members go into every detail of their past? Am I willing to take it, because it is doing them good to get it off their chest? My feelings are not too important. The good of A.A. comes first, even if it is not always comfortable for me. Have I learned to take it?

Meditation for the Day

God would draw us all closer to Him in the bonds of the spirit. He would have all people drawn closer to each other in the bonds of the spirit. God, the Great Spirit of the universe, of which each of our own spirits is a small part, must want unity between Himself and all His children. “Unity of the spirit in the bonds of peace.” Each experience of our life, of joy, of sorrow, of danger, of safety, of difficulty, of success, of hardship, of ease, each should be accepted as part of our common lot, in the bonds of the spirit.

Prayer for the Day

I pray that I may welcome the bonds of true fellowship. I pray that I may be brought closer to unity with God and other people.


The Language of Letting Go – Codependency

Self-Disclosure

Learning to gently reveal who we are is how we open ourselves up to love and intimacy in our relationships.

Many of us have hidden under a protective shell, a casing that prevents others from seeing or hurting us. We do not want to be that vulnerable. We do not want to expose our thoughts, feelings, fears, weaknesses, and sometimes our strengths, to others.

We do not want others to see who we really are.

We may be afraid they might judge us, go away, or not like us. We may be uncertain that who we are is okay or exactly how we should reveal ourselves to others.

Being vulnerable can be frightening, especially if we have lived with people who abused, mistreated, manipulated, or did not appreciate us.

Little by little, we learn to take the risk of revealing ourselves. We disclose the real person within to others. We pick safe people, and we begin to disclose bits and pieces about ourselves.

Sometimes, out of fear, we may withhold, thinking that will help the relationship or will help others like us more. That is an illusion. Withholding who we are does not help the other person, the relationship, or us. Withholding is behavior that backfires. For true intimacy and closeness to exist, for us to love ourselves and be content in a relationship, we need to disclose who we are.

That does not mean we tell all to everyone at once. That can be a self-defeating behavior too. We can learn to trust ourselves, about who to tell, when to tell, where to tell, and how much to tell.

To trust that people will love and like us if we are exactly who we are is frightening. But it is the only way we can achieve what we want in relationships. To let go of our need to control others – their opinions, their feelings about us, or the course of the relationship – is the key.

Gently, like a flower, we can learn to open up. Like a flower, we will do that when the sun shines and there is warmth.

Today, I will begin to take the risk of disclosing who I am to someone with whom I feel safe. I will let go of some of my protective devices and risk being vulnerable – even though I may have been taught differently, even though I may have taught myself differently. I will disclose who I am in a way that reflects self-responsibility, self-love, directness, and honesty. God, help me let go of my fears about disclosing who I am to people. Help me accept who I am, and help me let go of my need to be who people want me to be.


Touchstone – Men’s Meditation

Nothing worse could happen to one than to be completely understood.

—Carl Jung

We so often long to be understood. We imagine it would cure our loneliness and empty feelings. We think of it as a kind of intimacy. Yet, we may be longing for a false goal. We are each a unique man on an incomplete journey. We don’t yet fully understand ourselves. There is still much mystery beneath the surface of our being. If our partners or friends completely understood us, where would we go from there? We would no longer belong to ourselves.

Perhaps we are completely understood by our Higher Power but not by another person. It is a fact of life that we continue to grow and to reveal deeper layers of ourselves. We have relationships in which we can share the mysteries as they unfold. We can talk and be understood. In communication we find our closeness and intimacy.

Today, I will remember that at the deepest level no one can fully understand me. I will communicate with others to deal with my loneliness.


Elder’s Meditation

“That spiritual power I wear is much more beautiful and much greater. We call it wisdom, knowledge, power and gift, or love. There are these four parts to that spiritual power. So I wear those. When you wear that power it will beautify your mind and spirit. You become beautiful. Everything that Tunkashila creates is beautiful.”

–Wallace Black Elk, LAKOTA

When I was young, I asked my grandfather, “What should I pray for?” He thought for a long time and then he said, “Pray only for wisdom and for the knowledge of love.” This makes a lot of sense. No matter what happens I ask the Creator to show me the lessons I should be learning. I pray for Him to help me learn the lessons. By doing this everyday we become beautiful human beings.

Great Spirit, grant me Your wisdom.


Daily Horoscope – Cancer

Raising your emotional IQ is as vital as boosting any other kind of intelligence. The receptive Pisces Moon’s presence in your 9th House of Higher Education inspires you to seek out resources to increase your understanding of your emotions and those around you. Some measure of your research may be more introspective and self-reflective now. But learning and practicing stress-busting techniques can help you successfully cope with tense moments. The more attuned you are to yourself, the more you can create harmony with others.

DR – October 8, 2019

Daily Recovery Readings
October 8, 2019


Daily Reflection

DAILY INVENTORY

. . . and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.

— ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 59

I was beginning to approach my new life of sobriety with unaccustomed enthusiasm. New friends were cropping up and some of my battered friendships had begun to be repaired. Life was exciting, and I even began to enjoy my work, becoming so bold as to issue a report on the lack of proper care for some of our clients. One day a co-worker informed me that my boss was really sore because a complaint, submitted over his head, had caused him much discomfort at the hands of his superiors. I knew that my report had created the problem, and began to feel responsible for my boss’s difficulty. In discussing the affair, my co-worker tried to reassure me that an apology was not necessary, but I soon became convinced that I had to do something, regardless of how it might turn out. When I approached my boss and owned up to my hand in his difficulties, he was surprised. But unexpected things came out of our encounter, and my boss and I were able to agree to interact more directly and effectively in the future.


Big Book Quote

Alcoholics who have derided religious people will be helped by such contacts. Being possessed of a spiritual experience, the alcoholic will find he has much in common with these people, though he may differ with them on many matters. If he does not argue about religion, he will make new friends and is sure to find new avenues of usefulness and pleasure. He and his family can be a bright spot in such congregations. He may bring new hope and new courage to many a priest, minister, or rabbi, who gives his all to minister to our troubled world. We intend the foregoing as a helpful suggestion only. So far as we are concerned, there is nothing obligatory about it. As non-denominational people, we cannot make up others’ minds for them. Each individual should consult his own conscience.

~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, The Family Afterward, pg. 131~


24 Hours a Day – The Little Black Book

Thought for the Day

There is such a thing as being too loyal to any one group. Do I feel put out when another group starts and some members of my group leave it and branch out into new territory? Or do I send them out with my blessing? Do I visit that new offshoot group and help it along? Or do I sulk in my own tent? A.A. grows by the starting of new groups all the time. I must realize that it’s a good thing for a large group to split up into smaller ones, even if it means that the large group – my own group – becomes smaller. Am I always ready to help new groups?

Meditation for the Day

Pray – and keep praying until it brings peace and serenity and a feeling of communion with One who is near and ready to help. The thought of God is balm for our hates and fears. In praying to God, we find healing for hurt feelings and resentments. In thinking of God, doubts and fears leave us. Instead of those doubts, and fears, there will flow into our hearts such faith and love as is beyond the power of material things to give, and such peace as the world can neither give nor take away. And with God, we can have the tolerance to live and let live.

Prayer for the Day

I pray that I may have true tolerance and understanding. I pray that I may keep striving for these difficult things.


The Language of Letting Go – Codependency

Learning to Wait

I’ve started to realize that waiting is an art, that waiting achieves things. Waiting can be very, very powerful. Time is a valuable thing. If you can wait two years, you can sometimes achieve something that you could not achieve today, however hard you worked, however much money you threw up in the air, however many times you banged your head against the wall. . .

—The Courage to Change by Dennis Wholey

The people who are most successful at living and loving are those who can learn to wait successfully. Not many people enjoy waiting or learning patience. Yet, waiting can be a powerful tool that will help us accomplish much good.

We cannot always have what we want when we want it. For different reasons, what we want to do, have, be, or accomplish is not available to us now. But there are things we could not do or have today, no matter what, that we can have in the future. Today, we would make ourselves crazy trying to accomplish what will come naturally and with ease later.

We can trust that all is on schedule. Waiting time is not wasted time. Something is being worked out – in us, in someone else, in the Universe.

We don’t have to put our life on hold while we wait. We can direct our attention elsewhere; we can practice acceptance and gratitude in the interim; we can trust that we do have a life to live while we are waiting – then we go about living it.

Deal with your frustration and impatience, but learn how to wait. The old saying, “You can’t always get what you want” isn’t entirely true. Often, in life, we can get what we want – especially the desires of our heart – if we can learn to wait.

Today, I am willing to learn the art of patience. If I am feeling powerless because I am waiting for something to happen and I am not in control of timing, I will focus on the power available to me by learning to wait.


Touchstone – Men’s Meditation

We cannot avoid
Using power,
Cannot escape the compulsion
To afflict the world,
So let us, cautious in diction
And mighty in contradiction,
Love powerfully.

—Martin Buber

The use and misuse of power by men give us much to weep over and much to admire. In our own families we see how our parents fought over power, how they used it both wisely and abusively. Our problems with power and control are a central part of our addictions and codependency. Admitting our powerlessness has started us toward recovery. Admitting our power will help carry us further.

No one is innocent beyond childhood. We affect the people around us, and it matters how we treat them. We cannot come and go unnoticed. Since we will make an impact, we learn to treat ourselves and the people around us with respect and justice. Our only solution is to learn to love and be loved.

Today, I will be more aware of the power I have in others’ lives.


Elder’s Meditation

“I think there was a big mistake made (when) people separated religion and the government. That was one of the big mistakes that was made, because when they did that, then they removed the Creator from their life – or at least from half to three-quarters of their life.”

–Tom Porter, MOHAWK

The Elders tell us that every thing the Creator made is interconnected. Nothing can be separated. The Elders say we should pray before we do anything. We should ask the Creator, what do You want us to do? We are put on the Earth to do the will of God. If we run our governments, communities, families, or ourselves. Without the spiritual we are doomed to failure.

My Creator, guide my life to include the spiritual in everything I do.


Daily Horoscope – Cancer

Your flowing creative juices add fun, flourish, and embellishment to whatever you touch today. You’re liable to affix the perfect accessory to your work outfit, or your fancy wordplay makes a memo a lot more interesting to read. Similarly, surprising a loved one with a gift brings a smile to both your faces. Whether you snap some photos or paint a work of art, unleash your muse and set your inner child free. Lighthearted playfulness is infectious and healthy, so spread as much of it as you can. Author Neal Donald Walsch wrote, “Release the joy that is inside another, and you release the joy inside of you.”