DR – August 17, 2019

Daily Recovery Readings
August 17, 2019


Daily Reflection

RIGHTING THE HARM

In many instances we shall find that though the harm done others has not been great, the emotional harm we have done ourselves has.

— TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 79

Have you ever thought that the harm you did a business associate, or perhaps a family member, was so slight that it really didn’t deserve an apology because they probably wouldn’t remember it anyway? If that person, and the wrong done to him, keeps coming to mind, time and again, causing an uneasy or perhaps guilty feeling, then I put that person’s name at the top of my “amends list,” and become willing to make a sincere apology, knowing I will feel calm and relaxed about that person once this very important part of my recovery is accomplished.

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


Big Book Quote

If, when you honestly want to, you find you cannot quit entirely, or if when drinking, you have little control over the amount you take, you are probably alcoholic. If that be the case, you may be suffering from an illness which only a spiritual experience will conquer.”

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


24 Hours a Day – The Little Black Book

Thought for the Day

“To one who feels he is an atheist or agnostic, a spiritual experience seems impossible, but to continue as he is means disaster. To be doomed to an alcoholic death or to live on a spiritual basis are not always easy alternatives to face. But we have to face the fact that we must find a spiritual basis of life – or else. Lack of power is our dilemma. We have to find a power by which we can live, and it has to be a power greater than ourselves.” Have I found that power by which I can live?

Meditation for the Day

Sunshine is the laughter of nature. Live out in the sunshine. The sun and air are good medicine. Nature is a good nurse for tired bodies. Let her have her way with you. God’s grace is like the sunshine. Let your whole being be enwrapped in the Divine spirit. Faith is the soul’s breathing in of the Divine spirit. It makes glad the hearts of human beings. The Divine spirit heals and cures the mind. Let it have its way and all will be well.

Prayer for the Day

I pray that I may live in the sunshine of God’s spirit. I pray that my mind and soul may be energized by it.


The Language of Letting Go – Codependency

Healing Thoughts

Think healing thoughts.

When you feel anger or resentment, ask God to help you feel it, learn from it, and then release it. Ask Him to bless those who you feel anger toward. Ask Him to bless you too.

When you feel fear, ask Him to take it from you. When you feel misery, force gratitude. When you feel deprived, know that there is enough.

When you feel ashamed, reassure yourself that who you are is okay. You are good enough.

When you doubt your timing or your present position in life, assure yourself that all is well; you are right where you’re meant to be. Reassure yourself that others are too.

When you ponder the future, tell yourself that it will be good. When you look back at the past, relinquish regrets.

When you notice problems, affirm there will be a timely solution and a gift from the problem.

When you resist feelings or thoughts, practice acceptance. When you feel discomfort, know it will pass. When you identify a want or a need, tell yourself it will be met.

When you worry about those you love, ask God to protect and care for them. When you worry about yourself, ask Him to do the same.

When you think about others, think love. When you think about yourself, think love.

Then watch your thoughts transform reality.


Touchstone – Men’s Meditation

Life is change … Growth is optional… Choose wisely…

—Karen Kaiser Clark

We can certainly count on change. We become fathers, our children become more independent, we make new friends, and other friends move away. When a man clings too tightly to the status quo or tries to control the direction of change, he is bound to be disappointed. We are like skiers on a mountain. We must continue down the slope. We can vary our speed somewhat, but if we stop for too long we will get cold or hungry; if we ski too fast, we may have a serious fall. Part of the pleasure is in not being able to control or predict every circumstance we will meet.

We don’t control which loved ones come into our lives and which ones go or whether we become ill or stay healthy. We don’t control life’s opportunities. We can control how we choose to respond to these transitions. Whatever happens can be used for growth and we can commit ourselves to use all experiences that way.

Today, I will not try to control change but will choose to use whatever happens for growth.


Elder’s Meditation

“If a child hasn’t been given spiritual values within the family setting, they have no familiarity with the values that are necessary for the just and peaceful functioning in society.”

–Eunice Baumann-Nelson, Ph.D, PENOBSCOT

When we are born, we start with a beautiful empty mind ready to be given our beliefs, attitudes, habits and expectations. Most of our true learning comes from watching the actions of others. As we watch our family or relatives, whatever their actions and values are, so will be the children’s values and acts. If we see our families living a just and peaceful way of life, so then will the children. If we see our family shouting, arguing, and hateful, so will it be for the children. The cycle of life – baby, youth, adult and Elder is all connected. If the older ones have good values, it will be connected to the children.


Daily Horoscope – Cancer

Commit yourself to clear vision. The Pisces Moon dazzles your 9th House of Philosophy, making your perceptions hazy today, but thankfully, you can prevail with extra focus. It takes concerted effort to distinguish the thin line between pleasure and pain, or love and fear. Remind yourself throughout the day that your analytical skills augment your senses. Nevertheless, apply higher sight to every situation, person, or event that upsets you now. When you stand in your truth you can transform your world. Joy, happiness, and peace are cultivated with discipline.

DR – August 16, 2019

Daily Recovery Readings
August 16, 2019


Daily Reflection

“I HAD DROPPED OUT”

We might next ask ourselves what we mean when we say that we have “harmed” other people. What kinds of “harm” do people do one another, anyway? To define the word “harm” in a practical way, we might call it the result of instincts in collision, which cause physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual damage to people.

— TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 80

I had been to Eighth Step meetings, always thinking, “I really haven’t harmed many people, mostly myself.” But the time came when I wrote my list out and it was not as short as I thought it would be. I either liked you, disliked you, or needed something from you—it was that simple. People hadn’t done what I wanted them to do and intimate relationships were out of hand because of my partners’ unreasonable demands. Were these “sins of omission”? Because of my drinking, I had “dropped out”—never sending cards, returning calls, being there for other people, or taking part in their lives. What a grace it has been to look at these relationships, to make my inventories in quiet, alone with the God of my understanding, and to go forth daily, with a willingness to be honest and forthright in my relationships.

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


Big Book Quote

“We are like men who have lost their legs; they never grow new ones. Neither does there appear to be any kind of treatment which will make alcoholics of our kind like other men. We have tried every imaginable remedy. In some instances there has been brief recovery, followed always by a still worse relapse. Physicians who are familiar with alcoholism agree there is no such thing as making a normal drinker out of an alcoholic. Science may one day accomplish this, but it hasn’t done so yet.”

~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, More About Alcoholism, pg. 30~


24 Hours a Day – The Little Black Book

Thought for the Day

“The alcoholic is absolutely unable to stop drinking on the basis of self-knowledge. We must admit we can do nothing about it ourselves. Will power and self-knowledge will never help in the strange mental blank spots when we are tempted to drink. An alcoholic mentally is in a very sick condition. The last flicker of conviction that we can do the job ourselves must be snuffed out. The spiritual answer and the program of action are the only hope. Only spiritual principles will solve our problems. We are completely helpless apart from Divine help. Our defense against drinking must come from a Higher Power.” Have I accepted the spiritual answer and the program of action?

Meditation for the Day

Rest now until life, eternal life, flowing through your veins and heart and mind, bids you to bestir yourself. Then glad work will follow. Tired work is never effective. The strength of God’s spirit is always available to the tired mind and body. He is your physician and your healer. Look to these quiet times of communion with God for rest, for peace, for cure. Then rise refreshed in spirit and go out to work, knowing that your strength is able to meet any problems because it is reinforced by God’s power.

Prayer for the Day

I pray that the peace I have found will make me effective. I pray that I may be relieved of all strain during this day.


The Language of Letting Go – Codependency

Rescuing Ourselves

No one likes a martyr.

How do we feel around martyrs? Guilty, angry, trapped, negative, and anxious to get away.

Somehow, many of us have developed the belief that depriving ourselves, not taking care of ourselves, being a victim, and suffering needlessly will get us what we want.

It is our job to notice our abilities, our strengths, and take care of ourselves by developing and acting on them.

It is our job to notice our pain and weariness and appropriately take care of ourselves.

It is our job to notice our deprivation, too, and begin to take steps to give ourselves abundance. It begins inside of us, by changing what we believe we deserve, by giving up our deprivation and treating ourselves the way we deserve to be treated.

Life is hard, but we don’t have to make it more difficult by neglecting ourselves. There is no glory in suffering, only suffering. Our pain will not stop when a rescuer comes, but when we take responsibility for ourselves and stop our own pain.

Today, I will be my own rescuer. I will stop waiting for someone else to work through my issues and solve my problems for me.


Touchstone – Men’s Meditation

We did not all come over on the same ship, but we were all in the same boat.

—Bernard M. Baruch

As we listen to others’ stories and tell our own, we see roads into this program are different. Some of us hit bottom. Others were spared the worst catastrophes, getting the message of recovery early. In the final analysis, we are all in the same boat with our powerlessness. The differences are superficial. There is no higher or lower status for anyone in our program. When it comes to the power of our addictions and co-dependencies, we are equally in need of help from our Higher Power.

Perhaps there was a time when we felt totally alone with our problems. But we were alone just like thousands of others needing recovery. Because we all have suffered and know our need for help, we can now have a caring and supportive group. We can turn to our brothers and sisters in the program knowing that they are in the same boat, and they will understand. No one else provides that kind of healing relationship.

I am grateful for the closeness I have with others who are in the same boat with me.


Elder’s Meditation

“The best teachers have shown me that things have to be done bit by bit. Nothing that means anything happens quickly – we only think it does.”

–Joseph Bruchac, ABENAKI

There are no short cuts. Every tree must grow according to the growth plan of the Creator. Every flower must grow according to the plan of God. The moon must make its trip around the earth according to God’s plan. Every human being must grow according to the plan of the Creator. Sometimes we look at ourselves and we think we are not growing but we are always growing. Because we cannot see it with our mind does not mean it is not happening. We must be patient with ourselves and let the Creator direct our growth.

My Creator, let me be patient. Let me realize that You are in charge of all things. Let me realize that I must grow my roots a little at a time to become strong.


Daily Horoscope – Cancer

Your thoughts are generative and create your reality. As you expand awareness and stretch beyond the comfort zone, your limitations become apparent and may seem daunting. Be aware of the stories you tell and the implications you ascribe to whatever happens. Fortunately, analyzing the truth leads you to see things differently. Make the shift to rewrite the script. Emotions are fleeting, and you are the sole judge of what your feelings mean. The school of life presents constant lessons for growth. Your teacher can open the door, but you must enter by yourself.

DR – August 15, 2019

Daily Recovery Readings
August 15, 2019


Daily Reflection

DIDN’T WE HURT ANYBODY?

Some of us, though, tripped over a very different snag. We clung to the claim that when drinking we never hurt anybody but ourselves.

— TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 79

This Step seemed so simple. I identified several people whom I had harmed, but they were no longer available. Still, I was uneasy about the Step and avoided conversations dealing with it. In time I learned to investigate those Steps and areas of my life which made me uncomfortable. My search revealed my parents, who had been deeply hurt by my isolation from them; my employer, who worried about my absences, my memory lapses, my temper; and the friends I had shunned, without explanation. As I faced the reality of the harm I had done, Step Eight took on new meaning. I am no longer uncomfortable and I feel clean and light.

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


Big Book Quote

“We had a new Employer. Being all powerful, He provided what we needed, if we kept close to Him and performed His work well. Established on such a footing we became less and less interested in ourselves, our little plans and designs. More and more we became interested in seeing what we could contribute to life. As we felt new power flow in, as we enjoyed peace of mind, as we discovered we could face life successfully, as we became conscious of His presence, we began to lose our fear of today, tomorrow or the hereafter. We were reborn.”

~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, How It Works, pg. 63~


24 Hours a Day – The Little Black Book

Thought for the Day

“Once an alcoholic, always an alcoholic. Commencing to drink after a period of sobriety, we are, in a short time, as bad as ever. If we have admitted we are alcoholics, we must have no reservations of any kind, nor any lurking notion that some day we will be immune to alcohol. What sort of thinking dominates an alcoholic who repeats time after time the desperate experiment of the first drink? Parallel with sound reasoning, there inevitably runs some insanely trivial excuse for taking the first drink. There is little thought of what the terrific consequences may be.” Have I given up all excuses for taking a drink?

Meditation for the Day

“Where two or three are banded together, I will be there in the midst of them.” When God finds two or three people in union, who only want His will to be done, who want only to serve Him, He has a plan that can be revealed to them. The grace of God can come to people who are together in one place with one accord. A union like this is miracle-working. God is able to use such people. Only good can come through such consecrated people, brought together in unified groups for a single purpose and of a single mind.

Prayer for the Day

I pray that I may be part of a unified group. I pray that I may contribute my share to its consecrated purpose.


The Language of Letting Go – Codependency

Leaving Room for Feelings

We need to allow enough room for others and ourselves to have and work through our feelings.

We are people, not robots. An important part of us – who we are, how we grow, how we live – is connected to our emotional center. We have feelings, sometimes – difficult ones, sometimes disruptive ones, and sometimes explosive ones that need to be worked through.

By facing and working through these feelings we and others grow. In relationships, whether it is a love relationship, a friendship, a family relationship, or a close business relationship, people need room to have and work through their feelings.

Some call it “going through the process.”

It is unreasonable to expect ourselves or others to not need time and room to work through feelings. We will be setting ourselves and our relationships up for failure if we do not allow this time and room in our life.

We need time to work through feelings. We need the space and permission to work through these feelings in the awkward, uncomfortable, sometimes messy way that people work through feelings.

This is life. This is growth. This is okay.

We can allow room for feelings. We can let people have time and permission to go through their feelings. We do not have to keep others or ourselves under such a tight rein. While we work through our feelings we do not have to expend unnecessary energy reacting to each feeling others or we have. We don’t have to take all our feelings, and others’ feelings, so seriously while others or we are in the process of working through them.

Let the feelings flow and trust where the flow is taking you.

I can set reasonable boundaries for behavior, and still leave room for a range of emotions.


Touchstone – Men’s Meditation

A man’s life is what his thoughts make it.

—Marcus Aurelius

How do we think about ourselves? Do we feel unattractive? Do we feel we aren’t masculine enough? Do we doubt our ability to perform our roles as friends, husbands, or fathers? Such thoughts are common among men. There is no problem in having them; they are normal to some extent. But what we do with our thoughts – how we think about what we think – makes a big difference in our lives.

When we think we are odd or different from other men for feeling this way, we become more self-centered. When we don’t stand up for our rights as men to have our doubts and weaknesses, we become even more weak and doubting. When we don’t talk about our thoughts and feelings to other men, we become isolated and lonely. We have a right to feel insecure and to know we have weaknesses. We become stronger men by accepting our doubts. They may still cause some pain but they have lost their power to control us. Just as a repaired seam can be stronger than the original, what was our weakness becomes our strength.

Today, I accept my thoughts of weakness and self-doubt as part of life.


Elder’s Meditation

“There are many people who could claim and learn from their Indian ancestry, but because of the fear their parents and grandparents knew, because of past and present prejudice against Indian people, that part of their heritage is clouded or denied.”

–Joseph Bruchac, ABENAKI

There were many injustices done to Native people. Sometimes I wonder; why am I connected to the past injustices done to Indian people? Why am I so angry about the past? The Elders say our ancestors are alive within each of us. Therefore, I may experience anger and resentment inside of me because of the injustice done to them. The way I get rid of these past feelings is to forgive. It may be necessary to even learn to forgive the unforgivable.

Great Spirit, teach me the path of forgiveness; teach me the courage to forgive; teach me to let go. Give to me a forgiving heart.


Daily Horoscope – Cancer

All endings lead to fresh beginnings. The Aquarius Full Moon in your 8th House of Regeneration sparks a new cycle of growth from destruction. What previously defined your sense of self may also be exactly that which keeps you bound. Accept the current cosmic lessons and surrender to the progression. Reinforce your spiritual self-worth by allowing for deep transformational experiences with others. Discernment helps you know when it is time to harvest what you created and plant new seeds for the next chapter. Embrace the unknown.

DR – August 14, 2019

Daily Recovery Readings
August 14, 2019


Daily Reflection

REPAIRING THE DAMAGE

We attempt to sweep away the debris which has accumulated out of our effort to live on self-will and run the show ourselves. If we haven’t the will to do this, we ask until it comes. Remember it was agreed at the beginning we would go to any lengths for victory over alcohol.

— ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 76

Making a list of people I had harmed was not a particularly difficult thing to do. They had showed up in my Fourth Step inventory: people towards whom I had resentments, real or imagined, and whom I had hurt by acts of retaliation. For my recovery to be thorough, I believed it was not important for those who had legitimately harmed me to make amends to me. What is important in my relationship with God is that I stand before Him, knowing I have done what I can to repair the damage I have done.


Big Book Quote

“My friend suggested what then seemed a novel idea. He said, ‘Why don’t you choose your own conception of God?’ That statement hit me hard. It melted the icy intellectual mountain in whose shadow I had lived and shivered many years. I stood in the sunlight at last.

It was only a matter of being willing to believe in a Power greater than myself. Nothing more was required of me to make my beginning. I saw that growth could start from that point.”

~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, Bill’s Story, pg. 12~


24 Hours a Day – The Little Black Book

Thought for the Day

“None of us like to think that we are bodily and mentally different from others. Our drinking careers have been characterized by countless vain attempts to prove that we could drink like other people. This delusion that we are like other people has to be smashed. It has been definitely proved that no real alcoholic has ever recovered control. Over any considerable period we get worse, never better. There is no such thing as making a normal drinker out of an alcoholic.” Am I convinced that I can never drink again normally?

Meditation for the Day

We should have life and have it more abundantly – spiritual, mental, physical, abundant life – joyous, powerful life. These we can have if we follow the right way. Not all people will accept from God the gift of an abundant life, a gift held out free to all. Not all people care to stretch out a hand and take it. God’s gift, the richest He has to offer, is the precious gift of abundant life. People often turn away from it, reject it, and will have none of it. Do not let this be true of you.

Prayer for the Day

I pray that I may hasten to accept the gift of abundant spiritual life. I pray that I may live the good life to the best of my ability.


The Language of Letting Go – Codependency

Owning Our Power

Many of us have someone in our life that challenges our ability to trust and care for ourselves.

When we hear that person’s voice or are in his or her presence, we may forget all we know about what is real, about how to own our power, about how to be direct, about what we know and believe to be true, about how important we are.

We give up our power to that person. The child in us gets hooked with a mixture of powerful feelings – love, fear, or anger. We may feel trapped, helpless, or so attracted that we can’t think straight. There may be a powerful tug of war going between feelings of anger and our need to be loved and accepted, or between our head and our heart.

We may be so enamored or intimidated that we revert to our belief that we can’t react or respond to this person any differently.

We get hooked.

We don’t have to stay under a spell.

We start by becoming aware of the people who hook us, and then accepting that.

We can force ourselves through the motions of reacting differently to that person, even if that new reaction is awkward and uncomfortable.

Search out our motivations. Are we somehow trying to control or influence the other person? We cannot change the other person, but we can stop playing our part of the game. One good way to do this is by detaching and letting go of any need to control.

The next step is learning to own our power to take care of ourselves, to be who we are free from their influence. We can learn to own our power with difficult people. It may not happen overnight, but we can begin, today, to change our self-defeating reactions to the people who have hooked us.

God, help me identify the relationships where I have forfeited my power. Help me unhook and begin owning my power.


Touchstone – Men’s Meditation

What I do today is important because I am exchanging a day of my life for it.

—Hugh Mulligan

We show self-respect in how we choose to spend our time. Do we give tasks the time required for our best efforts? Or do we feel unworthy of quality work? Do we have a right to stop working and just play? Are we worth spending time with – just ourselves, or do we feel meaningful time is only spent with others? Are we worth caring enough about to enjoy bathing, grooming, or getting haircuts? Do we care enough about ourselves to see a dentist or a physician when needed?

Choices about how we use our time are basic ethical and creative choices. Beyond self-respect and care, we need to put time into our day for nourishing and enriching our spirits. We do that by reading something thoughtful or meaningful, talking to a friend about the events and feelings of our lives, listening to music, fixing a pleasant meal, exercising, and giving unpaid time and energy to worthwhile causes.

I am grateful for the gift of another day, and I will live it creatively and respectfully.


Elder’s Meditation

“It’s time Indians tell the world what we know… about nature and about God. So I’m going to tell you what I know and who I am. You guys better listen. You have a lot to learn.

–Mathew King, LAKOTA

A long time ago the Creator came to Turtle Island and said to the Red People – “You will be the keepers of the Mother Earth. Among you I will give the wisdom about nature, about the interconnectedness of all things, about balance and about living in harmony. You Red People will see the secrets of nature. You will live in hardship and the blessing of this is you will stay close to the Creator. The day will come when you will need to share the secrets with the other people of the earth because they will stray from their spiritual ways. The time to start sharing is today.”

Oh Great Spirit, today I am ready for You to use me as a channel of Your peace. Let my walk today be visible so the people will say “There goes a Man of God.” I want to know what He knows. If they ask, I will tell them to go out into the wilderness and pray for You to guide them.


Daily Horoscope – Cancer

Transformation is an ongoing process. Your desires are connected to your ability to merge, and you may need to give up the illusion of separation to cultivate the bonds of intimacy. What are you willing to trade in exchange for security? The fear of being seen is what blocks true connection. Apply one hundred percent of your intentions to the situation, whether it’s managing resources or dealing with another human being. However uncomfortable it feels, acknowledging and allowing space for your emotions sets you free. Be at peace with all that arises to experience profound growth.

DR – August 13, 2019

Daily Recovery Readings
August 13, 2019


Daily Reflection

A CLEAN SWEEP

. . . and third, having thus cleaned away the debris of the past, we consider how, with our newfound knowledge of ourselves, we may develop the best possible relations with every human being we know.

— TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 77

As I faced the Eighth Step, everything that was required for successful completion of the previous seven Steps came together: courage, honesty, sincerity, willingness and thoroughness, I could not muster the strength required for this task at the beginning, which is why this Step reads “Became willing. . . . “

I needed to develop the courage to begin, the honesty to see where I was wrong, a sincere desire to set things right, thoroughness in making a list, and willingness to take the risks required for true humility. With the help of my Higher Power in developing these virtues, I completed this Step and continued to move forward in my quest for spiritual growth.


Big Book Quote

“You are going to meet these new friends in your own community. Near you, alcoholics are dying helplessly like people in a sinking ship. If you live in a large place, there are hundreds. High and low, rich and poor, these are future fellows of Alcoholics Anonymous. Among them you will make lifelong friends. You will be bound to them with new and wonderful ties, for you will escape disaster together and you will commence shoulder to shoulder your common journey. Then you will know what it means to give of yourself that others may survive and rediscover life. You will learn the full meaning of ‘Love thy neighbor as thyself.'”

~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, A Vision For You, pg. 152~


24 Hours a Day – The Little Black Book

Thought for the Day

“We had but two alternatives; one was to go on to the bitter end, blotting out the consciousness of our intolerable situation as best we could, and the other was to accept spiritual help. We became willing to maintain a certain simple attitude toward life. What seemed at first a flimsy reed has proved to be the loving and powerful hand of God. A new life has been given us, a design for living that really works. All of us establish in our own individual way our personal relationship with God.” Have I established my own relationship with God?

Meditation for the Day

Make it a daily practice to review your character. Take your character in relation to your daily life, to your dear ones, your friends, your acquaintances, and your work. Each day try to see where God wants you to change. Plan how best each fault can be eradicated or each mistake be corrected. Never be satisfied with a comparison with those around you. Strive toward a better life as your ultimate goal. God is your helper through weakness to power, through danger to security, through fear and worry to peace and serenity.

Prayer for the Day

I pray that I may make real progress toward a better life. I pray that I may never be satisfied with my present state.


The Language of Letting Go – Codependency

Friends

Don’t overlook the value of friendship. Don’t neglect friends.

Friends are a joy. Adult friendships can be a good place for us to learn to have fun and to appreciate how much fun we can have with a friend.

Friends can be a comfort. Who knows us better, or is more able to give us support, than a good friend? A friendship is a comfortable place to be ourselves. Often, our choice of friends will reflect the issue we’re working on. Giving and receiving support will help both people grow.

Some friendships wax and wane, going through cycles throughout the years. Some trail off when one person outgrows the other. Certainly, we will have trials and tests in friendships and, at times, be called on to practice our recovery behaviors.

But some friendships will last a lifetime. There are special love relationships, and there are friendships. Sometimes, our friendships – especially recovery friendships – can be special love relationships too.

Today, I will reach out to a friend. I will let myself enjoy the comfort, joys, and enduring quality of my friendships.


Touchstone – Men’s Meditation

There is overwhelming evidence that the higher the level of self-esteem, the more likely one will treat others with respect, kindness, and generosity. People who do not experience self-love have little or no capacity to love others.

—Nathaniel Branden

We cannot hang on to feelings of shame and guilt and still hope to become better people. How did these feelings begin? If we were treated badly by people, we need to be honest about what happened so we can resolve it and move on. Have we perpetuated our feelings by acting disrespectfully ourselves? Then we need to take a thorough inventory of our wrongdoings, admit them, make repairs, and let them go.

We may wallow in shame because facing it feels too frightening. Often, we believe our shame is greater than that of others. This belief is usually untrue and grandiose. It’s part of how we isolate ourselves. We don’t have to face it alone. We have the help of other men and women who can listen to our pain and tell us about their experiences.

Today, may I find the courage to face my shame and assert my right to self-esteem.


Elder’s Meditation

“A bit of sunshine, a drop of rain, a puff of life from the Great Spirit as He gently breathed upon that spot, created the Native Americans. They were well formed and agile, copper colored and proud.”

–Harriet Starleaf Gumbs, SHINNECOCK

We are made in the image of the Great Spirit. A long time ago He breathed life into our ancestors. He made the Indian strong. He created a Warrior. Our ancestors created more warriors. We have been tested throughout the seasons and we are still here, stronger than ever. It is good to be Indian. We are proud of ourselves and our ancestors. Mostly we are proud the Great Spirit has never forsaken us, and continues to guide us.

My Creator, let me live my life today in a way that would make my ancestors proud. Let me remember each month that I am here to serve You. Today let me conduct my life in a way that also would make You proud.


Daily Horoscope – Cancer

Practice the fine relational art of diplomacy today. With an emphasis on togetherness, your ability to partner with others is your holy grail. Your dedication to peace attracts and supports relationships of all kinds. In the face of indecision, you can pause before making a binding agreement. Work your conflict negotiation skills, acknowledge the value of the process, and honor the deeper beauty of whatever is in front of you. What can be accomplished together has no limits, so the journey begins. Poet C.C. Aurel wrote, “Some will open your heart, others will open your eyes.”

DR – August 12, 2019

Daily Recovery Readings
August 12, 2019


Daily Reflection

A LOOK BACKWARD

First, we take a look backward and try to discover where we have been at fault; next we make a vigorous attempt to repair the damage we have done; . . .

— TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 77

As a traveler on a fresh and exciting A.A. journey of recovery, I experienced a newfound peace of mind and the horizon appeared clear and bright, rather than obscure and dim. Reviewing my life to discover where I had been at fault seemed to be such an arduous and dangerous task. It was painful to pause and look backward. I was afraid I might stumble! Couldn’t I put the past out of my mind and just live in my new golden present? I realized that those in the past whom I had harmed stood between me and my desire to continue my movement toward serenity. I had to ask for courage to face those persons from my life who still lived in my conscience, to recognize and deal with the guilt that their presence produced in me. I had to look at the damage I had done, and become willing to make amends. Only then could my journey of the spirit resume.

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


Big Book Quote

“Some day we hope that Alcoholics Anonymous will help the public to a better realization of the gravity of the alcoholic problem, but we shall be of little use if our attitude is one of bitterness or hostility. Drinkers will not stand for it.

After all, our problems were of our own making. Bottles were only a symbol. Besides, we have stopped fighting anybody or anything. We have to!”

~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, Working With Others, pg. 103~


24 Hours a Day – The Little Black Book

Thought for the Day

“There was nothing left for us but to pick up the simple kit of spiritual tools laid at our feet by Alcoholics Anonymous. By doing so, we have a spiritual experience which revolutionizes our whole attitude toward life, toward others, and toward God’s universe. The central fact of our lives today is the absolute certainty that our Creator has entered into our hearts and lives there in a way, which is indeed miraculous. He has commenced to accomplish those things for us which we could never do for ourselves.” Have I let God come into my life?

Meditation for the Day

The moment a thing seems wrong to you or a person’s actions to be not what you think they should be, at that moment begins your obligation and responsibility to pray for those wrongs to be righted or that person to be changed. What is wrong in your surroundings or in the people you know? Think about these things and make these matters your responsibility. Not to interfere or be a busybody, but to pray that a change may come through your influence. You may see lives altered and evils banished in time. You can become a force for good wherever you are.

Prayer for the Day

I pray that I may be a co-worker with God. I pray that I may help people by my example.


The Language of Letting Go – Codependency

Directness

Direct people are a joy to be around.

We never have to guess what they’re really thinking or feeling, because they’re honest about their thoughts and openly express their feelings.

We never have to wonder if they’re with us because they want to be, or if they’re there out of guilt and obligation.

When they do something for us, we don’t have to worry whether they’ll end up resenting us because direct people generally do things that please themselves.

We don’t have to fuss about the status of our relationship because if we ask, they’ll tell us.

We don’t have to worry if they’re angry because they deal openly with their anger and resolve it quickly.

We don’t have to ponder whether they are talking about us behind our backs because if they have something to say, it will be said to us directly.

We don’t have to wonder if we can rely on them because direct people are trustworthy.

Wouldn’t it be nice if we were all direct?

Today, I will let go of my notions that it is somehow good or desirable to be indirect. Instead, I will strive for honesty, directness, and clarity in my communication. I will let directness in my relationships begin with me.


Touchstone – Men’s Meditation

It is a terrible, an inexorable law that one cannot deny the humanity of another without diminishing one’s own: in the face of one’s victim, one sees oneself.

—James Baldwin

Acting totally in our self-interest is shortsighted and foolishly simple. Attacking another person or another nation reflects upon us like a mirror. When any person is undermined, the human race is diminished in some measure. And humanity is our family.

Sometimes we see a reflection of ourselves in someone else and fail to recognize it. What we hate most in another may well be what we hate in ourselves. Knowing this can be useful. Perhaps our teeth are set on edge when we think about an ex-wife, or father, or former friend, or a religious or racial group. How are we like that person or group? What do they cause us to face within ourselves? When we stop diminishing the other person we may still not like him or her, but we can come to terms with ourselves. We learn to live and let live.

God, help me engage in the brotherhood of my own family and with all people – and to see my own face, even in my enemy.


Elder’s Meditation

“With one mind we address our acknowledgement, respect, and gratefulness to the sacred Cycle of Life. We, as humans, must remember to be humble and acknowledge the gifts we use so freely in our daily lives.”

–Audrey Shenandoah, ONONDAGA

The sacred Cycle of life – the baby, the youth, the adult, the Elder. Let us respect all directions, the four directions of the Grandfathers; let us respect their power. Let us remember we belong to the earth, the earth does not belong to us. Help us to be respectful to all the gifts You have given us.

Oh Great Spirit, help me this day to be humble. Let me not attack anything in deed or in my thoughts. Let my thoughts focus on the beauty You have created in all things.


Daily Horoscope – Cancer

Fate and free will are two sides of the same coin. With countless options for connections, the sea of opinion often produces resignation and cynicism. The ego projects to exclude, and therefore to deceive. By accepting yourself wholly, you integrate any shadow energies and are released to be authentic in all your actions. Share yourself without worrying about your image or reputation; live beyond the black-and-white thinking of good and bad. Everything just is, and your security in yourself helps others to feel safe. Start each day with a grateful heart.

DR – August 11, 2019

Daily Recovery Readings
August 11, 2019


Daily Reflection

REMOVING “THE GROUND GLASS”

The moral inventory is a cool examination of the damages that occurred to us during life and a sincere effort to look at them in a true perspective. This has the effect of taking the ground glass out of us, the emotional substance that still cuts and inhibits.

— AS BILL SEES IT, p. 140

My Eighth Step list used to drag me into a whirlpool of resentment. After four years of sobriety, I was blocked by denial connected with an ongoing abusive relationship. The argument between fear and pride eased as the words of the Step moved from my head to my heart. For the first time in years I opened my box of paints and poured out an honest rage, an explosion of reds and blacks and yellows. As I looked at the drawing, tears of joy and relief flowed down my cheeks. In my disease, I had given up my art, a self-inflicted punishment far greater than any imposed from outside. In my recovery, I learned that the pain of my defects is the very substance God uses to cleanse my character and to set me free.

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


Big Book Quote

“We are like the passengers of a great liner the moment after rescue from shipwreck when camaraderie, joyousness and democracy pervade the vessel from steerage to Captain’s table. Unlike the feelings of the ship’s passengers, however, our joy in escape from disaster does not subside as we go our individual ways. The feeling of having shared in a common peril is one element in the powerful cement which binds us. But that in itself would never have held us together as we are now joined.”

~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, There Is A Solution, pg. 17~


24 Hours a Day – The Little Black Book

Thought for the Day

“While alcoholics keep strictly away from drink, they react to life much like other people. But the first drink sets the terrible cycle in motion. Alcoholics usually have no idea why they take the first drink. Some drinkers have excuses with which they are satisfied, but in their hearts they really do not know why they do it. The truth is that at some point in their drinking they have passed into a state where the most powerful desire to stop drinking is of no avail.” Am I satisfied that I have passed my tolerance point for alcohol?

Meditation for the Day

He who made the ordered world out of chaos and set the stars in their courses and made each plant to know its season, He can bring peace and order out of your private chaos if you will let Him. God is watching over you, too, to bless you and care for you. Out of the darkness He is leading you to light, out of unrest to rest, out of disorder to order, out of faults and failure to success. You belong to God and your affairs are His affairs and can be ordered by Him if you are willing.

Prayer for the Day

I pray that I may be led out of disorder into order. I pray that I may be led out of failure into success.


The Language of Letting Go – Codependency

Healing

Let healing energy flow through your body.

The healing energy of God, the Universe, life, and recovery surrounds us. It is available, waiting for us to draw on it, waiting for us to draw it in. It’s waiting at our meetings or groups, on the words of a whispered prayer, in a gentle touch, a positive word, a positive thought. Healing energy is in the sun, the wind, and the rain, in all that is good.

Let healing energy come. Attract it. Accept it. Let it soak in. Breathe in the golden light. Exhale. Let go of fear, anger, hurt, and doubt. Let healing energy flow to you, through you.

It is yours for the asking, for the believing.

Today, I will ask for, and accept, the healing energy from God and the Universe. I will let it flow to me, through me, and back out to others. I am part of, and at one with, the continuous cycle of healing.


Touchstone – Men’s Meditation

I’d like to get away from earth awhile and then come back to it and begin again.

—Robert Frost

Do we think it’s weak to need a break? Do we ignore the need to recharge our batteries? Responsibility for our own lives requires us to recognize the need to restore our energy. Maybe our former escape from the world was by using food, or drugs, or spending money, or sexual release, or preoccupation with another person.

Now, since we are developing the ability to be with ourselves, we can take a break from the world and come back restored. This meditation time generates more energy for our lives. Recreation with friends, a walk, a movie, or a concert does the same. Taking responsibility to get away is a good cure for self-pity and exhaustion.

Today, I will be aware of my need to restore my energy.


Elder’s Meditation

“May there be peace when we meet.”

–Audrey Shenandoah, ONONDAGA

The Elders tell us the greatest gift we can seek is peace of mind; to walk in balance, to respect all things. For us to do this, we must have peace within ourselves and peace within ourselves cannot come unless we are walking the path the Creator would have us walk. Sometimes the tests on this path are difficult, but we know that each test makes us stronger.

Oh Great Spirit, I ask You to whisper Your wisdom in my heart. You are the only one who knows the secret to peaceful living and the mystery of harmony. Teach me of Your peace, understanding and balance, and guide me onto your good path.


Daily Horoscope – Cancer

Make no distinction between types of connections and explore all facets of what it means to be related. Whether a relationship is romantic, platonic, or professional, the highest approach is to engage with someone as though they are your best friend. The truth is it all comes back to how you choose to interact with your world. Be cognizant of the habit of doing what is socially expected instead of what your heart truly wants. Treating everyone with reverence, including yourself, offers you the winning advantage. Bargains are of the ego; giving is of the spirit.