DR – August 3, 2020

Daily Recovery Readings
August 3, 2020


Daily Reflection

. . . TO BE OF SERVICE

Our real purpose is to fit ourselves to be of maximum service to God and the people about us.

— ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 77

It is clear that God’s plan for me is expressed through love. God loved me enough to take me from alleys and jails so that I could be made a useful participant in His world. My response is to love all of His children through service and by example. I ask God to help me imitate His love for me through my love for others.

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


Big Book Quote

Follow the dictates of a Higher Power and you will presently live in a new and wonderful world, no matter what your present circumstances!”

Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, Working With Others, pg. 100


24 Hours a Day – The Little Black Book

Thought for the Day

We in A.A. must remember that we are offering something intangible. We are offering a psychological and spiritual program. We are not offering a medical program. If people need medical treatment, we call in a doctor. If they need a medical prescription, we let the doctor prescribe for them. If they need hospital treatment, we let the hospital take care of them. Our vital A.A. work begins when a person is physically able to receive it. Am I willing to leave medical care to the doctors?

Meditation for the Day

Each moment of your day, which you devote to this new way of life is a gift to God. The gift of the moments. Even when your desire to serve God is sincere, it is not an easy thing to give Him many of these moments: the daily things you had planned to do, given up gladly so that you can perform a good service or say a kind word. If you can see God’s purpose in many situations, it will be easier to give Him many moments of your day. Every situation has two interpretations – your own and God’s. Try to handle each situation in the way you believe God would have it handled.

Prayer for the Day

I pray that I may make my day count somewhat for God. I pray that I may not spend it all selfishly.


The Language of Letting Go – Codependency

Owning Our Power in Relationships

So much of what I call my codependency is fear and panic because I spent so much of my life feeling abused, trapped, and not knowing how to take care of myself in relationships.

—Anonymous

No matter how long we have been recovering, we may still tend to give up our power to others, whether they be authority figures, a new love, or a child.

When we do this, we experience the set of emotions and thoughts we call “the codependent crazies.” We may feel angry, guilty, afraid, confused, and obsessed. We may feel dependent and needy or become overly controlling and rigid. We may return to familiar behaviors during stress. And for those of us who have codependency and adult children issues, relationships can mean stress.

We don’t have to stay stuck in our codependency. We don’t have to shame or blame ourselves, or the other person, for our condition. We simply need to remember to own our power.

Practice. Practice. Practice using your power to take care of yourself, no matter who you are dealing with, where you are, or what you are doing. This is what recovery means. This does not mean we try to control others; it does not mean we become abrasive or abusive. It means we own our power to take care of ourselves.

The thought of doing this may generate fears. That’s normal! Take care of yourself anyway. The answers, and the power to do that, are within you now.

Start today. Start where you are. Start by taking care of who you are, at the present moment, to the best of your ability.

Today, I will focus on owning my power to take care of myself. I will not let fears, or a false sense of shame and guilt; stop me from taking care of myself.


Touchstone – Men’s Meditation

To live a spiritual life we must first find the courage to enter into the desert of loneliness and to change it by gentle and persistent efforts into a garden of solitude.

—Henri J. M. Nouwen

Knowing our loneliness and admitting it to us is the beginning of a spiritual path for many men. Today we are on a spiritual journey. We already have the means to translate the pain of our loneliness into a deeper spiritual dimension. Most men in this program came in deeply aware of their feelings of isolation. Now, with the companionship of our Higher Power, we can spend time alone and use it for spiritual growth. As we develop a relationship with ourselves and deepen our knowledge of our Higher Power, our loneliness transforms into solitude.

In this quiet moment today, we can be more accepting of ourselves than we were in the past. We admit loneliness has caused us pain, but now we can see that it also can lead us to our deeper self where we find serene solitude. This change is a movement into the spiritual world.

Thanks to God for the solitude I have found in my life.


Elder’s Meditation

Always remember you are Indian – do things to make your people proud.”

–Joe Coyhis, STOCKBRIDGE-MUNSEE

All our choices and decisions will reflect on our people. We need to assume the accountability of honoring people. We must remember to conduct ourselves in a sacred way. Sometimes this is hard. But we must remember we have the assistance of the Spirit World, and we have the principles and values by which we should live, written in our hearts. The Creator will help us develop into a strong people if we just learn to depend upon Him.

Great Spirit, lead me on the path of the Red Road.


Daily Horoscope – Cancer

The earth is shifting beneath your feet, ready or not. The Moon, your ruler, reaches its full power in your 8th House of Transformation today. Welcome this turn of events; you have a chance to get rid of any practices or attitudes that have been undermining your contentment. It’s possible you’ve allowed a rival or friend to put too many demands on you. If that’s the case, this is an opportunity to turn over a new leaf. You don’t have to jump every time this person snaps their fingers. Healthy boundaries create happier relationships.

DR – August 2, 2020

Daily Recovery Readings
August 2, 2020


Daily Reflection

WE BECOME WILLING . . .

At the moment we are trying to put our lives in order. But this is not an end in itself.

— ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 77

How easily I can become misdirected in approaching the Eighth Step! I wish to be free, somehow transformed by my Sixth and Seventh Step work. Now, more than ever, I am vulnerable to my own self-interest and hidden agenda. I am careful to remember that self-satisfaction, which sometimes comes through the spoken forgiveness of those I have harmed, is not my true objective. I become willing to make amends, knowing that through this process I am mended and made fit to move forward, to know and desire God’s will for me.

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


Big Book Quote

“When many hundreds of people are able to say that the consciousness of the Presence of God is today the most important fact of their lives, they present a powerful reason why one should have faith.”

~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, We Agnostics, pg. 51~


24 Hours a Day – The Little Black Book

Thought for the Day

Alcoholics Anonymous has no quarrel with medicine, psychiatry, or religion. We have great respect for the methods of each. And we are glad for any success they may have had with alcoholics. We are desirous always of cooperating with them in every way. The more doctors, the more psychiatrists, the more clergy and rabbis we can get to work with us, the better we like it. We have many who take a real interest in our program and we would like many more. Am I ready to cooperate with those who take a sincere interest in A.A.?

Meditation for the Day

God is always ready to pour His blessings into our hearts in generous measure. But like the seed sowing, the ground must be prepared before the seed is dropped in. It is our task to prepare the soil. It is God’s to drop the seed. This preparation of the soil means many days of right living, choosing the right and avoiding the wrong. As you go along, each day you are better prepared for God’s planting, until you reach the time of harvest. Then you share the harvest with God – the harvest of a useful and more abundant life.

Prayer for the Day

I pray that my way of living may be properly prepared day by day. I pray that I may strive to make myself ready for the harvest which God has planted in my heart.


The Language of Letting Go – Codependency

In Between

Sometimes, to get from where we are to where we are going, we have to be willing to be in between.

One of the hardest parts of recovery is the concept of letting go of what is old and familiar, but what we don’t want, and being willing to stand with our hands empty while we wait for God to fill them.

This may apply to feelings. We may have been full of hurt and anger. In some ways, these feelings may have become comfortably familiar. When we finally face and relinquish our grief, we may feel empty for a time. We are in between pain and the joy of serenity and acceptance.

Being in between can apply to relationships. To prepare ourselves for the new, we need to first let go of the old. This can be frightening. We may feel empty and lost for a time. We may feel all alone, wondering what is wrong with us for letting go of the proverbial bird in hand, when there is nothing in the bush.

Being in between can apply to many areas of life and recovery. We can be in between jobs, careers, homes, or goals. We can be in between behaviors as we let go of the old and are not certain what we will replace it with. This can apply to behaviors that have protected and served us well all of our life, such as caretaking and controlling.

We may have many feelings going on when we’re in between: spurts of grief about what we have let go of or lost, and feelings of anxiety, fear, and apprehension about what’s ahead. These are normal feelings for the in between place. Accept them. Feel them. Release them.

Being in between isn’t fun, but it’s necessary. It will not last forever. It may feel like we’re standing still, but we’re not. We’re standing at the in between place. it’s how we get from here to there. It is not the destination.

We are moving forward, even when we’re in between.

Today, I will accept where I am as the ideal place for me to be. If I am in between, I will strive for the faith that this place is not without purpose, that it is moving me toward something good.


Touchstone – Men’s Meditation

Every time you don’t follow your inner guidance, you feel a loss of energy, loss of power, a sense of spiritual deadness.

—Shakti Gawain

Things are not always as they seem, even with us. Sometimes we get settled into a routine in our program. We are beyond the early struggles with detachment and sobriety. We have encountered many of the benefits of recovery. We attend our meetings and we know the words and ideas of the program. Although it all looks good on the outside, when we’re honest with ourselves, we know our spirit has gone flat. This is a serious situation and needs our attention.

When the inside feeling does not match our outside appearance, we need to become vulnerable again. We need to talk about how we really feel. Maybe little secrets we have been holding have deadened our program. Perhaps we haven’t admitted a pain in our life. Maybe we have been seduced by the power of looking good and have traded away the genuineness of being known by our friends. The renewal of this program is something we feel from within, and we can continue to be renewed.

I pray my eyes will be open to see and my program will stay alive and genuine.


Elder’s Meditation

“When you get older and you are ready, your ancestors will show up to guide you.”

–Joe Coyhis, STOCKBRIDGE-MUNSEE

Many of us, when we are young, spend a portion of our lives in learning. Unfortunately, some of us spend this time learning the hard way. When we are young we sometimes think we know everything. Sometimes we do foolish things. As we get a little older, we realize we don’t know anything. This is when we become teachable. There is a saying that goes, when the student is ready, the teacher appears. We usually aren’t teachable unless we are ready. The ancestors are waiting and willing to help. When we are ready, many beautiful teachers start to come into our lives. Then we really start to grow and mature. We are ready for the spiritual lesson.

Creator, help me to become ready and teachable.


Daily Horoscope – Cancer

You may need to send a friend’s calls directly to voicemail while you attend to your own needs today. You’re tired of feeling responsible for their happiness. It’s important for you to attend to things that you truly value now, like domestic comforts, art projects, and business initiatives. If you’re growing weary of working for a company, this is a great time to think about launching a product or service that you can provide from home. Ignore anyone’s doubtful opinions about what you’re capable of; with your tenacious spirit, you can be, do, and have anything you want.

DR – August 1, 2020

Daily Recovery Readings
August 1, 2020


Daily Reflection

LIVING IT

The spiritual life is not a theory. We have to live it.

— ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 83

When new in the program, I couldn’t comprehend living the spiritual aspect of the program, but now that I’m sober, I can’t comprehend living without it. Spirituality was what I had been seeking. God, as I understand Him, has given me answers to the whys that kept me drinking for twenty years. By living a spiritual life, by asking God for help, I have learned to love, care for and feel compassion for all my fellow men, and to feel joy in a world where, before, I felt only fear.

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


Big Book Quote

“Thus was I convinced that God is concerned with us humans when we want Him enough. At long last I saw, I felt, I believed. Scales of pride and prejudice fell from my eyes. A new world came into view.”

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


24 Hours a Day – The Little Black Book

Thought for the Day

The Alcoholics Anonymous program has borrowed from medicine, psychiatry, and religion. It has taken from these what it wanted and combined them into the program which it considers best suited to the alcoholic mind and which will best help the alcoholic to recover. The results have been very satisfactory. We do not try to improve on the A.A. program. Its value has been proved by the success it has had in helping thousands of alcoholics to recover. It has everything we alcoholics need to arrest our illness. Do I try to follow the A.A. program just as it is?

Meditation for the Day

You should strive for a union between your purposes in life and the purposes of the Divine Principle directing the universe. There is no bond of union on earth to compare with the union between a human soul and God. Priceless beyond all earth’s rewards is that union. In merging your heart and mind with the heart and mind of the Higher Power, a oneness of purpose results, which only those who experience it can even dimly realize. That oneness of purpose puts you in harmony with God and with all others who are trying to do His will.

Prayer for the Day

I pray that I may become attuned to the will of God. I pray that I may be in harmony with the music of the spheres.


The Language of Letting Go – Codependency

Gratitude

We learn the magical lesson that making the most of what we have turns it into more.

—Codependent No More

Say thank you, until we mean it.

Thank God, life, and the universe for everyone and everything sent your way.

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, and confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. It turns problems into gifts, failures into successes, the unexpected into perfect timing, and mistakes into important events. It can turn an existence into a real life, and disconnected situations into important and beneficial lessons. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.

Gratitude makes things right.

Gratitude turns negative energy into positive energy. There is no situation or circumstance so small or large that it is not susceptible to gratitude’s power. We can start with whom we are and what we have today, apply gratitude, then let it work its magic.

Say thank you, until you mean it. if you say it long enough, you will believe it.

Today, I will shine the transforming light of gratitude on all the circumstances of my life.


Touchstone – Men’s Meditation

The great artist is the simplifier.

—Henri Amiel

Just as an artist creates through simplification, so a man’s recovery process grows and deepens as he simplifies his life. This isn’t easy to do in our fast paced and high-powered world. We have often complicated a problem by our way of thinking. Sometimes we take pride in how complex we can make something seem. We look for hidden meanings when the truth is on the surface. We give long explanations for our actions when none is called for. We suspect a person’s motives when taking him at face value loses nothing. We take on a battle when we could just as well let it pass.

Most of us don’t think of ourselves as artists. Yet we are each given a profound, creative opportunity – to fashion a meaningful and worthwhile pattern in our lives. As we seek to do the will of God today, it is as if we are taking a lump of clay and creating an image from it.

As I go about today’s activities, may I find ways to make it a simple and creative expression.


Elder’s Meditation

“Everyone has to find the right path. You can’t see it so it’s hard to find. No one can show you. Each person has to find the path by himself.”

–Charlie Knight, UTE

There are certain times in our lives when a voice whispers to us. The voice doesn’t always talk. Usually we hear it best when we are sick and tired of being sick and tired. Inside every person is the knowledge that a Supreme Being exists. Sometimes a restlessness occurs and it makes me feel I need to be doing something or I need to be going somewhere or maybe I start wondering who am I? Often when this happens, I feel lost. Inside of everyone is the natural, built-in desire to be walking the Red Road, or to be seeking a relationship with the Creator. No one can force us to make this journey. We must make this journey because we want to. This journey is not on the outside. The path is inside of ourselves. It is inside that we must begin our search.

Oh Great Spirit, help me this day to look within myself. If trouble arises, let me realize that it’s not what is going on but how I am looking at what is going on. Give me Your power this day to conduct myself according to Your way of life.


Daily Horoscope – Cancer

The prospect of letting down your guard in front of someone you respect may bring you great anxiety while Mercury in your 1st House of Image opposes forbidding Pluto. You may be afraid of saying something foolish or appearing naive. Instead of censoring yourself, lay your cards on the table. This person may be so touched by your honesty that they’ll reveal some vulnerabilities of their own. At that point, you will be equals and can join together with great success. Just don’t let this union cause you to neglect pressing career concerns; remain balanced.

DR – July 31, 2020

Daily Recovery Readings
July 31, 2020


Daily Reflection

A PRAYER FOR ALL SEASONS

God grant us the serenity to accept the things we cannot change, Courage to change the things we can, And wisdom to know the difference.

— TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 125

The power of this prayer is overwhelming in that its simple beauty parallels the A.A. Fellowship. There are times when I get stuck while reciting it, but if I examine the section which is troubling me, I find the answer to my problem. The first time this happened I was scared, but now I use it as a valuable tool. By accepting life as it is, I gain serenity. By taking action, I gain courage and I thank God for the ability to distinguish between those situations I can work on, and those I must turn over. All that I have now is a gift from God: my life, my usefulness, my contentment, and this program. The serenity enables me to continue walking forward.

Alcoholics Anonymous is the easier, softer way.


Big Book Quote

“Many doctors and psychiatrists agree with our conclusions. One of these men, staff member of a world-renowned hospital, recently made this statement to some of us: ‘What you say about the general hopelessness of the average alcoholic’s plight is, in my opinion, correct. As to two of you men, whose stories I have heard, there is no doubt in my mind that you were 100% hopeless, apart from divine help. Had you offered yourselves as patients at this hospital, I would not have taken you, if I had been able to avoid it. People like you are too heartbreaking. Though not a religious person, I have profound respect for the spiritual approach in such cases as yours. For most cases, there is virtually no other solution.'”

~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, More About Alcoholism, pg. 43~


24 Hours a Day – The Little Black Book

Thought for the Day

This leaves only one day-today. Anyone can fight the battles of just one day. It is only when you and I add the burden of those two awful eternities, yesterday and tomorrow that we break down. It is not the experience of today that drives us mad. It is the remorse or bitterness for something, which happened yesterday, or the dread of what tomorrow may bring. Let us therefore do our best to live but one day at a time. Am I living one day at a time?

Meditation for the Day

Give God the gift of a thankful heart. Try to see causes of thankfulness in your everyday life. When life seems hard and troubles crowd, then look for some reasons for thankfulness. There is nearly always something you can be thankful for. The offering of thanksgiving is indeed a sweet incense going up to God throughout a busy day. Seek diligently for something to be glad and thankful about. You will acquire in time the habit of being constantly grateful to God for all His blessings. Each new day some new cause for joy and gratitude will spring to your mind and you will thank God sincerely.

Prayer for the Day

I pray for a truly thankful heart. I pray that I may be constantly reminded of causes for sincere gratitude.


The Language of Letting Go – Codependency

Letting Go of What We Want

For those of us who have survived by controlling and surrendering, letting go may not come easily.

—Beyond Codependency

In recovery, we learn that it is important to identify what we want and need. Where does this concept leave us? With a large but clearly identified package of currently unmet wants and needs. We’ve taken the risk to stop denying and to start accepting what we want and need. The problem is, the want or need hangs there, unmet.

This can be a frustrating, painful, annoying, and sometimes obsession-producing place to be.

After identifying our needs, there is a next step in getting our wants and needs met. This step is one of the spiritual ironies of recovery. The next step is letting go of our wants and needs after we have taken painstaking steps to identify them.

We let them go, we give them up – on a mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical level. Sometimes, this means we need to give up. It is not always easy to get to this place, but this is usually where we need to go.

How often I have denied a want or need, then gone through the steps to identify my needs, only to become annoyed, frustrated, and challenged because I don’t have what I want and don’t know how to get it. If I then embark on a plan to control or influence getting that want or need met, I usually make things worse. Searching, trying to control the process, does not work. I must, I have learned to my dismay, let go.

Sometimes, I even have to go to the point of saying, “I don’t want it. I realize it’s important to me, but I cannot control obtaining that in my life. Now, I don’t care anymore if I have it or not. In fact, I’m going to be absolutely happy without it and without any hope of getting it, because hoping to get it is making me nuts – the more I hope and try to get it, the more frustrated I feel because I’m not getting it.”

I don’t know why the process works this way.

I know only that this is how the process works for me. I have found no way around the concept of letting go.

We often can have what we really want and need, or something better. Letting go is part of what we do to get it.

Today, I will strive to let go of those wants and needs that are causing me frustration. I will enter them on my goal list, then struggle to let go. I will trust God to bring me the desires of my heart, in God’s time and in God’s way.


Touchstone – Men’s Meditation

Look at the post as a bullet. Once it’s fired it’s finished.

—Catherine Bauby

Today is before us as an unformed experience. Yesterday took its own shape, and whatever it was has now gone. Our only opportunities exist in what we will do this day. Perhaps we can enhance the day by starting with a review of yesterday and then letting go. What were the major events in our experiences yesterday? How do we feel about them? Is something left unfinished in our feelings or actions that we need to complete or repair today? Can we take yesterday’s experience to build a better today?

We have centered ourselves in this day by reviewing where we just came from. We have taken a spot check inventory. Now we can let go of yesterday and move forward in the present. That does not mean we never think about the past again. It means we build on the past by learning from our experiences and letting them shape our activities now. In that way we draw ever closer into accord with the will of our Higher Power.

I will let go of the past by learning from it. I give myself to shaping today.


Daily Horoscope – Cancer

The support of a close relationship could make your life easier today. You’ve always been an effective leader, which sometimes causes you to turn away offers of help. Don’t make that mistake today, when a romantic or business partner can take some heavy jobs off your plate. This will give you the time you need to focus on a golden career opportunity. Moving into a new position that allows you to capitalize on your creative and interpersonal skills would feel like the answer to a prayer. Soon, you could be putting your effort into projects that are worthy of your talent.

DR – July 30, 2020

Daily Recovery Readings
July 30, 2020


Daily Reflection

GIVING BACK

. . . he has struck something better than gold. . . .He may not see at once that he has barely scratched a limitless lode which will pay dividends only if he mines it for the rest of his life and insists on giving away the entire product.

— ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 129

My part of the Seventh Tradition means so much more than just giving money to pay for the coffee. It means being accepted for myself by belonging to a group. For the first time I can be responsible, because I have a choice. I can learn the principles of working out problems in my daily life by getting involved in the “business” of A.A. By being self-supporting, I can give back to A.A. what A.A. gave to me! Giving back to A.A. not only ensures my own sobriety, but allows me to buy insurance that A.A. will be here for my grandchildren.

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


Big Book Quote

“As each member of a resentful family begins to see his shortcomings and admits them to the others, he lays a basis for helpful discussion. These family talks will be constructive if they can be carried on without heated argument, self-pity, self-justification or resentful criticism.”

~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, The Family Afterward, pg. 127~


24 Hours a Day – The Little Black Book

Thought for the Day

The other day we should not worry about is tomorrow, with its possible adversities, its burdens, its large promise, and perhaps its poor performance. Tomorrow is also beyond our immediate control. Tomorrow’s sun will rise, either in splendor or behind a mask of clouds, but it will rise. Until it does, we have no stake in tomorrow, for it is as yet unborn. Do I still worry too much about tomorrow?

Meditation for the Day

“Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Faith is not seeing, but believing. Down through the ages, there have always been those who obeyed the heavenly vision, not seeing but believing in God. And their faith was rewarded. So shall it be to you. Good things will happen to you. You cannot see God, but you can see the results of faith in human lives, changing them from defeat to victory. God’s grace is available to all who have faith – not seeing, but believing. With faith, life can be victorious and happy.

Prayer for the Day

I pray that I may have faith enough to believe without seeing. I pray that I may be content with the results of my faith.


The Language of Letting Go – Codependency

Accepting Powerlessness

Since I’ve been a child, I’ve been in an antagonistic relationship with an important emotional part of myself: my feelings. I have consistently tried to ignore, repress, or force my feelings away. I have tried to create unnatural feelings or force away feelings that were present.

I’ve denied I was angry, when in fact I was furious. I have told myself there must be something wrong with me for feeling angry, when anger was a reasonable and logical response to the situation.

I have told myself things didn’t hurt, when they hurt very much. I have told myself stories such as “That person didn’t mean to hurt me.” . . . “He or she doesn’t know any better.” . . . “I need to be more understanding.” The problem was that I had already been too understanding of the other person and not understanding and compassionate enough with myself.

It has not just been the large feelings I have been at war with; I have been battling the whole emotional aspect of myself. I have tried to use spiritual energy, mental energy, and even physical exertion to not feel what I need to feel to be healthy and alive.

I didn’t succeed at my attempts to control emotions. Emotional control has been a survival behavior for me. I can thank that behavior for helping me get through many years and situations where I didn’t have any better options. But I have learned a healthier behavior – accepting my feelings.

We are meant to feel. Part of our dysfunction is trying to deny or change that. Part of our recovery means learning to go with the flow of what we’re feeling and what our feelings are trying to tell us.

We are responsible for our behaviors, but we do not have to control our feelings. We can let them happen. We can learn to embrace, enjoy, and experience – feel – the emotional part of ourselves.

Today, I will stop trying to force and control my emotions. Instead, I will give power and freedom to the emotional part of myself.


Touchstone – Men’s Meditation

Many could forego heavy meals, a full wardrobe, a fine house, et cetera; it is the ego they cannot forego.

—Mohandas Gandhi

We inevitably confront our ego in this program. We face our macho self, our powerful self, or our always-right self. We have developed many trappings, which give us an identity: our car, our stereo system, our job, our popularity, or our place to sit in church. The more attached we are to these trappings, the tougher it is for us to make progress on this spiritual path.

In stepping across a stream we must leave the side we are on in order to get to the other side. The repeated challenge in our spiritual life is to leave the secure trappings we know and take comfort in the still unknown new self. That is the leap of faith. We take the risk and trust something will be there for us. We have faith that letting go of our immediate attachments will bring us to a better place, that God will be there for us.

I will let go of external images and use my faith to take the leap forward.


Daily Horoscope – Cancer

Taking charge of an innovative or artistic project could make your eyes sparkle with delight. However, a friend or loved one may not be convinced you can handle this job. Ignore their discouraging remarks; you’re much more capable than this person could even realize. People often underestimate you because you never brag about your accomplishments. This humble attitude allows you to get an edge on the competition, because rivals are unaware of just how talented you really are. Use the element of surprise to your advantage today.

DR – July 29, 2020

Daily Recovery Readings
July 29, 2020


Daily Reflection

ANONYMOUS GIFTS OF KINDNESS

As active alcoholics we were always looking for a handout in one way or another.

— “THE TWELVE TRADITIONS ILLUSTRATED,” p. 14

The challenge of the Seventh Tradition is a personal challenge, reminding me to share and give of myself. Before sobriety the only thing I ever supported was my habit of drinking. Now my efforts are a smile, a kind word, and kindness.

I saw that I had to start carrying my own weight and to allow my new friends to walk with me because, through the practice of the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, I’ve never had it so good.

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


Big Book Quote

“My drinking assumed more serious proportions, continuing all day and almost every night. The remonstrances of my friends terminated in a row and I became a lone wolf.”

~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, Bill’s Story, pg. 3~


24 Hours a Day – The Little Black Book

Thought for the Day

There are two days in every week about which we should not worry, two days, which should be kept from fear and apprehension. One of these days is yesterday, with its mistakes and cares, its faults and blunders, its aches and pains. Yesterday has passed forever beyond our control. All the money in the world cannot bring back yesterday. We cannot undo a single act we performed. We cannot erase a single word we said. Yesterday is gone beyond recall. Do I still worry about what happened yesterday?

Meditation for the Day

“God will not suffer you to be tempted above what you are able, but with the temptation He will also find a way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.” If you have enough faith and trust in God, He will give you all the strength you need to face every temptation and to overcome it. Nothing will prove too hard for you to bear. You can face any situation. “Be of good cheer. I have overcome the world.” You can overcome any temptation with God’s help. So fear nothing.

Prayer for the Day

I pray that I may face every situation without fear. I pray that nothing will prove too hard for me to bear.
From Twenty-Four Hours a Day © 1975 by Hazelden Foundation. All rights reserved. No portion of this publication may be reproduced in any manner without the written permission of the publisher.


The Language of Letting Go – Codependency

Have Some Fun

Have some fun. Loosen up a bit. Enjoy life!

We do not have to be so somber and serious. We do not have to be so reflective, so critical, so bound up within the rigid parameters and ourselves others, and often ourselves, have placed around us.

This is life, not a funeral service. Have some fun with it. Enter into it. Participate. Experiment. Take a risk. Be spontaneous. Do not always be so concerned about doing it right, doing the appropriate thing.

Do not always be so concerned about what others will think or say. What they think and say are their issues not ours. Do not be so afraid of making a mistake. Do not be so fearful and proper. Do not inhibit yourself so much.

God did not intend us to be so inhibited, so restricted, so controlled. These repressive parameters are what other people have imposed on us, what we have allowed to be done to us.

We were created fully human. We were given emotions, desires, hopes, dreams, and feelings. There is an alive, excited, fun loving child in us somewhere! Let it come out! Let it come alive! Let it have some fun – not just for two hours on Saturday evening. Bring it with us. Let it help us enjoy this gift of being alive, being fully human, and being who we are!

So many rules. So much shame we’ve lived with. It simply isn’t necessary. We have been brainwashed. It is time now to free ourselves, let ourselves go, and enter fully human into a full life.

Don’t worry. We will learn our lessons when necessary. We have learned discipline. We will not go awry. What will happen is that we will begin enjoying life. We will begin enjoying and experiencing our whole self. We can trust ourselves. We have boundaries now. We have our program for a foundation. We can afford to experiment and experience. We are in touch with our Higher Power and ourselves. We are being guided, but a frozen, inanimate object cannot be guided. it cannot even be moved.

Have some fun. Loosen up a bit. Break a few rules. God won’t punish us. We do not have to allow people to punish us. And we can stop punishing ourselves. As long as we’re here and alive, let’s begin to live.

Today, I will let myself have some fun with life. I will loosen up a bit, knowing I won’t crack and break. God, help me let go of my need to be so inhibited, proper, and repressed. Help me inject a big dose of life into myself by letting myself be fully alive and human.


Touchstone – Men’s Meditation

Change and growth take place when a person has risked himself and dares to become involved with experimenting with his own life.

—Herbert Otto

The rewards of our new life are apparent to us because of how we feel, and apparent to others by what they can see. Many of us had reached our bottom point, and we felt there was no risk in trying a program of recovery. Yet, we still had some distorted security in our harmful ways of relating to others or in our addictions. Letting go was an experiment. This program gives us guidelines for experimenting with our life for growth, and we continue growing everyday. Some of our benefits are increased confidence and self respect, more intimacy with our partner, better friendships, and better physical health. We feel these changes in ourselves, and we see them in the other men and women in this program.

Today, I am grateful for the rewards in my life from this experiment in recovery.


Elder’s Meditation

** server down **


Daily Horoscope – Cancer

The power of positive thinking can give your well-being a tremendous boost. Because you’re a Moon child, your moods come and go quickly, like the clouds across a summer sky. If you wake up feeling blue, don’t despair. There are plenty of things you can do that will immediately lift your spirits: wear colors that you enjoy; splash on your favorite scent, listen to an upbeat soundtrack. It’s also wise to ignore the media if you can. Mindful choices can make all the difference between sorrow and hope.

DR – July 28, 2020

Daily Recovery Readings
July 28, 2020


Daily Reflection

THOSE WHO STILL SUFFER

Let us resist the proud assumption that since God has enabled us to do well in one area we are destined to be a channel of saving grace for everybody.

— A.A. COMES OF AGE, p. 232

A.A. groups exist to help alcoholics achieve sobriety. Large or small, firmly established or brand-new, speaker, discussion or study, each group has but one reason for being: to carry the message to the still-suffering alcoholic. The group exists so that the alcoholic can find a new way of life, a life abundant in happiness, joy, and freedom. To recover, most alcoholics need the support of a group of other alcoholics who share their experience, strength and hope. Thus my sobriety, and our program’s survival, depend on my determination to put first things first.

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


Big Book Quote

But life among Alcoholics Anonymous is more than attending gatherings and visiting hospitals. Cleaning up old scrapes, helping to settle family differences, explaining the disinherited son to his irate parents, lending money and securing jobs for each other, when justified these are everyday occurrences. No one is too discredited or has sunk too low to be welcomed cordially if he means business.”

~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, A Vision For You, pg. 161~


24 Hours a Day – The Little Black Book

Thought for the Day

To continue the paraphrase of the psalm: “The judgments of the twelve steps are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than whiskey, yea, than much fine whiskey, sweeter also than wine. Moreover, they warn alcoholics and in keeping of them there is great reward. Who can understand our alcoholism? Cleanse us from secret faults, Keep us from presumptuous resentments. Let them not have dominion over us. Then shall we be upright and free of the great transgression.” Am I resolved that liquor will never again have dominion over me?

Meditation for the Day

God can be your shield. Then no problems of the world can harm you. Between you and all scorn and indignity from others is your trust in God, like a shining shield. Nothing can then have the power to spoil your inward peace. With this shield, you can attain this inward peace quickly, in your surroundings as well as in your heart. With this inward peace, you do not need to resent the person who troubles you. Instead, you can overcome the resentment in your own mind, which may have been aroused by that person.

Prayer for the Day

I pray that I may strive for inward peace. I pray that I may not be seriously upset, no matter what happens around me.


The Language of Letting Go – Codependency

Fear

One day, I decided to try something new. I took my ten-year-old son out on the St. Croix River on a Waverunner. A Waverunner is a small boating vehicle resembling a motorcycle.

We donned life jackets and embarked on an experience that turned out to be both exhilarating and frightening; exhilarating when I let myself enjoy it; frightening when I thought too much about what I was doing and all the terrible things that could happen.

Midway though our ride, my worst fear came true. We took a spill. We were floundering in thirty feet of water. The Waverunner was bobbing on the waves in front of me, like a motorized turtle on it back.

“Don’t panic,” my son said calmly.

“What if we drown?” I objected.

“We can’t,” he said. “We have life jackets on. See! We’re floating.”

“The machine is upside down,” I said. “How are we going to turn it over?”

“Just like the man said,” my son answered. “The arrow points this way.”

With an easy gesture, we turned the machine right side up. “What if we can’t climb back on?” I asked.

“We can,” my son replied. “That’s what Waverunners were made for: climbing on in the water.”

I relaxed and as we drove off, I wondered why I had become so frightened. I thought maybe it’s because I don’t trust my ability to solve problems. Maybe it’s because once I almost drowned when I wasn’t wearing a life jacket.

But you didn’t drown then either; a small voice inside reassured me. You survived.

Don’t panic.

Problems were made to be solved. Life was made to be lived. Although sometimes we may be in over our heads – yes, we may even go under for a few moments and gulp a few mouthfuls of water, we won’t drown. We’re wearing – and always have been wearing – a life jacket. That support jacket is called “God.”

Today, I will remember to take care of myself. When I get in over my head, God is there supporting me – even when my fears try to make me forget.


Touchstone – Men’s Meditation

I am ill because my mind is in a rut and refuses to leave.

—Karen Giordino

We are vulnerable human beings. We are susceptible to accidents and disease, and we can get bogged down in unhealthy thinking. We aren’t at fault when we catch a cold or get a more serious illness, and accidents can happen to anyone. In the same way our addictions and the addictions of people we are close to are not our fault. We never asked for these afflictions, yet we must deal with them.

Physical and spiritual health can’t be separated. A thriving spiritual life creates an environment for physical healing and strength. In the same way, physical well-being infuses our spirit with hope and joy. Human beings cannot go through life without sometimes being ill in either mind or body. Living by this program helps make us healthier in all ways. When we are bogged down, we can turn to one of the Steps as a means of healing and release.

Today, I will remember that I am a whole man, with body and spirit as one. As I turn to the Steps, my whole being is healed.


Elder’s Meditation

“A good heart and a good mind – those are what you need to be a chief.”

–Louis Farmer, ONONDAGA

The combination of heart and mind is very powerful. The Medicine Wheel teaches that two worlds exist – the seen and the unseen. The seen world is the physical and the unseen is the spiritual world. Both of the worlds are necessary to discover true reality. The seen world is easiest seen by the male side. The unseen is easiest seen by the female side. The heart is the unseen and the mind is the seen. Blessed is the leader or person who has developed the heart and the mind. Truly, the person is of tremendous value to the Creator and the people.

My Great Spirit, help me this day to develop both my female side and my male side. Let me know all the feelings of each, let me develop and grow my intuition and my mind. Let my development only serve You.


Daily Horoscope – Cancer

Flexing your creative muscles today could catalyze some wonderful life changes. It feels good to use your mind and hands for artistic purposes; when you feel good, you look good and others take notice. Still, delving deep into a story, song, or painting may uncover some strong emotions. Until today, you might not have even realized you’ve been harboring a deep desire for change. Altering your life script or transforming your look can open new doors. Instead of leading a predictably comfortable existence, you could enjoy a series of once-in-a-lifetime experiences. Take the plunge today.

DR – July 27, 2020

Daily Recovery Readings
July 27, 2020


Daily Reflection

GIVING FREELY

We will make every personal sacrifice necessary to insure the unity of Alcoholics Anonymous. We will do this because we have learned to love God and one another.

— A.A. comes of age, p. 234

To be self-supporting through my own contributions was never a strong characteristic during my days as a practicing alcoholic. The giving of time or money always demanded a price tag.

As a newcomer I was told “we have to give it away in order to keep it.” As I began to adopt the principles of Alcoholics Anonymous in my life, I soon found it was a privilege to give to the Fellowship as an expression of the gratitude I felt in my heart. My love of God and of others became the motivating factor in my life, with no thought of return. I realize now that giving freely is God’s way of expressing Himself through me.

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


Big Book Quote

“Men and women drink essentially because they like the effect produced by alcohol. The sensation is so elusive that, while they admit it is injurious, they cannot after a time differentiate the true from the false. To them, their alcoholic life seems the only normal one. They are restless, irritable and discontented, unless they can again experience the sense of ease and comfort which comes at once by taking a few drinks, drinks which they see others taking with impunity.”

~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, The Doctor’s Opinion, pg. xxviii~


24 Hours a Day – The Little Black Book

Thought for the Day

To paraphrase the psalm: “We alcoholics declare the power of liquor and drunkenness showeth its handiwork. Day unto day uttereth hangovers and night unto night showeth suffering. The law of A.A. is perfect, converting the drunk. The testimony of A.A. is sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of A.A. are right, rejoicing the heart. The program of A.A. is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the first drink is clean, enduring forever.” Have I any doubt about the power of liquor?

Meditation for the Day

“Walk humbly with thy Lord.” Walking with God means practicing the presence of God in your daily affairs. It means asking God for strength to face each new day. It means turning to Him often during the day in prayer for yourself and for other people. It means thanking Him at night for the blessings you have received during the day. Nothing can seriously upset you if you are walking with God.” You can believe that He is beside you in spirit, to help you and to guide you on your way.

Prayer for the Day

I pray that I may try to walk humbly with God. I pray that I may turn to Him often as to a close friend.


The Language of Letting Go – Codependency

Letting Go

Stop trying so hard to control things. It is not our job to control people, outcomes, circumstances, and life. Maybe in the past we couldn’t trust and let things happen. But we can now. The way life is unfolding is good. Let it unfold.

Stop trying so hard to do better, be better, and be more. Who we are and the way we do things is good enough for today.

Who we were and the way we did things yesterday was good enough for that day.

Ease up on ourselves. Let go. Stop trying so hard.

Today, I will let go. I will stop trying to control everything. I will stop trying to make myself be and do better, and I will let myself be.


Touchstone – Men’s Meditation

You cannot get it by taking thought;
You cannot seek it by not taking thought.

—Zenrin poem

We are transported into unfamiliar worlds in this program by ideas that sometimes confound our mind. In the spiritual realms we learn things we didn’t learn anywhere else, and gradually they bring us peace. We can decide with our will to follow a spiritual direction, to turn our life and will over to the care of our God. We cannot control what God will do with them. When we learn that part of our problem was trying too hard, being too self sufficient, or being too controlling, our old ways tell us to try hard to control that. But then we are only doing more of the same old thing. We learn that after making our decision, our Higher Power takes over. Now it is possible to be released from our own trying, to move beyond our own efforts by falling into the caring hand of God.

I must give this program first priority in my life, remembering my spiritual progress comes as a gift, not as an achievement.


Elder’s Meditation

“Let us put our minds together as one.” –Irving Powless, Sr., ONONDAGA

If we sat in a circle and put an object in the center of the circle and we all described what we saw, everyone would see different points of view from each other. Some would even see opposites because they would be sitting on opposite sides of the circle. In other words, you don’t have to see what I see for you to be right. In fact, everyone in the circle is right based on their own point of view. If we are willing to listen to everyone’s point of view, then we can get a more accurate description of the object in the center. This is one way to put our minds together. When we get the clarity from each other, we should give thanks and be grateful to each other.


Daily Horoscope – Cancer

Don’t fall victim to professional pressure today; a square between Mercury in your 1st House of Self-Awareness and Mars in your 10th House of Ambition could distract you from what is truly important. There’s so much more to you than a fancy job title. You have the capacity to become truly content, regardless of your career path and reputation. Give yourself permission to take a break from work today and expand your horizons through study, spirituality, and personal reflection. Meeting deadlines won’t bring the same satisfaction as connecting with your soul.

DR – July 26, 2020

Daily Recovery Readings
July 26, 2020


Daily Reflection

THE “WORTH” OF SOBRIETY

Every A.A. group ought to be fully self-supporting, declining outside contributions.

— TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 160

When I go shopping I look at the prices and if I need what I see, I buy it and pay. Now that I am supposed to be in rehabilitation, I have to straighten out my life. When I go to a meeting, I take a coffee with sugar and milk, sometimes more than one. But at the collection time, I am either too busy to take money out of my purse, or I do not have enough, but I am there because I need this meeting. I heard someone suggest dropping the price of a beer into the basket, and I thought, that’s too much! I almost never give one dollar. Like many others, I rely on the more generous members to finance the Fellowship. I forget that it takes money to rent the meeting room, buy my milk, sugar and cups. I will pay, without hesitation, ninety cents for a cup of coffee at a restaurant after the meeting; I always have money for that. So, how much is my sobriety and my inner peace worth?

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


Big Book Quote

“To sum up about sex: We earnestly pray for the right ideal, for guidance in each questionable situation, for sanity, and for the strength to do the right thing. If sex is very troublesome, we throw ourselves the harder into helping others. We think of their needs and work for them. This takes us out of ourselves. It quiets the imperious urge, when to yield would mean heartache.”

~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, How It Works, pg. 70~


24 Hours a Day – The Little Black Book

Thought for the Day

When we come to the end of our lives on earth, we will take no material thing with us. We will not take one cent in our cold, dead hands. The only things that we may take are the things we have given away. If we have helped others, we may take that with us; if we have given of our time and money for the good of A.A., we may take that with us. Looking back over our lives, what are we proud of? Not what we have gained for ourselves, but what few good deeds we have done. Those are the things that really matter in the long run. What will I take with me when I go?

Meditation for the Day

“Hallowed be Thy Name.” What does that mean to us? Here “name” is used in the sense of “spirit.” The words mean praise to God for His spirit in the world, making us better. We should be especially grateful for God’s spirit, which gives us the strength to overcome all that is base in our lives. His spirit is powerful. It can help us to live a conquering, abundant life. So we praise and thank Him for His spirit in our lives and in the lives of others.

Prayer for the Day

I pray that I may be grateful for God’s spirit in me. I pray that I may try to live in accordance with it.


The Language of Letting Go – Codependency

Owning Our Power

Don’t you see? We do not have to be so victimized by life, by people, by situations, by work, by our friends, by our love relationships, by our family, by our feelings, our thoughts, our circumstances, and ourselves.

We are not victims. We do not have to be victims. That is the whole point!

Yes, admitting and accepting powerlessness is important. But that is the first step, an introduction to this business of recovery. Later, comes owning our power. Changing what we can. This is as important as admitting and accepting powerlessness. And there is so much we can change.

We can own our power, wherever we are, wherever we go, whomever we are with. We do not have to stand there with our hands tied, groveling helplessly, submitting to whatever comes along. There are things we can do. We can speak up. Solve the problem. Use the problem to motivate ourselves to do something good for ourselves.

We can make ourselves feel good. We can walk away. We can come back on our terms. We can stand up for ourselves. We can refuse to let others control and manipulate us.

We can do what we need to do to take care of our selves. That is the beauty, the reward, the crown of victory we are given in this process called recovery. It is what it is all about!

If we can’t do anything about the circumstance, we can change our attitude. We can do the work within: courageously face our issues so we are not victimized. We have been given a miraculous key to life.

We are victims no more unless we want to be.

Freedom and joy are ours for the taking, for the feeling, for the hard work we have done.

Today, I will remind myself as often as necessary that I am not a victim, and I do not need to be victimized by whatever comes my way. I will work hard to remove myself as a victim, whether that means setting and enforcing a boundary, walking away, dealing with my feelings, or giving myself what I need. God, help me let go of my need to feel victimized.


Touchstone – Men’s Meditation

The lust for power is not rooted in strength but in weakness.
—Erich Fromm

Many of us have felt so insecure, so poor, or so much the underdog that we made a fervent promise to ourselves that we’d come out on top later. We know how weak we felt, and that image continues to be our guiding force long after the weakness was overcome. We may have spiritual problems because we are blind to the reality of our present life. While grasping for more security, more love, more money, or trying to lose more weight or attract more friends, we fail to stop and realize the real rewards we already have today. We are driven by the memory of pain and insecurity, rather than rising above it and relating to the higher principles and people around us. Getting more control or more achievements does not solve our spiritual problems, but by making peace with the fact that life is insecure.

Today, I will let go of my grasping for more. I will let go of it again and again throughout the day so I am not ruled by this weakness.


Elder’s Meditation

“These are our times and our responsibilities. Every human being has a sacred duty to protect the welfare of our Mother Earth, from whom all life comes. In order to do this, we must recognize the enemy – the one within us. We must begin with ourselves…”

–Leon Shenandoah, ONONDAGA

The outside is merely a reflection of our insides. My mind is designed to tell me that I’m not crazy for thinking what I am thinking. Even if I have angry thought, my mind is giving me excuses and reasons why it is OK to think what I’m thinking. I need to be knowledgeable about the laws of harmony and balance. I cannot twist the laws to serve me, but I can adjust my life to serve the laws. This is the law – I am here to serve the Earth. The Earth is not here for me to misuse and abuse.

Oh Great Spirit, allow me the insight and knowledge of how to live in harmony and balance with my surroundings. Grant me change from within.


Daily Horoscope – Cancer

It could feel like nothing you do is enough for your best friend, romantic partner, or business associate today. Rather than doubling your efforts to satisfy this person, scale them back. Solitary pursuits will be therapeutic, so take this opportunity to read for pleasure, listen to beautiful music, or give yourself a spa treatment. Self-care will remind you how important it is to assert your own needs. This is especially evident now that the Moon, your ruler, is making tough angles to Jupiter, Pluto, and Saturn in your 7th House of Partnerships. Be your own champion.

DR – July 25, 2020

Daily Recovery Readings
July 25, 2020


Daily Reflection

THOSE WHO STILL SUFFER

For us, if we neglect those who are still sick, there is unremitting danger to our own lives and sanity.

— TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 151

I know the torment of drinking compulsively to quiet my nerves and my fears. I also know the pain of white-knuckled sobriety. Today, I do not forget the unknown person who suffers quietly, withdrawn and hiding in the desperate relief of drinking. I ask my Higher Power to give me His guidance and the courage to be willing to be His instrument to carry within me compassion and unselfish actions. Let the group continue to give me the strength to do with others what I cannot do alone.

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


Big Book Quote

“Liquor ceased to be a luxury; it became a necessity.”

~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, Bill’s Story, pg. 5~


24 Hours a Day – The Little Black Book

Thought for the Day

We are living on borrowed time. We are living today because of A.A. and the grace of God. And what there is left of our lives we owe to A.A. and to God. We should make the best use we can of our borrowed time and in some small measure pay back for that part of our lives which we wasted before we came into A.A. Our lives from now on are not our own. We hold them in trust for God and A.A. And we must do all we can to forward the great movement that has given us a new lease on life. Am I holding my life in trust for A.A.?

Meditation for the Day

You should hold your life in trust for God. Think deeply on what that means. Is anything too much to expect from such a life? Do you begin to see how dedicated a life in trust for God can be? In such a life miracles can happen. If you are faithful, you can believe that God has many good things in store for you. God can be Lord of your life, controller of your days, of your present and your future. Try to act as God guides and leave all results to Him. Do not hold back, but go all out for God and the better life. Make good your trust.

Prayer for the Day

I pray that I may hold my life in trust for God. I pray that I may no longer consider my life as all my own.


The Language of Letting Go – Codependency

Keep at It

Keep practicing your recovery behaviors, even when they feel awkward, even when they haven’t quite taken yet, even if you don’t get it yet.

Sometimes it takes years for a recovery concept to move from our mind into our heart and soul. We need to work at recovery behaviors with the diligence, effort, and repeated practice we applied to codependent behaviors. We need to force ourselves to do things even when they don’t feel natural. We need to tell ourselves we care about ourselves and can take care of ourselves even when we don’t believe what we’re saying.

We need to do it, and do it, and do it – day after day, year after year.

It is unreasonable to expect this new way of life to sink in overnight. We may have to “act as if” for months, years, before recovery behaviors become ingrained and natural.

Even after years, we may find ourselves, in times of stress or duress, reverting to old ways of thinking, feeling, and behaving.

We may have layers of feelings we aren’t ready to acknowledge until years into our recovery. That’s okay! When it’s time, we will.

Do not give up! It takes time to get self-love into the core of us. It takes repeated practice. Time and experience. Lessons, lessons, and more lessons.

Then, just when we think we’ve arrived, we find we have more to learn.

That’s the joy of recovery. We get to keep learning and growing all of our life!

Keep on taking care of yourself, no matter what. Keep on plugging away at recovery behaviors, one day at a time. Keep on loving yourself, even when it doesn’t feel natural. Act as if for as long as necessary, even if that time period feels longer than necessary.

One day, it will happen. You will wake up, and find that what you’ve been struggling with and working so hard at and forcing yourself to do, finally feels comfortable. It has hit our soul.

Then, you go on to learn something new and better.

Today, I will plug away at my recovery behaviors, even if they don’t feel natural. I will force myself to go through the motions even if that feels awkward. I will work at loving myself until I really do.


Touchstone – Men’s Meditation

Everyone once, once only. Just once and no more. And we also once. Never again. But this having been once, although only once, to have been of the earth, seems irrevocable.

—Rainer Maria Rilke

In the hopelessness of addiction and codependency, and as children of addicts, some of us have considered suicide, and some of us have actually tried to kill ourselves. We have maintained the option as an escape in case life got too difficult. Now, in recovery, we have chosen life. We’ve stopped killing ourselves in the slow ways of our old behaviors, yet some of us hold on to our ace in the hole. Either consciously or unconsciously, we haven’t made that unconditional commitment to life.

It may be one firmer step into recovery – a vote for the life we have been given – to say, “I will never choose suicide. Whatever comes my way, it is not an option for me.” When we give up that one final controlling maneuver, we may find ourselves freer to live in this one irretrievable life we’ve been given.

In choosing to be totally on the side of life, I step further into the care of God. Whatever 1 must meet, God is with me.


Elder’s Meditation

“People need to wake up. They can’t hear God’s voice if they’re asleep.”

–Vernon Cooper, LUMBEE

Black Elk, a Sioux, talks about the hoop of many hoops. He says that above the people is a hoop, a conscience, the total belief of the people. If the hoop is sick, meaning dysfunctional, co-dependent, a lot of alcoholism, family abuse, violence, racism and sexual abuse, the people can get used to this and think this is normal. In other words, the people are asleep. If we have left the spiritual way of life, the people are asleep. If we are giving our power to another entity, the people are asleep. In most tribes, there are Coyote Clans. The job of the Coyote Clan people is to wake the people up. They need to become a nuisance and irritate the people. We must return to the spiritual walk.

Oh Great Spirit, keep me awake today. Let me hear the voices of our ancestors…let me hear the voices of the Grandfathers. Because everybody is doing it doesn’t make things right. Let me hear the truth today and become a coyote for the people. Give me the courage to be willing to be different. Let me walk straight on the Red Road.


Daily Horoscope – Cancer

You may be feeling an itch to move to a more stimulating area, yet you’re afraid of how this change would affect your closest relationships. Rather than putting other people’s needs first, obey your heart’s desire. Your nearest and dearest will eventually adapt to your new lifestyle. It’s possible you are thinking of moving to a place that would force you to quit your job or find another way of making a living. Give yourself permission to reinvent yourself. Nobody’s identity is set in stone; we are ever-changing beings..