DR – August 16, 2022

Daily Recovery Readings
August 16, 2022


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 friends may be really inspiring at the moment, and it could be hard not to idealize them. Still, don’t discount what you bring to the table yourself! Your focus on practical details can help you look at someone else’s audacious plan and figure out how to actually bring it into reality. To do this, you might also need to claim your own authority. Though perhaps this will unsettle the group’s power dynamics, it’ll be worth it when you get a good result — together!

DR – August 15, 2022

Daily Recovery Readings
August 15, 2022


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

Getting the approval of an authority figure may be significant for you now. While you’re likely to obtain it, there could also be a sense of compromise involved — you could feel like you have to sacrifice something personally important in order to be loved. This read of the situation might not be grounded in the present moment. Try to discern the difference between bad experiences you had in the past and what’s truly being demanded of you in the present.

DR – August 14, 2022

Daily Recovery Readings
August 14, 2022


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

An impetuous purchase could be more complicated than it’s worth at the moment. Before you open your wallet, make sure you’re remembering all of your obligations — a tax bill or debt payment that’s outside your normal routine might not be factoring into your mental calculations of what you can afford. Regardless, your social network is a powerful place at the moment. If your look at your finances has you seeking ways to earn extra money, you probably know someone who knows something

DR – August 13, 2022

Daily Recovery Readings
August 13, 2022


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

Your philosophy on life could give you a lot of comfort now. Even so, if someone asks you to explain the details, you might choke. The truth may be that what you currently enjoy most about your view of the world is the community you’ve found with others who share it. You’re better off relaying your experiences honestly than trying to bluff your way through a more profound explanation. The finer points should come to you when you’re ready for them.

DR – August 12, 2022

Daily Recovery Readings
August 12, 2022


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

Letting others get close to you may seem like a threat to your current freedom. On the other hand, perhaps you can have both connection and comfort by turning the conversation to one of your intellectual passions. With the emotional Moon in your expansive 9th house, you can bond rewardingly over ideas, even though you might not feel ready to disclose more personal things about your life. Plus, learning that you share core beliefs could later become a strong foundation for a deeper relationship.

DR – August 11, 2022

Daily Recovery Readings
August 11, 2022


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

Your financial picture might currently feel more abundant than usual. However, you may want to be careful how you talk about this within your social network. Your friends and acquaintances could be eager to pursue their own desires at the moment — it’s possible that they’re not above making themselves appear vulnerable and needy in order to get a piece of what you have. While being grateful for your blessings is important, this should probably be something you acknowledge privately for now.

DR – August 10, 2022

Daily Recovery Readings
August 10, 2022


Daily Reflection

REDOUBLING OUR EFFORTS

To a degree, he has already done this when taking moral inventory, but now the time has come when he ought to redouble his efforts to see how many people he has hurt, and in what ways,

— TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 77

As I continue to grow in sobriety, I become more aware of myself as a person of worth. In the process, I am better able to see others as persons, and with this comes the realization that these were people whom I had hurt in my drinking days. I didn’t just lie, I lied about Tom. I didn’t just cheat, I cheated Joe. What were seemingly impersonal acts, were really personal affronts, because it was people—people of worth—whom I had harmed. I need to do something about the people I have hurt so that I may enjoy a peaceful sobriety.


Big Book Quote

“In our belief any scheme of combating alcoholism which proposes to shield the sick man from temptation is doomed to failure. If the alcoholic tries to shield himself he may succeed for a time, but usually winds up with a bigger explosion than ever. We have tried these methods. These attempts to do the impossible have always failed.”

~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, Working With Others, pg. 101~


24 Hours a Day – The Little Black Book

Thought for the Day

“The tremendous fact for every one of us is that we have discovered a common solution. We who have found this solution to our alcoholic problem, who are properly armed with the facts about ourselves, can generally win the entire confidence of another alcoholic. We who are making the approach to new prospects have had the same difficulty they have had. We obviously know what we are talking about. Our whole deportment shouts at new prospects that we are people with a real answer.” Am I a person with the real answer to the alcoholic problems of others?

Meditation for the Day

For straying from the right way there is no cure except to keep so close to the thought of God that nothing, no other interest, can seriously come between you and God. Sure of that, you can stay on God’s side. Knowing the way, nothing can prevent your staying in the way and nothing can cause you to seriously stray from it. God has promised peace if you stay close to Him, but not leisure. You still have to carry on in the world. He has promised heart-rest and comfort, but not pleasure in the ordinary sense. Peace and comfort bring real inward happiness.

Prayer for the Day

I pray that I may keep my feet on the way. I pray that I may stay on God’s side.


The Language of Letting Go – Codependency

Letting Go of Perfection

As I journey through recovery, more and more I learn that accepting myself and my idiosyncrasies — laughing at myself for my ways — gets me a lot further than picking on myself and trying to make myself perfect. Maybe that’s really what it’s all about — absolute loving, joyous, nurturing self-acceptance.

—Anonymous

Stop expecting perfection from yourself and those around you.

We do a terrible, annoying thing to others and ourselves when we expect perfection. We set up a situation where others, including ourselves, do not feel comfortable with us. Sometimes, expecting perfection makes people so uptight that they and we make more mistakes than normal because we are so nervous and focused on mistakes.

That does not mean we allow inappropriate behaviors with the excuse “nobody’s perfect.” That doesn’t mean we don’t have boundaries and reasonable expectations of people and ourselves.

But our expectations need to be reasonable. Expecting perfection is not reasonable.

People make mistakes. The less anxious, intimidated, and repressed they are by expectations of being perfect, the better they will do.

Striving for excellence, purity in creativity, a harmonious performance, and the best we have to offer does not happen in the stymied, negative, fear-producing atmosphere of expecting perfection.

Have and set boundaries. Have reasonable expectations. Strive to do your best. Encourage others to do the same. But know that others and we will make mistakes. Know that others and we will have learning experiences, things we go through.

Sometimes, the flaws and imperfections in ourselves determine our uniqueness, the way they do in a piece of art. Relish them. Laugh at them. Embrace them, and ourselves.

Encourage others and ourselves to do the best we can. Love and nurture others and ourselves for being who we are. Then realize we are not merely human – we were intended and created to be human.

Today, God, help me let go of my need to be perfect and to unreasonably insist that others are perfect. I will not use this to tolerate abuse or mistreatment, but to achieve appropriate, balanced expectations. I am creating a healthy atmosphere of love, acceptance, and nurturing around and within me. I trust that this attitude will bring out the best in other people and in me.


Touchstone – Men’s Meditation

According to the teachers, there is only one thing that all people possess equally. This is their loneliness.

—Hyemeyohsts Storm

Many of us have tried to find a way to outwit our loneliness, or to escape its truth. We have learned that we cannot. As fathers looking at our children we may wish to spare them this pain. As men with our mates, we have dreamed of an ideal connection where all loneliness was dispelled.

We can’t obliterate loneliness. But we can learn to accept and deal with it. There is no need to compulsively cover all traces and all reminders that we are alone. We can accept this universal truth. We are alone, but so is everybody. We can make true contact with each other out of our aloneness. True intimacy with another man or woman comes out of first seeing our separateness, and then bridging the gap.

Today, I accept the feeling of loneliness as part of life. I can make contact with my brothers and sisters, knowing we are all in the same condition.


Elder’s Meditation

“Nature is the storehouse of potential life of future generations and is sacred.”

–Audrey Shenandoah, ONONDAGA

We need to honor and respect our Mother Earth. She is the source of all life. The sun shines life to the earth, then the earth produces life in all forms and in a balanced way. Everything is here to serve everything else. If we interrupt the flow in any way, we leave nothing for the future generations. Before every decision is made, we should ask, and answer, a final question; “If we do this, what will be the effects on the seventh generation? What will we cause our children to live with?” We need to have respect and love for all things and for all people. We need to do this for ourselves and for all the children still unborn.

My Creator, let me look at nature today and let me have the highest respect for all the things I see. All the two legged, the four legged, the winged ones, the plants, the water, the air, the Mother Earth. Let me have respect for myself.


Daily Horoscope – Cancer

An entrenched power dynamic could be a troublesome factor today. It will likely show up in one of your close relationships, whether it’s a friendship or another type of connection. You’re probably in a rut where each person plays their role without thinking about it. As the relational Moon moves into your 8th House of Intimacy, you have a chance to hit the reset button. Intentionally getting to know your companion as a well-rounded human can give you both room to acknowledge life’s gray areas.

DR – August 9, 2022

Daily Recovery Readings
August 9, 2022


Daily Reflection

“. . . OF ALL PERSONS WE HAD HARMED”

. . . and became willing to make amends to them all.


— TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 77

One of the key words in the Eighth Step is the word all. I am not free to select a few names for the list and to disregard others. It is a list of all persons I have harmed. I can see immediately that this Step entails forgiveness because if I’m not willing to forgive someone, there is little chance I will place his name on the list. Before I placed the first name on my list, I said a little prayer: “I forgive anyone and everyone who has ever harmed me at any time and under any circumstances.”

It is well for me to contemplate a small, but very significant, two-letter word every time the Lord’s Prayer is said. The word is as. I ask, “Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.” In this case, as means, “in the same manner.” I am asking to be forgiven in the same manner that I forgive others. As I say this portion of the prayer, if I am harboring hatred or resentment, I am inviting more resentment, when I should be calling on the spirit of forgiveness.


Big Book Quote

“We usually conclude the period of meditation with a prayer that we be shown all through the day what our next step is to be, that we be given whatever we need to take care of such problems. We ask especially for freedom from self-will, and are careful to make no request for ourselves only. We may ask for ourselves, however, if others will be helped. We are careful never to pray for our own selfish ends. Many of us have wasted a lot of time doing that and it doesn’t work.”

~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, Into Action, pg. 87~


24 Hours a Day – The Little Black Book

Thought for the Day

“We have an allergy to alcohol. The action of alcohol on chronic alcoholics is a manifestation of an allergy. We allergic types can never safely use alcohol in any form at all. We cannot be reconciled to a life without alcohol, unless we can experience an entire psychic change. Once this psychic change has occurred, we who seemed doomed, we who had so many problems that we despaired of ever solving them, find ourselves able to control our desire for alcohol.” Have I had a psychic change?

Meditation for the Day

Ask God in daily prayer to give you the strength to change. When you ask God to change you, you must at the same time fully trust Him. If you do not fully trust Him, God may answer your prayer as a rescuer does that of a drowning person who is putting up too much of a struggle. The rescuer must first render the person still more helpless, until he or she is wholly at the rescuer’s mercy. Just so must we be wholly at God’s mercy before we can be rescued.

Prayer for the Day

I pray that I may be daily willing to be changed. I pray that I may put myself wholly at the mercy of God.


The Language of Letting Go – Codependency

Asking for What We Need

Decide what it is you want and need, and then go to the person you need it from and ask for it.

Sometimes, it takes hard work and much energy to get what we want and need. We have to go through the pains of identifying what we want, then struggle to believe that we deserve it. Then, we may have to experience the disappointment of asking someone, having the person refuse us, and figuring out what to do next.

Sometimes in life, getting what we want and need is not so difficult. Sometimes, all we need to do is ask.

We can go to another person, or our Higher Power, and ask for what we need.

But because of how difficult it can be, at times, to get what we want and need, we may get trapped in the mind set of believing it will always be that difficult. Sometimes, not wanting to go through the hassle, dreading the struggle, or out of fear, we may make getting what we want and need much more difficult than it needs to be.

We may get angry before we ask, deciding that we’ll never get what we want, or anticipating the “fight” we’ll have to endure. By the time we talk to someone about what we want, we may be so angry that we’re demanding, not asking; thus our anger triggers a power play that didn’t exist except in our mind.

Or we may get so worked up that we don’t ask–or we waste far more energy than necessary fighting with ourselves, only to find out that the other person, or our Higher Power, is happy to give us what we want.

Sometimes, we have to fight and work and wait for what we want and need. Sometimes, we can get it just by asking or stating that this is what we want. Ask. If the answer is no, or not what we want, then we can decide what to do next.

Today, I will not set up a difficult situation that doesn’t exist with other people, or my Higher Power, about getting what I want and need. If there is something I need from someone, I will ask first, before I struggle.


Touchstone – Men’s Meditation

We must embrace the absurd and go beyond everything we have ever known.

—Janie Gustafson

We have stepped beyond the limits of our former life and accepted the possibility of the unknown. Many of us have always tried to be rational, to trust only what we could understand or reason through. That attempt served the part of us that lusted for control and power, but it kept us from unknown possibilities and dreams.

When we decide to be less controlling, we begin to believe in possibilities we didn’t allow before. That is how we let God influence our lives. Perhaps we don’t see a reasonable way to a more satisfying job, but we can be open to surprising possibilities. We may see nothing we can do to overcome our compulsions, but we pray for God to remove our shortcomings in God’s way, and already we have a new attitude.

God, give me the courage to step into the unknown, the absurd, and experience the awakening of my spirit.


Elder’s Meditation

“Praying to seek a vision, to seek truth is always right. Truth builds upon itself – as the true mark of a warrior who conducts himself/herself accordingly – so that its beauty may shine in the faces of our children.”

–Barney Bush, SHAWNEE

We move toward and become like that which we think about. What we think about creates our vision. If our thoughts are wise and good, then our vision becomes strong and truthful. If our thoughts are junk, then our vision becomes contaminated. It’s important to be aware of what we are thinking about. As I live my vision, my children watch and live their lives the same way. We need to live the walk of the Warrior. We need to walk in beauty and respect.

Oh Great Spirit, give me a vision for today. Let me see truth. Let me walk in beauty. Let my heart guide me in truth. The law says the truth shall set you free. Let me be free today.


Daily Horoscope – Cancer

You could be concerned about looking good at this point — not just physically, but morally, too. While you have a right to defend your side of the story, you might easily cross the line into painting another person as the villain when the truth is really a little more complicated. A jury of your peers is likely to call you out on your exaggerations given the opportunity. Make an effort to rein yourself in before that becomes necessary.

DR – August 8, 2022

Daily Recovery Readings
August 8, 2022


Daily Reflection

“MADE A LIST . . .”

Made a list of all persons we had harmed, . . .

— TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 77

When I approached the Eighth Step, I wondered how I could list all the things that I have done to other people since there were so many people, and some of them weren’t alive anymore. Some of the hurts I inflicted weren’t bad, but they really bothered me. The main thing to see in this Step was to become willing to do whatever I had to do to make these amends to the best of my ability at that particular time. Where there is a will, there’s a way, so if I want to feel better, I need to unload the guilt feelings I have. A peaceful mind has no room for feelings of guilt. With the help of my Higher Power, if I am honest with myself, I can cleanse my mind of these feelings.


Big Book Quote

“We realized that the people who wronged us were perhaps spiritually sick. Though we did not like their symptoms and the way these disturbed us, they, like ourselves, were sick too. We asked God to help us show them the same tolerance, pity, and patience that we would cheerfully grant a sick friend. When a person offended we said to ourselves, ‘This is a sick man. How can I be helpful to him? God save me from being angry. Thy will be done.'”

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


24 Hours a Day – The Little Black Book

Thought for the Day

For awhile, we are going back to the Big Book, Alcoholics Anonymous, and pick out passages here and there, so that they may become fixed in our minds, a little at a time, day by day, as we go along. There is no substitute for reading the Big Book. It is our “bible.” We should study it thoroughly and make it a part of ourselves. We should not try to change any of it. Within its covers is the full exposition of the A.A. program. There is no substitute for it. We should study it often. Have I studied the Big Book faithfully?

Meditation for the Day

All of life is a fluctuation between effort and rest. You need both every day. But effort is not truly effective until first you have had the proper preparation for it, by resting in a time of quiet meditation. This daily time of rest and meditation gives you the power necessary to make your best effort. There are days when you are called on for much effort and then comes a time when you need much rest. It is not good to rest too long and it is not good to carry on great effort too long without rest. The successful life is a proper balance between the two.

Prayer for the Day

I pray that I may be ready to make the proper effort. I pray that I may also recognize the need for relaxation.


The Language of Letting Go – Codependency

Saying Yes

Yesterday we talked about learning to say no. Today, let’s discuss another important word: Yes.

We can learn to say yes to things that feel good, to what we want – for others and ourselves.

We can learn to say yes to fun. Yes to meetings, to calling a friend, asking for help.

We can learn to say yes to healthy relationships, to people and activities that are good for us.

We can learn to say yes to ourselves, what we want and need, our instincts, and the leading of our Higher Power.

We can learn to say yes when it feels right to help someone. We can learn to say yes to our feelings. We can learn to identify when we need to take a walk, take a nap, have our back rubbed, or buy ourselves flowers.

We can learn to say yes to work that is right for us.

We can learn to say yes to all that will nurture and nourish us. We can learn to say yes to the best life and love has to offer.

Today, I will say yes to all that feels good and right.


Touchstone – Men’s Meditation

I got the blues thinking of the future, so I left off and made some marmalade. It’s amazing how it cheers one up to ‘shred oranges and scrub the floor.

—D. H. Lawrence

Focusing on pain or having difficulties can put us in a rut, and we neglect the other things in our lives. A simple task like making marmalade can be a brief vacation. We change our thought patterns when we change activities. The simple action of doing something pleasant might inject a new feeling into our outlook. Sharing a problem with a friend may be all we need to see it more clearly or let it go. Moving from busy physical activity to a few moments of quiet contemplation creates an inner balance. A problem that seems overwhelming at night may be met with new insight and new energy after a night’s rest.

We don’t have to continue feeling like victims of circumstance or remain stuck with a nagging problem. Just like changing the subject of a conversation, we can change the subject of our attention for a time. When we do, we regain our sense of hope and change our responses.

Today, I will give myself a break when I become caught or obsessed with a problem.


Elder’s Meditation

“The Creator told everyone of us in our tribal beginnings to look after our ceremonies, and each other.”

–Barney Bush, SHAWNEE

Our ceremonies are important and each has a purpose. They teach us about the Creator and about each other. The ceremonies teach us to be humble and teach us to pray. They teach us to look inside ourselves. We should remember to pray each morning. Ask the Creator to guide our thinking. Think only good thoughts. Think good thoughts about our relatives and about our brothers and sisters. Pray for our children in ceremony. Give thanks to the Great Mystery of life. All life is sacred. Pray in a sacred way.

Oh Great Spirit, I come to You this morning in ceremony. I come to this sacred place to talk to You. I thank You for Your guidance and protection. Give me Your eyes today so I may see the beauty in all things.


Daily Horoscope – Cancer

Professional ambition may stress you out at the moment, as you might tend to push yourself in a way that’s not good for you. Try to look closely at the material rewards you’re already receiving for your efforts. Perhaps you already have enough to meet your needs, even if you didn’t think this was the case. Your preconceived notions about success could be blocking you from seeing your situation rationally, so consider talking to someone who can give you an outside perspective.

DR – August 7, 2022

Daily Recovery Readings
August 7, 2022


Daily Reflection

A “DESIGN FOR LIVING”

We in our turn, sought the same escape with all the desperation of drowning men. 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 or, if you prefer, “a design for living” that really works.

— ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 28

I try each day to raise my heart and hands in thanks to God for showing me a “design for living” that really works through our beautiful Fellowship. But what, exactly, is this “design for living” that “really works”? For me, it is the practice of the Twelve Steps to the best of my ability, the continued awareness of a God who loves me unconditionally, and the hope that, in each new day, there is a purpose for my being. I am truly, truly blessed in the Fellowship.


Big Book Quote

“But my friend sat before me, and he made the pointblank declaration that God had done for him what he could not do for himself. His human will had failed. Doctors had pronounced him incurable. Society was about to lock him up. Like myself, he had admitted complete defeat. Then he had, in effect, been raised from the dead, suddenly taken from the scrap heap to a level of life better than the best he had ever known!”

~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, Bill’s Story, pg. 11~


24 Hours a Day – The Little Black Book

Thought for the Day

We in A.A. are offering an intangible thing, a psychological and spiritual program. It’s a wonderful program. When we learn to turn to a Higher Power, with faith that that Power can give us the strength we need, we find peace of mind. When we re-educate our minds by learning to think differently, we find new interests that make life worthwhile. We who have achieved sobriety through faith in God and mental re-education are modern miracles. It is the function of our A.A. program to produce modern miracles. Do I consider the change in my life a modern miracle?

Meditation for the Day

You should never doubt that God’s spirit is always with you, wherever you are, to keep you on the right path. God’s keeping power is never at fault, only your realization of it. You must try to believe in God’s nearness and availability of His grace. It is not a question of whether God can provide a shelter from the storm, but of whether or not you seek the security of that shelter. Every fear, worry, or doubt is disloyalty to God. You must endeavor to trust God wholly. Practice saying: “All is going to be well.” Say it to yourself until you feel it deeply.

Prayer for the Day

I pray that I may feel deeply that all is well. I pray that nothing will be able to move me from that deep conviction.


The Language of Letting Go – Codependency

Saying No

For many of us, the most difficult word to say is one of the shortest and easiest in the vocabulary: No. Go ahead, say it aloud: No.

No – simple to pronounce, hard to say. We’re afraid people won’t like us, or we feel guilty. We may believe that a “good” employee, child, parent, spouse, or Christian never says no.

The problem is, if we don’t learn to say no, we stop liking ourselves and the people we always try to please. We may even punish others out of resentment.

When do we say no? When no is what we really mean.

When we learn to say no, we stop lying. People can trust us, and we can trust ourselves. All sorts of good things happen when we start saying what we mean.

If we’re scared to say no, we can buy some time. We can take a break, rehearse the word, and go back and say no. We don’t have to offer long explanations for our decisions.

When we can say no, we can say yes to the good. Our no’s and our yes’s begin to be taken seriously. We gain control of ourselves. And we learn a secret: “No” isn’t really that hard to say.

Today, I will say no if that is what I mean.


Touchstone – Men’s Meditation

We love because it’s the only true adventure.
—Nikki Giovanni

In loving, we meet ourselves. As we have become more honest, we no longer make excuses about our relationship problems. We can’t blame our troubles on our partner. Our problems with love were often because we didn’t know how to be close or we didn’t dare to be.

When we let ourselves engage in this adventure, we meet many obstacles – things we can’t control, and sometimes we want to quit right there. We have arguments and disappointments as well as good feelings. But what adventure is without difficulty or surprises? Part of the reason for choosing new experiences is to confront forces outside our control. A relationship is a dialogue. Only if we stay with it through the frustrations, express our deepest feelings openly, and listen to our partner, do we achieve a new level of understanding and confidence in the relationship. Then deeper levels also open within ourselves.

Today, I will let honesty guide me in this adventure of my love dialogue.


Elder’s Meditation

“Everything I know I learned by listening and watching.”

–Vernon Cooper, LUMBEE

Sometimes my mind is talking so fast about so many different things that I can’t slow it down. All day long I am judging and making assumptions about everything.

Great Spirit, help me this day to slow down. Help me to listen – quietly. Help me to watch carefully. Help me to listen to my inner voice. Let me listen and watch only the thing You would have me observe. Guide my eyes and my ears to be focused on You. Grandfather, love me today and teach me to be quiet.


Daily Horoscope – Cancer

Finding comfortable boundaries in conversation with your friends at this moment could be difficult. Though you may desire to charge ahead at any cost, pushing too hard on a difficult or sensitive topic is likely to cause more trouble than it’s worth. On the other hand, if you’re craving depth beyond boring small talk, you can communicate a fair amount about your larger views on life without going into too many potentially conflict-provoking details. A vague approach is probably the best approach.