Daily Recovery Readings
August 20, 2020
TOWARD EMOTIONAL FREEDOM
Since defective relations with other human beings have nearly always been the immediate cause of our woes, including our alcoholism, no field of investigation could yield more satisfying and valuable rewards than this one.
— TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 80
Willingness is a peculiar thing for me in that, over a period of time, it seems to come, first with awareness, but then with a feeling of discomfort, making me want to take some action. As I reflected on taking the Eighth Step, my willingness to make amends to others came as a desire for forgiveness, of others and myself. I felt forgiveness toward others after I became aware of my part in the difficulties of relationships. I wanted to feel the peace and serenity described in the Promises. From working the first seven Steps, I became aware of whom I had harmed and that I had been my own worst enemy. In order to restore my relationships with my fellow human beings, I knew I would have to change. I wanted to learn to live in harmony with myself and others so that I could also live in emotional freedom. The beginning of the end to my isolation—from my fellows and from God—came when I wrote my Eighth Step list.
From the book Daily Reflections
Copyright © 1990 by Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc.
Big Book Quote
“Most alcoholics owe money. We do not dodge our creditors. Telling them what we are trying to do, we make no bones about our drinking; they usually know it anyway, whether we think so or not. Nor are we afraid of disclosing our alcoholism on the theory it may cause financial harm. Approached in this way, the most ruthless creditor will sometimes surprise us. Arranging the best deal we can we let these people know we are sorry. Our drinking has made us slow to pay. We must lose our fear of creditors no matter how far we have to go, for we are liable to drink if we are afraid to face them.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, Into Action, pg. 78~
24 Hours a Day – The Little Black Book
Thought for the Day
“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. When we see others solve their problems by simple reliance upon some Spirit of the universe, we have to stop doubting the power of God. Our ideas did not work, but the God-idea does. Deep down in every man, woman, and child is the fundamental idea of God. Faith in a Power greater than ourselves and miraculous demonstrations of that power in our lives are facts as old as the human race.” Am I willing to rely on the Spirit of the universe?
Meditation for the Day
You should not dwell too much on the mistakes, faults, and failures of the past. Be done with shame and remorse and contempt for yourself. With God’s help, develop a new self-respect. Unless you respect yourself, others will not respect you. You ran a race, you stumbled and fell, you have risen again, and now you press on toward the goal of a better life. Do not stay to examine the spot where you fell, only feel sorry for the delay, the shortsightedness that prevented you from seeing the real goal sooner.
Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may not look back. I pray that I may keep picking myself up and making a fresh start each day.
The Language of Letting Go – Codependency
Honesty in Relationships
We can be honest and direct about our boundaries in relationships and about the parameters of a particular relationship.
Perhaps no area of our life reflects our uniqueness and individuality in recovery more than our relationships. Some of us are in a committed relationship. Some of us are dating. Some of us are not dating. Some of us are living with someone. Some of us wish we were dating. Some of us wish we were in a committed relationship. Some of us get into new relationships after recovery. Some of us stay in the relationship we were in before we began recovering.
We have other relationships too. We have friendships. Relationships with children, with parents, with extended family. We have professional relationships – relationships with people on the job.
We need to be able to be honest and direct in our relationships. One area we can be honest and direct about is the parameters of our relationships. We can define our relationships to people, an idea written about by Charlotte Kasl and others, and we can ask them to be honest and direct about defining their vision of the relationship with us.
It is confusing to be in relationships and not know where we stand – whether this is on the job, in a friendship, with family members, or in a love relationship. We have a right to be direct about how we define the relationship – what we want it to be. But relationships equal two people who have equal rights. The other person needs to be able to define the relationship too. We have a right to know, and ask. So do they.
Honesty is the best policy.
We can set boundaries. If someone wants a more intense relationship than we do, we can be clear and honest about what we want, about our intended level of participation. We can tell the person what to reasonably expect from us, because that is what we want to give. How the person deals with that is his or her issue. Whether or not we tell the person is ours.
We can set boundaries and define friendships when those cause confusion.
We can even define relationships with children, if those relationships have gotten sticky and exceeded our parameters. We need to define love relationships and what that means to each person. We have a right to ask and receive clear answers. We have a right to make our own definitions and have our own expectations. So does the other person.
Honesty and directness is the only policy. Sometimes we don’t know what we want in a relationship. Sometimes the other person doesn’t know. But the sooner we can define a relationship, with the other person’s help, the sooner we can decide on an appropriate course of conduct for ourselves.
The clearer we can become on defining relationships, the more we can take care of ourselves in that relationship. We have a right to our boundaries, wants, and needs. So does the other person. We cannot force someone to be in a relationship or to participate at a level we desire if he or she does not want to. All of us have a right not to be forced.
Information is a powerful tool, and having the information about what a particular relationship is – the boundaries and definitions of it – will empower us to take care of ourselves in it.
Relationships take a while to form, but at some point we can reasonably expect a clear definition of what that relationship is and what the boundaries of it are. If the definitions clash, we are free to make a new decision based on appropriate information about what we need to do to take care of ourselves.
Today, I will strive for clarity and directness in my relationships. If I now have some relationships that are murky and ill defined, and if I have given them adequate time to form, I will begin to take action to define that relationship. God, help me let go of my fears about defining and understanding the nature of my present relationships. Guide me into clarity – clear, healthy thinking. Help me know that what I want is okay. Help me know that if I can’t get that from the other person, what I want is still okay, but not possible at the present time. Help me learn to not forego what I want and need, but empower me to make appropriate, healthy choices about where to get that.
Touchstone – Men’s Meditation
Every human being is a problem in search of a solution.
Each of us is a strong and fragile creature. We’re always subject to forces outside our control, and we’re learning steps for living that helps us cope and rise above these problems. Our particular situation might seem special to us but in another sense, everyone’s situation is a unique problem. Spiritual growth is the result of coming face to face with our own situation, feeling the brunt of our own puzzlement, recognizing no recipe will apply completely, and then trusting our Higher Power as we make unsure responses.
No school or parent can ever teach us enough to smooth our search for solutions. We become complete human beings by living through the muddle, by truly trusting our connections with God and other people to carry us along until we find clarity again. We progress into manhood when we meet our own particular life crises. We learn to see we have this process in common with every human being. Rather than resist our problems, we band together with others and pool our strength to find solutions.
My problems today are opportunities for spiritual growth.
“…remember and think about the closeness of Wanka-Tanka. If they live in this wisdom, it will give them endless strength and hope.”
–Fools Crow, LAKOTA
The value of staying close to the Creator is the immediate help we have available to us whenever we need it. I can listen to the whisper of my heart for this is the place He communicates with me. Staying close helps me remember that we are here to serve Him and to help other people. The Grandfathers are my direct access to wisdom. He who has wisdom has everything. If we have wisdom, then we will see our lives become more effective in the areas of jobs, relationships, family, friends, and finances.
My Creator, today grant me the wisdom to seek Your wisdom. Help me to Walk of the Red Road.
Daily Horoscope – Cancer
You are guided by emotion and, ordinarily, this serves you very well. Today, however, you should listen to your head instead of your heart. Although you’d love to occupy a respected position, you’d be wise to yield this spot to someone with more experience. Allowing this expert to become your boss, mentor, or teacher will be enriching for you both. By promoting their interests over yours, others in the industry will look at you in a whole new light. You’ll be viewed as someone who is committed to excellence, even when it involves making personal sacrifices.