Daily Recovery Readings
August 31, 2020
Alcoholics Anonymous will never have a professional class. We have gained some understanding of the ancient words “Freely ye have received, freely give.” We have discovered that at the point of professionalism, money and spirituality do not mix.
— TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 166
I believe that Alcoholics Anonymous stands alone in the treatment of alcoholism because it is based solely on the principle of one alcoholic sharing with another alcoholic. This is what makes the program unique. When I decided that I wanted to stay sober, I called a woman who I knew was a sober member of A.A., and she carried the message of Alcoholics Anonymous to me. She received no monetary compensation, but rather was paid by staying sober another day herself. Today I could ask for no payment other than another day free from alcohol, so in that respect, I am generously paid for my labor.
From the book Daily Reflections
Copyright © 1990 by Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc.
Big Book Quote
“We think it no concern of ours what religious bodies our members identify themselves with as individuals. This should be an entirely personal affair which each one decides for himself in the light of past associations, or his present choice.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, There Is A Solution, pg. 28~
24 Hours a Day – The Little Black Book
Thought for the Day
“Call on new prospects while they are still jittery. They may be more receptive when depressed. See them alone if possible. Tell them enough about your drinking habits and experiences to encourage them to speak of themselves. If they wish to talk, let them do so. If they are not communicative, talk about the troubles liquor has caused you, being careful not to moralize or lecture. When they see you know all about the drinking game, commence to describe yourself as an alcoholic and tell them how you learned you were sick.” Am I ready to talk about myself to new prospects?
Meditation for the Day
Try not to give way to criticism, blame, scorn, or judgment of others when you are trying to help them. Effectiveness in helping others depends on controlling yourself. You may be swept away by a temporary natural urge to criticize or blame, unless you keep a tight rein on your emotions. You should have a firm foundation of spiritual living which makes you truly humble, if you are going to really help other people. Go easy on them and be hard on yourself. That is the way you can be used most to uplift a despairing spirit. And seek no personal recognition for what you are used by God to accomplish.
Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may try to avoid judgment and criticism. I pray that I may always try to build up others instead of tearing them down.
The Language of Letting Go – Codependency
I’ve been recovering many years. I’ve used denial many times. It has been a defense, a survival device, a coping behavior, and, at times, almost my undoing. It has been both a friend and an enemy.
When I was a child, I used denial to protect my family and myself. I protected myself from seeing things too painful to see and feelings too overwhelming to feel. Denial got me safely through many traumatic situations, when I had no other resources for survival.
The negative aspect of using denial was that I lost touch with my feelings and myself. I became able to participate in harmful situations without even knowing I was hurting. I was able to tolerate a great deal of pain and abuse without the foggiest notion it was abnormal.
I learned to participate in my own abuse.
Denial protected me from pain, but it also rendered me blind to my feelings, my needs, and myself. It was like a thick blanket that covered and smothered me.
Eventually, I began to recover. I had a glimpse of awareness about my pain, my feelings, and my behaviors. I began to see myself, and the world, as we were. There was so much denial from my past that had the blanket been entirely ripped from me. I would have died from the shock of exposure. I needed to embrace insights, remembrances, awareness, and healing gently, gradually.
Life participated in this process with me. It is a gentle teacher. As I recovered, I was brought to the incidents and people I needed in order to remind me of what I was still denying, to tell me where I required more healing from my past, as I could handle these insights.
I still use, and break through, denial–as needed. When the winds of change blow through, upsetting a familiar structure and preparing me for the new, I pick up my blanket and hide, for a while. Sometimes, when someone I love has a problem, I hide under the blanket, momentarily. Memories emerge of things denied, memories that need to be remembered, felt, and accepted so I can continue to become healed – strong and healthy.
Sometimes, I feel ashamed about how long it takes me to struggle through to acceptance of reality. I feel embarrassed when I find myself again clouded by the fog of denial.
Then something happens, and I see that I am moving forward. The experience was necessary, connected, not at all a mistake, but an important part of healing.
It’s an exciting process, this journey called recovery, but I understand I may sometimes use denial to help me get through the rough spots. I’m also aware that denial is a friend, and an enemy. I’m on the alert for danger signs: those cloudy, confused feelings . . . sluggish energy . . . feeling compulsive . . . running too fast or hard . . . avoiding support mechanisms.
I’ve gained a healthy respect for our need to use denial as a blanket to wrap ourselves in when we become too cold. It isn’t my job to run around ripping people’s blankets off or shaming others for using the blanket. Shaming makes them colder, makes them wrap themselves more tightly in the blanket. Yanking their blanket away is dangerous. They could die of exposure, the same way I could have.
I’ve learned the best thing I can do around people who are wrapped in this blanket is to make them feel warm and safe. The warmer and safer they feel, the more able they are to drop their blanket. I don’t have to support or encourage their denial. I can be direct. If others are in denial about a particular thing, and their activity is harmful to me, I don’t have to be around them. I can wish them well and take care of myself. You see, if I stand too long around someone who is harming me, I will inevitably pick up my blanket again.
I tend to be attracted to warm people. When I’m around warm people, I don’t need to use my blanket.
I’ve gained respect for creating warm environments, where blankets are not needed, or at least not needed for long. I’ve gained trust in the way people heal from and deal with life.
God, help me be open to and trust the process that is healing me from all I have denied from my past. Help me strive for awareness and acceptance, but also help me practice gentleness and compassion for myself–and others–for those times I have used denial.
Touchstone – Men’s Meditation
In the world to come they will not ask me, “Why were you not Moses?” They will ask me, “Why were you not Zusya?”
—Zusya of Hanipoli
We grow in the direction of the choices we make. That growth depends as much on how we make decisions as on which ones we make. Often in the past we tried to model ourselves after someone we admired. Our self-confidence was poor, so we depended on others to let us know if our decisions were correct, or we modeled our decisions on how we thought others would decide. Now we see that we can never become exactly like someone else and we need not try.
To each of us, God gives a creative task and a problem – to take our special abilities and limitations and become whole men. We use standards for our choices based on our best ideas of right and wrong, of what fits with our inner feelings, and of what our Higher Power is guiding us toward. Unfinished and imperfect as we are, we become more peaceful as we become more fully ourselves.
May I be true to myself in the choices I make today? I am becoming the man that I admire.
“Our Creator makes available to us all that we need. It is an honor to go out and gather it. We must remember to say ‘Thank You.’ It is honorable to give away, to show our gratitude… and to let the children see this.”
–Barney Bush, SHAWNEE
So many times we forget to say “thank You” to the Creator. He made for us an abundant universe. He built the Mother Earth to reproduce plenty of everything. It is an honor to be a part of the Great Spirit’s world. The Creator always gives us what we need. When we are given things, we should be willing to share it with others. Whenever we give to others, this makes us feel good inside. The more we give, the better we feel. The better we feel, the more we want to give. We need to teach this to our children. The children learn by our behavior.
My Creator, thank you for today. Thank you for the sun. Thank you for the earth. Thank you for my life. Thank you for……
Daily Horoscope – Cancer
Although your friends and family love you dearly, they may not support a big life change you’re making, like relocating, changing jobs, or leaving a relationship. Thank them for their interest in your well-being, but do continue along your path. You have one of the most powerful intuitions in the zodiac, so when you feel an urge to do something, it’s always wise to obey the impulse. Having an authentic life has become more important than being comfortable, even for a security-conscious person like you. This is a healthy shake-up.