Daily Recovery Readings
December 23, 2020
RECOVERY, UNITY, SERVICE
Our Twelfth Step—carrying the message—is the basic service that AA’s Fellowship gives; this is our principal aim and the main reason for our existence.
— THE LANGUAGE OF THE HEART, p. 160
I thank God for those who came before me, those who told me not to forget the Three Legacies: Recovery, Unity and Service. In my home group, the Three Legacies were described on a sign which said: “You take a three-legged stool, try to balance it on only one leg, or two. Our Three Legacies must be kept intact. In Recovery, we get sober together; in Unity, we work together for the good of our Steps and Traditions; and through Service—we give away freely what has been given to us.”
One of the chief gifts of my life has been to know that I will have no message to give, unless I recover in unity with A.A. principles.
Big Book Quote
“Doubtless you are curious to discover how and why, in the face of expert opinion to the contrary, we have recovered from a hopeless condition of mind and body. If you are an alcoholic who wants to get over it, you may already be asking What do I have to do?
It is the purpose of this book to answer such questions specifically. We shall tell you what we have done.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, There Is A Solution, Page 20~
24 Hours a Day – The Little Black Book
Thought for the Day
We have definitely left that dream world behind. It was only a sham. It was a world of our making and it was not the real world. We are sorry for the past, yes, but we learned a lot from it. We can put it down to experience, valuable experience, as we see it now, because it has given us the knowledge necessary to face the world as it really is. We had to become alcoholics in order to find the A.A. program. We would not have got it any other way. In a way, it was worth it. Do I look at my past as valuable experience?
Meditation for the Day
Shed peace, not discord, wherever you go. Try to be part of the cure of every situation, not part of the problem. Try to ignore evil, rather than to actively combat it. Always try to build up, never to tear down. Show others by your example that happiness comes from living the right way. The power of your example is greater than the power of what you say.
Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may try to bring something good into every situation today. I pray that I may be constructive in the way I think and speak and act today.
The Language of Letting Go – Codependency
One year, when I was a child, my father got drunk and violent at Christmas. I had just unwrapped a present, a bottle of hand lotion, when he exploded in an alcoholic rage. Our Christmas was disrupted. It was terrible. It was frightening for the whole family. Now, thirty-five years later, whenever I smell hand lotion, I immediately feel all the feelings I did that Christmas: the fear, the disappointment, the heartache, the helplessness, and an instinctive desire to control.
There are many positive triggers that remind us of Christmas: snow, decorations, “Silent Night,” “Jingle Bells,” wrapped packages, a nativity scene, stockings hung on a fireplace. These “triggers” can evoke in us the warm, nostalgic feelings of the Christmas celebration.
There are other kinds of triggers, though, that may be less apparent and evoke different feelings and memories.
Our mind is like a powerful computer. It links sight, sound, smell, touch, and taste with feelings, thoughts, and memories. It links our senses – and we remember.
Sometimes the smallest, most innocuous incident can trigger memories. Not all our memories are pleasant, especially if we grew up in an alcoholic, dysfunctional setting.
We may not understand why we suddenly feel afraid, depressed, and anxious. We may not understand what has triggered our codependent coping behaviors – the low self worth, the need to control, the need to neglect ourselves. When that happens, we need to understand that some innocuous event may be triggering memories recorded deep within us.
If something, even something we don’t understand, triggers painful memories, we can pull ourselves back into the present by self care: acknowledging our feelings, detaching, working the Steps, and affirming ourselves. We can take action to feel good. We can help ourselves feel better each Christmas. No matter what the past held, we can put it in perspective, and create a more pleasant holiday today.
Today, I will gently work through my memories of this holiday season. I will accept my feelings, even if I consider them different than what others are feeling this holiday. God, help me let go, heal from, and release the painful memories surrounding the holidays. Help me finish my business from the past, so I can create the holiday of my choice.
Touchstone – Men’s Meditation
Loneliness is the way by which destiny endeavors to lead man to himself.
We have an epidemic of loneliness among men in our world. Everywhere, men are walking around as though in plastic bubbles that prevent contact with others. We are cut off from closeness with our brothers and sisters, our own children, our mates, coworkers, and neighbors. We have learned to play the role, be efficient, and look good. Do we dare let others know how we feel? Will they look down on us? Will they think we’re strange?
All this has made us ripe for the diseases of addiction and codependency. Some of us have romanticized the pain of loneliness and glorified it. We sought some comfort for our pain, but we only perpetuated it. Breaking through the barrier to let someone know us can be incredibly difficult. Yet, just to say “I feel lonely” to another person makes us slightly less alone. Going to meetings and working this program provide a way out. The greatest benefits of the program for many of us have been recovery from loneliness and the genuine relationships we have developed.
Today, I will reveal some of my feelings to another person.
“It’s not the package and the wrapping which counts but what is inside, underneath the clothes and the skin.”
–Lame Deer, LAKOTA
Our eyes and ears gather information that is fed to the mind, and we tend to form judgements, opinions, and assumptions which determine our perception. We might see someone act a certain way, then label that person forever, not at all concentrating on what is inside the person. It matters not our height, our size, our facial features, or our gender. What matters is our thoughts. Good thoughts overcome all obstacles.
Great Spirit, let my inside contain Your qualities.
Daily Horoscope – Cancer
If any of your close relationships have been strained, today is the day to focus your attention on healing those tensions. You are adept at opening things up and helping emotions flow, so use those skills to your advantage now. If you find yourself slipping into over-accommodating the other person, pull back and figure out a way to bring your needs back to the forefront. After all, they are just as valid and important. It’s only when both parties’ feelings are being considered that everyone wins.