Daily Recovery Readings
April 29, 2021
“Some may think that we have carried the principle of group autonomy to extremes. For example, in its original “long form,” Tradition Four declares: “Any two or three gathered together for sobriety may call themselves an A.A. group, provided that as a group they have no other affiliation. (1) ” . . . But this ultra-liberty is not so risky as it looks”
— A.A. COMES OF AGE, pp. 104-05
As an active alcoholic, I abused every liberty that life afforded. How could A.A. expect me to respect the “ultra-liberty” bestowed by Tradition Four? Learning respect has become a lifetime job.
A.A. has made me fully accept the necessity of discipline and that, if I do not assert it from within, then I will pay for it. This applies to groups too. Tradition Four points me in a spiritual direction, in spite of my alcoholic inclinations.
(1) This is a misquote; Bill is referring to the Third Tradition.
From the book Daily Reflections
Copyright © 1990 by Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc.
Big Book Quote
“The fact is that most alcoholics, for reasons yet obscure, have lost the power of choice in drink. Our so called will power becomes practically nonexistent. We are unable, at certain times, to bring into our consciousness with sufficient force the memory of the suffering and humiliation of even a week or a month ago. We are without defense against the first drink.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, There Is A Solution, pg. 24~
24 Hours a Day – The Little Black Book
Often, we can learn much about ourselves from the people to whom we are attracted.
As we progress through recovery, we learn we can no longer form relationships solely on the basis of attraction. We learn to be patient, to allow ourselves to take into account important facts, and to process information about that person.
What we are striving for in recovery is a healthy attraction to people. We allow ourselves to be attracted to who people are, not to their potential or to what we hope they are.
The more we work through our family of origin issues, the less we will find ourselves needing to work through them with the people we’re attracted to. Finishing our business from the past helps us form new and healthier relationships.
The more we overcome our need to be excessive caretakers, the less we will find ourselves attracted to people who need to be constantly taken care of.
The more we learn to love and respect ourselves, the more we will become attracted to people who will love and respect us and who we can safely love and respect.
This is a slow process. We need to be patient with ourselves. The type of people we find ourselves attracted to does not change overnight. Being attracted to dysfunctional people can linger long and well into recovery. That does not mean we need to allow it to control us. The fact is, we will initiate and maintain relationships with people we need to be with until we learn what it is we need to learn – no matter how long we’ve been recovering.
No matter who we find ourselves relating to, and what we discover happening in the relationship, the issue is still about us, and not about the other person. That is the heart, the hope, and the power of recovery.
We can learn to take care of ourselves during the process of initiating and forming relationships. We can learn to go slowly. We can learn to pay attention. We can allow ourselves to make mistakes, even when we know better.
We can stop blaming our relationships on God and begin to take responsibility for them. We can learn to enjoy the healthy relationships and remove ourselves more quickly from the dysfunctional ones.
We can learn to look for what’s good for us, instead of what’s good for the other person.
God, help me pay attention to my behaviors during the process of initiating relationships. Help me take responsibility for myself and learn what I need to learn. I will trust that the people I want and need will come into my life. I understand that if a relationship is not good for me, I have the right and ability to refuse to enter into it – even though the other person thinks it may be good for him or her. I will be open to the lessons I need to learn about me in relationships, so I am prepared for the best possible relationships with people.
The Language of Letting Go – Codependency
Thought for the Day
The A.A. program is one of faith, hope, and charity. It’s a program of hope because when new members come into A.A., the first thing they get is hope. They hear older members tell how they had been through the same kind of hell that they have and how they found the way out through A.A. And this gives them hope that if others can do it, they can do it. Is hope still strong in me?
Meditation for the Day
The rule of God’s kingdom is perfect order, perfect harmony, perfect supply, perfect love, perfect honesty, perfect obedience. There is no discord in God’s kingdom, only some things still unconquered in God’s children. The difficulties of life are caused by disharmony in the individual man or woman. People lack power because they lack harmony with God and with each other. They think that God fails because power is not manifested in their lives. God does not fail. People fail because they are out of harmony with Him.
Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may be in harmony with God and with other people. I pray that this harmony will result in strength and success.
Touchstone – Men’s Meditation
“I’ve never started a fight, but I never pulled back from a fight either.”
Sometimes we walk around with chips on our shoulders. We’re like a tightly wound spring ready to jump at the slightest trigger, when other times we would let the same event go unnoticed. We even say self-righteously, “I didn’t start it.” Now that we are becoming more responsible for ourselves, we are owning our part in relationships. Maybe we have a problem with being like a spring ready to jump. When we are like that, we are difficult to live with or be around.
We can change by getting in touch with our pain. We need to explore our feelings. Perhaps we need to be honest with ourselves about low self-esteem, about feelings of loneliness or fear. Then we must talk with another person or our group about our feelings and continue to talk about them. In this way we become reconciled to ourselves and to our friends around us.
God, help me accept my own pain, and help me be tolerant of my friends’ mistakes.
“The old people came literally to love the soil and they sat or reclined on the ground with a feeling of being close to a mothering power…The soil was soothing, strengthening, cleansing and healing…”
–Luther Standing Bear, OGLALA SIOUX
Have you ever noticed the relationship between children and the soil? Watch how happily they are touching the dirt. The children play in it and eat it. If you are stressed, go to a spot on the Earth, sit down, put your fingers in the dirt, dig in it. Wash your hands in the soil. When you touch it, notice what it does to your hands. Our bodies love to touch the Earth. Sometimes we get too busy and forget these simple things. Maybe you’ll even want to plant a garden or flowers. These things are mentally healthy.
Great Spirit, today, let me touch the Earth so the Earth can touch me.
Daily Horoscope – Cancer
You may feel martyred by your obligations toward others today. What would probably serve everyone involved better than you simply going along with it, however, is a good talk about clarifying shared responsibilities. Your own ability to come up with a clear philosophy of who is responsible for what may be fuzzy at the moment. If you look for outside advice, perhaps online, you could find a perspective that speaks to your situation and helps you put it in order.