DR – January 17, 2022

Daily Recovery Readings
January 17, 2022


Daily Reflection

HAPPINESS COMES QUIETLY

“The trouble with us alcoholics was this: We demanded that the world give us happiness and peace of mind in just the particular order we wanted to get it-by the alcohol route. And we weren’t successful. But when we take time to find out some of the spiritual laws, and familiarize ourselves with them, and put them into practice, then we do get happiness and peace of mind. . . . There seem to be some rules that we have to follow, but happiness and peace of mind are always here, open and free to anyone.”

— DR. BOB AND THE GOOD OLDTIMERS, p. 308

The simplicity of the A.A. program teaches me that happiness isn’t something I can “demand.” It comes upon me quietly, while I serve others. In offering my hand to the newcomer or to someone who has relapsed, I find that my own sobriety has been recharged with indescribable gratitude and happiness.


Big Book Quote

“It is plain that a life which includes deep resentment leads only to futility and unhappiness. To the precise extent that we permit these, do we squander the hours that might have been worth while.”

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


24 Hours a Day – The Little Black Book

Thought for the Day

It doesn’t do much good to come to meetings only once in a while and sit around, hoping to get something out of the pro gram. That’s all right at first, but it won’t help us very long. Sooner or later we have to get into action by coming to meetings regularly, by giving a personal witness of our experience with alcohol, and by trying to help other alcoholics. Building a new life takes all the energy that we used to spend on drinking. Am I spending at least as much time and effort on the new life that I’m trying to build in A.A.?

Meditation for the Day

With God’s help, I will build a protective screen around myself, which will keep out all evil thoughts. I will fashion it out of my attitude toward God and my attitude toward other people. When one worrying or impatient thought enters my mind, I will put it out at once. I know that love and trust are the solvents for the worry and frets of life. I will use them to form a protective screen around me.

Prayer for the Day

I pray that frets and impatience and worry may not corrode my protective screen against all evil thoughts. I pray that I may banish all these from my life.


The Language of Letting Go – Codependency

Acting As If

The behavior we call “acting as if” can be a powerful recovery tool. Acting as if is a way to practice the positive. It’s a positive form of pretending. It’s a tool we use to get ourselves unstuck. It’s a tool we make a conscious decision to use.

Acting as if can be helpful when a feeling begins to control us. We make a conscious decision to act as if we feel fine and are going to be fine.

When a problem plagues us, acting as if can help us get unstuck. We act as if the problem will be or already is solved, so we can go on with our life.

Often, acting as if we are detached will set the stage for detachment to come in and take over.

There are many areas where acting as if – combined with our other recovery principles – will set the stage for the reality we desire. We can act as if we love ourselves, until we actually do begin to care for ourselves. We can act as if we have a right to say no, until we believe we do.

We don’t pretend we have enough money to cover a check. We don’t pretend an alcoholic is not drinking. We use acting as if as part of our recovery, to set the stage for our new behaviors. We force ourselves through positive recovery behaviors, disregarding our doubts and fears, until our feelings have time to catch up with reality.

Acting as if is a positive way to overcome fears, doubts, and low self-esteem. We do not have to lie; we do not have to be dishonest with ourselves. We open up to the positive possibilities of the future, instead of limiting the future by today’s feelings and circumstances.

Acting as if helps us get past shaky ground and into solid territory.

God, show me the areas where acting as if could help set the stage for the reality I desire. Guide me as I use this powerful recovery tool to help create a better life and healthier relationships.


Touchstone – Men’s Meditation

“Wherever I found the living, there I found the will to power.”

—Friedrich Nietzsche

It has been said that addiction and codependency are problems of power. Recovery certainly calls us to admit the limits of our power. Yet, to reach for power seems to come from the deepest part of our nature. If this is so, can it be all bad? Men have used power in many ways for the good of all people. We have been defenders, protectors, and active community servants. At our best, we have taken strong stands for what was right.

We need not shun all power, but rather we learn to use it wisely. Our blindness to the limitations of power created great problems in our lives. Then we learned our first lessons about powerlessness. As humble men, we know we can be wrong, but we cannot be passive and still continue to grow.

I pray for guidance as I learn to assert my strength and power for the cause of well-being.


Elder’s Meditation

“In our story of Creation, we talk about each one of us having our own path to travel, and our own gift to give and to share. You see, what we say is that the Creator gave us all special gifts; each one of us is special. And each one of us is a special gift to each other because we’ve got something to share.”

–John Peters (Slow Turtle), WAMPANOAG

We are all equally special. We need to focus on what is right for ourselves. As we focus on what is right for ourselves, we will start to see our special gifts. Then we can see how to share our special gifts with others. If we focus on what’s wrong with ourselves, we will not be able to see our gifts. Then we will think we have nothing to give others and we become selfish and withdrawn. The more we focus on our good, the more we see the good in others. The more we see the good in others, the more we see the gifts they have to share. What you sees is what you gets!

My Creator, today, let me use the gifts You have given me. Let me use them wisely.


Daily Horoscope – Cancer

You may have reached your limit for being able to just go along with things in a close partnership. It might usually make sense to let the other person take the lead for whatever reason — that said, you could now feel like you finally have to assert yourself. Confronting them may not be easy, but making sure that you’re acting in line with your beliefs about the world could get you the support you need and help you feel less alone overall.

DR – January 16, 2022

Daily Recovery Readings
January 16, 2022


Daily Reflection

HITTING BOTTOM

Why all this insistence that every A.A. must hit bottom first? The answer is that few people will sincerely try to practice the A.A. program unless they have hit bottom. For practicing A.A.’s remaining eleven Steps means the adoption of attitudes and actions that almost no alcoholic who is still drinking can dream of taking.

— TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p, 24

Hitting bottom opened my mind and I became willing to try something different. What I tried was A.A. My new life in the Fellowship was a little like learning how to ride a bike for the first time: A.A. became my training wheels and my supporting hand. It’s not that I wanted the help so much at the time; I simply did not want to hurt like that again. My desire to avoid hitting bottom again was more powerful than my desire to drink. In the beginning that was what kept me sober. But after a while I found myself working the Steps to the best of my ability. I soon realized that my attitudes and actions were changing—if ever so slightly. One Day at a Time, I became comfortable with myself, and others, and my hurting started to heal. Thank God for the training wheels and supporting hand that I choose to call Alcoholics Anonymous.


Big Book Quote

“Lack of power, that was our dilemma. We had to find a power by which we could live, and it had to be a Power greater than ourselves. Obviously. But where and how were we to find this Power?

Well, that’s exactly what this book is about.”

Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, We Agnostics, pg. 45


24 Hours a Day – The Little Black Book

Thought for the Day

The A.A. program is more a way of building a new life than just a way of getting over drinking, because in A.A. we don’t just stop drinking. We did that plenty of times in the old days when we “went on the wagon.” And, of course, we always started to drink again because we were only waiting for the time when we could fall off. Once we’ve got sober through the A.A. program, we start going uphill. In our drinking days, we were going downhill, getting worse and worse. We either go down or up. Am I going uphill, getting better and better?

Meditation for the Day

I will try to obey God’s will day in and day out, in the wilderness plains as well as on the mountaintops of experience. It is in the daily strivings that perseverance counts. I believe that God is Lord of little things, the Divine Controller of little happenings. I will persevere in this new way of life. I know that nothing in the day is too small to be part of God’s scheme.

Prayer for the Day

I pray that the little stones that I put into the mosaic of my life may make a worthwhile pattern. I pray that I may persevere and so find harmony and beauty.


The Language of Letting Go – Codependency

Prayer

“As a matter of fact, prayer is the only real action in the full sense of the word, because prayer is the only thing that changes one’s character. A change in character, or a change in soul, is a real change.

—Emmet Fox, The Sermon on the Mount

Erica Jong has said that we are spiritual beings who are human. Praying and meditating are ways we take care of our spirit. Prayer and meditation are disciplines suggested by the Eleventh Step of Twelve Step recovery programs: Al Anon, CoDa, Adult Children of Alcoholics, and others.

Prayer and meditation are not necessarily connected to organized religion. Prayer and meditation are ways to improve our personal relationship with a Higher Power to benefit our life, our growth, and us. Praying is how we connect with God. We don’t pray because we have to; we pray because we want to. It is how we link our soul to our Source.

We’re learning to take care of our emotions, our mind, and our physical needs. We’re learning to change our behaviors. But we’re also learning to take care of our spirit, our soul, because that is where all true change begins.

Each time we talk to God, we are transformed. Each time we connect with our Higher Power, we are heard, touched, and changed for the best.

Today, I will practice prayer and meditation. Whether I feel desperate, uneasy, or peaceful, I will make the effort to connect with my Higher Power, at least for a moment today.


Touchstone – Men’s Meditation

“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.”

—Ralph Waldo Emerson

What good qualities lie within us? How do we choose to use them today? These simple questions point our way. Yet, on some days it seems so easy to get swept along with thoughts of future pain. And when we are not worrying about the future, we may fall into regrets about the past. Either way, we are distracted from our only opportunity to make a real difference – to be the kind of men we want to be in this moment, to learn from today’s experiment in living.

On this day, I will walk a little slower and will listen closely to the messages within me.


Elder’s Meditation

“If people are going to get back into balance, one of the things they have to do is seek the truth. They have to start really speaking the truth themselves, and that’s a difficult thing to do. The way it is now in the world, we don’t mind lying.”

–John Peters (Slow Turtle), WAMPANOAG

Well everybody’s doing it. Do unto others before they do unto you. If it wasn’t for bad luck I would have no luck at all. These are excuses and rationalizations for giving up accountability. Be true to yourself. Seek the truth, the Great Spirit is the truth. The truth shall set you free. This is the truth. We cannot be free if we are dishonest nor can we live a balanced life if we are dishonest. As we grow, we need to start taking stands. All warriors take stands. The warrior’s belief is constantly being aligned to truth. The warrior will always know where he/she stands.

Great Spirit, help me today to seek Your truth, not my truth.


Daily Horoscope – Cancer

A close relationship could be stressful for you now, as you may feel like you have to choose between following your heart and being emotionally safe. It might seem as though the only way to stay at a level of risk you find acceptable is to separate from this friend or loved one. However, someone else with whom you have a less intense relationship could be able to give you another perspective on the situation. A better solution might be visible from the outside.

DR – January 15, 2022

Daily Recovery Readings
January 15, 2022


Daily Reflection

AN UNSUSPECTED INNER RESOURCE

With few exceptions our members find that they have tapped an unsuspected inner resource which they presently identify with their own conception of a Power greater than themselves.

— ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, pp. 567-68

From my first days in A.A., as I struggled for sobriety, I found hope in these words from our founders. I often pondered the phrase: “they have tapped an unsuspected inner resource.” How, I asked myself, can I find the Power within myself, since I am so powerless? In time, as the founders promised, it came to me: I have always had the choice between goodness and evil, between unselfishness and selfishness, between serenity and fear. That Power greater than myself is an original gift that I did not recognize until I achieved daily sobriety through living A.A.’s Twelve Steps.


Big Book Quote

“Neither could we reduce our self-centeredness much by wishing or trying on our own power. We had to have God’s help.”

Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, How It Works, pg. 62


24 Hours a Day – The Little Black Book

Thought for the Day

The A.A. program is a way of life. It’s a way of living and we have to learn to live the program if we’re going to stay sober. The twelve steps in the book are like guide-posts. They point the direction in which we have to go. But all members of the group have to find their own best way to live the program. We don’t all do it exactly alike. Whether by quiet times in the morning, meetings, working with others, or spreading the word, we have to learn to live the program. Has the A.A. way become my regular, natural way of living?

Meditation for the Day

I will relax and not get tense. I will have no fear, because everything will work out in the end. I will learn soul-balance and poise in a vacillating, changing world. I will claim God’s power and use it because if I do not use it, it will be withdrawn. As long as I get back to God and replenish my strength after each task, no work can be too much.

Prayer for the Day

I pray that I may relax and that God’s strength will be given to me. I pray that I may subject my will to God’s will and be free from all tenseness.


The Language of Letting Go – Codependency

Standing Up for Ourselves

We learn some behaviors have self-defeating consequences, while others have beneficial consequences. We learn we have choices.

—Beyond Codependency

It is so easy to come to the defense of others. How clear it is when others are being used, controlled, manipulated, or abused. It is so easy to fight their battles, become righteously indignant, rally to their aid, and spur them on to victory.

“You have rights,” we tell them. “And those rights are being violated. Stand up for yourself, without guilt.”

Why is it so hard, then, for us to rally to our own behalf? Why can’t we see when we are being used, victimized, lied to, manipulated, or otherwise violated? Why is it so difficult for us to stand up for ourselves?

There are times in life when we can walk a gentle, loving path. There are times, however, when we need to stand up for ourselves – when walking the gentle, loving path puts us deeper into the hands of those who could mistreat us.

Some days, the lesson we’re to be learning and practicing is one of setting boundaries. Some days, the lesson we’re learning is that of fighting for our own rights and ourselves.

Sometimes, the lesson won’t stop until we do.

Today, I will rally to my own cause. I will remember that it is okay to stand up for myself when that action is appropriate. Help me, God, to let go of my need to be victimized. Help me appropriately, and with confidence, stand up for myself.


Touchstone – Men’s Meditation

Once the game is over, the king and the pawn go back into the same box.

—Italian proverb

Much of our time has been spent saying, “I’m not good enough for that job,” “She’s too good for me,” or “I don’t deserve that compliment.” Sometimes we have been very status conscious because underneath we felt unworthy. Many of us have taken either superior or inferior roles with everyone we’ve dealt with. We ended up with no one who could be our peer or our friend.

True humility occurs when we stop shaming or inflating ourselves and begin accepting ourselves as no worse and no better than anyone else. Then all people are our peers. At our meetings, our powerlessness puts us all in the same box. In the sight of God we are all equal – and status games, which have seemed so important are ultimately silly.

Today, I will remember we are all brothers and sisters in the sight of God.


Elder’s Meditation

“It’s all spirit and it’s all connected.”

–Grandfather William Commanda, ALGONQUIN

If everything is connected, we cannot disconnect. To disconnect is not a real choice. This is why we are always spiritual no matter what we do. Every alcoholic is spiritual. All our brothers and sisters are spiritual. We may not be behaving correctly, but nevertheless, we are spiritual. Our choice is to live out of harmony with spiritual ways or in harmony with spiritual ways. Everything is spiritual.

Great Spirit, give me the knowledge to be in harmony with the spirit today.

Daily Horoscope – Cancer

Enhancing your commitment to a significant relationship of any type might appeal to you now, but you could also be conflicted about it. You may still want to keep some things private, which you might worry makes you seem less devoted to the other person. Expanding your beliefs about relationships can give you more space to both maintain your own identity and build a strong connection. Understanding your own needs may even make you a better companion than divulging every last bit of information would!

DR – January 14, 2022

Daily Recovery Readings
January 14, 2022


Daily Reflection

NO REGRETS

“We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it.”

— ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 83

Once I became sober, I began to see how wasteful my life had been and I experienced overwhelming guilt and feelings of regret. The program’s Fourth and Fifth Steps assisted me enormously in healing those troubling regrets. I learned that my self-centeredness and dishonesty stemmed largely from my drinking and that I drank because I was an alcoholic. Now I see how even my most distasteful past experiences can turn to gold because, as a sober alcoholic, I can share them to help my fellow alcoholics, particularly newcomers. Sober for several years in A.A., I no longer regret the past; I am simply grateful to be conscious of God’s love and of the help I can give to others in the Fellowship.


Big Book Quote

“Once we have taken this step, withholding nothing, we are delighted. We can look the world in the eye. We can be alone at perfect peace and ease. Our fears fall from us. We begin to feel the nearness of our Creator. We may have had certain spiritual beliefs, but now we begin to have a spiritual experience.”

Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, Into Action, pg. 75


24 Hours a Day – The Little Black Book

Thought for the Day

When we first came into A.A., a sober life seemed strange. We wondered what life could possibly be like without ever taking a drink. At first, a sober life seemed unnatural. But the longer we’re in A.A., the more natural this way of life seems. And now we know that the life we’re living in A.A., the sobriety, the fellowship, the faith in God, and the trying to help each other, is the most natural way we could possibly live. Do I believe it’s the way God wants me to live?

Meditation for the Day

I will learn to overcome myself, because every blow to selfishness is used to shape the real, eternal, unperishable me. As I overcome myself, I gain that power which God releases in my soul. And I too will be victorious. It is not the difficulties of life that I have to conquer, so much as my own selfishness.

Prayer for the Day

I pray that I may obey God and walk with Him and listen to Him. I pray that I may strive to overcome my own selfishness.


The Language of Letting Go – Codependency

Accepting Anger

“Anger is one of the many profound effects life has on us. It’s one of our emotions. And we’re going to feel it when it comes our way – or else repress it.

—Codependent No More

If I were working a good program, I wouldn’t get angry…. If I were a good Christian, I wouldn’t feel angry…. If I were really using my affirmations about how happy I am, I wouldn’t be angry…. Those are old messages that seduce us into not feeling again. Anger is part of life. We need not dwell in it or seek it out, but we can’t afford to ignore it.

In recovery, we learn we can shamelessly feel all our feelings, including anger, and still take responsibility for what we do when we feel angry. We don’t have to let anger control us, but it surely will if we prevent ourselves from feeling it.

Being grateful, being positive, being healthy, does not mean we never feel angry. Being grateful, positive, and healthy means we feel angry when we need to.

Today, I will let myself be angry, if I need to. I can feel and release my emotions, including anger, constructively. I will be grateful for my anger and the things it is trying to show me. I can feel and accept all my emotions without shame, and I can take responsibility for my actions.


Touchstone – Men’s Meditation

“If I am not for myself, who is for me? And if I am only for myself, what am I? And if not now, when?”

—Hillel

Some of us were treated badly as young boys and never learned how to live for ourselves. We can see only two choices: either be submissive and caretaking or be abusive and demanding. Many of us have so much guilt and shame that we feel we don’t deserve to stand up for ourselves. This program demands that in recovery we be for ourselves. If we don’t know how, we learn. If we are unsure, we must experiment. When we make mistakes, we must admit them and know we have a right to be imperfect learners. And we can’t be only for ourselves, because that keeps us small and turns us back to where we came from.

As we accept ourselves and come to know our imperfections and weaknesses, we can understand others better. We are stronger in giving to others and more effective because we have a place to stand.

Today, even if I don’t feel good about myself, I will stand up for my dignity as a man.


Elder’s Meditation

“It is a native tradition to sit in a circle and talk-to share what is in your heart.”

–John Peters (Slow Turtle), WAMPANOAG

The talking circle is also a listening circle. The talking circle allows one person to talk at a time for as long as they need to talk. So much can be gained by listening. Is it a coincidence that the Creator gave us one mouth and two ears? The power of the circle allows the heart to be shared with each other. What we share with each other also heals each other. When we talk about our pain in the circle, it is distributed to the circle, and we are free of the pain. The talking circle works because when the people form a circle, the Great Mystery is in the center.

My Creator, give me the courage to share, and the courage to listen.

Daily Horoscope – Cancer

Reconfiguring any shared responsibilities that have fallen out of balance could be a great project for you once fussy Mercury turns retrograde this morning. While you’re capable of working hard, your resentment is likely to hold you back from performing at your full potential if you feel like things aren’t being handled fairly. Before you share your concerns with others, try to identify your own expectations for the situation. If what you want isn’t realistic, that might not be anyone else’s fault!

DR – January 13, 2022

Daily Recovery Readings
January 13, 2022


Daily Reflection

IT DOESN’T HAPPEN OVERNIGHT

We are not cured of alcoholism. What we really have is a daily reprieve contingent on the maintenance of our spiritual condition.

— ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 85

The most common alcoholic fantasy seems to be: “If I just don’t drink, everything will be all right.” Once the fog cleared for me, I saw—for the first time—the mess my life had become. I had family, work, financial and legal problems; I was hung up on old religious ideas; there were sides of my character to which I was inclined to stay blind because they easily could have convinced me that I was hopeless and pushed me toward escape again. The Big Book guided me in resolving all of my problems. But it didn’t happen overnight—and certainly not automatically—with no effort on my part. I need always to recognize God’s mercy and blessings that shine through any problem I have to face.


Big Book Quote

“…with us, to drink is to die.”

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

24 Hours a Day – The Little Black Book

Thought for the Day

When we were drinking, we were living an unnatural life physically and mentally. We were punishing our bodies by loading them with alcohol. We didn’t eat enough and we ate the wrong things. We didn’t get enough sleep or the right kind of rest. We were ruining ourselves physically. We had an alcoholic obsession and we couldn’t imagine life without alcohol. We kept imagining all kinds of crazy things about ourselves and about other people. We were ruining ourselves mentally. Since I came into A.A., am I getting better physically and mentally?

Meditation for the Day

I believe that my life is being refined like gold in a crucible. Gold does not stay in the crucible, only until it is refined. I will never despair or be despondent. I now have friends who long for me to conquer. If I should err or fail, it would cause pain and disappointment to them. I will keep trying to live a better life.

Prayer for the Day

I pray that I may always call on God’s strength, while the gold of my life is being refined. I pray that I may see it through, with God’s help.


The Language of Letting Go – Codependency

Good Feelings

When we talk about feelings in recovery, we often focus on the troublesome trio – pain, fear, and anger. But there are other feelings available in the emotional realm – happiness, joy, peace, contentment, love, closeness, and excitement.

It’s okay to let ourselves feel pleasurable feelings too.

We don’t have to worry when we experience good feelings; we don’t have to scare ourselves out of them; we don’t have to sabotage our happiness. We do that, sometimes, to get to the more familiar, less joyous terrain.

It’s okay to feel good. We don’t have to analyze, judge, or justify. We don’t have to bring ourselves down, or let others bring us down, by injecting negativity.

We can let ourselves feel good.

Today, I will remind myself that it is my right to feel as good as I can. I can have many moments of feeling good; I can find a balanced place of feeling content, peaceful, and good.


Touchstone – Men’s Meditation

The perfection of innocence, indeed, is madness.

—Arthur Miller

We’ve all said, “I didn’t do anything. Don’t blame me; I didn’t mean any harm.” Overdevelopment of innocence contradicts our spiritual growth. The painful truth is, we do have an impact on other people. Many times we have cultivated innocence as a style, and it has stood in our way of being accountable.

We cannot be in a relationship without sometimes hurting the ones we love. Spiritual growth requires us to take action and to take responsibility for what we do. It is painful to acknowledge we made a mistake and hurt someone. But giving up our innocent style is constructive pain. It opens the possibility to correct our ways, make repairs, and be forgiven. Then we are in the mainstream of a hearty spiritual life.

May I nave the grace to let go of my innocence by taking action and admitting my mistakes.


Elder’s Meditation

“When you remove love and try to replace it with monetary things, you’ve got nothing … get him to understand that he has to love himself before he can love anything else.”

–John Peters (Slow Turtle), WAMPANOAG

It is said, “Love thy neighbor as thyself.” That’s the trouble, most of us do.

Great Spirit, You are love; You are spirit. Spirit and love are interconnected. I am spiritual. Let me realize what I am really made of.

Daily Horoscope – Cancer

Gathering information about a serious matter can go well for you today, as you’re likely to be able to balance getting all the details with demonstrating sensitivity toward those sharing those details. What might be harder at this point is assembling the myriad facts you’re collecting into a coherent understanding of the situation as a whole. While you may not be able to know everything for sure at this point, remain calm and allow your intuition to guide you further.

DR – January 12, 2022

Daily Recovery Readings
January 12, 2022


Daily Reflection

ACCEPTING OUR PRESENT CIRCUMSTANCES

Our very first problem is to accept our present circumstances as they are, ourselves as we are, and the people about us as they are. This is to adopt a realistic humility without which no genuine advance can even begin. Again and again, we shall need to return to that unflattering point of departure. This is an exercise in acceptance that we can profitably practice every day of our lives.

Provided we strenuously avoid turning these realistic surveys of the facts of life into unrealistic alibis for apathy or defeatism, they can be the sure foundation upon which increased emotional health and therefore spiritual progress can be built.

— AS BILL SEES IT, p. 44

When I am having a difficult time accepting people, places or events, I turn to this passage and it relieves me of many an underlying fear regarding others, or situations life presents me. The thought allows me to be human and not perfect, and to regain my peace of mind.


Big Book Quote

“Most of us sense that real tolerance of other people´s shortcomings and viewpoints and a respect for their opinions are attitudes which make us more useful to others.”

~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, There Is A Solution, pg. 19~

24 Hours a Day – The Little Black Book

Thought for the Day

The longer we’re in A.A., the more natural this way of life seems. Our old drinking lives were a very unnatural way of living. Our present sober lives are the most natural way we could possibly live. During the early years of our drinking, our lives weren’t so different from the lives of a lot of other people. But as we gradually became problem drinkers, our lives became more and more unnatural. Do I realize now that the things I did were far from natural?

Meditation for the Day

I will say thank you to God for everything, even the seeming trials and worries. I will strive to be grateful and humble. My whole attitude toward the Higher Power will be one of gratitude. I will be glad for the things I have received. I will pass on what God reveals to me. I believe that more truths will flow in, as I go along in the new way of life.

Prayer for the Day

I pray that I may be grateful for the things I have received and do not deserve. I pray that this gratitude will make me truly humble.


The Language of Letting Go – Codependency

Finding Balance

The goal of recovery is balance – that precious middle ground.

Many of us have gone from one extreme to another: years of taking care of everyone but ourselves, followed by a time of refusing to focus on anyone’s needs but our own.

We may have spent years refusing to identify, feel, and deal with our feelings, followed by a period of absolute obsession with every trace of emotional energy that passes through our body.

We may succumb to powerlessness, helplessness, and victimization, then we swing to the other extreme by aggressively wielding power over those around us.

We can learn to give to others while taking responsibility for ourselves. We can learn to take care of our feelings, as well as our physical, mental, and spiritual needs. We can nurture the quiet confidence of owning our power as equals in our relationships with others.

The goal of recovery is balance, but sometimes we get there by going to extremes.

Today, I will be gentle with myself, understanding that sometimes to reach the middle ground of balance, I need to explore the peaks and valleys. Sometimes, the only way I can extricate myself from a valley is to jump high enough to land on a peak, and then slowly ease myself down.


Touchstone – Men’s Meditation

I should be content to look at a mountain for what it is and not as a comment on my life.

—David Ignatow

We have recognized our self-centeredness as addicts and codependents. On the other side is the feeling of peace and well being when we are released from it. Self-centeredness caused us to take everything personally. We were hypersensitive to our surroundings, to other people, and to how they reacted. Yet, so often these things had very little to do with us. God sends rain for the just and the unjust.

When we can look at a mountain and lose ourselves in the sight, we are refreshed spiritually. But no mountain is necessary for this experience. When we listen to a friend and simply hear his perspective, when we pet a dog and just enjoy this loving creature, when we look at a sunset and drink it in for what it is – then we are growing.

God, grant me release from the oppression of my ego.


Elder’s Meditation

“The first thing that we want you to understand is that spirit has no color or race to it. It doesn’t matter whether your skin is white, black, red, brown – whatever. No one out there is any better than you, and you are no better than anyone else out there.”

–John Peters (Slow Turtle), WAMPANOAG

We are all created to be of equal worth. We may be different sizes, different heights, different ages, different colors, we may have different beliefs and be of different cultures. In the unseen world, we are all spirit formed into different shapes and colors but we are all worthy. For example, you can have water, you can have steam, or you can have ice. Which of these is not made up of H2O?

My Creator, today, let me see equal worthiness in all people.


Daily Horoscope – Cancer

Getting to know a peer better could go well for you at this time. You may discover that you share an intellectual or spiritual passion, which would make for a great foundation on which to build a strong bond. While changing the boundaries of your established acquaintanceship could be awkward, your common link should give you enough gentle guidance to avoid this problem, as having similar points of view regarding some of the big things in life can reduce the overall potential for miscommunication.

DR – January 11, 2022

Daily Recovery Readings
January 11, 2022


Daily Reflection

THE 100% STEP

Only Step One, where we made the 100 percent admission we were powerless over alcohol, can be practiced with absolute perfection.

— TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 68

Long before I was able to obtain sobriety in A.A., I knew without a doubt that alcohol was killing me, yet even with this knowledge, I was unable to stop drinking. So, when faced with Step One, I found it easy to admit that I lacked the power to not drink. But was my life unmanageable? Never! Five months after coming into A.A., I was drinking again and wondered why.

Later on, back in A.A. and smarting from my wounds, I learned that Step One is the only Step that can be taken 100%. And that the only way to take it 100% is to take 100% of the Step. That was many twenty-four hours ago and I haven’t had to take Step One again.


Big Book Quote

“When the spiritual malady is overcome, we straighten out mentally and physically.”

~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, How It Works, Page 64~

24 Hours a Day – The Little Black Book

Thought for the Day

When we were drinking most of us never thought of helping others. We liked to buy drinks for people, because that made us feel like big shots. But we only used others for our own pleasure. To really go out and try to help somebody who needed help never occurred to us. To us, helping others looked like a sucker’s game. But when we came into A.A., we began to try to help others. And we found out that helping others made us happy and also helped us to stay sober. Have I learned that there is happiness in helping others?

Meditation for the Day

I will pray only for strength and that God’s will be done. I will use God’s unlimited store of strength for my needs. I will seek God’s will for me. I will strive for consciousness of God’s presence, for He is the light of the world. I have become a pilgrim, who needs only marching orders and strength and guidance for this day.

Prayer for the Day

I pray that I may seek God’s guidance day by day. I pray that I may strive to abide in God’s presence.


The Language of Letting Go – Codependency

Letting Go of Guilt

“There’s a good trick that people in dysfunctional relationships use,” said one recovering woman. “The other person does something inappropriate or wrong, then stands there until you feel guilty and end up apologizing.”

It’s imperative that we stop feeling so guilty.

Much of the time, the things we feel guilty about are not our issues. Another person behaves inappropriately or in some way violates our boundaries. We challenge the behavior, and the person gets angry and defensive. Then we feel guilty.

Guilt can prevent us from setting the boundaries that would be in our best interests, and in other people’s best interests. Guilt can stop us from taking healthy care of ourselves.

We don’t have to let others count on the fact that we’ll always feel guilty. We don’t have to allow ourselves to be controlled by guilt – earned or unearned! We can break through the barrier of guilt that holds us back from self care. Push. Push harder. We are not at fault, crazy, or wrong. We have a right to set boundaries and to insist on appropriate treatment. We can separate another’s issues from our issues, and let the person experience the consequences of his or her own behavior, including guilt. We can trust ourselves to know when our boundaries are being violated.

Today, I will let go of my big and little guilty feelings. Light and love are on my side.


Touchstone – Men’s Meditation

All truth is an achievement. If you would have truth at its full value, go win it.

—Munger

Truth can seem so elusive. Yet, at times it is so simple and obvious. In entering this program, many of us thought of ourselves as honest men. Some of us couldn’t bear the anguish of our dishonesty. As we repeatedly face ourselves, take our personal inventories, and hold ourselves accountable, we realize we have all grown in our honesty. What seemed honest before now looks like half-truth. It was the best we could do at the time. Our perception of truth has deepened by the grace of God and as a result of our hard work.

Truth is won when we have the courage to feel the pain of knowing it. Some of our pain has been the grief of realizing what we missed or lost in our insanity. Some has been the anguish of facing the harm we caused the ones we love, and some in admitting honestly how we ourselves were hurt.

Truth does make me free. The richness in my life is a generous reward for courage.


Elder’s Meditation

“Race and language makes no difference; the barriers are gone when persons can come together on high spiritual levels.”

–Rolling Thunder, CHEROKEE

Not only are race and language barriers overcome by spirituality, but all things are overcome by spirituality. Inside every human being is the spirit. When we see people, we can choose to look at their outside or we can choose to look at their inside. Spirituality resides inside of others, we must be able to look at our own inside. If we see spirituality inside ourselves, we will see spirituality inside others. The saying is, “what you sees is what you gets.”

My Creator, let me see all my brothers and sisters through the spiritual eye.


Daily Horoscope – Cancer

 The belief that it’s your duty to sacrifice for your job could motivate you to work hard today. However, if you see others not following the rules that bind you so tightly, you may become resentful. Confronting them about your frustrations could be fruitful, even if you don’t get your intended results. Those rules might exist mainly inside your head! Your peers may show you evidence that it is possible to be committed to your work in a way that also allows for personal boundaries.

DR – January 10, 2022

Daily Recovery Readings
January 10, 2022


Daily Reflection

UNITED WE STAND

We learned that we had to fully concede to our innermost selves that we were alcoholics. This is the first step in recovery. The delusion that we are like other people, or presently may be, has to be smashed.

— ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 30

I came to Alcoholics Anonymous because I was no longer able to control my drinking. It was either my wife’s complaining about my drinking, or maybe the sheriff forced me to go to A.A. meetings, or perhaps I knew, deep down inside, that I couldn’t drink like others, but I was unwilling to admit it because the alternative terrified me. Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women united against a common, fatal disease. Each one of our lives is linked to every other, much like the survivors on a life raft at sea. If we all work together, we can get safely to shore.


Big Book Quote

“If we are painstaking about this phase of our development, we will be amazed before we are half way through. We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness. We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it. We will comprehend the word serenity and we will know peace. No matter how far down the scale we have gone, we will see how our experience can benefit others. That feeling of uselessness and self-pity will disappear. We will lose interest in selfish things and gain interest in our fellows. Self-seeking will slip away. Our whole attitude and outlook upon life will change. Fear of people and of economic insecurity will leave us. We will intuitively know how to handle situations which used to baffle us. We will suddenly realize that God is doing for us what we could not do for ourselves.”

~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, Into Action, Page 83~

24 Hours a Day – The Little Black Book

Thought for the Day

When we were drinking, most of us were full of pride and selfishness. We believed we could handle our own affairs, even though we were making a mess of our lives. We were very stubborn and didn’t like to take advice. We resented being told what to do. To us, humility looked like weakness. But when we came into A.A., we began to be humble. And we found out that humility gave us the power we needed to overcome drinking. Have I learned that there is power in humility?

Meditation for the Day

I will come to God in faith and He will give me a new way of life. This new way of life will alter my whole existence, the words I speak, and the influence I have. They will spring from the life within me. I see how important is the work of a person who has this new way of life. The words and the example of such a person can have a wide influence for good in the world.

Prayer for the Day

I pray that I may learn the principles of the good life. I pray that I may meditate upon them and work at them, because they are eternal.


The Language of Letting Go – Codependency

Fear

Do not be too timid and squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better. What if they are a little coarse, and. you may get your coat soiled or torn? What if you do fail, and get fairly rolled in the dirt once or twice? Up again; you shall never be so afraid of a tumble.

—Ralph Waldo Emerson

Fear can be a big stopper for many of us: fear of fragility, fear of failure, fear of making a mistake, fear of what others might think, fear of success. We may second-guess our next action or word until we talk ourselves out of participating in life.

“But I failed before!” “I can’t do it good enough!” “Look at what happened last time!” “What if.. .?” These statements may disguise fear. Sometimes the fear is disguising shame.

After I finished the first two chapters of a book I was writing, I read them and grimaced. “No good,” I thought. “Can’t do it.” I was ready to pitch the chapters, and my writing career, out the window. A writer friend called, and I told her about my problem. She listened and told me: “those chapters are fine. Stop being afraid. Stop criticizing yourself. And keep on writing.”

I followed her advice. The book I almost threw away became a New York Times best seller.

Relax. Our best is good enough. It may be better than we think. Even our failures may turn out to be important learning experiences that lead directly to – and are necessary for – an upcoming success.

Feel the fear, and then let it go. Jump in and do it – whatever it is. If our instincts and path have led us there, it’s where we need to be.

Today, I will participate in life to the best of my ability. Regardless of the outcome, that makes me a winner.


Touchstone – Men’s Meditation

If you don’t take chances, you can’t do anything in life.

—Michael Spinks

Many of us have done things that, in looking back, seem insane or dangerous. We may have had friends or family members who got into serious trouble and frightened us by their risky behavior. Out of fear, we may have become too cautious about everything.

Our dilemma is that growth is a risk, too. If we avoid all risk, we become stagnant. Life thrives on possibilities and options. Of course, risk means the outcome is unsure. We may not get the result we desire. But not all risk taking is as self-destructive as it was in our past. Now we have our relationship with our Higher Power and ourselves. Now taking a chance may help us grow, even when we don’t get what we want.

Today let me see possibilities, and guide my inner sense of when to take a chance for growth.


Elder’s Meditation

“We cannot escape remembering the important things that have happened, and we cannot escape the awareness of the important things that have not happened.”

–Ralph Salisbury, CHEROKEE

There is a Master Plan. There are Natural Laws that run the universe. Everything on the earth has a purpose. Change is constant. That which is built is constantly being destroyed. That which is loose is being used to build new things. Nothing can be destroyed, only rearranged. Change will happen and every setback is only temporary. In other words, the Creator is in charge. We are not in charge. He designed the universe. He runs the universe and He will change what needs to be changed. As humans, it is easier for us to participate in all of this if we are spiritual. We need to be tuned in. Therefore, God gave us the spiritual concept of acceptance. When things change, we can change ourselves through the principle of acceptance.

Great Spirit, let me live today in acceptance of Your will. Today let us do it Your way.


Daily Horoscope – Cancer

Your longing for adventure may be more powerful than it is focused at the moment. Someone else in your life could be very happy to provide you with perhaps more direction than you want. However, even their less helpful suggestions can at least remind you of what doesn’t interest you. Let their ideas kickstart you into doing some more productive research on your own time. Once you get going, you may find that you have all the confidence and determination you need!

DR – January 9, 2022

Daily Recovery Readings
January 9, 2022


Daily Reflection

AN ACT OF PROVIDENCE

It is truly awful to admit that, glass in hand, we have warped our minds into such an obsession for destructive drinking that only an act of Providence can remove it from us.

— TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 21

My act of Providence, (a manifestation of divine care and direction), came as I experienced the total bankruptcy of active alcoholism—everything meaningful in my life was gone. I telephoned Alcoholics Anonymous and, from that instant, my life has never been the same. When I reflect on that very special moment, I know that God was working in my life long before I was able to acknowledge and accept spiritual concepts. The glass was put down through this one act of Providence and my journey into sobriety began. My life continues to unfold with divine care and direction. Step One, in which I admitted I was powerless over alcohol, that my life had become unmanageable, takes on more meaning for me—one day at a time—in the life-saving, life-giving Fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous.


Big Book Quote

“We feel we are on the Broad Highway, walking hand in hand with the Spirit of the Universe.”

~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, Into Action, Page 75~

24 Hours a Day – The Little Black Book

Thought for the Day

When we were drinking, most of us had no real faith in anything. We may have said that we believed in God, but we didn’t act as though we did. We never honestly asked God to help us and we never really accepted His help. To us, faith looked like helplessness. But when we came into A.A., we began to have faith in God. And we found out that faith gave us the strength we needed to overcome drinking. Have I learned that there is strength in faith?

Meditation for the Day

I will have faith, no matter what may befall me. I will be patient, even in the midst of troubles. I will not fear the strain of life, because I believe that God knows just what I can bear. I will look to the future with confidence. I know that God will not ask me to bear anything that could overcome or destroy me.

Prayer for the Day

I pray that I may put this day in the hands of God. I pray for faith, so that nothing will upset me or weaken my determination to stay sober.


The Language of Letting Go – Codependency

Responsibility for Ourselves

“We have been doing the wrong things for the right reasons.

—CODEPENDENT NO MORE

Caretaking: the act of taking responsibility for other people while neglecting responsibility for ourselves. When we instinctively feel responsible for the feelings, thoughts, choices, problems, comfort, and destiny of others, we are caretakers. We may believe, at an unconscious level, that others are responsible for our happiness, just as we’re responsible for theirs.

It’s a worthy goal to be a considerate, loving, nurturing person. But caretaking is neglecting us to the point of feeling victimized. Caretaking involves caring for others in ways that hamper them in learning to take responsibility for themselves.

Caretaking doesn’t work. It hurts other people; it hurts us. People get angry. They feel hurt, used, and victimized. So do we.

The kindest and most generous behavior we can choose is taking responsibility for ourselves – for what we think, feel, want, and need. The most beneficial act we can perform is to be true to ourselves, and let others take responsibility for themselves.

Today, I will pay attention to my actual responsibilities to myself. I will let others do the same. If I am in doubt about what my actual responsibilities are, I will take an inventory.


Touchstone – Men’s Meditation

“Fear is an emotion indispensable for survival.”

—Hannah Arendt

We men face fear many times in life. Sometimes it’s an inner voice, warning us of danger. Some fears remain from the paranoia caused by our former abuses and excesses. In recovery, we feel many new emotions, and we’re afraid because we don’t understand them. Any normal feeling can seem abnormal and frightening to a man who is feeling it for the first few times. We may think it isn’t manly to be afraid, so we become afraid of our fear! At these times, we need to turn to our Higher Power for guidance.

We have friends we can talk to. When we simply say, “I am afraid” to a trusted friend, the fear may vanish. Sometimes it’s not that easy, and we have to talk in detail about our fear. In the end, when we submit our lives to the care of our Higher Power, we know that whatever happens, nothing can separate us from the love of God.

In my fear, help me remember the comfort of my closeness to my Higher Power and my loved ones. I can reach out, and I am never alone.


Elder’s Meditation

“So, with the Native way, it’s not whether people find out about what you’ve done or not… that’s not nearly as strong as having your source of morality within you, having your morality arise out of an inner perception of what is wrong, ridiculous, or shameful. You are your own judge.”

–Eunice Baumann-Nelson, Ph.D., PENOBSCOT

Inside each of us is a voice. It is a quiet voice. It is a guiding voice. If we listen for it, it will guide us, and help us avoid disaster. It is especially active when we are afraid, when we are in doubt, when we are scared, when we need help, and when we get angry. If we are excited emotionally, it is hard to hear this voice. If we are angry, it’s hard to hear this voice because it is usually quiet. The best thing we can do is to practice getting quiet. If we don’t get quiet, there is another voice called the judge. It tells us to attack or say bad things to other people or to judge ourselves. This voice is loud and usually gets us into trouble.

Creator, Great Mystery, help me listen for the quiet voice. Let me know this voice of Yours. Your ways are gentle. Guide me with this voice. Thank you.


Daily Horoscope – Cancer

Your reputation could be a source of stress for you now, as you may feel like something difficult from your past is more widely known than you’d like it to be. The version going around also might not be your side of the story. While you probably can’t control what everyone else ends up believing, opening up to someone you trust can give you validation that people can still see the good in you, in spite of whatever happened. Let your loved ones comfort you!

DR – January 8, 2022

Daily Recovery Readings
January 8, 2022


Daily Reflection

DO I HAVE A CHOICE?

“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.”

— ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 24

My powerlessness over alcohol does not cease when I quit drinking. In sobriety I still have no choice — I can’t drink.

The choice I do have is to pick up and use the “kit of spiritual tools” (Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 25). When I do that, my Higher Power relieves me of my lack of choice—and keeps me sober one more day. If I could choose not to pick up a drink today, where then would be my need for A.A. or a Higher Power?


Big Book Quote

“We found that God does not make too hard terms with those who seek Him. To us, the Realm of Spirit is broad, roomy, all inclusive; never exclusive or forbidding to those who earnestly seek. It is open, we believe, to all men.”

~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, We Agnostics, Page 46~

24 Hours a Day – The Little Black Book

Thought for the Day

Everyone who comes into A.A. knows from bitter experience that he or she can’t drink. I know that drinking has been the cause of all my major troubles or has made them worse. Now that I have found a way out, I will hang onto A.A. with both hands. Saint Paul once said that nothing in the world, neither powers nor principalities, life nor death, could separate him from the love of God. Once I have given my drink problem to God, should anything in the world separate me from my sobriety?

Meditation for the Day

I know that my new life will not be immune from difficulties, but I will have peace even in difficulties. I know that serenity is the result of faithful, trusting acceptance of God’s will, even in the midst of difficulties. Saint Paul said: “Our light afflictions, which are but for a moment, work for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.”

Prayer for the Day

I pray that I may welcome difficulties. I pray that they may test my strength and build my character.


The Language of Letting Go – Codependency

Vulnerability

Some of us may have made a decision that no one was ever going to hurt us again. We may automatically go on “feelings freeze mode” when faced with emotional pain. Or, we may terminate a relationship the first time we feel hurt. Hurt feelings are a part of life, relationships, and recovery. It is understandable that we don’t want to feel any more pain. Many of us have had more than our share, in fact, at some time in our life, we may have been overwhelmed, crushed, or stopped in our tracks by the amount of pain we felt. We may not have had the resources to cope with our pain or take care of ourselves.

That was yesterday. Today, we don’t have to be so frightened of pain. It does not have to overwhelm us. We are becoming strong enough to deal with hurt feelings. And we don’t have to become martyrs, claiming that hurt feelings and suffering are all there is to life.

We need only allow ourselves to feel vulnerable enough to feel hurt, when that’s appropriate, and take responsibility for our feelings, behaviors, and what we need to do to take care of ourselves. We don’t have to analyze or justify our feelings. We need to feel them, and try not to let them control our behavior.

Maybe our pain is showing us we need to set a boundary; maybe it’s showing us we’re going in a wrong direction; maybe it’s triggering a deep healing process.

It’s okay to feel hurt; it’s okay to cry; it’s okay to heal; it’s okay to move on to the next feeling, when it’s time. Our willingness and capacity to feel joy will eventually match our willingness and capacity to feel hurt.

Being in recovery does not mean immunity from pain; it means learning to take loving care of ourselves when we are in pain.

Today, I will not strike out at those who cause me pain. I will feel my emotions and take responsibility for them. I will accept hurt feelings as part of being in relationships. l am willing to surrender to the pain as well as the joy in life.


Touchstone – Men’s Meditation

“In wildness is the preservation of the world.”

—Henry David Thoreau

Nature confronts us with its beauty in a flower or a furry animal. The awesomeness of nature is in a lightning bolt or a majestic mountain. Every variety of tree has its own uniquely textured bark. Each annual ring in a tree trunk is a natural record of the growing conditions in each year it grew. These things remind us we are not in charge, and we are moved by the experience.

This wildness is everywhere around us, and we are renewed by it when we interact with it. At night, in the city, we look up and see the ancient moon. When we live with a pet, it reminds us we are creatures too. We are part of this larger whole. We don’t just appreciate nature – we are nature. When we open our eyes and learn to be a part of it, it renews and lifts our spirits.

Today, I will notice my relationship with the sun and moon, with the plants and animals in my world.


Elder’s Meditation

“Native Americans are essentially calling for righteousness. By this they mean a shared ideology developed by all people using their purest and most unselfish minds.”

–Lorraine Canoe/Tom Porter, MOHAWK

The Native way is to first focus on decisions that will be good for the people and then for yourself. Righteousness means “to think right.” Our way is to consider the good of all first. This helps our minds to be unselfish and pure. This it he spiritual way. This can be very hard to do because the world we live in says to take care of yourself first. A man of God cannot be taken advantage of unless it is the will of the Creator. The Creator really controls everything. To have a good future, the people must gather in a circle and pray for the highest good for the people.

Great Mystery, today let me love instead of being loved. Let me be giving instead of receiving. Show me the advantages of having a giving heart.


Daily Horoscope – Cancer

Past wounds about power dynamics could be triggered by someone else reminding you of a past friendship that didn’t go well, even if they don’t mean to. However, this time, you might be able to talk to the other person about your concerns. Bringing up a difficult topic can be scary, but taking the risk is likely to go well for you right now. Successfully navigating a tough conversation may help you build more trust, which could renew your appreciation for your current connection.