DR – May 14, 2022

Daily Recovery Readings
May 14, 2022


Daily Reflection

“Time after time newcomers have tried to keep to themselves certain facts about their lives. . . . they have turned to easier methods. . . . But they had not learned enough humility. . . .”

— ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, pp. 72-73

Humility sounds so much like humiliation, but it really is the ability to look at myself – and honestly accept what I find. I no longer need to be the “smartest” or “dumbest” or any other “est.” Finally, it is okay to be me. It is easier for me to accept myself if I share my whole life. If I cannot share in meetings, then I had better have a sponsor – someone with whom I can share those “certain facts” that could lead me back to a drunk, to death. I need to take all the Steps. I need the Fifth Step to learn true humility. Easier methods do not work.

From the book Daily Reflections
Copyright © 1990 by Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc.


Big Book Quote

“Those of us who have spent much time in the world of spiritual make-believe have eventually seen the childishness of it. This dream world has been replaced by a great sense of purpose, accompanied by a growing consciousness of the power of God in our lives. We have come to believe He would like us to keep our heads in the clouds with Him, but that our feet ought to be firmly planted on earth. That is where our fellow travelers are, and that is where our work must be done. These are the realities for us. We have found nothing incompatible between a powerful spiritual experience and a life of sane and happy usefulness.”

Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 130


24 Hours a Day – The Little Black Book

Thought for the Day

Having gotten over drinking, we have only just begun to enjoy the benefits of A.A. We find new friends, so that we are no longer lonely. We find new relationships with our families, so that we are happy at home. We find release from our troubles and worries through a new way of looking at things. We find an outlet for our energies in helping other people. Am I enjoying these benefits of A.A.?

Meditation for the Day

The kingdom of heaven is within you. God sees, as no one can see, what is within you. He sees you growing more and more like Himself. That is your reason for existence, to grow more and more like God, to develop more and more the spirit of God within you. You can often see in others those qualities and aspirations that you yourself possess. So also can God recognize His own spirit in you. Your motives and aspirations can only be understood by those who have attained the same spiritual level as you have.

Prayer for the Day

I pray that I may not expect complete understanding from others. I pray that I may only expect this from God, as I try to grow more like Him.


The Language of Letting Go – Codependency

Honesty

“Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.”

—Step Five of Al-Anon

Talking openly and honestly to another person about ourselves, in an attitude that reflects self-responsibility, is critical to recovery.

It’s important to admit what we have done wrong to others and to ourselves. Verbalize our beliefs and our behaviors. Get our resentments and fears out in the open.

That’s how we release our pain. That’s how we release old beliefs and feelings. That’s how we are set free. The more clear and specific we can be with our Higher Power, ourselves, and another person, the more quickly we will experience that freedom.

Step Five is an important part of the recovery process. For those of us who have learned to keep secrets from others, and ourselves it is not just a step – it is a leap toward becoming healthy.

Today I will remember that it’s okay to talk about the issues that bother me. It is by sharing my issues that I will grow beyond them. I will also remember that it’s okay to be selective about those in whom I confide. I can trust my instincts and choose someone who will not use my disclosures against me, and who will give me healthy feedback.


Touchstone – Men’s Meditation

“Often the wisdom of the body clarifies the despair of the spirit.”

—Marion Woodman

The unity of body and spirit becomes more real for us as we learn to listen to the messages our bodies give. Perhaps if we are frequently ill with a cold we are hiding from the fact that we are discouraged and in need of something for our spirit. We all face the problems at times of sleeplessness or backaches or allergies. These are not moral problems but problems that go with being human. When we are open to the spirit dimension, we look for the part that may express a message from our spiritual selves.

As we notice our physical selves today, we perhaps feel a tension in a muscle or a sensation somewhere that can speak to us about our deeper feelings. The message may not be clear at first. Spiritual messages are not quick answers, but if we listen to our questions a while, the answers may gradually become clear. Simply being open to the messages strengthens us for our tasks and deepens our spiritual self-awareness.

Today, I am learning to listen to the wisdom of my own body.


Elder’s Meditation

“Prayer is the best answer to all of the trials that face us, because without prayer, even if we succeed in accomplishing some great goal in the eyes of men, we have failed in our sacred responsibilities, and thus we have failed in what is truly important.”

–Thomas Yellowtail, CROW

What are our sacred responsibilities? One is to be of maximum service to the Creator, and two is to serve the people. In a way, it’s like the Great Spirit is the employer and we are the employees. We live each day, do what we do, accomplish our goals, face our difficulties, overcome them all to the Glory of the Creator. We do these things to make Him proud! Even if we work for a company, agency or tribe, they are not really our employer; the Creator is our employer. Working for the Creator is better than working for a human being, because each night we can talk to the Creator and ask Him, “Well, how did I do today?”. He answers back each night, “I’m proud of you, my child; sleep well, and in the morning I’ll give you a new set of growing experiences.”.

Great Spirit, today, let me work for you. You will be my new boss.


Daily Horoscope – Cancer

Being seen as a serious person in the workplace or another public context could be important to you now. However, this focus on your solemn side might omit something crucial. While being sensitive to the standards of your environment is good, don’t presume these rules are stricter than they really are, because people can benefit from your unique perspective. Anyone worth impressing should find a genuine and truthful approach refreshing, so express whatever you think really needs to be said.

DR – May 13, 2022

Daily Recovery Readings
May 13, 2022


Daily Reflection

THE EASIER, SOFTER WAY

“If we skip this vital step, we may not overcome drinking.”

— ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 72

I certainly didn’t leap at the opportunity to face who I was, especially when the pains of my drinking days hung over me like a dark cloud. But I soon heard at the meetings about the fellow member who just didn’t want to take Step Five and kept coming back to meetings, trembling from the horrors of reliving his past. The easier, softer way is to take these Steps to freedom from our fatal disease, and to put our faith in the Fellowship and our Higher Power.

From the book Daily Reflections
Copyright © 1990 by Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc.


Big Book Quote

“…we aren’t a glum lot. If newcomers could see no joy or fun in our existence, they wouldn’t want it. We absolutely insist on enjoying life.”

Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, The Family Afterward, pg. 132


24 Hours a Day – The Little Black Book

Thought for the Day

In A.A. we find fellowship and release and strength. And having found these things, the real reasons for our drinking are taken away. Then drinking has no more justification in our minds. We no longer need to fight against drink. Drink just naturally leaves us. At first, we are sorry that we can’t drink, but we get so that we are glad that we don’t have to drink. Am I glad that I don’t have to drink?

Meditation for the Day

Try never to judge. The human mind is so delicate and so complex that only its Maker can know it wholly. Each mind is so different, actuated by such different motives, controlled by such different circumstances, influenced by such different sufferings, you cannot know all the influences that have gone to make up a personality. Therefore, it is impossible for you to judge wholly that personality. But God knows that person wholly and He can change it. Leave to God the unraveling of the puzzles of personality. And leave it to God to teach you the proper understanding.

Prayer for the Day

I pray that I may not judge other people. I pray that I may be certain that God can set right what is wrong in every personality.


The Language of Letting Go – Codependency

Property Lines

A helpful tool in our recovery, especially in the behavior we call detachment, is learning to identify who owns what. Then we let each person own and possess his or her rightful property.

If another person has an addiction, a problem, a feeling, or a self-defeating behavior, that is their property, not ours. If someone is a martyr, immersed in negativity, controlling, or manipulative behavior, that is their issue, not ours.

If someone has acted and experienced a particular consequence, both the behavior and the consequence belong to that person.

If someone is in denial or cannot think clearly on a particular issue, that confusion belongs to him or her.

If someone has a limited or impaired ability to love or care, that is his or her property, not ours. If someone has no approval or nurturing to give away, that is that person’s property.

People’s lies, deceptions, tricks, manipulations, abusive behaviors, inappropriate behaviors, cheating behaviors, and tacky behaviors belong to them, too. Not us.

People’s hope and dreams are their property. Their guilt belongs to them too. Their happiness or misery is also theirs. So are their beliefs and messages.

If some people don’t like themselves, that is their choice. Other people’s choices are their property, not ours.

What people choose to say and do is their business.

What is our property? Our property includes our behaviors, problems, feelings, happiness, misery, choices, and messages; our ability to love, care, and nurture; our thoughts, our denial, our hopes and dreams for ourselves. Whether we allow ourselves to be controlled, manipulated, deceived, or mistreated is our business.

In recovery, we learn an appropriate sense of ownership. If something isn’t ours, we don’t take it. If we take it, we learn to give it back. Let other people have their property, and learn to own and take good care of what’s ours.

Today, I will work at developing a clear sense of what belongs to me, and what doesn’t. If it’s not mine, I won’t keep it. I will deal with my issues, my responsibilities, and myself. I will take my hands off what is not mine.


Touchstone – Men’s Meditation

“As long as you keep a person down, some part of you has to be down there to hold him down, so it means you cannot soar as you otherwise might.”

—Marion Anderson

Because of our resentments we sometimes get tense. We say we aren’t going to have contact with our parents until they do something we expect of them. Or we hold out on a friend because we want an apology for an injury or injustice.

Sadly, we become more tense, more limited in our own joy, by holding someone else to our expectations. Our lives can be much richer and more fulfilled when we let go of these expectations. We can let go of manipulating or drawing forth the responses we want. Our manipulations and pouting make life too boring and limited. No one else need stand in the way of our pleasure of being adult men.

Today, I will let go of my claims on others so I can be free to soar.


Elder’s Meditation

“But the great spirit has provided you and me with an opportunity for study in nature’s university, the forests, the rivers, the mountains, and the animals which include us.”

—- Walking Buffalo, STONEY

What we really need to learn is how to live life. Nature is the greatest university when we want to learn about balance, harmony, the Natural Laws and how to live life. But we will never learn unless we spend time in the “living university.” Nature is full of examples, lessons, and exercises about life. Nature will help humans learn. Nature will help humans heal. Nature will help with Medicine, knowledge, and healing. The reason our Elders are so wise is because they have attended the right educational system – nature’s university.

Great Spirit, help me to become wise.


Daily Horoscope – Cancer

The stress of having your worlds too far apart could be weighing on you now. Perhaps it’s time to bring some of the insights you’ve been getting from any personal explorations — like travel, study, or time with friends — to your family life. However, you may need to have reasonable expectations for this potential sharing session. Your relatives might not be as interested in your passions as you are right away, but you never know how planting a seed will eventually turn out!

Back to the Grind

As mentioned back in a March post, MPE Time Out, I left my job. Not the best decision I’ve made in years but it has given me time to get my mental, physical and emotional states back to normal. There was one person who kept tabs on my welfare which I’m grateful. Now I’ve made the decision to go back with a different perspective.

At the beginning of March 2022, I was absolutely drained. I was simply tired of fighting working in a toxic environment. I wasn’t willing to put up a concrete wall. Instead my ego got the best of me. I had to take a step back to say, “Hey, what a minute. What the hell are you doing?”

There was one person, a co-worker, who helped through that process. She and I had conversations on my welfare because she knew I was at my breaking point. At one point, I asked her, “How do you manage to get by day to day (or night by night, in our case)?” Once again she pointed to the fact nothing is going to change – ever. Whether I agree or disagree with anything, it doesn’t matter. Selfish people are only concerned about one thing – themselves. They are going to do things which only make themselves look good to everyone else no matter what the cost – they simply don’t care. Her suggestion was to simply ignore everyone else around you, do what you do, simply say ‘okay’ and do it without question. Clock in for the night, do your thing, clock out. We’re not responsible for the decision made nor are we responsible for the consequences of those decisions. We may not like what happens but its going to happen and we just have to accept it leaving it at the door when we leave for the night. It took time to digest and convince myself it was the best plan if I decided to go back.

At the beginning of May, I decided it was time and to go back to something I’m familiar with. I just have to ‘change my tune’. I have confidence I can do it. If I have to act like a robot ignoring everything around me letting it slide off me like raindrops, it isn’t going to be easy but I think I can get to a comfortable normality, if that makes sense.

After a week of reapplying, I called to check on the status of my application. After a short conversation I was told my application would be considered again. Some people are apparently leaving the overnight shift. However, before I can be rehired, those Associates records have to be properly handled. In summary, she will call me back but can’t put any specific date when it will happen. It’s my understanding, four people left or were terminated in the last two weeks. In addition, three new hires started but only one returned after the first day of work (which is typical). The person I spoke to has been out for a couple of days herself and is known not to be expedient. So I have to wait and I’m good with it.

I’m also going to actively see what other employers are offering. There isn’t much, due to my own limitations, either transportation or skills, available to me but it won’t hurt to apply, have an interview if they are interested and see what happens. Based on past experience, I can’t just sit around and wait for things to happen – things aren’t going to mysteriously fall in my lap!

DR – May 12, 2022

Daily Recovery Readings
May 12, 2022


Daily Reflection

THE PAST IS OVER

A.A. experience has taught us we cannot live alone with our pressing problems and the character defects which cause or aggravate them. If . . . Step Four . . .has revealed in stark relief those experiences we’d rather not remember . . . then the need to quit living by ourselves with those tormenting ghosts of yesterday gets more urgent than ever. We have to talk to somebody about them.

‘— TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 55

Whatever is done is over. It cannot be changed. But my attitude about it can be changed through talking with those who have gone before and with sponsors. I can wish the past never was, but if I change my actions in regard to what I have done, my attitude will change. I won’t have to wish the past away. I can change my feelings and attitudes, but only through my actions and the help of my fellow alcoholics.

From the book Daily Reflections
Copyright © 1990 by Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc.


Big Book Quote

“In thinking about our day we may face indecision. We may not be able to determine which course to take. Here we ask God for inspiration, an intuitive thought or a decision. We relax and take it easy. We don’t struggle. We are often surprised how the right answers come after we have tried this for a while.”

Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, Into Action, pg. 86


24 Hours a Day – The Little Black Book

Thought for the Day

When we come into A.A., looking for a way out of drinking, we really need a lot more than that. We need fellowship. We need to get the things that are troubling us out into the open. We need a new outlet for our energies and we need a new strength beyond ourselves that will help us face life instead of running away from it. In A.A. we find these things that we need. Have I found the things that I need?

Meditation for the Day

Turn out all thoughts of doubt and fear and resentment. Never tolerate them if you can help it. Bar the windows and doors of your mind against them, as you would bar your home against a thief who would steal in to take away your treasures. What greater treasures can you have than faith and courage and love? All these are stolen from you by doubt and fear and resentment. Face each day with peace and hope. They are results of true faith in God. Faith gives you a feeling of protection and safety that you can get in no other way.

Prayer for the Day

I pray that I may feel protected and safe, but not only when I am in the harbor. I pray that I may have protection and safety even in the midst of the storms of life.


The Language of Letting Go – Codependency

Intimacy

We can let ourselves be close to people.

Many of us have deeply ingrained patterns for sabotaging relationships. Some of us may instinctively terminate a relationship once it moves to a certain level of closeness and intimacy.

When we start to feel close to someone, we may zero in on one of the person’s character defects, and then make it so big it’s all we can see. We may withdraw, or push the person away to create distance. We may start criticizing the other person, a behavior sure to create distance.

We may start trying to control the person, a behavior that prevents intimacy.

We may tell ourselves we don’t want or need another person, or smother the person with our needs.

Sometimes, we defeat ourselves by trying to be close to people who aren’t available for intimacy – people with active addictions, or people who don’t choose to be close to us. Sometimes, we choose people with particular faults so that when it comes time to be close, we have an escape hatch.

We’re afraid, and we fear losing ourselves. We’re afraid that closeness means we won’t be able to own our power to take care of ourselves.

In recovery, we’re learning that it’s okay to let ourselves be close to people. We’re choosing to relate to safe, healthy people, so closeness is a possibility. Closeness doesn’t mean we have to lose ourselves, or our life. As one man said, “We’re learning that we can own our power with people, even when we’re close, even when the other person has something we need.”

Today, I will be available for closeness and intimacy with people, when that’s appropriate. Whenever possible, I will let myself be who I am, let others be who they are, and enjoy the bond and good feelings between us.


Touchstone – Men’s Meditation

In my friend, I find a second self.

—Isabel Norton

Our mates and close friends present us with another view on what it is to be a human being. In being close we lower our barriers and get a feeling for what life is like from that person’s perspective. We develop a feeling of empathy for him or her, and we multiply our life experiences by participating with others.

Through our closeness to someone, we might be confronted by a new awareness of ourselves. We may see something about ourselves we don’t like and could never have seen on our own. We may see how similar we are to our friends, or how different, or how common and human our problems are. While each man lives his own life, through empathy we are given another window on the experience of living. Having a friend is a rich experience, which increases our wisdom about life.

I am thankful for relationships. I feel grateful that I am not alone.


Elder’s Meditation

“All the stones that are around here, each one has a language of its own. Even the earth has a song.”

—- Wallace Black Elk, LAKOTA

To believe that every tree, plant, and insect can talk takes an open mind. Go by yourself into nature and sit quietly. Then pick up a rock and listen to your thoughts. After a while, put that rock down and pick up another rock. Your thoughts will change. These are the voices and wisdom of the Stone People. Each one has different wisdom and they are willing to share their wisdom with you. Many of the Stone People are very old and very wise.

Great Spirit, let every rock and leaf be my teacher.


Daily Horoscope – Cancer

Public recognition for a significant achievement of yours could come to you today. The hard part might be getting your own view of yourself to catch up to how the world sees you! While receiving kudos from others can be heartwarming, you may also need to use this moment to shore up the kind of emotional security that only comes from within. Compassionately work to unravel any mental blocks that are holding you back from acknowledging the existence of your best self.

DR – May 11, 2022

Daily Recovery Readings
May 11, 2022


Daily Reflection

A NEW SENSE OF BELONGING

Until we had talked with complete candor of our conflicts, and had listened to someone else do the same thing, we still didn’t belong.

— TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 57

After four years in A.A. I was able to discover the freedom from the burden of buried emotions that had caused me so much pain. With the help of A.A., and extra counseling, the pain was released and I felt a complete sense of belonging and peace. I also felt a joy and a love of God that I had never experienced before. I am in awe of the power of Step Five.

From the book Daily Reflections
Copyright © 1990 by Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc.


Big Book Quote

“Step Eleven suggests prayer and meditation. We shouldn’t be shy on this matter of prayer. Better men than we are using it constantly.”

Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, Into Action, pg. 85


24 Hours a Day – The Little Black Book

Thought for the Day

We can depend on those members of any group who have gone all out for the pro gram. They come to meetings. They work with other alcoholics. We don’t have to worry about their slipping. They’re loyal members of the group. I’m trying to be a loyal member of the group. When I’m tempted to take a drink, I tell myself that if I did I’d be letting down the other members who are the best friends I have. Am I going to let them down, if I can help it?

Meditation for the Day

Wherever there is true fellowship and love between people, God’s spirit is always there as the Divine Third. In all human relationships, the Divine Spirit is what brings them together. When a life is changed through the channel of another person, it is God, the Divine Third, who always makes the change, using the person as a means. The moving power behind all spiritual things, all personal relationships between people is God, the Divine Third, who is always there. No personal relationships can be entirely right without the presence of God’s spirit.

Prayer for the Day

I pray that I may be used as a channel by God’s spirit. I pray that I may feel that the Divine Third is always there to help me.


The Language of Letting Go – Codependency

Perfection

Many of us picked on ourselves unmercifully before recovery. We may also have a tendency too pick on ourselves after we begin recovery.

If I was really recovering, I wouldn’t be doing that again . . . I should be further along than I am. These are statements that we indulge in when we’re feeling shame. We don’t need to treat ourselves that way. There is no benefit.

Remember, shame blocks us. But self-love and acceptance enable us to grow and change. If we truly have done something we feel guilty about, we can correct it with an amend and an attitude of self-acceptance and love.

Even if we slip back to our old, codependent ways of thinking, feeling, and behaving, we do not need to be ashamed. We all regress from time to time. That’s how we learn and grow. Relapse, or recycling, is an important and necessary part of recovery. And the way out of recycling is not by shaming ourselves. That leads us deeper into codependency.

Much pain comes from trying to be perfect. Perfection is impossible unless we think of it in a new way: Perfection is being who and where we are today; it’s accepting and loving ourselves just as we are. We are each right where we need to be in our recovery.

Today, I will love and accept myself for who I am and where I am in my recovery process. I am right where I need to be to get to where I’m going tomorrow.


Touchstone – Men’s Meditation

There is no shortcut to life. To the end of our days, life is a lesson imperfectly learned.

—Harrison E. Salisbury

There are no perfect days. We have struggled hard against this truth. In our demanding ways, we haven’t wanted life to be a process; we have wanted to reach a secure point of arrival. We have struggled against the dialogue and learning process of experience. We’ve looked for a “fix” and for perfection. Even now in recovery we long to “get it right.” We continue to learn and to grow, but the lessons we learn are not the things we expected. We grieve the lateness of our learning, and then we go on to learn more.

As we grow in this program, we learn how to learn. We become more accepting of life as a process with no shortcut to the truth. We learn to engage in the process and accept that there usually is no right or wrong answer at the end of our search.

Today, may I accept the truth, which comes from the lessons of my experience – and be tolerant of its incompleteness.


Elder’s Meditation

“[The Old People] would gather words as they walked a sacred path across the Earth, leaving nothinig behind but prayers and offerings.”

—- Cleone Thunder, NORTHERN ARAPAHOE

Whenever we walk on the Earth, we should pay attention to what is going on. Too often our minds are somewhere else, thinking about the past or thinking about the future. When we do this, we are missing important lessons. The Earth is a constant flow of lessons and learnings which also include a constant flow of positive feelings. If we are aware as we walk, we will gather words for our lives, the lessons to help our children; we will gather feelings of interconnectedness and calmness. When we experience this, we should say or think thoughts of gratitude. When we do this, the next person to walk on the sacred path will benefit even more.

My Creator, today, let me be aware of the sacred path.


Daily Horoscope – Cancer

A wild fantasy of travel might be tickling your thoughts at this time. However crazy it sounds, try talking to your friends about it. They may actually be able to make it happen, as you can accomplish more with a group than by yourself right now. While collaborating will probably change a few of the details, you’re better off getting some of what you envisioned rather than none of it at all. Identify your must-haves versus what you’re willing to compromise before getting started.

DR – May 10, 2022

Daily Recovery Readings
May 10, 2022

Daily Reflection

FREE AT LAST

“Another great dividend we may expect from confiding our defects to another human being is humility – a word often misunderstood. . . . it amounts to a clear recognition of what and who we really are, followed by a sincere attempt to become what we could be.”

— TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 58

I knew deep inside that if I were ever to be joyous, happy and free, I had to share my past life with some other individual. The joy and relief I experienced after doing so were beyond description. Almost immediately after taking the Fifth Step, I felt free from the bondage of self and the bondage of alcohol. That freedom remains after 36 years, a day at a time. I found that God could do for me what I couldn’t do for myself.

From the book Daily Reflections
Copyright © 1990 by Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc.

Big Book Quote

” I had always believed in a Power greater that myself. I had often pondered these things. I was not an atheist. Few people really are, for that means blind faith in the strange proposition that this universe originated in a cipher and aimlessly rushes no where.”

~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, Bill’s Story, pg. 10~

24 Hours a Day – The Little Black Book

Thought for the Day

One thing that keeps me sober is a feeling of loyalty to the other members of the group. I know I’d be letting them down if I ever took a drink. When I was drinking, I wasn’t loyal to anybody. I should have been loyal to my family, but I wasn’t. I let them down by my drinking. When I came into A.A., I found a group of people who were not only helping each other to stay sober, but who were loyal to each other by staying sober themselves. Am I loyal to my group?

Meditation for the Day

Calmness is constructive of good. Agitation is destructive of good. I should not rush into action. I should first “be still and know that He is God.” Then I should act only as God directs me through my conscience. Only trust, perfect trust in God, can keep me calm when all around me are agitated. Calmness is trust in action. I should seek all things that can help me to cultivate calmness. To attain material things, the world learns to attain speed. To attain spiritual things, I have to learn to attain a state of calm.

Prayer for the Day

I pray that I may learn how to have inner peace. I pray that I may be calm, so that God can work through me.

The Language of Letting Go – Codependency

Enjoying the Good Days

Good feelings can become a habitual part of our life.

There is absolutely no virtue in the unnecessary suffering, which many of us have felt for much of our life. We don’t have to allow others to make us miserable, and we don’t have to make ourselves miserable.

A good day does not have to be the calm before the storm. That’s an old way of thinking we learned in dysfunctional systems.

In recovery, a good day or a good feeling doesn’t mean we’re in denial. We don’t have to wreck our good times by obsessively searching for or creating a problem.

Enjoying our good days doesn’t mean we’re being disloyal to loved ones who are having problems. We don’t have to make ourselves feel guilty because other people aren’t having a good day. We don’t have to make ourselves miserable to be like them. They can have their day and their feelings; we can have ours.

A good feeling is to be enjoyed. More than we can imagine, good days are ours for the asking.

Today, I will let myself enjoy what is good. I don’t have to wreck my good day or good feeling; I don’t have to let others spoil it either.

Touchstone – Men’s Meditation

“You are accepted!” … accepted by that which is greater than you and the name of which you do not know. Do not ask the name now, perhaps you will know it later. Do not try to do anything; perhaps later you will do much. Do not seek for anything, do not perform anything, and do not intend anything. Simply accept the fact you are accepted.

—Paul Tillich

New possibilities opened up when we accepted our powerlessness. These possibilities came to us from beyond ourselves. We can open ourselves to acceptance by being responsible for ourselves and practicing the Twelve Steps. We can’t improve upon the message that we are accepted, nor can we nail it down. In fact, the very moment we try to impose our control over it, it begins to evaporate.

We can receive this message of acceptance only when we are humble and open to it. After learning to surrender in the First Step of this program, we are ready to yield to messages of acceptance.

I am grateful for the acceptance which has come my way.

Elder’s Meditation

“When you go inside that power, there’s no fear. It’s so beautiful!! There’s no fear there. There’s no pain.”

—- Wallace Black Elk, LAKOTA

Imagine you are standing on the edge of a stage. In the center of the stage is a spotlight shining from above. If you stand anyplace outside the spotlight, in the darkness, you will experience fear. But as soon as you step into the light in the center of the stage, all fear and pain go away. When we stand in the power, fear cannot exist. How do we find this place of power? We pray our way into it. We ask the Creator to take our hand and help us. When we get to that place, we will feel the fear go away.

Great Spirit, hold my hand and guide me today.

Daily Horoscope – Cancer

Professional progress may be possible for you now, but you might need to be careful about who hears what when. As messenger Mercury turns retrograde in your secretive 12th house, some of the information involved in a work-related change could be confidential. Though you likely have reason to be excited for what’s brewing, resist the temptation to tell your friends all the details right away. The final story might still be taking shape, after all! All the necessary knowledge should be revealed in time

DR – May 9, 2022

Daily Recovery Readings
May 9, 2022

Daily Reflection

WALKING THROUGH FEAR

‘If we still cling to something we will not let go, we ask God to help us be willing.”

— ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 76

When I had taken my Fifth Step, I became aware that all my defects of character stemmed from my need to feel secure and loved. To use my will alone to work on them would have been trying obsessively to solve the problem. In the Sixth Step I intensified the action I had taken in the first three Steps – meditating on the Step by saying it over and over, going to meetings, following my sponsor’s suggestions, reading and searching within myself. During the first three years of sobriety I had a fear of entering an elevator alone. One day I decided I must walk through this fear. I asked for God’s help, entered the elevator, and there in the corner was a lady crying. She said that since her husband had died she was deathly afraid of elevators. I forgot my fear and comforted her. This spiritual experience helped me to see how willingness was the key to working the rest of the Twelve Steps to recovery. God helps those who help themselves.

From the book Daily Reflections
Copyright © 1990 by Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc.

Big Book Quote

“We have seen the truth demonstrated again and again: ‘Once an alcoholic, always an alcoholic.’ Commencing to drink after a period of sobriety, we are in a short time as bad as ever.”

~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, More About Alcoholism, pg. 33~

24 Hours a Day – The Little Black Book

Thought for the Day

We alcoholics used so little self control when we were drinking; we were so absolutely selfish, that it does us good to give up something once in a while. Using self-discipline and denying ourselves a few things is good for us. At first, giving up liquor is a big enough job for all of us, even with God’s help. But later on, we can practice self-discipline in other ways to keep a firm grip on our minds so that we don’t start any wishful thinking. If we daydream too much, we’ll be in danger of slipping. Am I practicing enough self-discipline?

Meditation for the Day

In material things, you must rely on your own wisdom and that of others. In spiritual things, you cannot rely so much on your own wisdom as on God’s guidance. In dealing with personalities, it is a mistake to step out too much on your own. You must try to be guided by God in all human relationships. You cannot accomplish much of value in dealing with people until God knows you are ready. You alone do not have the power or wisdom to put things right between people. You must rely on God to help you in these vital matters.

Prayer for the Day

I pray that I may rely on God in dealing with people’s problems. I pray that I may try to follow His guidance in all personal relationships.

The Language of Letting Go – Codependency

Learning New Behaviors

Sometimes we’ll take a few steps backward. That’s okay too. Sometimes it’s necessary. Sometimes it’s part of going forward.

—Codependent No More

Life is a Gentle Teacher. She wants to help us learn.

The lessons she wants to teach us are the ones we need to learn. Some say they are the lessons we chose to learn before we were born. Others say they are the lessons that were chosen for us.

It’s frustrating to be in the midst of learning. It is like sitting in algebra class, listening to a teacher explain a subject beyond our comprehension. We do not understand, but the teacher takes the understanding for granted.

It may feel like someone is torturing us with messages that we shall never understand. We strain and strain. We become angry. Frustrated. Confused. Finally, in despair, we turn away, deciding that that formula will never be available to our mind.

Later, while taking a quiet walk, we break through. Quietly, the gift of understanding has reached that deepest place in us. We understand. We have learned. The next day in class, it’s hard for us to imagine not knowing. It is hard to remember the frustration and confusion of those who have not yet caught on. It seems so easy . . . now.

Life is a Gentle Teacher. She will keep repeating the lesson until we learn. It is okay to become frustrated. Confused. Angry. Sometimes it is okay to despair. Then, it is okay to walk away and allow the breakthrough to come.

It shall.

Help me remember that frustration and confusion usually precede growth. If my situation is challenging me, it is because I’m learning something new, rising to a higher level of understanding. Help me be grateful, even in my frustration, that life is an exciting progression of lessons.

Touchstone – Men’s Meditation

I learned from them that inspiration does not come like a bolt, nor is it kinetic, energetic striving, but it comes into us slowly and quietly and all the time, though we must regularly and every day give it a little chance to start flowing, prime it with a little solitude and idleness.

—Brenda Ueland

We tend to be action-oriented and concerned about showing results in the shortest period of time. Our world has emphasized this outlook, especially for men. Now we are seeking spiritual progress. We are on a journey seeking a relationship with our Higher Power, with ourselves, and with others.

Spiritual progress is made by pushing aside busyness and efficiency. We become receptive to inspiration by allowing empty spaces in our lives, some solitude and idleness. This moment – right now – is one such time. It is not clearly goal-oriented. Rather it is a moment when we reflect on ourselves as recovering men. We become receptive to inspiration, to a deeper wisdom, to that part of life, which we do not command.

I will remember today that spiritual progress comes only when I make room for it in my life.

Elder’s Meditation

“Without a sacred center, no one knows right from wrong.”

—- Thomas Yellowtail, CROW

In the center of the circle is where the powers reside. These powers are called love, principle, justice, spirtual knowledge, life, forgiveness and truth. All these powers reside in the very center of the human being. We access these powers by being still, quieting the mind. If we get confused, emotionally upset, feel resentment, anger, or fear, the best thing we can do is pray to the Great Spirit and ask Him to remove the anger and resentment. By asking Him to remove these obstacles, we are automatically positioned in the sacred center. Only in this way do we know right from wrong.

Great Spirit, allow me this day to live in the sacred center.

Daily Horoscope – Cancer

Impulse spending could be tempting today, but someone else might feel like they have a right to stop you from doing so. Even if they truly have a stake in your financial choices, feeling like they’re pushing you around may end up being a bigger problem than whatever you wanted to buy. You need to feel respected, whether or not you always agree on every detail. Letting this encounter lead to a necessary conversation about the dynamics of a partnership can have lasting benefits.

DR – May 8, 2022

Daily Recovery Readings
May 8, 2022

Daily Reflection

A RESTING PLACE

“All of A.A.’s Twelve Steps ask us to go contrary to our natural desires . . . they all deflate our egos. When it comes to ego deflation, few Steps are harder to take than Five. But scarcely any Step is more necessary to longtime sobriety and peace of mind than this one.“

— TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 55

After writing down my character defects, I was unwilling to talk about them, and decided it was time to stop carrying this burden alone. I needed to confess those defects to someone else. I had read – and been told – I could not stay sober unless I did. Step Five provided me with a feeling of belonging, with humility and serenity when I practiced it in my daily living. It was important to admit my defects of character in the order presented in Step Five: “to God, to ourselves and to another human being.” Admitting to God first paved the way for admission to myself and to another person. As the taking of the Step is described, a feeling of being at one with God and my fellow man brought me to a resting place where I could prepare myself for the remaining Steps toward a full and meaningful sobriety.

From the book Daily Reflections
Copyright © 1990 by Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc.

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

I’m grateful that I found a program in A.A. that could keep me sober. I’m grateful that A.A. has shown me the way to faith in a Higher Power, because the renewing of that faith has changed my way of life. And I’ve found a happiness and contentment that I had forgotten existed, by simply believing in God and trying to live the kind of a life that I know He wants me to live. As long as I stay grateful, I’ll stay sober. Am I in a grateful frame of mind?

Meditation for the Day

God can work through you better when you are not hurrying. Go very slowly, very quietly, from one duty to the next, taking time to rest and pray between. Do not be too busy. Take everything in order. Venture often into the rest of God and you will find peace. All work that results from resting with God is good work. Claim the power to work miracles in human lives. Know that you can do many things through the Higher Power. Know that you can do good things through God who rests you and gives you strength. Partake regularly of rest and prayer.

Prayer for the Day

I pray that I may not be in too much of a hurry. I pray that I may take time out often to rest with God.

The Language of Letting Go – Codependency

Giving Ourselves What We Deserve

“I worked at a good job, making a decent salary. I had been recovering for years. Each morning, I got into my car and I thanked God for the car. The heater didn’t work. And the chance of the car not starting was almost as great as the chance that it would. I just kept suffering through and thanking God. One day, it occurred to me that there was absolutely no good reason I couldn’t buy myself a new car – that moment – if I wanted one. I had been gratitudeing myself into unnecessary deprivation and martyrdom. I bought the new car – that day.”

—Anonymous

Often, our instinctive reaction to something we want or need is, No! I can’t afford it!

The question we can learn to ask ourselves is, But can I?

Many of us have learned to habitually deprive ourselves of anything we might want, and often things we need.

Sometimes, we can misuse the concept of gratitude to keep ourselves unnecessarily deprived.

Gratitude for what we have is an important recovery concept. So is believing we deserve the best and making an effort to stop depriving ourselves and start treating ourselves well.

There is nothing wrong with buying ourselves what we want when we can afford to do that. Learn to trust and listen to yourself about what you want. There’s nothing wrong with buying yourself a treat, buying yourself something new.

There are times when it is good to wait. There are times when we legitimately cannot afford a luxury. But there are many times when we can.

Today, I will combine the principles of gratitude for what I have with the belief that I deserve the best. If there is no good reason to deprive myself, I won’t.

Touchstone – Men’s Meditation

“Children begin by loving their parents; as they grow older they judge them; sometimes they forgive them.”

—Oscar Wilde

The mature man eventually forgives his parents. Any adult can look back and see childhood wrongs and unfairness. Many of us were disappointed by our parents, even neglected or hurt by them. We certainly didn’t get all we wanted or needed. Yet, upon joining the ranks of grown men and women, we become responsible for ourselves. Every situation has limited choices, and we work with what we’ve got. As adults, we realize this is exactly where our parents were when we were children. They, too, were born into an imperfect world and had to do the best they could.

When we can forgive our parents, we are free to accept them as they are, as we might a friend. We can accept them, enjoy the relationship, and forget about collecting old debts. Making peace with them imparts to us the strengths of previous generations and helps us be more at peace with ourselves.

I pray for the maturity and the wisdom to be more forgiving of my parents.

Elder’s Meditation

“Anyways, with medicine there’s a time and a place for everything. It only comes around once. You have to get it at the right time.”

—- Cecilia Mitchell, MOHAWK

The old ones say two things must be present for a miracle to take place. One, the right time. Two, the right place. This is why we need to honor our ceremonies. eremonies are done in an order. This order is applied to open a “door” to the right time and place of the medicine. This door opens to the Spiritual World. The Spiritual World is available to us at the right time and the right place.

My Creator, let me be patient today so the timing is right.

Daily Horoscope – Cancer

Social interaction could be full of exciting opportunities for you now. If you follow your friends on a spontaneous adventure today, you’re likely to get caught up in the moment and spend more money than you intended. While focusing on your personal goals can keep you as on track as you want to be financially, there might be genuine value in letting loose once in a while! Make whatever decision you can live with, but either way, don’t feel guilty about your choice.

DR – May 7, 2022

Daily Recovery Readings
May 7, 2022

Daily Reflection

RESPECT FOR OTHERS

“Such parts of our story we tell to someone who will understand, yet be unaffected. The rule is we must be hard on ourself, but always considerate of others.”

— ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 74

Respect for others is the lesson that I take out of this passage. I must go to any lengths to free myself if I wish to find that peace of mind that I have sought for so long. However, none of this must be done at another’s expense. Selfishness has no place in the A.A. way of life.

When I take the Fifth Step it’s wiser to choose a person with whom I share common aims because if that person does not understand me, my spiritual progress may be delayed and I could be in danger of a relapse. So I ask for divine guidance before choosing the man or woman whom I take into my confidence.

From the book Daily Reflections
Copyright © 1990 by Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc.

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

It’s very important to keep in a grateful frame of mind, if we want to stay sober. We should be grateful that we’re living in a day and age when an alcoholic isn’t treated as he often used to be treated before Alcoholics Anonymous was started. In the old days, every town had its town drunk who was regarded with scorn and ridiculed by the rest of the townspeople. We have come into A.A. and found all the sympathy, understanding, and fellowship that we could ask for. There’s no other group like A.A. in the world. Am I grateful?

Meditation for the Day

God takes our efforts for good and blesses them. God needs our efforts. We need God’s blessing. Together, they mean spiritual success. Our efforts are necessary. We cannot merely relax and drift with the tide. We must often direct our efforts against the tide of materialism around us. When difficulties come, our efforts are needed to surmount them. But God directs our efforts into the right channels and God’s power is necessary to help us choose the right.

Prayer for the Day

I pray that I may choose the right. I pray that I may have God’s blessing and direction in all my efforts for good.

The Language of Letting Go – Codependency

Letting Go of Fear

Fear is at the core of codependency. It can motivate us to control situations or neglect ourselves.

Many of us have been afraid for so long that we don’t label our feelings fear. We’re used to feeling upset and anxious. It feels normal.

Peace and serenity may be uncomfortable.

At one time, fear may have been appropriate and useful. We may have relied on fear to protect ourselves, much the way soldiers in a war rely on fear to help them survive. But now, in recovery, we’re living life differently.

It’s time to thank our old fears for helping us survive, then wave good-bye to them. Welcome peace, trust, acceptance, and safety. We don’t need that much fear anymore. We can listen to our healthy fears, and let go of the rest.

We can create a feeling of safety for ourselves, now. We are safe, now. We’ve made a commitment to take care of ourselves. We can trust and love ourselves.

God, help me let go of my need to be afraid. Replace it with a need to be at peace. Help me listen to my healthy fears and relinquish the rest.

Touchstone – Men’s Meditation

“The newest computer can merely compound, at speed, the oldest problem in relations between human beings; and in the end the communicator will be confronted with the old problem of what to say and how to say it.”

—Edward R. Murrow

We may reduce our difficulties with others to communication problems, yet the remedy may remain unclear. How can we become more responsible for our share of the communication? Can we stop blaming others? When we improve in those ways, our relationships get better.

Clear, specific, and direct language will help us be more responsible and less blaming. We can use simple words that expose the truth rather than words that hide or sugarcoat it. We can use specific examples and give details rather than generalities or hints. We can be more direct by using you and me language. In the process, we yield to the truth within ourselves – and become more honest.

Today, I will be aware of communicating clearly, specifically, and directly.

Elder’s Meditation

“We must all become caretakers of the Earth.”

—- Haida Gwaii Traditional Circle of Elders

Mother Earth is the source of all life. We should not only be concerned about the part of the Earth we live on, but we should be concerned about the parts of the Earth that other people live on. The Earth is one great whole. The trees in Brazil generate the air in the Untied States. If the trees are cut in Brazil, it affects the air that all people breathe. Every person needs to conscientiously think about how they respect the Earth. Do we dump our garbage out of the car? Do we poison the water? Do we poison the air? Am I taking on the responsibility of being a caretaker of the Earth?

Great Spirit, today, I will be aware of the Earth. I will be responsible.

Daily Horoscope – Cancer

Knowledge may be rewarding, but you must eventually take action on your own. As the Sun in your social 11th house sextiles driven Mars in your 9th House of Adventure, your friends could motivate you to get out of your comfort zone in a way you wouldn’t by yourself. Though you likely appreciate the social connection, you might need to know when to step back and think your own thoughts about what you’ve learned. Only you can determine the direction of your life!

DR – May 6, 2022

Daily Recovery Readings
May 6, 2022

Daily Reflection

“HOLD BACK NOTHING”

“The real tests of the situation are your own willingness to confide and your full confidence in the one with whom you share your first accurate self-survey. . . .Provided you hold back nothing, your sense of relief will mount from minute to minute. The dammed-up emotions of years break out of their confinement, and miraculously vanish as soon as they are exposed. As the pain subsides, a healing tranquility takes its place.”

— TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, pp. 61-62

A tiny kernel of locked-in feelings began to unfold when I first attended A.A. meetings and self-knowledge then became a learning task for me. This new self-understanding brought about a change in my responses to life’s situations. I realized I had the right to make choices in my life, and the inner dictatorship of habits slowly lost its grip.

I believe that if I seek God I can find a better way to live and I ask Him daily to assist me in living a sober life.

From the book Daily Reflections
Copyright © 1990 by Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc.

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

I’ve noticed that the ones who do the most for A.A. are not in the habit of boasting about it. The danger of building myself up too much is that, if I do, I’m in danger of having a fall. That pattern of thought goes with drinking. If one side of a boat gets too far up out of the water, it’s liable to tip over. Building myself up and drinking go together. One leads to the other. So if I’m going to stay sober, I’ve got to keep small. Have I got the right perspective on myself?

Meditation for the Day

The way sometimes seems long and weary. So many people today are weary. The weariness of others must often be shared by me. The weary and the heavy laden, when they come to me, should be helped to find the rest that I have found. There is only one sure cure for world-weariness and that is turning to spiritual things. In order to help bring about the turning of the weary world to God, I must dare to suffer, dare to conquer selfishness in myself, and dare to be filled with spiritual peace in the face of all the weariness of the world.

Prayer for the Day

I pray that I may be a help to discouraged people. I pray that I may have the courage to help bring about what the weary world needs but does not know how to get.

The Language of Letting Go – Codependency

Feeling Good

Make yourself feel good.

It’s our job to first make ourselves feel better and then make ourselves feel good. Recovery is not only about stopping painful feelings; it is about creating a good life for ourselves.

We don’t have to deny ourselves activities that help us feel good. Going to meetings, basking in the sun, exercising, taking a walk, or spending time with a friend are activities that may help us feel good. We each have our list. If we don’t, we’re now free to explore, experiment, and develop that list.

When we find a behavior or activity that produces a good feeling, put it on the list. Then, do it frequently.

Let’s stop denying ourselves good feelings and start doing things that make us feel good.

Today, I will do one activity or behavior that I know will create a good feeling for me. If I’m uncertain about what I like, I will experiment with one behavior today.

Touchstone – Men’s Meditation

“Little importance has been given to body awareness. The emphasis is on achievement rather than awareness. Yet it is only those athletes who have a highly developed kinesthetic sense – muscle sense – who ever achieve high levels of excellence.”

—W. Timothy Gallwey

The outstanding athlete is guided by the feeling in his muscles and bones. He knows as he moves how much force to apply, how to place the ball on target, or how to dive gracefully. Competitiveness and achievement are useful in our lives. Winning provides us with motivation and fun. But when we give primary importance to being a winner, we weaken and lose balance.

Our balance is strengthened through more awareness in all aspects of our lives. If a ruler refused to hear news from a certain section of his country, his leadership would suffer. When we ignore our feelings and don’t reflect on our daily lives, we become weaker and less adequate men. As we read this page today, we are opening ourselves to internal messages and opening the windows of awareness.

God, help me find more balance and learn to be more aware.

Elder’s Meditation

“We must remember that the heart of our religion is alive and that each person has the ability within to awaken and walk in a sacred manner.”

—- Thomas Yellowtail, CROW

The Native Spirituality is full of life. When we seek it we become alive. Even if we have gone astray and have conducted ourselves in a bad way, we can look within and have a new awakening to life. Maybe we have drunk too much alcohol; maybe we have cheated on our spouse; maybe we have done things that make us feel guilty and ashamed. If we look outside ourselves, we will not find life; if we look inside, we will find life. Anytime we choose to change our lives, we only need to look inside. How do we do this? Take some sage and light it, close your eyes and say to the Great Sirit, I’m tired, I need your help. Please help me change.

Great Spirit, I know you exist inside of myself. Let me awaken to your teachings.

Daily Horoscope – Cancer

Privacy could be hard to come by today, but perhaps you have less to hide than you think. When Mercury in your 12th House of the Subconscious sextiles Venus in your public 10th house, you can get noticed for something you normally keep hidden. Though you may not be excited about this development, it might be less of an issue than you expected if you just accept it. Your emotions and intellect can work together to help you tell your story well at this time.