DR – January 21, 2023

Daily Recovery Readings
January 21, 2023


Daily Reflection

SERVING MY BROTHER

The member talks to the newcomer not in a spirit of power but in a spirit of humility and weakness.

— ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS COMES OF AGE, p. 279

As the days pass in A.A., I ask God to guide my thoughts and the words that I speak. In this labor of continuous participation in the Fellowship, I have numerous opportunities to speak. So I frequently ask God to help me watch over my thoughts and my words, that they may be the true and proper reflections of our program; to focus my aspirations once again to seek His guidance; to help me be truly kind and loving, helpful and healing, yet always filled with humility, and free from any trace of arrogance.

Today I may very well have to deal with disagreeable attitudes or utterances-the typical stock-in-trade attitude of the still-suffering alcoholic. If this should happen, I will take a moment to center myself in God, so that I will be able to respond from a perspective of composure, strength and sensibility.


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

To grasp the A.A. program, we have to think things out. Saint Paul said, “They are transformed by the renewing of their minds.” We have to learn to think straight. We have to change from alcoholic thinking to sober thinking. We must build up a new way of looking at things. Before we came into A.A., we wanted an artificial life of excitement and everything that goes with drinking. That kind of a life looked normal to us then. But as we look back now, that life looks the exact opposite of normal. In fact, it looks most abnormal. We must reeducate our minds. Am I changing from an abnormal thinker to a normal thinker?

Meditation for the Day

I will take the most crowded day without fear. I believe that God is with me and controlling all. I will let confidence be the motif running through all the crowded day. I will not get worried, because I know that God is my helper. Underneath are the everlasting arms. I will rest in them, even though the day is full of things crowding in upon me.

Prayer for the Day

I pray that I may be calm and let nothing upset me. I pray that I may not let material things control me and choke out spiritual things.


The Language of Letting Go – Codependency

Wants and Needs

Part of taking responsibility for us means taking responsibility for what we want and need, and knowing that’s okay to do.

Learning to tune in to us, learning to listen to ourselves, is an art. It takes practice. We can use our ability to guess what others want and need and apply that skill to ourselves.

What does it sound like we might want and need? What would we guess would help us feel better? What are our feelings telling us? Our body? Our mind? Our intuition?

If we ask, then listen closely; we’ll hear the answer.

We are wiser than we think, and we can be trusted.

What we want and need counts. It’s important, and it’s valid. It’s okay to learn to participate in meeting our own needs.

We can learn to identify what we want and need and be patient with ourselves while we’re learning.

Today, I will pay attention to what I want and need. I will not discount myself.


Touchstone – Men’s Meditation

There are things for which an uncompromising stand is worthwhile.

—Dietrich Bonhoeffer

For many of us, a time came when we said, “I’m not going to live this way anymore!” This was a deep, internal decision for change, even though we didn’t know how it would come about. Somehow we had reached bottom, and we no longer debated about whose fault our problems were. We quit negotiating over what we would change and what we would not change. We were willing to put all our energy into finding a better life, no matter what it would require. That is the kind of inner readiness that finally made real change possible.

Such willingness to take an uncompromising stand and give ourselves totally to a worthwhile cause is a model for our lives. It’s the beginning of deep change. Many men and women have taken similar heroic stands for other causes, like world peace, compassion for the poor and hungry, human rights, and protection of the environment.

On this day, I will take a stand for what is worthwhile.


Elder’s Meditation

“This is the time of awakening to the inner father and the inner mother. Without this we will receive no high initiation; instead we get initiated into darkness. That’s because any investigation or revolution without God leads, not to freedom, but to more slavery.”

–Willaru Huayta, QUECHAU NATION, PERU

Honor the Father and the Mother. Father stands for wisdom and Mother stands for feelings. Inside each of us is the Father and the Mother. If we do not honor both, we will not grow in balance. To honor both the Father and the Mother helps our masculine and feminine sides grow. The winter season is a good time to focus on this. This is our season of reflection. Honoring both sides allows us to see the Creator is both Father and Mother.

Great Spirit, Father Sky, Mother Earth, guide me today. Let me experience balance.


Daily Horoscope – Cancer

Being in sync with someone has upsides and downsides at this time. It’s fun to finish each other’s sentences, say something out loud while the other person is thinking it, and generally ride the same wavelength! On the other hand, it’s easier to act possessive with such a close connection — when you’re particularly coordinated with each other, you may not want to let this person spend time with their other pals without you. Loosen your grip and let them be who they are.

DR – January 20, 2023

Daily Recovery Readings
January 20, 2023


Daily Reflection

“WE PAUSE . . . AND ASK”

“As we go through the day we pause, when agitated or doubtful, and ask for the right thought or action.”

— ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 87

Today I humbly ask my Higher Power for the grace to find the space between my impulse and my action; to let flow a cooling breeze when I would respond with heat; to interrupt fierceness with gentle peace; to accept the moment which allows judgment to become discernment; to defer to silence when my tongue would rush to attack or defend.

I promise to watch for every opportunity to turn toward my Higher Power for guidance. I know where this power is: it resides within me, as clear as a mountain brook, hidden in the hills—it is the unsuspected Inner Resource.

I thank my Higher Power for this world of light and truth I see when I allow it to direct my vision. I trust it today and hope it trusts me to make all effort to find the right thought or action today.


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

In A.A. we’re all through with lying, hangovers, remorse, and wasting money. When we were drinking, we were only half alive. Now that we’re trying to live decent, honest, unselfish lives, we’re really alive. Life has a new meaning for us, so that we can really enjoy it. We feel that we’re some use in the world. We’re on the right side of the fence, instead of on the wrong side. We can look the world in the face instead of hiding in alleys. We come into A.A. to get sober and if we stay long enough, we learn a new way of living. Am I convinced that no matter how much fun I got out of drinking, that life never was as good as the life I can build in A.A.?

Meditation for the Day

I want to be at one with the Divine Spirit of the universe. I will set my deepest affections on things spiritual, not on things material. As a man thinketh, so is he. So I will think of and desire that which will help, not hinder, my spiritual growth. I will try to be at one with God. No human aspiration can reach higher than this.

Prayer for the Day

I pray that I may think love, and love will surround me. I pray that I may think health, and health will come to me.


The Language of Letting Go – Codependency

New Beginnings

Resentments are the blocks that hold us back from loving others and ourselves. Resentments do not punish the other person; they punish us. They become barriers to feeling good and enjoying life. They prevent us from being in harmony with the world. Resentments are hardened chunks of anger. They loosen up and dissolve with forgiveness and letting go.

Letting go of resentments does not mean we allow the other person to do anything to us that he or she wants. It means we accept what happened in the past, and we set boundaries for the future. We can let go of resentments and still have boundaries.

We try to see the good in the person or the good that ultimately evolved from whatever incident we feel resentful about. We try to see our part.

Then we put the incident to rest.

Praying for those we resent helps. Asking God to take our resentments from us helps too.

What better way to begin a New Year than by cleaning the slate of the past, and entering this one free of resentments.

Higher Power, help me become ready to let go of my resentments. Bring any resentment that is hidden within me, and blocking me, to the surface. Show me what I need to do to take care of my self by letting go of resentments, and then help me do that.


Touchstone – Men’s Meditation

How good and how pleasant it is that brothers sit together.

—Psalm 133

Men are lonely and more vulnerable to addictions and codependency when they have no firm friendships with other men. Do we have one or two male friends who truly know us, know what really goes on in our lives, what we feel, and what our doubts are? If we do, these relationships are precious. We need to nourish them. If we do not, we need to find others who might become friends. We begin by taking small steps in the development of a friendship.

The joys of sharing with other men, finding humor in our mutual flaws, and joining in similar interests have no substitutes. Relationships develop when someone reaches out. It is easier for us to do this if we remember our friendship is a gift to someone else. We need friendships with both women and men in order to be whole. But understanding ourselves as men begins with closeness to other men.

I am grateful for precious friendships with men and women in my life. They help me grow. Today, can I strengthen my friendship with another man?


Elder’s Meditation

“The most important thing now is to reveal the inner temple of the soul with right thinking and right activity.”

–Willaru Huayta, QUECHUA NATION, PERU

The key to growing a strong tree is to have a good system of roots and to feed the roots with good medicine. If we put poison in the root system, it will affect the tree, and it will become obvious to the rest of the forest what is being fed to the roots. This is also true of the human being. We need to feed our roots with right thinking. If our thinking is right, it will become obvious to the rest of the people. We don’t need to tell people about ourselves with our mouth because our actions always tell them.


Daily Horoscope – Cancer

A partnership you’re in may require rebalancing at the moment. Even if it began in a good place, you might suddenly realize that you’re doing all the giving while they do all the receiving — or vice versa. Everyone has their role to play, but no one should have to do more than their fair share or receive more than their just rewards. If your peer is ignoring this issue, think about whether or not they’re a person you still want to be tied to.

DR – January 19, 2023

Daily Recovery Readings
January 19, 2023


Daily Reflection

ROUND-THE-CLOCK FAITH

Faith has to work twenty-four hours a day in and through us, or we perish.

— ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 16

The essence of my spirituality, and my sobriety, rests on a round-the-clock faith in a Higher Power. I need to remember and rely on the God of my understanding as I pursue all of my daily activities. How comforting for me is the concept that God works in and through people. As I pause in my day, do I recall specific concrete examples of God’s presence? Am I amazed and uplifted by the number of times this power is evident? I am overwhelmed with gratitude for my God’s presence in my life of recovery. Without this omnipotent force in my every activity, I would again fall into the depths of my disease—and death.


Big Book Quote

“We think it no concern of ours what religious bodies our members identify themselves with as individuals. This should be an entirely personal affair which each one decides for himself in the light of past associations, or his present choice.”

Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, There Is A Solution, pg. 2


24 Hours a Day – The Little Black Book

Thought for the Day

On the foundation of sobriety, we can build a life of honesty, unselfishness, faith in God, and love of our fellow human beings. We’ll never fully reach these goals, but the adventure of building that kind of a life is so much better than the merry-go-round of our old drinking life that there’s no comparison. We come into A.A. to get sober, but if we stay long enough we learn a new way of living. We become honest with ourselves and with other people. We learn to think more about others and less about ourselves. And we learn to rely on the constant help of a Higher Power. Am I living the way of honesty, unselfishness, and faith?

Meditation for the Day

I believe that God had already seen my heart’s needs before I cried to Him, before I was conscious of those needs myself. I believe that God was already preparing the answer. God does not have to be petitioned with sighs and tears and much speaking before He reluctantly looses the desired help. He has already anticipated my every want and need. I will try to see this as His plans unfold in my life.

Prayer for the Day

I pray that I may understand my real wants and needs. I pray that my understanding of those needs and wants may help to bring the answer to them.


The Language of Letting Go – Codependency

Owning Our Power

There is one feeling we need to pay particular attention to in recovery: feeling victimized. We do not need to become comfortable with that feeling.

How do we feel when we’ve been victimized? Helpless. Rageful. Powerless. Frustrated.

Feeling victimized is dangerous. Often, it can prompt us into addictive or other compulsive behaviors.

In recovery, we’re learning to identify when we’re feeling victimized, when we are actually being victimized, and why we’re feeling victimized. We’re learning to own our power, to take care of ourselves, and to remove ourselves as victims.

Sometimes, owning our power means we realize we are victimizing ourselves – and others are not doing anything to hurt us. They are living their lives, as they have a right to, and we are feeling victimized because we’re attempting to control their process or we’re unreasonably expecting them to take care of us. We may feel victimized if we get stuck in a codependent belief such as: Other people make me feel…. Others hold the key to my happiness and destiny…. Or, I can’t be happy unless another behaves in a particular way, or a certain event takes place…

Other times, owning our power means we realize that we are being victimized by another’s behavior. Our boundaries are being invaded. In that case, we figure out what we need to do to take care of ourselves to stop the victimization; we need to set boundaries.

Sometimes, a change of attitude is all that’s required. We are not victims.

We strive to have compassion for the person who victimized us but understand that compassion often comes later, after we’ve removed ourselves as victims in body, mind, and spirit. We also understand that too much compassion can put us right back into the victim slot. Too much pity for a person who is victimizing us may set up a situation where the person can victimize us again.

We try not to force consequences or crises upon another person, but we also do not rescue that person from logical consequences of his or her behavior. If there is a part that is our responsibility to play in delivering those consequences, we do our part – not to control or punish, but to be responsible for ourselves and to others.

We try to figure out what we may be doing that is causing us to feel victimized, or what part we are playing in the system, and we stop doing that too. We are powerless over others and their behavior, but we can own our power to remove ourselves as victims.

Today, I will take responsibility for myself and show it to others by not allowing myself to be victimized, I cannot control outcomes, but I can control my attitude toward being victimized. I am not a victim; I do not deserve to be victimized.


Touchstone – Men’s Meditation

Self-realization is not a matter of withdrawal from a corrupt world or narcissistic contemplation of oneself. An individual becomes a person by enjoying the world and contributing to it.

—Francine Klagsbrun

After we admitted our self-destructive patterns and gave them up, there were many days when we said, “Now what? Is that all there is? I need some answers. How should I live? How can I feel whole? How can I feel like a real person?” These questions may feel too painful to answer. These are among the first spiritual questions we encounter in recovery, and we must not hide or escape from them. They are valuable to us, and we need to follow their urgings.

We are asking these questions as if they were new and unique. But through the centuries many people have asked them too. They found answers we can learn from. They tell us to get engaged with life, take time for reflection, learn to enjoy it where we can, and try to make a contribution.

Today, I will listen to my questions and doubts as urgings from my Higher Power, pushing me to grow. I will be involved in living.


Elder’s Meditation

“Heal yourself – your physical and spiritual bodies. Regenerate yourself with light, and then help those who have poverty of the soul. Return to the inner spirit, which we have abandoned while looking elsewhere for happiness.”

–Willaru Huayta, QUECHUA NATION, PERU

It is difficult to look inside ourselves, especially when we see conflict or confusion. During times of conflict we need to realize that we are talking to ourselves about our thoughts. This conversation is printing in our subconscious and forming our beliefs. During times of conflict we need to ask the spirit to control our self-talk. Only thorough finding that inner place and going there during troubled times will we ever find happiness.

Great Spirit, You are my peace and you dwell within me. Let me look for You within myself.


Daily Horoscope – Cancer

A routine might be getting ahead of you. In the past, you may have started routines in order to improve your life. While you had big ambitions when you started practicing those, changing your whole self at once might be too much, too soon. Make an effort to start one good habit at a time rather than many, so that it will stick more easily. Also, consider taking a break from the schedule and seeing a friend. Not everything has to be on a timetable.

DR – January 18, 2023

Daily Recovery Readings
January 18, 2023


Daily Reflection

WOULD A DRINK HELP?

“By going back in our own drinking histories, we could show that years before we realized it we were out of control, that our drinking even then was no mere habit, that it was indeed the beginning of a fatal progression.”

— TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 23

When I was still drinking, I couldn’t respond to any of life’s situations the way other, more healthy, people could. The smallest incident triggered a state of mind that believed I had to have a drink to numb my feelings. But the numbing did not improve the situation, so I sought further escape in the bottle. Today I must be aware of my alcoholism. I cannot afford to believe that I have gained control of my drinking — or again I will think I have gained control of my life. Such a feeling of control is fatal to my recovery.


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

The new life can’t be built in a day. We have to take the program slowly, a little at a time. Our subconscious minds have to be reeducated. We have to learn to think differently. We have to get used to sober thinking instead of alcoholic thinking. Any one who tries it knows that the old alcoholic thinking is apt to come back on us when we least expect it. Building a new life is a slow process, but it can be done if we really follow the A.A. program. Am I building a new life on the foundation of sobriety?

Meditation for the Day

I will pray daily for faith, for it is God’s gift. On faith alone depends the answer to my prayers. God gives it to me in response to my prayers, because it is a necessary weapon for me to possess for the over coming of all adverse conditions and the accomplishment of all good in my life. Therefore, I will work at strengthening my faith.

Prayer for the Day

I pray that I may so think and live as to feed my faith in God. I pray that my faith may grow because with faith God’s power becomes available to me.


The Language of Letting Go – Codependency

Gratitude

Sometimes in life, things happen too fast. We barely solve one problem when two new problems surface. We’re feeling great in the morning, but we’re submerged in misery by nightfall.

Every day we face interruptions, delays, changes, and challenges. We face personality conflicts and disappointments. Often when we’re feeling overwhelmed, we can’t see the lessons in these experiences.

One simple concept can get us through the most stressful of times. It’s called gratitude. We learn to say, thank you, for these problems and feelings. Thank you for the way things are. I don’t like this experience, but thank you anyway.

Force gratitude until it becomes habitual. Gratitude helps us stop trying to control outcomes. It is the key that unlocks positive energy in our life. It is the alchemy that turns problems into blessings, and the unexpected into gifts.

Today, I will be grateful. I will start the process of turning today’s pain into tomorrow’s joy.


Touchstone – Men’s Meditation

“Communication leads to community – that is, to understanding, intimacy, and mutual valuing.”

—Rollo May

We have all thought, “If I tell the innermost things about myself, I will be rejected or put down.” Most real communication actually creates the opposite of what we fear. In this program, when we lowered our barriers and let our brothers and sisters know us better, they liked us more and our bonds became stronger. Are we concerned today about an intimate relationship? The way to deepen intimacy is to let ourselves be known. When talking about feelings, we need to emphasize those that make us feel most vulnerable.

The other side of communication is listening. In listening, our task is to hear without judgment and without trying to provide an answer or a cure for every pain. To express ourselves to others, to be fully understood, and to know we are understood will lift our hope and self esteem.

Today, I can make contact with people in my life by revealing my feelings to them and listening to what they are saying.


Elder’s Meditation

“Silence is the absolute poise or balance of body, mind and spirit.”

–Charles A. Eastman (Ohiyesa), SANTEE SIOUX

Be still and know. All new learnings, all ideas about new things, creativity, daydreaming and mental effectiveness come to those who learn about silence. All warriors know about the power of silence. All Elders know about stillness. Be still and know God. Meditation is about the place of silence. This is the place to hear God’s voice. We can find tremendous amounts of knowledge in the place of silence. This is the sacred place of God.

Great Spirit, teach me the power of silence.


Daily Horoscope – Cancer

Your normal routine may be frustrating for reasons beyond your control. While trying to go about your day, setbacks might appear in the form of arguments with people that you usually agree with or mishaps that set everything back. You could encounter long commutes with all sorts of complex difficulties that mess up your schedule. To avoid stress, be sure to allow yourself more time than you’d think would be necessary to complete your to-do list. It’s not a race!

DR – January 17, 2023

Daily Recovery Readings
January 17, 2023


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

Creativity comes in all shapes and sizes! A unique creation that you’ve been working on has probably been fulfilling for you, but when you try to show it to someone else who’s important to you, they may scoff or say that they don’t understand what you see in it. While this can be discouraging, your perspective is just as valid as theirs, and your viewpoint on your own works shouldn’t have to change. Don’t let any naysayers like that cloud your sunshine.

DR – January 16, 2023

Daily Recovery Readings
January 16, 2023


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

You’re more prone to openly emotional responses than usual. Others might accuse you of being overdramatic or too sensitive, and saying what you truly feel can lead to being blown off. This reaction to you expressing your true feelings isn’t fair, but some people aren’t willing to acknowledge that your experience is valid. Showing your emotions doesn’t make you a weak person — it simply shows that you’re in touch with your inner life. If you feel it, let it show.

DR – January 15, 2023

Daily Recovery Readings
January 15, 2023


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

Old friends and family may clash with new friends or partners at any moment. This can feel like a game of tug of war — with you being tugged back and forth in the middle! Choosing a side might seem like your only option in such a dramatic atmosphere. Rather than deciding if any specific person is right or wrong, it might be best to let them know they’re both important to you. You’re allowed to stay out of it and avoid seeing them fight.

DR – January 14, 2023

Daily Recovery Readings
January 14, 2023


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

Long-standing relationships could be feeling a little too possessive. You might witness a disagreement between friends and family, or another two people who are close with you. They may fight over you, not in a physical way, but potentially by subtly trying to get you to choose between them. While you can’t be in two places at once, try to find a way to show everyone involved that you care about them equally, and that there’s enough of your love to go around.

DR – January 13, 2023

Daily Recovery Readings
January 13, 2023


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

Family secrets could be about to come to light. The true way that certain family members feel about you, or vice versa, might be blurted out without warning. Learning something that you would have never expected about someone that you’ve known for so long can be jarring, but it should make sense as more information is revealed. Let empathy guide you through this emotional connection and show you how to internalize the new information. Just don’t try to change the other person!

DR – January 12, 2023

Daily Recovery Readings
January 12, 2023


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

You might be afraid to step into your power. Times when others told you that you wouldn’t be successful or overlooked you for leadership positions may have led you to believe that you weren’t able to be a leader. When Mars was turning retrograde through your hidden 12th house, you might have felt like wielding any power was impossible. This is not true! Take stock of everything you’ve overcome in the past and let your successes boost you into the future as a leader.