Daily Recovery Readings
September 16, 2020
WE STAND—OR FALL—TOGETHER
“. . . no society of men and women ever had a more urgent need for continuous effectiveness and permanent unity. We alcoholics see that we must work together and hang together, else most of us will finally die alone.”
— ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 561
Just as the Twelve Steps of A.A. are written in a specific sequence for a reason, so it is with the Twelve Traditions. The First Step and the First Tradition attempt to instill in me enough humility to allow me a chance at survival. Together they are the basic foundation upon which the Steps and Traditions that follow are built. It is a process of ego deflation which allows me to grow as an individual through the Steps, and as a contributing member of a group through the Traditions. Full acceptance of the First Tradition allows me to set aside personal ambitions, fears and anger when they are in conflict with the common good, thus permitting me to work with others for our mutual survival. Without Tradition One I stand little chance of maintaining the unity required to work with others effectively, and I also stand to lose the remaining Traditions, the Fellowship, and my life.
From the book Daily Reflections
Copyright © 1990 by Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc.
Big Book Quote
“If a mere code of morals or a better philosophy of life were sufficient to overcome alcoholism, many of us would have recovered long ago.. But we found that such codes and philosophies did not save us, no matter how much we tried. We could wish to be moral, we could wish to be philosophically comforted, in fact, we could will these things with all our might, but the needed power wasnt there. Our human resources, as marshalled by the will, were not sufficient, they failed utterly.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, We Agnostics, pg. 44~
24 Hours a Day – The Little Black Book
Thought for the Day
Today, let us begin a short study of The Twelve Suggested Steps of A.A. These Twelve Suggested Steps seem to embody five principles. The first step is the membership requirement step. The second, third, and eleventh steps are the spiritual steps of the program. The fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh and tenth steps are the personal inventory steps. The eighth and ninth steps are the restitution steps. The twelfth step is the passing on of the program, or helping others, step. So the five principles are membership requirement, spiritual basis, personal inventory, restitution, and helping others. Have I made all these steps a part of me?
Meditation for the Day
We seem to live not only in time but also in eternity. If we abide with God and He abides with us, we may bring forth spiritual fruit, which will last for eternity. If we live with God, our lives can flow as some calm river through the dry land of earth. It can cause the trees and flowers of the spiritual life – love and service – to spring forth and yield abundantly. Spiritual work may be done for eternity, not just for now. Even here on earth we can live as though our real lives were eternal.
Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may try to make my life like a cool river in a thirsty land. I pray that I may give freely to all who ask my help.
The Language of Letting Go – Codependency
No matter how long we’ve been recovering, no matter how solid our spiritual ground, we may still feel an overwhelming desire at times to punish, or get even, with another person.
We want revenge.
We want to see the other person hurt the way he or she has hurt us. We want to see life deal that person just rewards. In fact, we would like to help life out.
Those are normal feelings, but we do not have to act on them. These feelings are part of our anger but it’s not our job to deal justice.
We can allow ourselves to feel the anger. It is helpful to go one step deeper and let ourselves feel the other feelings – the hurt, the pain, the anguish. But our goal is to release the feelings, and be finished with them.
We can hold the other person accountable. We can hold the other person responsible. But it is not our responsibility to be judge and jury. Actively seeking revenge will not help us. It will block us and hold us back.
Walk away. Stop playing the game. Unhook. Learn your lesson. Thank the other person for having taught you something valuable. And be finished with it. Put it behind, with the lesson intact.
Acceptance helps. So does forgiveness – not the kind that invites that person to use us again, but a forgiveness that releases the other person and sets him or her free to walk a separate path, while releasing our anger and resentments. That sets us free to walk our own path.
Today, I will be as angry as I need to be, with a goal of finishing my business with others. Once I have released my hurt and anger, I will strive for healthy forgiveness – forgiveness with boundaries. I understand that boundaries, coupled with forgiveness and compassion, will move me forward.
Touchstone – Men’s Meditation
Sit loosely in the saddle of life.
—Robert Louis Stevenson
Sitting loosely in the saddle is an image of detachment for us. Detachment doesn’t mean we stop caring. It means we have an inner wisdom telling us what we can control and what we cannot. When we go to meetings and hear fellow members struggling with temptations to return to old behaviors, we need to detach. When family members or friends are engaged in an addiction, we need to sit loosely in the saddle by caring, but not protecting them from the results of their behavior. Sometimes close friends will be “off base” in the way they talk to us. We practice detachment by not being reactive to the person but being responsive to the inner message of what kind of men we wish to be.
We can’t control another person’s behavior toward us. Our inner security will never come from how someone else behaves. The most helpful thing we can do for someone is to listen and care; then we need to be ready to let go of the outcome.
I will accept the limits of my control over others. I will care and let go.
To me, the wisdom the Elders have to manifest is in teaching people how to live in harmony and balance with each other and the Earth.”
–Sun Bear, CHIPPEWA
You cannot give away what you don’t have. You need to give away what you have in order to keep it. Our Elders have lived their lives with a lot of trial and error. They have experienced how to do things well and they have experienced what didn’t work for them as they grew old. They know things about living that we don’t know. So, through the years the Elders have gained wisdom. They usually have a whole different point of view because of all their experiences. There are two ways to learn. Someone tells us what they did and we do the same thing or someone tells us what they did and we choose not to do it. Both of these paths will help us to live.
My Creator, teach me about choices and decisions and consequences. Put an Elder in my life to guide me.
Daily Horoscope – Cancer
You may feel a lot of intense energy coming at you from other people today, and it is up to you to cut through the fat and get to the heart of the matters and the messages. Some of it may be a lot of hot air, without much substance, so try not to let yourself get bogged down with unnecessary drama. Still, amongst the frivolous interactions, there will also be some important ones, so prepare yourself and put your best foot forward to meet them head-on.