DR – May 24, 2022

Daily Recovery Readings
May 24, 2022


Daily Reflection

“HAPPY, JOYOUS, AND FREE”

“We are sure God wants us to be happy, joyous, and free. We cannot subscribe to the belief that this life is a vale of tears, though it once was just that for many of us. But it is clear that we made our own misery. God didn’t do it. Avoid then, the deliberate manufacture of misery, but if trouble comes, cheerfully capitalize it as an opportunity to demonstrate His omnipotence.”

— ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 133

For years I believed in a punishing God and blamed Him for my misery. I have learned that I must lay down the “weapons” of self in order to pick up the “tools” of the A.A. program. I do not struggle with the program because it is a gift and I have never struggled when receiving a gift. If I sometimes keep on struggling, it is because I’m still hanging onto my old ideas and “. . . the results are nil.”

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


Big Book Quote

“When we became alcoholics, crushed by a self-imposed crisis we could not postpone or evade, we had to fearlessly face the proposition that either God is everything or else He is nothing. God either is or He isn’t.”

~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, We Agnostics, pg. 53~


24 Hours a Day – The Little Black Book

Thought for the Day

In twelfth step work, the second thing is confession. By frankly sharing with prospects, we get them talking about their own experiences. They will open up and confess things to us that they haven’t been able to tell other people. And they feel better when this confession has been made. It’s a great load off their minds to get these things out into the open. It’s the things that are kept hidden that weigh on the mind. They feel a sense of release and freedom when they have opened up their hearts to us. Do I care enough about other alcoholics to help them to make a confession?

Meditation of the Day

I should help others all I can. Every troubled soul that God puts in my path is the one for me to help. As I sincerely try to help, a supply of strength will flow into me from God. My circle of helpfulness will widen more and more. God hands out the spiritual food to me and I pass it on to others. I must never say that I have only enough strength for my own need. The more I give away, the more I will keep. That which I keep to myself, I will lose in the end.

Prayer for the Day

I pray that I may have a sincere willingness to give. I pray that I may not hold back the strength I have received for myself alone.


The Language of Letting Go – Codependency

Letting the Cycles Flow

Life is cyclical, not static. Our relationships benefit when we allow them to follow their own natural cycles.

Like the tide ebbs and flows, so do the cycles in relationships. We have periods of closeness and periods of distance. We have times of coming together and times of separating to work on individual issues.

We have times of love and joy, and times of anger.

Sometimes, the dimensions of relationships change as we go through changes. Sometimes, life brings us new friends or a new loved one to teach us the next lesson.

That does not mean the old friend disappears forever. It means we have entered a new cycle.

We do not have to control the course of our relationships, whether these be friendships or love relationships. We do not have to satisfy our need to control by imposing a static form on relationships.

Let it flow. Be open to the cycles. Love will not disappear. The bond between friends will not sever. Things do not remain the same forever, especially when we are growing and changing at such a rapid pace.

Trust the flow. Take care of yourself, but be willing to let people go. Hanging on to them too tightly will make them disappear.

The old adage about love still holds true: If it’s meant to be, it will be. And if you love someone, let them go. If they come back to you, the love is yours.

Today, I accept the cyclical nature of life and relationships. I will strive to go with the flow. I will strive for harmony with my own needs and the needs of the other person.


Touchstone – Men’s Meditation

Edith Bunker: I was just thinking. In all the years we been married, you never once said you was sorry.
Archie Bunker: Edith, I’ll gladly say that I’m sorry – if I ever do anything wrong.

—Norman Lear

We can laugh at Archie because we see a part of ourselves in him. We have lived in a cloud of denial, blind to our faults. If we weren’t actually blind to them, perhaps we just refused to admit them because we did not dare. Changing this pattern takes time and determination. We make progress in recovery when we stop focusing on what is wrong with others and start being accountable for ourselves. We grow when we are willing to amend our lives and accept forgiveness for our mistakes.

A feeling of self-respect flows into us when we stand up and say “I did something wrong.” This statement also says, “I have the strength to face my responsibilities and repair my mistakes.” It is surprisingly helpful to our self-esteem, and it improves our relationships.

Today, I will be accountable for my actions and will admit my mistakes.


Elder’s Meditation

“…in Tunkashila, there is no time. Everything moves in the blink of an eye. It’s as fast as thought. So there is no speed there. There is no time in between.”

–Wallace Black Elk, LAKOTA

There is a relationship between thought and reality. Every thought is alive, and as soon as you think it, a result occurs immediately. However, to make something happen it may take a series of one thousand thoughts before you can actually see it with your eyes. This occurs because the Laws of the Great Spirit act immediately. When you tell a lie, you immediately experience fear. When you tell the truth, you immediately experience freedom. To the Creator, there is no time. For us to experience the meaning of this requires us to act on faith. Faith is belief without evidence.


Daily Horoscope – Cancer

You could become emotional in defense of your beliefs today. Before you lash out against someone who seems to be threatening them, try to stop and think about what your most significant goals are. As assertive Mars enters your 10th House of Leadership starting today, you may be able to take lasting action that accomplishes something truly important to you. This might include bringing your ideals into reality in some way. In the meantime, don’t waste your effort on people who aren’t worth it!

DR – May 23, 2022

Daily Recovery Readings
May 23, 2022


Daily Reflection

SPIRITUAL HEALTH

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

— ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 64

It is very difficult for me to come to terms with my spiritual illness because of my great pride, disguised by my material successes and my intellectual power. Intelligence is not incompatible with humility, provided I place humility first. To seek prestige and wealth is the ultimate goal for many in the modern world. To be fashionable and to seem better than I really am is a spiritual illness.

To recognize and to admit my weaknesses is the beginning of good spiritual health. It is a sign of spiritual health to be able to ask God every day to enlighten me, to recognize His will, and to have the strength to execute it. My spiritual health is excellent when I realize that the better I get, the more I discover how much help I need from others.

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


Big Book Quote

“First of all, we had to quit playing God. It didn’t work.”

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


24 Hours a Day – The Little Black Book

Thought for the Day

The Twelfth Step of A.A., working with others, can be subdivided into five parts, five words beginning with the letter C confidence, confession, conviction, con version, and continuance. The first thing in trying to help other alcoholics is to get their confidence. We do this by telling them our own experiences with drinking, so that they see that we know what we’re talking about. If we share our experiences frankly, they will know that we are sincerely trying to help them. They will realize that they’re not alone and that others have had experiences as bad or worse than theirs. This gives them confidence that they can be helped. Do I care enough about other alcoholics to get their confidence?

Meditation for the Day

I fail not so much when tragedy happens as I did be fore the happening, by all the little things I might have done, but did not do. I must prepare for the future by doing the right thing at the right time now. If a thing should be done, I should deal with that thing today and get it righted with God before I allow myself to undertake any new duty. I should look upon myself as performing God’s errands and then coming back to Him to tell Him in quiet communion that the message has been delivered or the task done.

Prayer for the Day

I pray that I may seek no credit for the results of what I do. I pray that I may leave the outcome of my actions to God.


The Language of Letting Go – Codependency

Enjoyment

Life is not to be endured; life is to be enjoyed and embraced.

The belief that we must square our shoulders and get through a meager, deprived existence for far off rewards in Heaven is a codependent belief.

Yes, most of us still have times when life will be stressful and challenge our endurance skills. But in recovery, we’re learning to live, to enjoy our life, and handle situations as they come.

Our survival skills have served us well. They have gotten us through difficult times – as children and adults. Our ability to freeze feelings, deny problems, deprive ourselves, and cope with stress has helped us get where we are today. But we’re safe now. We’re learning to do more than survive. We can let go of unhealthy survival behaviors. We’re learning new, better ways to protect and care for ourselves. We’re free to feel our feelings, identify and solve problems, and give ourselves the best. We’re free to open up and come alive.

Today, I will let go of my unhealthy endurance and survival skills. I will choose a new mode of living, one that allows me to be alive and enjoy the adventure.


Touchstone – Men’s Meditation

“You see, I just can’t stop! Or tie myself to any one. I have affairs that last as long as a year, a year and a half, months and months of love, both tender and voluptuous, but in the end – it is as inevitable as death – time marches on and lust peters out.”

—Philip Roth

Fears of intimacy, of learning about ourselves in a committed relationship, have kept many of us lonely. Focusing on the need for a sexual high helps us avoid the intimacy we fear. Whether we are in a long-term relationship or not, thinking that sex is love limits our chances for a comfortable intimacy. Sex is an expression of an intimacy that already exists, rather than a way to become intimate.

Many of us fear closeness beyond the romantic stage. Others of us have pursued closeness, but when we met our own emptiness we said that wasn’t the right person for us and ran in search of another excitement. The problem for us isn’t the choice between singleness and marriage, but between letting someone truly know us or not.

I will set aside my fears and learn the pleasure of intimacy.


Elder’s Meditation

“To me, if you’re Indian, you’re Indian. You don’t have to put on your buckskin, beads, and feathers, and stuff like that.”

–Cecilia Mitchell, MOHAWK

The most important thing that determines who we are is on our insides, not our outsides. If we are Indian inside, that’s all that matters. Being Indian means to think right, to be spiritual, and to pray. Feathers and beads don’t make us Indian. Being Indian means to have a good heart and a good mind.

Great Spirit, today, let me think Indian.


Daily Horoscope – Cancer

Solving a mystery in your career may be necessary today. As the focused Sun in your 12th House of Secrets sextiles prominent Jupiter in your professional 10th house, successfully clarifying issues can bring you recognition and rewards. Ask around widely, because you probably know someone who knows something. Though your strategy of trying to see the big picture of the situation might help you, it could also hold you back if you get attached to an assumption that’s incorrect. Remain open to different perspectives.

DR – May 22, 2022

Daily Recovery Readings
May 22, 2022


Daily Reflection

STEP ONE

“WE . . .” (The first word of the First Step)

— TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 21

When I was drinking all I could ever think about was “I, I, I,” or “Me, Me, Me.” Such painful obsession of self, such soul sickness, such spiritual selfishness bound me to the bottle for more than half my life.

The journey to find God and to do His will one day at a time began with the first word of the First Step . . . “We.” There was power in numbers, there was strength in numbers, there was safety in numbers, and for an alcoholic like me, there was life in numbers. If I had tried to recover alone I probably would have died. With God and another alcoholic I have a divine purpose in my life . . . I have become a channel for God’s healing love.

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


Big Book Quote

“When we drew near to Him He disclosed Himself to us!”

~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, We Agnostics, pg. 57~


24 Hours a Day – The Little Black Book

Thought for the Day

What impresses us most at an A.A. meeting is the willingness to share, without holding anything back. And pretty soon we find ourselves sharing also. We start telling our own experiences and by so doing we help the other person. And when we’ve got these things off our chest, we feel a lot better. It does us a lot of good to share with some other poor unfortunate person who’s in the same box that we were in. And the more we share, the more we have left for ourselves. Do I know that the more I share, the better chance I’ll have to stay sober?

Meditation for the Day

Constantly claim God’s strength. Once convinced of the right of a course of action, once reasonably sure of God’s guidance, claim that strength now. You can claim all the strength you need to meet any situation. You can claim a new supply when your own supply is exhausted. You have a right to claim it and you should use your right. A beggar supplicates, a son appropriates. When you supplicate, you are often kept waiting, but when you appropriate God’s strength in a good cause, you have it at once.

Prayer for the Day

I pray that I may claim God’s strength whenever I need it. I pray that I may try to live as a child of God.


The Language of Letting Go – Codependency

Times of Reprogramming

Do not ask for love unless you’re ready to be healed enough to give and receive love.

Do not ask for joy unless you’re ready to feel and release your pain, so you can feel joy.

Do not ask for success unless you’re ready to conquer the behaviors that would sabotage success.

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could imagine ourselves having or becoming – and then immediately receiving – what we wanted? We can have and be the good things we want. All good things are ours for the asking. But first, groundwork – preparation work – must be done.

A gardener would not plant seeds unless the ground was adequately prepared to nurture and nourish those seeds. The planting would be wasted effort. It would be wasted effort for us to get what we wanted before we were ready.

First, we need to become aware of our need or desire. This may not be easy! Many of us have become accustomed to shutting off the inner voice of our wants, needs, and desires. Sometimes, life has to work hard to get our attention.

Next we let go of the old programming: the behavior and beliefs that interfere with nurturing and nourishing the good. Many of us have strong sabotaging programs, learned from childhood, that need to be released. We may need to act as if for a while until the belief that we deserve the good becomes real.

We combine this process with much letting go, while we are being changed at the core.

There is naturalness to this process, but it can be intense. Things take time.

Good things are ours for the asking, if we are willing to participate in the work of groundbreaking. Work and wait.

Today, God, give me the courage to identify the good I want in my life and to ask for it. Give me also the faith and stamina I need to go through the work that must be accomplished first.


Touchstone – Men’s Meditation

‘If you do not express your own original ideas, if you do not listen to your own being, you will have betrayed yourself.”

—Rollo May

Those of us who go around trying to be right and do everything right are likely to betray ourselves. We stifle our impulses and control our intuition because we can’t be certain that we are correct. As a spiritual exercise, we could stop now and listen to our inner selves and state our own ideas. What comes out may break the illusion of perfection and free us to proceed with life.

We all have original ideas if we just notice them. What images come to mind while listening to music? What do our dreams tell us? New insights sometimes come by physical activity. Conversation with a friend can help lead us to our wisdom. Our growing strength as recovering men requires that we listen to our own messages and then take some risks to express them.

Today, I will take risks by stating my ideas. I will stand up for myself by listening to my intuition.


Elder’s Meditation

“The earth was created by the assistance of the sun, and it should be left as it was… The country was made without lines of demarcation, and it is no man’s business to divide it…”

–Chief Joseph, NEZ PERCE

There is danger when we start to draw lines and boundaries. This is true whether outside ourselves or inside ourselves. The danger is losing sight of the interconnectedness. When we lose sight of interconnectedness, separation, possessiveness (this is mine, I can do what I want) and infighting results. Even at an individual level, if we don’t believe we are connected to all things we get self-centered and have self-seeking motives. We must think in harmony, balance and integrity. We must see our relationship to the great whole and conduct ourselves accordingly.

Great Spirit, today, let me think beyond boundaries.


Daily Horoscope – Cancer

A conflict between your beliefs about how the world is supposed to function and your actual personal experiences could be upsetting for you right now. Discussing this discrepancy with your friends might reveal that you’re not the only one dealing with this particular challenge — and reducing your feelings of isolation may solve the hardest part of your problem. Once you know you’re all on the same page, you can work together to find a more effective way of looking at things..

DR – May 18, 2022

Daily Recovery Readings
May 18, 2022


Daily Reflection

FREEDOM TO BE ME

“If we are painstaking about this phase of our development, we will be amazed before we are half way through. We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness.”

— ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 83

My first true freedom is the freedom not to have to take a drink today. If I truly want it, I will work the Twelve Steps and the happiness of this freedom will come to me through the Steps – sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly. Other freedoms will follow, and inventorying them is a new happiness. I had a new freedom today, the freedom to be me. I have the freedom to be the best me I have ever been.

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


Big Book Quote

“We have found much of heaven and we have been rocketed into a fourth dimension of existence of which we had not even dreamed.”

~Alcoholics Anonymous, 3rd Edition, There Is A Solution, pg. 25~


24 Hours a Day – The Little Black Book

Thought for the Day

We’re in A.A. for two main reasons: to keep sober ourselves and to help others to keep sober. It’s a well-known fact that helping others is a big part of keeping sober yourself. It’s also been proved that it’s very hard to keep sober all by yourself. A lot of people have tried it and failed. They come to a few A.A. meetings and then stay sober alone for a few months, but usually they eventually get drunk. Do I know that I can’t stay sober successfully alone?

Meditation for the Day

Look by faith into that place beyond space or time where God dwells and whence you came and to which you shall eventually return. “Look unto Him and be saved.” To look beyond material things is within the power of everyone’s imagination. Faiths look saves you from despair. Faith’s look saves you from worry and care. Faith’s look brings a peace beyond all understanding. Faith’s look brings you all the strength you need. Faith’s look gives you a new and vital power and a wonderful peace and serenity.

Prayer for the Day

I pray that I may have faith’s look. I pray that by faith I may look beyond the now to eternal life.


The Language of Letting Go – Codependency

Don’t stop living your life!

So often, when a problem occurs, inside or around us, we revert to thinking that if we put our life on hold we can positively contribute to the solution. If a relationship isn’t working, if we face a difficult decision, if we’re feeling depressed, we may put our life on hold and torment ourselves with obsessive thoughts.

Abandoning our life or routines contributes to the problem and delays us from finding the solution.

Frequently, the solution comes when we let go enough to live our life, return to our routine, and stop obsessing about the problem.

Sometimes, even if we don’t feel like we have let go or can let go, we can act as if we have, and that will help bring about the letting go we desire.

You don’t have to give up your power to problems. You can take your focus off your problem and direct it to your life, trusting that doing so will bring you closer to a solution.

Today, I will go on living my life and tending to my routine. I will decide, as often as I need to, to stop obsessing about whatever is bothering me. If I don’t feel like letting go of a particular thing, I will act as if I have let go of it until my feelings match my behavior.


Touchstone – Men’s Meditation

“One should learn to enjoy the neighbor’s garden, however small; the roses straggling over the fence, the scent of lilacs drifting across the road.”

—Henry Van Dyke

There are many gifts around us which we overlook when we’re busy dealing with our anxieties and obligations. We talk about burning out from our high-intensity lifestyles. We act as though nothing would get done if we didn’t do it ourselves. We get so engrossed in fighting with the frustrations of life that we fail to see the good things coming our way that took no effort on our part.

As we look around us this very moment, what good things do we find? Has a friend given a warm hello? Is the sun shining? The rain falling? Has the traffic flowed smoothly? We have no claim on these generous events, and we can’t say God smiles on us when we have them or He frowns when we don’t. We can say there are always generous forces coming our way, which comfort and heal us. We only need to take time to enjoy them.

Today, I will take some quiet moments to notice the good things coming my way. I will be grateful for them.


Elder’s Meditation

“…Grandmother the Earth. That power is here all the time. It is continuous, and nobody controls it.”

–Wallace Black Elk, LAKOTA

There are certain powers that the human being has no choice but to obey. We cannot negotiate or barter with this power. Our choice is either to conform or to live out of harmony. Whatever our choice, it will be the end result in our lives that we notice. So it is with the powers of the Earth which produce life. The Earth has the life force power. If anyone plants a seed, the seed will grow. The Earth treats everyone equally. The human cannot interfere, only obey. We should all show great respect for the Earth and Her powers.

Great Spirit, today, let me honor and respect the power of the Grandmother, the Earth.


Daily Horoscope – Cancer

You may really idealize anyone who seems more intelligent or cultured than you think you are right now. There’s no need to sell yourself short. Instead of putting another person on a pedestal, try to cultivate a balanced relationship with them, where you both can grow and explore together. Even if you haven’t achieved all of your travel or educational goals yet, take stock of what you have learned over the course of your life. You probably have more to offer than you think!

DR – May 17, 2022

Daily Recovery Readings
May 17, 2022


Daily Reflection

. . . AND FORGIVE

“Under very trying conditions I have had, again and again, to forgive others – also myself.” — AS BILL SEES IT, p. 268

Forgiveness of self and forgiveness of others are just two currents in the same river, both hindered or shut off completely by the dam of resentment. Once that dam is lifted, both currents can flow. The Steps of A.A. allow me to see how resentment has built up and subsequently blocked off this flow in my life. The Steps provide a way by which my resentments may – by the grace of God as I understand Him – be lifted. It is as a result of this solution that I can find the necessary grace which enables me to forgive myself and others.

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


Big Book Quote

“The spiritual life is not a theory. We have to live it.”

~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, Into Action, pg. 83~


24 Hours a Day – The Little Black Book

Thought for the Day

A lot of well meaning people treat an alcoholic like the priest and the Levite. They pass by on the other side by scorning him and telling him what a low person he is, with no willpower. Whereas, he really has fallen for alcohol, in the same way as the man in the story fell among robbers. And the member of A.A. who is working with others is like the Good Samaritan. Am I moved with compassion? Do I take care of another alcoholic whenever I can?

Meditation for the Day

I must constantly live in preparation for something better to come. All of life is a preparation for some thing better. I must anticipate the morning to come. I must feel, in the night of sorrow, that understanding joy that tells of confident expectation of better things to come. “Sorrow may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.” Know that God has something better in store for you, as long as you are making yourself ready for it. All your existence in this world is a training for a better life to come.

Prayer for the Day

I pray that when life is over, I will return to an eternal, spaceless life with God. I pray that I may make this life a preparation for a better life to come.


The Language of Letting Go – Codependency

Boundaries

Sometimes, life and people seem to push and push. Because we are so used to pain, we may tell ourselves it doesn’t hurt. Because we are so used to people controlling and manipulating us, we may tell ourselves there is something wrong with us.

There’s nothing wrong with us. Life is pushing and hurting to get our attention. Sometimes, the pain and pushing are pointing toward a lesson. The lesson may be that we’ve become too controlling. Or maybe we’re being pushed to own our power to take care of ourselves. The issue is boundaries.

If something or somebody is pushing us to our limit, that’s exactly what’s happening: we’re being pushed to our limits. We can be grateful for the lesson that’s here to help us explore and set our boundaries.

Today, I will give myself permission to set the limits I want and need to set in my life.


Touchstone – Men’s Meditation

“What sort of God would it be who only pushed from without?”

—Goethe

Oh, we hate to be pushed! We get upset and angry when someone is pushing on us. What man likes it? Sometimes God does pushing, and it takes a while for us to realize it is God’s pressure on us that we feel. Our natural reaction is to resist and push back.

When we keep getting headaches or stomachaches, maybe we should listen for the message. An unsettled feeling in our lives about women, money, health, work, or something else may carry a message for us. God might be pushing from within. In this program we try to develop our ability to hear God’s will for us. Sometimes a problem is, in fact, a spiritual message. When we stop resisting and start listening, we soon grow wiser and stronger.

God, your message is not always clear to me. Today, I will try to put aside my own habit of pushing back so I can have a clearer mind to receive it.


Elder’s Meditation

“If the Great Spirit wanted men to stay in one place He would make the world stand still; but He made it to always change…”

–Chief Flying Hawk, OGLALA SIOUX

The Elders tell us change occurs in two directions. They say, “That which is built is constantly being destroyed; that which is loose is being used to build the new.” In other words, change is constantly going on. Many times we hear people say, “I hate change.” Does it make sense that the Great Spirit would design people to hate it? The Great Spirit designed people with change abilities such as visioning, imagery and imagination. Maybe we need to learn to use these tools and then we’ll look forward to change.

Great Spirit, today, let me see the harmony of Yours, truly changing world.


Daily Horoscope – Cancer

Your basic routines could bring up something significant today. Perhaps you’ll see how the effort you put in toward your responsibilities every day leads you to your larger goals, professional or otherwise. Your biggest challenge might be keeping your idea of what success should look like from blocking the way of something that actually works. Though you may worry about judgment from your peers, keep in mind that they probably don’t know the whole story. Focus on what gets results!

DR – May 16, 2022

Daily Recovery Readings
May 16, 2022


Daily Reflection

WE FORGIVE . . .

“Often it was while working on this Step with our sponsors or spiritual advisers that we first felt truly able to forgive others, no matter how deeply we felt they had wronged us. Our moral inventory had persuaded us that all-round forgiveness was desirable, but it was only when we resolutely tackled Step Five that we inwardly knew we’d be able to receive forgiveness and give it, too.”

— TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 58

What a great feeling forgiveness is! What a revelation about my emotional, psychological and spiritual nature. All it takes is willingness to forgive; God will do the rest.

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


Big Book Quote

“Resentment is the “number one” offender. It destroys more alcoholics than anything else.”

~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, How It Works, pg. 64~


24 Hours a Day – The Little Black Book

Thought for the Day

In the story of the Good Samaritan, the wayfarer fell among robbers and was left lying in the gutter, half dead. And a priest and a Levite both passed by on the other side of the road. But the Good Samaritan was moved with compassion and came to him and bound up his wounds and brought him to an inn and took care of him. Do I treat another alcoholic like the priest and the Levite or like the Good Samaritan?

Meditation for the Day

Never weary in prayer. When one day you see how unexpectedly your prayer has been answered, then you will deeply regret that you have prayed so little. Prayer changes things for you. Practice praying until your trust in God has become strong. And then pray on, because it has become so much a habit that you need it daily. Keep praying until prayer seems to be come communion with God. That is the note on which true times of prayer should end.

Prayer for the Day

I pray that I may form the habit of daily prayer. I pray that I may find the strength I need, as a result of this communion.


The Language of Letting Go – Codependency

Self Love

“I woke up this morning and I had a hard time for a while,” said one recovering man. “Then I realized it was because I wasn’t liking myself very much.” Recovering people often say: I just don’t like myself. When will I start liking myself?

The answer is: start now. We can learn to be gentle, loving, and nurturing with ourselves. Of all the recovery behaviors we’re striving to attain, loving ourselves may be the most difficult, and the most important. If we are habitually harsh and critical toward ourselves, learning to be gentle with ourselves may require dedicated effort.

But what a valuable venture!

By not liking ourselves, we may be perpetuating the discounting, neglect, or abuse we received in childhood from the important people in our life. We didn’t like what happened then, but find ourselves copying those who mistreated us by treating ourselves poorly.

We can stop the pattern. We can begin giving ourselves the loving, respectful treatment we deserve.

Instead of criticizing ourselves, we can tell ourselves we performed well enough.

We can wake up in the morning and tell ourselves we deserve a good day.

We can make a commitment to take good care of ourselves throughout the day.

We can recognize that were deserving of love. We can do loving things for ourselves.

We can love other people and let them love us.

People, who truly love themselves do not become destructively self-centered. They do not abuse others. They do not stop growing and changing. People who love themselves well, learn to love others well too. They continually grow into healthier people, learning that their love was appropriately placed.

Today, I will love myself. If I get caught in the old pattern of not liking myself, I will find a way to get out.


Touchstone – Men’s Meditation

“The work will teach you how to do it.”

—Estonian proverb

We learn this spiritual program as we learned to ride a bike or to swim. We could never get it from reading a book. We only learn it by doing it and by following the example of others. As we first entered the program, we may have thought, “Oh I understand this. In twelve meetings I’ll have it licked.”

Many men have had difficulty trusting, so we try to understand everything before we get involved in it. But as long as we try to figure it out first, we remain on the outside looking in. Doing the practical things in this program – taking inventories and making amends, praying for guidance from our Higher Power, carrying the message to others, selecting a sponsor, will teach us the essentials for spiritual recovery.

Today, I will take the risk of learning by living the spiritual life.


Elder’s Meditation

“It’s time. If you are to walk the path of heart, then it is time…”

–Nippawanock, ARAPAHOE

If not now, when? If not me, who? To walk the path of the heart is a great honor. Every human has the choice to walk this path, but very few will decide to make it. Why? Well, because you can’t act and behave like everyone else behaves. You must be the person who will learn to look within. You must be the person who will be fully accountable for yourself. You must be the person who prays and meditates. You must be the person who will sacrifice. You must decide to be a Peaceful Warrior. What will you decide today?

Oh, Great Mystery, lead me on the path of the heart.


Daily Horoscope – Cancer

You can go viral on social media today, but whether that’s a good or bad thing is up to you. Though you may want to portray a stable image, your more intense side could show up at any moment. Perhaps you’ll say something important and resonate with a lot of people that way. However, it’s also possible that a secret of yours will be revealed. Whatever your controversy is, taking ownership of it should dissolve any drama more effectively than trying to hide it would.

DR – May 15, 2022

Daily Recovery Readings
May 15, 2022


Daily Reflection

KNOW GOD; KNOW PEACE

“It is plain that a life which includes deep resentment leads only to futility and unhappiness. . . . But with the alcoholic, whose hope is the maintenance and growth of a spiritual experience, this business of resentment is infinitely grave.”

— ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 66

Know God;
Know peace.
No God;
No peace.

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


Big Book Quote

“Simple, but not easy; a price had to be paid. It meant destruction of self-centeredness. I must turn in all things to the Father of Light who presides over us all.”

~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, Bill’s Story, pg. 14~


24 Hours a Day – The Little Black Book

Thought for the Day

In A.A. we find a new strength and peace from the realization that there must be a Power greater than ourselves that is running the universe and that is on our side when we live a good life. So the A.A. program really never ends. You begin by over coming drink and you go on from there to many new opportunities for happiness and usefulness. Am I really enjoying the full benefits of A.A.?

Meditation for the Day

“Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you.” We should not seek material things first, but seek spiritual things first and material things will come to us, as we honestly work for them. Many people seek material things first and think they can then grow into knowledge of spiritual things. You cannot serve God and Mammon at the same time. The first requisites of an abundant life are the spiritual things: honesty, purity, unselfishness, and love. Until you have these qualities, quantities of material things are of little real use to you.

Prayer for the Day

I pray that I may put much effort into acquiring spiritual things. I pray that I may not expect good things until I am right spiritually.


The Language of Letting Go – Codependency

Taking Risks

Take a risk. Take a chance.

We do not have to indulge in obviously foolhardy or self-defeating risks, but we can allow ourselves to take positive risks in recovery. We cannot afford to keep ourselves paralyzed.

We do not have to keep ourselves stymied and trapped out of fear of making a mistake or failing. Naturally, we will make mistakes and fail from time to time. That’s part of being fully alive. There are no guarantees. If we are waiting for guaranteed courses of action, we may spend much of our life waiting.

We do not have to shame ourselves or accept shame from anyone else, even those in recovery, for making mistakes. The goal of recovery is not to live life perfectly. The goal of recovery is to live, learn our lessons, and make overall progress.

Take a risk. Do not always wait for a guarantee. We don’t have to listen to “I told you so.” Dust yourself off after a mistake, and then move on to the success.

God, help me begin to take healthy risks. Help me let go of my fear of failure, and help me let go of my fear of success. Help me let go of my fear of fully living my life, and help me start experiencing all parts of this journey.


Touchstone – Men’s Meditation

“If you can’t fight and you can’t flee, flow.”

—Robert Eliot

Too often, we men have lived with a single answer to every situation: win. We saw our friendships in competitive terms, so we couldn’t let our guard down. We looked at life as a challenge to be conquered rather than something to be enjoyed. Therefore, our first impulse was to fight and come out a winner. Many of us have played life like a game with only winners and losers, and we have neglected the deeper meaning in our experiences. Living that way, many of us have felt like losers.

We all experience moments when a situation is much more powerful than we are. Those moments feel like defeat unless we allow them to open a whole new viewpoint on our lives. When we can flow with a situation, which will have its own way anyhow, we have become more mature men. We can breathe a sigh of relief because much of the tension in our lives is reduced when we stop trying to conquer every moment and instead simply flow with it.

Today, I will practice playing a new game of flowing and thereby deepen my awareness of life.


Elder’s Meditation

“We must have respect and understanding for women and all female life on this Earth which bears the sacred gift of life.”

–Traditional Circle of Elders. ONONDAGA

At a gathering of Native Elders we were told that many men of today had lost their ability to look at the Woman in a sacred way. They said we were only looking at Her in a physical sense and had lost the ability to look at Her sacredness. They said the Woman has a powerful position in the Unseen World. She has the special ability to bring forth life. They told us to start showing Her respect and to look upon her in a sacred manner. We must start this today.

Grandfather, show me how to see in a sacred way.


Daily Horoscope – Cancer

Your friends might encourage you to try something that scares you today. As recognition-focused Venus meets awkward Chiron in your 10th House of Status, you may worry that declining their request will hurt your reputation. While you could have to acknowledge that getting out of your comfort zone is sometimes good for your personal growth, perhaps your most significant opportunity at the moment is to clarify your own boundaries. Whatever you choose to do, do it for yourself — not your friends.

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!

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.