Saturday, May 31, 2014

Daily Recovery Readings: May 31st

Recovery Meditations: May 31st


“Men at some time are masters of their fates.”
William Shakespeare

Our early days in OA can be compared to being a passenger on the Titanic. As we took our beloved and wonderfully-powerful first three steps, we were taking a voyage. In Step One we realized we were on the Titanic and that we were doomed. In Step Two we spotted a lifeboat. And in Step Three we took our seats in the lifeboat.

My voyage began with Step One when I realized the connection between the weight I was carrying and some health issues I had last year. I had developed "pitting edema" in both ankles. That was a sign of congestive heart failure. I was on the Titanic! In addition to my physical health condition, I discovered that my inner-health was also challenged. I had lived my life filled with resentments and negative thinking which ate at my very being. I had lost much of my spiritual strength and was in need of spiritual renewal. I was indeed a passenger on my own personal Titanic.

My voyage continued with Step Two. I can't even remember how I found The Recovery Group online, but I know that my Higher Power must have brought me here. Though I didn't believe at that time what the fellowship said in the meetings, I "acted as if" I believed my Higher Power could relieve me of these horrible compulsions to overeat and to live in resentment and negativity. That was all it took. I had spotted the lifeboat and was "acting as if" I believed it had come for me.

I was being changed. My early days of abstinence were difficult, but achievable. I had gotten into the lifeboat. I will always remember where I was when I suddenly realized that God had relieved me of the compulsion to eat between meals and at night. That realization had a huge impact on me. That day I took my seat on the lifeboat. I have been blessed with so much recovery. The ride I am on in this lifeboat isn't a free ride; it requires that I work this program on a daily basis. But when I consider the alternative, I love the ride I am on and I truly cherish the passengers with whom I am sharing this boat!

One day at a time...
I will cherish the lifeboat that this program has given me.

~ Karen A.


Each Day a New Beginning
That reality of life and living - movement from one place to another either in a project or in a state of mind - does not conform with what we imagine or expect or think we deserve so we often leave things hanging unfinished or unstarted.
--Sandra Edwards

Being dissatisfied, discontented, with the experiences life gives us forever hampers our growth. Reality is not our bane but our gift. The particular reality perceived by any one of us is of special significance because in that reality are our lessons - the very lessons that will awaken us to the awareness that what life offers is just what we deserve, and more.

It's our interpretation of life's realities that is at fault. But as we grow, spiritually, the clouds will disappear. We'll come to understand the interplay between our realities. And we'll willingly move ahead, fulfilling our part in life's bigger picture.

Sometimes all I can do is trust that all is well, even though it's not as I had hoped. On bad days I need only to reflect on the past to know that I am moving in the right direction 

From Each Day a New Beginning: Daily Meditations for Women by Karen Casey © 1982, 1991 by Hazelden Foundation. 


Food for Thought
Friends Are For Helping
Now that we have found our place in a fellowship of sympathetic friends, we no longer need to be lonely. We have friends who understand us, even though we may only know their first names. Since we are all compulsive overeaters, we share similar experiences and feelings.

Reaching out to others in the program helps us to better understand and accept ourselves. The new life OA gives us needs to be shared in order to be kept. Calling newcomers, sharing transportation, keeping in touch with someone who is having trouble - these contacts strengthen our defenses against old habits and prevent us from slipping back into loneliness. The friends we make through OA are related to us by a deep spiritual bond.

When we are in trouble, we should not be too proud to ask for help. We cannot control this disease by ourselves. Our phone call to another member in time of difficulty is not an imposition but another link in the chain of mutual support.

May I be a giver and receiver of help and friendship. 

From Food for Thought: Daily Meditations for Overeaters by Elisabeth L. ©1980, 1992 by Hazelden Foundation.


The Language of Letting Go
What If?

I was talking to a friend one day about something I planned to do. Actually, I was worrying about how one particular person might react to what I intended to do.

"What if he doesn't handle it very well?" I asked.

"Then," my friend replied, "you're going to have to handle it well."

What if's can make us crazy. They put control over our life in someone else's hands. What if's are a sign that we have reverted to thinking that people have to react in a particular way for us to continue on our course.

What if's are also a clue that we may be wondering whether we can trust ourselves and our Higher Power to do what's best for us. These are shreds of codependent ways of thinking, feeling, and behaving, and they signal fear.

The reactions, feelings, likes or dislikes of others don't have to control our behaviors, feelings, and direction. We don't need to control how others react to our choices. We can trust ourselves, with help from a Higher Power, to handle any outcome - even the most uncomfortable. And, my friend, we can trust ourselves to handle it well.

Today, I will not worry about other people's reactions or events outside of my control. Instead, I will focus on my reactions. I will handle my life well today and trust that, tomorrow, I can do the same. 

From The Language of Letting Go by Melody Beattie ©1990, Hazelden Foundation.


Today's thought from Hazelden is:

If one is going to be truthful, one has to be very tender.
--Florida Scott-Maxwell

Honesty is always the best policy, right? We glibly recite that saying, but it's important to reevaluate its meaning when we are eager to correct or direct the actions of the other people. If being honest will unnecessarily harm them, perhaps being silent is better.

The program is helping us restructure our lives. We discover that many former, automatic responses no longer fit who we desire to be. That means we have to try new, less-practiced behaviors, such as being honest without being harsh or critical.

Learning tenderness is possible. With the help of this program and one another, we are learning to express the acceptance and love that have been given to us by our Higher Power. Giving away what we have been given is sharing the truth absolutely.

I will not hurt anyone today by any comment. I will truthfully share the love and acceptance I have been given.

You are reading from the book:

Friday, May 30, 2014

Daily Recovery Readings: May 30th

Recovery Meditations: May 30th


“A person can run for years but sooner or later
he has to take a stand in the place which, for better or worse,
he calls home, do what he can to change things there.”
Paule Marshall

I’ve been running for most of my life. I was in a hurry to grow up. As a kid, all I wanted was to grow up and move out. I was so sick of everything and everyone in my life. I didn't want to be told what to do. I wanted to be able to call the shots. Then, when I grew up, I wanted to be a kid again. I wanted people to tell me what to do and to take care of me. When I was calling the shots, I found myself in bars and eating out all the time because I didn’t want to go to the grocery store or cook. The only foods I kept in my studio apartment were binge foods. I lived in a very urban area and could very easily walk to fast food or to convenience stores. I didn't know what home meant. When I’m running, I get out of breath, my body hurts, my soul hurts, and I have no space for my Higher Power to guide me. I run laps in the same place, expecting to feel better, but never feeling better.

As a relative newcomer to program, I have made a conscious choice to stop. I turned it over to my Higher Power and asked for guidance in finding home and staying there. Now, as I am standing in place, I find that my home is my Higher Power. Standing in place, I've found that the world isn't as adverse as I'd perceived it to be. I can actually see the beauty in the world around me and feel nurtured by the feeling of home.

One day at a time...
Today I can stand in place and look around. I can be aware of the ever-loving presence of my Higher Power and the comfort of the home that have both been with me all along.

~ AJ


Each Day a New Beginning
In anxiety-provoking situations, many women feel unable to act. They find themselves at a loss to come up with an effective response, or any response at all.
  —Stanlee Phelps and Nancy Austin

Feeling unable to act is a humiliation, perhaps an embarrassment, and it is habit-forming. Perhaps our inertia is due to our need to act "correctly" and the accompanying fear that we'll err. Unfortunately, our fear of action reinforces itself. The only way to end the vicious cycle is to act - right or wrong. The surprise in store for us is that no action we take will be truly wrong. We will learn not only from the action itself, but also from its ripples.

The response to life we make through action will gratify us; it will nourish us and will make us dread less the next situation that calls for a response.

Opportunities for action are the stepping-stones to emotional maturity. The more we "act," the more able we are to act. And a new habit is formed.

Taking action, even when I fear it's wrong, is growth producing. Without growth there is no life. Today, I will live! 

From Each Day a New Beginning: Daily Meditations for Women by Karen Casey © 1982, 1991 by Hazelden Foundation. 


Food for Thought
Be Good to Yourself

Stuffing ourselves with food which our bodies did not need was not being good to ourselves, nor did it solve our problems. Overeating simply added another problem to the ones we already had.

In the past, when we thought about diets, we may have considered them to be the punishment, which we had to undergo in order to get rid of the fat we had acquired. Taking that attitude was not being good to ourselves, either. It is one reason why diets invariably fail, since few of us are willing to endure punishment indefinitely.

The OA program is not a diet but a way of life. It is a way, which has worked because it is a positive plan, not a negative restriction. We determine what it is that our bodies need to look and function at their best, and we decide to eat that and nothing else. We are good to our bodies. We also consider what our minds, hearts, and spirits need to function at their best, and we decide that the love and care of a Higher Power is crucial. By working the Twelve Steps, we are good to ourselves.

Thank You for the life that You have given me to live. 

From Food for Thought: Daily Meditations for Overeaters by Elisabeth L. ©1980, 1992 by Hazelden Foundation. 


The Language of Letting Go
As we walk through life, there are many things and people we may lose, or lose out on, if we are unwilling to commit. We need to make a commitment for relationships to grow beyond the dating stage, to have the home or apartment we want, the job we want, or the car we desire.

We must commit, on deep levels, to careers, to goals, to family, friends, and recovery. Trying something will not enable us to succeed. Committing ourselves will.

Yet, we need never commit before we are ready.

Sometimes, our fear of commitment is telling us something. We may not want to commit to a particular relationship, purchase, or career. Other times, it is a matter of our fears working their way out. Wait, then. Wait until the issue becomes clear.

Trust yourself. Ask your Higher Power to remove your fear of commitment. Ask God to remove your blocks to commitment. Ask God for guidance.

Ask yourself if you are willing to lose what you will not commit to. Then listen, quietly. And wait until a decision seems consistently right and comfortable.

We need to be able to commit, but we need never commit until we are ready. Trust that you will commit when you want to.

God, guide me in making my commitments. Give me the courage to make those that are right for me, the wisdom to not commit to that which does not feel right, and the patience to wait until I know.

From The Language of Letting Go by Melody Beattie ©1990, Hazelden Foundation


Today's thought from Hazelden is:

At fifteen life had taught me undeniably that surrender, in its place, was as honorable as resistance, especially if one had no choice.
--Maya Angelou

We had to surrender to a power greater than ourselves to get to where we are today.  And each day, we have to turn to that power for strength and guidance.  For us, resistance means struggle - struggle with others as well as an internal struggle.
Serenity isn't compatible with struggle.  We cannot control forces outside of ourselves.  We cannot control the actions of our family or our co-workers.  We can control our responses to them.  And when we choose to surrender our attempts to control, we will find peace and serenity.
That which we abhor, that which we fear, that which we wish to conquer seems suddenly to be gone when we decide to resist no more - to tackle it no more.
The realities of life come to us in mysterious ways.  We fight so hard, only to learn that what we need will never be ours until the struggle is forsaken.  Surrender brings enlightenment.
Life's lessons are simple once I give up the struggle.

The program is helping us restructure our lives. We discover that many former, automatic responses no longer fit who we desire to be. That means we have to try new, less-practiced behaviors, such as being honest without being harsh or critical.

Learning tenderness is possible. With the help of this program and one another, we are learning to express the acceptance and love that have been given to us by our Higher Power. Giving away what we have been given is sharing the truth absolutely.

I will not hurt anyone today by any comment. I will truthfully share the love and acceptance I have been given.

You are reading from the book:


Thursday, May 29, 2014

Daily Recovery Readings: May 29th

Recovery Meditations: May 29th


"Think not because no man sees,
such things will remain unseen."
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Recently at a meeting I heard a person share that they weren't sure that the program would work for them because they did not believe in God. They were very distressed. I wanted to get out the Big Book and quote to them from page 47, "When, therefore, we speak to you of God, we mean your own conception of God. This applies too, to other spiritual expressions which you find in this book. Do not let any prejudice you may have against spiritual terms deter you from honestly asking yourself what they mean to you. At the start this was all we needed to commence spiritual growth, to effect our first conscious relation with God as we understood Him."

Many of us have a problem with God in the beginning of our program. We may be atheists, agnostics, or simply have had bad experiences regarding God or His/Her people. We can choose the group, or the Higher Power of another, to be our Higher Power until we are able to begin, bit-by-bit, to define and establish a relationship with our own Higher Power. I know that when I came into the program I was very angry with God. I used the group as my Higher Power at first. Then I used my sponsor's God of her understanding as my Higher Power because He was so loving and full of grace. We had many talks about her God. This helped me greatly until I was able to reconnect to my relationship with the God of my understanding. Today I have a full, rich and intimate relationship with my God.

One day at a time...
I will be tolerant of others' conception of their Higher Power and will continue to grow in my relationship with the God of my understanding.

~ Carolyn H.


Each Day a New Beginning
Women sometimes gossip when they want to get close to people.
  —Joan Gilbertson

Feeling alone and lonely heightens our fears of inadequacy. In our alienation from others, paranoia grips us. We yearn to feel connection with someone, and gossip about another someone can draw two lonely people close. We are bonded.

We need a sense of belonging, every one of us: belonging to the neighborhood, belonging to the staff where we work, belonging to the group we call friends. Knowing that we do belong fosters the inner warmth that accompanies security, well-being. And our fears are melted.

The program's Fifth, Ninth, and Tenth Steps guarantee that we'll feel the closeness we long for when we work them. Self-revelation strengthens our ties to the people we long to connect with. Gossip loses its appeal when we know we share a closeness already. Mingling our vulnerabilities secures our closeness.

We need to be attentive to our judgments of others, be they verbalized in gossip or only savored in silence. These judgments act as barometers of our own self-image. Our security in knowing we belong, that we are one, relieves us of the need to judge others unfairly.

Loneliness pushes me to behavior that even compounds the loneliness. Real closeness will come when I talk about myself rather than someone else. 

From Each Day a New Beginning: Daily Meditations for Women by Karen Casey © 1982, 1991 by Hazelden Foundation. 


Food for Thought
Quality, Not Quantity

We tend to be overly impressed with quantity. How much does it cost? How many friends do I have? How much can I include in my food plan? In a materialistic society, more is synonymous with better.

Before we found OA, we were eating more and enjoying it less. In fact, the more we ate, the more unhappy we became. Greater quantity did not bring better health or a better quality of life.

In this program, we are learning to place quality before quantity. We discover that smaller amounts of nourishing, high quality foods are more satisfying and make us feel better than vast quantities of empty calories. We become more selective about the way we spend our time, choosing the activities and companions that most enrich our lives, rather than trying to do everything and be everything to everybody. We realize more each day that the quality of our spiritual life is what gives us the inner satisfaction, which we sought but failed to find in quantities of things.

Show me how to live well. 

From Food for Thought: Daily Meditations for Overeaters by Elisabeth L. ©1980, 1992 by Hazelden Foundation.


The Language of Letting Go
Powerlessness and Unmanageability

Willpower is not the key to the way of life we are seeking. Surrender is.

"I have spent much of my life trying to make people be, do, or feel something they aren't, don't want to do, and choose not to feel. I have made them, and myself, crazy in that process," said one recovering woman.

I spent my childhood trying to make an alcoholic father who didn't love himself be a normal person who loved me. I then married an alcoholic and spent a decade trying to make him stop drinking.

I have spent years trying to make emotionally unavailable people be emotionally present for me. I have spent even more years trying to make family members, who are content feeling miserable, happy.

What I'm saying is this: I've spent much of my life desperately and vainly trying to do the impossible and feeling like a failure when I couldn't. It's been like planting corn and trying to make the seeds grow peas. Won't work!

By surrendering to powerlessness, I gain the presence of mind to stop wasting my time and energy trying to change and control that which I cannot change and control. It gives me permission to stop trying to do the impossible and focus on what is possible: being who I am, loving myself, feeling what I feel, and doing what I want to do with my life.

In recovery, we learn to stop fighting lions, simply because we cannot win. We also learn that the more we are focused on controlling and changing others, the more unmanageable our life becomes. The more we focus on living our own life, the more we have a life to live, and the more manageable our life will become.

Today, I will accept powerlessness where I have no power to change things, and I'll allow my life to become manageable. 

From The Language of Letting Go by Melody Beattie ©1990, Hazelden Foundation.


Today's thought from Hazelden is:

Using today's tools

Are we becoming stuck in the "if onlys"? "If only I had more money." "If only I were more attractive." "If only my parents had listened to Dr. Spock." The "if onlys" will get us nowhere. We would do better to think about what we have to work with today.

Do we remember that we are fortunate just to be alive? Are we grateful that, one day at a time, we are clean and sober? Do we keep in mind that we have at our disposal the Twelve Step program and all its tools? When we dwell in the "if onlys," we get stuck in yesterday. But what we have to work with today are "today's tools," and if we use them well, we'll have no need for the "if onlys."

Am I using the tools I have today?

God, help me to recognize today's tools and to become willing to use them.
You are reading from the book:


Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Daily Recovery Readings: May 28th

Recovery Meditations: May 28th


"Serenity is not freedom from the storm,
but peace amid the storm."

Anonymous Quote

Why is serenity so important to our recovery? Because darkness cannotexist where there is light! If we can maintain a serene state of mind as established through our faith in HP and the BB Promises, negative emotions and behaviour will have no power over us. Stress, fear, compulsiveness, obsessiveness, resentment, guilt, shame, willfulness, doubt, distrust, greed and envy, have no power over a mind that is kept in serene repose. Serenity allows us to see situations clearly and makewise decisions. Most importantly, by maintaining a serene mind, we keep the door to our High Power open.

One Day at a Time . . .
I will face each challenge with grace and serenity.
~ Rob R.


Each Day a New Beginning
Spiritual power can be seen in a person's reverence for life - hers and all others, including animals and nature, with a recognition of a universal life force referred to by many as God.
  —Virginia Satir

Taking the time, daily, to recognize the spiritual force in everyone and everything that is all about us, encourages us to feel humble, to feel awe. Reflecting on our interconnections, our need for one and all to complete the universe, lessens whatever adversity we might feel as we struggle with our humanity.

Our spiritual power is enhanced with each blessing we give. And as our spiritual power is enhanced, life's trials are fewer. Our struggle to accept situations, conditions, and other people, or our struggle to control them, lessens every day that we recognize and revere one another's personhood, one another's existence.

I can teach myself reverence, and I can begin today. I will look for "the Spirit" everywhere, and I will begin to see it. 

From Each Day a New Beginning: Daily Meditations for Women by Karen Casey © 1982, 1991 by Hazelden Foundation.


Food for Thought

The person who is a compulsive overeater is often someone who wants what he or she wants right now, if not before. When we take inventory, many of us realize that impatience is one of our most troublesome character defects. We are impatient with other people when they do not see things our way, we are impatient with the slowness of weight loss, and we are impatient when we do not seem to be making emotional and spiritual progress.

Cultivating patience helps us tremendously with our program. We grow in patience when we give God control of our lives and decide to live according to His timetable. If we accept what happens to us as the will of a Higher Power, we are better able to treat even the unpleasant situations as learning experiences. We become more patient with ourselves when we view our failures as opportunities to try again.

Fruitful growth is slow. Only weeds grow quickly. Acknowledging powerlessness builds the patience to persevere with what we can do and the faith to leave the results to God.

Trusting in You, may I learn patience. 

From Food for Thought: Daily Meditations for Overeaters by Elisabeth L. ©1980, 1992 by Hazelden Foundation


The Language of Letting Go
Letting Go of Self Doubt

A married woman who had recently joined Al-Anon called me one afternoon. She worked part-time as a registered nurse, had assumed all the responsibilities for raising her two children, and did all the household chores, including repairs and finances. "I want to separate from my husband," she sobbed. "I can't stand him or his abuse any longer. But tell me, please tell me," she said, "do you think I can take care of myself?"
  —Codependent No More

Not only is it okay to take care of ourselves, we can take good care of ourselves.

Many of us, so confident about our ability to take care of others, doubt our inherent strength to care for ourselves. We may have come to believe, from our past or present circumstances, that we need to take care of others and we need others to take care of us. This is the ultimate codependent belief.

No matter where this self-defeating belief was born, we can release it and replace it with a better one, a healthier one, a more accurate one.

We can take care of ourselves -- whether we are in or out of a relationship. Everything we need will be provided. We will have loved ones, friends, and our Higher Power to help.

Knowing that we can take care of ourselves doesn't mean we won't have feelings of fear, discomfort, doubt, anger, and fragility at times. It means we practice "courageous vulnerability," as Colette Dowling called it in Cinderella Complex. We may feel scared, but we do it anyway.

Today, God, help me know how I can take care of myself. 

From The Language of Letting Go by Melody Beattie ©1990, Hazelden Foundation


Today's thought from Hazelden is:

Thought for the week: Learn a new skill

It's an esteemable act to have the courage to learn something new.

Affirmations for the week:

I am willing to learn a new skill. This week, I will do something I'm not yet good at.

Esteemable actions for the week

Have you ever avoided doing something because it was too hard or too scary? Have you ever not learned a new skill because you were afraid you'd make a mistake or just look silly? If you're like most of us, you've been there - done that. And like many people, you've missed out on a great deal of fun and opportunity because you were afraid to learn something new.

Think of things you're good at. Now remember the first time you did that activity. I bet you weren't very good. Actually, if you're like me, you had to try, try, and try again before you got into the swing of things. Am I right? Yet it was the conscious, consistent practice of that new skill that ultimately made you proficient and confident that you could do it. Think about how good you felt when you finally got it right.

No question about it, learning a new skill is hard, it's scary, and at times it's embarrassing. In the past, each time I tried something new and didn't get it the first time, I wanted to give up. It felt like the end of my world. But I didn't give up. There are even days when I know what I'm doing and still feel like I'm off the beam. And on those days, I just don't give up.

Today I know whatever I'm experiencing is part of my learning process, whether it's using my computer or speaking in front of an audience. My job is to remain teachable.
You are reading from the book:

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Daily Recovery Readings: May 27th

Recovery Meditations: May 27th


"I've learned that you can't have everything ...
and do everything ...
at the same time."

Oprah Winfrey

Learning about balance has been a struggle throughout my life; both as an addict and as a mother, friend, lover, sister... and woman. I'm not sure if it is my addiction that causes me to be over-zealous when it comes to giving too much to too many, or if my desire for love has manifested my addiction out of a need to feel full and satisfied. For me, finding that spot where a relationship is comfortable and not one-sided, where work is just 'work' and not all that nourishes my life... where school is an enhancement and not a crutch for hiding and isolating, is a hard place to for me to find. I see patterns within my life where I consistently struggle for harmony and balance. Why isn't one of anything enough? No matter what it is that is in my life; relationships, work, eating, shopping, I have to work at managing balance so that things flow at the right pace, otherwise, my entire life is off kilter.

But today, I don't need to struggle. I don't need to overdo my relationships or my work. I can do just one thing and know that the rest will be there tomorrow. Today I have the gifts that have been given to me to manage my life.

One Day at a Time . . .
I pray that God will help me to manage and balance my life so that I can do a good job with all things, especially living.

~ Pamela


Each Day a New Beginning
As the wheel of the decades turns, so do a person's needs, desires, and tasks. Each of us does, in effect, strike a series of "deals" or compromises between the wants and longings of the inner self, and an outer environment that offers certain possibilities and sets certain limitations.
  —Maggie Scarf

What life has measured out may not be what we had dreamed of. Life's lessons may not be those we'd have chosen to learn. Wisdom dictates that the joy of life is proportional to the ease with which we accept those possibilities for growth that have grown out of our inner desires.

Our desires are like an outline for a written assignment, a research project. They help us to see where we want to go at any one time, but as we move the direction may need to change. The natural flow of "the assignment" will help to refine it.

We may not have tried to "realize" many of our desires in the past. But the time has come. One of the joys of recovery is that we understand our desires are closely related to our spiritual program and our recovery. And we know we are not alone. We need to attend to the inner desires that beckon to us. They are calling us to move forward.

Today, I can take the first few steps. 

From Each Day a New Beginning: Daily Meditations for Women by Karen Casey © 1982, 1991 by Hazelden Foundation


Food for Thought
Share the Wealth

Most of us are lucky enough to have been blessed with a more than adequate supply of food. Our problem has been too much rather than too little. Not everyone on our planet is so fortunate. We all know that millions of people in this world die prematurely because of malnutrition and starvation.

We probably feel that it would be impossible to individually effect a more equitable distribution of the world's food resources. And yet, there are things we can do if we have a sincere desire to help. Money which we save by personally eating less may be sent to a charitable organization or used to sponsor a child in one of the less developed countries. A plan for sharing can increase our own motivation to maintain abstinence and avoid binges.

Even though we cannot change the entire world, we can be responsible for changing our own behavior and finding new ways to share what we have. In the process, we benefit the most through better health, positive emotions, and mental peace. Moderate consumption is in our own best interest.

Teach me to share. 

From Food for Thought: Daily Meditations for Overeaters by Elisabeth L. ©1980, 1992 by Hazelden Foundation. 


The Language of Letting Go
Recognizing Choices

We have choices, more choices than we let ourselves see.

We may feel trapped in our relationships, our jobs, our life. We may feel locked into behaviors such as caretaking or controlling.

Feeling trapped is a symptom of codependency. When we hear ourselves say, I have to take care of this person . . . I have to say yes . . . I have to try to control that person . . . I have to behave this way, think this way, feel this way . . . we can know we are choosing not to see choices.

That sense of being trapped is an illusion. We are not controlled by circumstances, our past, the expectations of others, or our unhealthy expectations for ourselves. We can choose what feels right for us, without guilt. We have options.

Recovery is not about behaving perfectly or according to anyone else's rules. More than anything else, recovery is about knowing we have choices and giving ourselves the freedom to choose.

Today, I will open my thinking and myself to the choices available to me. I will make choices that are good for me. 

From The Language of Letting Go by Melody Beattie ©1990, Hazelden Foundation.


Today's thought from Hazelden is:

The universe is full of magical things, patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper.
--Eden Phillpotts

We hear others talk about how they got out of debt. We see people who have peace and serenity in their lives, who have healthy relationships and dream jobs. We realize that being debt-free means more than not having to pay as many bills. In others, we see what we have to look forward to by changing our behaviors. We get inspired and excited to be debt-free. We start working the program diligently, expecting to see miracles in our lives any minute but nothing happens.

We stop focusing on the outcome of our new ways and stay mindful of what we've committed to - no debting one day at a time. When we do this, we give energy to everything good. If we stop focusing on it, it will flow to us.

Today I will trust that when I act in a mindful and honorable way, everything good will follow.
You are reading from the book:


Monday, May 26, 2014

Daily Recovery Readings: May 26th

Recovery Meditations: May 26th


"It is one of the most beautiful compensations of life,
that no man can sincerely try to help another without helping himself. "
Ralph Waldo Emerson

I'm not sure when I learned about giving service to others ... it seems like a long time ago. There's a feeling one gets deep inside when we do something to help others that makes us know we want to keep that feeling coming forever.

I believe our Higher Powers give us certain gifts. Maybe they're all put in a large bag and when we're born, HP distributes them ... sort of like one reaches in a grab bag at parties. I do know that everyone I have ever met has some soft of gift ... something that they do that comes easily and becomes something they get very good at doing. When they start giving others this gift, they get even better at doing what they do ... and that "feeling" inside begins to grow.

I was given three gifts: music, listening to others and writing. Music was the first gift I was aware of and I spent my life sharing it. In adulthood I learned I had another gift ~ the gift of being able to listen. I realized that a lot of people don't feel "heard." When I spent my time listening to others, I realized I was giving them a gift. Now I get that same special feeling I had when I performed in front of many people as I quietly sit and listen to someone pour out their heart to me. Finally, there came a time when I began to write ... and that same feeling emerged when someone would tell me that what I wrote made a difference to them.

I belong to an organization where hundreds of people give their gifts to others each day and I finally learned that there were reasons why so many people devote so much of their lives to service. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure that out ... we serve because we experience that feeling. We serve because it makes us feel good. We serve others because in doing so we serve ourselves.

One day at a time...
Let me continue to serve.

~ Mari


Each Day a New Beginning
Out of every crisis comes the chance to be reborn, to reconceive ourselves as individuals, to choose the kind of change that will help us to grow and to fulfill ourselves more completely.
  —Nena O'Neill

Before choosing to recover, most of us lived through crisis after crisis. Many days we sought the oblivion of alcohol and drugs rather than face fears that ate away at us. It probably wasn't possible for most of us to realize that a crisis was a tool for growth.

Even today, even in our recovery program, even though the clouds are clearing and we are feeling better about ourselves, a crisis may overwhelm us for a time. We do find help for it, though. We can breathe deeply, look to our higher power; listen for the messages that are coming through from our friends. And we can choose among the many options for the right action to take at this time.

Life is a series of lessons. Crises can be seen as the homework. They aren't there to defeat us but to help us grow - to graduate us into the next stage of life.

Today, I will look for my lessons and feel exhilarated by the growth that is guaranteed. 

From Each Day a New Beginning: Daily Meditations for Women by Karen Casey © 1982, 1991 by Hazelden Foundation. 


Food for Thought

OA testifies to the occurrence of miracles in our daily lives. The physical, emotional, and spiritual changes that take place in those who sincerely practice the program are truly miraculous. Our stories are witness to the Power that is available to change lives and produce new people.

These miracles, however, usually happen slowly. It took most of us many years to blow our bodies and minds out of shape by eating too much of the wrong kind of food and by thinking too many of the wrong kinds of thoughts. The miracle of recovery does not happen overnight.

To try OA with the idea of shedding a few extra pounds in time for bathing suit season is to miss the mark. It was lack of self-knowledge and spiritual insight that got us out of shape, and only dedicated, long term work and commitment to the OA principles will produce the miraculous change we all desire.

Miracles do happen, but the ground needs to be carefully prepared and the new growth nurtured daily.

May I be willing to prepare myself for Your miracle. 

From Food for Thought: Daily Meditations for Overeaters by Elisabeth L. ©1980, 1992 by Hazelden Foundation.


The Language of Letting Go

Intimacy is that warm gift of feeling connected to others and enjoying our connection to them.

As we grow in recovery, we find that gift in many, sometimes surprising, places. We may discover we've developed intimate relationships with people at work, with friends, with people in our support groups - sometimes with family members. Many of us are discovering intimacy in a special love relationship.

Intimacy is not sex, although sex can be intimate. Intimacy means mutually honest, warm, caring, safe relationships - relationships where the other person can be who he or she is and we can be who we are - and both people are valued.

Sometimes there are conflicts. Conflict is inevitable. Sometimes there are troublesome feelings to work through. Sometimes the boundaries or parameters of relationships change. But there is a bond - one of love and trust.

There are many blocks to intimacy and intimate relationships. Addictions and abuse block intimacy. Unresolved family of origin issues prevents intimacy. Controlling blocks intimacy. Off balance relationships, where there is too great a discrepancy in power, prevent intimacy. Caretaking can block intimacy. Nagging, withdrawing, and shutting down can hurt intimacy. So can a simple behavior like gossip -- for example, gossiping about another for motives of diminishing him or her in order to build up ourselves or to judge the person. To discuss another person's issues, shortcomings, or failures with someone else will have a predictable negative impact on the relationship.

We deserve to enjoy intimacy in as many of our relationships as possible. We deserve relationships that have not been sabotaged. That does not mean we walk around with our heads in the clouds; it means we strive to keep our motives clean when it comes to discussing other people.

If we have a serious issue with someone, the best way to resolve it is to bring the issue to that person.

Direct, clean conversation clears the air and paves the way for intimacy, for good feelings about ourselves and our relationships with others.

Today, God, help me let go of my fear of intimacy. Help me strive to keep my communications with others clean and free from malicious gossip. Help me work toward intimacy in my relationships. Help me deal as directly as possible with my feelings. 

From The Language of Letting Go by Melody Beattie ©1990, Hazelden Foundation.


 Today's thought from Hazelden is:

The best things in life are appreciated most after they have been lost.
--Roy L. Smith

Humankind has made such great technological progress, developing marvelous tools and instruments to make our life easier, that it is hard to imagine the struggles our ancestors endured. We are so used to these protective and labor-saving devices that we take them for granted. We fail to appreciate them.

So it is with our loved ones, our fellow workers, our friends, and acquaintances. We are so used to the help, the cooperation, the moral support, and the love we get from them that we may take them for granted. And then we wonder why our relationships don't always go smoothly. What if we were to show them a little appreciation? What if we were to ask God to bless them?

Today I will give thanks to my Higher Power for the people around me and tell them, one by one, how much I appreciate them.

You are reading from the book:

In God's Care by Karen Casey

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Daily Recovery Readings: May 25th

Recovery Meditations: May 25th


”What most of us want is to be heard, to communicate.”
Dory Previn

When I am privileged to be involved in a meeting, hear sharing and have the opportunity to share, magic happens. For me, it is the end of isolation, the times of being alone with my mind and my thoughts that run away with me as long as they are stewing inside without me allowing myself to give them expression. That is why sharing is so important. If I receive constantly without giving, I stagnate. If I give consistently without taking the time to take in and be helped, I go bankrupt.

I need to share and listen for the God of my understanding in others' voices. I often refer to others who share as "God with skin on." I also need to share with others. For me, sharing is a type of prayer, talking to my Higher Power from my heart with others listening in on our conversation! That way I am heard by my HP and those at the meeting I am attending. That is the true magic of the program.

One day at a time...
I will reach out to others by sharing in meetings and allowing others to bless me with their sharing.

~ Carolyn H.


Each Day a New Beginning
One is happy as a result of one's own efforts, once one knows the necessary ingredients of happiness - simple tastes, a certain degree of courage, self-denial to a point, love of work, and above all, a clear conscience. Happiness is no vague dream, of that I now feel certain.
  —George Sand

We are as happy as we make up our minds to be, so goes the saying. But happiness is the result of right actions. We prepare for it daily. We chart our course. Many of us have to first determine where we want to go before we can decide on the chart. We have perhaps passively floated along for years. But now the time is right to navigate, to move toward a goal.

We may have fears about moving ahead. We can be courageous, however. Strength is at hand, always, if we but ask for it. We can make a small beginning today. And every day, we can do at least one thing we need to do to bring us closer to our goal. Accomplishment, however small, nurtures good feelings. Happiness is the byproduct.

Today is wide open. I will decide on a course of action and move ahead. All around me help is available for the asking. 

From Each Day a New Beginning: Daily Meditations for Women by Karen Casey © 1982, 1991 by Hazelden Foundation.


Food for Thought
Delayed Gratification

One of the advantages of maturity is the ability to delay gratification of desires and needs. It is this ability, which makes possible the achievement of long-range goals and plans. We compulsive overeaters have permitted childish demands for immediate satisfaction to drive us into addictive habits. We still have some emotional growing up to do.

When we come to the OA program, we accept a reasonable plan for the gratification of our appetite and hunger. We know that we will eat three times a day, and we choose our food. As our appetite adjusts to eating smaller amounts less frequently, we may experience some discomfort. As maturing individuals, we can accept this discomfort in the interest of a healthier, more attractive body and a saner, more peaceful mind. Instead of having to have what we want now, this minute, we are able to wait until the appropriate time.

Working the Steps makes us aware of the emotional growing we need to do in order to have more satisfying relationships with other people. Here, too, we often have to delay immediate satisfaction in order to achieve larger, more important goals.

I pray for emotional and spiritual maturity. 

From Food for Thought: Daily Meditations for Overeaters by Elisabeth L. ©1980, 1992 by Hazelden Foundation.


The Language of Letting Go
Loving Ourselves Unconditionally

Love yourself into health and a good life of your own.

Love yourself into relationships that work for you and the other person. Love yourself into peace, happiness, joy, success, and contentment.

Love yourself into all that you always wanted. We can stop treating ourselves the way others treated us, if they behaved in a less than healthy, desirable way. If we have learned to see ourselves critically, conditionally, and in a diminishing and punishing way, it's time to stop. Other people treated us that way, but it's even worse to treat ourselves that way now.

Loving ourselves may seem foreign, even foolish at times. People may accuse us of being selfish. We don't have to believe them.

People who love themselves are truly able to love others and let others love them. People who love themselves and hold themselves in high esteem are those who give the most, contribute the most, and love the most.

How do we love ourselves? By forcing it at first. By faking it, if necessary. By acting as if. By working as hard at loving and liking ourselves as we have at not liking ourselves.

Explore what it means to love yourself.

Do things for yourself that reflect compassionate, nurturing, self love.

Embrace and love all of yourself - past, present, and future. Forgive yourself quickly and as often as necessary. Encourage yourself. Tell yourself good things about yourself.

If we think and believe negative ideas, get them out in the open quickly and honestly, so we can replace those beliefs with better ones.

Pat yourself on the back when necessary. Discipline yourself when necessary. Ask for help, for time; ask for what you need.

Sometimes, give yourself treats. Do not treat yourself like a pack mule, always pushing and driving harder. Learn to be good to yourself. Choose behaviors with preferable consequences - treating yourself well is one.

Learn to stop your pain, even when that means making difficult decisions. Do not unnecessarily deprive yourself. Sometimes, give yourself what you want, just because you want it.

Stop explaining and justifying yourself. When you make mistakes, let them go. We learn, we grow, and we learn some more. And through it all, we love ourselves.

We work at it, and then work at it some more. One day we'll wake up, look in the mirror, and find that loving ourselves has become habitual. We're now living with a person who gives and receives love, because that person loves him or herself. Self-love will take hold and become a guiding force in our life.

Today, I will work at loving myself. I will work as hard at loving myself as I have at not liking myself. Help me let go of self-hate and behaviors that reflect not liking myself. Help me replace those with behaviors that reflect self-love. Today, God, help me hold myself in high self-esteem. Help me know I'm lovable and capable of giving and receiving love. 

From The Language of Letting Go by Melody Beattie ©1990, Hazelden Foundation.


Today's thought from Hazelden is:

Each morning sees some task begin,
Each evening sees it close;
Something attempted, something done,
Has earned a night's repose.


Every day for us is a period of spiritual growth. Restful sleep prepares us for fruitful days. As each day begins, a new adventure in growth lies ahead. We seek strength and an attitude of making our lives more meaningful and positive through prayer and meditation at the start of each new day during our quiet time. We prepare ourselves emotionally for the busy hours ahead.

With positive action planned ahead, we arise to a day dedicated to accomplishment. We know we have little time for standing and idly staring. We accept new challenges as we carry out each day's plans. We encourage those around us to join us in seeking to see the best in everything that makes up our daily lives.

Restful sleep, meditation, planning, and "turning it over" starts my day with a quiet time and keeps it manageable.

You are reading from the book:


Saturday, May 24, 2014

Daily Recovery Readings: May 24th

Recovery Meditations: May 24th


"The thing that is really hard, and really amazing,
is giving up on being perfect and
beginning the work of becoming yourself."
Anna Quindlen

"Perfect" me that word sounds like: "Do it again. You didn't do it right." That's the message I get from the voices in my head. The messages of perfectionism tell me over and over that I did it wrong. It's a powerful weapon when you use it as a whip against yourself, just like negative messages when you look in a mirror. I have a choice every single moment of every single day to either pick up that whip and hurt myself, or to "get out of my own way" and be kind. I can choose to look in the mirror and be thankful, and to look at myself and feel love. It takes a lot of practice, but it is worth it.

If you love yourself more than you love anyone else, you can feel happiness again. You can create again. You can look at your shadow and say good things about it too! It's another beautiful you ~ unique and wonderfully made.

One day at a time...
I will celebrate the beauty of myself today and everyday.

~ Karen

Each Day a New Beginning
It's ironic, but until you can free those final monsters within the jungle of yourself, your life, your soul is up for grabs.
  —Rona Barrett

We all have monsters. Maybe it's depression over the past or present circumstances, or resentment about another's behavior, or fear of new situations. Maybe it's jealousy of other women. The more attention we give the monsters, the more powerful they get. The harder we try to resist the jealousy or depression or fear, the greater it becomes.

The program offers us the way to let go. And we find the way through one another. When we share ourselves fully with one another, share our monsters with one another, they no longer dominate us. They seek the dark recesses of our minds, and when we shine the light on them, they recoil. The program offers us an eternal light.

I will let the program shine its light in my life today. My monsters will flee for the day. 

From Each Day a New Beginning: Daily Meditations for Women by Karen Casey © 1982, 1991 by Hazelden Foundation.


Food for Thought
There are some times when we seem bent on self-destruction. We may be disgruntled about the demands and responsibilities of the day and determined to punish ourselves for our inability to cope easily. Why we subvert our own best interests is often a mystery, but we all know the frustration and despair of not doing what we should do and doing what we should not do.

Often, we engage in self-sabotage when we are being emotional about a situation instead of viewing it rationally. We usually find that we have forgotten or refused to turn the problem over to our Higher Power. Frequently, we have allowed resentments to build up and cloud our perception.

Whether we turn to food and overeat or whether we indulge in other types of negative, destructive behavior and emotions, we are sabotaging ourselves. We are the ones who suffer the most from our destructiveness. No one else can disturb our serenity unless we permit them to do so.

May I remember to turn to You in times of distress. 

From Food for Thought: Daily Meditations for Overeaters by Elisabeth L. ©1980, 1992 by Hazelden Foundation. 


The Language of Letting Go
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. 

From The Language of Letting Go by Melody Beattie ©1990, Hazelden Foundation.


Today's thought from Hazelden is:

Relaxing when things don't go as you planned.

So, the boyfriend calls, says he's going hiking with his buddies for a week, cancels his date with you and says he hopes you won't be mad.

Or the bank calls and says you're overdrawn, and you don't know how that can be. You've been trying to carefully watch your deposits and checks. You've gone out of your way not to mess up. This can't be right!

What do you do when life seems to force you to react? You can panic, become anxious, yell, and respond with a counterattack. But that probably won't solve the problem. And it may turn things into a brawl.

Or you can calm down. Breathe deeply. Tell yourself to relax. Say as little as possible, if that's possible, while you're upset and disturbed. If a problem or disturbance that's not fair interrupts your life, try responding by saying hmmm. Then calm down and decide what you need to do.

God, help me start sailing through life with more ease by learning to relax and let life be.
You are reading from the book:


Friday, May 23, 2014

Daily Recovery Readings: May 23rd

Recovery Meditations: May 23rd


"In the middle of difficulty, lies opportunity."
Albert Einstein

Pain, struggle, and difficulty can be catalysts for changes in me. If I am having so much difficulty living the way I do, then surely my current means of coping and survival are not working. The insanity of it all was that in spite of all the proof I saw that those methods did not work, I continued to live the same way -- and suffer the same difficulties and struggles -- for many years. Then opportunity for change knocked on my door. I found TRG online.

The Recovery Group program has shown me that there are much better ways to deal with life than to stuff myself with food, fear, resentments, and anger. The methods and tools I have been given here work. My defects still rear their ugly heads, but I no longer live focused on -- or living in -- those defects. Now I direct my thinking to program material, prayer and program works. What a gift that has been! Joy is mine for today ~ for the taking!

When I find that what I am doing today is not working, what do I need to do? As a COE with no recovery I would have kept doing what wasn't working. That made no sense, but that's what I did. Now when I struggle with the food, I look at my thinking, 'cause thinking affects how I feel and feelings impact my compulsions. When the thinking starts to spiral downward I know I need to act. I need to read program material, contact a program person, pray and meditate, and/or do program service. I need to use the tools to get me focused back on recovery.

One day at a time...
I will be mindful of my thinking, and when negative or self-pitying thoughts arise, I will remember that I have the opportunity now to redirect and refocus anew on recovery.

~ Karen A.


Each Day a New Beginning
Give as much of yourself as you can to as much of your higher power, as you can understand.

The more we are in concert with God, the greater will be our pleasures in life. Recognizing our partnership with our higher power makes every decision easier, facilitates the completion of every task, and removes all uncertainty about our value to this world, particularly to those persons around us.

Knowledge that we are never alone, that in every circumstance our best interests are being cared for, softens whatever blow we encounter. The blows teach us; they are the lessons the inner self has requested, and let us never forget we have a ready tutor to see us through every assignment.

The more we rely on God to see us through the mundane activities as well as the troubling experiences, the greater will be our certainty that all is well, our lives are on course, and a plan is unfolding little by little that has our best interests at its center.

My understanding of God and the power of that presence is proportionate to my reliance on that power. Not unlike the power of electricity, I can plug into the source of the "light" of understanding and for the strength to see my way through any experience today. 

From Each Day a New Beginning: Daily Meditations for Women by Karen Casey © 1982, 1991 by Hazelden Foundation. 


Food for Thought
Thinking Thin

Our mental attitude has much to do with our physical reality. "As a man thinketh in his heart, so he is." If we think in terms of being thin, it is easier to adjust our appetite to the smaller amount of food, which we require. In the past, we may have been eating enough for two people. Large numbers of us in OA have lost the equivalent weight of at least one whole person.

By using our imagination to picture ourselves as thin, active, and healthy, we help our bodies adjust to the new image. Our old, fat self may want more to eat, but the thin person we are becoming does not need more. The fat self may grumble at leaving a comfortable chair to go out for a walk or at climbing a flight of stairs instead of taking the elevator. A sharp mental image of a new, thin self helps provide the necessary motivation to get up and go.

God does not intend us to be distorted and encumbered with excess weight. He will help us see the person we are meant to be.

May I become the person You intend. 

From Food for Thought: Daily Meditations for Overeaters by Elisabeth L. ©1980, 1992 by Hazelden Foundation


The Language of Letting Go

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. 

From The Language of Letting Go by Melody Beattie ©1990, Hazelden Foundation.


Today's thought from Hazelden is:

To have one's individuality completely ignored is like being pushed quite out of life. Like being blown out as one blows out a light.
--Evelyn Scott

We need to know that we matter in this life. We need evidence that others are aware of our presence. And thus, we can be certain that others need the same attention from us. When we give it, we get it. So the giving of attention to another searching soul meets our own need for attention as well.

Respectful recognition of another's presence blesses that person, ourselves, and God. And we help one another grow, in important ways, each time we pay the compliment of acknowledgment.

We're not sure, on occasion, just what we have to offer our friends, families, co-workers. Why we are in certain circumstances may have us baffled, but it's quite probably that the people we associate with regularly need something we can give them; the reverse is just as likely. So we can begin with close attention to people in our path. It takes careful listening and close observation to sense the message another soul may be sending to our own.

I will be conscious of the people around me. I shall acknowledge them and be thankful for all they are offering me.
You are reading from the book: