Saturday, January 31, 2015

Daily Recovery Readings: January 31st

Recovery Meditations: January 31st


Do not be anxious for tomorrow;
for tomorrow will care for itself.

The Bible, book of Matthew

        I've spent too much of my life worrying about the future. This was especially true with every diet I was ever on. I was always concerned about how much weight I was going to be able to lose in a certain amount of time. I always thought about tomorrow and what tomorrow would bring instead of staying in the present.

        Today, my Higher Power is teaching me to keep my eyes on Him instead of on the calendar. I am more successful and more at peace when I remain in the present and follow my Higher Power's will.

        One day at a time . . .
        I will keep my thoughts in the present, for my Higher Power will take care of tomorrow.



Twenty Four Hours a Day Hardcover (24 Hours)
Thought for the Day

Drinking cuts you off from God. No matter how you were brought up, no matter what your religion is, no matter if you say you believe in God, nevertheless you build up a wall between you and God by your drinking. You know you're not living the way God wants you to. As a result, you have that terrible remorse. When you come into A.A., you begin to get right with other people and with God. A sober life is a happy life, because by giving up drinking, we've got rid of our loneliness and remorse. Do I have real fellowship with other people and with God?

Meditation for the Day

I believe that all sacrifice and all suffering are of value to me. When I am in pain, I am being tested. Can I trust God, no matter how low I feel? Can I say, "Thy will be done," no matter how much I am defeated? If I can, my faith is real and practical. It works in bad times as well as in good times. The Divine Will is working in a way that is beyond my finite mind to understand, but I can still trust in it.

Prayer for the Day

I pray that I may take my suffering in my stride. I pray that I may accept pain and defeat as part of God's plan for my spiritual growth.

From Twenty-Four Hours a Day © 1975 by Hazelden Foundation


Each Day a New Beginning
Woman must not accept; she must challenge. She must not be awed by that which has been built up around her; she must reverence that woman in her which struggles for expression.
  —Margaret Sanger

Our desire to grow, to make a place for ourselves in the world of our friends, to know that we have counted in the lives of others, is healthy and necessary to our existence as whole women. The inner urging to move ahead, to try a new approach to an old problem, to go after a new job, to learn a new skill, is evidence of God's eternal Spirit within.

Our meaning in this life is found through following the guidance that beckons us toward these new horizons, perhaps new friends, even new locations. We can trust the urge. We can reverence the urge. It will not lead us astray, provided we do not try to lead it. We each have a special gift to express in this life among those to whom we've been led.

For years, many of us quelled the inner urge out of fear; but, fortunately, it didn't desert us. To be human is to have a constant desire to be more than we are. The fears still come, but as we move through them, with the support of other women, other friends, the program gives us the thrill of achievement. We know there is meaning in our existence.

The need to grow, to change, to affect the world around us is part of God's plan for each of us. I will trust the urge; I will let it guide my steps.

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


Food for Thought
Don't Be a Garbage Can

A garbage can is round and unprotesting as it accepts the leftovers which are stuffed into it. How many times have you treated yourself as a garbage can? As we stood up at the sink scraping what was left on the plates into ourselves, we rationalized that we just couldn't bear to waste good food. Why did we not remember the harm we were doing to our own bodies? "Is not the body more than food?" Certainly, it is more than a garbage can.

One way to eliminate waste is to prepare only what is needed for the meal. Sometimes we compulsive overeaters catch ourselves unconsciously overestimating quantities just so there will be something left to tempt us! Another way to avoid throwing out useable food is to keep a bowl in the refrigerator or freezer for scraps which can later be made into soup. We all know how to store complete servings for later use. It is the little bits here and there that get us into trouble.

If there is nothing that can be done with what is left in the bottom of the pan, then throw it away. Better to waste a small amount of food than to break abstinence, which is the most important thing in our lives.

Teach me to value my body more than food.

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


The Language of Letting Go
Asking for What We Need

One evening, I was alone, weary, and exhausted. I was in the midst of extensive traveling, disconnected from friends and family. I had flown home for the evening, but it seemed like nobody noticed. People were used to me being gone.

It was late at night, and I began arguing with God.

"I'm out there working hard. I'm lonely. I need to know someone cares. You've told me to tell you what I need and tonight, God, I particularly need the presence of male energy. I need a friend, someone I can trust to care about me in a nonsexual, nonexploitive way. I need to be held. Now, where are you?"

I lay down on the couch and closed my eyes. I was too tired to do anything but let go.

The telephone rang minutes later. It was a former colleague who had since become my friend. "Hey, kid," he said. "You sound really tired and needy. Stay right where you are. I'm going to drive out and give you a foot rub. It sounds exactly like what you need."

Half an hour later, he knocked on my door. He brought a small bottle of oil with him, and gently massaged my feet, gave me a hug, told me how much he cared about me, then left.

I smiled. I had received exactly what I asked for.

It is safe to trust God.

Today, I will remember God cares about what I need, especially if I do.

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


Today's thought from the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is:

Reflection for the Day

Since I came to The Program, I've become increasingly aware of the Serenity Prayer. I see it on literature covers, the walls of meeting rooms, and in the homes of new-found friends. "God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference." Do I understand the Serenity Prayer? Do I believe in its power and repeat it often? Is it becoming easier for me to accept the things I cannot change?

Today I Pray

God grant that the words of the Serenity Prayer never become mechanical for me or lose their meaning in the lulling rhythms of repetition. I pray that these words will continue to take on new depths of significance as I fit life's realities to them. I trust that I may find the solutions I need in this prayer, which, in its simplicity, encompasses all of life's situations.

Today I Will Remember

Share the prayer.
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Friday, January 30, 2015

Daily Recovery Readings: January 30th

Recovery Meditations: January 30th


...To dry my eyes and laugh at a fall, and baffled, get up and start again...
Robert Browning
(1812– 1889) British poet and playwright

        When things didn't go my way, I would stamp my feet, lose my temper, and walk away. I was the world's greatest quitter!

        The Twelve Step program of recovery teaches me that when I trip over something, I can pick myself up, dust myself off, and start over at any time. I can turn whatever I stumble over into an opportunity for growing and learning.

        One Day at a Time . . .
        When confronted by roadblocks to my recovery, I can humble myself and ask my Higher Power, "What do YOU want for me to learn from this?" I can turn stumbling blocks into stepping stones and move on in my recovery journey.

        ~ Linda K. ~



Twenty Four Hours a Day Hardcover (24 Hours)
Thought for the Day

A drinking life isn't a happy life. Drinking cuts you off from other people and from God. One of the worst things about drinking is the loneliness. And one of the best things about A.A. is the fellowship. Drinking cuts you off from other people, at least from the people who really matter to you, your family, your co-workers, and your real friends. No matter how much you love them, you build up a wall between you and them by your drinking. You're cut off from any real companionship with them. As a result, you're terribly lonely. Have I got rid of my loneliness?

Meditation for the Day

I will sometimes go aside into a quiet place of retreat with God. In that place, I will find restoration and healing and power. I will plan quiet times now and then, times when I will commune with God and arise rested and refreshed to carry on the work which God has given me to do. I know that God will never give me a load greater than I can bear. It is in serenity and peace that all true success lies.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may strengthen my inner life so that I may find serenity. I pray that my soul may be restored in quietness and peace.

From Twenty-Four Hours a Day © 1975 by Hazelden Foundation


Each Day a New Beginning
Fortunately [psycho]analysis is not the only way to resolve inner conflicts. Life itself still remains a very effective therapist.
  —Karen Horney

The passage of time, coupled with an openness to the messages gleaned from our conversations with others, can provide answers we need for the way out of painful situations. Life is ebb and flow, peaks and valleys, struggles and sweet times. What we fail to realize, all too often, is that the struggles make possible the times that are sweet.

Our conflicts are our special lessons in life. We can learn to flow with them, move through them, trust their value to us as growing, changing women. How good it feels to have found security with one another and that power greater than ourselves who can, when we are willing, show us the path to resolution.

Life will never be free of conflict--nor should it be. Our lessons move us to higher planes of awareness. We can experience the joy hidden within the conflict. We can help one another remember that the sweetness of a moment is tied to the pain of a former, forgotten moment.

All events, all experiences, are connected. The path I travel, alone and with others, is bringing me brighter days. I will trust my path. It's right for me.

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


Food for Thought
Eat Less, Enjoy More

Before we joined OA, we were eating more and enjoying it less. The more we ate, the more fat we had to lug around, and the harder it was to do anything, much less enjoy doing it. Feeling stuffed and guilty, we often did not even enjoy what it was that we were eating.

When our bodies are not overloaded with too much food and fat, we have energy for new activities. Our minds are sharper when they are not drugged with refined carbohydrates. Our emotions are more serene and positive when we are not full of despair and self-hatred.

Freed from the terrible compulsion to eat more and more, we have time and energy to spend learning a new sport, reading a story to a child, writing a poem. Whatever we choose to do, we enjoy it more when we are not overeating.

When we abstain, we feel good about ourselves. When we feel good about ourselves, we feel good about life.

May I understand that for me, less food means more enjoyment.

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


The Language of Letting Go
Religious Freedom

"...a Power greater than ourselves...." "God as we understood Him." These words introduce spirituality in the Twelve Steps. They are the first two references to God, and they are worded that way for a reason.

We each have the freedom to define, and understand, our Higher Power - God - as we choose.

That means we do not bring our religious affiliation into our recovery groups. It means that we do not try to impose our religious beliefs, or our understanding of God, on anyone else. We do not use our groups or meetings as a soapbox to gain religious converts. We do not try to force the particulars of our religious beliefs on others.

We give each person, the right to a personal understanding of a Higher Power and ourselves.

Today, I will respect other people's understanding of God, as well as my own. I will not allow others' judgment of my beliefs to cause me anxiety and distress. I will seek to grow spiritually in recovery, with or without the assistance of a particular religion or denomination.

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


Today's thought from the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is:

Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

We pray for "courage to change the things we can.'' Change requires giving up familiar old ways to try something new. Even though the old ways brought us pain, they were known. Changing them for new ones feels risky; it could lead to pleasure . . . or to even more pain.

But if we don't try, we'll never know whether we can handle a new job, go back to school, work out a new relationship, or breathe new life into an old one. To try something new, we have to be willing to take risks and be vulnerable. We have to accept the responsibility and the consequences if our venture does not proceed as we had hoped it would.

Perhaps our addiction was a way of avoiding risk. Rather than take the chance of failing at something we wanted to do or being rejected by someone to whom we offered our friendship, we focused on our addiction. Are we ready, now, to take risks for something we really want?

Today, I can take a small risk in the interest of enriching my life.
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Thursday, January 29, 2015

Daily Recovery Readings: January 29th

Recovery Meditations: January 29th


Thankfulness is the beginning of gratitude.
Gratitude is the completion of thankfulness.
Thankfulness may consist merely of words.
Gratitude is shown in acts.

David O. McKay

        All the good I have ever been given in life, both before recovery and in recovery, has come from God. Even the ability to learn lessons from the bad has been one of His many gifts to me. I make gratitude lists and offer prayers of thanksgiving, but that is only the beginning. I only express true gratitude by sharing with others. I share it as experience, strength and hope at meetings. I share it by reaching out my hand to the compulsive overeater behind me and sponsoring them or befriending them. I share it by living a life that shows evidence of the realization of all that God has given me. I can only truly express my gratitude through action.

        One day at a time... I will show my true gratitude by giving away to others what God has so freely given to me.

        ~ Vicki B. ~


Twenty Four Hours a Day Hardcover (24 Hours)
Thought for the Day
What a load wasting money puts on your shoulders! They say that members of A.A. have paid the highest initiation fee of any club members in the world, because we've wasted so much money on liquor. We'll never be able to figure out how much it was. We not only wasted our own money, but also the money we should have spent on our families. When you come into A.A., that terrible load of wasted money falls off your shoulders. We alcoholics were getting round-shouldered from carrying all those loads that drinking put on our shoulders. But when we come into A.A., we get a wonderful feeling of release and freedom. Can I throw back my shoulders and look the whole world in the face again?

Meditation for the Day

I believe that the future is in the hands of God. He knows better than I what the future holds for me. I am not at the mercy of fate or buffeted about by life. I am being led in a very definite way, as I try to rebuild my life. I am the builder, but God is the architect. It is mine to build as best I can, under His guidance.

Prayer for the Day

I pray that I may depend on God, since He has planned my life. I pray that I may live my life, as I believe God wants me to live it.

From Twenty-Four Hours a Day © 1975 by Hazelden Foundation.


Each Day a New Beginning
"I can't help it" . . . that's what we all say when we don't want to exert ourselves.
  —Eva Lathbury

Irresponsible behavior is not unfamiliar to us. Passivity is equally familiar. In the past, excusing ourselves of all responsibility prevented us from being blamed. We have learned that it also prevented us from feeling worthy, from fulfilling our potential, from feeling the excitement that comes with achievement.

Our fear of failure helped us to be irresponsible. We may still fear failure, but the program offers us an antidote. We can't fail if we have turned our lives over to our higher power. We will be shown the way to proceed. Our fellow travelers have messages for us that will smooth our path.

I have chosen recovery. I have already said, "I can help it." I will celebrate that I am taking responsibility for my life today.

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


Food for Thought
Love Has No Calories

Moving through the Twelve Steps develops new ability to love. When pride and guilt are reduced, we can relate more genuinely to those we care about. OA gives us tools, which we may use to escape the prison of self.

Our false defenses begin to crumble. As we learn to accept and love ourselves by the grace of God, we can reach out to others and give to them. Overeating destroys us; loving makes us strong. Growing in the program, we love more and give more. In return, we are given new joy and satisfaction.

Loving more may begin with the simple act of writing down the phone number of a fellow OA member and calling sometime during the week. It may mean taking five minutes to fully concentrate on what a child or a friend is trying to say. Food is no substitute for interpersonal relationships. We need to nurture the ones we have and build new ones as we become less dependent on eating and more committed to loving.

Teach me Your love, dear God.

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


The Language of Letting Go
Going to Meetings

I am still amazed, after years of recovering, at how easily I can begin to talk myself out of attending meetings. I am also still amazed at how good I feel when I go.

We don't have to stay stuck in our misery and discomfort. An immediate option is available that will help us feel better: go to a meeting, a Twelve Step support group.

Why resist what can help us feel better? Why sit in our obsession or depression when attending a meeting - even if that means an extra meeting - would help us feel better?

Too busy?
There are 168 hours in each week. Taking one or two hours a week for a meeting can maximize the potential of the remaining 166 hours. If we get into our "codependent stuff," we can easily spend a majority of our waking hours obsessing, sitting and doing nothing, lying in bed and feeling depressed, or chasing after other people's needs. Not taking those two hours for a meeting can cause us to waste the remaining hours.

Too tired?
There is nothing as invigorating as getting back on track. Going to a meeting can accomplish that.

Today, I will remember that going to meetings helps.

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


Today's thought from the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is:

Nothing is so bad that relapse won't make it worse.

The stories we hear in meetings often shock us. It seems hard to believe that some members could have harmed themselves in such ways. We hear about arrests, bankruptcies, loss of family and home, lost jobs, violence, jail, physical injury – the list goes on. Most of us said to ourselves, "I never was that bad. Maybe I don't really belong here."

Our sponsors and fellow members quickly straightened us out. We were comparing our histories with other members. We were told to identify with the stories, not compare. Some of us had been lucky that worse things hadn't happened to us while we were using. We were reminded those things hadn't happened to us "yet." If we relapsed, the "yets" were waiting.

Today I'll remember to identify, not compare. I don't want to relapse and go through THE YETS.

You are reading from the book:

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Daily Recovery Readings: January 28th

Recovery Meditations: January 28th


Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm.
Winston Churchill
(1874 – 1965) a highly decorated British politician who served as Prime Minister of the U.K.

        My life before program consisted of one failure after the next. I could never master success with my eating, much less with my life in general.

        Once I came into these rooms and started working the Twelve Steps, with a God of my understanding and the knowledge that God is in control of all in my life, I began to realize that life is NOT a series of failures, only slow successes.

        One Day at a Time . . .
        I am a success if I keep on trying regardless of the outcome, because it is truly God's will for me.

        ~ Linda K. ~


Each Day a New Beginning
I think self-awareness is probably the most important thing towards being a champion.
  —Billie Jean King

Champions are made. How lucky we are to have the Steps to guide us to become champions. The program promises us self-awareness, but we have to put forth the effort. And the process isn't always easy. We have liabilities, all of us, and it's generally easier to see them than our assets. Self-awareness is recognizing both. To become a champion, whether as an athlete, a homemaker, a teacher, a secretary, or an attorney, is to maximize the assets and minimize the liabilities, but to accept the existence of both. The program that we share offers us daily opportunities to know ourselves, to help other women know themselves, and to strengthen our assets along the way. We can feel our assets growing, and it feels good. We can see our liabilities diminish, and it feels good. The program offers us a

I can strengthen my assets, first by knowing them, and then by emphasizing them repeatedly. I'll focus on one today.

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


Food for Thought
Blessed Are the Hungry

When we are sated and overly full of food, there is no room left for the spirit. We feel like taking a nap, rather than working productively or playing enjoyably. During our overeating careers, how many hours have we wasted in bed, sleeping off the effects of a binge?

To eat no more than is necessary is to maintain our minds and bodies in a state of alertness and readiness for action. To say no to the sugars and starches which throw our blood sugar out of balance is to keep our energy level on an even keel.

As we lose excess weight and get rid of debilitating fat, we will probably experience some periods of hunger. There is nothing wrong with being hungry. Often it is when we are hungry that we are most humble and ready to listen to our Higher Power.

To accept physical hunger with serenity is to be spiritually strong.

I pray that my hunger may bring me closer to You, Lord.

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


The Language of Letting Go
Staying in the Present Moment

Often, one of our biggest questions is "What's going to happen?" We may ask this about our relationships, our career, our recovery, and our life. It is easy to tangle us up in worrisome thoughts.

Worrying about what's going to happen blocks us from functioning effectively today. It keeps us from doing our best now. It blocks us from learning and mastering today's lessons. Staying in the now, doing our best, and participating fully today are all we need to do to assure ourselves that what's going to happen tomorrow will be for the best.

Worrying about what's going to happen is a negative contribution to our future. Living in the here and now is ultimately the best thing we can do, not only for today, but also for tomorrow. It helps our relationships, our career, our recovery, and our life.

Things will work out, if we let them. If we must focus on the future other than to plan, all we need to do is affirm that it will be good.

I pray for faith that my future will be good if I live today well, and in peace. I will remember that staying in the present is the best thing I can do for my future. I will focus on what's happening now instead of what's going to happen tomorrow.

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


Today's thought from the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is:

When a, man leaves off believing in imaginary property, then only will he make use of his true property.
--Leo Tolstoy

The original meaning of property is "belonging to the self." In this sense, land, houses, money, paintings, jewels, cars cannot be our property; they are all things, and we enjoy using them, but they have nothing to do with our selves.

What then is our true property? It's our moral and spiritual qualities; our capacity for love, our commitment to honesty. These are what make a difference in who we are. The difference between a lie and the truth is vastly greater than the difference between a bicycle and a Mercedes. When we appreciate this distinction, we can begin to develop our spiritual selves.

We all know that things can't make us happy; only a loving heart and a clear conscience can do that. Yet often we act as though the piling up of things was important in itself. A little reflection can restore our balance and return our imaginary property to its true place in our lives.

True property is what nothing can take away from me.

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