Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Daily Recovery Readings: March 31st

Recovery Meditations: March 31st


"Handle them carefully ...
for words have more power than atom bombs."

Pearl Strachan Hurd

A friend wrote to me tonight about the "healing power of words" I began to think about that and she was right. Words can truly heal. I thought back to times in my life when the right word at the right time by the right person made an enormous difference in my life. I also thought of the times when words devastated me.

Many times I get busy and don't think about what I'm going to say and words come out and in my "busyness" of the moment, I don't realize they could have a double meaning. It is afterwards ... many times days afterwards .... that I realize my choice of words were inappropriate. We speak and listen to tens of millions of words in our lifetime and, perhaps, we need to weigh the words we use more carefully. I hope, however, that I don't ever find myself saying words to others I don't mean or out of fear restrict words that need to be said.

Although this British politician of the 1930s, Pearl Strachan Hurd, said that words have more power than atom bombs, there is something that I find even more powerful. Silence. Silence when there should be words can hurt. Silence when someone should have the courage to speak harms. I tend to think of silence as the ultimate insult. And yet some of the most beautiful words ever spoken to me were the silent ones.

One day at a time ...
let me choose my words carefully but not so carefully that I become calous. Let me use words to heal and not hurt; to make things better and not worse; to express feelings, even negative feelings to and about others, kindly ... courageously ... carefully.

~ Mari


Each Day a New Beginning
Anger repressed can poison a relationship as surely as the cruelest words.
  —Joyce Brothers

Anger is familiar to us all. We feel it toward others and from others. The expression and acceptance of anger is where we often falter. Most of us were told when we were small girls that we shouldn't be angry, but we were. And we are, even yet. However, we often still feel like a little girl when it comes to angry feelings.

We need to accept our anger and learn to express it, honestly, openly and assertively, not aggressively. We can't afford to hang onto anger. It grows and then festers and then boils. Soon it is interfering in all our relationships, and it provides a ready excuse for an old, self-destructive pattern we don't want to entertain for even a moment.

Nothing we set out to do today will have the right outcome if we carry anger within us. How we interpret life, how we treat our friends, what we do with our opportunities and our challenges--all these are determined by our attitudes. Repressed anger always blocks the way to a positive attitude.

Every experience can uplift me if anger doesn't weigh me down.

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


Food for Thought

Once, a long time ago, I was able to eat a small amount of extra food between meals and then stop. I enjoyed it very much. Over the years, that small amount became more and more. Somewhere along the line, I crossed the boundary of rational eating and moved into an area of insane bingeing.

Now, when the old urge comes for a small amount of extra food, I need to remember that I am incapable of stopping after a reasonable amount. For me, the first compulsive bite is now the point of no return. Once I take it, I cross immediately into insanity.

How do I remember? I need protection against the arrogant, willful delusion that "This time I will be able to handle it; this time I will get away with cheating just a little bit." How can I protect myself?

Step One says that we are powerless over food. From sad experience, I know this to be a fact. Step Two says that we "came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity." My protection comes from this Higher Power.

Keep me sane, Lord. 

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


The Language of Letting Go

Taking financial responsibility for ourselves is part of recovery. Some of us may find ourselves in hard financial times for a variety of reasons.

Our recovery concepts, including the Steps, work on money issues and restoring manageability to that area of our life. Make appropriate amends -- even if that means tackling a $5,000 debt by sending in $5 a month.

Start where you are, with what you've got. As with other issues, acceptance and gratitude turn what we have into more.

Money issues are not a good place to "act as if." Don't write checks until the money is in the bank. Don't spend money until you've got it in your hand.

If there is too little money to survive, use the appropriate resources available without shame.

Set goals.

Believe you deserve the best, financially.

Believe God cares about your finances.

Let go of your fear, and trust.

Today, I will focus on taking responsibility for my present financial circumstances, no matter how overwhelming that area of my life may feel and be. 

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


Today's thought from Hazelden is:

Whatever you may be sure of, be sure of this, you are dreadfully like other people.
-- James Russell Lowell

Sharing our many experiences with our friends in Twelve Step meetings helps us understand how very similar we all are. We are unique only in the sense that each of us has a special contribution to make in life, one not quite like anyone else's.

Keeping secrets from others can make us fearful. We think. Could they really like me if they knew this? Yet we feel profound relief when we share our most shameful secrets in a meeting and the men and women listening to us don't blink an eye.

We no longer find rewards from pretending we're someone we're not. Our greatest reward now is the peace we experience from not having anything to hide. We have learned genuine humility and that we are equals with other people. No better, no worse.

Today I will enjoy the serenity of having no more secrets and will celebrate my humanity.
You are reading from the book:

Monday, March 30, 2015

Daily Recovery Readings: March 30th

Recovery Meditations: March 30, 2015


"“Health is the greatest gift,
contentment the greatest wealth,
faithfulness the best relationship.”
..... Buddah

I have a history of chaotic relationships filled with destructive drama and a lack of loyalty. For many years, however, I believed that I was in fact a very loyal friend – and that it was my friends who were disloyal to me.

I was an avid -- even rabid -- people-pleaser. I drove myself crazy trying to figure out what people wanted and how I could best provide that for them. Because I thought I knew what was best for everybody, I failed to truly listen to the people in my life. Instead, I tried to impose my will upon them…then I wondered why they didn’t appreciate all of my efforts on “their” behalf. When they inevitably became frustrated with me, I was wounded by what I perceived to be their lack of loyalty to me.

Only recently in my recovery program have I come to learn that my efforts at people-pleasing were actually symptoms of my own disloyalty. I was failing to relate with people as they are – rather I was relating to them as I thought they “should be”. That is perhaps the most egregious form of disloyalty…insisting that others be loyal to my concept of them and myself.

Now I am taking steps to honestly listen to people and to relate with them as they are – and as I truly am. I am no longer hiding behind food. In order to be loyal in my relationships, I must be loyal to the ‘Truth of Reality.’ Only then can we share the joy of faithful relationships.

One day at a time ... I will practice listening to the people in my life and I will honor them as they are. Each day I can choose to be loyal, rather than critical or people-pleasing.

~ Lisa


Each Day a New Beginning
The pure relationship, how beautiful it is! How easily it is damaged, or weighted down with irrelevancies--not even irrelevancies, just life itself, the accumulations of life and of time.
  —Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Many of us are presently rebuilding old relationships and searching for new ones, ones that we hope we can protect. We can't survive without relationships, some intimate, some close, some casual. And we discover ourselves through our relationships with others.

The purity of a relationship is directly proportional to the undivided attention we both give to those shared moments, hours, experiences, to being there with one another. This communion with another is the celebration of life and God that quickens hearts and ushers in serenity.

Each day I can look for those chances to give myself wholly. And gifts will abound.

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

Food for Thought
Simple Joys

When we came into OA, we may have thought that we needed many material possessions, power, security, and great admiration from other people in order to be happy. We may have spent a tremendous amount of effort trying to acquire these things. Perhaps we were apparently successful, and yet were miserable because of our inability to control our eating. No amount of material possessions, fame, or prestige can alleviate the pain of compulsive overeating.

Abstinence is simple. It does not require great wealth, talent, or intellectual ability. It is immediately available to all of us. When we abstain, we know the simple joy of waking up in the morning feeling good. We can live without fear of our next eating binge. We find that we enjoy our three simple meals a day much more than our former overindulgences.

Through OA, we can accept ourselves and others for what we are. We do not have to impress each other. Friendship and sharing increase our joy.

Thank You for the simple joys of abstinence. 

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


The Language of Letting Go

Experiment. Try something new. Try stepping out.

We have been held back too long. We have held ourselves back too long.

As children, many of us were deprived of the right to experiment. Many of us are depriving ourselves of the right to experiment and learn as adults.

Now is the time to experiment. It is an important part of recovery. Let yourself try things. Let yourself try something new. Yes, you will make mistakes. But from those mistakes, you can learn what your values are.

Some things we just won't like. That's good. Then we'll know a little more about who we are and what we don't like.

Some things we will like, they will work with our values. They will work with who we are, and we will discover something important and life enriching.

There is a quiet time in recovery, a time to stand still and heal, a time to give ourselves a cooling off time. This is a time of introspection and healing. It is an important time. We deal with our issues.

There also comes a time when it is equally important to experiment, to begin to test the water.

Recovery does not equal abstention from life. Recovery means learning to live and learning to live fully. Recovery means exploration, investigation, and experimentation.

Recovery means being done with the rigid, shame-based rules from the past, and formulating healthy values based on self-love, love for others, and living in harmony with this world.

Experiment. Try something new. Maybe you won't like it. Maybe you'll make a mistake. But maybe you will like it, and maybe you'll discover something you love.

Today, I will give myself permission to experiment in life. I will stop rigidly holding myself back, and I will jump in when jumping in feels right. God, help me let go of my need to deprive myself of being alive. 

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


Today's thought from Hazelden is:

I usually just lived one day at a time. I never had a sense of where I was going.
--Ruth Casey

Did any of us really know where we were going? We probably spent many hours, days, weeks even, making detailed plans for the people around us. These plans didn't usually suit others so they didn't often materialize. God, however, always had a plan in store for each of us, although sometimes we were the last to know it.

Is there any reason to think that anything has changed? Not really. We're still here, so that means God is still in charge of whatever should transpire today. Our part is to be willing to listen to God's direction and to follow it. We don't have to know where our steps are leading us. We can simply move forward, trusting that we will end up where we need to be.

We may have complicated our lives for too many years. That's not unusual. Busy people tend to do that. What we needed to do, where we needed to go, was always under the direction of God. It still is. Let's rejoice that our part is doable.

Living one day at a time works best. I'll give up thoughts of all else today.
You are reading from the book:

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Daily Recovery Readings: March 29th

Recovery Meditations: March 29, 2015


“Isolation is the sum total of wretchedness to a man.”
Thomas Carlyle

This past summer I was forced to play "catch-up" at work in order to compensate for time lost while recovering from a serious ankle injury. As a result of my increased responsibilities, I stopped touching base with my friends and family -- Program family included -- except via the occasional email or phone call.

Fortunately, my friends and my sponsor are not the "shrinking violet" types. They took me to task about my whereabouts and well being. Because COE is a disease of isolation, it's extremely important to make sure we're making contact with others. We do this by using the tools of the Program: sharing with our support group, meetings, and sponsor.

When we don’t allow ourselves to have regular, daily social outflow and personal accountability – even with a good excuse – we are more likely to relapse.

One day at a time...
I will make a determined effort to connect and share with others.

~ Rob R.


Each Day a New Beginning
Love is an expression and assertion of self-esteem, a response to one's own values in the person of another.
  —Ayn Rand

The struggle to love one another may be a daily one for us, and it is made more difficult because we are still stumbling in our attempts at self-love. Many of us have lived our whole adult lives feeling inadequate, dull, unattractive, fearing the worst regarding our relationships with others.

But this phase, this struggle, is passing. We see a woman we like in the mirror each morning. We did a task or a favor yesterday that we felt good about. And when we feel good about our accomplishments, we look with a loving eye on the persons around us. Self-love does encourage other love.

Self-love takes practice. It's new behavior. We can begin to measure what we are doing, rather than what we haven't yet managed to do, and praise ourselves. Nurturing our inner selves invites further expression of the values that are developing, values that will carry us to new situations and new opportunities for accomplishments, and finally to loving the woman who looks back at us every morning.

Self-love makes me vulnerable and compassionate towards others. It's the balm for all wounds; it multiplies as it's expressed. It can begin with my smile.

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


Food for Thought
Slow Success

We say that there are no failures in OA, only slow successes. Some of us take longer than others to catch on to the program. It is important to keep trying, to continue to attend as many meetings as possible, and to refuse to become discouraged.

There are some of us who spent months and years experimenting before we were finally able to accept abstinence and stay with it. Sometimes we left the program for a time, until we realized how much we needed OA and came back to try again.

When we have accepted the program and maintained abstinence, yet found weight loss to be extremely slow, it is easy to become discouraged. It helps to remember that we are not only losing weight--however slowly--we are also learning a new way of life. Our spiritual and emotional growth in this program is even more rewarding than the eventual weight loss. By living each day as it comes and working the Twelve Steps, we achieve the serenity and confidence that make us satisfied with slow success.

Mav I be granted patience and persistence. 

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


The Language of Letting Go
Getting Needs Met

Picture yourself walking through a meadow. There is a path opening before you. As you walk, you feel hungry. Look to your left. There's a fruit tree in full ripe. Pick what you need.

Steps later, you notice you're thirsty. On your right, there's a fresh water spring.

When you are tired, a resting place emerges. When you are lonely, a friend appears to walk with you. When you get lost, a teacher with a map appears.

Before long, you notice the flow: need and supply, desire and fulfillment. Maybe, you wonder, someone gave me the need because someone planned to fulfill it. Maybe I had to feel the need, so I would notice and accept the gift. Maybe closing my eyes to the desire closes my arms to its fulfillment.

Demand and supply, desire and fulfillment -- a continuous cycle, unless we break it. All the necessary supplies have already been planned and provided for this journey. 

Today, everything I need shall be supplied to me.

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


Today's thought from Hazelden is:

I walked a mile with Sorrow,
And never a word said she;
But, Oh, the things I learned from her
When Sorrow walked with me!
-- Robert Browning Hamilton

We may think that forgetting the past is essential for growth and peace of mind. It's a tempting idea: we'll start over again, we think, fresh and new. But if we lose that old pain, we'll also lose all that we learned. We may repeat our mistakes, or make even worse ones next time. Dwelling on the past is equally dangerous. We began recovery to build a better life.

To find and maintain our balance, each area of our lives needs attention. A healthy mind in a healthy body is free to find God. And, with God's help, we can learn to recognize and forgive our past mistakes, while we keep the remarkable lessons we learned from life.

With our remembering, with our inventory, we can truly experience the repentance that frees us from regret and remorse. When we acknowledge our mistakes, we can learn from them and come to forgive ourselves.

Today help me use my memories to learn and change. Help me to forgive my past.
You are reading from the book:

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Daily Recovery Readings: March 28th

Recovery Meditations: March 28, 2015


"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
Is there ever any particular spot where one can put one's finger and say, "It all began that day, at such a time and such a place, with such an incident"?
  —Agatha Christie

No experience of our lives is pure, unadulterated, set apart from all other experiences. There is an eternal flow in our lives. It carries us from one moment, one experience, into the next. Where we are today, the growth we have attained as recovering women and the plans we have for further changes are prompted by the same driving desires that contributed to our many actions in years gone by.

We can reflect on a particular experience and tag it a turning point. However, neither a lone prescription nor a single martini opened the door we passed through when we chose recovery. But they each may have played a part, and it's the many parts of our lives, past and present, that guarantee us the turning points that nudge us further up the mountain. We will see the summit. And we will understand how, each time we stumbled, new strength was gained.

Every day is a training ground. And every experience trains me to recognize the value of succeeding experiences. With richness, I am developing, one moment at a time.

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


Food for Thought
Avoiding Trouble

Staying out of the kitchen as much as possible is a good way for the compulsive overeater to avoid trouble. If fast food restaurants are a problem, then visit them as infrequently as you can, or keep away from them altogether.

With planning, we can arrange for the food we need without placing ourselves in situations of great temptation. If the family is having something not on our program, we can substitute a simple meal for ourselves which fits our food plan. Sometimes we may need to get out of the house entirely while a particular food is being served.

Whenever possible, we stay away from temptation. We strengthen our resolve and refresh our spirits by frequently making phone calls to other OA members, attending meetings, and reading the literature. As we progress in our program, we are bothered less and less by the foods which we have chosen to avoid. Our new way of eating and living is so much more satisfying than our old habits that we have no desire to jeopardize it.

Lead us away from temptation. 

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


The Language of Letting Go

Seek balance.

Balance emotions with reason.
Combine detachment with doing our part.

Balance giving with receiving.

Alternate work with play, business with personal activities.

Balance tending to our spiritual needs with tending to our other needs.

Juggle responsibilities to others with responsibilities to ourselves.

Balance caring about others with caring about ourselves.

Whenever possible, let's be good to others, but be good to ourselves too.

Some of us have to make up for lost time.

Today, I will strive for balance.

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


Today's thought from Hazelden is:


For some of us, people-pleasing has become a way of getting our needs and wants met. But people-pleasing is manipulative and condescending. And it cheats us. When we are busy pleasing others, we are not being true to ourselves (nor those we are pleasing).

Rather than manipulating people, let us simply ask for what we need and want. We are all lovable and deserving, just as we are. We can truly please ourselves and others by simply being ourselves.

Do I ask honestly for what I want or need today?

Thought for the Day

The path to true connection is to be myself. The path to getting what I need is to ask for it.
You are reading from the book: