Thursday, April 30, 2015

Daily Recovery Readings: April 30th

Recovery Meditations:  April 30, 2015


There is a time to let things happen
and a time to make things happen.

Hugh Prather

One of the many facets of the disease of compulsive overeating, in my experience, has been the inability to make a positive change in my choice of foods without using the spiritual steps of recovery. Prior to coming into program, I would plan, pray, and write down what I wanted to do, but change never happened permanently. Looking back, it seems that I was really trying to make things happen, but I was trying to do it without the spiritual guidance and strength of this program through my Higher Power. I didn't have all the spiritual pieces needed to make the almost impossible changes inside myself before the physical changes could happen.

There are many tools of the program, such as sponsorship, a food plan, food abstinence, and practicing the spiritual program through actively working the Twelve Steps. I have learned through failure that I must actively work the steps of the program. I can't just let things happen in my recovery in regard to step work, because then the disease will win. When I daily commit to working the steps to the best of my ability, this brings me the spiritual recovery that allows physical and emotional recovery as well. I cannot make the spiritual recovery happen, since that action belongs only to my Higher Power. What I can do is to take the action by doing the step work, and from there leave the outcome in my Higher Power's hands.

One Day at a Time . . .
I will strive to work the Twelve Steps to the best of my ability, and let things happen in my Higher Power's time.

~ Ohitika ~



Each Day a New Beginning
Accustomed as we are to change, or unaccustomed, we think of a change of heart, of clothes, of life, with some uncertainty.
  —Josephine Miles

Being used to a situation, even a painful one, carries with it a level of comfort. Moving away from the pain, changing the situation, be it job, home, or marriage, takes courage and support from other persons. But even more it takes faith that the change will benefit us. For most of us, the pain will need to worsen.

In retrospect, we wonder why it took us so long. We forget, from one instance to the next, that a new door cannot open until we've closed one behind us. The more important fact is that a new one will always open without fail. The pain of the old experience is trying to push us to new challenges, new opportunities, and new growth. We can handle the change; we can handle the growth. We are never given more than we can handle, and we are always given just what we need.

Experience can't prepare us for the ramifications of a new change. But our trust in friends, and our faith in the spiritual process of life, can and will see us through whatever comes.

If a change of any kind is facing me today, I will know that I am not alone. Whatever I am facing is right for me and necessary to my well-being. Life is growth. The next stage of my life awaits me. 

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


Food for Thought
Waiting and Acting

Do you seem to have spent much of your life waiting for something? Waiting for Santa Claus, waiting to grow up, waiting to get married, waiting for children, a better job, etc., etc. When we join OA, we wait for the time when we will be thin, thinking that surely then everything will be as we want it to be.

It is important that we begin to live more fully now, rather than projecting our satisfaction into an indefinite future. Rather than waiting for tomorrow, let's obey our inner voice today. Rather than reaching for another bite that we do not need, let's enjoy the measured meal that we have in front of us. Instead of waiting to be thin, let's become more active now, even if all we do is go for a walk around the block.

There are some things that require patient waiting. But there are other things which we need to make happen now by taking action.

Lord, grant me the wisdom to know when to wait and when to act. 

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


The Language of Letting Go

The goal is balance.

We need balance between work and play. We need balance between giving and receiving. We need balance in thought and feelings. We need balance in caring for our physical self and our spiritual self.

A balanced life has harmony between a professional life and a personal life. There may be times when we need to climb mountains at work. There may be times when we put extra energy into our relationships. But the overall picture needs to balance.

Just as a balanced nutritional diet takes into account the realm of our nutritional needs to stay healthy, a balanced life takes into account all our needs: our need for friends, work, love, family, play, private time, recovery time, and spiritual time - time with God. If we get out of balance, our inner voice will tell us. We need to listen.

Today, I will examine my life to see if the scales have swung too far in any area or not far enough in some. I will work toward achieving balance. 

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


Today's thought from Hazelden is:

Patience is a particular requirement. Without it, you can destroy in an hour what it might take you weeks to repair.
--Charlie W. Shedd

Enjoying the moment, in its fullest, makes possible a peaceful and patient pace. Progress is guaranteed if our minds are centered in the present, on the only event deserving of our attention. We can be certain that error and frustration will haunt us if our attentions are divided.

Patience will see us through a troubled time, but how much easier it is to savor patience when it's accompanied by faith. We can know and fully trust that all is well - that our lives are on course - that individual experiences are exactly what we need at this moment. However, faith makes the knowing easier and the softness of the patient heart eases us through the times of challenge and uncertainty.

Patience slows me down long enough to notice another, and to be grateful for the gifts of the moment. Patience promises me the power to move forward with purpose. Today's fruits will be in proportion to my patience.
You are reading from the book:

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Daily Recovery Readings: April 29th

Recovery Meditations:  April 29, 2015


Above all, let us never forget that an act of goodness
is in itself an act of happiness.

Count Maurice Maeterlinck

While in the disease, most of the goodness I tried to do was for ulterior motives. It was only in recovery that I learned to give unselfishly and without strings to help another. In doing so, I have found happiness beyond measure. I can create my own happiness in the service of my Higher Power and other compulsive overeaters. I can make the promise of a "new happiness and a new freedom" come true.

One Day at a Time . . .
I will do acts of goodness.

~ Judy N. ~


Each Day a New Beginning
Love between two people is such a precious thing. It is not a possession. I no longer need to possess to complete myself. True love becomes my freedom.
  —Angela L. Wozniak

Self-doubt fosters possessiveness. When we lack confidence in our own capabilities, when we fear we don't measure up as women, mothers, lovers, employees, we cling to old behavior, maybe to unhealthy habits, perhaps to another person. We can't find our completion in another person because that person changes and moves away from our center. Then we feel lost once again.

Completion of the self accompanies our spiritual progress. As our awareness of the reality of our higher power's caring role is heightened, we find peace. We trust that we are becoming all that we need to be. We need only have faith in our connection to that higher power. We can let that faith possess us, and we'll never need to possess someone else.

God's love is ours, every moment. Recognition is all that's asked of us. Acceptance of this ever-present love will make us whole, and self-doubt will diminish. Clinging to other people traps us as much as them, and all growth is hampered, ours and theirs.

Freedom to live, to grow, to experience my full capabilities is as close as my faith. I will cling only to that and discover the love that's truly in my heart and the hearts of my loved ones. 

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


Food for Thought
Judge Not

When we have received the gift of abstinence and have gotten rid of excess weight, we sometimes tend to be very critical of those who have not yet succeeded with the physical part of the program. We may also be especially critical of those who obviously need the OA program, but who are not yet willing to try it.

Then there are some of us who resent those who come into the program with very little weight to lose or those who are of normal weight but nevertheless suffer from compulsive overeating.

Instead of worrying about other people and trying to pronounce judgment on their needs and efforts, it would be better to concentrate on our own progress. Only God understands completely where we are at a given moment, and only He can judge our sincerity and growth. We can help and encourage each other, but we are each responsible to our Higher Power.

To refrain from judging others is to stop trying to compare apples and oranges. We are each unique, and we grow according to our individual timetables.

May I not waste time and energy judging others. 

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


The Language of Letting Go
Initiating Relationships

Often, we can learn much about ourselves from the people to whom we are attracted.

As we progress through recovery, we learn we can no longer form relationships solely on the basis of attraction. We learn to be patient, to allow ourselves to take into account important facts, and to process information about that person.

What we are striving for in recovery is a healthy attraction to people. We allow ourselves to be attracted to who people are, not to their potential or to what we hope they are.

The more we work through our family of origin issues, the less we will find ourselves needing to work through them with the people we're attracted to. Finishing our business from the past helps us form new and healthier relationships.

The more we overcome our need to be excessive caretakers, the less we will find ourselves attracted to people who need to be constantly taken care of.

The more we learn to love and respect ourselves, the more we will become attracted to people who will love and respect us and who we can safely love and respect.

This is a slow process. We need to be patient with ourselves. The type of people we find ourselves attracted to does not change overnight. Being attracted to dysfunctional people can linger long and well into recovery. That does not mean we need to allow it to control us. The fact is, we will initiate and maintain relationships with people we need to be with until we learn what it is we need to learn - no matter how long we've been recovering.

No matter who we find ourselves relating to, and what we discover happening in the relationship, the issue is still about us, and not about the other person. That is the heart, the hope, and the power of recovery.

We can learn to take care of ourselves during the process of initiating and forming relationships. We can learn to go slowly. We can learn to pay attention. We can allow ourselves to make mistakes, even when we know better.

We can stop blaming our relationships on God and begin to take responsibility for them. We can learn to enjoy the healthy relationships and remove ourselves more quickly from the dysfunctional ones.

We can learn to look for what's good for us, instead of what's good for the other person.

God, help me pay attention to my behaviors during the process of initiating relationships. Help me take responsibility for myself and learn what I need to learn. I will trust that the people I want and need will come into my life. I understand that if a relationship is not good for me, I have the right and ability to refuse to enter into it - even though the other person thinks it may be good for him or her. I will be open to the lessons I need to learn about me in relationships, so I am prepared for the best possible relationships with people. 

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


Today's thought from Hazelden is:

Happy people are likeable

Personal Relations

Who are the people we really like, and like to be with? Most of the time, they are happy people, people who like themselves and others.

Being happy is almost the entire secret of being likeable. Though no person can expect to be liked by everybody, the likeable people have the inside track most of the time.

How do we become happy and thus likeable? We're continuously told that happiness cannot be found in property, power, and prestige. It is rooted instead in self-acceptance, in feeling loved and wanted, and in giving genuine service, maybe just in the form of very useful work.

Twelve Step programs are structured to make us happy if we persevere long enough in working the individual steps. While it may seem contradictory, even people with heavy burdens and personal sorrows can find underlying happiness in the program. A great deal of this also hinges on our belief in a Higher Power and a confidence that we have a place in the universal system.

I can be happy today in spite of things that others would consider burdensome and depressing. Happiness really comes from God, and it also serves to attract friends into my life.
You are reading from the book:

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Daily Recovery Readings: April 28th

Recovery Meditations:  April 28, 2015


Separate needs are weak and easily broken;
but bound together they are strong and hard to tear apart.

The Midrash, Judaic Text

For most of my life before coming into the program, I was a bit of a loner. I never had a lot of friends, perhaps because of my feelings of inadequacy, and was never good at sports, especially team sports. So I buried myself a lot in books, in academic achievements at which I excelled, mainly because I could do that on my own. I lived in a fantasy world where a knight in shining armor would come and rescue me, and my life would then be perfect. I had never even had a serious long-term relationship until I met my first husband, so it was hardly surprising that I made a bad choice and after having three children and much heartache, got divorced.

When I first came into program, it was the first time I had ever felt part of a big group, and most importantly they all spoke my language. Their experiences were my experiences. These wonderful people became my family. There was, and still is, for me an incredible sense of belonging in the fellowship. No longer do I have to brave it on my own as there will always be someone on the other end of the line or in a meeting who can identify and share with me what I am going through. The strength that I feel when I come into the meeting rooms or speak to a fellow member on the phone is a powerful sustaining force for me that has helped me through countless difficult situations and continues to do so.

One Day at a Time . . .
I only need to reach out and join hands with others in the fellowship to gain the strength to do things I could never do before. It is only with their help, support and love that I am fully able to recover.

~ Sharon ~


Each Day a New Beginning
. . . suffering . . . no matter how multiplied . . . is always individual.
  —Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Knowing that others have survived experiences equally devastating gives us hope, but it doesn't diminish our own personal suffering. Nor should it; out of suffering comes new understanding. Suffering also encourages our appreciation of the lighter, easier times. Pain experienced fully enhances the times of pleasure.

Our sufferings are singular, individual, and lonely. But our experiences with it can be shared; thereby lessening the power they have over us. Sharing our pain with another woman also helps her remember that her pain, too, is survivable.

Suffering softens us, helps us to feel more compassion and love toward another. Our sense of belonging to the human race, our recognition of the interdependence and kinship of us all, are the most cherished results of the gift of pain.

Each of our sufferings, sharing them as we do, strengthens me and heals my wounds of alienation. 

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


Food for Thought

If the OA program demanded perfection, then we would all be failures. Our goal is progress, not perfection, since none of us will ever be perfect.

It is said that the only time we fail in OA is when we do not try again. When we stumble or slip in our physical abstinence or in our emotional and spiritual life (and the three are always interrelated), the important thing is to pick ourselves up and keep going. We may lose battles here and there, but if we rely on our Higher Power, we will win the war.

None of us is free from temptation. Even when we abstain from compulsive overeating we may indulge in self-pity, envy, or anger. There is always the danger of pride and self-will. Perhaps it is through our failures that we become humble enough to seek and accept God's help. If we could manage by ourselves, we would have no need for a Higher Power. A failure is an opportunity to start again.

From failure, may I humbly learn to walk more closely with You. 

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


The Language of Letting Go
Anger at Family Members

Many of us have anger toward certain members of our family. Some of us have much anger and rage - anger that seems to go on year after year.

For many of us, anger was the only way to break an unhealthy bondage or connection between a family member and ourselves. It was the force that kept us from being held captive - mentally, emotionally, and sometimes spiritually - by certain family members.

It is important to allow ourselves to feel - to accept - our anger toward family members without casting guilt or shame on ourselves. It is also important to examine our guilty feelings concerning family members as anger and guilt are often intertwined.

We can accept, even thank, our anger for protecting us. But we can also set another goal: taking our freedom.

Once we do, we will not need our anger. Once we do, we can achieve forgiveness.

Think loving thoughts; think healing thoughts toward family members. But let ourselves be as angry as we need to be.

At some point, strive to be done with the anger. But we need to be gentle with ourselves if the feelings surface from time to time.

Thank God for the feelings. Feel them. Release them. Ask God to bless and care for our families. Ask God to help us take freedom and take care of ourselves.

Let the golden light of healing shine upon all we love and upon all with whom we feel anger. Let the golden light of healing shine on us.

Trust that a healing is taking place, now.

Help me accept the potent emotions I may feel toward family members. Help me be grateful for the lesson they are teaching me. I accept the golden light of healing that is now shining on my family and me. I thank God that healing does not always come in a neat, tidy package. 

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


Today's thought from Hazelden is:

Taking it slowly

Let's not make haste and demand perfection at once - this would only blind us. If we are impatient, we cannot work a daily program. But by exercising patience, we learn to recognize daily opportunities for growth.

It is worth waiting for, striving for, and working to develop a relationship with our Higher Power. It cannot be done overnight. Let's not go too fast, but count each day as a new opportunity.

Am I learning to take it slowly?

Higher Power, I pray that I may meet each day with patience and grow closer to You.
You are reading from the book:

Monday, April 27, 2015

Daily Recovery Readings: April 27th

Recovery Meditations:  April 27, 2015


And let there be no purpose in friendship
save the deepening of Spirit.

Kahlil Gibran

My initial experience of relationships in recovery was one of wonder and relief. I was so amazed to find that there actually were other people who understood life as I lived it! Until I walked into the rooms of recovery, I felt so alone and different from other people. Finding people who had also lived the nightmare of compulsive eating, helped my isolation fade away. Seeing that they had found a new way of living gave me hope!!

As I began to share more deeply with my sponsor and other people in recovery, I discovered a deeper gift of friendship in recovery. I received unconditional love and focused guidance toward the steps of recovery which would transform me completely. This was the greatest gift of relationship that I had ever known. This was the beginning of the transformation that invited me to share the Spirit of recovery with others.

As I carry the principles of recovery into all aspects of my life, I find my relationships with all people are transformed. My character defects no longer stand in the way of my honesty, and fear no longer holds me prisoner. The Spirit of recovery which has been so generously shared with me, continues to be shared joyously through me.

One Day at a Time . . .
I will be carried by the Spirit of recovery into all of my relationships.

~ Cate ~


Each Day a New Beginning
So much to say. And so much not to say! Some things are better left unsaid. But so many unsaid things can become a burden.
  —Virginia Mae Axline

The occasions are many when we'd like to share a feeling, an observation, perhaps even a criticism with someone. The risk is great, however. She might be hurt, or he might walk away, leaving us alone.

Many times, we need not share our words directly. Weighing and measuring the probable outcome and asking for some inner guidance will help us decide when to speak up and when to leave things unsaid. But if our thoughts are seriously interfering with our relationships, we can't ignore them for long.

Clearing the air is necessary sometimes, and it freshens all relationships. When to take the risk creates consternation. But within our quiet spaces, we always know when we must speak up. And the direction will come. The right moment will present itself. And within those quiet spaces the right words can be found.

If I am uncomfortable with certain people, and the feelings don't leave, I will consider what might need to be said. I will open myself to the way and ask to be shown the steps to take. Then, I will be patient. 

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


Food for Thought
Food Is No Cure all

In spite of what we compulsive overeaters may have believed, food does not solve our emotional or spiritual problems. Food cannot fill our hearts with love, no matter how much we eat. Rather than erasing our difficulties with family, friends, and self, overeating multiplies them.

If our problem were that of not having enough to eat, food would be the solution. It is possible for us to be overweight and undernourished at the same time, if we are eating the wrong foods. For most of us, though, the difficulty is simply that we like to eat too much. The only cure all for that problem is eating less!

The good news for compulsive overeaters is that a life of abstinence and control is possible. We do not have to be destroyed by our disease. When we recognize that we have been using food to do what only our Higher Power can do, we are on the way to recovery. Instead of turning to food to ease our aches and satisfy our cravings, we turn to God.

Thank You for being there for me. 

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


The Language of Letting Go
Letting Go of the Need to Control

The rewards from detachment are great: serenity; a deep sense of peace; the ability to give and receive love in self-enhancing, energizing ways, and the freedom to find real solutions to our problems.
  —Codependent No More

Letting go of our need to control can set others and us free. It can set our Higher Power free to send the best to us.

If we weren't trying to control someone or something, what would we be doing differently?

What would we do that we're not letting ourselves do now? Where would we go? What would we say?

What decisions would we make?

What would we ask for? What boundaries would be set? When would we say no or yes?

If we weren't trying to control whether a person liked us or his or her reaction to us, what would we do differently? If we weren't trying to control the course of a relationship, what would we do differently? If we weren't trying to control another person's behavior, how would we think, feel, speak, and behave differently than we do now?

What haven't we been letting ourselves do while hoping that self-denial would influence a particular situation or person? Are there some things we've been doing that we'd stop?

How would we treat ourselves differently?

Would we let ourselves enjoy life more and feel better right now? Would we stop feeling so bad? Would we treat ourselves better?

If we weren't trying to control, what would we do differently? Make a list, and then do it.

Today, I will ask myself what I would be doing differently if I weren't trying to control. When I hear the answer, I will do it. God, help me let go of my need to control. Help me set others and myself free. 

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


Today's thought from Hazelden is:

Where the willingness is great, the difficulties cannot be great.
--Niccolo Machiavelli

Acceptance may be one of the most difficult things to learn, for it means we must give up the desire to control our life and its outcome. Once we have truly received this great gift we will learn that acceptance need not take away our strength - on the contrary, we will have an inner strength we never thought possible.

When we decided to meet the challenge of a sober life we took the first step toward acceptance - we accepted the fact that we have a disease, a chronic disease that will always be with us. By accepting this fact we will be able to cope with our lifelong struggle. This way we willingly accept the friendship of our group members and the wisdom they offer us. They have been where we are coming from, they have suffered as we suffer, and they have felt the hope we now feel.

We are being offered a way of life that, if we follow it, will bring us a peace of mind we may never have felt. By our surrender we are now willing to receive something that is being offered to us - the beginning of a new way of life.

Today let me accept my powerlessness and any help.
You are reading from the book: