Monday, February 29, 2016

Daily Recovery Readings: February 29th

Recovery Meditations: February 29th

~ Patience ~
There is no fruit which is not bitter
before it is ripe. 

Publilius Syrus

There are some things in life you simply cannot rush. In the early stages of my disease, I went through life like a steam roller ... impatiently starting one project after another. If there was something in my life that depended on the actions of another for resolution, it was excruciating while waiting on the decision. As a result, sometimes decisions were forced. I have made many bad decisions because of lack of patience.
I have learned that sometimes we have to turn decisions over to others ... we have to let go and let others take control. We must wait it out and hope that our decision to let go was a good one. Many times it is. Sometimes it isn't.
I have become a very patient person ... and sometimes that is to my detriment. It can be hard to find a middle ground in the decision making process. Snap decisions aren't good. Neither are those we sit on forever.
One Day at a Time . . .
I will patiently wait on my Higher Power
to direct me ... to guide me ...
and to help me with the decisions I must make. 

~ Mari ~


Each Day A New Beginning

. . . I was taught that the way of progress is neither swift nor easy.
  —Marie Curie

We are looking for progress, not perfection; however, we sometimes get lost or confused between the two. Expecting ourselves to be perfect at something we are only now learning is a familiar affliction. As we accept our humanness, we'll allow the mistakes that are a normal part of the process of living and learning--a process we call progress.

Our need to be perfect will lessen with time. And we can help ourselves break the old habits. Perfection and self-worth are not symbiotic, except in our minds. And it's a symbiosis that has done us a grave injustice. Breaking the old thought patterns takes a commitment. We must first decide and believe that we are worthwhile, simply because we are. There is only one of us; we have a particular gift to offer this world. And our being is perfect as is. Affirming this, repeatedly, is our beginning. But with this, too, progress will be slow; perfection need only be worked for, not achieved.

The patterns I am weaving with my life are complex, full of intricate detail and knots. I need to go slow, taking only one stitch at a time. With hindsight I will see that whatever the progress, it was the perfect fit to the overall design.

Food For Thought

The Enemy Is Fear

When we are afraid, we tend to shut ourselves down. We don't reach out to others, we don't communicate our real feelings, and the resulting isolation is painful.

Then what do we do? Compulsive overeaters often attempt to fight fear with food. We stuff down our anxieties and hope that if we bury them deep enough they will disappear forever. Unfortunately, overeating does not make fear or pain go away. What does diminish is self-esteem. And the further we withdraw and isolate ourselves, the more our fears increase.

There is a way out of this vicious circle, the way of abstinence and unconditional love. When we turn our will and our lives over to the care of a Higher Power, believing that we are given just what we need each day, our higher self shows us how to fight fear with the weapon of love.

Everybody wins. Convinced that the universe loves us, we can take the risk of reflecting that love to those around us. Unconditionally, we can accept and love ourselves exactly as we are right now and accept and love life as it presents itself each moment. When we're filled with love, we're not afraid and we don't need excess food.

Show me how to be filled with the love that conquers fear. 

The Language of Letting Go

You Are Lovable

We go back and back and back...through the layers of fear, shame, rage, hurt, and negative incantations until we discover the exuberant, unencumbered, delightful, and lovable child that was, and still is, in us.
—Beyond Codependency

You are lovable. Yes, you.

Just because people haven't been there for you, just because certain people haven't been able to show love for you in ways that worked, just because relationships have failed or gone sour does not mean that you're unlovable.

You've had lessons to learn. Sometimes, those lessons have hurt.

Let go of the pain. Open your heart to love.
You are lovable.
You are loved.

Today, I will tell myself I'm lovable. I will do this until I believe it. 

Twenty-Four Hours A Day

Thought for the Day

Getting sober was a long and painful journey, but we can truthfully say it was worth it. We know now that all we've been through led us to A.A. and was part of our spiritual journey. We found in A.A. what we had been vainly seeking in the bottle. We've learned that our journey goes on as we continue to deal with our shortcomings and the human problems everybody must face. And when we reach a crossroads or a roadblock, we know that our Higher Power will come to our aid in making the right choices and surmounting all obstacles. Do I turn to my Higher Power to sustain me as I continue the spiritual journey that brought me to A.A.?

Meditation for the Day

As I continue on my spiritual journey, I will seek and follow Divine Guidance and know there is always a place prepared for me. Nothing but my own pride and fear can keep me from my dwelling place with God. I need not strain or struggle to obtain that which God wants me to have. My only responsibility is to accept God's guidance and follow the highest principles in all my affairs.

Prayer for the Day

I pray that I'll continue to seek guidance as my spiritual journey continues today. I pray to trust that I am always doing the right thing and am in the right place when my Higher Power is leading me.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Daily Recovery Readings: February 28th

Recovery Meditations: February 28th

The people who get on in the world are the people
who get up and look for the circumstances they want. 

George Bernard Shaw

There was a time, not so long ago, that my life was much different than it is right now. My weight was skyrocketing because my eating compulsion was out of control. I couldn't walk very far without huffing and puffing. My lower back hurt because my stomach pulled my spine out of alignment. My feet and ankles were swollen, my knees hurt, just standing was painful. I was hot all the time because my fat acted as insulation, keeping my body temperature high. My wife was hounding me about losing the weight, my doctor was taking her side, and even the kids at my son's daycare were asking me why I was so big.

I didn't start the recovery process (and it IS a process!) until I got to the point where I was so uncomfortable with myself that I had to do something. It wasn't just that I was physically uncomfortable. I had to get past the comfort zone I had mentally and emotionally set up for myself; I had to get uncomfortable. I had to jump into the unknown, which was the most frightening thing I'd ever done.

Sitting around, moaning about my circumstances and suffering the physical consequences of my weight, didn't get me anywhere. It was only when I became ready to see my life change, mentally, emotionally AND physically, that I began the footwork of this Program. That was the key to the beginning of my recovery, the getting up and actually doing something about it. When I took that first Step, the miracle began.

One Day at a Time . . .
I will take the necessary steps to maintain my
recovery from compulsive eating.

~ JAR ~


Each Day A New Beginning

The weariest night, the longest day, sooner or later must perforce come to an end.
  —Baroness Orczy

The difficult spells in our lives come to an end. And no matter the depth of our disturbance, we will survive. We forget that the depths teach us how to better appreciate the heights.

Sorrow heightens joy. Depression heightens laughter. We wouldn't know the joys and laughter were it not for the sorrows. In them we learn to be patient, waiting for the wisdom which will light our way. In them we learn to listen for the guidance that beckons us forth.

We must reflect on the troubling experiences we've passed through of late. They made us wiser; they gave us strength. They changed us, moving us ever closer to the women, whole and happy, we desire to be.

Difficulties often precede enlightenment. They pull us inward, perhaps push us to search for our connectedness to God, a connectedness that is at home in our hearts. The paradox is that these painful periods strengthen our oneness with the Spirit.

If the day looks bleak, I will accept it as a hand reaching toward me, to pull me forward, to secure my place in the spiritual family.

Food For Thought

Conserving Resources

In this fight against compulsive overeating, we need all the strength we can muster. We can learn to conserve our energy for what is important, rather than wasting it on non-essential activities.

An extra hour of sleep may do more for our program than an hour spent reading a novel or watching television. We have to guard against compulsive overactivity as well as overeating. Often, we tend to push too hard to complete something which can just as well wait until tomorrow. If we are tired, we are less able to resist temptation.

Choosing the foods, which will provide us with necessary proteins, vitamins, and minerals, is a vital part of maintaining energy. To take care of our bodies is to nurture the most valuable physical resource we have.

Conserving our resources often means saying no to people and activities, which drain them unnecessarily. Only we ourselves, with the guidance of our Higher Power, can decide how best to use the strength and energy we have.

Teach me to conserve the resources You have given me. 

The Language of Letting Go

Letting Go of Denial

We are slow to believe that which, if believed, would hurt our feelings.

Most of us in recovery have engaged in denial from time to time. Some of us relied on this tool.

We may have denied events or feelings from our past. We may have denied other people's problems; we may have denied our own problems, feelings, thoughts, wants, or needs. We denied the truth.

Denial means we didn't let ourselves face reality, usually because facing that particular reality would hurt. It would be a loss of something: trust, love, family, perhaps a marriage, a friendship, or a dream. And it hurts to lose something or someone.

Denial is a protective device, a shock absorber for the soul. It prevents us from acknowledging reality until we feel prepared to cope with that particular reality. People can shout and scream the truth at us, but we will not see or hear it until we are ready.

We are sturdy yet fragile beings. Sometimes, we need time to get prepared, time to ready ourselves to cope. We do not let go of our need to deny by beating ourselves into acceptance; we let go of our need to deny by allowing ourselves to become safe and strong enough to cope with the truth.

We will do this, when the time is right. We do not need to punish ourselves for having denied reality; we need only love ourselves into safety and strength so that each day we are better equipped to face and deal with the truth. We will face and deal with reality - on our own time schedule, when we are ready, and in our Higher Power's timing. We do not have to accept chastisement from anyone, including ourselves, for this schedule.

We will know what we need to know, when it's time to know it.

Today, I will concentrate on making myself feel safe and confident. I will let myself have my awarenesses on my own time schedule. 

Twenty-Four Hours A Day

Thought for the Day

We should be free from alcohol (or junk food) for good. It's out of our hands and in the hands of God, so we don't need to worry about it or even think about it any more. But if we haven't done this honestly and fully, the chances are that it will become our problem again. Since we don't trust God to take care of the problem for us, we reach out and take the problem back to ourselves. Then it's our problem again and we're in the same old mess we were in before. We're helpless again and we drink. Do I trust God to take care of the problem for me?

Meditation for the Day

No work is of value without preparation. Every spiritual work must have behind it much spiritual preparation. Cut short times of prayer and times of spiritual preparation and many hours of work may be profitless. From the point of view of God, one poor tool working all the time, but doing bad work because of lack of preparation, is of small value compared with the sharp, keen, perfect instrument working for only a short time, but that turns out perfect work because of long hours of spiritual preparation.

Prayer for the Day

I pray that I may spend more time alone with God. I pray that I may get more strength and joy from such times, so that they will add much to my work.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Daily Recovery Readings: February 27th

Recovery Meditations: February 27th

And we have ceased fighting anything or anyone ... 

The Big Book, page 84
When one goes through life at full speed ahead as I have done, it's hard to really step back and look at one's life. Everything is happening too fast and each day seems to blend into the next and, before you know it, the next segment of life seems to take over.

When I began my Twelve Step recovery program, I found myself slowing down ... examining my life ... observing those around me ... and reflecting on my past. I began to know who I was and I didn't like one of the things I discovered: I was a fighter. I didn't accept people, places or things unless and until they met my expectations of what they should be. I tried to control situations that I should have walked away from. I clung to people I should have distanced myself from. I tried to manipulate things that were toxic to me, and make them un-toxic ... and, in the process, did myself great harm.

When I first read those words from the AABB, "We have ceased fighting anything or anyone," I felt it didn't apply to me ... because at that point, I hadn't categorized myself as a fighter. It took living and working the Steps to realize that. And it took living and working the Steps to take the action necessary to stop being a fighter.

Life is calmer now. Relationships are smoother. I sometimes miss the excitement of going through like as though I were on a roller coaster ... but I won't go back there. Serenity means too much to me. Fighting is something I have put away forever.

One Day at a Time . . .
I will direct my thinking and doing to those things in my life which will contribute to a meaningful and pleasant journey. 

~ Mari ~


Each Day A New Beginning

Being alone and feeling vulnerable. Like two separate themes, these two parts of myself unite in my being and sow the seeds of my longing for unconditional love.
  —Mary Casey

How easily we slip into self-doubt, fearing we're incapable or unlovable, perhaps both. How common for us to look into the faces of our friends and lovers in search of affirmation and love.

Our alienation from ourselves, from one another, from God's Spirit which exists everywhere causes our discontent. It is our discontent. When souls touch, love is born, love of self and love of the other. Our aloneness exists when we create barriers that keep us separate from our friends, our family. Only we can reach over or around the barriers to offer love, to receive love.

Recovery offers us the tools for loving, but we must dare to pick them up. Listening to others and sharing ourselves begins the process of loving. Risking to offer love before receiving it will free us from the continual search for love in the faces of others.

I won't wait to be loved today. I will love someone else, fully. I won't doubt that I, too, am loved. I will feel it. I will find unconditional love.

Food For Thought

No Standing Still

Life is movement, and to be alive is to change. There is no standing still. Either we are making progress in the control of our disease, or we are getting worse.

Progress forward is an upward climb. To look back with longing at a time which in retrospect seems easier, or to think about the so-called pleasure we once got from food, is to invite disaster. We have long passed the point of being satisfied with a small amount of uncontrolled eating. Now, a small amount will inevitably become a large amount, and instead of pleasure we will eventually feel much physical and emotional pain.

If we are making progress, let's keep at it and not be deluded into going backwards. If we are losing control and slipping, let's recognize that we are on a downward course and that our disease is getting worse. Let's stop rationalizing and making excuses. Right now we can turn around and start climbing.

May I keep climbing. 

The Language of Letting Go


Have you ever been around people-pleasers? They tend to be displeasing. Being around someone who is turned inside out to please another is often irritating and anxiety- producing.

People-pleasing is a behavior we may have adapted to survive in our family. We may not have been able to get the love and attention we deserved. We may not have been given permission to please ourselves, to trust ourselves, and to choose a course of action that demonstrated self-trust.

People-pleasing can be overt or covert. We may run around fussing over others, chattering a mile a minute when what we are really saying is, "I hope I'm pleasing you." Or, we may be more covert, quietly going through life making important decisions based on pleasing others.

Taking other people's wants and needs into consideration is an important part of our relationships. We have responsibilities to friends and family and employers. We have a strong inner responsibility to be loving and caring. But, people-pleasing backfires. Not only do others get annoyed with us, we often get annoyed when our efforts to please do not work as we planned. The most comfortable people to be around are those who are considerate of others but ultimately please themselves.

Help me, God, work through my fears and begin to please myself. 

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

We don't need crutches.

We are unique and wonderful people. We have weaknesses, yes, and we also have strengths beyond our imagining.

Perhaps we needed a crutch at one time. We got used to it, and even though it was in our way and slowed us down, we were afraid to venture forth without it. Gradually, the crutch began to control our movements and take over our life. We became its slave.

Then we were invited to consider the possibility of a Higher Power that would eliminate our need for a crutch. Intrigued, we began to practice relying on this Higher Power in concrete ways on a daily basis.

We are learning how to walk again. Scary sometimes, without the old props, but Step by Step we're on our way to recovery.

Just for today, I will put away the crutches I no longer need and rely on my Higher Power.

You are reading from the book:


Friday, February 26, 2016

Daily Recovery Readings: February 26th

Recovery Meditations: February 26th

Some memories are realities ...
and are better than anything that can ever happen to one again. 

Willa Cather
When one is young, the world is large and the thought of exploring it is exciting. Each year that we live we add to our memory chest ... and by middle age those memories are substantial. I have found as I have grown older that I remember more of the good things that have happened in my life than the bad. The good things seem to become sharper as time goes by ... and the bad seem less so. It's almost as though the memory has turned into a "feeling" rather than a specific event. 

When I work on the fourth and the eighth Steps, my life flashes before me and, like one of those calendars from an old movie, time whizzes by and people who have been part of my life hurtle through space ... each triggering a memory. 

Memories aren't made more poignant by time. One might think that a decade of recurring events might be remembered with more clarity than a year ... but I have found in the case of my own memories that it is the quality and intensity of time that produces the kind of memories Willa Cather talks about. A year or two or three, given the right circumstances, can produce the feelings we love our memories to trigger, more than those experienced during a lifetime. And a lifetime of memories can be dwindled into just moments. 

One Day at a Time . . .
I will cherish my memories ~ Because I may never experience the reality of some of them again.

~ Mari ~


Each Day A New Beginning 

Happiness is a byproduct of an effort to make someone else happy.
  —Gretta Brooker Palmer

We have striven for happiness, generally in self-centered ways. We expected others to favor us with their attention, for example. Or we waited for invitations or gifts. We have probably tried to buy happiness with the purchase of a new dress or shoes. Fleeting moments of happiness were gained, that's all. And soon we were discontent once again. And the search was begun anew.

But things have changed for some of us. We are learning, maybe slowly, how to find a more permanent happiness. And we know the happiness that comes from "getting" is elusive. Giving to others, giving attention, sharing hope, sharing our own stories, listening to theirs, is the key to finding the happiness for which we've searched so long. We must get outside of ourselves and focus on another's joy or sorrow. Only then do we get a clear perspective on who we are and the necessary role we play in the lives of others who need our attention and who have a message we also need to hear.

The creative power stirring in me needs recognition. Looking deeply into another person, listening intently to the stirring will elicit joy. I will feel in touch with my own creative power, a lasting thrill, not a fleeting moment of happiness.

Food For Thought

Eating Slowly

We compulsive overeaters are inclined to devour our meals in a great rush. Mealtime often finds us anxious and tense, and sometimes we are just plain greedy! While others at the table are interested in conversation and socializing, we may be narrowly focused on food and preoccupied with trying to satisfy a ravenous appetite.

We need to break out of our self-centeredness. Rather than being completely absorbed with satisfying our own appetite (which we can never do), we can learn to focus some of our attention on the concerns of those around us. When we eat more slowly, we have more time for others and we feel less deprived. Our enjoyment, of both the company and the food, is greatly increased.

Even when we eat a meal alone, we should remember that we do not receive all of our nourishment from physical food. When we eat more slowly, we become more relaxed and refreshed both physically and spiritually. When we are aware of our Higher Power and thankful for all of His blessings, the meal is more satisfying.

Help me to slow down and appreciate Your gifts. 

The Language of Letting Go

Twelve Step Programs

I was furious when I found myself at my first Al-Anon meeting. It seemed so unfair that he had the problem and I had to go to a meeting. But by that time, I had nowhere left in the world to go with my pain. Now, I'm grateful for Al-Anon and my codependency recovery. Al-Anon keeps me on track; recovery has given me a life.

There are many Twelve Step programs for codependents: Al-Anon, Adult Children of Alcoholics, CoDa, Families Anonymous, Nar-Anon, and more. We have many choices about which kind of group is right for us and which particular group in that category meets our needs. Twelve Step groups for codependents are free, anonymous, and available in most communities. If there is not one that is right for us, we can start one.

Twelve Step groups for codependents are not about how we can help the other person; they're about how we can help ourselves grow and change. They can help us accept and deal with the ways codependency has affected us. They can help us get on track and stay there.

There is magic in Twelve Step programs. There is healing power in connecting with other recovering people. We access this healing power by working the Steps and by allowing them to work on us. The Twelve Steps are a formula for healing.

How long do we have to go to meetings? We go until we "get the program." We go until the program "gets us." Then we keep on going and growing.

Selecting a group and then attending regularly are important ways we can begin and continue to take care of ourselves. Actively participating in our recovery program by working the Steps is another.

I will be open to the healing power available to me from the Twelve Steps and a recovery program. 

Today's thought from the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is:
There is no shortcut to life. To the end of our days, life is a lesson imperfectly learned.
--Harrison E. Salisbury
There are no perfect days. We have struggled hard against this truth. In our demanding ways, we haven't wanted life to be a process; we have wanted to reach a secure point of arrival. We have struggled against the dialogue and learning process of experience. We've looked for a "fix" and for perfection. Even now in recovery we long to "get it right." We continue to learn and to grow, but the lessons we learn are not the things we expected. We grieve the lateness of our learning, and then we go on to learn more.
As we grow in this program, we learn how to learn. We become more accepting of life as a process with no shortcut to the truth. We learn to engage in the process and accept that there usually is no right or wrong answer at the end of our search.
Today, may I accept the truth, which comes from the lessons of my experience -- and be tolerant of its incompleteness.
You are reading from the book:


Thursday, February 25, 2016

Daily Recovery Readings: February 25th

Recovery Meditations: February 25th

Vitality shows not only in the ability to persist,
but in the ability to start over.

F. Scott Fitzgerald

Before coming into this program I was, and probably still am to a certain extent, a perfectionist, so one of the things I really struggled with is being able make mistakes without feeling bad about myself. So when I came into the program, I decided that I was going to do this program perfectly, and proceeded to do just that. I followed a meal plan, lost weight and worked the steps, and I really thought I had it made. But I hadn't counted on the fact that this is a disease, and it is both cunning, baffling and powerful. So when I had my first slip, I was devastated and felt a real failure.

Fortunately for me, with the help of many loving sponsors over the years, I have realised that I am not a failure if I slip, but I am only one if I fail to get up. This program has enabled me to learn that when I make a mistake, I am not that mistake, and that all I need to do is to pick myself up and start over. In the old days if I failed at a diet, I would never have been able to pick myself up so soon, and it would always be an excuse to carry on eating and start the diet again on Monday. Now I know that my abstinence can even start at the end of the day, rather than waiting till tomorrow, next week or even next month. I am slowly starting to let go of the guilt I feel when I slip, and am also learning to love myself even when I do flounder, because with the love and support I am given in this program, I know I can always start over.
One day at a time...
I will remember that I can start afresh any time I like, and don't need to feel as if I have failed.
~ Sharon ~


Each Day A New Beginning

You need only claim the events of your life to make yourself yours.
  —Florida Scott-Maxwell

The search is on. Everyone, everywhere, asks the question at some time, "Who am I?" Women like ourselves are fortunate to have this program. It shows us the way to self-discovery. It directs our steps to the celebration of self that is a gift of recovery. The events of our past may plague us, but they did contribute to the fullness we feel today. And for them, for their involvement in who we've become, we can be grateful.

Claiming ourselves, the good and the bad, is healing. It's taking responsibility--for where we were and where we're going. Claiming ourselves makes us the active participants in our lives. The choices are many and varied. Not actively participating in life is also a choice. Passivity may have been our dominant choice in years gone by. But now, today, we are choosing recovery. We are choosing action that is healing, and wholeness is the result.

Making myself mine, will exhilarate me. It will give me hope. It will prepare me for anything to come. I will know a new joy.


Food For Thought

A New Place

After a slip, we do not go back and start again in the same place where we were before. Through the experience of making a mistake, we have reached a new place. Out of error, we can gain new knowledge and insight.

Often we find that wrong thinking got us into trouble. Perhaps we fell back into the old perception of ourself as the center of the universe. Perhaps we forgot to turn over whatever was troubling us and instead began to overeat. Perhaps we tried to depend on our own inadequate strength to get us through the day. Undoubtedly, we forgot that abstinence is the most important thing in our lives without exception.

Whatever the mistake, we can profit from it by growing in understanding and insight. We can mark a pitfall to be avoided in the future. We start again a few steps farther ahead, in a new place.

May I not be discouraged by mistakes. 

The Language of Letting Go

Accepting Imperfection

"Why do I do this to myself?" asked a woman who wanted to lose weight. "I went to my support group feeling so guilty and ashamed because I ate half a cookie that wasn't on the diet. I found out that everyone cheats a little, and some people cheat a lot. I felt so ashamed before I came to the group, as though I were the only one not doing my diet perfectly. Now I know that I'm dieting as well as most, and better than some."

Why do we do this to ourselves? I'm not talking strictly about dieting, I'm talking about life. Why do we punish ourselves by thinking that we're inferior while believing that others are perfect - whether in relationships, recovery, or a specific task?

Whether we're judging others or ourselves it's two sides of the same coin: perfection. Neither expectation is valid.

It is far more accurate and beneficial to tell ourselves that who we are is okay and what we are doing is good enough. That doesn't mean we won't make mistakes that need correcting; doesn't mean we won't get off track from time to time; doesn't mean we can't improve. It means with all our mistakes and wandering, we're basically on course. Encouraging and approving of ourselves is how we help ourselves stay on track.

Today, I will love and encourage myself. I will tell myself that what I'm doing is good enough, and I'll let myself enjoy that feeling. 

Twenty-Four Hours A Day

Thought for the Day

Some people find it hard to believe in a Power greater than themselves. But not to believe in such a Power forces us to atheism. It has been said that atheism is blind faith in the strange proposition that this universe originated in a cipher and aimlessly rushes nowhere. That's practically impossible to believe. I think we all can agree that alcohol is a power greater than ourselves. It certainly was in my case. I was helpless before the power of alcohol. Do I remember the things that happened to me because of the power of alcohol?

Meditation for the Day

The spiritual and moral will eventually overcome the material and unmoral. That is the purpose and destiny of the human race. Gradually the spiritual is overcoming the material in our minds. Gradually the moral is overcoming the unmoral. Faith, fellowship, and service are cures for most of the ills of the world. There is nothing in the field of personal relationships that they cannot do.

Prayer for the Day

I pray that I may do my share in making a better world. I pray that I may be part of the cure for the ills of the world. 

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Daily Recovery Readings: February 23rd

Recovery Meditations: February 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

I want to dance always, to be good and not evil, and, when it is all over, not to have the feeling that I might have done better.
  —Ruth St. Denis

Our wants in life may be simple, or they may be complex. They may yet be confused in our minds, but the clarity will come if we're patient. God has a way of giving us an "inner tug" when a certain direction beckons. Our responsibility is to follow that tug and trust it, fully. Too often we look back on our lives with regret. What is done, is done. We learned lessons from those mistakes. Every day is a new beginning. And we can close every day with no regrets when we have followed our consciences, that "inner tug" that beckons.

The opportunities will come today. Opportunities to be good or evil. Opportunities for making choices over which we will feel good or full of regret at the day's close. Many of our choices will bring us closer to the satisfaction, the contentment with life that we all search for as women, as human beings. We need not fear coming to life's close, wishing we had done more or better. Living each day in good conscience, waiting for the tug and following it, will ensure a life well lived.

My ego can block out the tug, if I let it. Or I can trust.

Food For Thought


In the past, we used excess food as a crutch, and we developed a false dependency on it. We turned to unnecessary food to calm us down, to cheer us up, and to avoid facing our problems. As a cure-all, food let us down. Rather than solving our problems, overeating multiplied them.

As human beings, there are many times when we are weak and dependent. If we say we can go it alone, we are whistling in the dark and deluding ourselves. We need to rely on a Power greater than ourselves, but food is not that Power. What we need to find is the Power strong enough to sustain our dependency.

Accepting the fact that we are dependent, that we cannot manage our lives by ourselves--this is the beginning of recovery. We need to be humble, open, and willing to be led by those who have replaced their false dependency on food with a healthy dependency on God.

Lord, may I not be too proud to be dependent on You. 

The Language of Letting Go


We don't always have to be strong.  Sometimes, our strength is expressed in being vulnerable. Sometimes, we need to fall apart to regroup and stay on track.

We all have days when we cannot push any harder, cannot hold back self-doubt, cannot stop focusing on fear, cannot be strong.

There are days when we cannot focus on being responsible. Occasionally we don't want to get out of our pajamas. Sometimes, we cry in front of people. We expose our tiredness, irritability, or anger.

Those days are okay. They are just okay.

Part of taking care of ourselves means we give ourselves permission to "fall apart" when we need to. We do not have to be perpetual towers of strength. We are strong. We have proven that. Our strength will continue if we allow ourselves the courage to feel scared, weak, and vulnerable when we need to experience those feelings.

Today, God, help me to know that it is okay to allow myself to be human. Help me not to feel guilty or punish myself when I need to "fall apart." 

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

There are sounds to seasons. There are sounds to places, and there are sounds to every time in one's life.
--Alison Wyrley Birch

Live is rich and full. Your life. My life. Even when the day feels flat or hollow, there's a richness to it that escapes our attention. We see only what we choose to see. We hear selectively, too. Our prejudgment precludes our getting the full effects of any experience. Some days we hear only the drum of the humdrum.

But the greater our faith in the program and a loving God, the clearer our perceptions become. We miss less of the day's events; we grow in our understanding of our unfolding, and we perceive with clarity the role others are playing in our lives.

We can see life as a concert in progress when we transcend our own narrow scope and appreciate the variety of people and situations all directed toward the same finale. The more we're in tune with the spiritual activity surrounding us, the more harmoniously we will be able to perform our parts.

I will listen to the music of today. I will get in tune, in rhythm. I am needed for the concert's beauty.
You are reading from the book:

Monday, February 22, 2016

Daily Recovery Readings: February 22nd

Recovery Meditations


Anxiety is the rust of life, 
destroying its brightness and weakening its power. 
A childlike and abiding trust in Providence
is its best preventive and remedy.

Tyron Edwards

Like so many of us in OA, I grew up as a little adult. My parents didn't know better - treating me like an adult seemed a good way to them of both showing love to me and making their difficult post-war life easier. Providence was something that intervened once in a while, and in ways that were weighty and important. God was there - but God had to attend to serious matters.
There was little room in God's and my parents' life for the seemingly unimportant details of a child's world. I had no trouble internalizing that message. I learned very soon that no-one was going to take care of my "little" problems and anxieties, that I had to shove them out of the way, and that I could do that very well by daydreaming, by making sure I was the little adult my parents were so proud of - and by eating.
The trouble was that there were times when these coping mechanisms didn't work seamlessly and those anxieties would break through. Panic attacks were the result, and dogged attempts to do more of the insanity: more retreating from the world, more "adult" behaviour, more eating.
One of the things I'm learning in recovery is that paradoxically, in order to really grow up, I need to risk the vulnerability of being more childlike. I need to learn that my Higher Power is not too busy worrying about world peace to listen and deeply care about my little booboos. I need to, I WANT to develop an abiding trust that I am safe with and cared for by my Higher Power, like a baby in a mother's arms.
One day at a time ... I let go of the rust of anxiety so that like a child, I may marvel at and participate in the brightness and wonder of God's world. 
~ Isabella ~


Each Day A New Beginning

Toleration is the greatest gift of the mind.
  —Helen Keller

Facing conditions we would like to change, letting go of people we wish were different, takes growth, patience, tolerance. We're so easily enticed into thinking we'd be happier, "If only he'd change," or "If I had a better job," or "If the kids would settle down." Yet we carry the seed of happiness within us every moment. Learning tolerance for all conditions will nurture that seed.

Intolerance, impatience, depression, in fact, any negative attitude is habit-forming. Many of us in this recovery program continue to struggle with the habits we've formed. Bad habits must be replaced with new, good habits. We can develop a new behavior, one that pleases us, like smiling at every stranger in a checkout line. We can repeat it in every line. It becomes a habit and a good one.

Toleration of others opens many doors, for them and for us. It nurtures the soul, ours and theirs. It breeds happiness. Those of us sharing these Steps are truly blessed. We're learning about love, how to give it and how to receive it.

There are so many eyes I'll look into today that don't know love. I will give some away with unconditional tolerance. It's a gift -- to myself and others.

Food For Thought


Ours is a program for living spiritually as well as physically. We have found that without daily spiritual nourishment we feel an emptiness, which no amount of material things can fill. We have also found that when we were overeating and were physically glutted, we were less receptive to spiritual food.

In Step Eleven, we seek to improve our conscious contact with God, as we understand Him. We do this through daily prayer and meditation. Our contact with our Higher Power is most effective and satisfying when we are carrying out the physical part of the program by maintaining abstinence.

When we came into OA, most of us wanted to eat less in order to lose weight. As we grow through the Twelve Steps, we gradually learn that eating less physical food enables us to make more spiritual progress. The rewards of working the OA program are far greater than we had imagined! The spiritual food, which we receive from our Higher Power, begins to satisfy the emptiness which we had foolishly tried to fill with excess calories. Not only do we maintain abstinence in order to control our weight, but we also maintain it in order to grow in spirituality.

May I remember to seek spiritual food. 

The Language of Letting Go

Solving Problems

I ask that You might help me work through all my problems, to Your Glory and Honor.
—Alcoholics Anonymous

Many of us lived in situations where it wasn't okay to identify, have, or talk about problems. Denial became a way of life - our way of dealing with problems

In recovery, many of us still fear problems. We may spend more time reacting to a problem than we do to solving it. We miss the point; we miss the lesson; we miss the gift.  Problems are a part of life. So are solutions.

A problem doesn't mean life is negative or horrible. Having a problem doesn't mean a person is deficient. All people have problems to work through.

In recovery, we learn to focus on solving our problems. First, we make certain the problem is our problem. If it isn't, our problem is establishing boundaries. Then we seek the best solution. This may mean setting a goal, asking for help, gathering more information, taking an action, or letting go.

Recovery does not mean immunity or exemption from problems; recovery means learning to face and solve problems, knowing they will appear regularly. We can trust our ability to solve problems, and know we're not doing it alone. Having problems does not mean our Higher Power is picking on us. Some problems are part of life; others are ours to solve, and we'll grow in necessary ways in the process.

Face and solve today's problems. Don't worry needlessly about tomorrow's problems, because when they appear, we'll have the resources necessary to solve them.

Facing and solving problems, working through problems with help from a Higher Power, means we're living and growing and reaping benefits.

God, help me face and solve my problems today. Help me do my part and let the rest go. I can learn to be a problem solver. 

Twenty-Four Hours A Day

Thought for the Day

Now we can take an inventory of the good things that have come to us through A.A. To begin with, we're sober today. That's the biggest asset on any alcoholic's books. Sobriety to us is like goodwill in business. Everything else depends on that. Most of us have jobs, which we owe to our sobriety. We know we couldn't hold these jobs if we were drinking, so our jobs depend on our sobriety. Most of us have wives or husbands and children, which we either had lost or might have lost, if we hadn't stopped drinking. We have friends in A.A., real friends who are always ready to help us. Do I realize that my job, my family, and my real friends are dependent upon my sobriety?

Meditation for the Day

I must trust God to the best of my ability. This lesson has to be learned. My doubts and fears continually drive me back into the wilderness. Doubts lead me astray, because I am not trusting God. I must trust God's love. It will never fail me, but I must learn not to fail it by my doubts and fears. We all have much to learn in turning out fear by faith. All our doubts arrest God's work through us. I must not doubt. I must believe in God and continually work at strengthening my faith.

Prayer for the Day

I pray that I may live the way God wants me to live. I pray that I may get into that stream of goodness in the world.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Daily Recovery Readings: February 21st

Recovery Meditations: February 21st

" ... I was taught that the way of progress is neither swift nor easy."

Marie Curie

I have always been the queen of quick fix, so if I wanted something to happen, it had to happen today if not yesterday. So coming into the program was very hard for me, in that for the first time I have had to realise that recovery is not an overnight thing. For a perfectionist like me, that has been a very hard lesson to learn, in that I don't have to have perfect recovery. My journey in this program has been an up and down one, with many slips along the way, and everytime I have slipped, I have had to remember that I may think I'm a failure, but I'm only a failure if I fail to pick myself up. In the past if I made a mistake, I was a total and utter failure, but I know now that all I have to do each time is to pick myself up, dust myself off and start over.

The other thing I've learned in the program is that I also always need to remember where I came from, and when I look back, I can see the progress I have made. My self esteem is growing, and even though I still seem to slip back into the old character defects from time to time, they are nowhere near as bad as in the past. I am able to forgive people whom I thought I would never be able to forgive, and I make amends whenever the need arises, and as a result my relationships with people have improved dramatically.

One Day at a Time . . .
May I remember that in this program, it is always progress and not perfection that counts.
~ Sharon ~


Each Day A New Beginning

We can never go back again, that much is certain.
  —Daphne DuMaurier

Yesterday is gone, but its experiences will be reflected in those of today. We learned from both the good and the bad situations of yesterday. Where we travel today, likewise, will influence our direction tomorrow. We can't do over what has gone before, but we can positively incorporate all that life is offering us from this moment forth.

We are moving toward greater understanding of life's mysteries with each experience. As today unfolds, we can be moved by the adventures. What we experience is ours alone and will contribute to the unfolding of our special destiny. We move forward, only forward. The doors behind us are closed forever.

Facing what comes to us, with strength, is a gift from this program we share. Letting go of the yesterdays and the last years is another gift offered by this program. And trust that what we face along with what we let go will weave the pattern of our rightful unfolding--that is the ultimate gift given to us by this program.

I need never go back again. I am spared that. My destiny lies in the future. And I can be certain it will bring me all that I desire, and more.

Food For Thought


Serenity comes when we are tuned in to our Higher Power. Serenity enables us to take external circumstances in stride, even the most difficult ones. Serenity is a gift, which we are each free to receive daily.

Turning our will and our lives over to God, as we understand Him encourages serenity. Staying in contact with our Higher Power as we go about our daily activities produces serenity. Practicing abstinence from compulsive overeating maintains serenity.

In meeting after meeting, we hear people testify to the change that has come over them since they began the OA program. Circumstances which once would have sent them into a tailspin and into the refrigerator are now manageable. By the grace of God, they have been granted the serenity to accept the things they cannot change.

May I grow in serenity. 

The Language of Letting Go

Living in the Present

The present moment is all we have. Yes, we have plans and goals, a vision for tomorrow. But now is the only time we possess. And it is enough.

We can clear our mind of the residue of yesterday. We can clear our mind of fears of tomorrow. We can be present, now. We can make ourselves available to this moment, this day. It is by being fully present now that we reach the fullness of tomorrow.

Have no fear, child, a voice whispers. Have no regrets. Relinquish your resentments. Let Me take your pain. All you have is the present moment. Be still. Be here Trust.

All you have is now. It is enough.

Today, I will affirm that all is well around me, when all is well within. 

Twenty-Four Hours A Day

Thought for the Day

I go to the A.A. meetings because it helps me in my business of keeping sober. And I try to help other alcoholics when I can, because that's part of my business of keeping sober. I also have a partner in this business and that's God. I pray to Him every day to help me to keep sober. As long as I keep in mind that liquor can never be my friend again, but is now my deadly enemy, and as long as I remember that my main business is keeping sober and that it's the most important thing in my life, I believe I'll be prepared for that crucial moment when the idea of having a drink pops into my mind. When that idea comes, will I be able to resist it and not take that drink?

Meditation for the Day

I will be more afraid of spirit unrest, of soul disturbance, of any ruffling of the mind, than of earthquake or fire. When I feel the calm of my spirit has been broken by emotional upset, then I must steal away alone with God, until my heart sings and all is strong and calm again. Uncalm times are the only times when evil can find an entrance. I will be ware of unguarded spots of unrest. I will try to keep calm, no matter what turmoil surrounds me.

Prayer for the Day

I pray that no emotional upsets will hinder God's power in my life. I pray that I may keep a calm spirit and a steady heart.