Thursday, March 31, 2016

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.

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. 

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. 

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

Acceptance of things I can't fix.

One of the sad realities of life is that we're awash in a disorder that we can't fix. All around us, the world seethes and festers with ailments and injustices that are beyond our control.

We can react by becoming angry or by making quixotic efforts to solve some of these problems. Our best course, however, is to apply our Twelve Step program to life in this world. The Serenity Prayer suggests we accept what we can't change. A slogan reminds us to set priorities ("First Things First"). The Eleventh Step reminds us to always seek God's will.

This will enable me to live effectively while doing my best to serve others. In time, I may even discover that I can fix a few of the seemingly insoluble problems around me.

I'll realize today that I have the ability only to do certain things within my sphere of experience. I'll see to it, however, that I do these things well.
You are reading from the book:

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Daily Recovery Readings: March 30th

Recovery Meditations: March 30th

"“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.

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. 

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. 

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

Avoiding blame

It is not uncommon to hear in group, "Why do these things always happen to me?" If "these things" are always happening to us, the obvious answer is that we somehow bring them on ourselves. We are largely unconscious of what we're doing wrong until, slowly, eventually; we manage to dig ourselves out from the results. (It seems incredible that we actually seek to be hurt, but in a way many of us do so, with regularity.)

But blaming others for our problems and indulging in self-pity don't move us along in our program.

Am I still blaming others?

Higher Power, help me take responsibility for myself and my actions, because blaming others will only keep me stuck.
You are reading from the book:

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Daily Recovery Readings: March 29th

Recovery Meditations: March 29th

“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.

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. 

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.

Twenty-Four Hours A Day

Thought for the Day

Before I met A.A., I was very dishonest. I lied to my spouse constantly about where I had been and what I'd been doing. I took time off from my work and pretended I'd been sick or gave some other dishonest excuse. I was dishonest with myself, as well as with other people. I would never face myself as I really was or admit when I was wrong. I pretended to myself that I was as good as the next person, although I suspected I wasn't. Am I now really honest?

Meditation for the Day

I must live in the world and yet live apart with God. I can go forth from my secret times of communion with God to the work of the world. To get the spiritual strength I need, my inner life must be lived apart from the world. I must wear the world as a loose garment. Nothing in the world should seriously upset me, as long as my inner life is lived with God. All successful living arises from this inner life.

Prayer for the Day

I pray that I may live my inner life with God. I pray that nothing shall invade or destroy that secret place of peace.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Daily Recovery Readings: March 28th

Recovery Meditations: March 28th

"Gratitude is a fruit of a great civilization 
- you do not find it among gross people!"

Samuel Johnson

Samuel Johnson quote from the TOUR OF THE HEBRIDES could easily been writing about the Recovery Program. The attitude of gratitude is an absolutely crucial tool to a successful recovery. Gratitude is the measure of our appreciation for what we've been given. We in Program have SO much for which we should be thankful. We stand on the shoulders of giants - we are indebted to those members who've proceeded us in Program and handed down the tools, wisdom and resources - the bedrock upon which our recovery is based. We are indebted to our HP, our sponsors, to those who do service in innumerable ways at the Recovery Group and - to each other - for mutual love and support - and for our precious gift of recovery. Be grateful for each day - each moment. 
One Day at a Time . . .
I will continue to practice the attitude of gratitude. learn to forgive others.
~ 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.

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. 

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.

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

The cause is hidden, but the result is known.

We know it's coming before we do it. Our boy[girl]friend dumps us and we devour the ice cream. We don't get the promotion so we head for the bar. We have a fight with our spouse and treat ourselves to a new leather jacket - at his or her expense. We decide that because we're feeling bad anyway, we might as well take full advantage of it. We figure the worse we feel, the more entitled we are to the indulgence.

This type of behavior starts a cycle. The worse we feel, the more we want to self-destruct. Let's face it - our actions are usually premeditated.

We think about the ice cream, the drink, or the leather jacket until we can get to it. During the planning stage, we can shift gears. We think it through. We know we have a choice. We decide to do something healthy instead of destructive.

Today I will make only healthy choices for myself.
You are reading from the book:


Sunday, March 27, 2016

Daily Recovery Readings: March 27th

Recovery Meditations: March 27th

"To err is human, to forgive is divine."
Alexander Pope

When most of us first came into Program, we carried around a great deal of shame, guilt, and resentment. This made it very difficult for us to forgive ourselves, or others, for various past transgressions. We usually must rely on the forgiveness and support of other Program members before we come to a point of being able to truly forgive ourselves.

Coming to the point of self-forgiveness is a crucial step because once we have achieved it for ourselves, we can finally come to the stage of maturity to begin to forgive others. By offering true forgiveness we can begin to release the plethora of harbored resentments that have poisoned our souls and hindered our recovery for so many years. 
One Day at a Time . . .
I will work towards learning to forgive myself so that I might eventually learn to forgive others.
~ Rob R.


 Each Day A New Beginning

It takes time, love, and support to find peace with the restless one.
  —Deidra Sarault

Restlessness is born of frustration. Perhaps we want to move ahead with our lives more quickly. Does a job have us trapped? Do past troubles haunt us still? Maybe perfectionism tarnishes every attempt to achieve. We can learn from our restlessness, if we let it guide us to our inner reservoir of peace and spiritual support.

The search for serenity often takes us farther from it. We mistakenly think a different job or home or relationship will answer all our needs. But we find that our restlessness has accompanied us to our new surroundings. Peace has its home within. And prayer opens the door to it. In the stillness of our patience, we are privy to its blessing.

Restlessness indicates our distance from our Higher Power. It may be time for a change in our lives. Change is good; however, our relationship with God will vouchsafe any needed changes. Restlessness is self-centered and will only hamper the steps we may need to take.

Restlessness is a barometer that reveals my spiritual health. Perhaps prayer is called for today.

Food For Thought

Finding Our Place

I did not create this world, nor did I create myself. I do not know what the outcome of my life will be, or even what will happen to me next week. If I try to manipulate reality and arrange circumstances to suit myself, I become frustrated and unhappy I cannot control reality, but I can change myself to be more in harmony with it.

When I accept a food plan and follow it, I am slowly adjusting my body and my appetite to what is best for my health and well-being. I have tried the other way--adjusting my intake of food to the demands of my appetite--and the result is disaster and chaos in my life.

In OA, we follow a program which is sound and which has worked for thousands of compulsive overeaters like ourselves. We stop trying to make everything go according to our desires, and we start learning how to live in the real world. With the guidance of our Higher Power, we find our place.

I trust Your guidance. 

The Language of Letting Go


How could I do it? How could I say it? Even though I meant it, I still feel ashamed, guilty, and afraid.

This is common reaction to new, exciting recovery behaviors. Anything to do with owning our power and taking care of ourselves can trigger feelings of shame, guilt, and fear.

We do not have to allow these feelings to control us. They're a backlash. They're after-burn. Let them burn out.

When we start confronting and attacking feelings and messages, we will experience some after-burn. The after-burn is what we allowed to control us all our life -- shame and guilt.

Many of us grew up with shame-based messages that it wasn't okay to take care of ourselves, be honest, be direct, and own our power with people. Many of us grew up with messages that it wasn't okay to be who we were and resolve problems in relationships. Many of us grew up with the message that what we want and need isn't okay.

Let it all burn off. We don't have to take after-burn so seriously. We don't let the after-burn convince us that we are wrong and don't have a right to take care of ourselves and set boundaries.

Do we really have the right to take care of ourselves? Do we really have the right to set boundaries? Do we really have the right to be direct and say what we need to say?

You bet we do.

Today, I will let any after-burn which sets in after I practice a new recovery behavior, burn off. I will not take it so seriously. God, help me let go of my shame and needless fears about what will happen to me if I really start caring for and loving myself. 

Today's thoughts from the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation are:

God can't hand you anything new
until you let go of what you're holding.

If you keep bringing your body,
your mind will follow.


Every AA meeting is a payment on your sobriety.

My problems are self-made.

Yesterday is so far in the past I can't see it;
tomorrow is too distant in the future to be seen.
So I'll take a good look at what I can see - today.
You are reading from the book:


Saturday, March 26, 2016

Daily Recovery Readings: March 26th

Recovery Meditations: March 26th

“Within each of us lies the power of our consent to health and to sickness, 
to riches and to poverty, to freedom and to slavery. 
It is we who control these, and not another.” 
Richard Bach

I have lived most of my life believing that I was a victim of circumstance. As a “victim” I believed I had no power, no options, no choices, no hope and no control in my life. It’s so tempting to be a victim. If I’m a victim, I am not responsible for anything. Every pain, every dysfunction, every addiction, every problem was not my “fault” and there was nothing I could do to improve my life. Or so I thought.

One day a friend asked me if I actually wanted to be well and I was shocked to find that the immediate answer flooding from my heart was, “NO.” Wow! You would think that a victim would give anything in order to be well, yet I found that I was terrified of the responsibility of being well. If I were well, I would be in charge of my own choices – particularly the most primal choices of all: Life or Death, holding onto powerlessness, or reaching out to grasp hope and health.

I am still tempted to return to the false security of victim-hood. Yet I come to recovery, and keep coming back. I work the program, I learn, I fail, I fall. I rise again and begin again.
One day at a time...
I will remember that I have the power, the freedom, and the responsibility to make choices which move me towards health. I will resist the siren call of victimization.
~ Lisa V. 


Each Day A New Beginning

To believe in something not yet proved and to underwrite it with our lives; it is the only way we can leave the future open.
  —Lillian Smith

Today stands before us, ready for our involvement. And it will offer us opportunities for personal growth and occasions to help another make progress on her path to the future. Challenges are to be expected. They further our purpose. They foster our maturity.

How different it is, for many of us, to look forward to today with secure anticipation, to trust in what the future holds! We can still remember, all too vividly perhaps, the darker periods in our lives, periods that seemed to hold no promise; a time when we dreaded the future, fearing it would only compound those awful times.

The fear and the dread are not gone completely. They hover about us, on occasion. They no longer need to darken all of a day, however. We can recognize their presence as parts of our whole, not all of it. How free we are, today! Our choices are many.

I can step toward today with assurance, reaching out to others along the way, trusting that my accumulated steps add stability to my future.

Food For Thought

Cobwebs and Illusions
We compulsive overeaters react to refined sugar and starches as an alcoholic reacts to alcohol. When we were overeating, our thinking was foggy. The more we ate, the more confused we became. We often lived in a world of cobwebs and illusions and were unable to separate fact from fantasy.

This cloudy thinking caused all sorts of complications in our relationships with others and lowered our general level of efficiency. We found ourselves becoming very angry and irrational when events did not go our way. We often made life miserable for our families, taking out our anger on them. Sometimes we escaped into a world of fantasy where we would be omnipotent and where our every whim would be indulged.

When we came to OA and began to practice rigorous honesty, we discovered that in order to be honest we had to abstain from the kind of eating which confused our thinking. It is amazing how abstinence can clear away cobwebs and illusions!

Thank You, Lord, for sanity. 

The Language of Letting Go

Gifts, Not Burdens

Children are gifts, if we accept them.
—Kathleen Turner Crilly

Children are gifts. Our children, if we have children, are a gift to us. We, as children, were gifts to our parents.

Sadly, many of us did not receive the message from our parents that we were gifts to them and to the Universe. Maybe our parents were in pain themselves; maybe our parents were looking to us to be their caretakers; maybe we came at a difficult time in their lives; maybe they had their own issues and simply were not able to enjoy, accept, and appreciate us for the gifts we are.

Many of us have a deep, sometimes subconscious, belief that we were, and are, a burden to the world and the people around us. This belief can block our ability to enjoy life and our relationships with others. This belief can even impair our relationship with a Higher Power: we may feel we are a burden to God.

If we have that belief, it is time to let it go.

We are not a burden. We never were. If we received that message from our parents, it is time to recognize that issue as theirs to resolve.

We have a right to treat ourselves as a gift -- to ourselves, to others, and to the Universe.

We are here, and we have a right to be here.

Today, I will treat myself, and any children I have, as though we are a gift. I will let go of any beliefs I have about being a burden -- to my Higher Power, my friends, my family, and myself. 

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

Being willing

People often ask, "How does the program work?" The how of this program is Honesty, Open-mindedness, and Willingness. Often we must pray for willingness; sometimes we even have to pray to be willing to be willing!

We have very stubborn wills. If surrendered daily, however, they can accomplish much good for others and ourselves. Surely those who say, "I will, I will" and don't are not as close to the heart of God as those who say "I will not," but do!

Am I really willing?

God, help me realize that to do your will for me today, in however small a way, I must let go of my own will.
You are reading from the book:

Friday, March 25, 2016

Daily Recovery Readings: March 25th

Recovery Meditations: March 25th

Present Moment
"Do not dwell in the past, do not
dream of the future, concentrate on 
the present moment."


Staying focused, serene and receptive requires that we keep our attention placed in the present moment. If we allow our minds to be overly focused in the future (ie on outcomes such as "what if's" or "if only's") or in the past (ie past resentments, past embarrassments, or "would've beens, "could've beens") we allow ourselves to be subject to the psychological and emotional roller coaster ride that can go with these states. These meanderings into the past or present, colour our judgement and play a major role in contributing to our eating disorder. Therefore, it is imperative that we practise staying in the moment in order to maintain a healthy recovery. 
One Day at a Time . . .
I will choose to live in the serenity of the present moment.

~ Rob R.


Each Day A New Beginning

When I slow down long enough to smell the roses, I usually see the beauty and all else that is ours to share.
  —Morgan Jennings

We overlook so many joys, so many hidden treasures, when we hurry from place to place, person to person, experience to experience, with little attention anywhere. All that matters passes before us now, at this moment. And assuredly, we will not pass this way again.

It has been said the greatest gift we can give one another is rapt attention; additionally, living life fully attentive to the breezes, the colors, the sorrows and the thrills as well, is the most prayerful response any of us can make in this life. Nothing more is asked of us. Nothing less is expected.

We have just this one life to live, and each day is a blessing. Even the trials we shall understand as blessings in the months, the years ahead, as we can see now how the painful moments of the past played their part. Our attitude toward the lessons life has offered makes all the difference in the world.

I will look closely at everything in my path today. The women and children, the trees and squirrels, the silent neighbors. I will never see them again as I see them today. I will be at attention.

Food For Thought

Living Day by Day

"Life by the mile is a trial; by the inch it's a cinch." In the past, we got into trouble when we thought we had to have our lives mapped out forever. That just did not work.

We need only deal with the problems and joys of today. If we try to see too far ahead, we lose touch with the reality of the here and now. The Lord lets us know what we need to know when we need to know it.

What seems impossible when looked at in total --writing a book, putting the children through college, abstaining for the rest of our lives -- becomes manageable when worked at step-by-step, day-by-day.

So many of the things we worry about never happen. How much better it is to concentrate our energies on the real demands and challenges of today, insignificant as they may seem. When we turn our lives over to our Higher Power, we trust Him to manage the master plan and to direct us in the small details of living each day.

Show me, Lord, how to best live each day. I leave the years to You. 

The Language of Letting Go

Letting Go of Worry

What if we knew for certain that everything we're worried about today will work out fine?

What if . . . we had a guarantee that the problem bothering us would be worked out in the most perfect way, and at the best possible time? Furthermore, what if we knew that three years from now we'd be grateful for that problem, and its solution?

What if . . . we knew that even our worst fear would work out for the best?

What if . . . we had a guarantee that everything that's happening, and has happened, in our life was meant to be, planned just for us, and in our best interest?

What if . . . we had a guarantee that the people we love are experiencing exactly what they need in order to become who they're intended to become? Further, what if we had a guarantee that others can be responsible for themselves, and we don't have to control or take responsibility for them?

What if . . . we knew the future was going to be good, and we would have an abundance of resources and guidance to handle whatever comes our way?

What if . . . we knew everything was okay, and we didn't have to worry about a thing? What would we do then?

We'd be free to let go and enjoy life.

Today, I will know that I don't have to worry about anything. If I do worry, I will do it with the understanding that I am choosing to worry, and it is not necessary. 

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

If someone is going to control me, it might as well be me.
-- Sarah B.

Ours is, and must be, a selfish program. Our recovery must be the most important thing in the world to us. Sometimes friends and loved ones are confused and hurt because we spend so much time and energy working at our recovery. It's hard to explain why, yes, we must go to another meeting; no, we can't skip it just this once.

But however difficult, however hurtful or confusing to others our behavior might seem, we must take care of our own needs first. We're no use to our friends and family if we've relapsed, and no use to ourselves, either. Our choices must seem like selfish ones. Our recovery must come first, before the demands of others or even our own comfort. We need to keep our new determination, and work toward a new way of life.

Before, we told ourselves we'd quit tomorrow, that something would happen to make us change. Now, at last, we have the tools to arrest our addiction, but the tools will only work if we use them.

Today help me be in control of my own destiny.
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Thursday, March 24, 2016

Daily Recovery Readings: March 24th

Recovery Meditations: March 24th

Positive Thinking
"It takes but one positive when given
a chance to survive and thrive to overpower
and entire army of negative thoughts."

Robert H. Schuller

A positive attitude is crucial for a successful recovery. This summer, I was laid up with two torn tendons in my left ankle. This happened right at the start of my summer vacation. When it first happened, I was VERY dejected. This had to happen NOW!!! Just when my holidays are starting? (not that ANY time is a good time to receive an injury!). However, upon reflection it WAS good timing. I didn't have get myself to and from work. My daughter was finished school for the summer and was able to be home to assist me with day to day stuff. Plus I had just taken on some new OA service responsibilities and being home allowed me the time to really focus and internalize my new roles. Instead of looking at this as a negative - I think HP gave me an opportunity here to rest up and do some service at the same time. My daughter and I did some wonderful bonding as well. It would have been very easy just to turn negative and feel sorry for myself . But I simply would have made myself (and everyone around me) miserable during the my six weeks of recovery. Instead, it's turned out to be a wonderful learning experience (not to mention it provided a good idea for this meditation topic!). Life's too short for cheap wHine, n'est past?
One Day at a Time . . .
I will look at life from a positive point of view.

~ Rob R.


Each Day A New Beginning

Love has a hundred gentle ends.
  —Leonora Speyer

Letting go is a process that is seldom easy. For many, its meaning is elusive. How do we "let go"? Letting go means removing our attention from a particular experience or person and putting our focus on the here and now. We hang on to the past, to past hurts, but also to past joys. We have to let the past pass. The struggle to hang on to it, any part of it, clouds the present. You can't see the possibilities today is offering if your mind is still drawn to what was.

Letting go can be a gentle process. Our trust in our higher power and our faith that good will prevail, in spite of appearances, eases the process. And we must let each experience end, as its moment passes, whether it is good or bad, love or sorrow. It helps to remember that all experiences contribute to our growth and wholeness. No experience will be ignored by the inner self who is charting our course. All are parts of the journey. And every moment has a gentle end, but no moment is forgotten.

My journey today is akin to yesterday's journey and tomorrow's too. I will savor each moment and be ready for the next.

Food For Thought


Ours is a program of Action. It does no good to develop new awareness if we do not take appropriate new actions. When we become aware of the damage done by compulsive overeating and realize that OA has the answer to our problem, we take action by going to meetings, making phone calls, and working the steps. We follow a food plan and abstain from eating compulsively.

Taking inventory, admitting our mistakes, and making amends involves action. Our Higher Power gives us courage to change the things we can. He gives us the confidence to get involved in new activities, to be more assertive, to make new friends, to go back to school, to change jobs.

By abstaining from the type of eating that paralyzed us, we have strength and energy to do new things. One step at a time, we are led into action. Not to move according to the direction of God as we understand Him is to fall backwards and stagnate. Each positive action we take strengthens our recovery.

Direct my actions, Lord. 

The Language of Letting Go

Appreciating Ourselves

We are the greatest things that will ever happen to us. Believe it. It makes life much easier.
—Codependent No More

It is time to stop this nonsense of running around picking on ourselves.

We may have walked through much of our life apologizing for ourselves either directly or indirectly - feeling less valuable than others, believing that they know better than we do, and believing that somehow others are meant to be here and we are not.

We have a right to be here.

We have a right to be ourselves. We are here. There is a purpose, a reason, and an intention for our life. We do not have to apologize for being here or being who we are.

We are good enough, and deserving.

Others do not have our magic. We have our magic. It is in us.

It doesn't matter what we've done in our past. We all have a past, woven with mistakes, successes, and learning experiences. We have a right to our past. It is ours. It has worked to shape and form us. As we progress on this journey, we shall see how each of our experiences will be turned around and used for good.

We have already spent too much time being ashamed, being apologetic, and doubting the beauty of ourselves. Be done with it. Let it go. It is an unnecessary burden. Others have rights, but so do we. We are neither less than nor more than. We are equal. We are who we are. That is whom we were created and intended to be.

That, my friend, is a wonderful gift.

God, help me own my power to love and appreciate myself. Help me give myself validity instead of looking to others to do that. 

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

Blessed is he who has learned to admire but not envy, to follow but not imitate, to praise but not flatter, and to lead but not manipulate.
-- William Arthur Ward

Manipulation is not foreign to most of us. We have probably manipulated and been manipulated. Manipulators may or may not be aware of what they're doing. There may be no malice involved. Often, the only intention is to find the means to continue an addictive behavior. Manipulation, however, can be terrifying if we're the end-receiver. We may also deny that it's happening, usually because we're so confused by it all. But when we realize the truth, we're frightened not only by what's happened, but also by what could happen. We've fallen for this before, what's to prevent us from falling for it again?

We do our best to detach from the manipulator. This may mean letting go physically, emotionally, spiritually, and mentally. The more distance we have, the easier it is to see the truth, to recognize the manipulation. When we must have contact, we keep our head on straight. We don't need to answer to anyone right away. As time goes on, we're better able to identify and to deal appropriately with manipulative behavior.

Today I will have the courage to own the truth.
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Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Daily Recovery Readings: March 23rd

Recovery Meditations: March 23rd

Progress, Not Perfection
"The maxim "Nothing but perfection"
may be spelled "Paralysis." 

Winston Churchill

I can't count the number of times I've heard the expression, "progress not perfection" from my sponsor and used it with my sponsees. We take little steps - one day at a time - which gradually leads to greater steps. Small successes eventually will lead to bigger successes. Often though, we want it all and we want it NOW! 

Recovery is a process - not an end result. It requires a kind of a balancing act - if we try to juggle more balls than what we're capable of comfortably balancing - we will crash and this can lead to relapse. So rather than juggling five balls and crashing - it's better to juggle three really well and gradually work in a 4th or a fifth.
One Day at a Time . . .
I will focus on making progress rather than trying to be perfect. 

~ Rob R.


Each Day A New Beginning

On occasion I realize it's easier to say the serenity prayer and take that leap of faith than it is to continue doing what I'm doing.

The pain of change is a reality. But so is the pain of no change - when change is called for. In spite of our desires, changing others will never be an option, whereas changing ourselves takes only a decision and is a choice always available.

We can take an inventory for a moment. What are we presently doing that makes us ashamed or angry or fearful? We can let go of that behavior and responsibly choose a new tack. If strength is needed, or confidence to try a new behavior, we can simply ask that it be ours. The Third Step promises that our lives are in God's care and our needs are always being attended to - not always our wants, but in every instance our needs.

Most of our struggles, today as in the past, are attached to persons and situations we are trying to forcibly control. How righteous our attitudes generally are! And so imposing is our behavior that we are met with resistance, painful resistance. Our recourse is now and always to "accept those things we cannot change, and willingly change that which we can." Our personal struggles will end when we are fully committed to the Serenity Prayer.

The wisdom "to know the difference" is mine today.

Food For Thought


To be aware is to be focused and alive. If we are truly alert to what is going on within and around us, we will never be bored. Through working the OA program, we develop greater awareness of ourselves, other people, and our Higher Power.

Sometimes this new awareness brings pain; we realize that we have been hurt and that we have hurt others. Through our daily inventories, we recognize shortcomings and mistakes, which we may have ignored in the past. Often it is too late to undo all of the damage, which has been done by our compulsive overeating and general self-centeredness.

Here is where we pray for acceptance of what we cannot change and courage to make amends where we can. It is then important to put what is past behind us and concentrate on being more aware now, today, so that we do not make the same mistakes again.

When we are not dulled by too much food and the wrong kinds of food, we are more perceptive and aware in every aspect of our lives. Our experiences are richer and we are better able to grow and change.

I pray for increasing awareness. 

The Language of Letting Go

Flack from Setting Boundaries

We need to know how far we'll go, and how far we'll allow others to go with us. Once we understand this, we can go anywhere.
—Beyond Codependency

When we own our power to take care of ourselves - set a boundary, say no, and change an old pattern - we may get flack from some people. That's okay. We don't have to let their reactions control us, stop us, or influence our decision to take care of ourselves.

We don't have to control their reactions to our process of self-care. That is not our responsibility. We don't have to expect them not to react either.

People will react when we do things differently or take assertive action to nurture ourselves, particularly if our decision in some way affects them. Let them have their feelings. Let them have their reactions. But continue on your course anyway.

If people are used to us behaving in a certain way, they'll attempt to convince us to stay that way to avoid changing the system. If people are used to us saying yes all the time, they may start mumbling and murmuring when we say no. If people are used to us taking care of their responsibilities, feelings, and problems, they may give us some flack when we stop. That's normal. We can learn to live with a little flack in the name of healthy self-care. Not abuse, mind you flack.

If people are used to controlling us through guilt, bullying, and badgering, they may intensify their efforts when we change and refuse to be controlled. That's okay. That's flack too.

We don't have to let flack pull us back into old ways if we've decided we want and need to change. We don't have to react to flack or give it much attention. It doesn't deserve it. It will die down.

Today, I will disregard any flack I receive for changing my behaviors or making other efforts to be myself. 

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

Muddy water, let stand, becomes clear.

A group of friends went swimming one day and one of them lost a ring in the bottom of the lake.

Everyone started diving from different directions to find it until there was so much mud and sand stirred up that no one could see anything. Finally, they decided to clear the water. They waited silently on the edge of the shore for the mud from all their activity to settle. When it finally cleared, one person dove in slowly and picked up the ring.

When we are confused about something in our lives, we will often hear answers and advice from all directions. Our friends will tell us one thing and our families another, until we feel pretty well mixed up. If we look away from our problem and let patience and time do their work, the mud inside us will settle and clear. Our answer will become visible, like the glimmer of silver in the water.

Am I overlooking the simple solution?
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