Saturday, April 30, 2016

Daily Recovery Readings: April 30

Recovery Meditations: April 30

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

Hugh Prather

One of the many facets of the disease of compulsive overeating, in my experience, has been the inability to make a positive change in my choice of foods without using the spiritual steps of recovery. Prior to coming into program, I would plan, pray, and write down what I wanted to do, but change never happened permanently. Looking back, it seems that I was really trying to make things happen, but I was trying to do it without the spiritual guidance and strength of this program through my Higher Power. I didn't have all the spiritual pieces needed to make the almost impossible changes inside myself before the physical changes could happen.
There are many tools of the program, such as sponsorship, a food plan, food abstinence, and practicing the spiritual program through actively working the Twelve Steps. I have learned through failure that I must actively work the steps of the program. I can't just let things happen in my recovery in regard to step work, because then the disease will win. When I daily commit to working the steps to the best of my ability, this brings me the spiritual recovery that allows physical and emotional recovery as well. I cannot make the spiritual recovery happen, since that action belongs only to my Higher Power. What I can do is to take the action by doing the step work, and from there leave the outcome in my Higher Power's hands.
One Day at a Time . . .
I will strive to work the Twelve Steps to the best of my ability, and let things happen in my Higher Power's time.
~ Ohitika ~


Each Day A New Beginning

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

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

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

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

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

Food For Thought

Waiting and Acting

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

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

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

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

The Language of Letting Go


The goal is balance.

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

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

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

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

Today's Gift

The soul would have no rainbow had the eyes no tears.
  —John Vance Cheney

If there were no rain, fields would become parched and brittle, and many creatures would die. If we could not cry, all our emotions would eventually dry up, too, and soon we would not laugh either. Our tears cleanse us. Our tears heal. They make us whole.

Tears are as important to our growth as rain is to a flower. They help release the pressure of sadness so we can feel better. After a storm, when the sun shines again through the clouds, a brightly colored rainbow appears. After our tears, our inner sun shines, and rainbows are formed from our pain.

How well can I accept my tears as part of my happiness today? 


Friday, April 29, 2016

Daily Recovery Readings: April 29

Recovery Meditations: April 29

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

Count Maurice Maeterlinck

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


Each Day A New Beginning

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

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

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

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

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

Food For Thought

Judge Not

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

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

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

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

May I not waste time and energy judging others. 

The Language of Letting Go

Initiating Relationships

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Moving fast is not necessarily the same thing as going somewhere.


If you are waiting for your ship to come in - you may have already missed the boat.


Courage is fear that has said its prayers.


Faith is our greatest gift. Sharing it with others is our greatest responsibility.


The first step in overcoming mistakes is to admit to them.


The best way to multiply happiness is to divide it.


Try the program for 90 days. If not satisfied we will be glad to refund your misery.
You are reading from the book:

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Daily Recovery Readings: April 28

Recovery Meditations: April 28

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

The Midrash, Judaic Text

For most of my life before coming into the program, I was a bit of a loner. I never had a lot of friends, perhaps because of my feelings of inadequacy, and was never good at sports, especially team sports. So I buried myself a lot in books, in academic achievements at which I excelled, mainly because I could do that on my own. I lived in a fantasy world where a knight in shining armor would come and rescue me, and my life would then be perfect. I had never even had a serious long-term relationship until I met my first husband, so it was hardly surprising that I made a bad choice and after having three children and much heartache, got divorced.
When I first came into program, it was the first time I had ever felt part of a big group, and most importantly they all spoke my language. Their experiences were my experiences. These wonderful people became my family. There was, and still is, for me an incredible sense of belonging in the fellowship. No longer do I have to brave it on my own as there will always be someone on the other end of the line or in a meeting who can identify and share with me what I am going through. The strength that I feel when I come into the meeting rooms or speak to a fellow member on the phone is a powerful sustaining force for me that has helped me through countless difficult situations and continues to do so.
One Day at a Time . . .
I only need to reach out and join hands with others in the fellowship to gain the strength to do things I could never do before. It is only with their help, support and love that I am fully able to recover.
~ Sharon ~


 Food For Thought


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

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

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

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

Each Day A New Beginning

. . . suffering . . . no matter how multiplied . . . is always individual.
  —Anne Morrow Lindbergh

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

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

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

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

The Language of Letting Go

Anger at Family Members

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Trust that a healing is taking place, now.

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

Today's Gift

I will not cut my conscience to fit this year's fashions.
  —Lillian Hellman

Every fall there seems to be something new and different to get for school - a special folder, a new style of pants, or maybe a different haircut. These things change from year to year.

Sometimes we get carried away with the current trends. We start putting too much importance on such things. We may be tempted to join our friends in teasing someone who doesn't wear the "right" clothes, or avoid someone who doesn't say the "right" things. This is when we need God's help.

Perhaps we can become the leaders for the next trend - looking beyond appearances of others to the beauty inside them.

Will I see the true value in those around me today? 

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Daily Recovery Readings: April 27

Recovery Meditations: April 27

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

Kahlil Gibran

My initial experience of relationships in recovery was one of wonder and relief. I was so amazed to find that there actually were other people who understood life as I lived it! Until I walked into the rooms of recovery, I felt so alone and different from other people. Finding people who had also lived the nightmare of compulsive eating, helped my isolation fade away. Seeing that they had found a new way of living gave me hope!!
As I began to share more deeply with my sponsor and other people in recovery, I discovered a deeper gift of friendship in recovery. I received unconditional love and focused guidance toward the steps of recovery which would transform me completely. This was the greatest gift of relationship that I had ever known. This was the beginning of the transformation that invited me to share the Spirit of recovery with others.
As I carry the principles of recovery into all aspects of my life, I find my relationships with all people are transformed. My character defects no longer stand in the way of my honesty, and fear no longer holds me prisoner. The Spirit of recovery which has been so generously shared with me, continues to be shared joyously through me.
One Day at a Time . . .
I will be carried by the Spirit of recovery into all of my relationships.
~ Cate ~


Each Day A New Beginning

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

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

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

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

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

Food For Thought

Food Is No Cure all

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

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

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

Thank You for being there for me. 

Letting Go of the Need to Control

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

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

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

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

What decisions would we make?

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

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

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

How would we treat ourselves differently?

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

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

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

Today's Gift

Crying only a little bit is no use. You must cry until your pillow is soaked. Then you can get up and laugh . . .
  —Galway Kinnell

Many of us were raised to deny our feelings; that is, we might have been allowed to describe them politely, but we were not allowed to express feelings on the spot by wailing, jumping for joy, or dancing. This is often considered rude. In a proper home, we often hear, if people have feelings, they have them quietly. But many of us have suffered living this way.

We need a full and thorough expression of a feeling in order to know it, experience it, and move beyond it. This is the way we let go of sadness, for instance.

Feelings come and go. If we are not afraid to let them have their moment, we will not be afraid to express them.

What am I feeling right now? 


Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Daily Recovery Readings: April 26

Recovery Meditations: April 26

“You keep carryin’ that anger, it’ll eat you up inside.”
Don Henley

I have been carrying around so much anger in my life that it has fanned the flames of my addiction. I wouldn’t allow myself to feel the anger because I was afraid it would overwhelm me. I used food and other substances to stuff it down and the anger became rage and turned inward as depression. My compulsive eating spiraled out of control.
Many things have happened to me to justify the anger I’ve been carrying. Healthy anger indicates that someone has violated my boundaries or placed me in an untenable position. Anger that is felt and then released is a healthy emotion. But anger that is stuffed is toxic and will surely corrode my spirit and trap me even further in the cycle of addiction.
I have learned through the Twelve Steps that forgiveness is the only path to letting go of toxic anger. Forgiveness does not mean excusing others’ abusive behavior nor accepting my abusers back into my life. Forgiveness happens when I allow myself to feel and work through my anger, and then release it to my Higher Power. Forgiveness is self-love.
One Day at a Time . . .
I will feel and express my healthy anger and strive for forgiveness.
~ Suzanne


Each Day A New Beginning

. . . pain is the root of knowledge.
  —Simone Weil

We don't want pain in our lives. We dread the situations we anticipate will be painful. We probably even pray to be spared all painful experiences. But they come anyway, at times in profusion. And we not only survive the pain, we profit from it.

It seems that pain stretches us to our limits, generally forcing us to look for guidance from others, and it pushes us to consider new choices in our present situation. Pain is our common denominator as women, as members of the human family. It softens us to one another. It fosters empathy. It helps us to reach out and realize our need for one another.

New knowledge, new awarenesses, are additional benefits of accepting, rather than denying, the pain that accompanies life. This journey that we're on is moving us further and further along the path of enlightenment. We can consider that each problem, each crisis, is our necessary preparation for moving another step down the road.

I learn out of necessity. And when the student is ready, the teacher will appear. 

Food For Thought

Overcoming Sloth

Another of the seven deadly sins, which we do not talk much about anymore, is sloth. Webster defines it as laziness or indolence. It is our experience that the more we eat, the lazier we become. We procrastinate, we do not feel like undertaking anything difficult, and we avoid movement as much as possible.

Abstinence puts our bodies into high gear. With proper nourishment and without an excess amount of food to digest, we feel alert and alive. We find ourselves requiring less sleep and fewer naps. Lifetime habits of laziness do not change immediately, but if we are willing to become more energetic, our Higher Power will provide the motivation.

Sometimes the thought of a large task looming ahead of us is overwhelming, and we feel that we will never be able to manage it. Here is where the willingness to take one step at a time can make the difference. If we will begin, God will keep us going when the task is part of His plan.

Deliver us from slothfulness. 

The Language of Letting Go


Some people are carriers of negativity. They are storehouses of pent up anger and volatile emotions. Some remain trapped in the victim role and act in ways that further their victimization. And others are still caught in the cycle of addictive or compulsive patterns.

Negative energy can have a powerful pull on us, especially if we're struggling to maintain positive energy and balance. It may seem that others who exude negative energy would like to pull us into the darkness with them. We do not have to go. Without judgment, we can decide it's okay to walk away, okay to protect ourselves.

We cannot change other people. It does not help others for us to get off balance. We do not lead others into the Light by stepping into the darkness with them.

Today, God, help me to know that I don't have to allow myself to be pulled into negativity - even around those I love. Help me set boundaries. Help me know it's okay to take care of myself. 

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

I want to change things. I want to see things happen. I don't want just to talk about them.
--John Kenneth Galbraith


I feel as if I should be doing so much more than just staying in recovery and going to meetings. And yet, when I have free time, I'm not accomplishing much these days. I go to a meeting and then to coffee – "the meeting after the meeting," I've heard it called – and I get home and feel too tired to do any more. When I have a big block of time, I don't know how to use it. I feel confused and discouraged.


This point in recovery is a time to be especially gentle with ourselves. When we look back at how we were feeling and what we were doing just before we entered recovery, we can see that "just staying in recovery and going to meetings" is a major change. To be free from our addictive behavior, to keep a commitment to a program of recovery – this is nothing short of a total revolution in our lives. We have made a commitment to live, not to punish ourselves for not doing it faster and more perfectly.

"The meeting after the meeting" is not a waste of time. It's important to get to know our peers in recovery. We can learn from one another, support one another. The changes we're experiencing are mirrored back to us by others who are undergoing similar transformations. It gives us experience, too, at being with people without the "help" of our addictive substance or behavior.

We don't have to worry about wasting time in early recovery. It is a miracle that we can simply be.

Today, I let myself be.
You are reading from the book:

Monday, April 25, 2016

Daily Recovery Readings: April 25

Recovery Meditations: April 25

~ Understanding ~
Understanding is the wellspring of life.
The Bible, Book of Proverbs

Early on in my recovery I became aware that understanding myself and my disease was going to be a tool of success. For many years I lived day after day in my addiction, bemoaning it, suffering in it, struggling against it, and adopting the world view of my condition. I came to believe that losing weight was the answer to all my problems ... if I could stick to a diet. Because I couldn't, the thoughts of worthlessness, ignorance, shame and guilt were repeatedly reinforced.
In working the Steps, the idea of recovery through understanding myself was born. Through knowledge of my Higher Power, and by His guidance, the understanding of my past and my present have given me keys to freedom from compulsive overeating. I welcome working the Steps because they have opened doors of my heart to mend the past and receive hope for the future. Understanding who I am and why I'm like I am, allows me to be abstinent and to develop new ways of coping with the stresses of life. Understanding the disease frees me from guilt and shame and releases self-acceptance.
One Day at a Time . . .
I continue to seek knowledge and understanding as a way to recovery.
~ Diane ~


Each Day A New Beginning

Everything has its wonders, even darkness and silence, and I learn, whatever state I may be in, therein to be content.
  —Helen Keller

There is wonder in the moment, if we but look for it, let it touch us, believe in it. And with the recognition and celebration of the wonder comes the joy we desire and await.

Being wholly in tune with the present moment is how we'll come to know the spiritual essence that connects all of life. We search for peace, happiness, and contentment outside of ourselves. We need instead to discover it within us, now and always, in whatever we are experiencing.

We can let our experiences wash over us. Longing for a different time, a distant place, a new situation breed's discontent. It prevents us from the thrill, the gifts offered in this present moment. But they are there.

We can practice feeling joyful in the present, be thrilled with the realization that right now, all is well. All is always well. Life is full of mystery and wonder and each moment of our awareness adds to the wonder.

I am moving forward; we all are. I am on target. I am participating in a glorious, wonderful drama. Let me jump for joy. I have been specially blessed. 

Food For Thought

Forgetting Food

Abstinence enables us to stop being preoccupied with food. We decide that we will have three meals a day with nothing in between, and we have a definite plan for those meals. Whenever cravings or thoughts of food begin to distract us, we put them out of our mind. We remember that food has proved to be a false friend, and we no longer permit it to control our life.

Through OA, we have found new interests and activities. We have friends to call when we are lonely or upset. When we are feeling shaky, we can go to a meeting. Perhaps our new energies have led to involvement in community activities, new jobs, hobbies and projects.

Each of us faces a certain amount of sluggishness and inertia when we decide to get involved in something new. It is easier to stay in the same old rut, since we often fear what is untried and unknown. Let us not permit apathy or anxiety to weaken our resolution. Escape into food and overeating is no longer an option.

Keep my thoughts on the new possibilities, which You have opened for me. 

The Language of Letting Go

Finding Our Own Truth

We must each discover our own truth.

It does not help us if those we love find their truth. They cannot give it to us. It does not help if someone we love knows a particular truth in our life. We must discover our truth for ourselves.

We must each discover and stand in our own light.

We often need to struggle, fail, and be confused and frustrated. That's how we break through our struggle; that's how we learn what is true and right for ourselves.

We can share information with others. Others can tell us what may predictably happen if we pursue a particular course. But it will not mean anything until we integrate the message and it becomes our truth, our discovery, and our knowledge.

There is no easy way to break through and find our truth.

But we can and will, if we want to.

We may want to make it easier. We may nervously run to friends, asking them to give us their truth or make our discovery easier. They cannot. Light will shed itself in its own time.

Each of us has our own share of truth, waiting to reveal itself to us. Each of us has our own share of the light, waiting for us to stand in it, to claim it as ours.

Encouragement helps. Support helps. A firm belief that each person has truth available - appropriate to each situation - is what will help.

Each experience, each frustration, each situation, has its own truth waiting to be revealed. Don't give up until you find it - for yourself.

We shall be guided into truth, if we are seeking it. We are not alone.

Today, I will search for my own truth, and I will allow others to do the same. I will place value on my vision and the vision of others. We are each on the journey, making our own discoveries - the ones that are right for us today. 

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


An attitude of helpful expectancy can serve me very well today. My Higher Power has my day in His hands. Whatever happens, it will go most smoothly, and I will feel best about myself, if I am open to what the day brings, and at peace with whatever it holds for me.

I can give my best if I do not get bogged down in hurt, anger, and resentment. Instead, I'll try to trust in my Higher Power. I'll have faith that good will come my way.
Help me today to be flexible and willing in my work. . . Help me to learn trust in a new way.
You are reading from the book:

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Daily Recovery Readings: April 24

Recovery Meditations: April 24

~ Loneliness ~
Feeling our loneliness magnifies it.
Understanding our loneliness can open doors into our self-awareness,
which we long for and need.

Anthony Robbins

Before I found my Twelve Step program, I felt so lonely. I was stuck in total isolation and the feeling of loneliness felt one hundred times worse. The isolation and loneliness caused me to continually eat ... and so I'd isolate more. What a vicious cycle!
When I found my recovery program, I still wanted to isolate. When going to meetings, I wanted the seat with nobody around it. I didn't want to open my mouth to share or talk, even after the meeting. I kept coming back even though I felt alone, because I heard familiar things that really interested me. I eventually saw that most of the people in the room felt the same loneliness I did. I began to understand why I felt so lonely.
When I understood that my compulsive eating was causing me to isolate and be more lonely, a big burden was lifted off my shoulders. I finally felt some hope! Then I found that there were many other doors in the past that I should open and become more aware of. These past happenings were what started and fueled this disease of compulsive eating. I wanted to know but I was also afraid to find out.
The similarities, kindness and love I found in the rooms made it easier to look at my past. Understanding that I was not the total reason for my loneliness, I began making amends. I needed to forgive others who had harmed me and those I had harmed. I felt lighter and more self aware, and confidence began to emerge.
One Day at a Time . . .
I will remember that it's okay and good to feel my feelings but they don't have to rule my life. I don't have to let loneliness magnify, causing me to eat uncontrollably to solve the problem. I've learned to turn things over to my Higher Power and to let them go. Looking back is the key to my self-awareness and my recovery.
~ Jeanette ~


Each Day A New Beginning

She knows omnipotence has heard her prayer and cries, "It shall be done--sometime, somewhere."
  —Ophelia Guyon Browning

Patience is a quality that frequently eludes us. We want what we want when we want it. Fortunately, we don't get it until the time is right, but the waiting convinces us our prayers aren't heard. We must believe that the answer always comes in its own special time and place. The frustration is that our timetable is seldom like God's.

When we look back over the past few weeks, months, or even years, we can recall past prayers. Had they all been answered at the time of request, how different our lives would be. We are each on a path unique to us, offering special lessons to be learned. Just as a child must crawl before walking, so must we move slowly, taking the steps in our growth in sequence.

Our prayers will be answered, sometime, somewhere. Of that we can be sure. They will be answered for our greater good. And they will be answered at the right time, the right place, in the right way.

I am participating in a much bigger picture than the one in my individual prayers. And the big picture is being carefully orchestrated. I will trust the part I have been chosen to play. And I can be patient.

Food For Thought

Hungry or Bored?

When we ate compulsively, we often interpreted boredom to be hunger. When there seemed to be nothing else to do, we could always eat! Unstructured time may have made us anxious; we thought we could fill up with food and allay our anxieties.

To be egotistical and self-centered is to be bored. If we are always the center of our awareness, we will soon tire of ourselves, since none of us is all that fascinating. In order to escape boredom, we need to turn our attention outward and focus on something besides self.

When we give our lives to our Higher Power, we are making a commitment of service. We are asking that His will be done and that He use us as He sees fit. By relieving us of our obsession, God frees us from slavery to our appetites. If we are to remain free, we need to serve Him instead of ourselves. Day by day, He shows us our tasks and as we become absorbed in them, we lose our boredom along with our false hunger.

May I know the true nourishment of doing Your will.

The Language of Letting Go

Lessons on the Job

Often, the spiritual and recovery lessons we're learning at work reflect the lessons we're learning in other areas of our life.

Often, the systems we're attracted to in our working life are similar to the systems in which we find ourselves living and loving. Those are the systems that reflect our issues and can help us learn our lessons.

Are we slowly learning to trust ourselves at work? How about at home? Are we slowly learning to take care of ourselves at work? How about at home? Are we slowly learning boundaries and self-esteem, overcoming fear, and dealing with feelings?

If we search back over our work history, we will probably see that it is a mirror of our issues, our growth. It most likely is now too.

For today, we can believe that we are right where we need to be - at home and at work.

Today, I will accept my present circumstances on the job. I will reflect on how what I am learning in my life applies to what I'm learning at work. If I don't know, I will surrender to the experience until that becomes clear. God, help me accept the work I have been given to do today. Help me be open to and learn what I need to be learning. Help me trust that it can and will be good. 

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

My best friend is the one who brings out the best in me.
--Henry Ford

To be a friend involves risk. Friends confront each other when it's needed, but they do it out of love and with compassion. All of us need a friend who will tell us when we are acting out of line, when we are "not able to see the forest for the trees." Friends are there for us in the struggles – rooting us on, maybe teasing us a bit, helping us get past the difficulties and eventually helping us find the gift embedded in them. Friends risk upsetting us, if it means we may become better people.

We need to be grateful for these people. Theirs is not always an easy job. Many of us have big egos; we don't want to be told that we are wrong. However, friends keep seeing the best in us, even when we aren't acting our best. Theirs will be the faces we see when we look back at our lives, especially at the times of crisis and challenge.

Prayer for the Day

Higher Power, help me be a friend, and help me be grateful for my friends.

Today's Action

Today I will work to bring out the best in those around me, even if that means saying the hard things. If I must confront someone, I will only do it if I can do it with love and compassion.
You are reading from the book:


Friday, April 22, 2016

Daily Recovery Readings: April 22

Recovery Meditations: April 22

“Compulsive urges to overeat, gorge or purge
are inadequate coping mechanisms.
Compulsion is loss of control
and continuation of the behavior
despite the consequences.”
Gloria Arenson

Compulsive overeating is not a moral dilemma. It is not about “right” or “wrong.” It is not a black-and-white situation. I learned at a pre-verbal stage that compulsive overeating is a coping mechanism. When I cried to be held, I was fed. When I cried because I was wet, I was fed. When I cried because I was in pain, I was fed. When life was good, I was fed. Is it any wonder I came to reach for food when life was happening around me?
This program teaches me better ways to cope with life. Instead of reacting to life, I have learned through the Steps how to take action. I did not choose this disease, but I do choose recovery. Through the help of my Higher Power, the program, and other program members I can recover. I can live in the solution one day at a time and one meal at a time.
One Day at a Time . . .
I will have a program. I choose recovery, health, love and life.
~ Sarah H.


Each Day A New Beginning

Our own rough edges become smooth as we help a friend smooth her edges.
  —Sue Atchley Ebaugh

Focusing on a good point in every person we encounter today will benefit us in untold ways. It will smooth our relations with that person, inviting her to respond kindly also. It will increase our awareness of the goodness all around us. It will help us realize that if everyone around us has positive traits, then we must also have them. But perhaps the greatest benefit of focusing on good points is that it enhances us as women; a healthy, positive attitude must be cultivated. Many of us had little experience with feeling positive before the turning point, recovery.

Recovery is offering us a new lease on life every moment. We are learning new behaviors, and we are learning that with the help of a higher power and one another, all things that are right for us are possible. It is energizing, focusing on the good points of others, knowing that their good points don't detract from our own.

In the past, we may have secretly hated other women's strengths because we felt inferior. We are free from that hate now, if we choose to be. A strength we can each nurture is gratitude for being helped by, and privy to, the strengths of our friends and acquaintances.

Bad points get worse with attention. My good points will gain strength. 

Food For Thought


Happiness is rarely achieved by pursuing it. We compulsive overeaters used to think that food could make us happy, but we found that it could not. Many of us tried other substances, too, such as alcohol, drugs, or money. When these also failed us, we may have decided that only a perfect partner could make us happy. Alas, we soon discovered that there are no perfect individuals, only ordinary people with faults like our own.

So where does happiness fit in? At some point along the line, we abandon the frantic pursuit of an external object of happiness and begin to work on ourselves. As we go through the Twelve Steps, we become less self-centered and more focused on a Higher Power. As we are able to concentrate more on His will and less on our own, we find that periods of happiness come as a by product. Paradoxically, when happiness is no longer our goal, we have more of it.

In You, there is joy. 

The Language of Letting Go

Coping With Stress

Inevitably, there are times of stress in our lives, no matter how long we've been in recovery.

Sometimes, the stress is outside or around us. We're feeling balanced, but our circumstances are stressful. Sometimes, the stress is within; we feel out of balance.

When the stress is external and internal, we experience our most difficult times.

During stressful times, we can rely more heavily on our support systems. Our friends and groups can help us feel more balanced and peaceful in spite of our stressful conditions.

Affirming that the events taking place are a temporarily uncomfortable part of a good, solid plan can help. We can assure ourselves that we will get through. We won't be destroyed. We won't crumple or go under.

It helps to go back to the basics to focus on detachment, dealing with feelings, and taking life one day at a time.

Our most important focus during times of stress is taking care of ourselves. We are better able to cope with the most irregular circumstances; we are better able to be there for others, if we're caring for ourselves. We can ask ourselves regularly: What do we need to do to take care of ourselves? What might help us feel better or more comfortable?

Self-care may not come as easily during times of stress. Self-neglect may feel more comfortable. But taking care of us always works.

Today, I will remember that there is no situation that can't be benefited by taking care of myself. 

Today's Gift

I meant to do my work today
But a brown bird sang in an apple tree,
And a butterfly flitted across the field,
And all the leaves were calling me.
  —Richard LeGallienne

The harried hen scurried about her house, trying to put it in order. Some friends she hadn't seen for years were due to arrive later that day, and she wanted everything perfect for them. In a flurry, she made the bed, put away the dishes, and scrubbed the floor. Oh dear, she thought in dismay, I meant to wash the sheets today. Frantically, she flew back to the bedroom and tore the sheets from the made bed.

Just then, a neighbor arrived and stood at hen's door, watching her anxiously rush about. "Dear hen," he said in a patient loving tone, for he was quite fond of her, "You will never enjoy your visit if you continue to race about. Come. Sit and rest and tell me of these friends. Have you any snapshots?" The hen did as her neighbor had suggested, and soon her friends arrived to find her relaxed, refreshed, and warm with the memories of them.

What is my real work for the day? 

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Daily Recovery Readings: April 21

Recovery Meditations: April 21

Religion is for people who don't want to go to hell.
Program is for people who have already been there.


I was religious when I came into program and I was ready and willing to tell everyone what the "true" faith was. I went to church every Sunday. I was a religion teacher. I knew it all.
The truth is I didn't know ANYTHING. It didn't take long for me to begin to question my own religiosity. In fact, it began at Steps two and three. Before long, I wondered if there was a God at all. If there was, is God a He, a She or an It? Then I decided, yes there was a God, but did He/She/It care about me?
The real truth is God is who God needs to be to work through me. There's no right or wrong answer to my questions. What I DO know is that God loves me just the way I am.
The greatest gift my Higher Power gave me came on the day I looked up to "heaven" and told God, "I don't believe in You!" And that still, quiet voice inside of me asked, "Then to Whom are you speaking?"
One Day at a Time . . .
I don't have to have theological "proof" that there is a Power greater than myself. I just need to believe.
~ Debbie ~


Each Day A New Beginning

To look backward for a while is to refresh the eye, to restore it, and to render it the more fit for its prime function of looking forward.
  —Margaret Fairless Barber

When we contemplate last month, last year, the period of time just before we came into this Twelve Step program, we can see many changes, good changes, have come our way. But we take the changes for granted sometimes. Or maybe we fail to reflect on them at all. We get caught up in the turmoil of the present, believing it will last forever, forgetting that yesterday's turmoil taught us much that we needed to know.

The past, for most of us, was rife with pain. But now we have hope. We have gained on life. We may be back in the good graces of our family. Perhaps we have patched up some failed relationships. A career has beckoned to us. Good experiences have come to pass. But we aren't free of difficulties. They need not get us down again. Hindsight assures us that this, too, will pass. It also guarantees that we will move forward, just as we have again and again, if we have but faith.

I will take this moment to look back at last year or the last binge. I can rest assured that I am moving forward. I will continue to do so. 

Food For Thought

New Skills

When we stop eating compulsively, we get out of ruts that we may have been in for years. Our schedules change, since we spend less time eating. The confidence we gain encourages us to try new activities, and we discover skills we never knew we had.

Because we are no longer disgusted with ourselves, we get along better with those around us. As we learn to give up fear and self-centeredness, we find ourselves turning out better work and performing well in areas where before we had been weak.

Spiritual growth is the key to the new developments in all parts of our lives. We have become more closely connected to the source of creativity, so we are more alive. Others respond positively to our new sincerity and enthusiasm.

That we may continue to grow and learn gives us quiet satisfaction. For this, we are grateful to OA and our Higher Power.

Thank You, Lord, for newness of life. 

The Language of Letting Go


Wait. If the time is not right, the way is not clear, the answer or decision not consistent, wait.

We may feel a sense of urgency. We may want to resolve the issue by doing something - anything now, but that action is not in our best interest.

Living with confusion or unsolved problems is difficult. It is easier to resolve things. But making a decision too soon, doing something before it's time, means we may have to go back and redo it.

If the time is not right, wait. If the way is not clear, do not plunge forward. If the answer or decision feels muddy, wait.

In this new way of life, there is a Guiding Force. We do not ever have to move too soon or move out of harmony. Waiting is an action - a positive, forceful action.

Often, waiting is a God-guided action, one with as much power as a decision, and more power than an urgent, ill-timed decision.

We do not have to pressure ourselves by insisting that we do or know something before it's time. When it is time, we will know. We will move into that time naturally and harmoniously. We will have peace and consistency. We will feel empowered in a way we do not feel today.

Deal with the panic, the urgency, and the fear; do not let them control or dictate decisions.

Waiting isn't easy. It isn't fun. But waiting is often necessary to get what we want. It is not dead time; it is not downtime. The answer will come. The power will come. The time will come. And it will be right.

Today, I will wait, if waiting is the action I need in order to take care of myself. I will know that I am taking a positive, forceful action by waiting until the time is right. God, help me let go of my fear, urgency, and panic. Help me learn the art of waiting until the time is right. Help me learn timing. 

Today's Gift

In grief, healing helps us make peace with the meaning of death, which cannot be understood except as an unknown part of life.
  —Alla Bozarth-Campbell

It is a sad occasion when we must say goodbye to a loved one or pet who has died. But grief is the only way we can come to understand our losses, and sharing grief helps us experience it more fully.

Perhaps we wish to grieve for something else we've lost, like fading youth, a job, a possession, or a habit we had come to enjoy. It's natural to feel grief over things like this, too.

We can share stories and good memories with other grievers, and give free reign to our tears. Sometimes it seems the more we talk, the sadder we feel about our losses, but when we share these feelings with others, we turn our losses into gain. We heal ourselves, pay tribute to those we grieve for, and share an intimate sense of loss with someone else.

Do I have grief to share?