Saturday, January 7, 2017

Daily Recovery Readings: January 7th

Recovery Meditations: January 7th

The social workers have named a new syndrome.
It's called "compassion fatigue."
Why does it sound so familiar?

Anne Wilson Schaef

For most of my life I have always cared for others, and have always been in the caring professions. I didn't think that was a bad thing until I was brought to my knees and arrived at my first program meeting. One of the character defects that I found I had was people pleasing. Because I was always trying to help and fix others, I also knew that I had a problem with control and lack of acceptance.
One of the things I am learning in the program is that, because for so many years I had hidden my emotions in food, there are still many layers of the onion that I haven't even begun to peel away. The amazing thing is that it is only when I reach a rock bottom of some sort that I am forced to look deeper at many issues that I have blocked for years. What I realize now is that I have spent so many years of my life taking care of others that I have forgotten to take care of me. No wonder I feel so overwhelmed!
I'm a compulsive caregiver, but in doing that, I have often neglected to see to my own needs. I am so grateful that I have become open to looking further into why I have always put others' needs before mine, and to being able to detach with love from many issues over which I am powerless, so that I can take better care of me.
One Day at a Time . . .
I will remember that in order to be able to care for and love others, I must first learn to care for and love myself.
~ Sharon S. ~


Each Day A New Beginning

The greatest gift we can give one another is rapt attention to one another's existence
  —-Sue Atchley Ebaugh

We all want to matter to others. Very often in the past and sometimes in the present, our behavior screams for the attention we seek from others. Perhaps, instead of trying to get attention, we ought to give it. The program tells us we have to give it away in order to keep it. Wisdom of the ages also dictates that in life there are no accidents. Those people close to us and those just passing through our lives have reason to be there. Giving attention to another's humanity is our calling.

I will fully attend to another person I have occasion to be with today. She will matter to me, and my attention will matter to her.

Food For Thought

Don't Take the First Compulsive Bite

OA says that if you don't take the first compulsive bite, you won't overeat. It is that first extra bite that gets us into trouble. The first bite may be as "harmless" as a piece of lettuce, but when eaten between meals and not as part of our daily plan, it invariably leads to another bite. And another, and another. And we have lost control. And there is no stopping.

It is the first compulsive bite that breaks abstinence. When we take it, we cheat ourselves and fall back into slavery to our appetites. To rationalize by saying that just a little deviation won't make any difference is like saying that someone is just a little bit pregnant.

All we have to give up is the first compulsive bite. Then we do not have to worry about the rest of them. Simple. Once we decide not to take the first one, our problem is solved. Abstinence is a lifeboat. It is possible to stay afloat in the lifeboat as long as we do not jump out by taking the first compulsive bite.

Thank you; Lord, for the saving gift of abstinence.

The Language of Letting Go

Dealing with Painful Feelings

Feelings of hurt or anger can be some of the most difficult to face. We can feel so vulnerable, frightened, and powerless when these feelings appear. And these feelings may trigger memories of other, similar times when we felt powerless.

Sometimes, to gain a sense of control, we may punish the people around us, whether they are people we blame for these feelings or innocent bystanders. We may try to "get even," or we may manipulate behind people's backs to gain a sense of power over the situation.

These actions may give us a temporary feeling of satisfaction, but they only postpone facing our pain.

Feeling hurt does not have to be so frightening. We do not have to work so hard to avoid it. While hurt feelings aren't as much fun as feeling happy, they are, still, just feelings.

We can surrender to them, feel them, and go on. That does not mean we have to seek out hurt feelings or dwell unnecessarily on them. Emotional pain does not have to devastate us. We can sit still, feel the pain, figure out if there's something we need to do to take care of ourselves, and then go on with our life.

We do not have to act in haste; we do not have to punish others to get control over our feelings. We can begin sharing our hurt feelings with others. That brings relief and often healing to them and to us.

Eventually, we learn the lesson that real power comes from allowing ourselves to be vulnerable enough to feel hurt. Real power comes from knowing we can take care of ourselves, even when we feel emotional pain. Real power comes when we stop holding others responsible for our pain, and we take responsibility for all our feelings.

Today, I will surrender to my feelings, even the emotionally painful ones. Instead of acting in haste, or attempting to punish someone, I will be vulnerable enough to feel my feelings.

Today's Gift

To affect the quality of the day - that is the highest of the arts.
—Henry David Thoreau

We are the sculptors of our day. We can mold it creatively into a wonderful masterpiece. We control the amount of moisture we mix into our clay. We pound it, shape it, stroke it, and love it. Others can offer suggestions, and we gain new perspectives from their advice, but it is finally our own creation. Our knife may occasionally slip, or our mixture of earth may be too dry. Any great artist suffers temporary setbacks. Besides, imperfections in art often make it all the more interesting.

How creative can I be in my life today?

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