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Old 04-21-2012, 08:35 AM   #21
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April 21

~ RELIGION ~

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

Unknown




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 ~
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Old 04-22-2012, 08:00 AM   #22
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April 22

COMPULSIONS

“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.
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Old 04-23-2012, 09:05 AM   #23
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April 23

~ BIRTHRIGHT ~

I've continued to recognize the power individuals have
to change virtually anything and everything in their lives in an instant.
I've learned that the resources we need to turn our dreams into reality are within us,
merely waiting for the day when we decide to wake up and claim our birthright.

Anthony Robbins




I have divine origins because I am part of my Higher Power. Whether I see my Higher Power as a male, female or neither; no matter if I experience my Higher Power as a Heavenly Parent, a Divine Friend, or a Great Spirit; whether I find my Higher Power in a temple, in the mountains, or in my child's eyes ... I am connected to something greater than myself, my problems, and my fears. The who, what, where, when, and how of my Higher Power are not important. I don't have to completely understand HP because my HP understands me.

I have been endowed with all the things I need to be successful in recovery and in life. All I have to do is step up and claim them. I have intellect, I have emotion, and I have a spirit. All of those things have a direct line to my Higher Power. What I can't yet access is given to me as a gift when I claim my divine birthright by simply saying, "I can't. You can. I think I'll let You." What greater power is there than to give our power to our Higher Power? Knowing when I can't do it alone is a gift!

One Day at a Time . . .
I will remember I come from royalty. I will remember my divine birthright and step up to claim it. Today I will not sell my divine birthright for a mess of pottage.

~ Sandee ~
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Old 04-24-2012, 08:22 AM   #24
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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 ~
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Old 04-25-2012, 09:05 AM   #25
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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 ~
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Old 04-26-2012, 09:19 AM   #26
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April 26

Forgiveness

“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
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Old 04-27-2012, 09:11 AM   #27
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April 27

~ RELATIONSHIPS ~

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 ~
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Old 04-28-2012, 08:43 AM   #28
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April 28

~ UNITY ~

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 ~
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Old 04-29-2012, 08:18 AM   #29
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April 29

~ GOODNESS ~

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. ~
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Old 04-30-2012, 08:48 AM   #30
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April 30

~ SPIRITUAL RECOVERY ~

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 ~
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